Land Day 2021: Existence, Resistance, Resurgence

March 30, 2021

A child raising a Palestinian flag on Land Day. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

“In 2019 I went to Palestine twice,” wrote Ibtisam Barakat, “one time with Palestine Festival of literature in April.” When an officer informed her at the border that she didn’t exist in Israeli records, Barakat started to cry. She “cried for two weeks nonstop. Nothing and no one could stop [her], not even a delicious falafel sandwich.” All that time, recalled the Palestinian-American poet, she “ate falafel and cried.”

On Land Day 2021, Barakat’s words are more relevant than ever. Forty-five years ago, on March 30, 1976, Israeli police murdered six Palestinian protestors as they were calling attention to the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of dunums of Palestinian land. Since then, notes Yara Hawari, March 30 has been commemorated as Land Day.

An important “event in the Palestinian collective narrative,” explains Hawari, it incorporates resistance to colonization, in particular “colonial policies of erasure,” efforts by Israelis to erase all Indigenous presence on the land. Indeed, since 1948, Palestinians have defied those policies with characteristic sumud (resilience), both by holding fast to a collective narrative that incorporates individual perspectives.

When Barakat returned to Palestine, an officer asked why she was coming back a second time in one year. At the time, she had no idea how to reply. “Now,” she explains, she knows “the world was going to change and the universe knew that I needed to see Palestine twice in a year” before it became impossible. “Seeing my Palestine or not seeing my Palestine is a spiritual experience for me,” she says, thereby calling attention to her individual refusal to be erased that is in turn part of a collective experience.

On March 30, 2018, Palestinians in Gaza began a series of weekly demonstrations that would last for months, resulting in a staggering number of deaths and injuries from Israeli snipers that drew the attention of the media. What did not get covered so much were the cultural aspects of the rallies—storytelling, cooking traditional dishes, performing dabke, and even weddings took place—thereby passing down traditions to a younger generation.

“What is largely missing from the discussion on Gaza is the collective psychology behind this kind of mobilization,” writes Ramzy Baroud, “and why it is essential for hundreds of thousands of besieged people to rediscover their power and understand their true position, not as hapless victims, but as agents of change in their society.”

In the same way that Barkat worked through her grief at being told of her non-existence, so Palestinians on a collective scale have maintained a narrative that resists the official story. As Baroud explains,

“For 70 years, Palestinians have embarked on that journey of recreation of the self. They have resisted, and their resistance in all of its forms has molded a sense of collective unity, despite the numerous divisions that were erected among the people. The Great March of Return is the latest manifestation of the ongoing Palestinian resistance.”

Two years later, in 2020, the spread of Coronavirus added to ongoing problems. In order to provide a safe space to commemorate the day, Samidoun: Palestinian Solidarity Network issued a virtual call to action:

“Mark Palestine Land Day (Yawm Al-Ard), a day of remembrance for six Palestinian citizens who were murdered by Israelis while protesting the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of dunums of their land. March together online on the second anniversary of the Great March of Return.”

Thanks to donations from Russia and the UAE, Gaza recently initiated a vaccine program in an effort to confront the virus pandemic and break the cycle of deaths.

According to Hawari, Land Day commemorates ongoing resistance, but it also “reminds us how the domination of space is an integral aspect of the Zionist settler-colonial project.” Moreover, she points out, “settler-colonial states the world over are in a constant process of colonizing more and more indigenous land while squeezing indigenous peoples into as little space as possible.”

In order to steal more land, colonists in both Israel and North America developed the myth of the vacant land. For example, on March 8, 1969, Golda Meir reportedly asked: “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.”

Propaganda around the Indigenous in North America sounds much the same. As Steven Salaita tweeted: “you’ll never understand Zionism without a concomitant understanding of Manifest Destiny,” a phrase devised in 1845 to explain that the United States was destined—by God, its advocates believed—to expand its territory across the entire North American continent.

“Of all myths associated with American Indians,” explains Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes), “no myth is as pervasive as the myth of the vanishing Indian.”

In my American history classes, there would invariably be the student who said that Native people no longer exist, despite the fact that just by looking around the classroom that student might have reached a different conclusion. Nevertheless, because dominant society has been “indoctrinated with the idea of the vanishing Native their whole lives,” Gilio-Whitaker asserts, “the assumption that there is no such thing as real Natives anymore is like a software program constantly running in the background.”

To these deniers, the “real Indians were the ones who dressed in buckskins and hunted buffalo and deer for their living, and didn’t speak English,” Gilio-Whitaker notes, and, in reality, they have “been gone a long time.”

Despite all of the efforts to deny their existence, which makes it all the easier to steal land and resources, both Palestinians and Indigenous people in the States are still around. The commemoration of Land Day attests to that, as do efforts on the part of Native Americans to make their presence known.

Quoting Gerald Vizenor, a citizen of the White Earth Nation, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz calls attention to his notion of “survivance”:

“Survivance is an active presence: it is not absence, deracination, or ethnographic oblivion, and survivance is the continuance of narratives, not a mere reaction, however pertinent. Survivance stories are renunciations of dominance, the unbearable sentiments of tragedy, and the legacy of victimry” (An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, 2014, p. 217).

Decades after their displacement, the Palestinians long for a place, a homeland that could provide them with grounding to affirm that they exist. In the introduction to Nakba: Palestine, 1948 and The Claims of Memory (2007), Ahmad Sa’di and Lila Abu-Lughod write that “making memories public affirms identity, tames trauma, and asserts Palestinian political and moral claims to justice, redress, and the right to return” (p.2).

Memory, then, “continuance of narratives” as Vizenor calls it, serves as an expression of the need to officially exist. Manifested in events like Land Day, alternative histories affirm what happened in the past but also what should be done in the present to assure that all formerly oppressed peoples have a future.

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Related

Land Day: Palestinians mark the 45th anniversary

Palestinian farmers say they face constant threats while working on family lands due to Israel’s annexation policies

Gaza farmer working on land MEE
Iyad Abughleiba, a Palestinian farmer, finds it increasingly difficult to work on his land in the Gaza Strip due to Israel’s annexation policies. (MEE/Sanad Latifa)

By Maha Hussaini in Gaza Strip

Published date: 30 March 2021 12:22 UTC 

On 30 March 1976, six Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces as hundreds of Arab citizens in the occupied territory took to the streets to protest Israel’s expropriation and occupation of Palestinian lands.

The event became known as the Land Day and a symbol of national struggle that unites Palestinians around the world.

Forty-five years later, Palestinians say that not much has changed, as Israel continues its policy of annexation.

Middle East Eye met with Palestinian farmers and land owners in the Gaza Strip, who have been unable to access hundreds of dunums of land belonging to their families due to Israel’s restrictions and annexation policy.

Land theft normalised

Iyad Abughleiba, 49, a Palestinian who owns agricultural land in the eastern central Gaza Strip, says that farmers find it increasingly difficult to work in the blockaded enclave as Israel continues to “normalise land theft”.

Since age 15, he and his brothers would help their father cultivate the family lands. When his father passed away, the siblings inherited the lands and continued to work as farmers.

“My grandfather had owned more than 400 dunums of land. But over the years, and with every Israeli decision or new policy, the lands have been gradually shrinking. Today we only have 25 dunums left,” Abughleiba told MEE.

‘Our safety depends on the Israeli soldiers’ mood. You could be killed at any moment’

– Iyad Abughleiba, Palestinian farmer

Although Israel dismantled its settlements in Gaza in 2005 and withdrew its forces and settlers from the enclave, it still controls vast areas of land in the northern and eastern perimeter of the Strip.

“Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip is the biggest lie. They are controlling every inch of the Strip – the land, the sea, and can you hear that noise? They are also controlling the air,” Abughleiba said as an Israeli drone buzzed at low altitude above his land.

“Like the majority of Palestinians, our grandparents lost most of their lands in Gaza and the West Bank during the [Palestinian] Nakba. But land theft did not stop here.”

The Nakba, meaning the “disaster, catastrophe or cataclysm”, marks the partition of Mandatory Palestine in 1948 and the creation of Israel. At least 750,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes that year. A further 280,000 to 325,000 fled their homes in territories captured by Israel in 1967. 

Following its disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Israel established a “buffer-zone”, a military no-go area that stretches across the Strip’s borders with Israel. The first reference to a buffer-zone in the Strip appeared in the Oslo Accords in 1993, which mentioned a 50-metre wide area along the enclave. 

Today, it extends to more than 300 – 2,000 metres inside the Strip.What is the Nakba? Day of catastrophe for Palestinians, explainedRead More »

“When Israel first established the buffer zone, we lost part of our lands. Then when they expanded it in 2009, we lost another part. This is how they gradually annex more parts of our lands every now and then,” Abughleiba explained.

Abughleiba is always on high alert while farming, even though it’s been a couple of years since Israel last annexed parts of his family’s lands.

“Even if the rest of our lands is still accessible, we are always cautious due to threats of crops being bulldozed or shots being fired at us whenever we are working.

“In 2008, the Israeli forces bulldozed our lands, uprooting dozens of olive trees and destroying a water well. In 2014, during the war on Gaza, they did it once again,” he said.

