The Middle East Stabilises, Against the Backdrop of a Great Unravelling

May 28, 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen English

In his speech, President Al-Assad spoke of the opportunity this wave of discontent and anger has provided to the Region to revise its dispositions – away from Western dominance and intervention

By Alastair Crooke 

America’s own structural contradictions of a hyper-financialised economy, sucking the substance from its real-economy host — of a society living in trembling fear of a hospital bill.

The US stands aloof and disconsolate in the wake of the diplomatic revolution in the Middle East. First, China mediated (and guaranteed) a settlement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and then last week, President Bashar al-Assad strode confidently into the Arab League summit – to greetings and kisses all around. President Assad, after 12 long years of struggle, has been legitimised within the Arab sphere, and is returned as a normal, sovereign state for most of the world.

But a new mood has arisen: Anger is building across the world. To those that have been vilified, sanctioned and attacked in the name of the ‘Rules-based Order’ the message is clear: You are not alone; many peoples are voicing their anger and discontent. The divisive ‘with us’, or (be treated as extremist threat), if ‘against us’ dogma is being overthrown. US foreign policy is crumbling across the Middle East, and in Asia, Africa and South America.

In his speech, President Al-Assad spoke of the opportunity this wave of discontent and anger has provided to the Region to revise its dispositions – away from Western dominance and intervention:

Today we are facing an opportunity to change the international situation that appears in the form of a unipolar world, a result of the dominance of the West, who lacks all ethics and principles … This historic opportunity requires the Arab World to reposition itself and invest in the positive atmosphere of reconciliation that preceded today’s summit”, Al-Assad added, referring to recent diplomatic initiatives which resulted in Saudi Arabia’s resumption of diplomatic ties with Tehran and Damascus.

President Al-Assad also stressed the need to consolidate Arab culture in the face of “modern liberalism, which targets the innate affiliations of man and strips him of his morals and identity”.

This latter point by Al-Assad — ‘the cultural danger’ associated with contemporary woke liberalism — is noticeably becoming a global theme, as states emphasise the wish to manage lives in their own way of being.

Of course, Syria is not yet sovereign. US and Turkish forces, together with foreign-backed militia, occupy significant portions of Syrian land. Nonetheless, the Arab League’s position on rejecting foreign intervention and their de-facto legitimisation of the Syrian government will assist Damascus in finding a negotiated outcome.

For “Israel”, the prospect ahead is one of radical change, amidst fears of “being left in the dust”. Prime Minister Netanyahu, amidst domestic schisms and continuing protests, has been seeking to downplay these tectonic shifts, and to project an image of ‘business as usual’ to counter the foreign media focus on protests and political turmoil within “Israel”.  

Attacking the Palestinians in Gaza helps keep Netanyahu’s Right-leaning coalition intact — as one Israeli commentator wrote: “Killing children brings Israelis together”. However, Netanyahu’s two Israeli-unity mainstays for ‘gathering Israelis around the flag’: hyping the Iranian nuclear ‘threat’, and lauding his achievement of the so-called Abrahams Accord, have both lost their shine.

Firstly, the reconciliation between Iran and Gulf States voids much of the original justification — Arab fear of Iran — for US’ Iran policy. The two former antagonists presently are resolving their differences diplomatically (under Chinese guidance), and exchanging mutual security assurances between them.  In any event, Team Biden does not want war with Iran. It has enough on its plate already.

And secondly, Jake Sullivan, on his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, failed to persuade the Kingdom to normalise with “Israel”. Arab States at the summit rather, are emphasising the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative which precludes normalisation with “Israel”, until a Palestinian State has come into existence. The States which have ‘normalised’ will continue in the same mode, but the conceptual structure of the Abraham Accords (from the Israeli perspective) is entirely hollowed out. Arab States are busy opening diplomatic and trade channels with Iran; they are no longer manning an anti-Iran axis on behalf of Washington and “Tel Aviv”.

Were we to stand-back and see Regional events in a wider arc, we might notice two things about the global situation: The first is that “Israel’s” present travails, and signs of a putative unravelling of the project, spring not, as its leaders and external allies incessantly have prognosticated, from outside forces, but from “Israel’s” own internal unresolved contradictions.

“Israel’s” structural problem is underscored by the current, bitter stand-off over Netanyahu’s plan for Judicial Reform. The Israeli Jewish population is split down the middle: Ashkenazi vs Mizrahi; secular ‘balancers’ vs ‘Jewishness’ exclusivists — with neither side willing to back down and each claiming to be the ‘more democratic’; and each with a vision of “Israel” that is wholly incompatible with that of the ‘other’. “Israel” rests at the cusp of low-intensity civil conflict.

Similarly, America’s polarisation and deepening political divide, which for some Americans also portends some form of internal secession as the only solution to America’s own putative unravelling, spring not – as its political leaders insist – from outside forces (from Russia, China or Iran), but from its own unresolved contradictions.

America’s own structural contradictions of a hyper-financialised economy, sucking the substance from its real-economy host — of a society living in trembling fear of a hospital bill; of despairing to put their children through college with its exorbitant fees; and a political system in near constant paralysis, a zero-sum confrontation — are self-generated and are not external ‘demons’ (except perhaps, in the depths of the unconscious psyche).

Here is the contrast:  The Region is shaking itself free from the divisions and schisms of the past. Western ‘great powers’, however, are sinking deeper into theirs. This confluence is systemically unstable: it represents an imbalance, and likely will lead to a period of sustained turmoil.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.


MAY 25TH, 2023



Though the United States remains a strong supporter of Israel, there are some indications that the supposed ‘unbreakable bond’ with Tel Aviv is faltering, though more in language than in deeds.

Following the provocative ‘Flag March’ on May 18, which is carried out annually by Israeli Jewish extremists in the Occupied Palestinian city of East Jerusalem, the US joined other countries around the world in condemning the racism displayed at the event.

The language used by the US State Department was firm but also guarded. Spokesman Matthew Miller did not condemn the racist, provocative march – which involved leading Israeli officials – but the language used by the large crowds, most of whom are strong supporters of the far-right government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The United States unequivocally opposes racist language of any form,” Miller tweeted. “We condemn the hateful chants such as ‘Death to Arabs’ during today’s marches in Jerusalem.”

Carefully articulated not to appear as a condemnation of Israel itself, the US position is still more ‘balanced’ than previous positions, where Palestinians were often the ones associated with the US use of words such as “condemnation,” “incitement,” and the like.

On the other hand, during the Israeli bloody five-day war on Gaza, starting on May 9, Washington had resorted to the same old script, that of Israel having the ‘right to defend itself,’ thus entirely misrepresenting the events which led to the war in the first place.

This US position on Israel’s war on Gaza suggests that Netanyahu is the ‘defender’ of Israel against supposed Palestinian violence and ‘terrorism.’ But this purported champion of Israeli rights is yet to be invited to the White House five months after he returned to power at the helm of Israel’s most rightwing government in history.

Some want to believe that the decision by the Joe Biden administration to distance itself from Netanyahu was entirely altruistic. But that cannot be the case, as the US continues to back Israel militarily, financially, politically and in every other way.

The answer lies in Netanyahu’s major miscalculations of the past when he crossed a dangerous line by turning against the Democratic Party and allying his country entirely with Republicans. His tactics paid dividends during the term of Republican President Donald Trump but backfired when Trump left the White House.

Biden is unquestionably pro-Israel. Per his own repeated remarks, his support for Israel is not only political but ideological as well. “I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist,” he has repeated, and proudly so, on several occasions.

But the US President is also anti-Netanyahu, a dislike that even preceded the Trump-Netanyahu love affair. It mostly dates back to Barack Obama’s two terms in office, when Biden was the vice president.

Netanyahu’s political shenanigans and relentless attacks on the Obama Administration at the time taught Biden that Netanyahu simply could not be trusted.

Yet, Biden, with historically low ratings among ordinary Americans, cannot possibly, on his own, challenge Netanyahu and Israel’s stronghold on Washington through its influential lobby.

Something else is at work, namely, the fact that the Democratic Party as a whole had shifted allegiances from Israel to Palestine.

This assertion would have been unthinkable in the past, but the change is real, confirmed time and again by credible polling companies. The latest was in March.

“After a decade in which Democrats have shown increasing affinity toward the Palestinians, their sympathies … now lie more with the Palestinians than the Israelis, 49% versus 38%,” the Gallup poll concluded.

The fact that such growing ‘affinity’ with Palestine has been taking place for at least a decade suggests that the position of the Democrats was a generational one, not an outcome of a single event.

Indeed, numerous organizations and countless individuals are working on a daily basis to create a link between ‘affinity’ and policy.

Buoyed by the growing sympathies for Palestine, a long-time advocate of Palestinians’ rights in the US Congress, Rep. Betty McCollum reintroduced, on May 5, the ‘Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act’.

Co-sponsored by 16 other members of Congress, the legislation demands that Israel must be prohibited from using “US taxpayer dollars in the Occupied West Bank for the military detention, abuse or ill-treatment of Palestinian children.”

Two years earlier, the Intercept had reported that McCollum and her supporters were pushing towards barring US aid to Israel from “subsidizing a wider array of Israeli occupation tactics.”

Alex Kane wrote this is “an indication of just how far the debate over the US aid to Israel has come in the past six years,” a reference to 2015 when McCollum introduced the first legislation on the matter.

Since then, things have moved forward at an even more accelerated speed. The effort to hold Israel accountable has now reached the New York state assembly.

On May 16, The New York Post reported that legislation was introduced by several Democratic lawmakers aimed at blocking registered US charities from funneling money to fund illegal Israeli Jewish settlements.

The legislation, “Not on Our Dime!: Ending New York Funding of Israeli Settler Violence Act,” dares to challenge Israel on multiple fronts: the traditional power of the pro-Israel lobby, questioning US funding of Israel and confronting the channeling of funds to illegal settlements in the name of charity work.

Several reasons compel us to believe that the shift in US policy on Palestine and Israel, though slow, nuanced and, at times, symbolic, will likely continue.

One is the fact that Israel is turning towards far-right nationalism, which is increasingly difficult to defend by US liberal government and media.

Two, the steadfastness of Palestinians and their ability to overcome mainstream media restrictions and censorship that had prevented them from having any fair representation.

And finally, the dedication of numerous civil society organizations and the widening network of support for Palestinians throughout the US, which allowed courageous lawmakers to push for substantive change in policy.

Time will tell what direction Washington will take in the future. But, considering the current evidence, support for Israel is dwindling at rates that are unprecedented

Sayyed Nasrallah to Israeli Leaders: Great War Will Lead You to Abyss, if Not Demise (Video)

May 26, 2023

Mohammad Salami

On Resistance and Liberation Day, Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, addressed the recent threats made by Zionist officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, against Lebanon and the entire axis of resistance.

He strongly emphasized that such a “Great War” would ultimately lead the Israelis to their own downfall.

During a televised speech on the Resistance and Liberation Day, Sayyed Nasrallah urged the Zionist officials to avoid making miscalculations in Lebanon, Gaza, the West Bank, Palestine, Syria, and Iran.

He made it clear that it is not Hezbollah but the Zionist officials who should be cautious, stating, “Wait! We are the ones who threaten to wage a great war.” He warned that their recklessness could potentially ignite the entire region and pave the way for a disastrous conflict, referred to as the “Great War.” “Your follies, not ours, might blow up the entire region and lead to the Great War,” he said.

Sayyed Nasrallah stated that in the event of an all-out war initiated by the Zionist enemy, there will be an influx of hundreds of thousands of highly skilled fighters onto the battlefields. He emphasized that all borders would be opened, citing a humanitarian advantage over the Israelis in this context.

Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that the Zionist officials withdrew their intimidation after realizing that it has troubled the Zionist settlers, caused a dollar price hike, and threatened the touristic activities.

‘Israel’ must know none of the axis of resistance groups and states is afraid of it

Sayyed Nasrallah discussed several significant geopolitical developments that have shaped the conflict with the Israeli enemy. He emphasized that the axis of resistance has successfully maintained deterrence strategies tailored to each front, including Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Iran.

Regarding the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that the deterrence formula remained unchanged, leading the Israeli enemy to issue threats against Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and the Palestinian people. However, he pointed out that the Zionist officials retreated from their intimidation tactics after witnessing Hezbollah’s military maneuvers.

The Hezbollah leader also noted the failure of the US-Zionist plot to impose normalization deals on Arab regimes without considering the will of the Arab people. He emphasized that even the conspiracy to bring the regional countries under Israeli influence was bound to fail, as victorious resistance groups emerged in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored the significant advancements made by Hezbollah and the entire axis of resistance in terms of materialistic, financial, and military development. He specifically highlighted the remarkable progress achieved in the fields of drones and rockets.

