Do Not Apologize: Being Pro-Palestinian is Not a Crime

November 26, 2022

Canadian member of Ontario’s provincial parliament, Joel Harden. (Photo: via Wikipedia)
– Paul Salvatori is a Toronto-based journalist, community worker and artist. Much of his work on Palestine involves public education, such as through his recently created interview series, “Palestine in Perspective” (The Dark Room Podcast), where he speaks with writers, scholars and activists. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

By Paul Salvatori

This week Joel Harden, a Canadian member of Ontario’s provincial parliament, made this unnecessary apology:

“I would like to apologize unreservedly to the Jewish community for comments I made during an interview with the Ottawa Forum on Israel Palestine. I spoke in a way that perpetrated an antisemitic stereotype towards Jewish neighbours. I regret my choice of words and sincerely apologize to the Jewish community. You have my commitment that it won’t happen again and I will continue to work with Jewish leaders who can help me understand antisemitism.”

Specifically, the apology was made in reference to this statement he made in the interview, in August 2021

“If I were to name…the single greatest threat, the single greatest origin of violence in the Middle East, it is unquestionably the state of Israel and the way in which they feel absolutely no shame in defying international law, doing whatever they want.”

There’s nothing wrong with this since, first, it’s no secret that Israel has absolutely no reservations about and is routinely breaking international law (as confirmed by the United Nations, Amnesty International, other major human rights organizations the world over) and, second, whether Israel is in fact “the single greatest origin of violence in the Middle East” is at worst only debatable.

Given that Israel is constantly demolishing Palestinian properties, opening live fire and killing Palestinian civilians, illegally raiding Palestinian homes, physically and mentally (as through its military) harassing Palestinians, detaining them without any charge whatsoever, and holding them indefinitely behind bars (often referred to more nicely as “administrative detention”)—just to name a few of its crimes and in addition to its periodic bombing of Gaza (a densely open-air prison where Palestinians are wholly defenseless)—it is hardly a farfetched a view that Israel is the “single greatest origin of violence in the Middle East.” 

To go any further at this point in listing Israeli crimes is simply to repeat what’s already been public for long. Motasem A Dalloul, in a recent article published in Middle East Monitor, succinctly notes what ultimately needs to be stressed:

“For 70 years Israel has been the subject of numerous UN resolutions, statements of condemnation and rulings of the illegality of its policies against Palestinians and yet no sanctions have been imposed against it nor have Palestinians been given aid to combat its aggression.”

In fact, as in the cast of Harden, we see the opposite, namely politicians and others apologizing for truthfully speaking to the illegality in question. Aside from such apologies being unnecessary they reflect four problematic issues, concerning Israeli ideologues.

First, Israeli ideologues, including the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) that took exception to Harden’s statement, don’t want to be criticized about Israeli criminality. Ever. In their view, if you draw attention to any of the various modes in which they are engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, whether outside the head (e.g. bombing of Gaza and Israeli settlement displacement) or inside the head (e.g. erasing Palestine from our memory and concerns), is already to have gone too far. And we know where that leads: being called “antisemitic.” 

Stated bluntly, if you think that taking issue with what Israel is doing to Palestine is “antisemitic”, there’s something seriously amiss. Not with the person taking issue but with your thinking. It is so ludicrous to associate, at a very basic level, antisemitism with legit criticism of any state at all, let alone Israel, that the burden of proof is on you—not me—to explain the logic of that. Recalling, as I write, my time as a philosophy instructor, it would have admittedly made for an interesting assignment, where students would be challenged to demonstrate their argumentative abilities.

But should you have handed in, say, an essay where the constant refrain throughout is that criticism of Israel amounts to “antisemitism”, despite the criticism focused exclusively on its actions alone, you’d of course receive a failing grade. By the same token—and if we’re sincere about being “modern” (a word progressives and liberals love to apply to themselves) such that we accept that truth requires justifying what we say with material facts—equating criticism of Israel as antisemitic is empirically bankrupt. 

Second, Israeli ideologues lie about the Palestinian struggle for justice and history. And no one among them corrects them for doing so. One example that immediately comes to mind is how they do this with respect to the phrase “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” So often they, perfectly illustrated in this recent op-ed, attack it as a call to pro-Palestinian terrorism. Had Harden or any other Canadian politician done the same the ideologues would not come after them. It’s as if the Israeli ideologue cannot process the basic idea that the phrase refers to the rightful liberation of the Palestinian people, covering the geographic expanse of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

What they’d like the world to falsely believe is that it means annihilating Israelis. No doubt this is a kind of fear-mongering to not only vilify Palestinians and their allies but also to drum up further support for the continuation of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Sociopaths act similarly. They manipulate you to believe in certain lies so you, acting accordingly, advance some particular agenda. Even when doing so is to your own or others’ detriment. 

Third and finally, Israeli ideologues are selective about what they mean by “antisemitism.” Preposterous criticism of Israel, for them, amounts to such hatred but slandering or demeaning Jews as “self-hating” for supporting the Palestinian struggle for justice is not. An egregious incident where this happened, involving Palestinian solidarity expressed by Hasidic Jews in Toronto this year and detailed well by Montreal activist and writer Yves Engler, is a case in point. CIJA, among other Israeli ideologues, surely knows about this. They are, without fail, vigilant in documenting all antisemitic incidents that happen in Canada. They however do not respond to those where the targets of the incidents are pro-Palestinian. 

Ignoring antisemitism when it occurs against pro-Palestinian Jews while condemning all other forms of antisemitism (perceived, such as criticism against Israel, or real, such as denying a person entry somewhere because they are Jewish), is more than turning a blind eye. It’s outright deplorable. It means that the pro-Palestinian Jew is “less” a Jew. Conversely, and following this perverse logic, being “Jewish” entails supporting the Israeli oppression of Palestine. Should you challenge that you are a “traitor” to other “real” Jews who will not come to your aid or safety? 

Those publicly endorsing such thinking should be apologizing for offending being antisemitic. Those, however, fighting for Palestinian justice—Jews and non-Jews alike—have nothing to be sorry about. Remember this, dear Palestinian allies. As much as each of us is flawed, not perfect, and have things about ourselves that we have to work on, you do no harm when you oppose the unconscionable crimes that Israel—as a violent state and not the exclusive representative of worldwide Jewry—perpetrate daily against the Palestinian people. You will likely offend those who, lacking conscience, want it otherwise. But that is their failing. Not ours. 

Do not let it deter you from engaging in the Palestinian struggle. There is lots of good, however difficult, work left to be done. 

Third Palestinian intifada is coming: Israeli media

24 Nov 2022 

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen English 

Israeli media says the Palestinian public is growing more outraged with the occupation’s practices, which indicates that a third intifada is looming on the horizon for “Tel Aviv”.

Israeli media talks about a Third Palestinian Intifada

    There are clear signs pointing to the outbreak of a third Palestinian Intifada, former chief of the Israeli occupation forces’ military intelligence directorate Major General Tamir Hayman said on Thursday in light of the latest round of escalation from the people of occupied Palestine.

    There are “clear signs that cannot be ignored indicating that there is an increased probability that a third Palestinian Intifada with unprecedented characteristics will occur,” Hayman stressed.

    “The Palestinian arena is becoming more fomented than the majority of the public imagines,” the Israeli military official said, stressing that the occupation must “deal with the terrorist operations that took place in Al-Quds, such as kidnapping the body of Tiran Fero, as a sign that there will be an [Intifada] eventually.”

    Palestinian freedom fighters managed on Wednesday dawn to seize the body of an illegal Israeli settler after he was killed in a traffic accident near the American University in the city of Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank.

    The Occupation Army Radio reported that Resistance fighters managed to snatch the body of “Israeli” Tiran Fero (18 years old), who was killed in a car accident, adding that he arrived at the Jenin hospital by mistake.

    According to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the Resistance fighters captured the body after they stopped an ambulance belonging to the Palestinian Red Crescent that was on its way to deliver it to the occupation, while the Resistance refuses to hand it over.

    On the same day, Israeli media reported that there was an explosion at a bus station in Al-Quds, which injured around a dozen people.

    Israeli media reported that Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir went to the explosion site in Al-Quds. 

    Israeli media also reported that there is a fear of other explosives in other areas of occupied Al-Quds.

    The explosion came after a long period of increased oppression of the Palestinian people at the hand of the Israeli occupation, which has been on a usual yet increased rampage, which has seen “Tel Aviv’s” forces brutally murdering Palestinians left and right.

    A Palestinian child, 16-year-old Ahmad Amjad Shehadeh, was martyred yesterday morning after he succumbed to his wounds from a bullet the IOF fired straight to his heart when they entered the city of Nablus. 