Gaza farmers and landowners bear the brunt of Israel’s policies, facing periodic bulldozing of lands, flooding of crops, and shooting by Israeli forces stationed adjacent to their lands.

“After they bulldozed our lands, we planted them again and still insist on coming back to them because they are our only source of living.

“But after all, our safety depends on the Israeli soldiers’ mood. You could be killed at any moment.” Abughleiba told MEE.

‘Modernised’ methods to steal land

Um-Emad is a Bedouin woman who was expelled from her family’s land in Beersheba during the Palestinian Nakba in 1948.

The 79-year-old lives in a small room in her sons’ house, built in the middle of their agricultural land in the eastern Bureij, in the central Gaza Strip.

For Um-Emad, living on agricultural lands is part of her family’s heritage.

‘I can never imagine my life away from our land. One metre of this land is worth a thousand apartments elsewhere.’

– Um-Emad, 79, Gaza resident

“I can never imagine my life away from our land. One metre of this land is worth a thousand apartments elsewhere,” she told MEE as she sat on the ground of her room overlooking the fields.

“If I have to leave my land in Gaza, then it has to be to my family’s land in Beersheba. That is the only place I can leave to before I die.”

Um-Emad, who was evicted to Gaza at gunpoint when she was six years old during the Nakba, thinks that Israel intends to make Palestinians pay a high price for sticking to their lands, while facilitating their migration from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

For years, Israel has been implementing an annexation plan in the West Bank that was accelerated following the announcement of former US president Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, in January 2020.

As a result, dozens of families across the West Bank and East Jerusalem have been evicted and displaced.

According to rights groups, Israel’s annexation of Palestinian lands constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, and “can have no effect on the legal status of the territory, which remains de jure occupied”.

Palestinian farmers in Gaza Strip
Palestinian farmers work in the fields in the Gaza Strip (MEE/Sanad Latifa)

“Israel today implements a systematic policy of forcing Palestinian residents in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to migrate and leave their lands.

“The occupation does this both softly and by force. They make Palestinians believe that living in Europe with better life standards is a dream, and thus make thousands of youth leave in search for a better life, in order to make room for [Israeli] settlers.

“We are being forced to abandon our lands, but I would rather be buried here before selling one centimetre of my family’s land,” he said.

‘Every day is Land Day’

Jalal Abujlala, 47, depends mainly on his agricultural land in the eastern central Gaza Strip for living.

But with the remaining area of land after annexation by the buffer zone, the father of eight children can barely cover his family’s expenses, which include the tuition fees for his daughter who’s attending university to study medicine.

‘I always tell (my children) about our stolen lands, and that one day we will regain them back’

– Jalal Abujlala, 47, Gaza farmer

“A large part of our lands was annexed by the Occupation during the Palestinian Nakba and also due to the establishment of the Israeli buffer zone. Now the remaining area can only provide the life’s necessities,” said Abjlala.

“I can see my family’s annexed lands in the occupied territory from here. Sometimes, I approach a bit and take my children to see them. I always tell them about our stolen lands, and that one day we will regain them back,” he said.

“You would think that cultivating in this land is safe since it is not very close to the Israeli borders. But in fact, it does not have to be close in order for the farmers to be hurt,” he continued, recalling memories from Israel’s military attack on Gaza in 2014, where artillery shells targeted vast areas of agricultural lands.

“Owning a land in our country comes with no guarantees. At any moment you are threatened with bulldozing or eviction and annexation.”

For Abujlala, Israel’s measures in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are similar to the event that sparked the Land Day demonstrations in 1976.

“History repeats itself. The Land Day happens everyday in Palestine.”

Land day: Israel’s programme of Palestinian land theft goes on undisturbed

Palestinian protesters mark Land Day in the Umm Al-Hiran village in the Wadi Atir area of the Negev (Naqab) desert (AFP)
Ghada Karmi is a former research Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. She was born in Jerusalem and was forced to leave her home with her family as a result of Israel’s creation in 1948. The family moved to England, where she grew up and was educated. Karmi practised as a doctor for many years working as a specialist in the health of migrants and refugees. From 1999 to 2001 Karmi was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, where she led a major project on Israel-Palestinian reconciliation.

Ghada Karmi

30 March 2021 13:32 UTC | Last update: 

For Palestinians, Land Day continues to be an inspiration and a tribute to the just struggle of an unbowed people for their land

The centrality of the struggle for land has always been fundamental to understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is at the heart of two major events whose anniversaries fall due on 30 March. The first, Land Day, commemorates the surge of Palestinian resistance to the takeover of their land by Israel in 1976; and the second marks the start of the Great March of Return in 2018, when thousands of Palestinians in Gaza demonstrated for the right of refugees to return to their confiscated lands in Israel.

From the start the Zionist movement was predicated on the acquisition of an empty territory on which to establish a state exclusively for Jews. Since no such land was available in the Palestine of the time, it had to be carved out, first by purchase, and later by war.

The land-grabbing journey

As Jewish immigrants began to arrive in the country in increasing numbers after 1917, Zionist organisations such as the Jewish National Fund and the Palestine Jewish Colonisation Association set about buying Palestinian land, provided it was untenanted at the time of purchase.

Today, Israel’s settlements have meant that Palestinian ownership of West Bank and East Jerusalem land has shrunk to under 13 percent

Many Arab landowners living outside Palestine, in addition to a minority of Palestinian peasants, sold them land. These sales were mainly motivated by economic necessity, since the Zionist organisations had access to foreign funds unavailable to Arabs.

Years of intense Zionist effort, however, yielded disappointing results. By 1947, and despite their funding and connections to powerful supporters of Zionism, these organisations had acquired no more than a meagre 6.7 percent of Palestine’s land.

But this disappointment was soon reversed by the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. In that war Israel captured 78 percent of Mandate Palestine, taking large swathes of Palestinian land, mostly untenanted thanks to population flight and expulsions in the war. 

After 1948 the new Israeli state swiftly enacted a series of laws designed to acquire more Palestinian land by pseudo-legal means. These included the 1950 Absentee Property Law, permitting the state to take over Palestinian land and property in their owners’ absence; and soon after, the 1953 Land Acquisition Law, which introduced a new category of “state lands” and “closed areas”.

This had the effect of making the state the majority owner of the land, which was to be permanently out of the reach of its previous Palestinian owners.

Subsequent events up to and including the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, that put Israel in occupation of the rest of Palestine, have been stages on the same land-grabbing journey. Today, Israel’s settlements have meant that Palestinian ownership of West Bank and East Jerusalem land has shrunk to under 13 percent. That is set to diminish further as the settlement process continues with further land loss. 

Palestinian children hold up pictures of keys, symbolising the homes they left behind (AFP)
Palestinian children hold up pictures of keys, symbolising the homes they left behind (AFP)

This is the background to the dramatic protests of Land Day in 1976. Their trigger at the time was the Israeli government’s plan to expropriate thousands of dunums of Arab land in the Galilee to build Jewish industrial villages. In line with the Israeli government’s 1975 “Galilee Development Plan” to expand Jewish settlement, it would accelerate Judaisation of what was a majority Arab area. 

A turning point

On 30 March a general strike was called, and widespread demonstrations in Arab towns erupted from the Galilee to the Negev. Thousands marched in protest, while solidarity demonstration were held in the Occupied Territories and the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.Land Day: A potent symbol of the Palestinian struggle

Unexpected at the time from what had been a largely quiescent Arab population, Israel was alarmed and deployed thousands of police, army units and tanks to quell the protests. Six Arabs were killed, hundreds wounded, and hundreds more arrested.

Land Day, as it became known, was a turning point. It was the first time since 1948 that the Arabs in Israel acted as a national collective, refusing to accept the theft of their land after years of control by Israel’s military rule. Land Day was an expression of national pride and self-confidence. It marked the assertion of an Arab presence that Israel’s politics could no longer ignore, and the starting point for Arab political participation in Israel. 

From that time to this, Land Day has been commemorated annually by Palestinians everywhere. In 2018 it was marked by the start of another great Palestinian protest over land. The Great March of Return saw 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza demonstrate near the Israeli separation fence of electrified barbed wire and sensors. It was a peaceful protest, demanding the right of refugees to return to their lands and an end to the blockade of Gaza. Intended to last from 30 March to 15 May, Nakba Day, the same protests took place every Friday.

A double heroism

As in 1976 Israel retaliated with murderous violence. Between 30 March and 15 May 2018 an estimated 110 protesters were killed, and 13,000 wounded by a combination of sniper fire and drones. By the time the March of Return was halted by Hamas in December 2019, 214 people had been killed, and 36,000 wounded. Of these, 1,200 needed long term rehabilitation following bone infections and limb injuries. Israeli soldiers seemed to be using a “shoot-and-maim” policy, deliberately targeting the legs of protestors to cause maximum disability.

Land Day marked the assertion of an Arab presence that Israel’s politics could no longer ignore

Gaza’s health system, damaged by years of blockade, understaffing, and equipment and power shortages, has been unable to cope with the toll of so many injured. Yet that did not stop Palestinian youth braving death and injury each week for nearly two years, and creating a new Palestinian legend to commemorate on 30 March. 

