When the People Rose up: How the Intifada Changed the Political Discourse on Palestine

December 16, 2020

December 8 marks the 33rd anniversary of the First Palestinian Intifada. (Photo: File)

By Ramzy Baroud

December 8 came and went as if it was an ordinary day. For Palestinian political groups, it was another anniversary to be commemorated, however hastily. It was on this day, thirty-three years ago, that the First Palestinian Intifada (uprising) broke out, and there was nothing ordinary about this historic event.

Today, the uprising is merely viewed from a historic point of view, another opportunity to reflect and, perhaps, learn from a seemingly distant past. Whatever political context to the Intifada, it has evaporated over time.

The simple explanation of the Intifada goes as follows: Ordinary Palestinians at the time were fed up with the status quo and they wished to ‘shake off’ Israel’s military occupation and make their voices heard.

Expectedly, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) quickly moved in to harvest the fruit of the people’s sacrifices and translate them into tangible political gains, as if the traditional Palestinian leadership truly and democratically represented the will of the Palestinian people. The outcome was a sheer disaster, as the Intifada was used to resurrect the careers of some Palestinian ‘leaders’, who claimed to be mandated by the Palestinians to speak on their behalf, resulting in the Madrid Talks in 1991, the Oslo Accords in 1993 and all other ‘compromises’ ever since.

But there is more to the story.

Thousands of Palestinians, mostly youth, were killed by the Israeli army during the seven years of Intifada, where Israel treated non-violent protesters and rock-throwing children, who were demanding their freedom, as if enemy combatants. It was during these horrific years that such terms as ‘shoot to kill’ and ‘broken-bones policies’ and many more military stratagems were introduced to an already violent discourse.

In truth, however, the Intifada was not a mandate for Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas or any other Palestinian official or faction to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people, and was certainly not a people’s call on their leadership to offer unreciprocated political compromises.

To understand the meaning of the Intifada and its current relevance, it has to be viewed as an active political event, constantly generating new meanings, as opposed to a historical event of little relevance to today’s realities.

Historically, the Palestinian people have struggled with the issue of political representation. As early as the mid-20th century, various Arab regimes have claimed to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, thus, inevitably using Palestine as an item in their own domestic and foreign policy agendas.

The use and misuse of Palestine as an item in some imagined collective Arab agenda came to a relative end after the humiliating defeat of several Arab armies in the 1967 war, known in Arabic as the ‘Naksa’, or the ‘Letdown’. The crisis of legitimacy was meant to be quickly resolved when the largest Palestinian political party, Fatah, took over the leadership of the PLO. The latter was then recognized in 1974 during the Arab Summit in Rabat, as the ‘sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people’.

The above statement alone was meant to be the formula that resolved the crisis of representation, therefore drowning out all other claims made by Arab governments. That strategy worked, but not for long. Despite Arafat’s and Fatah’s hegemony over the PLO, the latter did, in fact, enjoy a degree of legitimacy among Palestinians. At that time, Palestine was part and parcel of a global national liberation movement, and Arab governments, despite the deep wounds of war, were forced to accommodate the aspirations of the Arab people, keeping Palestine the focal issue among the Arab masses as well.

However, in the 1980s, things began changing rapidly. Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 resulted in the forced exile of tens of thousands of Palestinian fighters, along with the leaderships of all Palestinian groups, leading to successive and bloody massacres targeting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

The years that followed accentuated two grave realities. First, the Palestinian leadership shifted its focus from armed struggle to merely remaining relevant as a political actor. Now based in Tunis, Arafat, Abbas and others were issuing statements, sending all kinds of signals that they were ready to ‘compromise’ – as per the American definitions of this term. Second, Arab governments also moved on, as the growing marginalization of the Palestinian leadership was lessening the pressure of the Arab masses to act as a united front against Israeli military occupation and colonialism in Palestine.

It was at this precise moment in history that Palestinians rose and, indeed, it was a spontaneous movement that, at its beginning, involved none of the traditional Palestinian leadership, Arab regimes, or any of the familiar slogans. I was a teenager in a Gaza refugee camp when all of this took place, a true popular revolution being fashioned in a most organic and pure form. The use of a slingshot to counter Israeli military helicopters; the use of blankets to disable the chains of Israeli army tanks; the use of raw onions to assuage the pain of inhaling teargas; and, more importantly, the creation of language to respond to every violent strategy employed by the Israeli army, and to articulate the resistance of Palestinians on the ground in simple, yet profound slogans, written on the decaying walls of every Palestinian refugee camp, town or city.

While the Intifada did not attack the traditional leadership openly, it was clear that Palestinians were seeking alternative leadership. Grassroots local leadership swiftly sprang out from every neighborhood, every university and even in prison, and no amount of Israeli violence was able to thwart the natural formation of this leadership.

It was unmistakably clear that the Palestinian people had chosen a different path, one that did not go through any Arab capital – and certainly not through Tunis. Not that Palestinians at the time quit seeking solidarity from their Arab brethren, or the world at large. Instead, they sought solidarity that does not subtract the Palestinian people from their own quest for freedom and justice.

Years of relentless Israeli violence, coupled with the lack of a political strategy by the Palestinian leadership, sheer exhaustion, growing factionalism and extreme poverty brought the Intifada to an end.

Since then, even the achievements of the Intifada were tarnished, where the Palestinian leadership has used it to revive itself politically and financially, reaching the point of arguing that the dismal Oslo Accords and the futile peace process were, themselves, direct ‘achievements’ of the Intifada.

The true accomplishment of the Intifada is the fact that it almost entirely changed the nature of the political equation pertaining to Palestine, imposing the ‘Palestinian people’, not as a cliche used by the Palestinian leadership and Arab governments to secure for themselves a degree of political legitimacy, but as an actual political actor.

Thanks to the Intifada, the Palestinian people have demonstrated their own capacity at challenging Israel without having their own military, challenging the Palestinian leadership by organically generating their own leaders, confronting the Arabs and, in fact, the whole world, regarding their own moral and legal responsibilities towards Palestine and the Palestinian people.

Very few popular movements around the world, and throughout modern history, can be compared to the First Intifada, which remains as relevant today as it was when it began thirty-three years ago.

 – Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Naksa

Naksa

It seems like yesterday that we watched Israeli tanks rolling down the hills towards our sleepy town of Beit Sahour 45 years ago today. As a child it was the most frightening sight. The second stage of the Zionist expansion on the land of Palestine unleashed terror that our generation had not experienced but my parents generation had during eth Nakba when between January 1948 and the end of 1949, some 530 villages and towns were ethnically cleansed. The changes I witnessed the 45 years since the “6 day” invasion of 1967 have been nothing short of monumental. Those hills that the tanks rolled down on are all now filled with colonial settlements that scar the ancient landscape. The Israeli quarries have literally dug up other hills and trucked stone and soil away to build the “Jewish state” while destroying Palestinian lives. But I do not want to take time here to write of these violations. I think anyone can find thousands of documents and reports from independent human rights groups and international agencies describing the horrors of colonization, apartheid, and occupation in this “holy land”. Nor will I address how people who teach their children about Jewish suffering over the ages teach them that it is OK to inflict this suffering on native/indigenous people. Nor do I want to write on this occasion of the treachery of western countries who profess human rights and international law actually become complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity. Nor do I want to address the treachery of Arab leaders (yes including some Palestinians) who were complicit in helping make 7 million of us refugees or displaced people. I do want to talk about us, the people, and especially about mental occupation.

Occupiers/colonizers are of course always dependent not just on military might but also on propaganda and psychological manipulation to reach their goals. For example, from the late 19th century, the Zionists successfully infiltrated the minds of their victims with notions like “Arabs” and/vs. “Jews”. With this one simple concept, Zionists succeeded in 1) equating a linguistic group with a religion and elevating Jewishness to a supposed national structure (“a people”), 2) removing Arab Jews as a viable group whose allegiance lies naturally with their fellow Arabic speaking people, 3) fostering anti-Jewish feelings (mistakenly called anti-Semitism) to help their cause in conflating Zionism with Judaism. Before that they coined and popularized the term anti-Semitism to confuse the Europeans and claim they are Semites. From those early efforts in the 19th century, the people of the world were subjected to sustained intensive efforts at brainwashing.
We actually understand these propaganda efforts as natural and expected in efforts to propel racist ideologies. What we do not understand is why many native Palestinians accepted defeat and even adopted the Zionized version of history. Even some of our school textbooks perpetuate the mythologies that keep the Zionist nightmare a reality. It is easy to keep it alive when we, the victims keep the myth of the exodus from Egypt to Masada to the falsified history of Josephus to the suppression of our Canaanite ancestry to the notion that Jewishness is somehow biological. Some of this is due to those who are religious confusing metaphors and myths with historiography. Some of it is due to ignorance: e.g. ignorance of the fact that the Philistines were actually Canaanite people and not from Crete or that both ancient Arabic and Hebrew were dialects of Canaanite Aramaic. Some of it is pure foolishness; for example that somehow we can “return” Palestine to an idealized (fictional) Islamic or Jewish state. Would it not be better to admit the wrong that was done to the native people, do some restorative justice, and begin to discuss among ourselves how we Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists, and others can live TOGETHER in a country in full equality? How about a new joint political movement to reform and to dismantle the dysfunctional Israeli and Palestinian political structures so as to build a new reality? Aren’t 64 years of Nakba and 45 years of Naksa long enough? There are 11.5 million Palestinains in the world and billions of fellow human beings who know what is right to contentd with at best half a million deluded Jewish Zionists (and the equally deluded Christian Zionists who support them). What perevents justice (ie. peace) is apathy and ignorance. Is it not time to shed these?
Cover-up of the deliberate Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. We should remember the victims of the Israeli attack 45 years ago and the cowardice of the US government which succumbed to the Israel lobby and buried the incident http://www.ussliberty.org
The 2011 Humanitarian Overview addresses the key advocacy priorities identified by the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), the main humanitarian coordinating body for UN agencies and NGO partners in the the occupied Palestinian territories. http://www.ochaopt.org/annual/
Rabbi Brian Walt: Affirming a Judaism and Jewish identity without Zionism
Israel is new South Africa as boycott calls increase
After Madonna began her world tour there last week, campaigners urge cutting of cultural ties
Boycott Israeli Blood Diamonds, Dublin 2-6-2012
ACTION: Consider introducing resolutions for boycotts, divestments and sanctions at your union, church, organization, group, political party, association. You may also start a petition to have your town, city council, state or other governmening entity divest from Israel and companies that support the Israeli apartheid system. To help, we put together some relevant information on this link
http://www.qumsiyeh.org/calltobds/ and will try to keep it updated for use in promoting BDS (send me anything you think should be added)
Here are other links with lots of information
 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Returning to Jerusalem

Source: google images

Izzat Aziz Maswadeh was among the thousands of Palestinians who on Nakba commemoration day, 15.05.2011, continued the collective march of return to Palestine and to Palestinian homes and villages. Izzat was one of the thousands of Palestinian refugees who continued the march that is as old as the Nakba itself, the march of return that started as early as the first days of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, when many Palestinians were murdered by Zionist terror gangs while trying to return to the homes from which they were expelled. Since then, thousands of Palestinians have been killed or held captive while trying to return to their homeland, to their homes and villages… thousands were killed on the way to Haifa or Beisan, Jerusalem or Ar-Ramleh… killed while trying to cross the borders to occupied Palestine from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. They were all part of the collective march of return to Palestine and they all had one aim, one wish, one dream: to return.

Izzat Maswadeh was part of this march. He dreamt of his home, his ancestral home, of his birthplace Jerusalem. He wanted to be reunited with his family, reunited with his birthright…
Izzat Maswadeh tried to return to Jerusalem… he failed the first time but succeeded the second.

Izzat was born in Jerusalem in 1977, moved to Jordan then to Syria, after which Israeli occupation authorities revoked his residency right, denied him his birthplace and separated him from his family. He was father to a 5-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son. His father, who lives in Izariyyeh, occupied Jerusalem, said that Izzat dreamt of returning to Palestine and to his hometown Jerusalem all his life.

Izzat’s first attempt to return to Jerusalem was on 15.05.2011, Nakba commemoration day. He was among a small group that was able to cross the so-called cease-fire line and enter the occupied Golan Heights. On his way to Jerusalem, he managed to reach as far as the Huwwarah military checkpoint near Nablus, before he was stopped and detained for a number of days and expelled to Syria.

On that day, at least 4 Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured when Israeli occupation soldiers opened fire at the unarmed marchers. In an interview conducted after his successful return to Palestine, Izzat said that the idea of entering Majdal Shams in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights was born out of the heat of the moment. He described how he and another 7 of his fellow marchers were standing in front of the barbed wire that divided the Golan Heights, and how one of the marchers had the idea of cutting the barbed wire and crossing over to Majdal Shams. But the often told tales of the electrified wire that divides the Golan Heights put fear into the hearts of the marchers and prevented this.