Sayyed Nasrallah also drew attention to the deep divisions within Israeli society and the vulnerability of their so-called home front, which undermines solidarity among the groups and states within the axis of resistance.

An important transformation highlighted by Sayyed Nasrallah is the Israelis’ increasing tendency to seek ways to avoid direct confrontation.

Emphasizing the role of human determination in achieving victories, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that the axis of resistance relies on this factor to uphold values of bravery and sacrifice.

Sayyed Nasrallah depicted contrasting images of the devout resistance youth and the disillusioned younger generation in Israel. He mentioned that Netanyahu had acknowledged a decade ago that Zionist youths were disengaging from Zionism.

Furthermore, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored the loss of influential leaders within the Zionist entity, in contrast to the overwhelming confidence placed in resistance leaders, movements, and states. He noted that the people within the axis of resistance are willing to sacrifice the lives of their children for this cause.

In response to accusations from America and Israel, Sayyed Nasrallah clarified that the components of the axis of resistance are defenders of their original homelands, not mere proxy groups. He contrasted this with the Zionists, whom he characterized as intruders and occupiers in the region.

Hezbollah Chief reiterated that Palestine will be liberated and that “we will pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque”.

The Secretary General of Hezbollah emphasized that the Israelis are apprehensive about the waning influence of US hegemony in the region and the world at large. He stated that the axis of resistance, which stood against the American era, will benefit from a new world system based on multipolarism.

Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that the US retreat and failures have compelled them to reassess their presence and role in the region.

He tackled the strategic changes brought about by the achievements of the resistance in the past few decades, briefly mentioning the demise of the Zionist aspiration for a “Greater Israel” extending from the Nile to the Euphrates in 2000 and 2005 (referring to the Liberation of Southern Lebanon and Gaza, respectively).

Furthermore, he emphasized that even the Zionist objective of maintaining a “Greater Israel” was shattered in 2006 when Hezbollah defeated the Israeli military and in 2008 when the Palestinian resistance overcame Israeli forces in Gaza.

“Israel now hides behind walls and firepower, becoming incapable of imposing its terms in negotiations with the Palestinian people,” remarked Sayyed Nasrallah.

He affirmed that the conflict with the Zionist enemy is ongoing, with the Israelis making daily attempts to attack their territories.


Sayyed Nasrallah reassured that the Israeli feebleness grants Lebanon a larger extent of peace and security which would allow them to pursue their concerns.

In this regard, Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that the Lebanese would be able to follow up the maritime gas extraction project, adding that reports indicate a serious progress pertaining this file.

His eminence added that developing the touristic sector and attracting tourists requires peace and security in order to cope with the socioeconomic crisis.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the Resistance is capable to protect Lebanon’s peace and security, adding that the army-people-resistance formula contribute to achieving this goal.

Concerning the presidential elections, Sayyed Nasrallah cited a positive regional atmosphere and called for further contacts and negotiations without preconditions in order to elect a new president.

Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that addressing the BDL governor issue can be addressed through either a personal decision taken by Riad Salameh to resign or a judicial procedure that sacks him, noting the caretaker government cannot take any measure in this regard according to the Constitution.

Pertaining the Syrian refugees file, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated his call on the government to send a high-ranking delegation to Damascus in order to hold talks about this issue.

Hezbollah Secretary General had started his speech by felicitating the Lebanese people on the 23rd anniversary of Resistance and Liberation Day, stressing that it is a great occasion which recalls a majestic victory.

Sayyed Nasrallah thanked Holy God and hailed the sacrifices made by the Resistance martyrs, injured, prisoners and fighters which contributed to the liberation victory.

Sayyed Nasrallah underscored the role of the other Lebanese and Palestinian resistance factions in addition to the role of the Lebanese Army and Security Forces in reaching this victory, greeting the Lebanese statesmen, politicians and parties which contributed to the feat.

Sayyed Nasrallah hailed the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria for supporting the Resistance during its fight against the Zionist occupation.

His eminence underlined the importance of conveying the experience of pride to the new generations in order to let them know about the occasion and keep committed to the Resistance that protects this victory.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Sayyed Nasrallah Warns “Israel”: Don’t Make Wrong Calculations, Any Mistake might Blow up Entire Region

May 25, 2023

Translated By Staff

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Nasrallah delivered on Thursday a speech as Lebanon celebrates the 23rd anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day.

At the beginning of his televised speech, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that that ‘Resistance and Liberation Day’ is a great occasion that reminds of the great victory that was achieved in Lebanon. “The Resistance and Liberation Day is a great occasion that recalls the majestic victory which was achieved in Lebanon on this day.”

He further congratulated the Lebanese people on the beautiful and dear occasion. In addition, His Eminence thanked the Lebanese Army, the Security Forces, the Palestinian factions, and all presidents and political powers that supported the resistance, and thanks Iran and Syria who supported and are still supporting the resistance and all its leaders

Moreover, the Resistance Leader thanked all those who contributed to the victory a top of whom are the martyrs, the wounded, the liberated detainees, the Mujahideen and all their families.

Sayyed Nasrallah also thanked all the people who remained defiant and embraced, supported, and protected the resistance in all the Lebanese regions especially South Lebanon and Beqaa.

“After the withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, and the withdrawal from Gaza, there is nothing called ‘Great Israel’,” he said, noting that “Today, ‘Israel’ hides behind walls and fire, and it’s unable to impose its conditions in any negotiations with the Palestinian people.”

Meanwhile, His Eminence underlined that “Those who suspect that the battle against our enemy has finished are mistaken as there is part of our land which is still under occupation.”

Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted the necessity of commemorating this occasion by saying: “The Lebanese generations and all people must be reminded that this victory was not granted, but was instead an outcome of long years of sacrifices.”

He also warned that Some sides seek to waste the achieved victory. “We have to prevent this.”

In addition, Hezbollah Secretary General clarified that “Our struggle dates back to May 17, which means the wrong choices, and May 15, which is the Day of Nakba, and reaches May 25th, which represents the right choices.”

“After the withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, and the withdrawal from Gaza, there is nothing called ‘Great Israel’,” he confirmed, noting that “The occupation entity’s transformations, which was supposed to be strong and dominant, are the results of the long struggle and the history of sacrifices.”

Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say: “‘Israel’ has no interest in a multipolar world, but rather a one-pole world led by the US.”

“‘Israel’s’ internal division comes at a time the resistance axis enjoys great cohesion and steadfastness,” he stressed, pointing out that “Among the goals of the global war on Syria was to oust it from the axis of resistance.”

According to His Eminence, “The Iranian president’s positions during his latest visit to Syria after 12 years of global war on it confirm the coherence of the axis of resistance.”

Regarding the axis of the resistance’s strength, the Resistance Leader assured that “The pillar of resistance is the human, who believes in his cause and right and who possesses bravery and daring. The axis of resistance has an excellent human capacity as well as spirit in Gaza, Al-Quds, the West Bank, and the entire region.”

Commenting on the recent “Israeli” threats, Sayyed Nasrallah sent sounding messages: “The ‘Israeli’ has miscalculations if he thinks that the great war will be with the Palestinians only or the Lebanese only.

He further responded to “Israeli” PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s threats, by affirming: “You are not the ones who threaten with the great war, but we are the ones threatening you with it.”

On this level, His Eminence unveiled that “Any great war will include all borders and its areas and fields will be narrowed by hundreds of thousands of fighters, and we have tremendous superiority when we tackle the human aspect.”

Moving to the disturbed “Israeli” internal arena, Sayyed Nasrallah explained that “Today, there is a loss of confidence in the entity’s institutions, while our people have overwhelming confidence in the resistance leaders, movements, and countries, as they are ready to sacrifice the lives of their children in this path.”

“One of our strong points is the ‘Israeli’ enemy’s internal front, which is facing an ideological retreat,” he stated, noting that “One of the important transformations is that the ‘Israeli’ internal front is weak and feeble, and that the ‘Israelis’ are ready and seek to flee.”

His Eminence also viewed that “There is hope more than ever to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea. The enemy’s entity has lost its historic leaders.”

Assuring that the deterrence equation is what protects Lebanon, the Resistance Leader asserted that “The ‘Israelis’ backtracked their latest threats due to fear in the settlements and after Hezbollah’s latest wargames. Netanyahu has failed to restore deterrence through the latest Gaza confrontation. ‘Israel’ resorted to escalating its rhetoric after the failure in Gaza.”

On this level, he urged the “Israeli” enemy’s premier, war minister and army chief to be careful and not to make wrong calculations.

“We’re confident and certain that Palestine will be liberated and that we will pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque, as the occupying entity is moving towards demise,” His Eminence reiterated, noting that “Among the major transformations is the development of the resistance’s military capabilities, an example of which is what we have in Lebanon.”

Sayyed Nasrallah estimated that “The one who should fear the great war is ‘Israel’,” underlining that “The ‘Israelis’ failed to strengthen their deterrence and realized that they would pay the price for every attack.”

Moreover, he disclosed that “The “Israelis” retreated from their threats because of the decline in the touristic activity and the ‘shekel’ against the dollar.”

“The enemy must fear, pay attention and not be dragged to any miscalculation by committing any mistake in any country that might lead to a great war,” he added, noting that “The great war in the region will move the ‘Israeli” entity to the abyss and to its demise.”

To “Israel”, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a clear threat “The ‘Israelis’ must know that none of the resistance movements fears them. Any mistake might blow up the entire region.”

Calling on all Lebanese to put bickering aside amid the presence of a true protection umbrella for Lebanon. The resistance Leader underscored that “The ‘army, people and resistance’ equation protected Lebanon as security remains a prerequisite for any economic and political treatment.”

He also viewed that “The ‘Israeli’ entity managed to normalize relations with some Arab regimes, but it was unable to normalize relations with the Arab people. The occupation realized that the Arab regimes are incapable of imposing normalization on their people.”

Moving to the internal Lebanese arena, Sayyed Nasrallah called again the Lebanese to return to dialogue to address their crises. “The regional equations call for optimism,” he added.

His Eminence commented on the issue of ‘the Banque du Liban’s’ Governor: Either he steps down himself or the judiciary takes responsibility because the caretaker government doesn’t have the authority to remove him

“The issue of the Syrian refugees can be resolved through a decision to send a Lebanese government’s delegation to Syria,” he said.

On the presidential file, Hezbollah Secretary General concluded: “Further dialogue and contacts are required and we call for discussing the presidential choices without preconditions.”

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Palestinian Resistance rockets homemade: PIJ’s Nakhaleh

23 May 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad Al-Nakhalah

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Palestinian Resistance is able to strike any Israeli settlement is wants to using its homemade rockets, PIJ chief Ziyad Al-Nakhaleh said.

The rocket that hit “Tel Aviv” and reached occupied Al-Quds during Operation Avenging the Free has a range that covers all of occupied Palestine, the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, Ziyad Al-Nakhaleh, said Tuesday.

“The rocket that struck Tel Aviv and reached Al-Quds […] is the brainchild of the experienced specialists working in Al-Quds Brigades,” the PIJ’s military wing, Al-Nakhaleh said.

Al-Nakhalah said Friday that “Tel Aviv” and other settlements of the Zionist entity “are within the range of our rockets and the bullets of our fighters.”

During a speech at the festival commemorating the martyrs of Operation Avenging the Free in the city of Saida, south Lebanon, Al-Nakhalah said, “We meet today to honor a great group of martyrs and leaders who were killed in the treacherous aggression and to honor the two martyrs, Commander Khader Adnan and Commander Ali Al-Aswad, and everyone who ascended to martyrdom in Operation Avenging the Free.”

“The martyrdom of the commanders of Al-Quds Brigades did not cause any disruption in the movement’s military structure,” the PIJ chief underlined.

“The deputies of the slain commanders assumed responsibility immediately after the martyrdom,” the Palestinian Resistance leader revealed.

“The Islamic Jihad movement in the last battle was in a better position than any previous battles,” he told a press conference.

Furthermore, he threatened to “bomb the heart of the Zionist entity and its cities if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dares to target Islamic Jihad commanders in other areas.”

Commenting on the Israeli occupation’s provocative Flag March, Al-Nakhaleh underlined that the Israeli occupation’s actions must be dealt with, stressing that “Al-Quds is an occupied city, and we must resist and fight for its liberation.”

He also commented on the Saudi-Iranian rapprochement deal, saying it brought the region back to its natural status quo, adding that there would be positive repercussions for the Palestinian cause.

“Iran’s support for the Palestinian Resistance is unconditional. We do not have oil or military bases to offer them,” he said, adding that normalization was a great treason, and the Arab people are required to aid the Palestinian people in their steadfastness and Resistance.

In the wake of the Palestinian resistance declaring its victory in Operation Avenging the Free, Al-Nakhalah thanked all those who stood by the resistance, “led by the Islamic Republic in Iran, Hezbollah, and our brothers in Egypt and Qatar.”