Israel never changed course in the face of that double Palestinian heroism celebrated on Land Day. It went on to build “Development towns” for Jews, 26 by 1981, with the effect of altering the Galilee’s demography in favour of Jews.

In Gaza, likewise, the blockade continues, and Israel’s pretext of its brutality as self-defence against the Great March of Return has been accepted by many Western governments. Its programme of Palestinian land theft goes on undisturbed.  

But for Palestinians on 30 March, Land Day continues to be an inspiration, and a tribute to the just struggle of an unbowed people for their land.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

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Historical References:

The Story of Palestine’s Land Day

The Story of Palestine’s Land Day

By Staff

Palestine’s Land Day is commemorated on March 30 every year marking the day on which in response to the ‘Israeli’ occupations government’s announcement of a plan to expropriate thousands of dunams of Palestinian land in 1976.

A general strike and marches were organized in Arab towns from the Galilee to the al-Naqab. In the ensuing confrontations with the Zionist army and police, six unarmed Arab citizens were martyred, about one hundred were wounded, and hundreds of others detained.

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وثائقي الميادين: أحمد جبريل -النضال – القضية-الثورة

وثائقي الميادين | أحمد جبريل - الجزء الأول | PROMO‎ - YouTube
 الحلقة 1 –23456789– 101112

في الذكرى 55 لانطلاقتها قراءة في التجربة النضالية للجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين ـ القيادة العامة

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رامز مصطفى

كاتب فلسطيني

القسم الاول

ما خلفته نكبة فلسطين العام 1948، من ضربٍ لأسس البنية الاجتماعية لشعبنا الفلسطيني جراء احتلال أرضه وتشريده، من قبل اليهود الصهاينة. سعى الشباب الفلسطيني في مطلع خمسينات القرن المنصرم إلى الإنضمام للأحزاب والجيوش العربية، إيماناً أنه الحلّ المتوفر للمساهمة في تحرير فلسطين وإعادة اللاجئين إلى ديارهم وممتلكاتهم التي طردوا منها، وما شهدته خمسينيات القرن الماضي من ثورات وطنية وأممية في فيتنام وكوبا والجزائر، محققة الانتصارات على قوى الاستعمار والرجعيات المتحالفة معها. الأمر الذي شكلّ بارقة أمل، فبدأت مجموعات من أبناء شعبنا تدعو إلى ضرورة البحث الجدي عن حلول تُسهم في تنظيم الشعب الفلسطيني، بهدف تحقيق آمالهم الوطنية والقومية. فمن قلب أزقة البؤس والتشرّد في مخيمات اللجوء، تفجّرت ثورة الشعب الفلسطيني إبداعاً ثورياً خلاقاً يبشر بفجر جديد لثورة شعبية، هي حرب الشعب طويلة الأمد في مواجهة العصابات الصهيونية المغتصبة لأرض فلسطين. ومن بين تلك المجموعات، كانت جبهة التحرير الفلسطينية التي تشكلت في العام 1959، وطرحت شعار تحرير فلسطين بأسلوب الحرب الشعبية. الأمر الذي جوبه بالاستهجان والعداء من قبل أحزاب عربية تقليدية كانت مسيطرة آنذاك، بأنّ مطلقي الشعار جماعات مرتبطة بأجهزة أجنبية.

بدايات عمل الجبهة شهدت مرحلة من العمل السري حتى العام 1965، بهدف الإعداد والتدريب لتهيئة الأجيال لثورة تواجه شكلاً جديداً من الاحتلال الصهيوني ببعديه الاستيطاني والإجلائي. من خلفية أنّ الجبهة آمنت أنّ السبيل الوحيد إلى تحرير فلسطين هو الكفاح المسلح، استعداداً لخوض الصراع مع المحتلّ الغاصب. لذلك أطلقت شعارها ثورة حتى تحرير الأرض والإنسان، بمعنى تحرير الأرض من دنس الاحتلال الصهيوني الغاصب، وتحرير الإنسان من كلّ معيقات تطوّره وتقدّمه ورفع الظلم عنه، رافعةً ثالوثها الكفاحي فداء – عودة – تحرير.

عقدت الجبهة مؤتمرها التأسيسي في 19 كانون الأول 1966، وفيه جرى تشكيل الهيئة التأسيسية، كهيئة قيادية تضمّ الكادر المركزي في الجبهة. وترأس المؤتمر آنذاك رفاق هم اليوم شهداء، علي بوشناق رئيساً، ويوسف طبل نائباً للرئيس، ورياض سعيد أميناً للسر. حيث اعتبر الرفاق الموجودين في هذا المؤتمر هم المؤسّسون للجبهة، حيث أطلق عليها اسم الهيئة التأسيسة لجبهة التحرير الفلسطينية، والتي ضمّت في صفوفها خمسة وعشرين رفيقاً، منهم من غادر الجبهة لأسبابه، ومنهم من غادرها شهيداً، ومنهم لا زال على رأس عمله، وهم الرفاق أحمد جبريل الأمين العام، والدكتور طلال ناجي الأمين العام المساعد، وعمر الشهابي أمين سر المكتب السياسي، وزكي الزين.

في ستينات القرن العشرين، طُرحت الجبهة بقيادة الرفيق أحمد جبريل، مبادئها الستة التي اعتبرت في حينه الأسس النظرية والسياسية والتنظيمية لتحالف وطني لمختلف طبقات الشعب الفلسطيني. وأطلقت عليها اسم المبادئ الإئتلافية، وتلخصت بتحمّل الشعب الفلسطيني المسؤولية الأولى عن قضيته، ومن ثم شعوبنا العربية، على اعتبار أنها قضية الأمة ومركزيتها، فاسحة أمام الأشقاء العرب الانخراط في صفوفها، وصل بعضهم إلى مراكز قيادية في الجبهة. ورفض كلّ أشكال الوصاية. وتحريم التكتلات والنشاط الحزبي. والتأكيد على مبدأ الديمقراطية والاستشارة من ضرورات تحقيق الانتصار. ورفض أنصاف الحلول، ومشاريع التسوية. وبالتالي ترك شكل الحكم لما بعد التحرير، يقرّره مجلس وطني. وإلى جانب المبادئ الستة أعلن عن الميثاق، في المؤتمر الأول للجبهة أواخر العام 1968، الذي شكلّ قفزة نوعية في المنطلقات النظرية للجبهة، من دون تبنيها لنظرية فكرية محددة.

في نهاية عام 1968 عقدت الجبهة مؤتمرها الأول، وأقرّت فيه برنامجها السياسي، أطلق عليه (الميثاق من 15 مادة )، أكدت فيه أنّ «الثورة المسلحة على العدوان والاستعمار، هي الطريق الوحيد، والحق المقدس لكلّ الفلسطينيين. وأنّ القضية الفلسطينية قضية قومية، والثورة الفلسطينية مرتبطة ارتباطاً، عضوياً ومصيرياً، بالثورة العربية، وهي أحد عناصرها. وأنّ الكيان الصهيوني، هو المخلب والرأس، الذي يشكله الاستعمار والإمبريالية، في الوطن العربي». ومنذ أيلول 1969 عقدت الجبهة 7 مؤتمرات، في أعوام 1971 و 1973 و 1979 و 1986 و 2005، 2010 .

وايماناً من الجبهة بأنّ المقاومة والوحدة الوطنية شرطان متلازمان لتحقيق الانتصار، فقد انخرطت الجبهة ومنذ بدايات انطلاقتها في عدد من التجارب الوحدوية الاندماجية، وكانت أولى هذه التجارب مع تنظيم حركة فتح، غير أنّ هذه الوحدة لم تصمد طويلاً. وعلى إثر هزيمة حزيران تداعت ثلاثة فصائل فلسطينية هي جبهة التحرير الفلسطينية وشباب الثأر التي كانت بمثابة التنظيم العسكري الفلسطيني لحركة القوميين العرب بقيادة الشهيد جورج حبش، وتنظيم أبطال العودة، ليشكلوا معاً الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين. غير أنّ مسيرة هذا الائتلاف قد تعثرت نتيجة خلافات تنظيمية وسياسية، فحصل الطلاق الديمقراطي بينهم في تشرين الأول عام 1968. فتمسك كلا الطرفان باسم الجبهة، ومنعاً للالتباس ميّزت الجبهة اسمها بإضافة كلمة القيادة العامة، لتصبح الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين – القيادة العامة. ومنذ ذاك التاريخ لم تشهد الساحة الفلسطينية تجارب وحدوية على الإطلاق.

وبسبب تعذر تحقيق الوحدة الوطنية، انخرطت الجبهة في تحالفات وإئتلافات جبهوية على أساس الرؤى السياسية الواحدة، المتناقضة مع رؤى سياسية بدأت بالتمظهر في الساحة الفلسطينية، وتحديداً بعد حرب تشرين عام 1973، والداعية إلى تبني البرنامج المرحلي وإمكانية الحلّ السياسي عبر المفاوضات مع العدو. فتشكلت جبهة الرفض الفلسطينية في العام 1974 من (القيادة العامة والجبهة الشعبية وجبهة النضال وجبهة التحرير العربية).