As they stood discussing whether to take a risk with the barbed wire or not, they were interrupted by a 17 year old boy who just ran towards the barbed wire, obviously not caring what would happen to him, and hit it with his shoulder causing it to fall down. When the other marchers saw that nothing happened to the youth, they started jumping over the barbed wire, removed it and moved to the second barbed wire and removed it as well. Izzat recalled how while removing the second barbed wire, residents of Majdal Shams were coming towards them and helping them.

Men and women would leave their children at the platform and come to greet the marchers. They told the marchers they were their guests, that they would protect them with their souls but that the Israelis are occupiers and are able to “annihilate” them for what happened. So it was agreed that the marchers stay for 2 hours under the protection of the villagers and that the village elders organize their leave back to Syria through the Red Cross.
When it was time to go back to Syria, Izzat thanked the people of Majdal Shams saying that with this action, the marchers wanted to convey a message and they did. Until that moment, according to Izzat, the idea of returning to Palestine hadn’t crossed his mind. But then, a 14 year old refused to go back to Syria and around 200 people came to take the body of martyr Qais and chaos erupted until one of the elders intervened and said that the martyr should be taken to his family. Izzat recalled: “then I pondered over how that young man came to die for Palestine and not for the Golan, although ultimately we are one nation.”[1] And as the marchers went back to Syria, with the elders walking in front of them to protect them from the Israeli occupation soldiers, Izzat decided that it was time to return to Palestine: “I heard someone talking on the phone and saying “it’s incredible, there are 180 wounded”, here I couldn’t bare it anymore and I had the idea about returning to Palestine through means of transportation in Majdal Shams. I couldn’t take a bus because they had signs in Hebrew, so I took a taxi since it was the fastest and safest solution…. the idea I had in mind at the time was not only to enter Palestine but also to go to Jerusalem and pray in Al-Aqsa, then to bring the media, introduce myself and announce the return of 150 people to Jerusalem, in order to cause panic and destabilize the Zionist entity. The image of the Israeli army confused and its forces deployed everywhere started forming in my mind, and the preoccupation of the public opinion with this issue, causing a revolt of the Israeli people on their government… This is the goal for my return to Palestine.”[2]

On 15.05.2011, while Palestinians in occupied Palestine and in the Diaspora commemorated the 63 anniversary of the Nakba, Izzat and a couple of other Palestinians succeeded in returning to Palestine. They returned to their homeland, the homeland from which their fathers and grandfathers were expelled 63 years earlier. Unarmed young Palestinians, born in the Diaspora, away from their ancestral homes and lands, denied their homeland, decided it was time to return. They walked through mine fields, they crossed barbed wires, they defied fully-armed Israeli occupation soldiers with one wish: to return to Palestine.

Izzat returned to Palestine, touched her soil, smelled her air and embraced the land he’s so often heard of, so often dreamt of. When the Israeli military started house-to-house searches for the returnees in Majdal Shams, Izzat pretended to be a reported and headed towards Palestine. “I was stopped at the entrance of the village and was asked in a language I didn’t understand, but surely he was asking about IDs so I said I am a reporter and was allowed to pass…. Here the features of my homeland started to become clearer… it is the most beautiful feeling that I ever had in my life, for I am seeing my homeland of which I have always dreamt, and no words in the world are sufficient to express this feeling, and I can only say that it is “my homeland” that summarizes all the meanings of love, longing and beauty and magnificence.”[3]

Checkpoints were erected everywhere, and two other marchers, Majd and Rasha, were detained on their way to their hometowns. Izzat was stopped at the Huwwara checkpoints and “there was no possibility of getting off the taxi or returning, or even telling the taxi driver, and that point was the end of my journey to Palestine, and the end of the dream and the goal I had.”[4] This wasn’t the end of the dream, but the beginning… he was determined to return to his home, reach his birthplace… his march to Jerusalem has begun and there was no turning back, nothing was going to stand in his way to his home.

From the moment he was detained on 15.05.2011, Izzat was subjected to physical and psychological torture on the hands of Israeli occupation soldiers. After the interrogation, which depended mostly on psychological pressure, he was taken in a car, handcuffed and blindfolded towards the occupied Golan Heights. In a number of interviews before his martyrdom, Izzat spoke of his detention by Israeli occupation forces: “After being detained, the most beautiful journey began, which is playing with the nerves of the Zionist entity. And this victory is more beautiful and stronger than military victory. When they took me to the interrogation room, I waited half an hour for the arrival of interrogators from Tel Aviv. Then 12 interrogators entered and I was cuffed and stripped off all my belongings and clothes”… “for me, I spend the interrogation days laughing at them, because I considered myself inevitably dead, and they were taking turns interrogating me. 3 days without food or water or sleep. For me, an unarmed young man facing the Zionist entity that frightened us military and politically for 63 years, and if I made a small move, weapons would be pointed towards me, although I am unarmed and was searched thoroughly more than 20 times, here I realized that the fear a Palestinian causes them is not his weapon but in his belief that grows within him[5]

On 05.06.2011, while millions of Palestinians commemorated the 44th anniversary of the Naksa, Izzat had a date with destiny, he had a date with Jerusalem… he had planned to return to Palestine for a second time… he tried a second time to reach Jerusalem … and this time Izzat succeeded.

Israeli occupation forces were waiting for the marchers. After what had happened on Nabka day, the Israeli occupation army was determined not to allow unarmed Palestinian refugees to make a laughingstock of the “invincible army” a second time. They prepared for a massacre, similar to the ones they committed on the Palestinian borders with Lebanon and Syria. And a massacre it was; at least 24 unarmed marchers were killed on that day while trying to return to their homeland when Israeli occupation snipers aimed to kill. Izzat was one of the first Palestinians to try and return to Palestine … and as he attempted to enter Majdal Shams, he was shot dead…

To many, Izzat’s attempt ended at that point… Izzat’s attempt was a failure, for he failed to reach his destination; Jerusalem…. But to Palestinians, Izzat’s attempt to return to Palestine and to Jerusalem was successful…

The Zionist entity definitely saw it as a failed attempt, and thought that by killing Izzat and his comrades, others wouldn’t dare repeat the attempt. But they failed to see that Izzat did in fact reach Jerusalem, for his attempt removed another hurdle from the road towards Jerusalem, and that despite the massacres committed on 15.05.2011 and despite the numerous Israeli threats, thousands of Palestinians had marched to Palestine on 05.06.2011 and thousands, tens of thousands, millions will continue the march until total liberation.

To many, Izzat’s attempt ended when he fell at the border, when his heart stopped beating at the barbed wire… But to Palestinians, Izzat continued the march to his beloved Jerusalem, to his home…he is here, in Jerusalem, he has returned… and with his soul, he lights up the path, like thousands before him, for those who will continue the march …. and with his blood, he paves the way, like thousands before him, for those who will continue the march…

Izzat succeeded, because he managed to frighten the fully-armed occupation soldiers. He was a young man, armed only with the belief in his just cause, he was armed only with the love and yearning to a home that is his, he was only a Palestinian, marching towards his home, his legacy, and unarmed in the face of the killing machine that is the Zionist entity ….

Izzat succeeded, because he exposed, yet again, the true face of the “peace loving only democracy in the Middle East”, he exposed the murderous Zionist entity which claims “self defense” when killing unarmed marchers.

Izzat succeeded, because he exposed, yet again, the lies of Zionists and Co who keep claiming that if Palestinians resorted to unarmed resistance, the Zionist entity wouldn’t “feel threatened and forced to defend itself”, he exposed all those who defend a terrorist army that kills unnamed civilians seeking freedom.

Izzat succeeded, because he exposed, yet again, the hypocrisy of the world that claims to support human rights, justice and non-violent resistance everywhere, but continues to act blind, deaf and mute when it comes to Palestinian rights and the crimes of the Zionist entity.

Izzat succeeded, because he rose up, held his soul in the palm of his hand and marched, and marched, and allowed no barbed wire to stop him, allowed no Israeli occupation soldiers to stop him, allowed no collaborators, no concession-lovers, no negotiation-worshippers to stop him, allowed no bullet to stop him … and marched and marched till he reached Jerusalem.

Izzat was determined to return to Jerusalem and pray in Al-Aqsa, and his message to fellow Palestinians was clear:”What I experienced in a few days on Palestine’s soil assured me that Palestine is closer to us than we think, and that the enemy they have been frightening us with for over 63 years is a coward and can’t stand in the face of our will.“[6]

Izzat and his comrades who managed to return to Palestine, and the thousands of Palestinians who marched on Nakba and Naksa days in occupied Palestine and in the Diaspora, the millions of Palestinians around the world who commemorated the Nakba and the Naksa, sent a clear message to the Zionist entity, to the whole world, to Arab dictators and to Palestinians who want to give up the Right of Return and who want to accept a prison on less than 20% of Palestine and call it a “state”. Their message is: the young have not forgotten and never will…. the right of return is sacred, inalienable and non-negotiable and all Palestinian refugees will return to their demolished villages and rebuild them, will return to their usurped lands and replant them, will return to every single village and town and liberate them, from the River to the Sea.

This video, posted on You Tube, shows the march of return that took place on 05.06.2011. At the beginning one can see Izzat Maswadeh minutes before his martyrdom. He is saying: “We are returning… returning, returning, to our country we are returning, this is our country and we won’t relinquish it and won’t leave it, the blood of the martyrs won’t go in vain, the blood of the martyrs is precious…. “


Interview with Izzat and his funeral

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

No place for Palestine on America’s "Muslim" Brotherhod

No place for Palestine

Ibrahim, Secretary
Opponents of the regime in Syria knows that any legitimate ytoslonha, in this country, you need to have a clear position on the Palestinian issue. Talk here is not on the line is contained in a statement, or a paragraph as is contained in another donated by an expert, but from a position of … not the way the stream «future» in Lebanon and its secretariat. The question of Palestine is not a marginal issue when folks Levant.
Is the main reason for the suffering of more than 3 million Palestinians live in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, which is the main reason for the wars launched 60 years ago continues to this country. The main reason why our spending tens of billions on armaments to confront the Zionist aggression, which is the main reason for wars and seduce us-sponsored internal and is the main reason for betraying the entire groups, not just individuals, in Lebanon. He justified such conservative country that they do not want to bear the tax conflict with Israel. The main reason for the oppression suffered by Syria since more than 50 years and continues to be punished by the Zionist West, because of its support for strong resistance, not because of human rights in Syria. The main reason for the spectre of war hover over each hour that you want Israel Jordan home alternative.

 Thus, it is believed that he could cite the words in a public statement saying that it stands alongside the rights of the Palestinian people, and this is enough to take from others, the author of this belief is either stupid, or client, and the result after our experience with 14 March in Lebanon are, there is no difference at all. Since the outbreak of protests in Syria, which is difficult to shoot in the revolution, no one banner, one logo in connection with the question of Palestine. But that all the media noise made us opportunistic power movement «Brotherhood» was not interested in this item, on the contrary, all attention was focused on how to deepen the internal crisis in Syria and accusing system that wanted to kill people and a point on the line. And when it comes to talk about the issue of Palestine, the Golan was not sold as a system called shot, and other silly talk. Since dissolved Nakba, shocked and inform metvkro revolutions» brotherhood «that image may take public attention, and can ignore this event. When forced to comment on the enemy’s crimes against demonstrators from refugees, had moved to the attack on the Syrian regime because it tries to exploit the blood of the Palestinian people to a character drawn in Syria …

And incidentally, what all these bungalows fully what the Zionists also.

 When the due tribute to the United States, setback, and the Arabs, to contain the situation. Jordan didn’t need system to encourage work yashkh is, and is now the source of life, but if he thought this country to be included in the GCC is to not use them as military and security tools to suppress people «black» death kingdoms.

In Egypt, the brotherhood has given «» again, with the understanding with us power in the army, as the marchers to Palestine outside the priorities, with the de minimis rule work in Lebanon to execute instructions, leaving only Syria for refugees. There was betting that the system will repeat what others have done to appease the West. But it reopened the border again to make the occupied land to refugees. Rather than say him thanks, «returned» buoys revolutionaries to carry on.
Amid all this, not one Syrian opposition, especially from the ashaus notification «brothers», one word applauds what happened. But they focused on people who reject Syria camps, they also antvdawa factions there.

 The unfortunate result is that the opposition forces who claim leadership of the revolution in Syria, was not interested in is resistance and Palestine and donors for their support by all means, in particular through cursing Bashar Al-Assad, but they are also outside the working atmosphere for resistance and Palestine. However, think that people will each morning to hear their lectures … Good riddance such revolutions … Such a notification webaes webaes this type of a

لا مكان لفلسطين
ابراهيم الأمين
يعرف معارضو النظام في سوريا أن أي شرعية يتوسّلونها، في هذا البلد، تحتاج إلى موقف واضح من المسألة الفلسطينية. والحديث هنا ليس عن سطر يرد في بيان، أو فقرة ترد في آخر وصفة تبرّع بها خبير، بل عن موقف عملاني، لا على طريقة ما يقوم به تيار «المستقبل» في لبنان وأمانته العامة. فقضية فلسطين ليست مسألة هامشية عند أهل بلاد الشام.

