Assad: Iran Effective Supporter, Hezbollah Strategic Ally of Syria

November 26, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The Islamic Republic of Iran is an effective supporter of Syria, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah is a strategic ally for Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in a meeting with Syrian reporters and researchers.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has effectively supported Syria and continues to support the country economically and militarily, Assad said when talking about allies of Syria.

He added that Syria has supported Hezbollah and will continue to support it as Hezbollah is the country’s strategic ally.

Additionally, the Syrian president expressed concern about the recent developments in Lebanon, saying that Lebanon is the main supporter of Syria, terming its stability as a crucial matter.

Assad also pointed to the resumption of relations with Turkey and the recent meeting held between the Syrian and Turkish officials, saying that Turkey has expressed its readiness to meet the demands of Damascus. Syria expects practical steps from Turkey.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Assad spoke about Syrian-US relations, noting that there is no contact with the Americans.

He also referred to the withdrawal of the US forces from Syria as the Syrian people’s main demand.

Meanwhile, the Syrian president said that Russia assisted his country very much but the situation is different after Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and the economic and military pressures imposed on it.

In response to a question about restoring relations with the Hamas movement, he said Hamas apologized publicly which can be considered as an implicit apology from all the people of Syria.

Palestine: The Story of the Lions’ Den

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

MEMBERS OF THE LIONS’ DEN HOLD THEIR WEAPONS NEXT TO A FLAG FLYING THE LIONS’ DEN LOGO DURING A MEMORIAL SERVICE OF MOHAMMED AL-AZIZI AND ABDUL RAHMAN SOBH WHO WERE KILLED BY ISRAELI FORCES, IN THE WEST BANK CITY OF NABLUS ON SEPTEMBER 2, 2022. (PHOTO: SHADI JARAR’AH/ APA IMAGES)

MARIAM BARGHOUTI AND YUMNA PATEL


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)
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].”

LIONS’ DEN LEADERS ADDRESS A MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR MOHAMMED AL-AZIZI AND ABOUD SUBOH IN THE WEST BANK CITY OF NABLUS ON SEPTEMBER 2, 2022. (PHOTO: SHADI JARAR’AH/APA IMAGES)

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.

JAMAL HAMOU (PHOTO: AKRAM AL-WAARA/MONDOWEISS)

“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)
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.

BASIL AL-SHANTIR (PHOTO: AKRAM AL-WAARA/MONDOWEISS)

“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.

PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER MOHAMMED SHTAYYEH VISITS NABLUS ON NOVEMBER 3, 2022. (PHOTO: SHADI HATEM/APA IMAGES)

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.

Gaza Mourns, Buries 21 Fire Victims in Jabaliya (PHOTOS)

November 18, 2022

Thousands of mourners take part in the funeral of 21 Palestinians in the Jabaliya refugee camp. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Thousands of mourners took part on Friday in the funeral of 21 Palestinians in the Jabaliya refugee camp, north of the Gaza Strip, the Palestine Chronicle correspondent in Gaza reported.

At least 21 people, including seven children, died and many others were wounded on Thursday night, after a massive fire engulfed a residential building belonging to the Abu Raya family in Jabaliya.

Mohammed Abu Raya told the Associated Press the extended family had gathered for joint celebrations on the occasion of the birthday of one of the children.

The bodies of the victims were wrapped in Palestinian flags before being buried in the Martyrs’ Graveyard east of the refugee camp.

Preliminary investigations by the Ministry of Interior and National Security said that an amount of benzene was stored in large quantities inside the apartment, which led to the fire outbreak.

Gaza, with a population of 2 million, has been under a hermetic Israeli siege since 2007, when the Palestinian group Hamas won the legislative elections in occupied Palestine. Since then, Israel has carried out numerous bombing campaigns and several major wars, that resulted in the death of thousands of people. 

Moreover, the power supply is provided only for a few hours a day, making the Strip chronically short of electricity. This fact forces many Palestinian families to store fuel inside their own homes as an alternative source of energy.