منذ انطلاقتها، اشتهرت الجبهة بالعمليات العسكرية النوعية، لا سيما العمليات التي سُميت «العمليات الإستشهادية»، التي أصرّت قيادة الجبهة ومن منطلق إيمانها بقومية الصراع، أن تكون تشكيلات هذه العمليات من مقاتلين عرب. عملية مطار اللد 1968، وعملية كريات شمونة (الخالصة) في 11 نيسان 1974، وعملية كفار شامير (أم العقارب) في 13 حزيران 1974، وعملية شهداء قبية التي نفذها خالد أكر، وميلود بن ناجح نومه في 25 تشرين الثاني 1987 مستخدمين طائرات شراعية، وهذه العملية كانت الملهم والشرارة للانتفاضة الفلسطينية الأولى عام 1987 (انتفاضة الحجارة)». ونفذت الجبهة أكبر عمليات تحرير للأسرى من السجون الصهيونية. ففي (14 آذار من عام 1979 كانت عملية النورس، وحُرر بموجبها 77 أسير)، مقابل أسير صهيوني هو «إبراهام عمرام أسرته الجبهة في 5 نيسان عام 1978»، خلال الاجتياح الصهيوني لجنوب لبنان «عملية الليطاني». أما العملية الثانية، (عملية الجليل في 20 أيار من عام 1985، وحُرر بموجبها 1150 أسير، ومن أبرز المعتقلين الذين تم إطلاق سراحهم الشيخ الشهيد أحمد ياسين والعديد من قيادات العمل الوطني الفلسطيني من كافة الفصائل. والعلامة الأبرز كانت إرغام العدو على إطلاق المناضل الأممي الياباني كوزو اوكوموتو. كما تضمنت الصفقة، إطلاق سراح 50 من فلسطينيّي 48، و99 من دول عربية مختلفة و 6 من دول أجنبية). بالاضافة إلى عمليات إرسال السلاح إلى فلسطين إسناداً ودعماً لانتفاضة الأقصى العام 2000. والمساهمة في إسناد ودعم قوى المقاومة الوطنية والإسلامية بقيادة حزب الله في لبنان، في مواجهة العدو الصهيوني المحتلّ لأرض الجنوب، والإنخراط المباشر في تنفيذ العمليات القتالية إلى جانب قوى المقاومة حتى التحرير في 25 أيار 2000.

القسم الثاني

… الجبهة وإنْ كانت عضواً مؤسّساً في منظمة تحرير ومؤسّساتها (اللجنة التنفيذية – المجلس الوطني – المجلس المركزي)، إلاّ أنّ العلاقات بين الجبهة ومنظمة التحرير قد شهدت توترات في مراحل عديدة. وجميعها على خلفية تبنّي المنظمة للنقاط العشر المتعلقة بالتسوية الإستسلامية، والتي على اثرها تشكلت جبهة الرفض الفلسطينية. وكذلك ما اتخذته المنظمة ولجنتها التنفيذية من مواقف تبنت من خلالها رؤى سياسية تخالف مواد ميثاقها الوطني. ولعلّ القطيعة الأكبر كانت منذ العام 1983، ولا زالت مستمرة حتى الآن، خصوصاً بعد موافقة المنظمة على مبادرة الملك السعودي في القمة العربية الاستثنائية الثانية في فاس أواخر العام 1982. وبالتالي ما عمّق القطيعة هو التوقيع باسم المنظمة في 13 أيلول 1993 على اتفاقات «أوسلو» مع الكيان الصهيوني، في حفل احتضنه البيت الأبيض برعاية الرئيس بيل كلينتون. والتي تمّ بموجبها الاعتراف بالكيان، ومن ثم التنازل عن 78 بالمائة من أرض فلسطين التاريخية.

من خلفية رفضها لاتفاقات «أوسلو»، لا توجد بين الجبهة والسلطة الفلسطينية علاقات تجمعهما، والعلاقة مقتصرة على الفصائل. وهذا لم يمنع الجبهة من الانخراط في الحوارات التي أجرتها الفصائل منذ العام 2003 و أذار 2005 في القاهرة، والذي اتفق فيه على تطوير وتفعيل منظمة التحرير وتشكيل الإطار القيادي المؤقت. ومن ثم اتفاق أيار 2011 في القاهرة، الذي تمّ التوصل إليه. وصولاً إلى الحوار الذي جرى في موسكو برعاية روسية في شباط 2019. انخراط الجبهة في تلك الحوارات جاء من خلفية أنّ رأب الصدع في الساحة الفلسطينية من شأنه أن يمكننا من مواجهة التحديات التي تفرضها سياسات كيان العدو والإدارة الأميركية، بهدف تصفية القضية وعناوينها الوطنية.

أما ما يتعلق بالعلاقة بالفصائل وتحديداً حركتي حماس والجهاد الإسلامي اللتين انطلقتا خلال الانتفاضة الأولى (انتفاضة الحجارة) في العام 1987، فقد اتسمت العلاقة معهما بالإيجابية جداً، خصوصاً أنهما تتبنيان خيار المقاومة على أنها الطريق الوحيد لتحرير فلسطين، وترفض التسويات الإستسلامية وعلى وجه الخصوص اتفاقات «أوسلو» في العام 1993. وقد تطورت العلاقات مع الحركتين بشكل كبير على كافة المستويات وفي مقدمتها المستوى العسكري. والجبهة في علاقاتها مع الحركتين ذهبت بعيداً في التعاون العسكري فوضعت مواقعها ومعسكراتها في تصرف الحركتين، والمساهمة في التطوير من قدراتهما حسب الممكن والمتاح

وبقيت العلاقة تتطور إيجاباً حتى بدأت أحداث المنطقة أواخر العام 2010، وما سُمّي زوراً بـ «الربيع العربي»، لتشهد العلاقة وتحديداً مع حركة حماس حالة من شبه القيطعة، على خلفية تبني حماس مواقف منحازة لمن سمّوا أنفسهم بـ «الثورة السورية» منذ آذار 2011، لتكشف الأيام عن زيف ادّعاءات هؤلاء، ومدى تورّطهم وارتباطهم بأجهزة الاستخبارات الدولية والإقليمية، التي ثبُت انغماسها في تخريب وتدمير سورية كرمى عيون كيان العدو الصهيوني.

أقامت الجبهة علاقات عربية واسعة خاصة مع الدول ذات التوجهات القومية، حيث تقع سورية في مقدمتها، فقد حافظت الجبهة على علاقات مميّزة معها، قيادةً ودولةً وحزباً وشعباً، لما مثلته سورية من عمق وحاضنة استراتيجية للقضية الفلسطينية، منذ ثورة الثامن من آذار 1963. لتتكرّس هذه العلاقة مع مجيء الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد إلى سدة الحكم، حيث قدّم كلّ ما من شأنه تعزيز مقاومة الشعب الفلسطيني، وشرّع أبواب سورية أمام مقاومتها. ومن بعده تابع السيد الرئيس الدكتور بشار الأسد مسيرة والده في جعل سورية رافعة وحاضنة للمقاومة الفلسطينية، وسائر المقاومات العربية، وخطاً أمامياً في مواجهة المشروع الصهيو أميركي في المنطقة. ولعلها مناسبة لنتقدّم بشهادة تاريخية أنّ ما حظي فيه الشعب الفلسطيني في سورية منذ العام 1948، لم يحظ به أيّ من الفلسطينيين المقيمين في بقية دول الطوق لفلسطين، حيث عومل الفلسطينيون معاملة السوريّين باستثناء الترشح والانتخاب، وما دون ذلك فقد عومل الفلسطيني معاملة شقيقه السوري على حدّ سواء. وسورية لما مثلته وما زالت من فرادة في المواقف الوطنية والقومية الأصيلة، وسط واقع عربي رسمي متهاو وخانع، يبحث عن استرضاء الإدارات الأميركية بطريقة خطب ودّ كيان الاحتلال والتطبيع معه، وصولاً إلى إقامة التحالفات، في استبدال فاضح في أولويات الصراع ووجهته وعناوينه. سورية دفعت ولا زالت من دماء أبنائها وجيشها ومقدراتها وقدراتها، عشر سنوات من حرب كونية أميركية صهيونية رجعية إرهابية، طالت الحجر والبشر والشجر. سورية ورغم الحرب الظالمة بقيت صامدة أبية، ومتمسكة برؤيتها ومواقفها السياسية، وهي اليوم ومع شركائها وحلفائها تنتصر على امتداد جغرافيتها الوطنية. وفي هذا السياق، وقفت الجبهة إلى جانب سورية من خلفية أولاً فهمها ووعيها لطبيعة الأهداف الصهيوأميركية وحلفائهم وأدواتهم في تغيير وجهة المنطقة، لصالح ذاك المشروع المعادي. وثانياً، لأنها تُدرك أنّ في السعي إلى إسقاط الدولة الوطنية في سورية، إنما هو إسقاط لقضية الشعب الفلسطيني، وتصفية عناوينها وحقوقها الوطنية.