هي السبب الرئيسي لمعاناة أكثر من 3 ملايين فلسطيني يعيشون في لبنان وسوريا والأردن، وهي السبب الرئيسي لحروب شنت ولا تزال منذ 60 عاماً على هذه البلاد. وهي السبب الرئيسي في إنفاق بلادنا عشرات المليارات على التسلح لمواجهة العدوانية الصهيونية، وهي السبب الرئيسي لحروب وفتن داخلية ترعاها الولايات المتحدة، وهي السبب الرئيسي لعمليات خيانة قامت بها جماعات بأكملها، لا مجرد أفراد، في لبنان. برر هؤلاء فعلتهم بأنهم لا يريدون للبلد أن يتحمل ضريبة الصراع مع إسرائيل. وهي السبب الرئيسي لكل القهر الذي عانته سوريا منذ أكثر من خمسين سنة، ولا تزال تعاقب على أيدي الغرب الصهيوني، بسبب دعمها لقوى المقاومة، لا بسبب حقوق الإنسان في سوريا. وهي السبب الرئيسي لشبح حرب أهلية يحوم كل ساعة فوق الأردن الذي تريده إسرائيل الوطن البديل.

وبالتالي، من يعتقد أنه يمكنه إيراد عبارة في بيان عام يقول فيه إنه يقف الى جانب حقوق الشعب الفلسطيني، وهذا يكفي لكي يأخذ شرعية من الآخرين، فصاحب هذا الاعتقاد إما
مخبول وإما عميل،

والنتيجة بعد تجربتنا مع 14 آذار في لبنان هي هي، لا فرق أبداً.
منذ اندلاع الاحتجاجات في سوريا، التي يصعب إطلاق صفة الثورة عليها، لم ترفع لافتة واحدة، أو شعار واحد له صلة بالقضية الفلسطينية. بل إن كل الضجيج الإعلامي الذي تولاه التيار الانتهازي ـــــ الأميركي في حركة «الإخوان المسلمون» لم يهتم بهذا البند أبداً، بل على العكس، فكل اهتمامه منصبّ على كيفية تعميق الأزمة الداخلية في سوريا، واتهام النظام بأنه يريد قتل شعبه ونقطة على السطر. وعندما يأتي الحديث عن موضوع فلسطين، يتهم النظام بأنه باع الجولان ولم يطلق رصاصة واحدة، وغير ذلك من الكلام السخيف.

ولمّا حلّت ذكرى النكبة، صدم متفكّرو الثورات وإعلام «الإخوان» بأن هناك صورة قد تأخذ من انتباه الجمهور، ولا يمكن تجاهل هذا الحدث. وعندما اضطروا إلى التعليق على جرائم العدو بحق المتظاهرين من اللاجئين، انتقلوا الى الهجوم على النظام السوري لأنه يحاول استغلال دماء الشعب الفلسطيني بغية حرف الأنظار عما يجري في سوريا… وللصدفة، فإن ما قاله كل هؤلاء طابق تماماً ما قاله الصهاينة أيضاً.

 

وعندما حانت ذكرى النكسة، عملت الولايات المتحدة، ومعها عربها، على احتواء الموقف مسبقاً. نظام الأردن لم يكن يحتاج الى من يشجعه على عمل يعشقه هو، وصار الآن مصدر عيشه، إلا إذا ظن أبناء هذا البلد أن ضمهم الى دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي هو بهدف غير استخدامهم كأدوات أمنية وعسكرية لقمع شعوب «ممالك الموت الأسود».
أما في مصر، فقد تولى «الإخوان» مرة جديدة، بالتفاهم مع التيار الأميركي في الجيش، اعتبار المسيرة الى فلسطين خارج الأولويات، فيما عمل الحكم التافه في لبنان على تنفيذ التعليمات الأميركية، ولم يبق للاجئين إلا سوريا. وكان هناك من يراهن على أن النظام سيكرر ما فعله الآخرون لاسترضاء الغرب. لكنه أعاد فتح الحدود مرة جديدة لكي يتقدم اللاجئون نحو أرضهم المحتلة. وبدل أن يقال له شكراً، عاد «ثوار العوامات» من جديد ليحملوا عليه.

ووسط كل ذلك، لم يخرج معارض سوري واحد، وخصوصاً من أشاوس إعلام «الإخوان»، بكلمة واحدة تحيّي ما حصل. بل ركّزوا على أن أبناء مخيمات سوريا يرفضون الأمر، وأنهم انتفضوا أيضاً على الفصائل هناك.

النتيجة المؤسفة هي أن قوى المعارضة التي تدّعي قيادة ثورة في سوريا، ليست مهتمة بأمر المقاومة وفلسطين، والذين يتبرعون لدعمها بكل الوسائل، وخصوصاً من خلال شتم بشار الأسد، إنما باتوا هم أيضاً خارج مناخ العمل لخدمة المقاومة وفلسطين. ومع ذلك، يعتقدون أن الناس ينتظرونهم كل صباح لسماع محاضراتهم… بئس ثورات كهذه… وبئس إعلام كهذا وبئس هذا الصنف من المتفكّرين

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

He returned on Nakba Day, Martyred on Naksa Day, Millions will follow

He returned on Nakba Day, Martyred on Naksa Day, Millions will follow

 

 

تكبيرIzat aziz Muswada (36 years), born in Jerusalem in 1977, his family moved to Jordan and then to Syria.His father moved back to Jerusalem shortly afterward, but Izat and his mother return was denied for staying away more than three years, they were told they had lost their residency permits.Since then, Return to Jerusalem was his great dream.

On Nakba day he joined thousands of others as they marched to the ceasefire line between Syria and occupied Gollan Hieghts, he crossed the mine fields on the cease fire line in Majdal Shams, He and his fellow demonstrators were warmly welcomed, and he quickly began plotting a way to return Jerusalem.

 

“He decided to lie and managed to convince a journalist from Jerusalem that he was a reporter with the Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi.He traded on the name of his family, that of a well-known Jerusalem clan, and his knowledge of the city to convince the journalist to vouch for him to a nervous taxi driver.”

The IOF arressted him on Huwara checkpoint near Nablis on his way towards Jerusalem, putting an end of his dream of reaching Jerusalem and praying in Alaqsa.
He was detained his for few days before being expelled back to Syria.

“My few days in Palestine confirmed to me that Palestine is so near, the enemy who frightened us for 63 years is a caward and can’t stand against our determination.” thus said Izat after his return to Syria.

After three weeks, on Naksa day Izat decided to try again. Unfortunately, his dream of returning home ended quickly and violently.

As he and his fellows tryied to cut through a line of barbed wire to reach the border fence, Israeli troops opened fire.

Syria refugee’s dream of return ends in tragedy

Published yesterday (updated) 10/06/2011 18:16
Israeli policemen guard along the border fence as Druze residents
of Majdal Sham stand on the hill looking at mainly Palestinian
protesters crossed from Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights,
on May 15, 2011, to mark Nakba day. Bloodshed broke out as
Palestinian refugees across the region marched on Israel’s borders in a
mass show of mourning over Palestinians’ dispossession
in 1948. [AFP/Menahem Kahana, File]

JERUSALEM (AFP) — When Ezzat Maswadi burst across the ceasefire line from Syria into the occupied Golan Heights, he thought his chance to return to Jerusalem — the city of his birth — had finally come.

But the return that Maswadi had longed for was not to be, and his attempts to reach the Holy City would eventually lead to his death, three weeks later, in the fields between Syria and the Golan town of Majdal Shams.

Born to a Palestinian family in Jerusalem in 1977, Maswadi grew up in the nearby town of Al-Eizariya until 1984, when his family moved first to Jordan and then to Syria.

His father moved back to Jerusalem shortly afterward, but Maswadi and his mother were told they had lost their residency permits under an Israeli law which quietly revoked the residency of anyone who stayed away more than three years.
So Maswadi stayed in Damascus, fearing he would never be able to go home, until he heard that Palestinian refugees in Syria were planning to march towards Israel on May 15, the anniversary of Israel’s creation amid the mass dispossession of Palestinians.

Palestinians mark the occasion as the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” when hundreds of thousands of them fled or were expelled from their homes in the war that accompanied Israel’s declaration of independence.

On the day of the protests, a clear, warm Sunday, Maswadi joined thousands of others as they marched unimpeded to the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria, just across from Majdal Shams in the Israel-occupied Golan Heights.

A handful of Israeli troops stationed in the area, apparently caught short, watched in horror as Maswadi and other protesters moved quickly across heavily-mined fields, cut through a fence and entered Majdal Shams.

He and his fellow demonstrators were warmly welcomed, and Maswadi quickly began plotting a way to get back to Jerusalem.

To do so, he had to circumvent Israeli checkpoints set up to catch infiltrators from Syria and find a taxi driver willing to take him three hours south to Jerusalem.

He decided to lie and managed to convince a journalist from Jerusalem that he was a reporter with the Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

He traded on the name of his family, that of a well-known Jerusalem clan, and his knowledge of the city to convince the journalist to vouch for him to a nervous taxi driver.

“An Israeli soldier stopped me at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Majdal Shams, and said words to me that I didn’t understand but I’m sure he was asking for my identity card,” Maswadi wrote in an online account shortly afterward.

“I told him I was a journalist and he allowed me to cross.”

He started to believe he would make it home, and eagerly peered out of the window as the car drove south, marveling at the scenery.

“The features of my country began to become clear. It was the most beautiful feeling of my life, to see the country I had dreamed of. All the words in the world can’t describe how it felt,” he wrote.

“I can only say that it was ‘homeland’ with all that that means — love, longing, beauty, magnificence.”

But Maswadi’s journey was about to grind to a halt. He ran into another Israeli checkpoint, and this time his ruse was discovered.

“They surprised us with the checkpoint and I couldn’t go on or return or even tell the driver the truth. This was the end of my journey to Palestine, the end of my dream and my goal,” he wrote.

Maswadi was held by Israeli security officials for an unspecified period of time before being expelled back to Syria.

His driver, a Palestinian from occupied East Jerusalem, was jailed for five days, then put under house arrest for another five days before being released on condition he did not return to the Golan for the next three months.

For Maswadi, being expelled was devastating, but he quickly decided to try again — this time on June 5, when Palestinians mark the “Naksa” or “setback” of the 1967 Six-Day War.

This time, Maswadi’s dream of returning home would end quickly and violently.

As he joined hundreds of other protesters trying to cut through a line of barbed wire to reach the border fence, Israeli troops opened fire.

That day, 23 people were killed and hundreds more injured, according to figures given by Syrian state television.

Israel acknowledged the deaths of 10 protesters, but said all of them died in a second protest in Quneitra, several kilometres further south, when Molotov cocktails thrown by the demonstrators set off Syrian mines in no-man’s land.

But Maswadi’s father Aziz has no doubt about how his eldest son died.

“He was killed by Israeli bullets in Majdal Shams,” he told AFP from the family’s home in Al-Eizariya. “It was his dream to return to Jerusalem.

“They told me that the bullets perforated his body,” he said, adding that his son had been buried in Syria.

Sobbing, Aziz Maswadi said he was denied permission to travel to Syria for the funeral in Damascus. “My son is a martyr, I wanted to see him one last time.”

With hassan Hijazi

عزات عزيز عزات مسودة (٣٦ عاما) من مواليد القدس وسكان سوريا حاليا.. شاب فلسطيني حالم ، تمنى طوال حياته العودة لفلسطين ، وحقق حلمة بعزيمة واصرار لم تستطع الحدود ان تقف في طريقة ، فشق طريقة بالدم الى وطنة فلسطين ، حقق جزء من امنتية ووطات قدماه ثرى فلسطين الطاهر ، الا ان الاحتلال منعه من الوصول الى القدس التي لطالما حلم بالوصول اليها

 

عزات مسوده استشهد مع العشرات اثناء محاولتة العودة مره اخرى لفلسطين في ذكرى نكستها التي تصادف الخامس من حزيران ، حيث اطلق جيش الاحتلال النار باتجاه الجموع التي خرجت من الاراضي السورية باتجاه الجولان المحتل ، فسقط عشرات الشهداء ومئات الجرحى .
مصادر اعلامية متعددة قالت ان الشهيد كان من بين الشبان اللذين شاركوا في مسيرة العودة في الخامس عشر من شهر أيار الماضي ، التي انطلقت باتجاه حدود فلسطين التاريخية ، وتمكن الحالم الفلسطيني عزات مسوده من اختراق خط وقف اطلاق النار قرب مدينة مجدل شمس الدرزية في الجولان المحتل ، وتخطى حقول الالغام وبنادق الاحتلال وتحصيناته ودخل وتجول في عدد من المدن الفلسطينية في الداخل المحتل ووصول الى الضفة الغربية ، الا سلطات الاحتلال وحسب المصادر الاعلامية اعتقلته على حاجز حوارة قرب نابلس وهو في طريقه الى مسقط راسه في القدس، والتي كان قد اعلن تصميمه على الوصول اليها، وابقته رهن الاعتقال لعدة ايام ، قبل ان تبعدة الى مهجرة من جديد الى سوريا.
قبل ايام من استشهادة قال عزات مسوده في لقاء مع احدى وسائل الاعلام إن خطته كانت بالوصول إلى القدس والصلاة في المسجد الأقصى على أن أدعو الإعلام وأخبره بحقوقنا في العودة إلى أراضينا.
ويتابع مسودة : ما عشته خلال أيام قليلة فوق ثرى فلسطين أكد لي أن فلسطين أقرب إلينا مما نعتقد والعدو الذي أخافونا منه على مدى 63 عاماً جبان ولا يستطيع الوقوف أمام إرادتنا.
عزات مسوده ، هذا الشاب الفلسطيني الحالم بوطنة المخلص له بكل جوارحة برهم صحة ما قيل منذ زمن ان حق العودة لفلسطين المحتلة لا يسقط بالتقادم ، وانه مهما مرت الايام بقساوتها ، لن تمحى من الذاكره فلسطين تاريخها وحضارتها .
حتما ستعود فلسطين

 

The Impossible Distance: A Choice to Kill

The Impossible Distance: A Choice to Kill

06mideast-span-articlelarge.jpgChris Floyd


Empire burlesque, June 6, 2011

I watched them marching toward the border. Row upon row of them in the hot, bright sun. They marched without guns, without tanks and missiles — although some, like the shepherd boy David, did pick up a few rocks to hurl into the impossible distance.