Al-Nakhalah pointed out that despite “all the difficult circumstances and the imbalance of military power in favor of the enemy, our people are still fighting,” adding, “We have steadfastly and patiently fought major battles in defense of our identity and adherence to our rights, and our cause has remained alive.”

The PIJ chief considered that the occupation wanted to cast a shadow “over our cause with politics and wars, but today we stand stronger and more determined to adhere to our rights and Al-Quds.”

The Israeli occupation launched a five-day aggression against the Gaza Strip earlier in May, targeting residential houses in the north, center, and south of the Strip.

In retaliation, Al-Quds Brigades and the Palestinian Resistance factions launched Operation Avenging the Free, in which it fired advanced rockets and missiles that bypassed the Iron Dome and targeted several Israeli settlements, occupied cities, and occupation sites.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the number of Palestinians killed in the aggression rose to 33 martyrs, including six children and three women, and 147 people were wounded.

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PIJ’s tactical triumph: Missiles multiply despite losses

May 18 2023

Despite Israel’s assassinations of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s high-ranking commanders during this latest battle, the Quds Brigades was able to shift strategy by expanding its missile range, launching over 1,500 missiles, and introducing new tactics in its retaliatory strikes.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

ByThe Cradle’s Palestine Correspondent

In its latest act of aggression against the besieged Gaza Strip, Israel dealt a severe blow to the resistance movement Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). High-ranking commanders, including the majority of the members of the group’s military council in Gaza, were assassinated in rapid succession during the battle.

These targeted killings sought to weaken the PIJ’s leadership structure and disrupt the organization’s command and control. However, despite these setbacks, the PIJ pulled some new tricks out of its hat, managing to expand the range of its missile strikes, which reached as far as Tel Aviv.

To gain a deeper understanding of these strategic PIJ developments and its advancements in retaliatory strikes, it is important to examine two significant past military operations: “Black Belt” (2019) and “Breaking Dawn” or “Unity of Fronts” (2022).

Learning from the past

Those two battles were triggered by the killing of prominent leaders in the PIJ’s military wing, the Quds Brigades, which appears to have further emboldened Israeli occupation forces in their policy of targeted assassinations. From Israel’s perspective, the perceived political gains outweighed the costs incurred during these two rounds of conflict.

In November 2019, following the assassination of Quds Brigades commander Baha Abu al-Ata, the fighters responded recklessly without proper planning. Rocket launchers were emotionally fired immediately after the assassination, making the missile unit vulnerable to Israeli detection.

As a result, the Quds Brigades suffered significant losses, with around 27 missile force staff members, including three field commanders, being killed. This battle also had a secondary, more dangerous consequence: It established an Israeli policy of singling out a specific resistance group, leaving the PIJ to face their fate alone without the participation of other key resistance elements like Hamas.

During the 2022 “Unity of Fronts” battle, a similar fate befell the Quds Brigades following the arrest of PIJ leader Bassam al-Saadi. Although they fired over 400 rockets at Israeli settlements in retaliation and employed improved tactics compared to the previous battle, Palestinian public opinion fell victim to Israeli propaganda.

The Israelis’ narrative portrayed the PIJ as endangering the lives of two million people in the Gaza Strip – and neglecting the plight of 4,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails – for the purpose of securing the freedom of just one person. Furthermore, when some errant rockets fell in Gaza due to technical errors, doubts were raised about the PIJ’s ability to successfully wage war independently.

Trying new tactics

But on 9 May, a significant shift occurred in the conflict. Despite the initial heavy blow from Israel’s first strike, which resulted in the loss of three prominent PIJ leaders – Khalil al-Bahtini, Tariq Ezz al-Din, and Jihad Ghanem – the movement’s response was purposefully delayed for approximately 35 hours.

This unusual stalling tactic confused Israeli calculations. During the brief lull, discussions were held between the PIJ, Hamas, and other resistance factions to ensure coordination and readiness for the upcoming fight. On 10 May, “Operation Revenge of the Free” was launched, as announced by this Joint Operations Room.

The PIJ’s initial missile response unfolded in three stages. The first stage employed a “dumping and neutralization” tactic, focusing on Israeli settlements bordering the Gaza Strip within a 15-kilometer range. These targets included Sderot, Nahal Oz, Nativ Ha’atsarah, and Kerem Shalom.

The resistance’s aim was to first deplete the batteries of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. Following this, missile barrages were launched at about 30 cities, reaching depths of 20 to 75 kilometers into Israeli territory. Targets included Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba, and extended all the way to Tel Aviv, Rishon Lezion, and Palmachim. By the end of the first day, the Quds Brigades had fired approximately 400 rockets.

Discussions in the joint command center

Amidst these developments, discussions were ongoing in the Joint Operations Room, while reports in the Arab and international media hinted at an imminent ceasefire. Egyptian news channels reported that Cairo’s intelligence efforts had led to a truce agreement between Israel and the Joint Ops Room.

This aligned with the Israeli security establishment’s assessment that the scale of retaliation would not surpass what was witnessed in the 2019 and 2022 rounds. The Israeli assessment viewed the PIJ as incapable of waging a prolonged battle, even with the involvement of smaller military factions such as the Al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades of the Popular Resistance Committees, The Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the National Resistance Brigades of the Omar al-Qasim Forces, and the Mujahideen Brigades.

Informed sources reveal to The Cradle that Egyptian intelligence did indeed reach an agreement of sorts with the leadership of Hamas, as a representative of the Joint Ops Room, on the first day of the conflict. However, a deal did not take place because it excluded any significant achievements for the Palestinian resistance.

During this time, Egyptian mediators attempted to establish contact with PIJ Secretary General Ziyad al-Nakhala, but he did not respond to the call. Subsequently, a phone conversation took place between Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas’s political bureau, and Nakhala. Then, at approximately 7:00 p.m. on 12 May, the Quds Brigades responded to the Egyptian proposal by launching a series of missile strikes targeting Israeli cities.

‘Deterring’ the Resistance

Despite the ongoing and surprising resilience displayed by PIJ, a statement on 14 May by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted that the balance of deterrence had been altered in Israel’s favor:

“Since Guardian of the Walls [Sword of Jerusalem or Sayf al-Quds], Hamas has not fired a single rocket into our territory. They are deterred. Operation Guardian of the Walls dealt Hamas the hardest blow in its history and caused a change in the deterrence equation and it has been working for two years now.”

“Our intention in Operation Shield and Arrow was to change the balance of deterrence against Islamic Jihad. The difference comes not only because of the targeted assassinations that we have been doing for the 16 years that I have been prime minister, but that we did so so calmly and effectively. We took down half of Islamic Jihad’s leadership in a surprise blow, and the other half during the operation.”

Assassinations: A failed policy

Despite the heavy losses suffered in the initial strike, the subsequent days of fighting proved equally devastating. Israel continued its targeted assassinations, eliminating key figures such as the commander of the missile force in the Quds Brigades, Ali Hassan Ghali, and his deputy, Ahmed Abu Daqqa, followed by the assassination of Operations Staff Commander Iyad al-Hassani on the fourth day.

Remarkably, after each targeted killing, the Quds Brigades intensified its missile strikes and introduced new tactics into the battle. This had the effect of shrouding the Israeli ground forces, which had misread the PIJ’s capabilities, in the fog of war.

The Quds Brigades employed tactics such as utilizing suicide drones, anti-tank missiles, and launching intensive mortar attacks. Its intention was clear: to demonstrate through firepower and brute force that the policy of targeted assassinations had not diminished its effectiveness in the field.

Not taking the bait

A source in PIJ tells The Cradle that the Quds Brigades leadership had carefully analyzed the lessons learned from the previous two battles. According to the source, Israel’s objective was to provoke another “emotional reaction” from the Brigades, through heavy firepower. To counter the Israeli tactic, the Brigades have focused on strengthening the discipline of field fighters. “The instructions were clear: do not shoot and wait for orders.”

This discipline led to an expansion of the area of missile launch sites, which reduced the effectiveness of Israel’s technological monitoring of the firing points, and weakened the possibility of identifying and targeting them.

The source explains: “When we decide to launch 50 missiles, we do so from 10 launch points, although we are able to launch them all from one or two points. By doing so, we preserve the safety of fighters and launchers.”

According to Israeli statistics, PIJ alone fired about 1,500 missiles, “which completely paralyzed the cities of the south, and caused the evacuation of 12,000 settlers,” killing an Israeli and a foreign worker, and injuring 77 others, in addition to hundreds of minor injuries and panic attacks.

These numbers, according to Palestinian researcher Ismail Muhammad, show that the PIJ was able, during only a 10-month interim between operations “Unity of the Fronts” and “Revenge of the Free,” to rebuild its missile stockpile and to address all previous technical problems. As Muhammad tells The Cradle:

“Despite the losses at the command level, no significant field losses were recorded. Four field fighters from the artillery unit and the armor unit were martyred, while the losses in the missile unit remained zero.”

“The continued firing of missiles at the same pace until the last moment indicates that that the assassination of the commanders did not affect the effectiveness of the field, and that the Brigades were able to assign new commanders, whom Israel described after the bombing of the city of Jerusalem on the last day as crazier than their predecessors.”

Down but not out

Shortly before the ceasefire took effect, PIJ launched over 120 rockets targeting Ashkelon, Tel Aviv, Palmachim, Rishon Lezion, and Rehovot. This was an attempt by the PIJ to remind Israelis that its military capabilities remained intact and plentiful and that it retained the upper hand, even though the ceasefire deal did not accurately reflect PIJ’s gains on the ground.

During the ceasefire negotiations, the PIJ was successful in persuading mediators to include the phrase “stop targeting individuals” in the agreement, signaling a halt to assassinations. However, it is widely acknowledged that Israel is unlikely to honor this commitment.

The military assessment of Operation Revenge of the Free is that it allowed the Quds Brigades to increase the cost for Israel by singling out PIJ cadres. Despite the loss of six commanders, a source confirms to The Cradle that the Brigades appointed new commanders during the battle who effectively resumed operations without missing a beat.

Predictably, Israel has already deviated from the spirit of a ceasefire by supporting the controversial Flag March of Jewish extremists through East Jerusalem, assisted and emboldened by the presence of 3,200 Israeli security forces. This visceral challenge to Palestinians represents a crucial test not only for PIJ but also for all resistance factions that have pledged to disrupt Israel’s provocative actions in Jerusalem.

The Flag March aims to project a false “image of victory” for Netanyahu and restore Israel’s deterrence – something he failed to achieve during the five-day confrontation with the second most powerful organization in the Gaza Strip in terms of strength and military capabilities, and arguably, the most militant and uncompromising in its armed struggle for national liberation.

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

Passport Crisis in ‘Israel’: Misfortunes Never Come Singly!

May 17, 2023

Illustrative photo depicting passport crisis in the Zionist entity (image via Al-Akhbar).

Yahya Dbouk*

For months, Israel has been witnessing an unprecedented and insufficiently foreseen crisis, with settlers queueing for long periods to obtain their passports. A crisis that has become a great burden on the Israelis, disrupting their routine of life, and hindering one of the easy services in normal countries. Such crisis has recently exacerbated, with a black market emerging for the Israelis to buy a “turn” at passport offices for hundreds of dollars.

Although the Israeli authorities have tried, in the last two years in particular – and it should be noted that this phenomenon is not new – to propose temporary solutions, by hiring new passport offices, these measures failed to put an end to this dilemma, which continues to expand, leaving queues of up to 2.5 million in the various offices of the Israeli so-called “Population and Immigration Authority”.

New Passport Plan

Since the formation of the current government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, more than three months ago, the new Interior Minister, Moshe Arbel, rolled up his sleeves to set up an ambitious three-stage plan aimed at gradually handling the passport problem. The plan provides for the opening of four large centers as well as working on issuing 600,000 passports during the coming summer months, and the same number in the coming fall and winter. The Israelis were also promised that the online applications and prior appointments would be cancelled.

Moshe Arbel, Israeli Minister of Health and Interior.

Although this plan was described as “ambitious”, the Israelis do not expect, according to polls, it would do more than its predecessors that were presented in the last three years, blaming political instability, the difficulty of rapid recruitment of personnel and leadership overreach, as well as complex moves and slow decisions in the government.

Chaos in Passport Offices

According to a report published in the Hebrew-language newspaper “Globes” on the 20th of April, until that date, “appointments to register for passport applications in Beersheba and Haifa are only available after six months, while in Tel Aviv, even a single waiting list is not available.”

The newspaper noted that «this problem is not new,” adding that “former interior minister Ayelet Shaked tried in February 2022 to find solutions to it, promising a solution within weeks, but the weeks passed without this promise being fulfilled.”

Indeed, the crisis produced a parallel market, in which appointments are bought and sold, while “organizations” aiming to “facilitate” obtaining an early appointment, for a price, of course.