    Palestinian media also confirmed the injury of six other Palestinian men with live bullets and tens of others by suffocation as a result of the IOF storming Nablus.

    Back on November 9, Mahdi Hashash, 17, succumbed to serious wounds he sustained in his stomach after being shot by Israeli occupation forces, as per the Palestinian Red Crescent.

    The IOF, accompanied by Israeli settlers, both in large numbers, stormed Al-Quds and Amman Streets in the vicinity of Qaber Youssef (Joseph’s Tomb), east of Nablus. The IOF shot live ammunition at the Palestinians and heavily deployed tear gas and stun grenades.

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    Following Israel, Turkey Bombs Northern Syria Killing 11 Soldiers

     ARABI SOURI

    Turkey bombed several sites in northern Syria in the early hours of today, Sunday, November 20, 2022, killing 11 Syrian soldiers and injuring 4 others, local sources confirmed.

    The Syrian news agency SANA conveyed a military source statement confirming the Turkish aggression and the killing of Syrian soldiers without specifying the number of martyrs or wounded:

    “A number of soldiers were martyred as a result of the Turkish attacks on the Syrian lands in the northern countryside of Aleppo and the countryside of Hasakah at dawn this day.”

    A reporter for SANA said that Turkish fighter jets bombed several sites in the southwest of Darbassiya, in the outskirts of Al Malikiyah, and in the village of Tal Harmal to the north of Abu Rasin, all of these sites are in Hasakah countryside.

    Other sources added Ain Digna, Meng Airport, Ayn Al Arab, Khafaya Al-Salem silos, Tal Rifat, and Mara’naz to the sites targeted by the Turkish bombing.

    Wide destruction of houses and farmlands resulted from Turkish aggression.

    The regime of the Turkish madman Erdogan claimed this aggression by NATO’s second-largest army is to avenge the Istanbul ‘terrorist’ attack earlier this month, the attack that most observers and analysts doubted the Turkish official narrative about and alleged it’s more of a false flag similar to the Zelensky’s forces S300 missile that targeted Poland.

    NATO-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists also denied their involvement in the Istanbul explosion, they would otherwise celebrate their operations.

    NATO and its members, especially Turkey have a long history of false flags in Syria to justify their aggression and the war crimes they commit on daily bases against the Syrian people, the head of the Turkish ‘intelligence’ plotted an attack against Turkish soldiers to justify Turkish army aggression against the Syrian forces a couple of years ago, his conversation was leaked and the plot was exposed, he was rewarded by Erdogan for his services.

    The Turkish aggression against the Syrian army posts in Hasaskah comes a day after Israel bombed Syrian army posts killing 4 soldiers and injuring a fifth, the Israeli and Turkish aggressions come after the Syrian army cleared the last stronghold of ISIS in southern Daraa city a day preceding the Israeli aggression.


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    Ahmad Kassir’s Final Moments

    Nov 11, 2022 

    Ahmad Kassir’s Final Moments

    Samir Alemeh

    He came up with an idea and fulfilled his joy by defeating the Zionists.

    What did Ahmad do before executing the operation and what were the circumstances that accompanied it?

    “Machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades will not destroy this building. It needs something that would completely destroy it.”

    Martyr Ahmad Kassir confided these words to one of his friends while they passed by the Azmi building in the Jal al-Bahr area in Tyre. The building housed the headquarters of the “Israeli” military governor. It was just an idea he had since the Zionist enemy occupied southern Lebanon in June 1982. That idea then grew into a proposal that he presented to officials from Hezbollah. It entailed him blowing himself up in the Azmi Building. By doing so, he became the prince of the self-sacrificing martyrs.

    Whenever he saw the enemy’s aircraft violating the airspace in southern Lebanon, he would say, “Your turn will come soon, God willing.”

    Thus, Ahmad began preparing to defeat the Jews. He was rushing things fearing that he might miss his opportunity. Yet, he did so without any changes in his behavior that would indicate that he is on a path to martyrdom.

    People close to him described him as cheerful and happy. No one could have imagined that this young man had the spirit of martyrdom in him. At the same time, he continued with the acts of worship, especially reading the Quran and performing Salat al-Layl [Night Prayer].

    Those who knew him spoke about his patience. Some said that prior to the execution of the operation, he stayed alone in one of the houses for two weeks. Due to security concerns, he was unable to use the heating or even the lights. Yet, he bore the cold and dark. He prayed to God to bestow him with victory and martyrdom.

    He spent his nights, all the way to the last one, in worship. As dawn approached, he performed Ghusl al-Shahada [bath of martyrdom]. Due to the necessities of the execution, he performed the Morning Prayers in the car, which was driven towards the target with his determination and faith.

    God has men who will what he wills. The large number of dead and wounded among the ranks of the Zionists was, first and foremost, the result of divine care. The operation was postponed for two days due to several reasons. On the night of the execution, it rained heavily and forced “Israeli” soldiers housed in tents to take cover in the Azmi building. They remained in the building all night and left the second day as stiff corpses and torn body parts.

    One of the coincidences that came under the auspices of God Almighty is that days before the operation, the Zionists transferred the Lebanese detainees to the roof of the building after placing barbwire around it. Instead of using one of the floors below, the rooftop was transformed into a prison. When the explosion struck, the building was flattened and the roof was reduced to the same level as the ground below. Most of the Lebanese detainees were safe and sound. They were able to escape. Those who found themselves in the interrogation rooms at the time of the blast were martyred.

    Ahmad Kassir drove his car slowly with a great deal of courage and trust. Moments before his arrival, one of the Zionist soldiers moved a vehicle blocking the main entrance. The martyr was meant to enter through that entrance. Another soldier lifted the shutters of the door. Thus, Ahmad’s way to martyrdom was cleared of any obstacles. He was able to defeat the Jews at a time when they were perceived as invincible.

    And so Ahmad got his wish that always used to utter, “my greatest joy is that, God willing, I will inflict losses on those Jews the way they harmed our dignity and our people.”

    Source: Al-Ahed News

    Lebanon Secures Oil, Gas Rights Without Any Concession, Now It’s Time to Preserve This Achievement

    November 2, 2022

    By Mohammad Youssef

    Lebanon has become an oil and gas member country. The new understanding to demarcate the maritime border line with occupied Palestine is a milestone and the start of a new era that put the country on a new road towards prosperity and stability on many levels. More importantly, this remarkable achievement has been reached without any kind of normalization with the ‘Israeli’ enemy.

    It is the first time in history that an Arab state gets its rights without bowing down to the ‘Israeli’ blackmail, threats, or diktats.

    But how did that take place?

    The resistance in Lebanon spearheaded by Hezbollah has given another proof about its ability to bring the yet another country.

    Supported by the people who put their trust and have a full unshakable conviction about the resistance. Hezbollah leadership took a courageous step by setting a new formula against the enemy which states the following: If Lebanon cannot explore, exploit, and extract its gas resources, the enemy is not allowed to do so.

    Hezbollah put its threat into effect by sending its drones over Karish platform to reflect the seriousness of its warning.

    In addition to this, and in a harmonious and coordinated way with the state officials, namely President of the Republic General Michel Aoun, House Speaker Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati, and their respective teams, the resistance represented by Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has been able to give Lebanon another remarkable victory which brought the ‘Israeli’ enemy to its knees.

    This event has given an exemplary model about the defensive strategy that Lebanon could reach and adopt to defend the country and act as a deterrent force against any ‘Israeli’ aggression.

    This defensive strategy has long been under the light, and is always under focus. Many parties in Lebanon have called for an open discussion to deliberate over this matter. Now we have a real embodiment and a vivid example that no one can deny about the result of coordination that can take place to ensure not only Lebanon’s protection and liberation, but also its full sovereignty over its land, sea, and all its natural resources.

    Needless to say, this kind of coordination will definitely act as a safety valve and as a guarantee for Lebanon and the Lebanese against any foreign threat, aggression, or intimidation, especially from the ‘Israeli’ enemy side which has a lengthy history of aggressions.

    It is the duty of the Lebanese from every sect and confession to perceive this new lesson. To understand the importance of this achievement, they should all learn how to appreciate it, value it and do everything possible to support and preserve it.

    This is a successful golden formula that has no otherwise so far. It proved its efficiency in the past and present, and will definitely protect Lebanon and its people in the future.

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    Israel Escalates Continual Airstrikes in Syria

    October 27, 2022

    Source

    By Steven Sahiounie

    The root cause of all the political turmoil and chaos in the Middle East is the brutal military occupation of Palestine.

    Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes across Syria for many years, and the latest was on October 24 in a rare daytime attack in Damascus. Israel views Iran as their chief national security threat. Iran supports the resistance movement against the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and Hezbollah, the Lebanese resistance group. When the U.S.-NATO attack on Syria began for ‘regime change’ both Iran and Hezbollah came to the aid of the Syrian government and fought not only the terrorists following Radical Islam, which were used as foot-soldiers by U.S. President Obama, but much later also fought to defeat ISIS. Israel has continued an almost weekly schedule of airstrikes against possible Iranian weapons storage facilities across Syria.

    On October 24, Israeli missiles hit targets near the Syrian capital, Damascus, while Syrian air defenses shot down a number of the missiles. The afternoon raid led to the wounding of a soldier and some property damage, according to sources.

    Russian deconfliction with Israel and opposition to airstrikes

    On May 19, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov explained the working relationship between Israel and Russia, a deconfliction mechanism in Syria. Bogdanov commented while at the KazanSummit 2022, an international conference.

    Bogdanov said. “In addition, our military is at work as well. There are military attache offices at the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv and the Israeli embassy in Moscow. So work is going on.” He added that the contacts happen at the highest level, and the mechanism with Israel in Syria continues to work.

    On April 28, Russia urged Israel to cease its strikes on Syria, saying the attacks are “categorically unacceptable and inadmissible.”

    Some Israeli airstrikes on Syria

    On October 21, Israel carried out an airstrike on Damascus and the southern suburbs. Syrian sources reported several missiles fired at military positions near Damascus, and Syrian air defenses shot down most of the missiles, with only material losses. Residents of the capital heard at least three explosions, with Sham FM radio reporting the attacks were close to the Damascus International Airport.

    The October 21 airstrike on Damascus is viewed as a political message from Israel to Syria and its allies. On October 19, Hamas and other Palestinian resistance organizations were in a Damascus meeting.  The October 21 airstrike was the first strike in five weeks and carried a message in response to that meeting two days prior.

    On September 17, Israeli airstrikes on Damascus International Airport and the vicinity killed five Syrian soldiers according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). The early morning strike was launched from the northeastern side of Lake Tiberias. Israel has increasingly targeted Syrian airports to disrupt Iran’s supply lines. In June, Israeli airstrikes put Damascus International airport out of service for nearly two weeks for repairs to the lobby and runway.

    Israel runs a grave risk of shooting down a commercial airliner full of passengers by targeting airports that are used for international travel, and there is a danger of a mistaken strike that could cause mass casualties. The Damascus and Aleppo International airports are functioning with flights to Europe, Asia, and the Arab Gulf.

    In September 2018, Israel caused a Russian plane to be shot down with the loss of all 15 passengers onboard near Latakia. This was a military technique Israel used, where the Israeli jet hid behind the Russian plane coming to land, and the Syrian air defenses shot it down while targeting the Israeli jet behind it. This is called a “shadow” air technique.

    On August 31, Israeli airstrikes damaged the Aleppo International airport just as a plane was coming in to land from Iran. When the plane attempted to land in Damascus, Israel also struck there.

    On August 25, the Scientific Studies and Research Center at Masyaf was severely damaged after Israel attacked the area between Tartus and Hama. One death and 14 injuries were reported and fires were sparked in the nearby forests. Israel’s attack was launched from over the Mediterranean Sea, and SANA reported the Syrian air defenses shot down most of the missiles.

    On December 28, 2021, Israel launched an airstrike on the main port of Latakia on the Mediterranean Sea. This was the second such attack in one month. Storage containers were set ablaze.

    On December 7, 2021, Israel carried out a massive attack on the port of Latakia. The resulting fire in the container storage area remained burning for several days. Residents of the city were sleeping when they were jolted awake by five explosions.

    The root cause of all the political turmoil and chaos in the Middle East is the brutal military occupation of Palestine. Until the Palestinian people are living in freedom, there will always be a resistance movement. Instead of airstrikes in Syria aimed at Iranian supplies, Israel should be preparing a negotiations table to decide the details of the final two-state solution which has received international support through UN resolutions that lay dormant gathering dust. Only when the Palestinians have regained their human rights will the surrounding countries be able to live in peace and prosperity.

    Social media snitches: How Israel recruits spies inside Syria

    October 23 2022

    Photo Credit: The Cradle

    Israel’s Mossad is increasingly turning to social media in order to recruit agents to gather intelligence on Syria, a crucial hub in the Axis of Resistance

    By Radwan Mortada

    The war raging between Israel and Iran is not as inconspicuous as it may seem. It is taking place on a wide front that not only includes Iran, but also Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan and other regional states.

    Syria, however, remains the main battlefield in this war, given the fact that it represents the vital geographical artery between Iran and the Lebanese resistance Hezbollah, through which arms, food, fuel, and other commodities flow.

    Tel Aviv routinely bombs airports in Damascus and Aleppo when allegedly Iranian planes carrying members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) arrive or depart.

    Israel also claims to target missile shipments on route to the resistance in Lebanon, but per their unofficial rules of engagement, they avoid causing resistance casualties. This is in compliance with the red line drawn by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, who has vowed to retaliate in kind if Hezbollah members are killed.

    As a result, Israel’s current modus operandi is to launch warning missiles near trucks carrying weapons, bombing them only after the drivers leave their vehicles.

    Online operatives

    The acts of aggression don’t just end there: another obscure war of espionage and counter-espionage hums constantly in the background. The prevalence of Israeli spy networks operating in Syria is certainly not a recent development. Recall Eli Cohen, the Mossad agent who penetrated senior Syrian circles in the 1960s, for which he was captured and hung with great fanfare in a public Damascus square.

    Today, however, the use of social media has made recruiting far easier and more difficult for states to detect.

    Israel employs social media networks to covertly penetrate Lebanon and Syria for the purpose of recruiting spies and informants – with a particular emphasis on infiltrating the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

    The most recent Israeli security operation to be foiled was the recruitment of a Sweden-based Syrian doctor and his two brothers – both officers in the Syrian army – to work for Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad.

    One of the two brothers, who held a brigadier general rank, worked in the SAA’s Surveying and Topography Department, and was assigned to provide the Mossad with maps of the city of Damascus and its surroundings, including details of roads, highways, and bridges.

    This particular espionage operation was uncovered by Lebanese security services, who managed to follow online accounts allegedly used by Mossad officers to recruit previously arrested agents. Investigations revealed a connection between these accounts and a person close to Beirut International Airport, using Syrian and Swedish phone numbers between 2020 and 2022.

    Following the probe, it was discovered that these numbers belonged to Syrian doctor Moeen Youssef, who resides in Sweden and had previously travelled to Syria via Lebanon. He heads the nephrology department at a Stockholm hospital for a monthly salary of $7,300.

    The security services arrested Youssef at Beirut International Airport last August on charges of working for the Mossad. During his interrogation, he informed investigators that an individual named “Christopher” contacted him via e-mail in 2018, claiming to work for environment and water purification companies, and offered to help him implement a free water purification project in Syria.

    After communicating directly by phone, they met about a month later at the Sheraton Hotel in Stockholm, allegedly to discuss the water project. At that time, the doctor recommended that “Christopher” work with his two brothers inside Syria, Louay and Mazen.

    Groomed by Mossad

    Louay is a retired colonel in the Syrian army and Mazen was the brigadier general serving in the Topographical Engineering Department who retired early this year. His brother’s wife, a civil engineer working in the Damascus municipality, appears to have also been part of the project.

    For two years, the Israelis worked to gain the trust of the Syrian doctor, before revealing their identity. During this span, several meetings were held with him in Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and the Czech Republic. The “company” even covered his travel expenses for these encounters.

    At the last meeting in Switzerland, in August 2020, Youssef was asked to obtain a map that revealed the distribution of Syria’s water network over the entirety of its territory. He was paid 2,500 euros to purchase a cell phone with a Swedish chip and a laptop with encryption software for sending maps/documents, to lease an office in Syria run by his brother, and to buy a ticket to Beirut via Rome.

    Youssef was also told to activate the WhatsApp application on the Swedish mobile line for communicating with his brother Mazen, and was trained to take security precautions to protect them both – under the pretext that his brother would not be exposed because he would be the recipient of confidential documents.

    During interrogation, Youssef confessed that at that point, he realized he was communicating with an Israeli Mossad officer. Upon his return to Syria, he informed his father and two brothers, Louay and Mazen, of his suspicions. He added, “A discussion took place between us and we decided to continue communicating with him.”

    Even the army has been compromised

    Youssef admitted that he transferred sums of money in stages to his two brothers and father, in addition to modest gifts, and was also promised finances for a cement factory owned by his father.

    After his arrest in Beirut, Syrian intelligence arrested four officers in the Syrian army and a large number of soldiers suspected of ties with the Israeli enemy. Yousef’s father, Omar, appeared in a recorded video where he repudiated the “heinous accusation.” After all. dealing with the Israeli enemy is a crime of high treason in Syria, punishable by death.