I watched them stream down the green hill toward the heaps of dirt and wire. I saw them, old and young, walk toward the occupied land. I saw them come closer — close enough for the heavily-armed occupying force to have them in range.

From a distance — behind the barbed wire, with the occupiers, where the cameras that showed the scene were set — I heard the dull pops and parps of the guns as they fired. I saw the marchers kept streaming down the hill, although the first wave was now breaking in disarray. I heard the guns again. I saw some marchers fall, others scramble back, and still more coming down.
Pop. Pop. Parp. The dull sounds, intermittent, careful. The bullets whizzed across the distance — the impossible distance, which no stone could traverse. The bullets threw up clouds of dirt, they struck flesh. I saw bodies twisting and going down. The march became a rescue party. The dead and wounded were lifted onto sheets and stretchers as the bullets kept coming: dull, intermittent, careful. Pop. Pop. Parp.

Finally, as many lay dead, many lay bleeding in bright, hot sun, finally, across the distance, from behind the barbed wire and hot-barrelled weapons, I watched the canisters of tear gas sailing through the air, trailing streams of smoke. They landed on the dirt and the green grass, and spewed their painful, irresistible fog.

Now, at last, the marchers — who had kept coming in the face of the bullets — turned and fled. Carrying the dead, the dying and bleeding, they ran back up the green hill.

Then suddenly the scene shifted to an anonymous government office, where a comely young spokeswoman, speaking crisp, American-accented English, explained that these unweaponed marchers walking in the hot, bright sun posed such an overwhelming threat to the heavily-armed occupying forces behind the walls of barbed wire that there was no alternative, no other choice, but to open fire across the impossible distance that no stone could traverse, to fire into the unarmed crowd, to fire again and again, to watch them twist and fall into the mounds of dirt. No choice. No alternative.

Her appearance on the screen lasted almost as long as the time given to the marchers and their dead. The reporter, who was standing near the border, behind the barbed wire, who had seen it all with his own eyes, dutifully concluded his piece with geopolitical context — one side says this, the other says that, plots and machinations lie behind every public outpouring. But even given all that, even he — speaking as the marchers were fleeing from the noxious clouds behind him — even he could not avoid the obvious question: Why use the tear gas last? Why shoot first? Why fire into the bodies, into the unarmed marchers, and kill them, when all along you were equipped with the proven means to disperse them without death and blood?

It seems, then, there was a choice for the occupying force. And they made the that choice. The choice to kill, to speak with death and blood across the impossible distance.

:: Article nr. 78399 sent on 06-jun-2011 23:32 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=78399

Ex-Minister Mrad to Al-Manar Website:Syria Will Overcome Crisis

Hussein Assi
Former Minister Abdul Rahim Mrad to Al-Manar Website:

  • We Will Oppose Our Allies if They Accept to Marginalize Bekaa
  • Representing Tripoli through Four Ministers Is Mere Heresy
  • Mufti Qabbani Must Urge Change in Religious Institution First
  • Taif Accord Is Not Holy Book; Experience Was Not Successful
  • Betting on Jumblatt’s Change of Beliefs Is Delusion
  • Syria Will Overcome Crisis, Achieve Victory God Willing

The head of the Union party, former minister Abdul Rahim Mrad, expressed hope that optimism over the efforts to form the new government could lead to the birth of a “satisfying” cabinet, and noted that the formation stage was not pleasant.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Manar website, Mrad said that Prime Minister-Designate Najib Miqati was vague in his position towards the Sunni opposition. He slammed the possibility of appointing four Sunni ministers from Tripoli as heresy, and stressed that it was unacceptable to deprive the Bekaa region from its right to be represented in the government. Mrad warned of the possibility to leave the new majority and join the opposition in case “our allies accepted to marginalize us and the Bekaa in the upcoming government.”

CABINET FORMATION STAGE NOT SATISFACTORY

The former minister told Al-Manar website that it was not the first time optimism prevailed in the cabinet formation process. He expressed hope “this recent wave” would be serious, and therefore, would lead to the formation of the government. However, he hoped the new cabinet would be really satisfactory, as he expressed dissatisfaction at the formation process.

Mrad said if the reasons behind the delay in the cabinet formation process were internal, then these reasons have ended. “However, if they were external and related to US Ambassador Maura Connelly, then we will have to wait to see whether the American veto has expired or the green light has been given,” he added.

Mrad said that the meeting which joined the premier-designate Najib Miqati with the head of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Michel Aoun had set the foundation. “As we all know, most internal problems were between Aoun and Miqati. However, the positive atmosphere should have been completed through a meeting between Miqati and President Michel Sleiman, which has not happened yet,” he noted.

MIQATI AMBIGUOUS… WE WILL NOT ACCEPT HERESY

Asked about the Sunni opposition nub and whether it was resolved, Mrad said that the premier-designate was very ambiguous in this regard.

He declared his full rejection to appointing four ministers from Tripoli to resolve the matter. He was referring to press reports saying that Miqati could accept appointing the new majority candidate Fayssal Omar Karame, from Tripoli, on condition Miqati’s ally MP Ahmad Karame, who’s also from Tripoli, be appointed. The cabinet already includes two other Tripoli figures, Minister Mohamad Safadi and Miqati himself. “This is complete heresy,” Mrad stressed.

“We are of course with the nomination of Faysal Karame in the government. However, we will not accept that the Bekaa region be marginalized and ignored,” Mrad pointed out. “The Bekaa region must be represented in the cabinet. Otherwise, we will consider ourselves as an opposition,” he warned.
The former minister explained that the new majority included many national forces that should have a place in the government. He noted that the national parties, (in reference to Hezbollah, AMAL Movement, the Free Patriotic Movement and the Progressive Socialist Party) could not be simply ignored and neglected, after they made every concession they could.

Asked about the latest stance made by the head of the Lebanese Democratic Party Talal Areslan, in which he rejected the post of Minister of State and demanded a more effective portfolio as a condition for his participation in the cabinet, Mrad expressed belief this issue was resolved and that a portfolio was given to Areslan.

CHANGE SHOULD START IN DAR AL-FATWA

Mrad, a Sunni political figure, commented on the latest stance of Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohamad Rashid Qabbani, in which he urged the people to take to the streets and call for change, Mrad said that “change must start in the religious institution. Mufti Qabbani should call for change in his religious institution first,” he said.

Mufti Qabbani also stressed the Taif Accord “is the base and the problem resides in the hearts, not in the agreement, the loyalty, or the opposition. “The Taif accord is not a holy book,” Mrad pointed out. “The experience, during the past twenty years, was not successful,” he added. “It is right that the accord was not fully adopted. However, many gaps have surfaced and they should be discussed, but in healthier conditions,” he went on to say.

SYRIA WILL TRIUMPH AT THE END

Turning to the Syrian issue, Mrad said that the Western pressure on Syria were not surprising. “They were even excepted as Syria is the only Arab regime that is facing the US-Zionist scheme,” he said. “It is also the only regime that resisted despite the pressure and did not back up in its continuous support to the Resistance,” he added.

Mrad expressed belief that the Syrian regime was still strong and that it would face the internal crisis with firmness and steadfastness. He said Syria will triumph at the end despite all foreign interferences and some media, especially the Arab ones.

Asked whether the foreign interferences include some Lebanese sides in light of the Future party MP Mohamad Kabbara issued a statement this week in which he declared he could not be unbiased with regards to the situation in Syria.

Mrad said that the statement was only one of dozens of proofs of this party’s involvement in the developments in Syria. “They are betting on the Syrian regime’s collapse. But their dreams will not come true,” he said, while stressing that “facts prove the Future party’s involvement”, in reference to the arms smuggling operation at the northern border with Syria.

THIS IS WALID JUMBLATT…

On the visit by the head of the National Struggle Front MP Walid Jumblatt to Syria and his meeting with President Bashar Assad, Mrad said it was part of Jumblatt’s tour that took him to Qatar last month. He said that the PSP leader confirmed, through his visit, two things. “First, he stressed that Syria was able to overcome its crisis and that he did not change his national principles. Second, at the internal level, he confirmed that he did not change his convictions and that whoever was bargaining on such change was deluded,” he explained. “After all, this is Walid Jumblatt,” he went on to say.

Asked about the events of the Nakba and Naksa Days (May 15 and June 5) at the borders with occupied Palestine, Mrad rejected the hypothesis claiming that these events were aimed at taking the attention from what was happening in Syria. He said “they signal a new movement in the region, given that the United States is preparing a plan for a weak Palestinian state, with complete neglect to the refugees, Al-Quds, and settlements. “The Palestinians will not be satisfied at all with such scenario,” he said.

Mrad saw in the Naksa Day events (June 5) an expression of the determination of Palestinians. “They stressed they wanted to return to their land and they will not accept naturalization or their basic right of return be neglected,” he said.

Asked whether these events marked the launch of a new Arab Intifada, Mrada said: “We hope so. I don’t know when things will be mature. But change is coming.”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

The Impossible Distance: A Choice to Kill

06mideast-span-articlelarge.jpgChris Floyd


Empire burlesque, June 6, 2011

I watched them marching toward the border. Row upon row of them in the hot, bright sun. They marched without guns, without tanks and missiles — although some, like the shepherd boy David, did pick up a few rocks to hurl into the impossible distance.

I watched them stream down the green hill toward the heaps of dirt and wire. I saw them, old and young, walk toward the occupied land. I saw them come closer — close enough for the heavily-armed occupying force to have them in range.

From a distance — behind the barbed wire, with the occupiers, where the cameras that showed the scene were set — I heard the dull pops and parps of the guns as they fired. I saw the marchers kept streaming down the hill, although the first wave was now breaking in disarray. I heard the guns again. I saw some marchers fall, others scramble back, and still more coming down.
Pop. Pop. Parp. The dull sounds, intermittent, careful. The bullets whizzed across the distance — the impossible distance, which no stone could traverse. The bullets threw up clouds of dirt, they struck flesh. I saw bodies twisting and going down. The march became a rescue party. The dead and wounded were lifted onto sheets and stretchers as the bullets kept coming: dull, intermittent, careful. Pop. Pop. Parp.

Finally, as many lay dead, many lay bleeding in bright, hot sun, finally, across the distance, from behind the barbed wire and hot-barrelled weapons, I watched the canisters of tear gas sailing through the air, trailing streams of smoke. They landed on the dirt and the green grass, and spewed their painful, irresistible fog.

Now, at last, the marchers — who had kept coming in the face of the bullets — turned and fled. Carrying the dead, the dying and bleeding, they ran back up the green hill.

Then suddenly the scene shifted to an anonymous government office, where a comely young spokeswoman, speaking crisp, American-accented English, explained that these unweaponed marchers walking in the hot, bright sun posed such an overwhelming threat to the heavily-armed occupying forces behind the walls of barbed wire that there was no alternative, no other choice, but to open fire across the impossible distance that no stone could traverse, to fire into the unarmed crowd, to fire again and again, to watch them twist and fall into the mounds of dirt. No choice. No alternative.

Her appearance on the screen lasted almost as long as the time given to the marchers and their dead. The reporter, who was standing near the border, behind the barbed wire, who had seen it all with his own eyes, dutifully concluded his piece with geopolitical context — one side says this, the other says that, plots and machinations lie behind every public outpouring. But even given all that, even he — speaking as the marchers were fleeing from the noxious clouds behind him — even he could not avoid the obvious question: Why use the tear gas last? Why shoot first? Why fire into the bodies, into the unarmed marchers, and kill them, when all along you were equipped with the proven means to disperse them without death and blood?

It seems, then, there was a choice for the occupying force. And they made the that choice. The choice to kill, to speak with death and blood across the impossible distance. 