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

“عملية معقدة” في مستوطنة “أريئيل” توقع قتيلين وعدداً من الإصابات

نوفمبر 15 2022

المصدر: وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية

وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية تتحدّث عن “عملية طعن معقدة تمّت في ساحتين مختلفتين” في مستوطنة “أريئيل”، وتفيد بمقتل مستوطنين وإصابة نحو 8.

“عملية معقدة” في مستوطنة “أريئيل” توقع عدداً من الإصابات

أفادت وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية، اليوم الثلاثاء، بمقتل مستوطنين وإصابة 8 آخرين في عـملية طعن ودهس في المنطقة الصناعية في مستوطنة “أريئيل” في الضفة الغربية. 

ولفت الإعلام الإسرائيلي إلى إصابة “8 مستوطنين في عملية الطعن في أريئيل؛ 2 في حال حرجة، و3 في حال خطرة، و3 إصابتهم طفيفة”. 

وفي تفاصيل العملية، أفاد الإعلام الإسرائيلي بأنّ “منفذ العملية طعن مستوطناً عند مدخل المنطقة الصناعية في مستوطنة أريئيل، ثم طعن 3 إسرائيليين في محطة للوقود قرب المستوطنة. بعد ذلك، انتقل بواسطة سيارة أخذها من أحد المستوطنين، وسار بعكس السير، ما أدّى إلى حادث سير بين عدد من السيارات”. 

وأشار الإعلام الإسرائيلي إلى أنّ “عملية الطعن حصلت في وقت كانت حال التأهب في صفوف قوات الأمن الإسرائيلية في ذروتها”، لافتاً إلى أنّها “عملية معقدة، إذ تمت في ساحتين مختلفتين، ولم يكن هناك إنذار مسبق”. 

وأفاد مراسل الميادين بأنّ قوات الاحتلال أطلقت النار على منفذ العملية، ما أدى إلى استشهاده. 

وفي السياق نفسه، قال الناطق باسم حركة “حماس” عبد اللطيف القانوع إنّ “عملية الطعن البطولية في مستوطنة ما يسمى أريئيل تبرهن قدرة شعبنا على استمرار ثورته ودفاعه عن المسجد الأقصى من الاقتحامات اليومية”. 

وأضاف القانوع: “العدوان المتواصل على شعبنا واقتحام الأقصى اليومي سيُقابل بتوسيع ضربات المقاومة وتمددها لردع الاحتلال ووقفه عند حده”.

بدوره، قال الناطق باسم حركة الجهاد الإسلامي، طارق عز الدين، إنّ “هذه العملية الفدائية داخل مغتصبة أريئيل تؤكّد مرة أخرى هشاشة هذا الاحتلال المجرم وتحطم منظومته الأمنية والعسكرية التي تفتك بأبناء الشعب الفلسطيني كل يوم”.  

وتابع عز الدين: “هذه العملية البطولية اليوم هي رد شعبنا على مواقف وتهديدات قادة اليمين الصهيوني الذين يتبجحون بفوزهم في انتخاباتهم المزعومة”. 

الجبهة الديمقراطية لتحرير فلسطين، من جهتها، شدّدت عقب حدوث العملية على أنّ “المقاومة بكل أشكالها مستمرة وستتصاعد، ولن يستطيع الاحتلال إخماد نارها المشتعلة في كل مكان”.

وأشادت الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين بعملية الطعن البطوليّة في مستوطنة “أرائيل”، مشيرةً إلى أنّها “رسالة جديدة تؤكّد إصرار الشعب الفلسطيني على استمرار مقاومته الاحتلال حتى دحره ونيل حقوقه الوطنيّة”. 

أمّا حركة المجاهدين الفلسطينية، فأشارت إلى أنّ “هذه العملية البطولية تؤكّد صواب نهج مواجهة هذا المحتل المجرم حتى كنسه عن كل الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة واسترداد كل الحقوق الوطنية المسلوبة”.

في سياق آخر، شنّت قوات الاحتلال، اليوم الثلاثاء، حملة اعتقالات واسعة في صفوف المواطنين في مناطق متفرقة من الضفة الغربية والقدس المحتلة، فيما داهمت قوات الاحتلال منزل الأسير يونس هيلان من قلقيلية.