For its part, Haaretz newspaper explained in a March 14 report that waiting lists differ from one Israeli city to another, pointing out that the first appointment on a waiting list in Nazareth is nine months away, while in Arad (Negev) is available after six months, and in Tiberias after five months.

The newspaper indicated that the current crisis is “a continuation of the great failure of the Population and Immigration Authority,” adding that what causes most distress in the Zionist entity now is the chaos at the passport offices. The daily reported some cases where some Israelis – who waited for months to apply for a passport and chose offices that were far from their residences – found out that their appointments no longer existed after somebody contacted the office and cancelled the appointments. Haaretz also reported that there have been some social media accounts, specifically on Telegram, which sell the appointment for hundreds of dollars.

Later on May 1, Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Eyal Siso, the director of the Israeli Interior Ministry’s Population Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA), has acknowledged that PIBA is to blame over the passport crisis, pledging to intensify work to address it. In this regard, the official called on the Israelis to “be patient”.

The newspaper noted, meanwhile, that “registration for an appointment to renew a passport or an identity card has become almost impossible, as it takes months to be finalized.”

“Digitalization has not been introduced to many government websites yet, especially to the Ministry of Interior and its departments.”

Interior Ministry’s Narrative

On the other hand, what is the Israeli Interior Ministry’s narrative of the crisis’ causes? In 2020, with the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, most countries across the world, including ‘Israel’, imposed restrictions on border crossings. According to data from the International Civil Aviation Organization, the number of passengers on air flights in the world decreased from 4.5 billion in 2019 to 1.8 billion in 2020.

Israelis line up outside the Interior Ministry office to renew their passports, in Tel Aviv (photo from May, 2023).

In ‘Israel’, according to a report by the Population and Immigration Authority, the number of passengers decreased from 9.2 million in 2019, to 1.5 million in 2020, which prompts the Israeli authority to significantly reduce its activities, including issuing passports.

According to the authority’s data (Globes, the first of February), the volume of demand for passports in 2019 reached 1.08 million passports, while it decreased in 2020 to only 430,000, and it rose again in 2021 and reached 710,000 with the number of passengers reaching 3 million. As for the year 2022, the number of passengers reached 8.4 million, and the demand for passports reached 1.34 million, while requests in the first months of this year amounted to 2.5 million.

But do these figures justify the current exacerbation of the crisis? And how can we explain the doubled, or even the tripled, number of passport seekers in the post-covid era?

“Shortage of Employees”

Nearly two months ago, the Knesset Interior Committee discussed the dilemma of delayed passports. The committee received data from the relevant authorities stating that “179 days is the average time the Israeli passport seekers have to wait to get a turn on a waiting list in the Tel Aviv and Gush Dan areas, while in the north, the average period is 132 days,” Israeli Channel 14 reported on April 4.

The report noted that these authorities attributed “this disturbing phenomenon to many burdens and shortage of manpower and employees.”

Also in the report, the Israeli channel’s correspondent confirmed what Israelis have been circulating. The reporter obtained a video showing a group of people – speaking Russian – holding waiting lists to sell, and some of them asking buyers to contact their Telegram channel for pricing.

The Israeli reporter said one of the Telegram accounts “has thousands of subscribers, and whoever wants to buy a turn must give up large sums,” according to Channel 14 report, which also quoted an employee in secondary education as saying: “I contacted the person in charge of the group to get two appointments, he asked me for 500 dollars.”

* Yahya Dbouk is a Lebanese columinist at Al-Akhbar newspaper. He wrote this article on May 6, 2023.

Source: Al-Akhabr Newspaper (translated and edited by Al-Manar English staff)

Iran-Saudi detente is a setback for Israel

May 17 2023


The China-brokered Iran-Saudi deal marked a significant shift toward establishing Persian Gulf and regional stability, but is a major setback for Israelis who have cultivated Arab-Iranian divisions for years.

By Stasa Salacanin

The recent rapprochement between regional arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran has added a new layer to the already complicated geopolitical landscape in West Asia, especially as the kingdom was once touted to be the next major Arab state to normalize relations with Israel.

Signed in March, the Chinese-brokered agreement, which reestablishes diplomatic relations and reopens embassies in Riyadh and Tehran after a seven-year hiatus, is seen by many as a watershed moment that could potentially reduce bilateral animosity and ease tensions throughout the region.

However, the deal has caused great dismay in Tel Aviv and caught Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu off guard.

It is understandable why Israel is disappointed, as the prioritization of the Abraham Accords has been a cornerstone of Israeli foreign policy in recent years. The accords, initially involving Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain in 2021, was a major foreign policy victory for Netanyahu and part of a broader strategy to isolate Iran in the region.

And normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia, the most influential Arab state today, would have solidified Israel’s ambition to establish diplomatic ties with its Arab neighbors and further enhance its diplomatic influence in West Asia.

Regional stability: A setback for Israel

Consequently, the Saudi-Iran deal is viewed by many observers as a setback to Israel’s ambitions, with some analysts even perceiving it as a diplomatic victory for the Iranians. Importantly, Riyadh’s resumption of diplomatic ties with Tehran has shifted perceptions across the Arab region, creating conditions that make the Saudis joining the Abraham Accords less likely than ever.

Equally, the resetting of relations does not necessarily mean that Iran and Saudi Arabia are putting their differences aside. As Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh of the Middle East Studies Forum at Deakin University, explains to The Cradle, “It does mean that both countries realize that escalation of tensions and the prospects of all-out conflict would be detrimental for both.”

He emphasizes that “diplomatic ties ensure viable lines of communication to ensure the cold war between the two remains on ice.”

Matteo Colombo, a researcher at Clingendael’s Conflict Research Unit, concurs, saying that a major indirect consequence of the shift in the Saudi-Iranian relationship is that regional conflicts are likely to become less violent than in previous years.

Uncertain impact on Saudi-Israeli ties

The impact of the Saudi-Iran detente on Saudi-Israeli ties remains uncertain. Russell Lucas, a professor of international relations and domestic politics and culture of the Middle East at the University of Michigan, believes that while Iran-Saudi normalization does not directly impact Saudi-Israeli relations, one should not expect dramatic moves between Tel Aviv and Riyadh who will maintain mostly discreet ties.

Akbarzadeh argues that expecting a normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia was always going to be a challenging prospect. He highlights the deep sense of injury among Muslims and Arabs due to Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian lands:

“How could Saudi Arabia overlook this sense of injustice and join the so-called Abraham Accords? … such a move would have delivered a major setback to Saudi’s self-image projection as the global champion of Islam.”

Dr. Mehran Kamrava, a professor of government studies at Georgetown University in Qatar, views Israel’s friendship with certain Arab states as purely instrumentalist, driven by the need to contain threats such as Iran. “A simple review of Israeli policies clarifies that Israel is among the biggest contributing factors to regional insecurity and tensions,” he tells The Cradle.

Arab reluctance to normalize

In fact, any prospects of further rapprochement between Israel and other Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia, are complicated under the current far-right Israeli government. This may lead countries that were previously considering normalizing their relations with Tel Aviv to reevaluate their decisions.

While countries that have already normalized relations with Israel are unlikely to reverse the process, they may “apply the brakes at any time” on their joint initiatives in certain sectors, such as military collaboration.

Both Lucas and Akbarzadeh agree that one of the key effects of the Saudi-Iran rapprochement is the reluctance of Riyadh and other Arab states to be drawn into a confrontation with Iran on behalf of Israel. According to Lucas:

“Public opinion in the [Persian] Gulf registering concern about Israel’s right-wing government’s treatment of the Palestinians and fear of escalation has reached leaders in states like Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”

Therefore, the current developments suggest that Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states now hold more leverage in their negotiations with Israel as a result of Riyadh’s deal with Tehran, giving them more license to shape their future dealings with Tel Aviv.

Saudi intent matters

Not all views are as rosy, however. Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a CNBC interview that the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran has very “little to do with Israel,” claiming that Saudi Arabia, “has no illusions about who their adversaries are and who their friends are in [West Asia].”

Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver, tells The Cradle that Netanyahu is actually right when he talks about Saudi Arabia’s orientation:

“Riyadh’s foreign policy is much more aligned with Israel while the recent reduction of tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia are to be very temporary – rooted in trying to reduce tensions so that Saudi Arabia can invest in its long term plan of trying to enhance economic development, attract tourists, more foreign investment, and to expand its new policy of modernization under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS).”

Hashemi thinks that “behind the scenes, the Saudi crown prince and Netanyahu both have similar visions for the future of the Middle East [West Asia] rooted in blocking regional democratization, trying to contain Iran, and influence/expand the Abraham Accords between Israel and various Arab states.”

Furthermore, he predicts that “if Donald Trump or the Republicans take the White House, Saudi Arabia’s relations with Iran will go back to the period of 2017 when Saudi Arabia was very much supportive of Trump’s hawkish policy towards Iran.”

Israel’s miscalculation

But Netanyahu’s understanding of the shifting sands in Persian Gulf states – and his claims that Israel is “an indispensable partner for the Arab world in achieving security, prosperity, and peace” – may be oversimplified.

Kamrava, for example, observes that for a long time, Arab and Israeli policies toward Tehran have been guided by the assumption that Iran can be effectively marginalized and excluded from regional security arrangements:

“But the actual experience has shown that such an assumption is indeed incorrect. In fact, efforts to marginalize or exclude Iran only lead to further reactions from Iran. It is for this reason that first the UAE, and now Saudi Arabia, have changed course and have decided to engage with Iran,” he notes.

Tehran, on the other hand, “has consistently shown that it responds positively not to threats but to constructive engagement,” says Kamrava. So, “if a change in Iranian foreign policy is what regional states are after, then talking to Tehran is the best way of achieving that, rather than working to overthrow the entire Islamic Republic system, which is what Israel is advocating,” he explains.

Others concur. Israel would be mistaken to assume that hostility towards Iran is the defining dynamic in the region, as it has been for a significant part of the last decade, argues Matteo Colombo. This, he adds, “makes it more challenging for Tel Aviv to advocate for normalizing diplomatic relations with other countries in the region to contain Iran.”

The China factor

Hashemi offers another hypothesis for Saudi Arabia’s overriding strategy in its rapprochement with Iran. He believes that Riyadh’s latest moves may be viewed as a message to Washington: “Give us what we want in terms of weapon sales and security guarantees and new strategic vision arrangement that Saudi Arabia is demanding from the US for long-term commitments.”

If the US does not provide these guarantees, says Hashemi, “then Saudi Arabia may symbolically break from the US policy and start to engage with some US adversaries, including China.”  He notes that these are very short calculations, as the Saudis are still closely engaged with the west.

But the Beijing-brokered Saudi-Iran detente has created great unease in Tel Aviv and Washington, where the deal is viewed as a loss of US diplomatic initiative and influence on the world stage.

While the agreement has received broad international support, generating optimism for its potential impact against the backdrop of rapidly developing multipolarity, uncertainties persist regarding its specific outcomes. There is a lack of information over of tangible incentives and guarantees from China in ensuring the deal’s success – even while there is confidence in the motivations and commitments of the parties involved.

In terms of impartial and honest mediation, China is regarded more favorably than the US due to its positive and established relationships with both Saudi Arabia and Iran, and its vested interests in maintaining peace and stability in the Persian Gulf, from which it derives much of its energy supplies.

Palestinians Confront Israeli Raids amid Calls to Defend Al-Quds during ‘Flag March’

 May 16, 2023

Palestinians are in continuous state of resistance against daily Israeli aggression on several areas across the West Bank, amid calls to defend the holy city of Al-Quds during the provocative Israeli so-called ‘Flag March’.

Israeli occupation forces staged on Tuesday several raids and made arrests near Jericho and in Jenin in the occupied West Bank, prompting armed clashes with Palestinian resistance.

Palestinian media reported that resistance fighters opened fire at the Zionist soldiers who raided the town of Qabatiya in Jenin, and besieged a house, where resistance fighters were allegedly residing.

Al-Quds Brigades’ Qabatiya Battalion confirmed that their Mujahideen (fighters) confronted the occupation forces, reporting fierce clashes.

Three Palestinians were reportedly injured in the raid, according to Palestinian and Israeli media.

The town of Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqilya, the Dheisheh camp in Beit Lahm, and the Aqabat Jaber camp in Areeha were also among the areas targeted.

The IOF reportedly deployed snipers in multiple buildings during their storming of Aqabat Jaber, where they arrested six members of one family.

Confrontations erupted between Palestinian Resistance fighters and the IOF during the Aqabat Jaber raid, during which a citizen was injured, and ambulance crews were prevented to reach him. In another raid, the IOF stormed the town of Al-Isawiya in occupied Al-Quds and conducted a campaign of arrests.