:: Article nr. 78399 sent on 06-jun-2011 23:32 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=78399

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Breaches of international law lay behind unrest on Golan Heights

Breaches of international law lay behind unrest on Golan Heights

While much of the Western media have ignored the recent bloodshed on the Golan Heights, the limited reports that have been released appear to misunderstand the background to the present confrontation. Richard Lightbown explains the history. Many media reports of the confrontations on the Golan Heights on 5 June did not accurately represent the background to the protests. The Guardian reported on 6 June that the clashes occurred “on the Syrian border” and their analysts referred to “deliberate antagonism of Israel by the Syrian regime”.
Breaches of international law lay behind unrest on Golan Heights Breaches of international law lay behind unrest on Golan Heights 600x472

On the same day a report on BBC’s “Today” programme referred to “a disputed border” before stating that Syria “had lost the Golan Heights to Israel”. A review of the history and current status of the area, therefore, appears required reading for some foreign correspondents.

The Syrian Golan Heights (as the UN refers to the region) was recognized as Syrian sovereign territory by an Armistice Agreement signed between Israel and Syria under UN auspices in 1949. Because of its rich volcanic soils and water resources, the Golan has long been coveted by Zionists. Attempts were made starting in 1891 to buy land there, and Zionist President Chaim Weizmann wrote to British Prime Minister Lloyd George in 1919 expressing designs for the region to form part of the Jewish National Home in Palestine. (Dr Weizmann wrote to oppose the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 by which Britain and France had agreed the carve up of the Ottoman Empire after the World War I. These imperial designs interfered with Zionist schemes for the Levant.)

Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter requires the respect of every state’s territorial integrity. Newly admitted to the UN in 1949, Israel began almost immediately to encroach beyond its boundaries as agreed under the 1949 Armistice. Fortifications were built in the UN-administered demilitarized zone, while illegally deployed Israeli soldiers obstructed UN observers and even threatened to kill them on one occasion. Arab residents of the area were evicted and their homes looted and destroyed. The UN Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution in May 1951 demanding that Israel allow the residents to return. Other resolutions against Israeli violations of international law followed in 1953, 1956 and 1962, all to no avail.

Prior to the 1967 invasion there were many clashes between Syrian and Israel forces. The former Israeli defence minister, Moshe Dayan, later opined that more 80 per cent of these clashes were deliberately provoked by Israel, explaining that kibbutzim covetous of Syrian land had pressed the Israeli government to invade the Golan Heights. Another Israeli, Mattityahu Peled, who served as a member of the General Staff during the 1967 war, also stated in a newspaper interview that all the incidents were Israeli initiated.

At the time of the invasion during the 1967 war there were 137,000 Arab residents in the area that was occupied. Following the attack, 130,000 of them were expelled from their homes in two cities, 130 villages and 112 farms, all of which were destroyed. (The Golan capital of Quneitra had been a city with 25,000 population. When liberated by Syrian armour in 1973, troops discovered all the buildings destroyed or uninhabitable. This included houses, shops, mosques and the hospital.)
UNSC Resolution 242 of 1967 requiring “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” was ignored by Israel. On 14 December 1981 the Knesset passed the Golan Heights Law, which extended Israeli laws to occupied Syrian areas. The UN Security Council responded to this breach of customary international law by passing Resolution 497 declaring the Israeli legislation “null and void and without international legal effect”. The resolution demanded that the legislation be rescinded. No other country has recognized this de facto annexation, but Israel made no attempt to comply with its legal obligations.

However, the remaining local population had no intention of being absorbed into the occupying state. Following the invasion some 7,000 residents occupying six villages in the north of the Golan were permitted to stay. This was part of a divide-and-rule policy by Israel. The Arab residents of the villages are mostly of the Druze religious community and the rulers of the Zionist state have been trying to develop a Druze buffer zone subservient to Israel in the border region between Lebanon and Syria. These people were required by Israel’s rogue legislation to give up their Syrian citizenship and adopt that of Israel. A six-month general strike followed, and most of the new Israeli identity cards were publicly burned. The Israeli government eventually gave way to the protests and most of the residents still retain their Syrian nationality. Israeli attempts to eliminate the Arab national identity have also been opposed. Indoctrination by unqualified teachers instructing the Hebrew language, Israeli literature and Israel’s version of history is still strongly resisted within this community.
The long-standing Zionist greed for the Golan has been realized through the establishment of 33 settlements in the region, and a programme is ongoing to extend this process of colonization (in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention). Only these settlements are allowed to irrigate their crops, giving the colonizers a major competitive advantage over the Arab farmers. Israel also extracts more than its fair share of water from the Jordan River System. Studies published in 2006 indicate that while Israeli territory contributed 11.4 per cent of the total water to the system, the Israeli state extracted 50 per cent of the total. (Syria contributed 31 per cent and extracted 18.5 per cent. Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon all extracted less than their contributions.) The study found Israeli abstraction to be inequitable and unreasonable, and in contravention of international water law.

Within Israel it is generally held as an article of faith that holding the Golan is a guarantee of Israeli security. It is true that in both the wars of 1967 and 1973 the Golan was conquered by armour. Yet this does not take account of modern warfare methods. During the war between Israel and Lebanon in 2006 Merkava tanks were destroyed by Lebanese missiles. (In 2004 the then Israeli chief of staff said in a newspaper interview that the Israeli army would be able to defend any border. Israeli air power, after all, is omnipotent in the region and can inflict serious damage.)
Unrest at the boundaries of Israeli-occupied territory may well serve a Syrian government under pressure for regime change. But the roots of this unrest are long-standing genuine grievances against the expansionist and tyrannical policies of the Israeli state. Western media sources seldom comment or reflect this reality, nor do they seem to be aware of the legality of the occupation and its artificial boundaries. In so doing they render a disservice to the victims of criminality, while failing to uphold the highest standards of professional journalism.

Much of the data for this article are derived from papers presented to the London International Conference on the Golan in 2007.

By Richard Lightbown
Source

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Palestinian Forum in Britain announces ready for Palestine Day early July


Palestinian Forum in Britain announces ready for Palestine Day early July

[ 09/06/2011 – 12:11 PM ]  

LONDON, (PIC)– The Palestinian Forum in Britain has announced completion of logistical and administrative arrangements ahead of Palestine Day scheduled for July 2 and 3 in the capital London and the second largest city Manchester.
The major annual gathering comes to mark Nakba and Naksa Days, in memory of the 1948 and 1967 Zionist occupations of the Palestinian territories, and the movement of change for freedom across the Arab world, said PFB public relations official Zahir Beirawi. It also comes to confirm the exiled Palestinians’ commitment to their right to the Palestinian territories.
Palestine Day 2011 will include cultural and artistic functions and lectures, the most prominent being those by Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement in 1948-occupied Palestine, and Dr. Ahmed Nofel from Jordan.
The day marks the largest gathering of Palestinians and pro-Palestinians in the UK, as more than a thousand attend annually.

[ 08/06/2011 – 07:00 PM ]
GAZA, (PIC)– Mushir al-Masri, who heads the Hamas bloc on the Palestinian Legislative Council, has said that the spilled blood of those killed by the Israeli occupation forces on borders with Lebanon and Syria during Naksa Day marks the beginning of a new phase in ending the Israeli occupation.
The statement came Tuesday during a rally honoring the some 25 Arabs and Palestinian refugees shot dead by the IOF at Golan Heights when trying to permeate the border created by the Israeli occupation state.
”[The incident] demonstrates that the [Muslims] have entered a new stage and the people are armed with the truth that is never forgotten,” Masri said, speaking at the rally in Gaza.
”The young don’t forget,” Masri said, referring to the new generation of activists who have succeeded their predecessors who first came under Israeli occupation.
”They remember their land and homes and the stories of their fathers and grandfathers,” he said, adding: ”The right of return is legal and sacred and the right of every generation until they return to their homes from which they have been expelled.”
Some five million Palestinian refugees have sought asylum abroad after the Israeli occupation of 1948.
On Naksa Day, hundreds of refugees and supporters made a symbolic attempt to cross borders and reclaim the property they lost in the Israeli occupation. Syria put the number of those killed in the Israeli onslaught against them at 25, with hundreds of injuries.
Meanwhile, Israeli Knesset member Lia Shemtov (from the Yisrael Beitenu) has officially urged the IOF to use diarrhea-causing gas instead of tear gas to stop refugees that try and get past borders in future protests.
She reasoned that Arab demonstrators have become accustomed to the scent of tear gas and have managed to live with it, a situation that requires additional measures to disperse them.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Video: Marchers rescue injured people, bodies in occupied Golan Heights

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Sun, 06/05/2011 – 11:44


A video posted on YouTube by the website Baladee.net shows marchers trying to evacuate injured and possibly dead people in the Golan Heights today after Israeli forces opened fired on marchers commemorating the 44th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of area which is part of Syria.
Media reports say that more than a dozen people have been killed and scores injured as Israeli forces opened fire on the marchers.
The video, which appears to have been shot from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights toward the frontier line with the Syrian-controlled side, shows unarmed people in civilian clothes crawling over an earth mound and into an area of long grass and recovering several bodies of people who were injured or may have been killed.
Earlier, Israel broadcast threats by loudspeaker that it would shoot at protestors, and for several days Israeli commanders have promised a lethal response to mass civil protests.
The UK newspaper The Telegraph has also posted video showing Israeli forces shooting at marchers:


Another video showing scenes of a mass march toward the Israeli-controlled frontier on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

Pakradouni to Al-Manar Website: Targeting Syrian Stability Pushes Region to Wars

Hussein Assi

Former Minister Karim Pakradouni to Al-Manar Website:
Syrian Regime Won’t Fall… But Things Will Take Some Time

  • Golan Incidents Bore Syrian – Palestinian Message
    Targeting Syrian Stability Means Pushing Region into Wars
    Some People Seek to Weaken Miqati so that Hariri Returns
    Cabinet Crisis to Continue Until Matters Are Seriously Handled
    Berri’s Step Responsible as We Must Protect Our Economy!

The former head of Lebanon’s Phalange party, former minister Karim Pakradouni, said that Naksa Day events in the Golan heights June 5, bore two messages: a Palestinian one reflecting the Palestinians’ despair of the negotiations’ choice and a Syrian message stating that targeting Syria’s stability is tantamount to threatening the stability of the whole region, and therefore, pressuring Syria could turn into a regional war.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Manar Website, Pakradouni said he was confident the current Syrian regime would resist all forms of pressure. But he expressed belief that what’s happening was organized and prepared, and therefore, would take some time. “The regime will not fall. However, settling issues would take some time,” he noted.

Locally, Pakradouni stressed the need to hold a meeting between the leadership of the March 8 bloc and Prime Minister-Designate Najib Miqati. He said that the current style of “indirect” meetings was not suitable and that the imminent future would reveal how the head of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc MP Michel Aoun was not the reason behind the delay in the cabinet formation process. He spoke of external pressure and stressed some politicians were seeking to weaken the premier-designate to pave the way for the head of the caretaker government Saad Hariri to return to the premiership once again.

While hailing Speaker Nabih Berri’s call to hold a parliamentary general session as a responsible initiative, he said that he personally favored the amendment of the Taif agreement, but that this was not a top priority at the time being.

PRESSURING SYRIA COULD TURN INTO REGIONAL WAR

During his interview with Al-Manar Website, Pakradouni said the Golan events on the fifth of June sent a double message. “

“First, there’s a Palestinian message reflecting the Palestinians’ despair with the so-called peaceful negotiations with the Israeli enemy. But, at the same time, there’s also a Syrian message stating that pressure targeting Syria could drag us into a regional war,” he explained.

On the 44th anniversary of Naksa (setback) Day, Palestinians and especially in Syria marked this anniversary on Sunday with protests near the Golan Heights in which the Israeli occupation fired on the protesters and martyred 23 people.

The former minister said he was not surprised by the American support to the Israeli enemy following the Golan events. “This support has been on the table since the establishment of the so-called Zionist entity,” he emphasized. “Whoever says that the United States could distance itself from Israel is simply deluded,” he added. “The American commitment to Israel’s security is a red line. Indeed, what concerns the US in our region is the security of Israel and then, oil.”

Asked whether the Naksa Day events were aimed at taking the attention from what’s happening in Syria, Pakradouni said it was more a message. “It’s not a tactical issue as it is a message. Syria is sending a strategic message to the US and Israelis, that targeting its stability is tantamount to threatening the whole region. Syria is a stability factor for the region. Therefore, the fall of the regime in Syria would embroil the whole region in a stage of non-stability, chaos and wars,” he warned.
Pakradouni stressed the Syrian regime still had many winning cards. He said he was confident the regime will not fall, but expressed belief that what was taking place was very well organized and prepared, and therefore would take some time to fix.

MANY OBSTACLES HIDDEN BEHIND AOUN

Turning to developments in Lebanon, Pakradouni warned that whatever targets Syria would have its repercussions on Lebanon. He said that what was happening in Syria puts Lebanon’s stability under a serious threat, regardless of whether the government in Lebanon was formed or not.