وارتبطت الجبهة بعلاقات متأرجحة وليست مستدامة مع كلّ من العراق ومصر (زمن الرئيس الراحل جمال عبد الناصر)، والجزائر والكويت والسودان وارتيريا زمن الاحتلال الأثيوبي. أما ليبيا فامتدت العلاقة بالقيادة الليبية عقود من الزمن بقيادة الرئيس الراحل معمر القذافي، واستمرت العلاقة إلى ما قبل سقوطه بأكثر من عشر سنوات. وفي هذا السياق لا تنكر الجبهة ما قدّمته ليبيا وقيادتها لها ولمعظم الفصائل الفلسطينية.

أما إسلامياً، فالعلاقة الوحيدة هي مع الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية، حيث اعتبرت الجبهة أنّ انتصار الثورة في إيران بقيادة الإمام الراحل الخميني عام 1979 ضدّ حكم الشاه، هو انتصار للقضية الفلسطينية، وتعويض عن خروج مصر بعد أن وقّع السادات اتفاقات كامب ديفيد في العام 1979. وكانت الجبهة من أولى الفصائل الفلسطينية التي وطدت علاقاتها مع إيران الإسلامية بقيادة الإمام الخميني رحمه الله، الذي أغلق سفارة كيان العدو، ووضع مكانها سفارة فلسطين. وأطلق نداءه التاريخي بإعلان يوم الجمعة الأخير من شهر رمضان من كلّ عام يوماً للقدس العالمي. ولا زالت هذه العلاقة متواصلة وراسخة متميّزة مع إيران بقيادة الإمام السيد علي الخامنئي، الذي لم يترك والقيادة الإيرانية فرصة أو مناسبة إلاّ وأكدوا فيها على وقوفهم ودعمهم الحازم للقضية الفلسطينية ومقاومتها. ولعلّ العلامة الفارقة التي مثلها الشهيد القائد الحاج قاسم سليماني في دعمه اللامحدود للمقاومة الفلسطينية، بكلّ ما استلزمها من إمكانيات وقدرات تمكنت المقاومة من خلالها تطوير تلك القدرات مما مكنها من إفشال كلّ الحروب التي شنّها كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني على قطاع غزة.

أما دولياً، فارتبطت علاقات الجبهة مع دول المنظومة الاشتراكية بقيادة الاتحاد السوفياتي قبل انهياره مطللع التسعينات. حيث كانت الجبهة ترسل البعثات التعليمية والدورات العسكرية إلى العديد من هذه الدول وخصوصاً الاتحاد السوفياتي وبلغاريا. واستمرت هذه العلاقة حتى سقوط الاتحاد السوفياتي وتفكك حلف وارسو. وأعيد تجديد العلاقات، بعد قدوم الرئيس بوتين إلى رئاسة الاتحاد الروسي. وكذلك مع الدول والأحزاب والحركات ذات التوجهات الإشتراكية والمؤيدة للحق والنضال الكفاحي للشعب الفلسطيني.

أما علاقة الجبهة مع الأحزاب الوطنية أو القومية، سواء اللبنانية أو العربية، فهي تحظى بعلاقات تاريخية مع أحزاب وطنية وإسلامية وقومية وناصرية وحتى العلمانية منها، طالما أنّ ناظم هذه العلاقة هي فلسطين ومقاومة شعبها ودعمها وإسنادها.

ختاماً ومع حلول الذكرى 55 لانطلاقة الجبهة المعمدة بدماء الآلاف من الشهداء والجرحى، الذين سقطوا على درب مسيرة الكفاح الوطني الفلسطيني، ومعارك الدفاع عن قضايا أمتنا. الجبهة مطالبة أولاً، بالتأكيد على إرثها النضالي والكفاحي الوطني والاعتزاز به، والدفع ثانياً، بروح التجديد بآليات وأدوات عملها ومؤسساتها، مشفوعاً في إفساح المجال والطريق أمام الطاقات الشابة الواعدة.

Palestinians mark Prisoner Day amid fears of Corona virus spread in Israeli jails

Source

 Friday, 17 April 2020 16:40 

The Palestinians mark today Prisoner Day in honour of the Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails and their sacrifices in the battle of steadfastness in defence of their people’s legitimate rights amid international silence towards the flagrant Israeli violations.

Endorsed by the Palestinian National Council in 1974, The Palestinian Prisoner Day is commemorated this year  amidst grave fears of the Palestinian families  in light of the occupation authorities’ medical negligence and their rejection to take any precautionary measures to protect the captives against the spread of the Corona virus.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demanded from the international community and its legal and humanitarian organizations to put pressure on the occupation authorities to release them in light of the accelerated spread of the Corona virus pandemic.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said that the Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails are facing the danger of the fatal virus which penetrated into Israeli prisons because of the occupation authorities’ deliberate medical negligence.

Several Palestinians bodies in charge of captives affairs said that about 5000 Palestinians captives are being detained by the occupation authorities including 41 women and 180 children. They stressed that there are 700 captives suffering from chronic diseases calling for sending an international medical committee to the Palestinian inmates’ cells  to be briefed about their deteriorating health conditions. 

K.Q

Dr. Ashrawi: Palestinian Prisoners are Hostages to Israel’s Gratuitous Cruelty and Must be Released

Friday, 17 April 2020

On the Day of the Palestinian Prisoner, the Palestinian leadership renews its call for the release of all Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.  According to a press release sent today to Syria Times e-newspaper, the member of the PLO Executive Committee Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said that Palestinian political prisoners languishing in Israeli detention centers and prisons are hostages to Israel’s gratuitous cruelty and victims of its regime of oppression and subjugation, which has maintained this illegal occupation for decades.  Dr. Ashrawi made it clear that approximately 5000 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel in deplorable conditions, including 432 so-called administrative detainees languishing in prison without charge or trial. “In violation of international humanitarian law, Israel subjects Palestinians to a myriad of racist and illegitimate laws that deny them their basic rights to due process and justice. On the Day of the Palestinian Prisoner, the Palestinian leadership renews its call for the release of all Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. This call takes on added urgency, as 700 Palestinian prisoners suffer from chronic illnesses and other underlying conditions that make them especially vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, ” Dr. Ashrawi added.  She asserted that as the Palestinian people confront the challenges of colonial occupation and this vicious virus, Israel has persisted in its illegal policies against Palestinian prisoners.  “Israel has denied Palestinian prisoners access to family and lawyer visits and refused to take any preventive measures inside prisons, including testing for COVID-19, even after 1 prisoner tested positive upon release and several occupation officers in prisons have tested positive. Israel has also persisted in its illegal policy of arbitrary mass detention of Palestinians. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Israeli occupation forces have detained 357 Palestinians across the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. Among those detained are 48 children.” Dr. Ashrawi concluded by saying: “As an occupying power, Israel has undeniable and binding obligations under international law. It is directly responsible for the life and health of all prisoners and must face consequences for its grave violations of international law. We call on all human rights defenders and relevant international organizations to support our call for the release of Palestinian prisoners and their protection from this deadly virus.” Basma Qaddour

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Land Day 2020 in the Time of the Coronavirus

March 30, 2020

Samidoun issued a call for a rally in New York City to commemorate the second anniversary of the Great Return March in Gaza, that has been transformed into a virtual event. (Photo: via Samidoun)

By Benay Blend

On March 3, 2020, Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Network issued a call for a rally in New York City to commemorate the second anniversary of the Great Return March in Gaza.

Plans were to hold the march in conjunction with the Palestine Writes Festival (March 27-29), but due to the Coronavirus the literary gathering has been postponed, and the march, like so many other events, has been transformed into a virtual event.

Two years ago, on March 30, 2018, Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip launched the Great March of Return in order to demand an end to Israel’s closure of the Gaza Strip and the right of return for millions of Palestinian ethnically cleansed from their homes.

Despite Israel’s ongoing use of live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets, Palestinians continue to use every legitimate means possible—including armed resistance, general strikes, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns, and the Great Return March—in their struggle for national liberation.

This year, in the words of Tamara Nassar: “Palestinians face two enemies: occupation and pandemic.” As Nassar notes, their struggle against the virus entails the same precautions as the rest of the world, while, in addition, Israel “continues to demolish structures, conduct night raids, arbitrarily arrest children and routinely harass civilians.”

For example, palinfo.com reports that on March 27, 2020, Israeli occupation soldiers invaded several areas in the West Bank city of al-Khalil where they “deliberately spat” at Palestinian homes and cars. After their departure, Palestinian workers sterilized the places where the soldiers spat in order to reduce the chances of infection.

Moreover, while the West Bank and Jerusalem are quarantined, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights last week recorded that Israelis undertook 59 home raids and 51 arrests.

All of these atrocities and more are unique to the Occupation. Nevertheless, there is a larger framework that makes it possible to place the Palestinian struggle within a broader context. As stated in Samidoun’s decision to transform the various rallies in support of Gaza into virtual events:

“Protecting each other’s health at this critical time is essential to continuing the struggle against the forces of oppression and exploitation that deny people health care or price it with a profit motive.”

For many in the labor force, this is not an option. In countries under the rule of right-wing capitalist leaders, workers are being told that they have a choice between staying home without a paycheck, thus placing their families under economic hardship, or going to workplaces that put them at risk for serious infection with the virus.