وتزعم سلطات الاحتلال قيام الأسير هيلان بقتل مستوطن طعناً قبل شهر في بلدة الفندق قضاء قلقيلية.

مواضيع متعلقة

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

Nov 8 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

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

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

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

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

Weakening Iran and Turkey is in the enemy’s interest

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

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

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

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

Algeria resolved the Palestinian file

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

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

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

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

Algeria resolved the Palestinian file

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hamas Spox to Al-Ahed: ‘Israeli’ Elections Won’t Legalize the Occupation, We’ll Face the Enemy’s Governments

November 1 2022

By Al-Ahed News

Hamas Spokesperson Abdul Latif al-Qanou underlined that the Palestinian resistance movement doesn’t count on the ‘Israeli’ elections results, mentioning the internal partition within the Zionist entity.

In an interview with Al-Ahed News, al-Qanou noted that “all ‘Israeli’ parties are hostile to the Palestinian people.”

The Hamas spokesman further added that the ‘Israeli’ elections can’t legalize the occupation, as the Zionist entity with all its social, political, and security components will always be an “occupation” of the Palestinian territories.

Concluding his interview, al-Qanou highlighted the right of the Palestinian people and the resistance against the Zionist occupation with all its resulting extremist governments that practice killing of the Palestinian people.

In the course of starting the electoral process, Zionist officials imposed a general closure on all Palestinian territories on Tuesday in conjunction with the beginning of the voting.

The Zionist occupation army stated that the closure will take into effect on Monday at midnight. The crossings are to be opened and closure lifted before Tuesday midnight after assessing the situation.

In the West Bank, permits held by Palestinian workers to work inside the occupied territories will be frozen, in addition to freezing some crossing and closing numerous streets where Zionist settlements are located.

It’s noteworthy that the ‘Israeli’ elections scheduled for Tuesday are the fifth elections to be held in the Zionist entity over that past four years.

Resistance operation targets home of Israeli MK in West Bank, kills settler

October 30 2022

Israeli paramedics carrying rifles at the site of the shooting operation
(Photo Credit: Quds News Network)

The shooter, Mohammad al-Jabari, was hit by a police vehicle and shot dead soon after carrying out the attack

ByNews Desk- 

Four Israelis and a Palestinian were injured in a shooting operation on the evening of 29 October in the Kiryat Arba settlement of the West Bank city of Hebron, with the attack resulting in the death of one settler.

One of the injured Israelis remains in critical condition.

The shooter, identified as 35-year-old Mohammad al-Jabari, was run down by an Israeli police vehicle twice as he was still firing shots. After being hit by the car, Jabari exchanged fire with the occupation forces before being shot dead.

Jabari was a member of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas resistance movement. He was also a father of two children, and a teacher at the Jawad Al-Hashlamoun Basic School in the Hebron Education Directorate.

“We mourn the martyr and educator Muhammad Kamel Al-Jabari … who was shot dead by the occupation,” the Palestinian Ministry of Education said in a statement.

The operation itself targeted the home of far-right, Israeli extremist MK and leader in the Otzma Yehudit party, Itamar Ben Gvir.

“My family is currently secured [as we come] under a shooting attack on our home,” Ben Gvir said via Twitter as the operation was taking place. While speaking on the phone with Hebrew Channel 12 media outlet, he said that he wasn’t at home at the time of the shooting, but that his family was.

The following day, Ben Gvir offered his condolences via Twitter to the family of the dead settler, who was identified as 49-year-old Ronen Hanania.

Following the shooting, massive Palestinian rallies celebrating the operation were held in the Gaza Strip, as well as across the occupied West Bank.

Hamas spokesman, Hazem Qassem, said in a statement following the operation: “The bullets of the resistance are a practical response to Zionist settlement expansion, and the crimes they are committing,” adding that the operation “proves that the resistance front can surprise the occupiers.”

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) resistance faction and the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) also praised the operation.