According to Pakradouni, the cabinet crisis was a translation to the current deadlock, whether in the region or in Lebanon. He didn’t expect an imminent solution unless politicians decided to handle issues “seriously.” He stressed the need to hold a meeting between the March 8 leadership and Prime Minister-Designate Najib Miqati to discuss the crisis in depth. Pakradouni also criticized the indirect way of directing the crisis, and said that such style was good at the beginning, but not today as the crisis has exceeded 100 days.

The former minister hinted that General Michel Aoun was not responsible for the current delay in the cabinet formation process. He spoke of many obstacles “beyond Aoun,” and said the imminent future will reveal that the Free Patriotic Movement leader was not behind the delay.

Pakradouni said he was also convinced there were foreign obstacles and external pressures standing in the way of the cabinet’s birth. He stressed “some politicians were still seeking to push the PM-designate to fail in his mission, to pave the way for the head of the caretaker government Saad Hariri to return. Those include the March 14 bloc as well as all those who were opposed to the toppling of the government of Saad Hariri, starting with Saudi Arabia and the Americans. Miqati is facing this very complicated situation.”

He said the new majority needed to put a plan to deal with the situation and end the cabinet formation process as soon as possible.

BERRI’S INITATIVE… RESPONSIBLE

While warning that keeping Lebanon without a government or under a caretaker government was very dangerous, Pakradouni hailed Speaker Nabih Berri’s call to hold a general session at the parliament next Wednesday as “responsible.”
Last week, and despite fierce opposition from the part of the March 14 bloc, Berri called for a parliamentary session on June 8 to discuss legal proposals and draft laws.

Pakradouni said the June 8 session was constitutional. He added that “article 69 of the constitution stipulates that whenever the government is considered resigned, the Parliament becomes exceptionally convened until the formation of the government.”
“Therefore, Berri’s call is one of the rights of the Parliament Speaker, in addition to setting the meeting’s agenda,” Pakradouni noted. “Yet, the most important thing in Berri’s call is extending the term of the Central Bank governor,” Pakradouni noted. “This is a responsible step from a statesman who insists on protecting Lebanon from a possible void at the level of the Central Bank governorate, similar to the ministerial void.”

“Whatever were the reasons, we must protect our economy through fulfilling the Speaker’s call to renew the term of the Central Bank governor,” he said.

TIME NOT SUITABLE FOR TAIF AGREEEMENT AMENDMENT

The possibility to amend the Taif Agreement was raised with Pakradouni at the end of his interview with Al-Manar Website. He said that, in principle, everything was open to discussion including the amendment.

However, Pakradouni said the amendment was not priority right now, although he was personally in favor of it. “We wonder whether amending the Taif Accord was priority at the current stage or are there other priorities such as the need to form the government, face the international tribunal, and safeguard the stability in the region facing revolutions here and there?” he asked.

Naksa Day Commemorates Decades of Israeli State Terror

Wailing Wall of Shame

var addthis_product = ‘wpp-257’;var addthis_config = {“data_track_clickback”:true}; by Stephen Lendman

Supported, funded and armed by Washington, Israelis terrorize Palestinians daily. From late May to early June alone, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Palestine News Network, and others reported:

  • – an Iraq Bourin village child wounded;
  • – in Bil’in village, one resident wounded, another 15 arrested, including eight international human rights activists against Israel’s illegal Separation Wall, stealing up to 12% of Palestinian land when completed;
  • – on May 29 at 1AM, Israeli forces stormed Bil’in village, panicking residents with sound bombs while they slept;
  • – on June 3, IDF troops attacked weekly Bil’in anti-Wall protesters with tear gas, sound bombs, rubber bullets, and sprayed sewage water, injuring six and many others from asphyxiating fumes;
  • – Israel conducted 47 incursions into West Bank communities and one in central Gaza, arresting 29, including four children and two women;
  • – two Jenin charitable organizations were closed and eight artisan wells destroyed;
  • – a Qalqilya construction materials shop was bulldozed;
  • – Israeli vessels fired on Palestinian fishermen, crashing into and destroying one boat in Gazan waters, injuring its occupant, rescued by others nearby;
  • – Israeli tanks, military vehicles and bulldozers breached Gaza’s border east of the al-Buriage refugee camp, terrorizing residents and razing agricultural land gratuitously;
  • – Israeli soldiers shot and wounded a Gazan man in Gaza City’s al-Zeitoun neighborhood;
  • – extremist Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian shepherd in Madma village, burning four dunams of farmland there;
  • – other settlers attacked a Palestinian youth in central Hebron’s al-Dbuya area, injuring him;
  • – almost daily other settler attacks occur, protected by Israeli soldiers; and
  • – IDF forces conduct regular West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza incursions any time day or night, terrorizing nonviolent civilians, including women and children.

Alarmed by Netanyahu’s extremism, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan went public on concerns he finds most alarming, saying when still in office with other recently retired top officials, they “could block any dangerous adventure. Now I am afraid that there is no one to stop Bibi and Barak.”
It’s not the Iranians or Palestinians who worry him. It’s Israel’s leadership, in recent comments made to journalists and a Tel Aviv University audience, calling these no ordinary times. In his view, it’s one minute to midnight, a frightening thought by someone well versed on policy who knows.
Israeli Naksa Day Terror
Annually, Naksa Day (June 5) commemorates the “day of the setback” when Israel forces occupied historic Palestine, militarizing it repressively to assert control, violating fundamental human rights law by attacking a nonbelligerent state illegally.
For 44 years, it’s remained a ruthlessly terrorized armed camp, Palestinians resisting it courageously nonetheless. Ahead of this year’s commemoration, Haaretz writers Anshel Pfeffer, Jack Khoury and Avi Issacharoff headlined, “IDF on high alert as Palestinians prepare for Naksa Day,” saying:
Israel’s Northern Command prepared for “possible attempt(s) by thousands of (Damascus-based) Palestinian refugees to storm the” Golan border with Israel.
In addition, Central and Southern Command forces mobilized “in case of an outbreak in violence near the West Bank and Gaza Strip respectively,” even though significant incidents aren’t likely unless Israel deliberately provokes them.
Weeks earlier on Nakba Day, IDF troops attacked peaceful demonstrators in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and along the Lebanese/Syrian borders, killing over 20 and injuring scores more.
On June 5, Khoury, Eli Ashkenazi, Amos Harel and Haaretz Service headlined, “5 Palestinians killed, 10 hurt in clashes with IDF” on Syria’s border, saying:
Israeli soldiers preemptively “opened fire at hundreds of Palestinians amassing near Israel’s border with Syria on the Golan Heights….firing tear gas and other demonstration dispersal weaponry,” including live fire against nonviolent Naksa Day demonstrators.
IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich called it “controlled fire from commanders on the ground,” first firing warning shots, then aiming directly at protesters. In response, senior military officials dismissively omitted numbers killed or hurt in further statements, and didn’t explain that troops got direct orders to fire freely at nonviolent demonstrators, a criminal act by any standard.
On June 5, Israel National News said Netanyahu told a Sunday morning Cabinet meeting that “we will not allow extremists” to violate Israel’s borders, showing his intolerance for anyone not Jewish, even Israel’s own citizens.
Military officials accused Syria of instigating violence, Netanyahu saying:
“Unfortunately, extremist forces around us are trying today to breach our borders and threaten our communities and our citizens. We will not let them do that.”
In fact, AP reported that Palestinian and Syrian supporters marched peacefully to Israel’s border, remaining on their side of a barbed-wire lined trench. In response, Israeli troops attacked them with live fire, Lt. Col. Leibovich claiming they “clash(ed) with the soldiers.”
A later June 5 Khoury, Ashkenazi, Harel. Haaretz Service report said Israeli forces “opened fire at hundreds of Syrian-Palestinians amassing near Israel’s (Golan) border with Syria,” killing up to 18 and injuring hundreds. At 10PM Moscow time, Russia Today reported 20 killed, a fluid rising number as some of the wounded die. An early June 6 Haaretz account said 22 were killed on Sunday.
As usual, Israeli officials blamed Palestinians for IDF violence, opening fire at point blank range on unarmed civilians, causing a largely ignored bloodbath in America’s media.
On June 5, the Jerusalem Post said “Activists (also) clash(ed) with border police at (Qalandia) crossing” between Jerusalem and Ramallah Sunday afternoon. Israel’s Channel 10 and Maan News reported tear gas, shock grenades, and rubber bullets freely used to disperse crowds. At least two protesters sustained serious injuries, dozens more needing treatment for tear gas inhalation.
Throughout the West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated against militarized occupation they want ended. Palestinian Democratic Union member Jamal Abu Nahl told protesters to stay unified, resist, and not compromise on demanding Israel’s occupation end.
On June 5, AFP reported thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv against 44 years of occupation Saturday.
“The predominantly Jewish crowd marched through the (city center) calling for the creation of a ‘Palestinian state in the interest of Israel’ along the borders prior to the (June 1967) Six Day War….”
In fact, they carried placards mocking Netanyahu with a caricature of the Pied Piper of Hamlin, saying: “Netanyahu, you are leading us into catastrophe.” They also waved Israeli and Palestinian flags, chanting: “Israel, Palestine: two states for two peoples” and “Solidarity with the Palestinians.”
Organizers included Meretz Party members, anti-Zionists, and anti-occupation/colonialization groups, including Peace Now.
In addition, West Bank Christians organized a “peace and justice” religious service, denouncing the occupation at a military checkpoint near Bethlehem.
As worldwide opposition to Israel’s occupation grows, ending it one day draws closer, what can’t happen a moment too soon.
Final Comments
On June 4, International Middle East Media Center writer Saed Bannoura reported former Hamas Minister of Detainees Wasfi Qabha saying indications of reconciliation with Fatah aren’t evident. In fact, PA security forces are still detaining and interrogating Hamas members and supporters, acting as Israel’s enforcer.
Moreover, despite promising to release political prisoners, dozens are still being held. Qabha said this defeats reconciliation, telling the Palestinian Information Center that Abbas must act responsibly “to protect unity and national interests.”
On May 16, Israeli and Egyptian vessels interdicted the Malaysian owned Spirit of Rachel Corrie ship (officially the MV Finch), carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, forcing it back to Egyptian waters where it remained anchored offshore.
Unable to deliver their cargo, three activists on board returned to Malaysia on May 30, the other nine expected back Sunday night.
Sponsored by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF), headed by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, PGPF chairman Tan Sri Norian Mai said:
“Although this mission cannot be said to be 100 percent successful, it managed to break Israel’s illegal siege (by) enter(ing) Gazan waters before” interdiction. He added that PGPF will keep trying to deliver essential aid, including MV Finch’s cargo – vitally needed plastic sewage pipes to restore what Israel’s Cast Lead attack destroyed. Under siege, restoration can’t happen without help.
Undeterred, it’s coming, including 15 ships and over 1,000 activists from dozens of countries sailing from various ports in late June, Israel again planning interdiction.
No matter. Dr. Mahathir said “we don’t respect Israel’s blockade.” Neither do millions of others, many determined to breach it to deliver essential to life aid until Gaza is again free. Nothing Israel does can stop it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

The Progressive News Hour

Mickey Huff is Professor of History at Diablo Valley College, CA, as well as new Director of Project Censored (PC) and the Media Freedom Foundation. Both support media democracy, First Amendment freedoms, and investigative research to communicate real news and information to a global audience.
Major world and national issues will be discussed.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Israelis Rush for Second Passports as Palestinians Preparing to Return

 

“If our forefathers dreamt of an Israeli passport to escape from Europe, there are many among us who are now dreaming of a second passport to escape to Europe.” Gideon Levy.

Today it is estimated that 70%. Israelis had approached or intended to approach a foreign embassy to inquire about or apply for citizenship and a passport.

Approximately 200,000 or 22% of Russians coming to Israel since 1990 have so far returned to their country. Jews who come to Israel “want to make sure that they have the possibility of an alternative to return whence they came.”Israelis seeking a European passport, based on their family roots, just in case.”

Perhaps historians or cultural anthropologists surveying the course of human events can identify for us a land, in addition to Palestine, where such a large percentage of a recently arrived colonial population prepared to exercise their right to depart, while many more, with actual millennial roots but victims of ethnic cleansing, prepared to exercise their right of Return.

One of the many ironies inherent in the 19th century Zionist colonial enterprise in Palestine is the fact that this increasingly fraying project was billed for most of the 20th century as a haven in the Middle East for “returning” persecuted European Jews. But today, in the 21st century, it is Europe that is increasingly being viewed by a large number of the illegal occupiers of Palestinian land as the much desired haven for returning Middle Eastern Jews.

Fatima’s Gate– at the Lebanon-Palestine border

To paraphrase Jewish journalist Gideon Levy “If our forefathers dreamt of an Israeli passport to escape from Europe, there are many among us who are now dreaming of a second passport to escape to Europe.”

Several studies in Israel and one conducted by AIPAC and another by the Jewish National Fund in Germany show that perhaps as many as half of the Jews living in Israel will consider leaving Palestine in the next few years if current political and social trends continue.

A 2008 survey by the Jerusalem-based Menachem Begin Heritage Center found that 59% of Israelis had approached or intended to approach a foreign embassy to inquire about or apply for citizenship and a passport. Today it is estimated that the figure is approaching 70%.