For example, the lieutenant governor of Texas Dan Patrick suggested that older Americans would surely sacrifice themselves in return for guaranteeing their grandchildren’s economic future. He also advocated that the country should be opened up for business in weeks, not months as health professionals propose.

President Donald Trump’s call to open up the country for business by Easter echoed a similar prioritizing of business and mega-church religious leaders over the lives of workers and their families.

In Palestine, too, Akram Al-Waara reports that workers face a similar dilemma, though aggravated by realities of the Occupation. For those working in Israel, new restrictions related to the Coronavirus mean that they have a choice between sacrificing a “much-needed income,” or taking the chance of being apart from their families for months.

As the virus continued to extend across Israel and the West Bank, Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennet, who had already closed the borders around Bethlehem, announced that only workers in “essential” fields—construction, healthcare, and agriculture—would be granted entry; everyone else would be quarantined at home.

“While the Israelis are staying inside their homes, they are putting us to work so that things don’t collapse,” Kareem, a Palestinian construction worker, told Middle East Eye, all “for the sake of saving their economy.” Though the situation is different within the context of the Occupation, the paradigm of profit over people is inevitable wherever there is a capitalist economy. In New Mexico, where I live, Indian reservations make up expendable labor pools, much like Palestinians are today.

In the preface to Simon Ortiz’s Fight Back: For the Sake of the People, For the Sake of the Land (1980), historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz explains that “Indians have a basis of unity with non-Indians,” and it is there, “in the fields and on the picket line, that they may see through the smokescreen of racism” to pinpoint the real cause of their oppression: capitalism.

She continues:

“For the Indian and non-Indian worker in the United States and most of the hemisphere, their exploited labor provides the profits for those who claim to own the land and the factories and have armies to back their claim.”

Dunbar-Ortiz’s analysis is more important today than ever as we see workers around the world faced with the choice of watching their families starve without a paycheck or bringing sickness home from their workplace.

As Italians called for a General Strike on March 25 under the slogan “Our lives are worth more than your profits,” and requests for a nationwide rent strike erupt in the U.S., it seems an excellent time for international solidarity among the working class, Indigenous, immigrants and all other oppressed groups of people.

Meanwhile, news sources such as NPR are using fears over the Coronavirus to air the following message: “Israelis and Palestinians now have a common enemy: the Coronavirus.”

Described by +972 Magazine as “ ‘colonization of the mind,’ whereby the oppressed subject comes to believe that the oppressor’s reality is the only ‘normal’ reality that must be subscribed to, and that the oppression is a fact of life that must be coped with,” “normalization” never sleeps. Neither does colonialist oppression, even during the height of the pandemic.

As Akram Al-Waara relates, Palestinian workers in Israel who are suspected to have the virus are “dumped…like trash” near the most convenient checkpoints. “This is the true face of the Israeli occupation,” Ibrahim Abu Safiya told Middle East Eye. “They kill us on a daily basis, so this isn’t any different for them.” No cooperation here over a “common enemy to battle,” as Daniel Estrin of NPR termed it, only the continuation of the Palestinian struggle for liberation.

In Israel, the United States, and around the world, exploited groups of people are expendable, thrown away when no longer serving the needs of the elite. As a community activist and scholar Oliver Baker wrote on Facebook, this is how “whiteness in capitalism works. It expects you to consent to give it your labor and enforce empire. But it cares nothing about your life. It’s time to betray it, or if not, you’ll be in the way of people trying to free themselves from these conditions, and you don’t want to be in the way of that right now.”

Nevertheless, the message of Land Day 2020 remains one of sumoud (steadfastness) and creativity, as Palestinians from Gaza to Bethlehem mobilize collectively to fight the virus.

“If we can overcome Coronavirus, we can overcome the occupation,” writes Suha Arraf, a sentiment echoed by Lucy Thaljiyeh, a city council member and feminist political activist: “The solidarity between people has returned, the solidarity we had during the First Intifada which somehow disappeared in the Second Intifada. We are together once again, trapped; we are taking care of each other.”

As support gathers around the world in the coming days for Land Day 2020, it seems fitting to end with the words of Palestinian American activist and scholar Steven Salaita:

“I find myself thinking about the Gaza Strip, Attica, Wounded Knee, the Warsaw Ghetto, not because our situation is analogous, and not because suffering must be exceptional to have meaning, but because they’re examples of incredible strength amid hardship and insecurity and therefore provide a radical vision of fortitude in which victims of power, not its beneficiaries, serve as inspiration for survival.”

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Land Day Report: Sharp Rise in Illegal Jewish Settlement Building in West Bank

March 30, 2020

Israel is accelerating settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: File)
Newly-released statistics show a sharp rise in the building and expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Quds Press reported on Sunday.
According to a report issued to mark Palestine Land Day today, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said that the number of Jewish settlements and outposts now stands at 448.
This one on the left is the 1947 partition plan of Palestine.

The one on the right is what is left of Palestine currently because of illegal Israeli settlements. Palestinians fully lost the North part btw and now they only have the red separated parts.
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This includes 150 settlements approved by the Israeli government, 26 outposts that are regarded as extensions of approved settlements and 128 outposts that have been built without the approval of the government.
In the report, the PCBS pointed out that the number of Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank was 671,007 by the end of 2018. Furthermore, last year, the Israeli occupation authorities approved 8,457 new settlement units and 13 new outposts.
In the same period, the Israeli authorities demolished 678 Palestinian facilities, including 251 residential buildings, and issued 556 orders for Palestinians to stop work on building new homes or renovating older premises.
Under international law, Jewish settlements constructed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories constitute a violation of international law and are considered illegal.

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

في الذكرى الرابعة والأربعين ليوم الأرض محطات في تاريخ الصراع ووقفات عزّ قومية

سماح مهدي

يُعدّ يوم 1/8/1882 في التاريخ الحديث نقطة الانطلاقة الفعلية من قبل العدو اليهودي باتجاه اغتصاب أرضنا في فلسطين. ففي ذلك التاريخ أنشأت حركة «أحباء صهيون» أول مغتصبة يهودية على أرض فلسطين.

إلا أنّ الإعلان الأبرز عن ذلك التوجه الاغتصابيّ كان على إثر تأسيس المنظمة الصهيونية العالمية بتاريخ 29/08/1897، وعقدها لمؤتمرها الأول في مدينة بازل السويسرية، وكانت أبرز مقرراته إقامة «وطن قومي لليهود» على أرضنا في فلسطين.

باشرت الحركة الصهيونية نشاطها لتستفيد من اندلاع الحرب العالمية الأولى وتوقيع اتفاقية سايكس – بيكو التقسيمية بتاريخ 16/05/1916، فاستحصلت بتاريخ 02/11/2017 على ذلك الوعد المشؤوم من وزير خارجية بريطانيا – آنذاك – آثر بلفور بإقامة الوطن القومي اليهودي المزعوم.

بطبيعة الحال، تصدّى أبناء شعبنا في فلسطين للخطة اليهوديّة المعادية، وعقد المؤتمر الفلسطيني الأول في القدس بتاريخ 27/01/1919. وتلاه المؤتمر الشعبي الكبير في فلسطين بتاريخ 05/03/1919 الذي تقرّر فيه رفض الاحتلال البريطاني ووعد بلفور والهجرة اليهودية ِإلى فلسطين.

ويسجل التاريخ في 27/02/1920 خروج أول تظاهرة وطنية فلسطينية احتجاجاً على سلخ فلسطين عن سورية، فأعلن شعبنا الفلسطيني تمسكه بهويّته القومية وإصراره على البقاء موحداً مع محيطه الطبيعي.

وعلى الرغم من تقرير عصبة الأمم تم تنفيذ الاحتلال البريطاني لفلسطين بتاريخ 24/07/1922، إلا أنّ شعبنا الفلسطيني البطل استمرّ في رفضه ومقاومته لذلك الاحتلال حتى وصل إلى إعلان الثورة الشاملة بتاريخ 15/04/1936.

ولا نذيع سراً أنّ الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي الذي تأسّس في 16/11/1932 ليكون الخطة النظامية المعاكسة للمشروع اليهودي ولحركته السياسية المسمّاة بالحركة الصهيونية، كان واحداً من المشاركين في تلك الثورة، حيث لبّى القوميون الاجتماعيون نداء فلسطين، وقاتلوا دفاعاً عنها ضدّ العصابات اليهودية. فكان أن ارتقى في مدينة نابلس بتاريخ 23/09/1936 أول شهداء الحزب الرفيق حسين البنا إبن بلدة شارون في قضاء عاليه – جبل لبنان.

على الرغم من التصدي البطولي لأبناء شعبنا الفلسطيني في مواجهة مغتصبي الأرض، جاءت لجنة بيل لتعلن عن اقتراحها في 07/07/1937 للمرة الأولى بتقسيم فلسطين إلى دولتين تكون الأولى لأهل الأرض الأصليين والثانية لمغتصبيها من اليهود.