    Lebanese security sources informed The Cradle that Hezbollah’s security apparatus provided logistical assistance to Syrian intelligence in pursuing these local agents. Hebrew websites published news of the subsequent arrests, naming officers from the SAA’s air force and military units in Tartus, and claiming that members of Hezbollah interrogated the detainees.

    Modern recruitment methods

    Investigations conducted by the Lebanese security services have revealed a new method of operation for the Mossad. Previously, spies were recruited through deception by women – “honeytraps,” as the practice is popularly known – or through extortion, after obtaining personal information about local targets.

    Today, the Mossad casts a wider, less discerning net: most of the recent recruitments have taken place via social media platforms, where money acts as the primary incentive for a large number of collaborators living in financially distressed countries. This indiscriminate method also exposes Israeli intel to the intelligence agencies of targeted states more readily, as recruits could easily act as double agents for those same incentives.

    One peculiar instance of an attempt to recruit a Hezbollah official was through a delivery service employee. A woman called a delivery business and offered $100 for its employee to purchase a book from a Beirut bookshop and deliver it by hand to an address in Bir al-Abed, a mostly pro-Hezbollah area in the city’s southern suburbs

    The woman asked the deliveryman to place inside the book a letter she emailed that included the phrase “contact us,” with a phone number and an e-mail connected to the Mossad. She also asked him to photograph the building to make sure it was the correct address.

    As it turned out, the intended person was not at home, so the courier delivered the book to his wife instead. After reviewing surveillance footage, the Lebanese General Security Service arrested the young man, who confirmed that the woman who asked him to deliver the book was Russian and that she had spoken to him in Modern Standard Arabic. At the time of writing, the courier is still under arrest pending further investigation.

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

    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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    WATCH: Palestinian Teenager Shot, Injured by Israeli Forces in Sheikh Jarrah

    October 23, 2022

    Mohammad Abu Qteish was shot and injured by Israeli forces in Sheikh Jarrah. (photo: via Social Media)

    A Palestinian teenager was shot and injured on Saturday by Israeli occupation forces in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

    Israeli forces opened gunfire at 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Qteish and critically injured him inside a football pitch in the neighborhood.

    Israeli media claimed that the teenager had stabbed an illegal Jewish settler a few minutes earlier.

    “There was a training for sports paramedics in the stadium. We were surprised when an [Israeli] policeman entered the stadium and shot a teenager,” an eyewitness said.

    “We tried to provide him with first aid, but the policeman threatened to shoot us if we approached, then a large force of Israeli police arrived and forced us out.”

    Videos shared on social media showed the teenager lying down helplessly after being shot and injured, without being provided with first aid.

    About two hours after the incident in Sheikh Jarrah, an Israeli army force raided Qteish’s family home in the town of Anata, northeast of Jerusalem, and arrested his father, Rajab, and his brother.

    (WAFA, PC, SOCIAL)

    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

    Ethnic cleansing “made in USA”

    The U.S. is enabling the ethnic cleansing of Masafer Yatta by providing Israel with military aid and supplying the weapons used to terrorize Palestinians.

    OCTOBER 21, 2022 

    SPENT ISRAELI TEARGAS CANISTER, WITH A “MADE IN USA” LABEL IMPRINTED ON THE SIDE., OUTSIDE SAMI HUREINI’S HOME. (PHOTO: SAMI HUREINI)

    Source

    By Muhammad Huraini

    In the spring, when kings march out to war…” 

    In 2 Samuel 11, we read of the annual cycle of war. In contemporary Israel, illegal Israeli settlers routinely rally for battle in the spring and the fall in their violent attacks on Palestinians. 

    Spring and fall — when crops are sown and eventually harvested. 

    Although a minority of Israelis, extremist settlers, who think of the Occupied Territories as their birthright, violently confront Palestinians on the way to and from their fields. Often they are accompanied by an Israeli army escort, which watches on as the settlers attack Palestinians without provocation, and do not intervene. Unlike Palestinians, those settlers are seldom arrested.

    A JEWISH SETTLER PEPPER SPRAYS IN THE FACE OF A PALESTINIAN PROTESTER DURING A PROTEST AGAINST A HIGH COURT DECISION TO EVICT EIGHT PALESTINIAN COMMUNITIES IN MASAFER YATTA IN THE SOUTH HEBRON HILLS, JUNE 10, 2022. (PHOTO: MAMOUN WAZWAZ/APA IMAGES)

    On September 12, 2022, my village of Atuwani in the Occupied West Bank was attacked by the Israeli Occupation forces — in response to allegations that my father had attacked an Israeli settler. 

    Videos would later prove that settlers attacked my father on his own land and broke both of his arms with bats; after ten days, he was released from jail and the charge of attempted murder was dropped. In the meantime, the Israeli army engaged in vicious retaliation attacks against my family and my village.

    When the smoke cleared, I stepped out of my house to find a tear gas canister on the ground. I picked it up, thinking about the small weapon that had sent my family, including my small children, scurrying into our home. Although it was not the first time I had seen such canisters up close, this time something caught my eye. Printed on its side: “Made in USA”.

    The USA’s support for the Israeli occupation, from cash to teargas canisters, contribute to Israel’s state-sponsored terrorism against Palestinians. Israel, in violation of our basic human rights and in defiance of countless UN resolutions, seeks to forcibly evict us from our homes and our lands. 

    Teargas is a weapon of intimidation, aimed indiscriminately at peaceful Palestinian protesters, shepherds, and children. 

    It is also often followed by painful and disruptive sound grenades. Then the ultimate violator of human rights: the bulldozers, rolling in to raze a family’s home to the ground. 

    By making and supplying such weapons, the USA is supporting Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing. These weapons — along with the sound grenades, M16 rifles, military jeeps, tanks, and bulldozers — terrorize us daily, in order to control and colonize lands that are rightfully ours.

    Palestinian activists dispersed after a scuffle with Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers during a protest against a High Court decision to evict eight Palestinian communities in Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills, June 10, 2022. (Photo: Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images)
    PALESTINIAN ACTIVISTS DISPERSED AFTER A SCUFFLE WITH ISRAELI SOLDIERS AND JEWISH SETTLERS DURING A PROTEST AGAINST A HIGH COURT DECISION TO EVICT EIGHT PALESTINIAN COMMUNITIES IN MASAFER YATTA IN THE SOUTH HEBRON HILLS, JUNE 10, 2022. (PHOTO: MAMOUN WAZWAZ/APA IMAGES)

    Each year, the US gives Israel $3.8 billion from U.S. taxpayer money to perpetuate violence against Palestinians across the entirety of historic Palestine. 

    But, according to the Campaign to Defund Racism, U.S. financial support is more than $3.8 billion a year — many more are also funneled through Israeli “charities” involved in some of the most heinous human rights abuses. For example, the US-based Central Fund of Israel (CFI) sends funds to Israeli organizations like Regavim, which seeks to forcibly displace Palestinians in the villages Khan al-Ahmar, Susiya, and now Masafer Yatta.

    Khan al-Ahmar and Susiya are small Bedouin herding villages, frequently targeted by the Israeli military and armed settlers, who seek their destruction.

    On May 16, 2022, human rights experts in the United Nations called on Israel to immediately cease the forced evictions in Masafer Yatta. Massafar Yatta’s citizens, including at least 500 children, face forced eviction and displacement from their homes. 

    Regavim, which received more than half a million dollars from CFI in 2019, has successfully lobbied for the displacement of Khallet ad Dabe’, one of the small hamlets in Masafer Yatta. On September 29, its residents must prepare for forced displacement at any moment. 

    U.S. stands alone in enabling ethnic cleansing

    While the rest of the world rallies behind the eight communities in Masafer Yatta, the United States stands alone in its support for this violent plan of ethnic cleansing. 

    US complicity through international aid, charitable donations, and US-made weapons violently displaces innocent families and wipe out entire cities. We Palestinians are not simply fighting Israeli colonial forces and apartheid laws — we are being crushed under the power of US money and weapons. 

    American citizens should know where their taxes go and what they fund. When they see it supports injustice, they should work to stop it. Americans can disrupt the flow of taxes, charities, and weapons that are used against innocent Palestinians. If you’re unsure what you can do, The Campaign to Defund Racism is a good place to start. 

    The community of Masafer Yatta, which is made up of twenty villages including my own Atuwani, is on the receiving end of U.S. support for apartheid and settler-colonial violence. We face, almost daily, settler attacks, violence at the hands of Israeli forces, home demolitions, tear gas, and theft of resources — land, water, roads. So we will continue our peaceful forms of protest.

    But we ask our allies in the U.S. to speak out against our displacement and demand that their tax dollars be used for good rather than for supporting violence against us.