The number of Israelis thinking of leaving Palestine is climbing rapidly according to researchers at Bar-Ilan University who conducted a study published recently in Eretz Acheret, (“A Different Place”) an Israeli NGO that claims to promote cultural dialogue. What the Bar-Ilan study found is that more than 100,000 Israelis already hold a German passport, and this figure increases by more than 7,000 every year along an accelerating trajectory. According to German officials, more than 70,000 such passports have been granted since 2000.

In addition to Germany, there are more than one million Israelis with other foreign passports at the ready in case life in Israel deteriorates. One of the most appealing countries for Israelis contemplating emigration, as well as perhaps the most welcoming, is the United States. Currently more than 500,000 Israelis hold US passports with close to a quarter million pending applications.

During the recent meetings in Washington DC between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s delegation and Israel’s US agents, assurances were reportedly given by AIPAC officials that if and when it becomes necessary, the US government will expeditiously issue American passports to any and all Israeli Jews seeking them.

Israeli Arabs need not apply.

AIPAC also represented to their Israeli interrogators that the US Congress could be trusted to approve funding for arriving Israeli Jews “to be allocated substantial cash resettlement grants to ease transition into their new country.”

Apart from the Israeli Jews who may be thinking of getting an “insurance passport” for a Diaspora land, there is a similar percentage of Jews worldwide who aren’t going to make aliyah. According to Jonathan Rynhold, a Bar Ilan professor specializing on U.S.-Israel relations, Jews may be safer in Teheran than Ashkelon these days—until Israel or the USA starts bombing Iran.

Interviews with some of those who either helped conduct the above noted studies or have knowledge of them, identify several factors that explain the Israeli rush for foreign passports, some rather surprising, given the ultra-nationalist Israeli culture.

The common denominator is unease and anxiety, both personal and national, with the second passport considered a kind of insurance policy “for the rainy days visible on the horizon,” as one researcher from Eretz Acheret explained.

Other factors include:

• The fact that two or three generations in Israel has not proven enough to implant roots where few if any existed before. For this reason Israel has produced a significant percentage of “re-immigration” — a return of immigrants or their descendants to their country of origin which Zionist propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding, is not Palestine.

• Fear that religious fanatics from among the more than 600,000 settlers in the West Bank will create civil war and essentially annex pre-1967 Israel and turn Israel more toward an ultra-fascist state.

• Centripetal pressures within Israeli society, especially among Russian immigrants who overwhelmingly reject Zionism. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, some one million Jews have come to Israel from the former Soviet Union, enlarging the country’s population by 25 percent and forming the largest concentration in the world of Russian Jews. But today, Russian Jews comprise the largest group emigrating from Israel and they have been returning in droves for reasons ranging from opposition to Zionism, discrimination, and broken promises regarding employment and “the good life” in Israel.

Putin with Rabbi Berel Larzar

Approximately 200,000 or 22% of Russians coming to Israel since 1990 have so far returned to their country. According to Rabbi Berel Larzar, who has been Russia’s chief Rabbi since 2000, “It’s absolutely extraordinary how many people are returning. When Jews left, there was no community, no Jewish life. People felt that being Jewish was an historical mistake that happened to their family. Now, they know they can live in Russia as part of a community and they don’t need Israel.”

• No faith in or respect for Israeli leaders, most of whom are considered corrupt.

• Feelings of anxiety and guilt that Zionism has hijacked Judaism and that traditional Jewish values are being corrupted.

• The increasing difficulty of providing coherent answers to one’s children, as they become more educated and aware of their family history, and indeed honesty to oneself, on the question of why families from Europe and elsewhere are living on land and in homes stolen from others who obviously are local and did not come from some other place around the World.

• The recent growing appreciation, for many Israelis, significantly abetted by the Internet and the continuing Palestinian resistance, of the compelling and challenging Palestinians’ narrative that totally undermines the Zionist clarion of the last century of “ A Land without a People for a People without a Land.’

• Fear mongering of the political leaders designed to keep citizens supporting the government’s policies ranging from the Iranian bomb, the countless ‘Terrorists” seemingly everywhere and planning another Holocaust, or various existential threats that keep families on edge and concluding that they don’t want to raise their children under such conditions.

Explaining that he was speaking as a private citizen and not as a member of Democrats Abroad Israel, New York native Hillel Schenker suggested that Jews who come to Israel “want to make sure that they have the possibility of an alternative to return whence they came.” He added that the “insecurities involved in modern life, and an Israel not yet living at peace with any of its neighbors, have also produced a phenomenon of many Israelis seeking a European passport, based on their family roots, just in case.”

Gene Schulman, a former American-Jewish fellow at the Switzerland-based Overseas American Academy, put it even more drastically, emphasizing that all Jews are “scared to death of what is probably going to become of Israel even if the U.S. continues its support for it.”
Many observers of Israeli society agree that a major, if unexpected recent impetus for Jews to leave Palestine has been the past three months of the Arab Awakening that overturned Israel’s key pillars of regional support.

According to Layal, a Palestinian student from Shatila Camp, who is preparing for the June 5th “Naksa” march to the Blueline in South Lebanon: “What the Zionist occupiers of Palestine saw from Tahir Square in Cairo to Maroun al Ras in South Lebanon has convinced many Israelis that the Arab and Palestinian resistance, while still in its nascence, will develop into a massive and largely peaceful ground swell, such that no amount of weapons or apartheid administration can insure a Zionist future in Palestine. They are right to seek alternative places to raise their families.”

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon and can be contacted c/o fplamb@gmail.com

He is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon.

He contribute to Uprooted Palestinians Blog

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Sayyed Nasrallah: Pure Blood Shed Sunday Unveils US Schemes

Batoul Wehbe
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah saluted in a speech at the opening of the conference on innovation and intellectual diligence in Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei’s view the protesters who gathered courageously yesterday on the 44th anniversary of Naksa Day at the borders of the occupied Syrian Golan.

“We must stand with dignity and great appreciation for the Palestinians and these young people who gathered yesterday and their insistence on confrontation,” Sayyed Nasrallah said adding that this pure blood is a new witness on the political and historical awareness dedicated by Imam Khomeini and then Imam Khamenei.

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the resilience of this nation unveiled the US administration’s attempt to confiscate the Arab revolutions and America’s commitment to Israel’s security.

IMAM’S AGGRIEVED PERSONALITY

His eminence started his speech with an introduction on the Islamic Revolution leader in Iran Sayyed Khamenei’s aggrieved personality that should be studied in all its dimensions.
“We find ourselves in front a great and exceptional personality who is aggrieved by his nation and even in Iran. Even in the political dimension of his personality, because he’s encircled by enemies, our responsibility is to introduce the nation on this great Imam,” his eminence said. “This is the very important and sensitive mission of this conference.”

UNIQUE PREDICTIONS OF A UNIQUE IMAM

Sayyed Nasrallah also tackled the regional stages in which Imam Khamenei was the pioneer to predict the unpredictable, from the failure of the Syrian-Israeli settlement in 1996 to the Israeli demise in the near future.
“In 1996, they told us do not bother yourselves and that there’s no need to provide blood and sacrifices, but there was someone (Imam Khamenei) who called on us to arrange our issues and continue our Jihad and resistance on the basis that the Israeli-Syrian settlement won’t be executed.”
“In late 1999, Imam Khamenei told us that your victory in Lebanon is very, very close, closer than you would expect and this was unlike all the analysis and information that there were no preparations for any Israeli withdrawal,” his eminence said.
“In the early days of July 2006 War, we received verbal message from Imam Khamenei telling us that we’ll remain victorious and undefeated power after this war,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.

US TO COLLAPSE, ISRAEL TO DISAPPEAR

The Hezbollah secretary general indicated that after September 11 events, Imam Khamenei told us not to be worried and that this is the beginning of America’s collapse “and when they entered Iraq and Afghanistan this was the beginning of their end.”
“He said that when the US is unable to protect its interests through regimes in the region or through armies and fleets and become obliged to enter all the fleets to the region, this is a sign of weakness,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

His eminence pointed out that Imam Khamenei was the leader of the confrontation in the most difficult war that needed a lot of reason, wisdom and courage and so far we cannot detect many of the aspects of this war.

Imam Khamenei believes that the demise of Israel is not so far away and that the compromise with Israel won’t take place, Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that what Imam Khamenei says on Israel can be understood when we realize US retreat and resistance achievements and assess the experience of July War and Gaza War, then we believe that the demise of Israel is very soon.

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Protesters stage sit-in on Golan Heights

Mon Jun 6, 2011 1:4AM
 

Pro-Palestinians protesters take cover from Israeli forces shooting near the village of Majdal Shams in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Sunday, June 5, 2011.
Thousands of Syrian and Palestinian protesters are staging an open-ended sit-in in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights after Israeli forces killed dozens along the Syrian border.

Israeli forces opened fire on Sunday as pro-Palestinian protesters from Syria approached the occupied territories, killing at least 23 people, including a woman and a child, and injuring 350 others, according to the Syrian TV.

The killing spree came after hundreds of protesters flocked to Golan border to mark the 44th anniversary of the ‘Naksa Day’ marking Israel’s seizure of their lands in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the Six Day War of 1967.

Meanwhile, the TV reports stated that thousands of people are heading to the Quneitra border area to take part in an open-ended sit-in on Syrian Golan Heights.

Israeli troops have been beefed up near Syria and Lebanon as well as in al-Quds. Thousands of Israeli security forces were also on high alert on ‘Naksa Day’ to counter possible unrest.

The events came exactly three weeks after tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon and Syria, marked Nakba (catastrophe) Day on May 15.

On May 15, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians who marched to the border areas with Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank.

HA/MGH
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Reform Party of Lalaland: "Syrian intelligence sources told me they paid anti-Israeli demonstrators $1000!"

FLC

We really envy the Reform Party. They have an incredible amount of imaginary friends!

“… Washington-based members of the Reform Party of Syria said intelligence sources close to the Syrian government in Lebanon informed them that the protesters on the Syrian side of the Druze community of Majdal Shams were in fact poverty-stricken farmers paid by the Assad regime. According to the sources, the farmers migrated over the last few years from drought-stricken northeast Syria to the south. They reached the Israel-Syria border on Sunday in the aims of reenact “Nakba Day” events, the sources said. The Syrian opposition group claimed that each farmer was promised $1,000 for showing up at the rally and $10,000 to their families if they are killed by IDF fire…”

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Video: Marchers rescue injured people, bodies in occupied Golan Heights


A video posted on YouTube by the website Baladee.net shows marchers trying to evacuate injured and possibly dead people in the Golan Heights today after Israeli forces opened fired on marchers commemorating the 44th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of area which is part of Syria.
Media reports say that more than a dozen people have been killed and scores injured as Israeli forces opened fire on the marchers.
The video, which appears to have been shot from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights toward the frontier line with the Syrian-controlled side, shows unarmed people in civilian clothes crawling over an earth mound and into an area of long grass and recovering several bodies of people who were injured or may have been killed.
Earlier, Israel broadcast threats by loudspeaker that it would shoot at protestors, and for several days Israeli commanders have promised a lethal response to mass civil protests.
The UK newspaper The Telegraph has also posted video showing Israeli forces shooting at marchers:


Another video showing scenes of a mass march toward the Israeli-controlled frontier on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

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22 Martyrs, over 350 injured in Israeli attack against Syrian and Palestinian citizens near occupied Golan

 22 Martyrs, over 350 injured in Israeli attack against Syrian and Palestinian citizens near occupied Golan
QUNEITRA- An Israeli attack on scores of the Syrian and Palestinian youths, who gathered Sunday close to the occupied Syrian Golan borders on the anniversary of June Naksa (Setback), left 22 martyrs and over 350 injuries, some of them in critical condition.
All the young men came under heavy fire by the Israeli forces in the chest and other parts of the body.
Director of Martyr Mamdouh Abaza Hospital in Quneitera Dr, Ali Kanaan, said the hospital received the bodies of 20 martyrs.
The martyrs are Mahmoud Awad al-Sawan, Ahmad Mahmoud al-Said, Majdi Zeidan, Alaa Hussein al-Wahish, Muhammad Deeb Issa, Ahmad Yaser al-Rajdan, Said Hussein Ahmad, Ahmad Mahmoud al-Hajah, Abdel Rahman al-Jareedeh, Ramzi Said, Fayez Ahmad Abbas, Fadi Majed Nahar, Jihad Ahmad Awad and Enas Shreitah, Thaer Hamid, Wasim Dwah, Shadi Hussein, Ibrahim Issa, Izzat Muswada, Mohammad al-Ashmawi and Mahmoud al-Arja. .
“We received also more than 350 injured persons, including suffocation cases,” added Dr. Kanaan.
“Surgical operations were conducted to some of them whose condition was critical,” Dr. Kanaan pointed out, asserting that all the young men were exposed to live bullets by the Israeli forces close to the occupied Syrian Golan borders.
The heroes fell as martyrs and wounded to say to the whole world that, in Golan and Palestine, there is a land for us that we will not abandon, that we will not be stingy to offer blood to liberate it… there, behind these barbed wires we deserve to live.
SANA correspondent in Quneitra said “the Israeli occupation forces used live bullets and tear gas bombs against the young men who want to return to their occupied lands.”