بدأت الحرب العالمية الثانية، فوضعت الحركة الصهيونية كلّ ثقلها للاستفادة من نتائجها في سبيل تحقيق هدف إقامة كيان الاحتلال، خاصة بعد إنشاء الأمم المتحدة بتاريخ 24/10/1945 لتكون الهيئة الدولية الجديدة التي ترعى مصالح الأمم المنتصرة في الحرب.

بتاريخ 02/03/1947 عاد مؤسس الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي أنطون سعاده من مغتربه القسري إلى لبنان، فكانت في استقباله حشود قدّرت بعشرات الآلاف من القوميين الاجتماعيين، فألقى خطابه الشهير المعروف بخطاب العودة الذي جاء فيه:

«ولعلكم ستسمعون من سيقول لكم إنّ في إنقاذ فلسطين حيفاً على لبنان واللبنانيين وأمراً لا دخل للبنانيين فيه. إنّ إنقاذ فلسطين هو أمر لبناني في الصميم، كما هو أمر شامي في الصميم، كما هو أمر فلسطيني في الصميم. إنّ الخطر اليهودي على فلسطين هو خطر على سورية كلها، هو خطر على جميع هذه الكيانات».

استمرّت الخطة المشؤومة في سيرها، فصدر قرار الأمم المتحدة رقم 181 بتاريخ 29/11/1947، والذي قضى بتقسيم فلسطين كما خطّط له أيام عصبة الأمم. ليتبع ذلك إعلان قيام كيان الاحتلال الإسرائيلي بتاريخ 15/5/1948.

ما كان هذا الإعلان أن يمرّ مرور الكرام، فانتفض كلّ من أحبّ فلسطين ليدافع عنها في مواجهة ذلك العدو الوجودي. ومجدّداً، واستجابة لنداء زعيم الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي أنطون سعاده تشكلت الفرق القوميّة للذوْد عن جنوب الأمة السورية، فكانت أولاها «فرقة الزوبعة الحمراء» التي تأسّست بتاريخ 21/5/1948 لتقاتل بقيادة الأمين الراحل مصطفى سليمان النبالي.

استولى المغتصبون اليهود نتيجة حرب العام 1948 على ما يقارب من 78% من أرض فلسطين، وقاموا بتهجير حوالي 85% من أهلها.

لم تكد تضع الحرب أوزارها حتى أعلن كنيست الاحتلال القدس عاصمة أبدية لكيان الاغتصاب اليهوديّ بتاريخ 23/01/1950. وتلا ذلك إصدار ما يُسمّى بقانون العودة بتاريخ 5/7/1950 الذي يبيح أرض فلسطين لكلّ يهود العالم.

تسارعت الهجرة اليهودية إلى أرض فلسطين المحتلة، وسعت حكومة الاحتلال إلى تهويد كلّ القرى والمدن الفلسطينية حتى تلك التي صمد فيها أهلها ورفضوا تهجيرهم رغم كلّ الضغوط التي تعرّضوا لها من قبل قوات الاحتلال.

من ضمن الأراضي المستهدفة بعملية التهويد كانت الأراضي التي تعرف باسم «المل» أو المنطقة رقم 9، وهي تقع ضمن قرى سخنين وعرابة ودير حنا، وتبلغ مساحتها 60 ألف دونم.

وكانت هذه الأراضي تحت سيطرة جيش الاحتلال البريطاني بين عامي 1942 و1944 حيث كان يستخدمها كمنطقة تدريبات عسكرية أثناء الحرب العالمية الثانية.

أبقى جيش الاحتلال الإسرائيلي على الوضع نفسه الذي كان سائدًا في أيام الاحتلال البريطاني، حتى جاء العام 1956 فقام بإغلاق المنطقة بهدف إقامة مخططات بناء مغتصبات يهودية ضمن مشروع تهويد الجليل.

نتيجة لطبيعته الاحتلالية والتوسعية، لم يكتفِ كيان الاحتلال بما احتله من أراضٍ في العام 1948، حتى بلغ أوجه في حرب العام 1967 التي تمكن خلالها من احتلال ما تبقى من أرض فلسطين والجولان وسيناء.

محطة جديدة يثبت فيها الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي أنه حزب فلسطين عبر تشكيل «جبهة الفداء القومي» بقيادة الأمين الراحل سامي خوري، والتي نفذت عمليات عدة ضدّ جيش الاحتلال كان أبرزها العملية البطولية التي نفذت في غور الأردن بتاريخ 17/03/1968 وأسر فيها الرفيق الدكتور عزمي منصور.

على الرغم من تحرير أجزاء من أرضنا القومية المحتلة خلال حرب تشرين التحريرية في العام 1973، إلا أنّ الصراع لم يتوقف، بل استمرّ في سبيل تحرير ما تبقى من أرض تحت الاحتلال ومنع تهويدها ومصادرتها.

وفي هذا الإطار عقد بتاريخ 29/07/1975 اجتماع في حيفا المحتلة حضره مبادرون لتنظيم حملة الاحتجاج على مصادرة الأراضي الفلسطينية بعد أن أعلنت سلطات كيان الاحتلال عزمها على مصادرة 21 ألف دونم من أراضي نحو 12 قرية فلسطينية. وقد ضمّ الاجتماع عدداً من رؤساء المجالس المحلية الفلسطينية وشخصيات وطنية مختلفة من مجاهدين وأطباء ومثقفين ورجال دين وفلاحين. وتقرّر في هذا الاجتماع تشكيل لجنة للدفاع عن الأراضي الفلسطينية.

بتاريخ 15/8/1975 دعت هذه اللجنة إلى عقد اجتماع شعبي موسّع في الناصرة المحتلة تقرّرت فيه الدعوة إلى مؤتمر شعبي عام للمطالبة بوقف مصادرة الأراضي. وصدر عن الاجتماع نداء موجه إلى الرأي العام يدعوه إلى المشاركة في الحملة ضدّ سياسة المصادرة، حيث وقع على هذا النداء آلاف المواطنين وجميع الهيئات الشعبية والمجالس المحلية الفلسطينية.

وعقدت لجنة الدفاع بعد ذلك عشرات الاجتماعات الشعبية في الجليل والمثلث، فكان أبرزها المؤتمر الشعبي العام الذي عقد في الناصرة المحتلة بتاريخ 18/10/1975، الذي عدّ أكبر مؤتمر شعبي يُعقد في فلسطين المحتلة بعد عام 1948 حتى ذلك الحين.

وفي هذا المؤتمر تقرّر إعلان الإضراب العام وتنظيم مظاهرات أمام كنيست العدو إذا لم تتراجع حكومة الاحتلال عن مخططات مصادرة الأراضي الفلسطينية وتهويدها. لكن سلطات الاحتلال تجاهلت ذلك وضربت بمطالب أبناء شعبنا الفلسطيني عرض الحائط.

استمرّ العدو المحتلّ في ممارسة أعمال التهويد، فصدر بتاريخ 13/02/1976 قرار بإغلاق منطقة المل (المنطقة رقم 9) ومنع أهلها من أبناء شعبنا الفلسطيني من الدخول إليها.

كما صدرت بتاريخ 1/3/1976 وثيقة متصرف لواء الشمال في ما يسمّى وزارة داخلية الاحتلال (وثيقة كيننغ) المتضمّنة مجموعة اقتراحات لاستكمال تهويد الجليل، حيث تضمّنت النقاط التالية:

1 ـ تكثيف الاستيطان اليهودي في شمال فلسطين المحتلة (منطقة الجليل).

2 ـ السعي لإنشاء حزب من أبناء شعبنا الفلسطيني يُعتبر «أخاً» لحزب العمل الإسرائيلي ويركز على المساواة والسلام.

3 ـ رفع التنسيق بين الجهات الحكومية الاحتلالية في معالجة مسائل أبناء شعبنا الفلسطيني.

4 ـ إيجاد إجماع «قومي يهودي» داخل أحزاب الاحتلال حول موضوع أبناء شعبنا الفلسطيني الصامدين داخل الأرض المحتلة.

5 ـ التضييق الاقتصادي على العائلات الفلسطينية عبر ملاحقتها بالضرائب وإعطاء الأولوية لليهود في فرص العمل، وكذلك تخفيض نسبة أبناء شعبنا الفلسطيني في التحصيل العلمي وتشجيع التوجهات المهنية لدى التلاميذ.

6 ـ تسهيل هجرة الشباب والطلاب من أبناء شعبنا الفلسطيني إلى خارج البلاد ومنع عودتهم إليها.

دعت لجنة الدفاع بالاشتراك مع لجنة رؤساء المجالس المحلية الفلسطينية إلى اجتماع موسّع عقد في الناصرة المحتلة بتاريخ 6/3/1976 وحضره أكثر من 70 مندوباً يمثلون مختلف القرى والتجمعات الفلسطينية في المثلث والجليل. وفي هذا الاجتماع اتخذ القرار التاريخي بإعلان الإضراب العام يوم 30 آذار عام 1976. لكن سلطات الاحتلال استمرت في تنفيذ مخططها التهويدي.