    Sayyed Nasrallah: Critical Days in Maritime Demarcation File, Iran Stronger than Ever

    October 2, 2022

    By Al-Ahed news

    Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Saturday a speech commemorating the memory of Sayyed Mohammad Ali Al-Amin.

    As he praised the noble traits of the late cleric, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled that “The true history of our countries and nations is known through our clerics.”

    His Eminence further urged collective efforts to preserve our history as “Much of what has been written is an imagined and assumed history.”

    “His Eminence lived the incidents including the establishment of the usurping entity, the displacement of Palestinian people, the 1967 war and the successive ‘Israeli’ aggressions on Lebanon, the latest of which was the 206 aggression,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated.

    On the same level, the Resistance Leader called for preserving the blessing of the Resistance. “We must not be affected with the voices that don’t suggest any other alternative,” he added, noting that “The current sense of security and dignity in the south was a victory created in Lebanon and by its people.

    Denouncing the fact that “There are no values, ethics or international law in this world, which is governed by the law of the jungle,” His Eminence reminded that “The calmness the people enjoy today, especially the southerners, has been made in Lebanon at the hands of the men of Resistance; this Resistance has presented tangible victories and achievements.”

    Moving to the Palestinian front, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “The Palestinians have no choice other than resistance as they have turned desperate from negotiations while the Resistance in the West Bank, Gaza, and all regions is rising.”

    On the maritime demarcation negotiations with “Israel”, he considered that the written proposal that was presented to the Lebanese presidencies forms a “a very important step.”

    “Following months of political, field, and media resistance, today the Lebanese heads of state received the written proposal on the issue of the maritime border demarcation,” His Eminence clarified, pointing out that “The importance of what happened today is that there is a written text and not just mere words.”

    Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that “We’ll be facing a decisive week on the level of the maritime border demarcation between Lebanon and the occupied Palestine as the Lebanese authorities prepare their response to an offer that could “open up wide horizons for the Lebanese people.”

    “We can extract our resources when we benefit from our strength and unity. We hope that things finally turn good in favor of Lebanon and all the Lebanese people; which in case achieved will open wide horizons to the people of Lebanon. When we stand together and use our available elements of strength we can reach good results,” he added.

    He further mentioned that if a deal was reached, it wouldn’t be a result of the US and “Israeli” “generosity” but rather the result of “Lebanon’s strength”.

    Regarding the internal Lebanese front, Hezbollah Secretary General viewed that “Holding the session to vote on electing a President of the Republic was an important issue and the turnout confirms what we have been saying that no political alliance in Lebanon possesses the majority.”

    “Thursday’s parliamentary session stressed that those who want to elect a president for Lebanon must shun the approach of confrontation and the presidents and candidates of confrontation,” he elaborated.

    In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah wondered “How would a country be run by a president who wants to challenge a major part of the Lebanese people given the deep crisis in the country and the global developments?”

    He, thus, urged the political forces to “consult among each other and activate their contacts in the coming period in order to reach a choice the enjoys a majority in parliament.”

    “We are short on time regarding the formation of the Lebanese government,” The resistance Leader warned, adding that “The illegal emigration on the boats of death is almost a crime, and we call on serious and judicial investigation on this level.”

    On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah cautioned that “The state of ‘Daesh’ [Arabic Acronym for the terrorist ‘ISIS’ group] has collapsed, but ‘Daesh’ as a scheme, organization, and tool still exist.”

    “The extent of the US breach of Daesh is huge and a big part of this organization has been transferred to Afghanistan where we are witnessing what is taking place there,” he elaborated.

    Moving to the Iranian scene, Sayyed Nasrallah stated that “The United States exploits any incident in Iran in order to provoke the nation against the Islamic establishment, the latest of which is the protests that have broken out following Ms. Amini’s tragic death.”

    He also lamented the fact that “The world was moved because an Iranian lady who died in unclear circumstances but turned a blind eye to 50 martyrs in Afghanistan.”

    “US-backed vandals took advantage of the unclear circumstances surrounding her death to challenge the Islamic Republic after their so-called campaign of maximum pressure dismally failed,” he said, recalling that “‘Daesh’ was made by the US, and the US intelligence apparatuses are still protecting, facilitating its funding, and transferring more members to it.”

    His Eminence went on to warn that “The aim behind imposing sanctions on Iran is to incite the people against the Islamic regime, as it is in Lebanon to incite the people against the Resistance.”

    According to Sayyed Nasrallah, “The US’ cruel sanctions against Iranians were meant to pit the people against the Islamic state. The successive US administrations have realized that Iran is a strong, dignified and capable country; and that explains why it doesn’t dare to wage a war on the country and restores to agitating internal disputes.”

    “Iran enjoys great capabilities, so the US uses all tools to incite provocations against the Islamic Republic. Western and Gulf media outlets are working to incite the Iranian people against the Islamic state, he said, noting that “The US administrations have established troll armies across social media platforms to undermine Iran, but all to no avail.”

    “The global media viewed those who took to the streets in the recent events as the Iranian people, but when millions took to the streets in support of the Islamic regime they turned silent, he stressed.

    However, His Eminence assured that “All the schemes are unable to harm the Islamic Republic of Iran because of the nation’s readiness to make sacrifices. It is enough for those fools to watch the Iranian people’s commemorations of the different occasions, and the historic funeral of martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani to see the will of the Iranian people. The blessed Islamic Republic of Iran is stronger and braver than ever. The Islamic Republic, with its Leader and people, could not be defeated

    “Iran does not have any colonial intentions in the Middle East region. The Islamic Republic cannot be defeated, and holding bitter enmity towards it will cause huge losses for the entire Muslim world,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.

    He also criticized some Iraqi groups for forgetting about the tremendous and heroic sacrifices made by General Qassem Soleimani: “How would the Iraqis befriend Saudi Arabia that sent 5000 suicide bombers to their country? How would the Iraqis forget Iran’s support with arms and money to defend Iraq against ‘Daesh’? Hadn’t been for Iran after the ‘Camp David Agreement’, where would Palestine and al-Quds have been? And where would have Lebanon and ‘Israel’ been?”

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    THE NABLUS RIOTS AND THE FUTURE OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

    SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2022

    By Ramzy Baroud

    Source

    The arrest of a prominent Palestinian activist, Musab Shtayyeh, and another Palestinian activist, by Palestinian Authority police on September 20 was not the first time that the notorious PA’s Preventive Security Service (PSS) has arrested a Palestinian who is wanted by Israel.

    PSS is largely linked to the routine arrests and torture of anti-Israeli occupation activists. Several Palestinians have died in the past as a result of PSS violence, the latest being Nizar Banat who was tortured to death on June 24, 2021. The killing of Banat ignited a popular revolt against the PA throughout Palestine.

    For years, various Palestinian and international human rights groups have criticized the PA’s violent practices against dissenting Palestinian voices, quite often within the same human rights reports critical of the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. The Hamas government in Gaza, too, has its fair share of blame.

    In its January 2022 World Report, Human Rights Watch said that “the Palestinian Authority (PA) manages affairs in parts of the West Bank, where it systematically arrests arbitrarily and tortures dissidents.” This was neither the first nor the last time that a human rights group made such an accusation.

    The link between Israeli and Palestinian violence targeting political dissidents and activists is equally clear to most Palestinians.

    Some Palestinians may have believed, at one point, that the PA’s role is to serve as a transition between their national liberation project and full independence and sovereignty on the ground. Nearly thirty years after the formation of the PA, such a notion has proved to be wishful thinking. Not only did the PA fail at achieving the coveted Palestinian State, but it has morphed into a massively corrupt apparatus whose existence largely serves a small class of Palestinian politicians and business people – and, in the case of Palestine, it is always the same group.

    PA corruption and subsequent violence aside, what continues to irk most Palestinians is that the PA, with time, became another manifestation of the Israeli occupation, curtailing Palestinian freedom of expression and carrying out arrests on behalf of the Israeli army. Sadly, many of those arrested by the Israeli military in the West Bank have experienced arrest by PA goons, too.

    Scenes of violent riots in the city of Nablus following Shtayyeh’s arrest were reminiscent of the riots against Israeli occupation forces in the northern West Bank city or elsewhere in occupied Palestine. Unlike previous confrontations between Palestinians and PA police – for example, following the killing of Banat – this time, the violence was widespread, and involved protesters from all Palestinian political groups, including the ruling Fatah faction.

    Perhaps unaware of the massive collective psychological shift that took place in Palestine in recent years, the PA government was desperate to contain the violence.

    Subsequently, a committee that represents united Palestinian factions in Nablus declared on September 21 that it has reached a ‘truce’ with PA security forces in the city. The committee, which includes prominent Palestinian figures, told the Associated Press and other media that the agreement restricts any future arrests of Palestinians in Nablus to the condition that the individual must be implicated in breaking Palestinian, not Israeli, law. That provision alone implies a tacit admission by the PA that the arrest of Shtayyeh and Ameed Tbaileh was motivated by an Israeli, not a Palestinian agenda.