The day after the attack, on 30 October, the Israeli army made preparations for the punitive demolition of Jabari’s home – a popular form of collective punishment deployed by the occupation.

The shooting operation represents a highly significant increase in resistance activity across the West Bank recently, which comes as a result of constant Israeli violence and oppression of Palestinians.

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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Hamas, Islamic Jihad Urge Unity Against ‘Israel’

 October 22, 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.

Hamas Says to Bolster Ties with Syria

 October 22, 2022

Hamas said on Saturday that the Palestinian resistance group will go ahead with developing ties with Syria.

“Bolstering relation with Syria come as part of consolidating our capabilities as a nation in a bid to confront the escalating Israeli aggression,” Hamas Spokesman Hazem Qassem said in remarks quoted by Palestinian media.

Qassem, meanwhile, denounced the Israeli attack which targeted Syrian capital, Damascus, on Friday.

“The Israeli strikes on Syria come as extension to killing and terror campaign against Palestinian people,” Qassem said.

“The escalation of the Israeli aggression in the region aimed at pressing vital powers in our nation in order to prevent them from supporting the Palestinian cause, the spokesman added.

A delegation comprising a number of Palestinian leaders and representatives of the resistance movements including Hamas visited Damascus on Wednesday.

Source: Agencies

The West Bank in Palestine is Ready to Explode

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 


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.”

Washington warns against reconciliation between Hamas and Damascus

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

October 21 2022

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

ByNews Desk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Udai Tamimi: Palestinian Hero Who Rubbed Nose of ‘Israel’ in the Dirt

October 20, 2022

Udai Tamimi, the Palestinian fighter who carried out two operations against Israeli occupation forces in October 2022.

Ten days of manhunt ended up with another operation. Udai Tamimi, a Palestinian hero who fought the Israeli occupation forces till the last breath.

Tamimi opened fire at an Israeli security guard at the entrance gate to the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim Wednesday evening, Israeli media reported.

The shot Israeli security guard was injured and evacuated to hospital, Ynet reported, adding that another security guard who was at the scene opened fire at Tamimi and killed him.

Security camera footage of Wednesday’s attack showed a lengthy exchange of gunfire between Tamimi and the security guards.

Tamimi, 22, fled the scene of Shuafat shooting which killed an Israeli soldier earlier this month (October 8). He was thought by police to have been hiding in the refugee camp since then.

Security Failure

Israeli circles slammed the conduct of the Israeli security services in the manhunt of Tamimi.

Analyst in Israeli Channel 14, Hillel Rozen said: “Throughout 10 days the entire Israeli security system mobilized in a bid to arrest a fugitive Palestinian who fled a shooting. Finally, this Palestinian arrived in another scene and carried out another operation…How could this happen?”

Police and rescue personnel at the scene of a terror attack at the entrance to the Jewish settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, outside of Jerusalem, October 19, 2022. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** פיגוע דקירה מעלה אדומים זירה משטרה כוחות הצלה

For his part, Israeli Radio’s Doron Kadosh said the second operation on Wednesday represents “a new failure to the Israeli security institution.”

“Shuafat attacker carried out another operation near Ma’ale Adumim settlement after security forces failed to arrest him,” the Israeli reporter added.

Wednesday operation occurred as Israeli security forces have been on high alert, with occupation forces continuing its military lockdown on Shuafat camp and the northern West Bank’s Nablus area.

General Strike in Al-Quds, West Bank

A general strike was declared on Thursday morning across the West Bank and Al-Quds in mourning for martyr Tamimi.

General strike in Palestinian city of Ramallah (October 20, 2022).

Businesses, schools and different facilities observed the strike and shut down their doors in different areas of the West Bank and Al-Quds.

Palestinian resistance factions had called for the strike and a day of clashes on Thursday with the Israeli forces across the occupied territories.

Different areas of Al-Quds and the West Bank witnessed marches last night, most of them held spontaneously to pay tribute to martyr Uday at-Tamimi.

Resistance Hails Operation

Shortly after Tamimi was declared martyred Palestinian resistance movements hailed the operations.