The IOF also moved into the town of Turmus Ayya, Ramallah, where they arrested Palestinian youth Mohammad Walid Abu Awwad from his home.

These raids come just one day after the IOF shot and killed Palestinian youth Saleh Sabra during their attempt to storm the Askar refugee camp, east of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

‘Flag March’ 

Meanwhile, Palestinian groups and activists have been mobilizing to defend Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa against Israeli provocations during the Israeli so-called ‘Flag March’ schedueled on Thursday.

Enitiled “The Great Dawn”, the calls urged Palestinians to head for Al-Aqsa at dawn in Thursday to confront the Israeli provocations planed during the provocative ‘Flag March’.

The Flag March is staged by Israeli settlers every year to mark what they call the “unification of Jerusalem”, in reference to Israeli occupation of the holy city in 1967.

Earlier on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that the provocative parade will take place as planned in Al-Quds on Thursday, and that it will go through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Likud faction meeting at the Knesset in occupied Al-Quds (May 15, 2023).

“The flag march will continue as planned, as usual, on its route,” Netanyahu said at the outset of his Likud party’s Knesset faction meeting.

Israeli occupation Police approved the route last week, and said it plans to deploy more than 2,000 police officers to guard the march.

Source: Palestinian Agencies

From Tragedy to Triumph, Nakba Marked with Unyielding Resolve: Let’s Unite across Battlefields!

May 15, 2023

Illustrative image prepared by Al-Manar English Website on Palestine 75 years on The Nakba Day.

Batoul Wehbe

Annually, on the sacred date of May 15, Palestinians solemnly commemorate the Nakba, a term that encapsulates the immense tragedy that befell them in 1948. This sorrowful event saw the forceful expulsion of approximately one million Palestinians from their ancestral lands, accompanied by the destruction or depopulation of over 500 Palestinian villages by Zionist terrorist militias. These actions paved the way for the establishment of the settler colonial state known as “Israel.”

May 15 serves as a yearly occasion for deep mourning, introspection, and remembrance of the unfathomable massacres and immense bloodshed suffered by countless Palestinians. Among the victims of this catastrophic chapter in history were nearly 950,000 Palestinians forcefully displaced from their original cities and towns. These individuals constituted a part of the greater population of 1.4 million Palestinians residing in 1,300 villages and cities.

As we observe this poignant anniversary, the Israeli occupation authorities persistently engage in a relentless campaign of ethnic cleansing and coerced expulsion against Palestinians. They brazenly deny Palestinians their national and human rights, including the right to establish an independent state with Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital. Additionally, the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their cherished homes remains callously disregarded.

The Occupied Palestinian Territories presently bear witness to significant events and developments in their tireless resistance against the oppressive occupation, particularly in Jerusalem and the other occupied regions. The Israeli authorities relentlessly pursue settlement and Judaization schemes, aiming to efface the Palestinian Arab identity and distort the essence of the Palestinian struggle.

Within occupied Palestine, hardly a day passes without acts of resolute resistance targeting occupation soldiers, their patrols, and military installations. These acts range from courageous stabbings to daring vehicular attacks. As a consequence, Palestinian cities and refugee camps have transformed into bastions of resilience, harboring fierce fighters and individuals willing to sacrifice their lives for the just cause. This unyielding state of resistance has exerted tremendous pressure upon the occupying forces, depleting their resources and eroding their morale.

The valiant participants in these acts of resistance are revered as divinely guided soldiers on the battlefield. Some have embraced martyrdom, while many others have skillfully infiltrated various settlements nestled deep within the occupied territory. The collective efforts of the resistance forces have coalesced under a shared objective, giving rise to a formidable joint operations room that has profoundly impacted the enemy entity both militarily and psychologically.

Joint Revenge

A recent significant victory was achieved by the Al-Quds Brigades through their missile attacks that have effectively demolished multiple settlements and bolstered the determination of the Palestinian people. From Gaza to the West Bank, and reaching across the 1948 borders, the resolve of our Palestinian brothers and comrades in their resistance against the enemy remains unwavering, even in the land of Lebanon. Together, we march towards the ultimate goal of liberating Palestine.

Illustrative photo prepared by Al-Manar English Website of the Islamic Jihad martyred commanders.

The martyrdom of the esteemed resistance leaders in the face of the occupying entity has never been a mere setback for our noble cause. It is crucial to recognize that, were it not for the enemy’s profound apprehension regarding the consequences of our unwavering struggle, these valiant leaders would not have attained martyrdom. Furthermore, their martyrdom, alongside the resilience of those who continue to champion our cause, has laid the groundwork for the launch of the Al-Quds Brigades’ formidable missiles, devastating settlements strewn across the occupied territories.

Undeniably, deterrence is evolving and gaining momentum with each passing day, thanks to the unwavering commitment of the Mujahideen of the Al-Quds Brigades. Their transformative efforts have revolutionized the deterrence equation, transitioning from the resounding “Seif al-Quds” to the unifying “Unity of Battlefields,” and ultimately culminating in the resolute “Revenge of the Free.” This strategic shift has presented the enemy’s army with an unprecedented and complex challenge, marking a pivotal turning point in this protracted battle.

Moreover, the language employed by the enemy’s military authorities when referring to the Islamic Jihad movement underscores their palpable confusion. They are now acutely aware of the daunting prospect of confronting multiple resolute Palestinian factions simultaneously, thereby neglecting to acknowledge the arduous endeavors undertaken by these factions within the confines of the Joint Operations Room.

On the military front, the enemy’s formidable war machine has regrettably failed to achieve any significant qualitative leap within the context of this battle. Conversely, the Al-Quds Brigades’ missile capabilities have undergone remarkable expansion, bolstered further by the introduction of novel missile systems and refined targeting mechanisms, effectively amplifying the Israeli vulnerability.

The political sphere, too, bears the scars of this conflict, as the fragile government within the enemy entity faces an imminent disintegration and an exacerbating political crisis. The ensuing turmoil within the entity may conceivably necessitate the initiation of parliamentary elections, further intensifying the prevailing tumultuous climate.

Israelis protest against the Israeli government’s planned judicial overhaul, outside the US consulate in Tel Aviv, March 16, 2023.

Simultaneously, a groundswell of discontent among the Israeli populace has been witnessed, as a myriad of individuals who had hitherto abstained from confronting the enemy have now taken to the streets, vehemently rejecting the feeble policies of the enemy government. This significant upsurge in popular dissent poses a formidable challenge, engendering a perceptible sense of bewilderment among the Israeli ranks.

In summation, the battle known as “Revenge of the Free” has undeniably secured an indelible and noble victory for the broader Arab and Islamic nation. It transcends the realm of ordinary conflicts, embodying a profound quest for retribution, honoring the legacy of our revered leaders and innocent martyrs.

The unwavering resolve and indomitable spirit displayed by the Al-Quds Brigades throughout this arduous campaign have set in motion a transformative chapter in our tireless pursuit of emancipating Palestinian soil, ultimately paving the way for the inevitable downfall of the occupying entity known as “Israel.”

It is now abundantly clear that the Israeli enemy can no longer confront the Palestinian resistance in isolation. Consequently, a concerted and meticulously coordinated joint military effort, as epitomized by the Joint Operations Room, has emerged to ensure that the entity pays a substantial price for its transgressions. Thus, the resounding success of the “Operation Revenge of the Free” has unequivocally challenged the efficacy of the Zionist defensive apparatus, even acknowledged as futile by certain Israeli sources. Moreover, the operation has markedly broadened the scope of resistance targets, extending far beyond the confines of Beersheba and Tel Aviv and penetrating deeper into the heart of the occupied territories.

Nakba: A Trap to get Despaired or Unimpaired?

The Nakba persists in various forms and at an increasingly challenging pace. Nevertheless, the Palestinian people, who have shown resilience for over a century, continue to forge new means of resistance.

Especially today, as we closely follow or write about Palestine, it is crucial to grasp a fundamental lesson. Describing the “Revenge of the Free” campaign as a triumph is essential to our core issue. The achieved milestones must be acknowledged for what they truly are: a definitive and fresh victory over the Zionist enemy, shattering their resolve. It represents a new chapter in a comprehensive and zero-sum conflict between us and them, without succumbing to the trap of despair laid by the official Arab media, which speaks on behalf of Tel Aviv.

Without a doubt, the era of Zionist deterrence has reached its expiration, as the unified faction room harnesses its capabilities and weaponry to their utmost potential. Throughout the course of the conflict, they have struck at the very core of the Israeli entity, transcending the enemy’s intended shock through meticulously targeted assassinations of esteemed jihad leaders.

This resounding success stands as incontrovertible proof that we possess an abundance of untapped potential within our ranks, embodied by a new generation equipped with unwavering determination and indomitable fortitude.

The ill-conceived plans of the Netanyahu government have boomeranged, met with intelligent missiles, heart-rending losses, and a pervasive atmosphere of terror. Our hope finds solace in our own strength, our just cause, and the soaring spirit of our intrepid fighters that reaches towards the heavens.

Let us resound with the language of victory, aspirations, and innovative avenues to support our cause and our warriors. Let us explore ways to eternally honor our martyrs, heroes, and illustrious luminaries who have left an indelible mark upon our history. Let’s unite across battlefields!

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Al-Quds Brigades Lebanon Nakba Palestine

Video | Hezbollah Depicts Netanyahu’s Fake Deterrence

May 15, 2023

Hezbollah released a video showcasing how Netanyahu fictitiously assures Israelis that his illegal occupation army and Shen Bit employ deterrence against Palestinian resistance factions. The widely circulated video, released on May 15, 2023, sheds light on the period between the so-called “Operation Protective Edge” and nowadays.

It is worth noting that the Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu insisted Monday, May 15, on boasting the assassination policy against the Palestinian resistance, adding that the occupation forces carried out assassinations in Gaza and “other areas”. He also threatened to kill all those who pose any danger to ‘Israel’.

However, Zionist security expert Ozi Rabi in addition to a considerable number of analysts said that the recent aggression on Gaza failed to change deterrence formula imposed by Palestinian resistance.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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معركة “ثأر الأحرار” في المنظور الاستراتيجي الأميركي

الاخد 14-05-2023

معركة “ثأر الأحرار” في المنظور الاستراتيجي الأميركي

عمرو علان

ربما تكون أزمة نتنياهو الداخلية أحد دوافع عدوان الاحتلال الأخير على غزَّة، وربما يكون سعي الكيان لاسترداد قدرته الردعية بدافعٍ ذاتي أحد الأسباب أيضاً.

يقال إن الاحتلال لطالما أتمّ انتخاباته عبر الخوض في الدم الفلسطيني والدم العربي، وإنه دأب على حلّ أزماته الداخلية من خلال تصديرها إلى الخارج بواسطة اعتداءاتٍ طالت كل دول الطوق تقريباً، وهذا كان صحيحاً لفتراتٍ طويلةٍ، كانت فيها يده هي العليا، وكان يمكن الاعتماد على تلك الأسباب وحدها لتفسير التوقيت والأهدافل اعتداءاته في كثير من الحالات.

أمّا اليوم، وبعد أن قَوِيَت شوكة فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية، واشتد ساعد قوى “محور المقاومة” بصورة عامة، وصار للدخول في حروبٍ أو جولات تصعيدٍ مع أيّ منها تكلفةٌ يدفعها الاحتلال وجبهته الداخلية، فلم تَعُدْ تلك الأسباب وحدها كافيةً لتفسير أهداف اعتداءاته وتوقيتها. ففي نهاية المطاف، ما زال يوجد في الكيان الموقت “مؤسسة جيشٍ” وهيئة أمنٍ قومي وشُعْبة استخبارات عسكريةٍ قوية، وتلك المؤسسات يكون لها ثقلٌ وازنٌ حين اتخاذ قرار الذهاب إلى الحرب. فحال الكيان في ذلك كسائر الدول والكيانات، ويصعب على السياسيين بصورةٍ عامةٍ إقناع مؤسسات الأمن القومي بالذهاب إلى الحرب في حال عدم وجود مسوغٍّ حقيقي لها، أو أنها فقط لمجرد رغبة السياسيين في تصدير أزماتهم الداخلية إلى الخارج، ولا سيما عندما يكون لتلك الحرب تكلفةٌ يمكن أن تضرّ أمن الدولة، كما باتت اليوم حال الكيان في مواجهة قوى المقاومة. 