    But why would the PA quickly concede to pressure coming from the Palestinian street?

    The answer lies in the changing political mood in Palestine.

    First, it must be stated that resentment of the PA has been brewing for years. One opinion poll after another has indicated the low regard that most Palestinians have of their leadership, of PA President Mahmoud Abbas and particularly of the ‘security coordination’ with Israel.

    Second, the torture and death of political dissident Banat, last year, has erased whatever patience Palestinians had towards their leadership, demonstrating to them that the PA is not an ally but a threat.

    Third, the Unity Intifada of May 2021 has emboldened many segments of Palestinian society throughout occupied Palestine. For the first time in years, Palestinians have felt united around a single slogan and are no longer hostage to the geography of politics and factions. A new generation of young Palestinians has advanced the conversation beyond Abbas, the PA and their endless and ineffectual political rhetoric.

    Fourth, armed struggle in the West Bank has been growing so rapidly that the Israeli army Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi, claimed on September 6 that, since March, around 1,500 Palestinians have been arrested in the West Bank and that, allegedly, hundreds of attacks against the Israeli military have been thwarted.

    In fact, evidence of an armed Intifada is growing in the Jenin and Nablus regions. What is particularly interesting, and alarming, from the Israeli and PA viewpoint, about the nature of the budding armed struggle phenomenon, is that it is largely led by the military wing of the ruling Fatah party, in direct cooperation with Hamas and other Islamic and national military wings.

    For example, on August 9, the Israeli army assassinated Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, a prominent Fatah military commander, along with two others. Not only, did the PA do little to stop the Israeli military machine from conducting more such assassinations, six weeks later, it arrested Shtayyeh, a close comrade of Nabulsi.

    Interestingly, Shtayyeh is not a member of Fatah, but a commander within the Hamas military wing, Al-Qassam. Though Fatah and Hamas are meant to be intense political rivals, their political tussle seems to be of no relevance to military groups in the West Bank.

    Unfortunately, more violence is likely to follow, for several reasons: Israel’s determination to crush any armed Intifada in the West Bank before it is widespread across the occupied territories, the looming leadership transition within the PA due to Abbas’s old age, and the growing unity among Palestinians around the issue of resistance.

    While the Israeli response to all of this can easily be gleaned from its legacy of violence, the PA’s future course of action will likely determine its relationship with Israel and its western supporters, on the one hand, and with the Palestinian people, on the other. Which side will the PA choose?

    Haniyeh lands in Russia to discuss int’l changes, effects on Palestine

    10 Sep 2022

    Source: Al Mayadeen Net

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Moscow to discuss international developments and their effects on the Palestinian cause.

    Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Moscow heading a delegation from Hamas

      The head of the Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh arrived on Saturday in the Russian capital, Moscow, accompanied by a delegation from the movement’s leadership.

      In a press statement, the media advisor to Hamas political bureau chief, Taher Al-Nono, said that Haniyeh “has arrived in Moscow on a visit during which he intends to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and a number of Russian leaders and officials.”

      The movement’s delegation includes the deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, Saleh Al-Arouri, in addition to the two members of the Political Bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouk and Maher Salah, according to the statement.

      Al-Nono indicated that “this visit, which comes at the invitation of the Russian Foreign Ministry, will last for several days and aims to discuss prospects for bilateral relations to serve the Palestinian cause.”

      The visit comes “at a very important time at the level of the region and the world, as international developments and changes related to the region and their effects on the Palestinian cause will be discussed,” Al-Nono added, praising at the same time the relationship with Russia and its stances on Palestine.

      This visit comes after a high-level delegation from Hamas, headed by the Head of the Hamas’ international relations office Moussa Abu Marzouk, visited Moscow last May and aimed to hold talks with Russian officials on a number of important files related to the developments of the Palestinian cause.

      Read: Exclusive: Moscow plays key role in preserving Palestinian interests

      Al Mayadeen correspondent in Moscow had indicated that Haniyeh would visit Moscow soon. Haniyeh headed to Moscow and met with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in March 2020.

      Moscow had criticized the stances of Western countries in dealing with the recent Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, indicating at the time that “the West is very concerned about the situation in Ukraine… while it is indifferently watching the Israelis kill the Palestinians and destroy the Gaza Strip,” describing the matter as a continuation of the “Western propaganda machine.”

      GIVING VOICE TO THE VOICELESS: TALES FROM THE PARENTS OF TORTURED PALESTINIAN CHILDREN

      AUGUST 26TH, 2022

      Source

      By Miko Peled

      BEIT HANINA, OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – The United States House of Representatives submission to Israel and Zionism is both pathetic and enraging. This total submission to the will and interests of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel does not serve the interests of the American people, and only goes to support a state that has been recognized as a racist, violent apartheid regime. As one Palestinian said to me recently, U.S. foreign aid for Israel goes towards my oppression and the killing of my people.

      Nowhere is Congress’ blind support for Israel more heinous, more horrifying and more outrageous than the lack of support for the bill proposed by Representative Betty McCollum and known as, “Defending The Human Rights Of Palestinian Children And Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act”, or HR 2590.

      When I asked the now defeated Representative Andy Levin about this issue, he said to me that, “no Jewish member of congress will sign the bill,” and when I asked why, he said that it was “anti-Israel.” His response was indicative of the problem. Knowing how Israel treats children makes it imperative to sign any bill that is, as he put it, “anti-Israel.” Why he feels that Jewish members of congress should express loyalty to Israel at all, and on this issue in particular, is another question, and one that needs to be explored. Many Jewish people in America resent the fact that they are somehow expected to be loyal and even held accountable for the actions of a country that wrongly declares itself to be the “Jewish State.”

      TWO MOTHERS

      Anyone who has been to Palestine and has taken the time to speak to Palestinian parents knows what they must endure when Israeli authorities take away their children. There is no law, no court, no human rights organization in the world that can protect Palestinian children from Israel. What these parents know and are unable to understand is the fact that the United States can protect their children, but elects not to do so.

      Mourners pray over the bodies of six Palestinians, including children, killed by Israeli airstrikes in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza, Aug. 6, 2022. Abdel Kareem Hana | AP

      Just a few days prior to writing these words, I had met with two Palestinian mothers on two separate occasions. One in the village of Nabi Saleh, and the other in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem. No parent with a beating heart can listen to their stories and refrain from crying. No person with a conscience can sit idly by as Israel tortures both children and parents on an ongoing basis and not want to raise their voice.

      NABI SALEH

      More has been written and said about the village of Nabi Saleh than one would expect for such a small place. Tucked in one of the most beautiful sports in Palestine, Nabi Saleh has about five hundred residents, all part of the Tamimi clan, one of the largest clans in Palestine. However, as they say, it’s not the size of the person, or in this case the village, in the fight, but the size of the fight in the person. Well, never has this been more true than in the case of Nabi Saleh. It is a small village with the heart and a fighting spirit larger than one hundred villages put together.

      Probably the most famous fighter in Nabi Saleh is Ahed Tamimi, the daughter of my friends Bassem and Nariman whose home is like a second home to me. Bassem and Nariman have known their share of sorrow and pain with their own experiences and those of their children being taken by the occupying enemy. However, this particular story is about their cousins Osama and Hamada, as it was told to me by their mother Manal Tamimi.

      All Palestinians know that interrogation by the Israeli authorities means torture. In this particular case, both the older sons of Manal and Bilal were taken at the same time. Osama was 19 years old and Hamada was about 17. Their interrogation lasted over three weeks, during which Osama had to be taken to the hospital twice. “We were not able to visit him in the hospital, nor did they tell us why he was taken to the hospital,” Manal told me. When the enemy occupier takes your children, you assume the worst.

      Ahed Tamimi is brought to a courtroom inside the Ofer military prison near occupied Jerusalem, Jan. 15, 2018. (AP/Mahmoud Illean)
      Ahed Tamimi is brought to a courtroom inside the Ofer military prison near occupied Jerusalem, Jan. 15, 2018. Mahmoud Illean | AP

      “I used to sleep in their beds at night just to feel close to them. One night in Osama’s bed and one in Hamada’s,” Manal said. Knowing your child is being tortured, exposed to the elements, being treated so severely that he has to be taken to the hospital and having no ability to be there with him is more than any parent should have to endure. “The sensitivity to extreme light and loud noises remained with Hamada even after he was released,” she added.

      Hamada, who is the younger of the two, spent twenty-two months in an Israeli prison. Osama was held for about a year. Manal and Bilal had to pay thousands of dollars, as all parents of Palestinian children have to do, before the authorities released them.