Hamas saluted Shuafat camp and its residents, hailing the continuous resistance against Israeli occupation.

“This new operation, along with courage of hero Udai Tamimi proves that the revolution of our people against the criminal occupation is going ahead,” a statement released by Hamas read.

For its part, the Islamic Jihad group said the “resistance actions are being united on the path of Al-Quds.”

The resistance group praised Tamimi “who proceeded choice of engagement till the last breath.”

Shuafat residents shave heads in solidarity with Udai Tamimi.

Tamimi had been on the run since October 8. After being identified by occupation military, dozens of Shuafat youths shaved their heads in solidarity with Tamimi who is known for being bald-headed. They collectively shaved their heads in a bid to confuse the Israeli occupation forces and make it hard to locate him.

The 10-day search for Tamimi had resulted in clashes between Israeli occupation forces and Palestinians in the camp, while also severely impeding daily life for Palestinians there.

People throughout Palestine, particularly in East Al-Quds (Jerusalem), staged demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinians in Shuafat. Strikes were declared in many cities, workplaces were closed and education was suspended at schools.

Udai Tamimi Will

The will of Tamimi, written on October 10, was circulated on social media on Thursday. He wrote it down just two days after he carried out the Shuafat shooting.

Hezbollah, Ansar Allah hails courage against the Israeli killing machine

20 Oct 2022

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

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

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

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

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

Palestinian martyr Uday Al-Tamimi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ansar Allah hails restoration of relations between Syria & Hamas

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

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

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

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

Read more: 

Syria: Palestinian unity, basis of power against occupation

19 Oct 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Syrian presidency issued a statement following the meeting between President Bashar Al-Assad and the Palestinian factions today.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad hosting Palestinian delegation

The Syrian presidency announced that President Bashar Al-Assad received a delegation of leaders and representatives of the Palestinian forces and factions, and they discussed the outcomes of the reconciliation dialogues.

“Al-Assad considers the unity of the Palestinian ranks as the basis of the Palestinians’ strength in confronting the [Israeli] occupation and restoring rights, and that all attempts to eliminate the Palestinian cause in the Arab region and Palestine have not and will not succeed,” the Syrian presidency stated. 
 
“What is happening now in all the Palestinian territories proves that the new generations are still clinging to the resistance,” and that “despite the war that Syria is witnessing, the country has not changed its stances supporting the resistance in any way,” Al-Assad stressed during his meeting with the Palestinian delegation.

“The Palestinian delegation members assured President Al-Assad that Syria is an essential pillar, the bonding element of the resistance, the resistance’s popular base throughout history, and it is the fortress that is resorted to in times of distress.”

Palestinian factions from Syria: Resistance only way to restore rights

The Palestinian forces and factions affirmed on Wednesday after meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus that resistance is the only way to restore rights.

In a statement following the meeting, the factions affirmed that Al-Assad stressed that the unity of the Palestinian ranks is the guarantee for restoring the rights of the Palestinian people.

The statement said the Syrian President reiterated Syria’s support for the Palestinian people in the face of Israeli aggression and stressed that resistance is the only way to liberate the land.

Hamas: Turning the page of the past moving forward in strengthening relations with Syria

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

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

The top Hamas official added that “we are ending any individual action that was not approved by the Hamas leadership, and we agreed with President Al-Assad to turn the page.”

It is noteworthy that the recent visit comes after non-public negotiations between Hamas and the Syrian leadership, mediated by Lebanese Hezbollah, which discussed the disagreements that led the movement to leave Damascus in 2012.

On September 15, Hamas announced in a statement that it would restore its relations with Syria, which “has been supporting the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance factions for decades.”

Read more: Hamas stands with Syria in the face of Israeli aggression

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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

مقالات متعلقة

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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Nasrallah: Until the agreement is signed, we must remain cautious

11 Oct 2022 23:52

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah underlines that the resistance is in a highly decisive period regarding the demarcation of the Lebanese maritime borders.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah

The Lebanese maritime border demarcation has been very difficult during the past few days, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Tuesday.

“We are going through decisive times in the issue of border demarcation and the extraction of oil and gas,” Sayyed Nasrallah underlined.