إذاً، ربما تكون أزمة نتنياهو الداخلية أحد دوافع عدوان الاحتلال الأخير على غزَّة، وربما يكون سعي الكيان لاسترداد قدرته الردعية بدافعٍ ذاتي أحد الأسباب أيضاً، لكن في ظل المخاطر المستجدة، والتي يمكن أن تواجه العدو في أي عدوانٍ على قوى المقاومة، يصير من الأقرب إلى الصواب البحث عن أهداف استراتيجيةٍ أو تكتيكيةٍ للعدو أكثر عمقاً من وراء عدوانه. فالتقدير الصحيح لأهداف العدوان يساعد على صياغة الطريقة الأكثر ملاءمةً لإفشاله، فماذا يريد الكيان، إذاً، من وراء هذا العدوان الأخير على غزَّة؟ والذي بدأه بضربةٍ قاسيةٍ في الشكل والمضمون؟ وهل كان قراره بشأن التصعيد فردياً؟

يمرّ العالم برمته حالياً في حالة إعادة رسمٍ للتوازنات بين أقطابه، أمّا منطقتنا فجاريةٌ إعادةُ رسم التوازنات فيها منذ حينٍ. وأثبتت جولات الحرب في العقدين الأخيرين بين كيان الاحتلال وقوى المقاومة الإقليمية والفلسطينية، بدءاً بحرب عام 2006 في لبنان، وليس انتهاءً بمعركة “سيف القدس” عام 2021، تراجعَ قدرة جيش الاحتلال على تحقيق أهدافه من تلك الحروب، الأمر الذي حدا بالأميركي إلى محاولة تجنيب الاحتلال الدخول في معارك جديدةٍ، وذلك حمايةً له إلى حين تعديل موازين القوى، التي باتت مختلَّةً في غير مصلحة الكيان الموقت، إذ كانت حرب عام 2006 آخر معركةٍ خاضها كيان الاحتلال بدفعٍ مباشرٍ من الأميركي، ونيابةً عنه، كما اقر بذلك إيهود أولمرت، رئيس وزراء كيان الاحتلال في ذاك الوقت. 

لكن، في معركة “ثأر الأحرار”، تظهر اليد الأميركية بوضوحٍ، فلقد جاءت عقب زيارة مستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي، جيك سوليفان، الأخيرة لكيان الاحتلال، كما أن نتنياهو صرَّح بشأن وضع الإدارة الأميركية في صورة الاعتداء الأخير على غزَّة مسبّقاً، بالإضافة إلى ما قاله إيلي كوهن، وزير خارجية الاحتلال، بشأن حصول الكيان على غطاءٍ سياسي مطلقٍ من الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، هذا ناهيك بالاتصالات التشاورية التي أجراها يوآف غالانت، وزير الحرب في حكومة الاحتلال، مع نظيره الأميركي، على نحو لا يدع مجالاً للشك في الانخراط الأميركي المباشر في هذه الجولة.

من هنا، يمكن رصد تبدُّلٍ في الموقف الأميركي تجاه إشعال كيان الاحتلال لتوتِّرٍ جديدٍ في المنطقة، إذ كان الأميركي سعى، خلال الفترة القريبة الماضية، لمنع انزلاق الأوضاع في الإقليم إلى حربٍ أخرى، بسبب انشغاله بحربه ضد روسيا في أوكرانيا.

لكن، يبدو أن تعثُّر الأميركي في تحقيق أهدافه الاستراتيجية في الحرب الأوكرانية حتى اللحظة، والذي أدى بصورةٍ أو بأخرى إلى إضعاف قبضته على حلفائه الإقليميين، والذي بدا في بعض الخطوات التي اتخذتها السعودية – على سبيل المثال لا الحصر – حينما أعادت العلاقات بإيران برعايةٍ صينيةٍ، جعل الأميركي يعيد النظر في توجهاته، ويغامر بدفع كيان الاحتلال إلى خوض معركةٍ جديدةٍ، مع من يظنه الحلقة الأضعف في “محور المقاومة”، أملاً في أن يرمِّم الكيان الغاصب جزءاً من ردعه الذي تهشَّم، ويستعيد وظيفته التي أنشئ من أجلها، كعصاً وضابط إيقاعٍ لدول المنطقة، عسى أن يَحدّ ذلك زيادةَ اختلال التوازن في الإقليم لغير مصلحة الأميركي. 

من خلال رصد الطريقة الجديدة في إدارة معركة “ثأر الأحرار” من جانب فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية، بدايةً بعدم الرد الفوري على جريمة اغتيال القادة الشهداء لحركة “الجهاد الإسلامي”، والصمت المُعبِّر والذي اتبعته قبيل بدء المعركة، ودخول الفصائل موحدةً في القتال ضمن “غرفة العمليات المشتركة”، ومن خلال تقديرات المقاومة في الأشهر القليلة الماضية، بأن العدو متَّجهٌ إلى شنِّ عدوانٍ جديدٍ على غزَّة، يَظهر أن فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية تدرك مغزى هذه المعركة، والمدى الذي يمكن أن تصل إليه.

بالنتيجة، بناءً على الفهم الذي طرحه هذا المقال لأبعاد معركة “ثأر الأحرار”، يَعتقِد الكيان الموقت أن نجاحه في تحقيق أهدافه سيؤدي إلى تعديل التوازنات الإقليمية على نحو يصبّ في مصلحته، ليس فقط في مواجهة المقاومة الفلسطينية، بل في مواجهة “محور المقاومة” عموماً، بالإضافة إلى ضرب المواجهة الاستراتيجية الدائرة في الضفَّة الغربية حالياً، إذ تستمد تلك المواجهة زخمها من وجود ظهيرٍ قوي لها في غزَّة، وفي دول المحور كذلك، كما يأمل الأميركي استعادة جزءٍ من هيمنته المتراجعة في الإقليم. 

وفي حال نجاح فصائل غزَّة في إفشال أهداف هذا العدوان، فإنَّها ستحقِّق قفزةً إلى الأمام في مستوى تأثيرها الإقليمي، على غرار ما حقَّقته في معركة “سيف القدس”.

لكن، في النهاية، غاب عن ذهنَي الأميركي والكيان الموقت معاً، أن وقف مسار القوس الصاعد لقوى المقاومة في المنطقة، يلزمه انتصارٌ استراتيجي للكيان في عدَّة جبهاتٍ معاً، ولعل هذا ما يجعل حظوظه في تحقيق أهدافه من عدوانه الأخير محدودةً.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

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Sayyed Nasrallah Says Hezbollah Won’t Hesitate to Act in Support of Gaza: “We’ll See”

 May 12, 2023

Hezbollah S.G. Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in a televised speech via Al-Manar (Friday, May 12, 2023). Video

Marwa Haidar

Revealing that Hezbollah has been in constant contact with Palestinian resistance in Gaza, Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah affirmed that the Lebanese resistance party “won’t hesitate to take actions as duty forces some moves.”

The Hezbollah leader concluded this statement by: “We’ll see,” in a clear threat to the Zionist entity and its premier Benjamin Netanyahu who has been in the last few days boasting of the brutal Israeli aggression on Gaza.

Sayyed Nasrallah remarks were during a ceremony marking the seventh martyrdom anniversary of Hezbollah senior commander Mustafa Badreddine – known with his nom du guerre “Sayyed Zulfiqar”.

His eminence hailed the Palestinian resistance for heroically confronting the Israeli aggression on Gaza, today on its fourth day.

In this context he stressed that the united stance of the resistance factions foiled the goals of the Israeli occupation which has been trying to single out the Islamic Jihad and to sow discord between resistance groups in Gaza.

Sayyed Nasrallah, meanwhile, described the Arab League (AL) invitation to Syria as an important step, calling on Lebanese government to restore ties with the Arab country.

On the local affairs, the Hezbollah S.G. said there have been positive developments in the issue of Lebanese presidential elections, but stressed that until a new president is elected the caretaker government must continue to assume its responsibilities.

“Sayyed Zulfiqar”

Talking about the occasion, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed “Sayyed Zulfiqar” as an insightful commander who had deep knowledge and strategic mind.

“Sayyed Zulfiar attained all honorable medals a resistance fighter could get. First, he obtained the medal of a fighter who was present in battlefields. Sayyed Zulfiqar also obtained the medal of an injured fighter and the medal of a prisoner. He took then the medal of a commander who secured achievements and victories. Finally, Sayyed Zulfiqar came by the most sublime medal, martyrdom.”

“Martyr Sayyed Zulfiqar and his companions, by their insight and mindful performance, managed to secure great achievements,” Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the ceremony in Beirut’s southern suburb (Dahiyeh).

“Sayyed Zulfiqar, who came up with the slogan of ‘United Banner Till Victory’, manifests, along with great martyr Hajj Qassem Suleimani, unity among powers in the Axis of Resistance,” the Hezbollah leader said, referring to the former commander of the Quds Force, of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who was martyred in a US strike near Baghdad airport in January 2020.

Full Support for Gaza

On the brutal Israeli aggression on Gaza, Sayyed Nasrallah said all know that ‘Israel’ is the one who initiated the attack by assassinating three senior Islamic Jihad commanders last Tuesday (May 9).

He lashed out at Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, saying his motives behind the offensive were to restore the Israeli deterrence and to find a way out of the internal impasse the Zionist entity have been observing for months.

“Netanyahu, through the aggression, seeks to restore the Israeli deterrence and to handle the split of the Israeli governmental coalition as well as to bolster his popularity.”

Image prepared by Al-Manar that displays quotes by Sayyed Nasrallah

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the Islamic Jihad is in powerful position, voicing confidence that the resistance group is capable to rehabilitate its organizational structure despite the assassinations that targeted its senior commanders.

In this context, his eminence praised the Gaza-based group’s calm performance in the battle, stressing that the united stance of the resistance groups foiled the Israeli goals.

“The Islamic Jihad acted wisely in a way that confused the Israeli enemy. The resistance stance was united through the Joint Operations Room of the Resistance Factions.”

“Netanyahu has failed in his scheme to single out the Islamic Jihad and to sow discord between the Palestinian resistance factions.”

Sayyed Nasrallah revealed that Hezbollah leadership has been in contact with Palestinian resistance factions, voicing full readiness to offer all forms of support to Palestine.

“We are in constant contact with the Palestinian factions’ commanders. We keep a close eye on the situation and its developments thanks to our brothers. In addition, we offer, within certain limits, feasible assistance.”

“But, I must emphasize, when duty forces specific actions or scenarios on us, we won’t hesitate to take an action, God willing. I will stop by this sentence… and we’ll see!”

The video* below shows Sayyed Nasrallah addressing the Israeli aggression on Gaza:

Syria Back to the Arab League

Sayyed Nasrallah welcomed an invitation by the Arab League to Syria, saying the move is of high significance.

“Syria has neither changed its stance nor its strategy,” his eminence said, stressing: “We recall Sayyed Zulfiqar whenever Syria achieves a political or military victory.”

In this context, the Hezbollah leader called on the Lebanese government to follow suit of the Arab countries and restore ties with Syria.

“Lebanon is called to restore ties with Syria, what are we waiting for? Restoring ties serves Lebanon’s national interest.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that handling the issue of Syrian refugees requires dispatching Lebanese ministerial delegation to Damascus and a national stance that doesn’t yield to foreign pressures in this regard.

Lebanese Presidential Elections

He noted, on the other hand, that are positive developments in the Lebanese presidential elections. The Lebanese resistance leader said that Hezbollah has announced his nominee for the presidential post, stressing that his party has not imposed him on any Lebanese side.

Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed the need for the caretaker government to assume its responsibilities as long as no president is elected.

His eminence called, in this context, to utilize from the positive regional developments, referring to the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Sayyed Nasrallah concluded his speech by renewing allegiance to martyr “Sayyed Zulfiqar” and other martyrs.

“We will follow the suit. We will stick to the resistance path.”

*Video subtitled by Areej Fatima Al-Husseini.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Sayyed Nasrallah: Gaza Resistance Defeated ’Israel’s’ Goals; Hezbollah Won’t Hesitate to Support at Any Time

May 12, 2023

By Al-Ahed News

Hezbollah Secretary Generla His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah emphasized that the resistance in Gaza managed to abort the ‘Israeli’ enemy’s goal to restore its power of deterrence, and despite all field and political pressures, it didn’t weaken.

Sayyed Nasrallah made the remarks on Friday afternoon during the event held to commemorate the seventh martyrdom anniversary of resistance leader Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine [Zolfiqar].

“The resistance is steadfast, and it refuses to end the battle without certain conditions. What happened until this day makes the enemy understand very well that any future assassination of any resistance fighter or leader in the Gaza Strip shall not pass, but would rather lead to a widescale confrontation,” the resistance leader underlined.

Terming the battle of Gaza as an important one, Sayyed Nasrallah said its impact are not limited with the strip alone, but with the region as a whole.

His Eminence went on to say that Hezbollah is in continuous communication with the resistance command in Gaza, voicing the Lebanese resistance group’s readiness to offer support at any time the responsibility requires this.

At the beginning of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah condoled with and congratulated the Palestinian people and resistance factions, especially the Al-Quds Brigades, on the martyrdom of the leaders who were assassinated in the ‘Israeli’ strikes on Gaza.