      AHMAD MANASRA

      I ran into Ahmad Manasra’s lawyer, Khaled Zbarka, in El-Lyd. We were there at a vigil commemorating the murder of Musa Hassuna at the hands of settlers in May 2021. I was introduced to Khaled by El-Lyd city councilwoman Fida Shehade. She suggested that I meet with Khaled and Amhad Manasra’s parents in Jerusalem, where they reside. As things turned out, Khaled was not available, and I went to meet Ahmad’s parents without him.

      The story of Ahmad Manasra is well documented, and the latest development is that on August 16 the Israeli court in Bi’r Saba held a hearing regarding his extended isolation in solitary confinement. “He sits there in that cell with nothing but the four walls surrounding him,” his father, Abu-Ahmed, said to me over and over again. The Israeli court rejected the request to end isolation and the recommendation by several mental health experts and international human rights organizations to release him to a mental health care facility where he could receive the urgent care he requires.

      Ahmad was badly injured when he was arrested. He had been beaten, run over, and suffered from bleeding and internal injuries. This was seven years ago: he was thirteen years old at the time. His mother thought he was dead at first. Only after a day was she told that he was still alive. Ahmad was handcuffed to a bed at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. His parents were still not permitted to see him. One can hardly imagine the pain of a parent whose child is in hospital but is not allowed to comfort them.

      When he was released from the hospital, he was sent to an institution for young offenders. Only after two months of horrifying experiences there were his parents permitted to see their child.

      “We were told our boy was involved in a terror attack!” His mother, Umm Ahmad, told me, still in shock by the absurd notion that her sweet, sensitive son could be accused of something like that. His cousin, fifteen, who was also there, was shot on the scene by bystanders. “At thirteen they accused him of terrorism,” Abu Ahmad said over and over. “Thirteen years old a terrorist? Who can accuse a child or terrorism?”

      Visits are limited to forty-five minutes once a month. “When he is in the hospital, which often happens for Ahmad, they are not permitted to see him. “He was moved between prisons about ten times,” Abu Ahmad said. I mentioned that this is a violation of international law. His reply was, “Ahmad’s entire case is a violation of international laws. Imagine that: at the age of thirteen, he was interrogated without the presence of a parent or a lawyer.” When the parents plan a visit, very often they receive a message two days before they leave. “They will notify us that he was moved and so the visit is postponed and we cannot see him for another month,” Abu Ahmad told me.

      PRESSURE

      The text of the bill to defend Palestinian children can be found here, and the list of co-sponsors, here. Anyone who is eligible to vote in the upcoming midterm election needs to demand that their candidate commit to adding their name to this bill. No consideration should come before the well being of a child.

      At a Massive Rally, Islamic Jihad Leader Says Israel Reneged on Its Truce Committments (PHOTOS)

      August 26, 2022

      Hundreds of Palestinians took part in the first post-war rally organized by the Islamic Jihad Movement in Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

      By Palestine Chronicle Staff

      Hundreds of Palestinians took part on Thursday in the first post-war rally organized by the Islamic Jihad Movement in the besieged Gaza Strip. 

      A Palestine Chronicle correspondent in Gaza attended the rally, entitled ‘The Road to Jerusalem’.

      During the rally, the leader of the group, Ziad Al-Nakhala, released pre-recorded remarks, accusing Israel of reneging on its commitments under a truce that ended a deadly three-day Israeli assault earlier this month.

      “The enemy is still evading the commitments it made to our brothers in Egypt,” The New Arab reported al-Nakhala as saying.

      “The enemy government must bear full responsibility for that,” al-Nakhala added. 

      On August 5, Israel launched what it called a ‘preemptive’ military operation on the Gaza Strip. The three-day intense bombardment killed 49 Palestinians, including 17 children, and wounded over 350 more.

      (All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle) 

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

      August 26, 2022

      By Housam Matar | Al-Akhbar Newspaper

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Syrian air defenses repel Israeli aggression in sky of Misyaf

      August 25, 2022

      Source: Agencies

      By Al Mayadeen English 

      The Syrian air defenses confront an Israeli aggression in the sky of the city of Misyaf in Hama Governorate.

      SANA news agency confirmed Thursday that the Syrian air defenses engaged hostile targets in the sky of Misyaf city in the countryside of Hama Governorate.

      Sputnik reported that violent explosions were sounded in the vicinity of the Misyaf area in the western countryside of the Hama governorate caused by the Syrian air defenses’ response to Israeli aggression in the area.

      According to the agency’s reporter, the Israeli aggression was carried out by warplanes that fired a number of missiles toward some targets in the vicinity of the Misyaf area, west of Hama.

      The reporter pointed out that all the sounds of explosions that were heard in the vicinity of the city of Tartus and its surroundings were caused by the Syrian air defenses’ response to the Israeli missiles, denying any aggression against Tartus.

      It is noteworthy that on August 14, Al Mayadeen correspondent reported that the Syrian air defenses engaged Israeli missiles targeting points in the vicinity of the city of Tartus, noting that the aggression was carried out by Israeli warplanes from over Lebanese territory.

      According to a military source, the Israeli aggression led to the death of three soldiers, and the wounding of three others.

      Hundreds of Israeli airstrikes against Syria

      “Israel” has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against Syria in the last few years, completely violating the integrity and sovereignty of Syria and neighboring countries, such as Lebanon.

      It is noteworthy that on June 10, Israeli air attacks destroyed the runways, control tower, reception rooms, and hangars of Damascus International Airport, forcing Syrian officials to cease flights and conduct extensive repairs.

      Russian Deputy Representative to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, revealed that the Israeli airstrikes that hit Damascus International Airport received tacit US approval.

      “It may seem that Israel received a carte blanche to engage in illegitimate unilateral action upon silent approval of Washington that basically blocked all opportunities to have the peace process recovered,” Polyanskiy said.

      US reviews Israeli plans for strikes against Iranian targets in Syria

      According to current and former US officials, “Israel” secretly coordinates with the US on many of the airstrikes it conducts in Syria.

      Behind the curtains, current and former officials say that for several years, many Israeli missions have been reviewed in advance for approval by senior officials at US Central Command and the Pentagon.

      This means that the formal coordination was previously unknown, and the secrecy surrounding it demonstrates how Washington has sought to support its Israeli ally.

      The US review, according to the Wall Street Journal, mainly focuses on Israeli missions in eastern Syria that pass close to the US occupation’s Al-Tanf base.

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      ISRAEL BLAMES ITS VICTIMS FOR THE VIOLENCE IT CAUSES

      AUGUST 18TH, 2022

      By Miko Peled

      Source

      JERUSALEM, PALESTINE – The situation in Palestine can be summed up as follows: Rampant Settler violence and intimidation, state-sponsored racism and violence, modern, comfortable housing and living conditions for Jews only while Palestinians are denied basic services, killing of Palestinians across the board – activists, journalists, fighters, children and citizens of Israel. Palestinian organizations, even ones that are recognized internationally, have no protection and are subject to closure, arrests and confiscation of their property.

      Nowhere in Palestine can Palestinians expect to be safe or to enjoy equality, justice or peace of mind. Be they citizens in El-Lyd or the Naqab, residents with limited rights in Jerusalem, or residents with no rights in ghettos across what used to be the West Bank. People living in Gaza, be they active or not, militant or not, men, women or children, Palestinian lives are expendable.

      SERVICES DENIED

      The misnamed and misunderstood phenomenon of murders within the Palestinian towns of 1948 – Palestinian citizens of Israel – is one example. The apartheid state and its media refer to it as “violence in the Arab society.” However, the violence is not initiated within the society but is skillfully directed and managed by the state and the various state agencies that are charged with overseeing Palestinian citizens. It should be referred to as “Violence directed at the Palestinian citizens of Israel,” but alas, that would recognize that they are Palestinians and that they are citizens who deserve to benefit from the services the state provides its Jewish citizens.

      Services like trash collection, water supply, electricity, safe roads, general safety and policing are largely nonexistent in the Palestinian communities of 1948, communities made of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Furthermore, the phenomenon wrongly named “violence in the Arab community” lays the blame for the violence within these communities at the feet of the victims. The toll from this violence is enormous, with a higher rate of murder cases, the majority of which are never investigated, much less solved, is too high for any community.

      Israel, of course, likes to place the blame for the violence on the victims themselves. As is well known by now, blaming the Palestinian victims is something that Israel does with great ability and success, thus absolving itself of any responsibility. However, the weapons, the criminals, and the lack of support for the community that is all but begging the authorities to collect the guns and arrest the criminals are all part of Israeli’s reckless disregard for Palestinian lives. All of this is now documented in an outstanding film called “Life in the shadow of Death,” made by Palestinian filmmaker and producer Bilal Yousef.