“We are awaiting an official statement from the Lebanese president and an official statement from the enemy’s cabinet,” he said. “The moment the delegations head to Naqoura to sign the deal in the agreed-upon mechanism, we can say we have an agreement or an understanding.”

“Until the agreement is signed, we must remain cautious in light of the contradictory Israeli statements,” he added, noting that the case will be closed for the resistance when the Lebanese president declares his position in support of the agreement.

“After the publication of the text, anyone can approach the agreement and its results with full responsibility and judge whether it is positive or negative,” the Hezbollah chief stressed. “After the publication of the text, the agreement must be approached patriotically.”

“Those who are satisfied with the agreement must approach the agreement objectively […] we are before a new experience that saw the presidents and state officials collaborating, and which also received a lot of support from the resistance’s public,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

“Lebanon will be able to attain this achievement at a time when no one cares about it or its obtaining of its rights,” the Lebanese resistance leader said. “After the situation with the drones, we no longer had to send other ones or conduct drills, for the goal was to let the enemy know that the resistance is serious [about safeguarding Lebanon’s rights].”

The Hezbollah leader then clarified that for the resistance, “our sea extends to Gaza […] and when Palestine is liberated, we will have no disagreements with our Palestinian brothers regarding our maritime borders.”

Worrying about corruption after the signing of the agreement is understandable, he added. “This is mainly the jurisdiction of Parliament.”

“You will adhere to your preparedness, alertness, and measures until we see with the naked eyes that the agreement has been signed and until we live to see another day after the agreement,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

The Lebanese presidency confirmed today that “the final version of the southern maritime borders agreement is satisfactory and meets the Lebanese demands”.

The presidency pointed out through its Twitter account that it received the official final amended version submitted by US mediator Amos Hochstein of the southern maritime borders agreement, stressing that “the final version preserved Lebanon’s rights to its natural wealth during an important time for the Lebanese.”

This comes after the company working in the Karish rig, Energean, released a statement on Sunday announcing that it has launched the testing process of the rig; however, “Israel” told the US that the injections are merely a test and that oil production will not happen today in a clear attempt to relay a message to Hezbollah that it has not yet crossed the red lines.

Israeli media has lately said that the Lebanese maritime border agreement strengthens Hezbollah’s position inside Lebanon, stressing that Hezbollah has once again proven that it can achieve its political and strategic goals in Lebanon and the region thanks to its military strength that cannot be dissuaded or weakened.

West Bank resists

Sayyed Nasrallah also commented on the events taking place in the occupied West Bank, saying what is going on there “is shocking the enemy, its entity, and all of its political forces.”

“The resistance carried out various actions that the Israelis saw, acknowledged, and heard,” which undermined “Israel”. “The resistance in the West Bank needs all sorts of political, media, and popular solidarity.”

“The resistance in the West Bank needs support and has the ability to change the status quo. Many people count on it,” Sayyed Nasrallah said. “Hamas’ decision to bolster its ties with Syria is brave, wise, and sound.”

“The decision of rapprochement between Hamas and Syria at heart brought together the Axis of Resistance’s governments, armies, movements, and factions,” Sayyed Nasrallah underlined.

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Syria to welcome first official Hamas delegation: Report

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah played a key role in persuading Syria to rebuild ties with Hamas despite the collapse of their relationship in 2011

October 07 2022

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh in 2006. (Photo Credit: SANA/AP)

ByNews Desk

According to a report by Al-Mayadeen TV, a high-ranking delegation from the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas is expected to visit Syria in October, embarking on their first official visit to reconcile ties.

The delegation will be led by the head of the Arab and Islamic Relations Portfolio and Hamas deputy chief in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Khalil al-Hayya.

No details have been provided by either side on the schedule of the visit nor whom the resistance faction will meet, especially regarding a possible meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Both sides assess that its not yet possible for head of the political bureau in Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, to visit Syria as a result of his old public anti-Damascus remarks.

The reported visit is part of a recent push by the political leadership of Hamas to extend its hands to all Arab states and reestablish a bridge with all countries capable of opposing Israel.