Sayyed Nasrallah also condoled with the martyrdom of Palestinian detainee Sheikh Khader Adnan.

Referring to the occasion, the Hezbollah leader praised Sayyed Zolfiqar who achieved the medal of the fighter, the medal of the wounded in the Battle of Khalde against the ‘Israeli’ enemy, the medal of detention, the medal of leadership, and lastly the medal of martyrdom, which he described as the most sublime of them all.

“Sayyed Zolfiqar was deep in understanding, insightful, of a strategic mentality, which are the characteristics of many of our leaders,” His Eminence added.

Commenting on the current regional developments, Sayyed Nasrallah underlined that Lebanon is often affected by the unfolding incidents and developments, advising that realities must be approached honestly.

“Those who believed that ‘Israel’ was to remain in Lebanon and that Lebanon has entered the ‘Israeli’ era found out that they were wrong, and all of their bets and culture collapsed as they were built upon miscalculations,” His Eminence said.

To begin with Gaza, Sayyed Nasrallah explained that Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began the current aggression by assassinating the brothers in the Al-Quds Brigades in the besieged strip, along with a number of women and children. He then lamented the international silence this regard, slamming the US that banned the UNSC from condemning ‘Israel’ for killing Gaza women and children.

“Netanyahu has many motifs behind this aggression, which include restoring and rebuilding his deterrence, fleeing the internal crisis, dealing with the division in his government, and improving his political and electoral situation,” the Hezbollah leader analyzed, underscoring that all of Netanyahu’s calculations have failed as he decided to attack the Islamic Jihad and spare all other factions, and create chaos within the resistance environment.

“The occupation sought to strike the Al-Quds Brigades’ command and destroy its rocketry power by dismantling its direct commanders,” the resistance leader noted, stating, however, that the Islamic Jihad command was wise and calm after the assassination of its military leaders, and the Al-Quds Brigades contacted the Qassam Brigades to have a united stance regarding the developments.

“The enemy was waiting a reaction from the Islamic Jihad, and when the resistance factions dealt with the issue calmly, the enemy was confused. The wisdom in directing the battle makes the enemy lose the chance to achieve its goals,” Sayyed Nasrallah explained.

His Eminence went on to list the strengths of the resistance movements in Palestine and the region, praising that they are highly capable of rebuilding their leadership rapidly. “Despite assassinating its leaders, the resistance movements didn’t weaken, and its capabilities were not harmed; the shed blood was rather giving a push forward.”

Sayyed Nasrallah further noted that the quick rebuilding of the Al-Quds Brigades leadership surprised the occupation, which was confused by missiles reaching ‘Tel Aviv’ and Al-Quds.

“The resistance in Gaza failed the enemy’s goal of restoring its deterrence; and despite the field and political pressure, the Palestinian resistance didn’t weaken,” the Hezbollah leader underlined, stressing that today’s battle is the one of protecting and guaranteeing the Palestinian people’s security, and that what has happened so far makes the enemy understand well that any assassination shall not pass and will lead to a wide-scale confrontation.

“Netanyahu cannot lie and tell the ‘Israeli’ enemy that he restored the deterrence; and the battle of Gaza is very important and its impacts are not limited with the strip but with the entire region,” Sayyed Nasrallah said ahead of reiterating that Hezbollah is in continuous contact with the resistance leadership is Gaza, and voiced Hezbollah’s readiness to support the Palestinian at any time.

“We won’t hesitate to offer help at any time we have to,” the Lebanese resistance leader said.

Moving to the Syrian issue, Sayyed Nasrallah termed Syria’s return to the Arab League and inviting President Assad to the Arab summit as a very important indicator.

“Syria remained in its position, it didn’t shift its stance or its axis,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that the Iranian President’s visit to Syria emphasizes the Iranian-Syrian strategic relations on different levels.

“Syria today is strongly present in the Turkish elections where the candidates are competing to offer their visions regarding Damascus.”

The Hezbollah chief then voiced support for every positive development regarding Syria: “We see in every recovery and progress in Syria the faces of our martyrs and their sacrifices, and our loneliness when the world was criticizing our choice in supporting Syria.”

Sayyed Nasrallah slammed the US looting of the Syrian oil and gas and its insistence on besieging the country through the Caesar Act.

“All the positive developments in Syria happened thanks to the steadfastness of its leadership, people, and army; Syria is heading to ease and the difficult days won’t return,” His Eminence said.

On the local level, Sayyed Nasrallah asked the caretaker government to restore Lebanon’s ties with Syria, stressing that had Hezbollah been the side making decisions in the country, ties with Syria would have been restored ages ago as they serve Lebanon’s interests.

“The issue of the refugees won’t be solved through incitation and on social media platforms, but rather through a ministerial and security delegation that visits Damascus and coordinates to deal with the crisis,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, underlining that a sovereign decision in coordination with the Syrian state is a main condition to deal with the Syrian refugees’ crisis.

Additionally, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that Hezbollah doesn’t prevent anybody from returning to the Syrian border villages, refuting the entire propaganda as mere lies, and emphasizing that Hezbollah was the most interested side in returning the people of Al-Qusayr and other villages to their houses.

Besides, the Hezbollah chief contested all news about any link of drug smugglers in Syria with Hezbollah. “All of this is unjust, and hadn’t it been for Hezbollah’s support, the Lebanese authorities wouldn’t have been able to confront several drug dealers in Lebanon.”

Also in his proof, Sayyed Nasrallah insisted that “Our religious and jihadi stance rejects seeking the help of drug smugglers to transfer the arms of resistance to Palestine,” urging the Lebanese state to expose the names of the drug traders and dealers in which people would learn to whom they belong.

On the presidential level, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that ex-minister Suleiman Franjieh is Hezbollah’s regular and serious candidate, making clear that Hezbollah doesn’t impose any candidate, and urging everybody to name their candidates so we can go for election in the parliament.

“The Lebanese caretaker government must resume its work despite all difficulties; and we hope that the parliament operates normally and this doesn’t affect the necessity of electing a president,” His Eminence also said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Sayyed Nasrallah opposed the government’s appointment of a new governor for the Central Bank of Lebanon, as well as extending the mandate of the current governor.

At the end of his speech, the Hezbollah leader said “We, the Lebanese people, must take advantage of the positive atmosphere in the region,” stressing that “on the Arab level, there are no permanent hostilities.”

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Besieged Gaza Surprises Bibi: After An “Israeli” was Killed, More in Store

May 12, 2023

By Staff, Agencies

As “Israeli” occupation continues to bomb the besieged Gaza strip and slaughter its civilians, the Palestinian Resistance succeeded in scoring more achievements on the ground.

In details, an “Israeli” settler was killed and several others wounded when a rocket from the Gaza Strip hit “Rehovot” settlement.

Video shared on social media immediately after the attack showed the inside of the building with extensive damage, including holes in the ceiling and floor.

13 other settlers were injured in the Palestinian shelling on the settlement.

The rocket impact came as part of a large barrage fired from the Palestinian besieged enclave that targeted settlements further north the entity than the previous days.

This comes as the Islamic Jihad movement vowed to keep up its retaliatory strikes against the occupied territories until the “Israeli” regime stops its deadly acts of aggression against the Gaza Strip, where the Palestinian resistance group is headquartered. 

“Israel” has assassinated dozens of Palestinians, including at least five of the movement’s commanders since Tuesday, when it began to significantly escalate its airstrikes against Gaza. The Al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, has fired hundreds of rockets towards the occupied territories in response.

Speaking on Thursday, Anwar Abu Taha, an Islamic Jihad spokesperson, warned that “our weapons, our resistance, and our missile strikes will not stop until the aggression stops, specifically the policy of assassinations against our leaders and our people.”

Taha said the intense reprisal served to send a strong message to the “Israeli” enemy that the Brigades and the resistance have many surprises in store, which can compel the regime to stop its continuous brutality.

“[‘Israeli’ Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is delusional that the Islamic Jihad will weaken and be broken in light of the assassination of its military leaders, and we tell him that the Islamic Jihad, by assassinating its leaders, is getting stronger and sticking to the option of jihad and resistance,” the Palestinian official noted.

He further mentioned: “The enemy should not test our patience and strength, because we have a lot in store, and in this round, all the suburbs of Tel Aviv are under the range of missiles.”

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Heavy Missile Fire from Gaza Causes Death, Injuries and Massive Destruction in Tel Aviv, Other Israeli Settlements

 May 11, 2023

Palestinian Resistance strikes Tel Aviv

A new era in the history of the Zionist entity has started. Thursday, May 11, 2023 will be ever remembered sorrowfully by the Israelis because it refers to the date which records the first death in Tel Aviv caused by a missile fire.

A building in the Rehovot settlement in southern Tel Aviv was directly hit, which left one death and 13 injuries and caused a massive destruction.

The Israeli occupation army announced that more than 800 missiles have been fired from Gaza since the beginning of the operation termed by the Palestinian Resistance as the “Revenge of the Free”.

Zionist media outlet indicated that 15 buildings have so far been directly hit by the Palestinian rockets, indicating that the number of injuries among the Zionist settlers has neared 30.

It is worth noting that the military censorship in the Zionist media has prevented the media outlets from circulating the footage of the destruction caused by the Palestinian missile fire at Tel Aviv, Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and other cities and settlements. In this regard, three buildings in Sderot were directly hit by the Palestinian missiles.

Missiles over Sderot

The Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu chaired a security consultations session after ordering the settlers to listen to the instructions of the “home front” commander who predicted battle would take several days.

Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Meanwhile, the Zionist media continued circulating news about an imminent ceasefire, claiming that Egyptian intelligence minister will meet the Islamic Jihad Chief Zioad Nakhala in Beirut.

The Israeli media also alleged that the United States has started an endeavor to reach a ceasefire after getting fed up with the escalation.

Palestinian Resistance: Assassination Policy Will Fail

The Joint Operations Chamber of the Palestinian Resistance Factions as well as the spokesman of the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement, Abu Hamza issued a statement which confirms the assassination policy will fail and acts of resistance will continue confronting the Zionist aggression on Gaza.

The military media department of Al-Quds Brigades also circulated a new video that displays its readiness to fire more missiles at the Zionist settlements, ending the video with the Quranic expression “army to be drowned” in Arabic and Hebrew.

Islamic Jihad mourned Thursday martyr commander Ahmad Abu Dakka who was assassinated by the Israeli enemy late Thursday in Khan Younis.

Martyr Ahmad Abu Dakka

An Israeli drone attack on two apartments in Khan Younis had killed the Islamic Jihad Commander Ali Hzsan Ghali who was the top rocket commander. In an official statement, the Al-Quds Brigades expressed their profound grief over the loss of martyr leader Ali Hassan Ghali, widely known as Abu Muhammad. Martyr Ghali, a prominent member of the military council and the esteemed chief of the rocketry unit, tragically fell victim to a deceitful Zionist assassination in Khan Yunis, located in southern Gaza. The statement also acknowledged the presence of other devout martyrs who were martyred alongside him.

Ali Hasan Ghali, Islamic Jihad rocket commander who was assassinated by Israeli occupation (Thursday, May 11, 2023)

Zionist Enemy Kills More Civilians in Gaza

The Zionist warplanes continued raiding the various sites and positions in Gaza, targeting Shujaia, Deir Al-Balah, Bet Lahia and other areas in the blockaded Strip.

Among the targets was the Al-Agha family’s residence in the Al-Qarara region, which was completely demolished by the airstrikes. Another house, owned by the Al-Masry family, suffered a similar fate in the northern Gaza Strip.

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Bombing residential buildings to lead ‘Tel Aviv’ to get bombed: PIJ

May 11, 2023

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement warns the Israeli occupation against bombing residential homes in light of recent Israeli escalation.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement warned the Israeli occupation that its policy of bombing civilian homes would be met with the relentless shelling of “Tel Aviv” and the occupied Palestinian territories.

The PIJ’s warning comes after the Israeli occupation forces conducted an air raid on a home in Beit Lahia and another in Beit Hanoun was leveled to the ground by the airstrike.

Moreover, an Israeli UAV fired two missiles toward a residential apartment in Al-Qarara, an Al Mayadeen correspondent reported.

A house was directly damaged in “Sderot,” with another suffering damages in occupied Askalan.

The operation that targeted the senior officials of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement “did not change the balance of power,” Israeli KAN broadcaster military affairs expert Roy Sharon reported.

“As we approach the end of the round of escalation, the Islamic Jihad movement is trying to prove that its ability to fire rockets has not eroded,” Sharon said. “We will discover the extent of deterrence achieved when we see how long the silence will last.”

This comes after Israeli National Security Council Chief Tzachi Hanegbi confirmed Wednesday that the occupation has no interest in continuing the battle with the Palestinian resistance factions.