The correspondent reported more injuries as the Israeli occupation forces set fire near the barbed wire and fired at firefighters, rescue men and the gathered youth to prevent them from reaching the occupied Golan.
He added that the Israeli forces targeted the gatherings with phosphorus bombs and spread snipers along the barbed wire to hold back the Syrian and Palestinians youths who continued in their attempts to cross the barbed wire into the occupied Syrian Golan from various areas opposite to the occupied Majdal Shams village.
Muhammad Shheiber, one of the young men who crossed the barbed wire, said “We already know that the Israeli occupation forces have increased the landmines and will face us with fire, but we insist on our right to return.”
“I have always dreamed of returning to Golan. Here I am so close to achieve my dream,” added 28-year old Shheiber, stressing that “hoisting the Syrian flag instead of the occupation flag is my biggest dream.”
The liberated Syrian captive Ali Younes, Head of the Committee for Supporting Syrian Captives and Detainees in Israeli Jails, said “What we are seeing today make us feel pride and honor that the moment of liberation is very close.”
Mayor of the occupied Golan Issam Sha’lan said “The meeting of the occupied Golan people with their brothers who are trying to pass the barbed wire stresses their shared common dream and destiny, whereas the Israeli soldier in between, despite being heavily armed, appeared so weak and frightened facing those unarmed young men.”

Hundreds of Palestinian and Lebanese Mark Naksa Day in South Lebanon
Hundreds of Palestinian and Lebanese youth gathered at the eastern entrance of Adaisseh village in South Lebanon to mark the 44th anniversary of June Naksa.
The National News Agency of Lebanon said that the crowds raised the Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and its practices, insisting on returning to their occupied land.
The Agency reported that Israeli occupation army members were deployed along the eastern borders of South Lebanon and the occupied Shebaa Farms, and infantry soldiers were spread as well, protected by Merkava tanks and armored infantry carriers.
The Agency said that the Lebanese army and UNIFIL forces have taken precautionary measures in the areas of Kfarshuba, Birkat al-Naqqar and Shebaa to face any developments.
Occupation Forces Attack Naksa Marches in Occupied Jerusalem, Nablus, West Bank
Ten Palestinians were injured near Kalandia barrier separating Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank as they were shot by the occupation forces during marking the 44th anniversary of Naksa Day.
Palestine Today News Agency quoted Palestinian medical sources as saying that 10 injured marchers were taken to Ramallah hospitals after being shot by the Israeli occupation forces, while dozens were suffocated after inhaling tear gas.
Reports from the occupied Jerusalem said that the Israeli occupation forces attacked hundreds of Palestinian youth who marched from Kalandia Camp, north of the occupied Jerusalem, towards the Israeli military barrier at the entrance of the camp to mark Naksa Day.
The Palestinian News Agency Ma’an reported that many Palestinians were injured when the Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear bombs against the marchers to prevent them from moving forward.
The Israeli occupation forces also attacked dozens of young Palestinians who gathered in Nablus city, north of the West Bank, and in the village of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, who were heading to Beit Hanoun Crossing.

Sunday 05-06-2011

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Naksa Day: As twenty two Martyred, hundreds injured in Naksa Day Marches, Abbas Agrees to Attend “Peace” Talks in Paris as Israel Still “Studying”

 I lived in Bent jbeil from 1948 until Lebanon forced uprooted Palestinians living along the borders waiting to Return to their land on the other side, to move to north of Litani river.  Until 1969, the Lebanese army was protecting the enemy.

Upon the instructions of Feltman, the Lebanese army resumed the task of securing the lebanse borders with Israel.

Consequently, the Palestinians in Lebanon, cancelled the Naksa march, and cellebrated the event in their besieged camps.

Palestinians in Lebanon Commemorate Naksa Day
Local Editor
Palestinian refugees across Lebanon commemorate the 44th anniversary Naksa day (the Defeat Day) on Sunday.

Shops were closed in Lebanon’s 12 Palestinian refugee camps, where black flags of mourning were hoisted, as the Lebanese army reinforced its presence, particularly in the south.
Lebanese soldiers manned roadblocks on roads to the border.

Lebanese and Palestinian activists had planned to protest at the border with the Palestinian occupied territories but the army banned any gatherings at the frontier.

Several protesters tried to stage a rally in the southern village of Adaisseh near the Lebanese-Palestinian border. However, police and soldiers quickly disperse them.

Al-Manar correspondent in the south reported that the army arrest 14 Lebanese citizens and two Palestinians. The army asked the protesters to leave the area, the correspondent added.

During the Six-Day War, Israel seized Sinai, which it returned to Egypt in 1982, Syria’s Golan Heights, the West Bank including east Al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip.

Yesterday, Mahmoud Abbas welcomed a proposal by France to resume peace talks with Israel,
And yesterday, the Egyptian military councel decided to close Rafah crossing. Looks like Tantawi, and his Brothers failed to domaticate Hamas. Bye, Bye Palestinian reconciliation.

Abbas Agrees to Attend “Peace” Talks in Paris as Israel Still “Studying”
Local Editor
As Palestinian youths were being martyred along the borders with the occupied territories, Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas, from Rammallah, announced he was ready to attend a French proposal to hold what so-called “peace” conference in Paris by the end of July.

Nimr Hammad, a political advisor to Abbas, said the president had told French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe that he agreed officially to France’s proposal to host a “peace” conference in Paris before the end of July.

“President Abbas told Foreign Minister Juppe that he agrees officially to the French initiative of holding an international peace conference in Paris,” Hammad told AFP news agency.

Abbas insisted that participation be “conditioned” on using the lines which existed before the 1967 Six-Day War as the basis for negotiating future borders, Hammad said.

“In order to start negotiations, their basis must be ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land occupied since 1967, and the borders of the state will be determined on this basis with land swaps agreed by both the Israeli and Palestinian sides”, he said.

Meanwhile, and as the PA Chief said he was ready to attend the conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Zionist entity was “studying” the French proposal.
“I heard the proposal brought by French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe,” Netanyahu told media at the beginning of a weekly meeting of his cabinet.

“We very much appreciate our French friends and I will respond to them after we have considered matters. We will study the proposal and discuss it with our American friends as well.”
Netanyahu also added he would not consider resuming negotiations with any Palestinians government that includes the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, which last month signed a unity deal with the Fatah movement of Abbas.

“We would also like to emphasize and reiterate: Negotiations will not be conducted with a Palestinian government, half of which is Hamas, a terrorist organization that seeks to destroy Israel,” Netanyahu said.

After meeting Prime Minister in Fatah government, Salam Fayyad, in Ramallah on Thursday, Juppe said France was willing to transform a scheduled meeting of international donors into a broader “peace” conference to help prelaunch stalled negotiations.

On the Syrian front, while, the Syrians army is trying the secure the Last resistance fort, uprooted Palestinian and Syrian youth, marshed to Majdal Shams and Qunaitra. So far 6 martyred and dozens injured

Six Martyred, Dozens injured in Naksa Day Marches

Local Editor
Israeli occupation forces killed at least six people and injured dozens others as hundreds of protesters marched on Sunday, at the Syrian border with the Palestinian occupied territories in Golan Heights, marking Naksa day.

Al-Manar TV correspondent in Quneitra area in Golan Heights, Anass Azrak reported there were at least six martyrs.
Azrak said that at least hundred protesters were injured.
Palestinian and Syrian protesters head to the border with occupied territories in Golan Heights on Naksa Day (The Day of Defeat) to mark the 44th anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War against Arabs.
The Syrian TV showed footage of Israeli soldiers on top of a tank opening fire on the protesters.
Live footages broadcast on Syrian TV and Al-Jazeera also showed heavy gunfire along the Golan Heights border and protesters carrying wounded people away.

WEST BANK RALIES

In West Bank, dozens of Palestinians rallied in the Qalandiya village north of Al-Quds.
Al-Manar correspondent Deeb Hourani reported that at least 90 protesters were wounded as Israeli occupation forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas.
The Protesters were hoisting signs reading “A million shahids are marching in Al-Quds,” “The people want end to occupation,” and “occupation is illegal.”

ISRAEL ON HIGH ALERT

Israeli media outlets reported on Sunday that occupation forces were on high alert for fear of any attempt by protesters to cross the border.

Israeli Daily, Haaretz, said that Northern Command of occupation forces was “on high alert this morning ahead of a possible attempt by thousands of Palestinian refugees from the Damascus area to storm the border of the Golan Heights as a way of marking Naksa Day”.

It added that the Central Command and the Southern Command also declared high alert in case protesters in West Bank and Gaza Strip respectively took to streets marking the event.
However, the daily said that the “northern border seems the most likely area for clashes”.

[ 05/06/2011 – 05:05 PM ]
WEST BANK, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) used violent means to disperse peaceful Palestinian demonstrations on Sunday including rubber bullets, stun grenades, and teargas canisters.
 Palestinian sources said that five citizens were hospitalized with gunshot wounds while 40 others were treated for breathing difficulty near Qalandia roadblock north of occupied Jerusalem.

They said that the IOF soldiers assaulted a number of Palestinian figures and foreign solidarity activists who participated in the march.
Hundreds of Palestinians took part in the march to mark the Naksa or the defeat of Arab armies in 1967 and the consequent Israeli occupation of eastern Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza Strip in addition to other Arab lands.

In a similar incident, Palestinians organized a march in Deir Al-Hatab village east of Nablus on the same occasion and to protest Israeli confiscation of their land.
Local sources said that many young men were treated for breathing problems due to the IOF soldiers’ use of tear gas to disperse the demonstrators while nearby plantations were seen on fire.
++++++++++++++++++++++

Three Martyrs, Nine Injured in Israeli Attack against Syrian and Palestinian citizens in Occupied Syrian Golan
Jun 05, 2011

<><><><><><><><>QUNEITRA, (SANA)-<> An Israeli attack on scores of the Syrian and Palestinian youths, who gathered Sunday close to the occupied Syrian Golan borders on the anniversary of June Naksa (Setback), left 3 martyrs and dozens of injuries. <>

All the young men were exposed to direct fire by the Israeli forces in the breast and other parts of the body.

According to Director of Martyr Mamdouh Abaza Hospital in Quneitera Dr, Ali Kanaan, the hospital has so far received the bodies of three martyrs; Mahmoud Awad al-Sawan, 19 years old, who was martyred by a bullet in breast, martyr Ahmad al-Said, 29 years old, who was shot in head and martyr Majdi Zeidan, 22 years old.

The number of the injured exceeded 35, including 4 young men in critical condition, said Dr. Kanaan.

“Surgical operations are conducted to two youths whose conditions are critical,”, Dr. Kanaan added, asserting that all the young men were exposed to live bullets by the Israeli forces close to the occupied Syrian Golan borders.
SANA correspondent said “the Israeli occupation forces used live bullets and tear gas bombs against the young men who want to return to their occupied lands.”

A young man said “They fired against us but we are determined to return .. Either we martyr or we return to our occupied lands.”

Another young man said “It is our natural and legitimate right .. We will not accept that our lands to remain occupied.. We will continue offering convoys of martyrs until liberation”.
SANA Correspondent in Quneitra reported that the Israeli soldiers are firing intensively at scores of Syrian and Palestinians youths who continue in their attempts to cross the barbed wire into the occupied Syrian Golan from various areas opposite to the occupied Majdal Shams village.
English Bulletin

Popular Commission for the Liberation of Golan Stresses Determination to Return

Jun 05, 2011

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – Popular Commission for the Liberation of Golan on Saturday stressed determination to return and continue the liberation process.

In a statement marking the 44th anniversary of “al-Naksa Day”, the Commission added “the conspiracy against Syria targets undermining its stability and security in an attempt to separate Syria from the Arab resistance through preoccupying with an internal affair.”
The statement indicated to the Zionist entity and its inhuman practices of forcing the people of Golan to leave their lands and destroying towns and farms which stress Israel’s racism and inhumanity.

The Commission stressed the Golan people’s support to the reform program under the leadership of President Bahar al-Assad, expressing faith in Syria’s resistant policy and the certainty of victory.

The statement pointed out that the Naksa Day anniversary should be a motive for exerting more effort to continue the struggle to end the Zionist project and return to Golan.
The Commission saluted people in the Occupied Golan and the captives in the occupation jails.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Israeli army on full alert in anticipation of Arab border demos

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

14:19 Al-Manar correspondent quotes witnesses: Israeli occupation forces arrest Syrian citizen at the border with the occupied territories
14:17 Al-Manar correspondent quotes witnesses: number of Israeli forces are injured as a mine explodes on their vehicle
14:09 Al-Manar correspondant: more than 25 injured as Israeli occupation forces fire bullets and tear gas in Quneitra in Golan Heights
13:56 The death toll of Naksa day marches rises to reach 5 martyrs, including a child
13:09 A group of protesters cross the border to the occupied territories and Israeli occupation forces open fire at them

Meanwhile on the other Syria fronts

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