On 15 September, Haniyeh, revealed in an interview to RT that the group is working on restoring ties with Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Haniyeh highlighted that Hamas stands on equal terms with all of its Arab and international partners and “does not interfere in the internal affairs of any of these countries.”

His statement was seen by many as being directed towards Syria, in a bid to affirm that Hamas has abandoned its stand against Damascus, dating back to when it favored Turkish-backed opposition groups in 2011.

The reconciliation with Syria is of great importance to Hamas, due to its strategic role in the Axis of Resistance and support for the factions in Gaza, notably the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

This recent push by Hamas to move away from the decision taken in 2012 to leave Syria was only possible after Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan normalized ties with Israel earlier this year.

Additionally, Erdogan’s public comments about a possible meeting with Assad and the confirmation that Syrian and Turkish intelligence are coordinating have contributed to the current developments.

Nonetheless, the efforts made by the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, played a crucial role in the arming of ties between Hamas and Damascus.

Nasrallah’s effort focused on persuading Syria to accept Hamas again, and overcome the “pain” caused by the group’s decision to abandon the country when it needed allies the most.

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‘Regime change’ in Hamas and a return to Syria

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

September 26 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By The Cradle’s Palestine Correspondent

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Amman to Damascus to Doha

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meshaal chooses Doha

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

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

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

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

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

Internal dissent 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fateful meetings

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

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

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

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

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

Back to Damascus

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

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

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

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

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

Meshaal’s fall from power  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hamas, post-Meshaal

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

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

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

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

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

IOF storm Al-Aqsa, prevent worshipers from entering compound

Sep 26 2022 08:20

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

At the beginning of the celebrations of Jewish holidays, Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque under the heavy protection of occupation forces.

Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque under the heavy protection of occupation forces

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque to secure the settlers’ incursions, and prevented men under the age of 40 from entering the compound to perform the Fajr (dawn) prayer, Al Mayadeen‘s correspondent reported Monday.

On Thursday, Israeli right-wing extremist Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque amid restrictions on the entry of worshipers, and toured the mosque’s courtyards, starting from the Mughrabi Gate, guarded by the occupation forces.

Ben Gvir is one of the most notorious Israeli politicians, as he is infamous for constantly carrying out provocative tours in Al-Aqsa mosque and rallying illegal Israeli settlers that call for the death of Arabs and Palestinians alike while chanting racist slogans and slurs against Muslims and Arabs.

Before Ben Gvir stormed Al-Aqsa, the occupation police tightened their presence at the gates of Al-Aqsa and prevented entry to it, especially from the Qattanin Gate.

At the door of the Council Gate (Bab Al-Majlis), the IOF detained the worshipers and prevented them from entering it.

This comes on the eve of Jewish holidays, amid calls to organize mass incursions by settlers into Al-Aqsa during the holiday’s three-week period that began on Sunday.

On the other hand, Palestinian institutions called for intensifying the presence of Palestinians in Al-Aqsa Mosque during this period.

Hamas: Amping up resistance in West Bank foiled enemy’s schemes

In the same context, the Hamas movement called Sunday for the amping up the acts of resistance to thwart the Israeli plans against the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The movement’s spokesperson, Hazem Qassem, said in a press statement that ramping up the acts of resistance in the occupied West Bank and the ’48 occupied Palestinian territories is enough to thwart Israeli plans against Al-Aqsa Mosque.

He added that the gatherings and stationing in Al-Aqsa Mosque will fail the occupation’s plans, stressing that the extremist incursions under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces must be met with more of these gatherings and stationing.

He continued to say that the Palestinian people will protect Al-Aqsa Mosque with every means possible, while stressing that the “key to the victory of the Palestinian people” is stationing at the Mosque, adding that “with their unity and resistance, the occupation plans in Al-Aqsa will be thwarted.”

It is noteworthy that celebrations of the “Hebrew New Year” are scheduled to start Monday, followed by the “Yom Kippur” celebrations on October 5.

Read more: 30 Palestinian prisoners launch open-ended hunger strike

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