In an interview with Channel 13, Hanegbi said, “The event has not ended yet,” adding, “We are still in the midst of a battle, whose extent is difficult to know.”

According to Hanegbi, “The chance of achieving long-term deterrence [for Israel] is low,” and commented that the “news of a ceasefire was premature.”

On the other hand, the former spokesperson of the Israeli Occupation Forces, Ronen Manelis, confirmed that “if the cease-fire enters into force in the next few hours, three parties will be able to declare victory: Israel, Jihad, and Hamas.”

He further explained that “although the Islamic Jihad lost three of its leaders and many other victims, it managed to paralyze an entire country for 48 hours and fired into the center of Tel Aviv.”

He further explained that “although the Islamic Jihad lost three of its leaders and many other victims, it managed to paralyze an entire country for 48 hours and fired into the center of Tel Aviv.”

In parallel, the Palestinian Resistance renewed its firing of barrages of rockets towards the occupied Palestinian territories according to the Al Mayadeen correspondent.

Additionally, sources in the Resistance told Al Mayadeen, “The recent bombing of Tel Aviv, Beer Al-Sabe, and other cities came to confirm that there is no truce except on the terms of the resistance,” noting that “in the event that the enemy does not adhere to the conditions of the resistance, we are going to expand the circle of fire.”

The Palestinian Resistance has renewed its shelling of occupied Palestinian territories in light of the continued Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, an Al Mayadeen correspondent reported.

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) was activated in occupied Beer Al-Sabe, with Israeli media reporting that Rockets were fired toward the “Gush Dan” area, mainly “Tel Aviv”.

Israeli media said that following Netanyahu and Galant’s statements, a non-stop fire exchange erupted “on the Gaza border”.

Read more: All options on table: Resistance launches operation against occupation

Operation Avenging the Free

In response to the brutal Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip for two days in a row, where “Israel” massacred scores of Palestinians, including three Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leaders, the Palestinian Resistance launches Operation Avenging the Free to retaliate the Israeli crimes that did not even spare children or women.

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Palestinian Resistance Terms Operation “Revenge of the Free”: Hundreds of Missiles Fired at Israeli Settlements

May 10, 2023

Palestinian missiles

The Joint Operations Chamber of the Palestinian Resistance Factions issued on Wednesday a statement, announcing the response to the Zionist aggression on Gaza and terming the operation as the “Revenge of the Free”.

The statement indicated that hundreds of missiles targeted the enemy’s sites and settlements in Gaza vicinity and reached even Tel Aviv, in response to the crime of assassinating Al-Quds Brigades commanders Jihad Al-Ghannam, Khalil Al-Bahtini, and Tariq Ezz Al-Din. It also underlined the barbaric and treacherous bombing of civilian homes, which also left a number of innocent civilian martyrs.

The Joint Operations Chamber stressed that any Israeli attack on the civilians houses and assassination of Palestinian men will be forcefully confronted, adding that the enemy will witness black days if it continues its aggression.

The statement pointed out that the Palestinian resistance is ready to face all the Israeli actions, adding that the factions will remain unified on all fronts to defend the nation.

Joint Operations Chamber of the Palestinian Resistance Factions

The Palestinian resistance fired on Wednesday over 300 missiles at the Zionist occupation’s cities and settlements in Gaza vicinity and Central Palestine as the Israeli enemy continued its aggression on the Strip.

The Palestinian missiles hit Sderot , Ashkelon, Ahsdod, Tel Aviv, Gush Dan, Givatim, and Ramat Gan, causing 11 Israeli injuries.

Israeli media said that 100 rockets were launched at Zionist settlements from Gaza within one hour.

Sirens were sounded across the Zionist settlements, pushing the settlers to enter the shelters.

The following video shows Zionist settlements rushing into shelters:

According to media reports, flights were disrupted at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

Missile fire burns farms in the Zionist settlement of Ashkelon:

Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu will hold security consultations at 18:00 as Israeli officials have confirmed response to Palestinian missile fire.

Israeli warplanes continued striking various sites in Gaza Strip as Palestinian resistance fired more missiles, according to A-Manar TV.

Palestinian health ministry stated that the Israeli aggression since early Tuesday has left 19 martyrs and 38 injured.

Palestinian and Israeli media reported on Wednesday that Israeli warplanes have launched a series of strikes in Khan Younes, south of the Gaza strip and in the besieged enclave’s north, killing at least one Palestinian and seriously injuring another. Israeli Channel 13 then announced that the occupation army “has started a wide-scale offensive in Gaza.”

The strikes prompted the Palestinian resistance to fire dozens of rockets at the occupied territories. Israeli media reported at least 40 rockets were launched with 9 being intercepted by the Iron Dome Israeli defense system.

Rockets sirens sounded in Ashkelon, Sderot and several settlements bordering Gaza, videos circulated on social media showed.

Meanwhile, Palestinian sources reported that the rockets launched on Wednesday has nothing to do with the revenge over martyrdom of three Islamic Jihad resistance movement – Jihad Ghannam, Tareq Ezzeddine and Khalil Al-Bahitini. The sources said that Wednesday’s rockets are just retaliatory attack following the Israeli strikes.

Southern Settlements in Full Paralysis

Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli commentators voiced concerns over the delay in the resistance revenge, with several analysts saying that the occupation regime, especially the southern settlements, have been observing a full paralysis.

Israeli Channel 13’s Or Heller commented on the Israeli anticipation: “Israeli has been waiting for the Gaza retaliation for 20 hours. This is the first time that the battle is handled by this patience and calm.”

The channel also reported that Ashkelon “has turned to be a city of ghosts as settlers headed to shelters.”

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Abdel Bari Atwan from Beirut, I am addressing you. Israel declares a state of alert
The Israeli aggression on Gaza and the response of the resistance

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Thousands protest Netanyahu ‘reforms’ for 18th week straight

6 May 2023

Source: News websites

By Al Mayadeen English 

Despite Netanyahu’s announcement of a suspension in legislation for the reforms more than a month ago, following weeks of enormous protests and a countrywide strike, Saturday’s marches took place as the settler population remains wary of Netanyahu’s intentions.

  • Israeli protesters hold a poster depicting their Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gagged by a surgical protection mask in front of Netanyahu’s residence, occupied Al-Quds, Sept. 12, 2020. (AFP)

For the 18th week in a row, thousands of Israelis have marched in the streets in the occupied Palestinian territories to protest the Israeli hardline cabinet’s contentious “judicial reforms.” 

For months now, upheaval and chaos took the Israeli occupation entity by storm. Violent clashes have erupted between the Israeli opposition and police, as Israeli settlers continue to protest against the occupation government’s planned judicial overhaul.

Calls for civil disobedience and riots have been met with stern warnings from both sides, as political rifts are widening and warning against the outbreak of a “civil war”.

Protesters gathered in “Tel Aviv”‘s Habima Square on Saturday, waving flags and screaming anti- Netanyahu chants as they prepared to march along Kaplan Street, a key artery in the city’s center.

A protester displayed a photo of far-right Israeli minister Itamar Ben-Gvir with the phrase “the minister of national failure.”

Protest organizers claimed earlier in a statement that Netanyahu’s cabinet is preparing to convert “Israel” into a “messianic and dangerous dictatorship.”

Read more: Israeli reservists warn of collapse if judicial reform law is passed

The protests have been a weekly occurrence since January, when the regime unveiled revisions that aim to give Netanyahu’s hardline cabinet significant control over Supreme Court nominees.

Netanyahu’s coalition, formed by his Likud party and extreme-right and ultra-Orthodox political partners, contends that adjustments are required to equalize power between the regime’s executive and judicial branches.

Despite Netanyahu’s announcement of a suspension in legislation for the reforms more than a month ago, following weeks of enormous protests and a countrywide strike, Saturday’s marches took place.

The broader population, on the other hand, remains wary of the premier’s intentions, as seen by massive marches across the occupied territories since January, when the Israeli regime’s cabinet began laying the groundwork for the revisions’ implementation.

Earlier this month, Israeli President Isaac Herzog convened cross-party discussions to seek an agreement on the reform package. 

Palestinian Resistance’s Message to ‘Israel’ Delivered: “We Haven’t Started Yet”

 May 3, 2023

Image prepared by Al-Manar Website showing Al-Quds Brigades fighters and martyr Sheikh Khader Adnan.

As soon as the occupation authorities announced at dawn on Tuesday martyrdom of Sheikh Khader Adnan, events across Palestine and the Zionist entity escalated, risking a new confrontation between the resistance and the Israeli enemy.

Dozens of rockets were fired from Gaza on settlements bordering the coastal enclave, as shootings occurred in the occupied West Bank in a clear retaliation of the cold-blooded assassination of the senior Islamic Jihad official who was on his 87th day of hunger strike in protest against Israeli arbitrary detention.

Meanwhile, Palestinian prisoners were mulling to go on mass hunger strike in rejection of the Israeli policy of administrative detention.

More than 100 rockets were fired from Gaza into the occupied territories between Tuesday and Wednesday, with Israeli media reporting some failure in the Iron Dome Israeli defense system in attempts to down the Palestinian rockets.

The Islamic Jihad resistance group’s military wing Al-Quds Brigades published a video entitled “We Haven’t Started Yet,” in a clear message to the Israeli enemy that the retaliation to the assassination crime of Sheikh Adnan will be wide-scale.

The video below, translated and subtitled by Al-Manar’s Areej Fatima Al-Husseini shows Al-Quds Brigades fighters preparing rockets to be fired at occupied territories.

Intensive Calls to Avoid Confrontation

In parallel, the Islamic Jihad and Hamas movements received intensive calls from mediators, during which they demanded these two movements not to respond to the assassination crime from the Gaza Strip, and to avoid a new military confrontation with the occupation during the current period, Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported, citing well-informed sources.

However, the resistance responded that “the crime of assassinating Adnan won’t go unanswered, with the aim of deterring the enemy and preventing it from repeating such crimes against the prisoners,” according to the paper.

Indeed, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad held consultations about the nature of this response, which included parties in the axis of resistance, while “Al-Akhbar” learned that it was decided, as a result of the consultations, that the initial response would be from the West Bank, which witnessed, since yesterday morning, two operations that resulted in the injury of three soldiers from the occupation army, to be followed by responses from various arenas, including Gaza.

Resistance Pounds Occupied Territories

Shortly after, the Gaza Strip witnessed a series of tensions, which began with the firing of three missiles from the Strip towards the settlements of Gaza envelope, in parallel with the occupation army intensifying its flight over Gaza, and strengthening its preparations for the possibility of launching more missiles, by deploying the “Iron Dome” in the so-called “Gaza envelope” area and in around Tel Aviv.

In the afternoon on Tuesday, the occupation artillery targeted a resistance observation point east of the Gaza City, in response to the rocket fire, as stated by the enemy army spokesman, who also instructed the residents of the areas bordering the coastal strip to stay in places close to shelters.

As a result of this development, warning sirens sounded, more than once, in the settlements bordering Gaza, before the outcome of yesterday’s rockets, until the end of the dawn on Wednesday, reached more than 100 rockets and missiles, launched from Gaza, injuring more than 10 settlers, some of them seriously, as one of the rockets fell in Sderot settlement.

Subsequently, the Joint Room of Palestinian Resistance Factions claimed responsibility for shelling of the settlements bordering Gaza, describing it as “a preliminary response to this heinous crime that will trigger responses from our people in all arenas and places of engagement.”

The resistance’s joint room also confirmed that the issue of prisoners “will remain at the top of the priorities of the resistance’s leadership in all circumstances,” warning the enemy against escalating its aggression.

“Any crime or foolishness won’t remain unanswered, and the resistance is fully prepared to defend its people everywhere,” the Palestinian sources said as reported by Al-Akhbar.

Israeli Assessment, Reported ‘Ceasefire’

On the other hand, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conducted a security assessment that lasted for hours, in which security officials, the army chief of staff, and the defense minister participated. After the meeting, Israeli media circulated leaks that the occupation army has recommended to launch a so-called “expanded response campaign” to Gaza rockets in Gaza.

The Hebrew media quoted several security and political sources confirming that the situation is about to “a round of exchanges of fire, which may last for a day or two.”

According to Kan, the Israeli security system prepared itself for various scenarios, including “launching rockets from southern Lebanon, and shooting and running over operations in the West Bank and the interior.”

And on the mediation level, Egypt entered, as usual, in an attempt to stop the rocket fire, in exchange for the release of the martyr Khader Adnan’s body. However, according to Israeli media reports, Tel Aviv “strongly refused to release the body.”

However,  Reuters news agency reported that the Zionist regime and the Palestinian resistance groups have reached a ceasefire early Wednesday morning, noting that the deal was mediated by officials from Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations.

Source: Al-Manar English Website and Al-Akhbar Lebanese Newspaper


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