      DAILY TOLL

      Palestinians pay an almost daily toll of blood and pain demanded of them by Israel. “Clashes” is the word that the media likes to use when describing this levy, something that is always the result of Israeli forces attacking Palestinians. Perhaps those who publish in the corporate media are comforted by the thought that it was not a massive, immoral army blinded by hatred of Palestinians and love of killing that attacked civilians in their sleep. Perhaps they would rather think it was an actual clash in which Palestinian blood was spilled.

      However, regardless of what the media and politicians decide to call it, Israel mobilizes numerically superior forces that are equipped with state-of-the-art weapons systems in order to engage in heavy shelling of residential areas and targeted killing of individuals, mostly remarkable young men. The purpose of the attacks is usually achieved and includes death and injuries to people who at most, were armed with a single semi-automatic rifle.

      A Protester stones at Israeli military vehicles during a raid by the Israeli army in occupied Nablus. 3 Palestinians were killed during the raid. Nasser Ishtayeh | Sipa via AP

      “Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in overnight Nablus raid.” Headlines like this can be seen almost daily, the name of the city may be Nablus or Jenin or Aida camp near Bethlehem, and the number of young men killed and injured changes. But the deadly spilling of young Palestinian blood is ongoing as the apartheid state tries to satisfy its unquenchable thirst for blood. On top of that, the new prime minister thinks he needs to spill Palestinian blood to boost his own political career so that we may expect more of the same.

      The raids are always shown the following day on Israeli news channels. The so-called operations are described as “complex” and “heroic.” One of the recent raids resulted in the killing of an IDF-trained canine, and it too was mourned. According to The Jerusalem Post, when Israel went into Nablus to capture or kill Ibrahim Nabulsi, they surrounded his home, meaning that hundreds of special forces armed and paid for by U.S. taxpayer dollars were utilized to conduct raids and intimidation.

      The toll paid by Palestinians this year alone is unthinkable. The latest assault on Nablus brings the casualty figures for the West Bank and Gaza close to 150 killed. Inside 1948 Palestine, the number of deaths is between 70-80 killed so far. The year is not yet over. And neither is the Israeli thirst for violence, which means more and more Palestinian mothers can expect to lose their children to Israeli bullets.

      PALESTINIAN ORGANIZATIONS RAIDED

      As these words are being written, Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq reported that Israeli soldiers stormed its offices in Ramallah, confiscating items, and shutting down the main entrance with an iron plate. The army declared the organization unlawful.

      Other groups that were raided this morning are Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research & Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committee and the Union of Health Workers Committees.

      Palestinians are at a point where they can find no support anywhere, regardless of the severity of their conditions. Be they simply people who want to live their lives, fighters, activists or organizations dedicated to human rights, they will be killed and harassed.

      Behind The Scenes Of The July 2006 War on Lebanon

      August 18, 2022

      By Mokhtar Haddad

      Tehran – August is a big month for Hezbollah as the resistance movement marks both the 40th anniversary of its founding or the Forty Springs, and the anniversary of the 2006 victory over “Israel.”

      There is still a lot the world doesn’t know about the latter, which is why Al-Ahed News sat down with former Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and gained interesting insights into what transpired behind the scenes 16 years ago. 

      Mottaki was Tehran’s top diplomat during the 2006 “Israeli” aggression. He reveals the circumstances of his presence in Lebanon during the war, and talks about a phone conversation between him and Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and the commander of the Quds Force martyr General Hajj Qassem Soleimani.

      Mottaki also underscored Iran’s firm support for the resistance movements based on the principles of Islam that were established by Imam Ruhollah Khomeini following the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

      July 2006: Saudi Arabia is a political arm of the aggression

      Mottaki begins by recounting an important conversation he had in the early days of the war.

      “At the beginning of the barbaric aggression, I called Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal at the time, and I spoke to him about the aggression and about this part of Lebanon being attacked, assaulted by the enemy, while heinous massacres were perpetrated.

      I told him that something must be done, and the Arabs and Muslims must move and hold an Islamic conference and another in the League of Arab States to discuss a response to the Zionist aggression.

      The answer he gave me was that ‘Hezbollah is gambling in the region.’

      His response proved to me that Saudi Arabia was fully aware of this attack and was preparing for it. While Hezbollah was enduring a Zionist military aggression, Saudi Arabia was providing the political groundwork for this aggression.”

      Mottaki in Lebanon and contact with the leadership of the resistance

      Asked about how he risked his life to visit Lebanon during the aggression, Mottaki said, “The Iranian Supreme National Security Council at the time – which was reviewing the developments of the Zionist invasion of Lebanon on a daily basis – agreed that the Minister of Foreign Affairs would visit Lebanon. The Secretary General of the Council at the time, Dr. Ali Larijani, informed me of this decision. We immediately prepared for the visit and headed to Syria. From there, we headed to Beirut by land.”

      Upon his arrival in Beirut, Mottaki’s first order of business was to see the battlefield report, and accordingly, he established contact with the leadership of the resistance.

      “I was able to have a telephone conversation with His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and the martyr Lieutenant General Hajj Qassem Soleimani, who was accompanied by Sayyed Nasrallah at the time. They told me that things were under control, and we had complete superiority on the battlefield. They also assured me that the resistance would be victorious in this war, because the Zionist entity could not defeat us in this guerrilla warfare.”

      On that visit, Mottaki carried with him to Lebanon “the decision of the Supreme National Security Council to declare the Islamic Republic’s support for the resistance and the Lebanese government in the face of the Zionist aggression. Our position was clear, and I delivered it to the then Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora. The message to the resistance was that we stand by you in all fields.”

      Between the battlefield and negotiations

      Mottaki also touched on the differences between French and British diplomacy. 

      “The British wanted to communicate with us during the aggression, but we did not have any direct contact with them.

      They lacked accurate information, so they miscalculated the capabilities of the resistance. Therefore, when they sensed the steadfastness of the resistance, they became tense and fearful. As for the French, they were more active and realistic in this regard. They came to Lebanon and expected the course of things, and when I met the then French Foreign Minister Mr. Douste-Blazy in Lebanon, the focus of my discussion with him revolved around convincing France that “Israel” will not win this war. As soon as they realize this fact, it makes a big difference.”

      The former Iranian foreign minister believes that “this war changed the course of things, especially after it led to the defeat of the Zionist entity and the victory of Hezbollah.”

      He points out that “at the beginning of the war, the Zionists managed to convince the Americans that the war would go in their favor and that they would destroy Hezbollah once and for all. That is why they refrained until the middle of the war from participating in any initiative to stop it, waiting on the aggression to be resolved in favor of Tel Aviv.”

      Hajj Qassem and the Ummah

      Mottaki recalls a meeting, which was held in the holy city of Mashhad in the presence of Major General Soleimani.

      “Grand Ayatollah Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei was in Mashhad, and Hajj Qassem came at that time from Beirut. A number of officials attended to meet the Imam. Hajj Qassem had a battlefield map in his hand. He explained the latest developments in the field during the war with the Zionist enemy. He conveyed a message from Imam Khamenei addressing Sayyed Nasrallah and the resistance. The letter read: ‘Tell our friends and brothers in Lebanon to recite Dua al-Jawshan.’ The supplication had a great impact on the situation on the ground. This meeting with the Imam was unique, where all officials of different ranks were personally present.”

      “It will take years and years for our people first, then the peoples of the region and the world to realize the value and role of Hajj Qassem Soleimani,” Mottaki added.

      “Hajj Qassem was the defender of the Ummah who had the interests of his brothers, his countrymen, and fellow human beings at heart. 

      “Hajj Qasim was the beacon of justice and the preserver of justice in the world. Hajj Qassem was the enemy of the unjust regime that controls the political and international relations in the world. He believed that jihad for the sake of Islam is the highest thing in life, and there is nothing above Islam.

      He believed that the school of Islam was comprehensive, complete, and obligatory to manage human societies. Hajj Qassem believed that if two people are companions in the same direction, then one must be the emir of the other. Therefore, he strongly believed that society needs a just, righteous leader and jurist, so he considered that Wilayat al-Faqih is the centerpiece of the cohesion of human societies. 

      Hajj Qassem was convinced that Wali al-Faqih’s belief in the people was not just a belief based on the contemporary democratic style, but rather an ideological belief stemming from the bottom of the heart. Hajj Qassem believed in these constants with his entire being.”

      Mottaki concludes his interview with Al-Ahed by referring to the final years of Lieutenant General Soleimani’s life.

      “In the final years of his life, Hajj Qassem was not interested in anything from this life. He did not cling to it, and he was seeking martyrdom and departing to the other world to see the one and only deity. The last years of his life are the best evidence of his longing for martyrdom, and he fulfilled his dream.”

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