وبتاريخ 19/3/1976 أصدر وزير المالية في حكومة الاحتلال أمر مصادرة الأراضي الفلسطينية. وانكبّت حكومته على ممارسة شتى أنواع الترهيب بهدف ضرب وحدة أبناء شعبنا الفلسطيني ومنع نجاح الإضراب المقرّر.

وأشاعت حكومة الاحتلال أنه سيتمّ صرف كلّ العمال الذين يتغيّبون عن أعمالهم يوم 30 آذار 1976 من دون تسديد تعويضاتهم المستحقة. كما عمّمت على الدوائر بعدم إعطاء إجازات للعمال من أبناء شعبنا الفلسطيني في يوم الإضراب المحدّد.

كما عمدت حكومة الاحتلال إلى تعبئة قوات كبيرة من الشرطة وحرس الحدود والجيش، ومركزتها في القرى والمدن الفلسطينية.

لم تكتف حكومة الاحتلال بكلّ هذه التدابير الاستثنائية، بل بات وزير شرطتها في مدينة الناصرة المحتلة منذ تاريخ 29/03/1976 ليتابع شخصياً كلّ إجراءات القمع الاحتلالية، حتى وصف ذلك اليوم بأنه اليوم الذي لم يبق فيه جهاز في كيان الاحتلال إلا واشترك في محاولة إفشال الإضراب.

على الرغم من كلّ هذا الاستنفار العام لدى جميع أجهزة سلطات الاحتلال، قرّرت لجنة الدفاع عن الأراضي الفلسطينية والقوى الوطنية الأخرى الاستمرار في المواجهة وخوض صراع قاسٍ مع حكومة الاحتلال أقلّ ما يُقال فيه إنه صراع وجود بكلّ ما تحويه الكلمة من معنى.

وكما هو مقرّر، في يوم الثلاثين من آذار من العام 1976، عمّ الإضراب الشامل مدن وقرى الجليل والمثلث الفلسطينية. فصبّت سلطات الاحتلال جامّ غضبها على أبناء شعبنا الفلسطيني في محاولة بائسة منها لثنيه عن المضي في إضرابه. مما أدّى إلى اشتباكات مباشرة مع قوات الاحتلال كانت أشدّها ضراوة في قرى سخنين وعرابة ودير حنا.

ارتقى نتيجة الصدامات البطولية مع قوات الاحتلال ستة شهداء: ثلاثة من سخنين هم خديجة قاسم شواهة ورجا أبو ريا وخضر خلايلة، وخير ياسين (من عرابة) ومحسن طه (من كفركنا) ورأفت علي زهيري (من مخيم نور شمس في الضفة الغربية واستشهد في الطيبة). هذا فضلاً عن 49 جريحاً ونحو300 معتقل. فيما أصيب من شرطة الاحتلال 20 شرطياً.

لا يختلف إثنان على أنّ يوم الأرض شكل علامة فارقة في تاريخ الصراع الوجوديّ بين أبناء شعبنا في فلسطين المحتلة وقوات الاحتلال. فكانت هذه واحدة من المحطات الأبرز في تاريخ المقاومة الوطنية الفلسطينية المستندة إلى إرادة شعبية موحدة تمكنت من قيادة مواجهات بطولية ضدّ المحتل اليهودي على الرغم من انعدام الموارد واختلال موازين القوة المادية.

يوم الأرض، نجمة مضيئة في تاريخنا القومي المليء بوقفات البطولة، يستمدّ شعبنا الفلسطيني منها روحه المقاومة، فكان في العام 2018 شرارة الانطلاق لمسيرات العودة التي انطلقت من قطاع غزة المحاصر باتجاه أرضنا الفلسطينية المحتلة عام 1948. فأراد أهلنا المقاومون في غزة، ومن ضمنهم رفقاؤنا في منفذية جنوب فلسطين، أن يجعلوا من هذا التاريخ – الثلاثين من آذار – تاريخاً محفوراً في الذاكرة القومية أنه تاريخ حياة التي لا يمكن أن تكون إلا وقفة عز فقط.

*عضو المجلس الأعلى في الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي.

Netanyahu Fooled his People to Get Re-Elected Using the Remnants of the IDF Terrorist Retrieved from Syria

 

Netanyahu lied- only half of the body of the IDF terrorist Baumel retrieved from Syria through Russia

When the news of Russian help extended to Netanyahu to win the elections went as far as extracting the remains of an IDF terrorist killed in Lebanon and buried in Yarmouk Camp graveyard south of Damascus back in April earlier this year, many Syrians, Palestinians, and other Arabs felt heart-broken and disappointed; it was more like a backstab to the Syrians and Palestinians by their Russian ally and a betray of trust, usually this would include releasing numerous Palestinians, Lebanese, and Syrian women, men, and most importantly children held in Israeli prisons.

Netanyahu needed any help to win the elections back in May to remain out of prison on charges of fraud, like all other Israeli officials, usual exchanges would include at least releasing a number of the children and women, and even men kidnapped by Israel and held in detention centers across occupied Palestine. But there was no exchange.

Liar Netanyahu shows fake emotions to family of IDF terrorist Baumel

At a later stage Netanyahu, possibly under pressure from Putin, released two prisoners, one of who is a Palestinian who didn’t want to go to Syria in the first place, whose his family are in the occupied Palestinian city of Al-Khalil (Zionists call it Hebron), and a drug dealer who has already spent his 11 years sentence in the Israeli prisons and was set to be released in a couple of months completing his sentence without any deal!

Thousands of children, women, and innocent men held with no justification by an occupation force and under the heinous silence of the United Nations and its many organs which are more focused to investigate bogus and fake news against Syria instead of focusing on real people held in miserable situations under the whole world’s watchful eyes.

That’s for the background of this story; what was revealed today should deliver a blow to the already embattled Netanyahu in regards with the snatching of the body of the IDF terrorist from Syria by Russia. Khalid Jibril, head of security and military in the PFLP-GC (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command), in an interview with Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news channel, revealed that what the Russians managed to extract was only the upper half of the remains of the body of the Israeli IDF terrorist and even that was missing its jaw.

In other words, not only did Netanyahu falsely claim he got the remains of the terrorist, he only got less than half after desecrating the remnants and fooling his family, and the public, just to get reelected.

Khalid Ahmad Jibril head of military and security PFLP-GC

Khalid Ahmad Jibril head of military and security PFLP-GC

Mr. Jibril challenged the Israeli leadership to deny this information, he added: ‘When they need to have these bodies back they need to pay the price for that which is releasing those in the (Israeli) occupation prisons, Syrians, Palestinians, or Arabs.’

The timing of this exposure is essential as the Israelis are preparing for the second round of elections and Netanyahu’s chances should grow slimmer with this news especially when used by his opponents.

In Case you missed it

Worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque Expel Saudi Journalist Visiting Tel Aviv: Video

July 22, 2019

Capture

The Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque expelled a Saudi journalist out of the Holy Shrine for joining an Arab delegation into Tel Aviv in the context of normalizing ties with the Zionist entity.

The following video shows a group of worshippers chasing the Saudi journalist, rebuking him for his pro-Israeli stance, and expelling him out of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Palestinians Proved it: ‘Nakba’ is Never a Day of Mourning, It’s Either Us or Them!

May 15, 2019

Islamic Jihad fighter

When every day in Palestinians lives is ‘Nakba’, resistance is the only way out.

By: Batoul Wehbe

Every year on May 15, Palestinians commemorate the Nakba (“catastrophe”) in 1948 when 1 million Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their lands and over 500 Palestinian villages were destroyed or depopulated by Zionist terrorist militias to make way for the settler colonial so-called “state of Israel”.

May 15 is an annual occasion to mourn history, weep and recall the harsh scenes of massacres and bloodshed against thousands of Palestinians. It’s the date when Arab regimes humiliated themselves and accepted defeat.

Those Arabs who aborted all sparks of resistance that was launched in occupied Palestine against the Israeli occupation, starting with aborting the so-called “Salvation Army”, abandoning the idea of liberation, and striking the resistance led by heroic revolutionaries such as the Syrian officer Ihsan Kam al-Maz, Sheikh Izzidine al-Qassam and Abdul Qadir al-Husseini.

Image result for Abdul Qadir al-Husseini
Arab commander Abdul Qadir al-Husseini

Either We Come out of War Victorious, Or We All Die!

Al-Husseini, who was the leader of the Arab military force in Al-Quds area, had said on the eve of the war, just before he was martyred on the dawn of 1948: “It is inconceivable that Palestine will be for the Arabs and the Zionists together – it’s us or them. This is a war for life or death: Either we come out of the war victorious, or we all die.”

The irony is that while this Palestinian leader was having a tense discussion with Arab traitors, he concluded with an eternal statement that shall be recorded for life: “History will judge you for abandoning Palestine, you and those who are behind you, I hold you responsible. I will capture Qastel [village occupied by Zionists] and die, I and all my fighters, and history will record that you – criminals and traitors – abandoned the land.”

“Deal of the Century” Doomed to Fail

Indeed, those Arabs have sought with betrayal and direct conspiracies on resistance movements to undermine the Palestinian cause and turn it from an issue of existence to a border dispute, dwarfing it with successive decrees and agreements, gradually dividing and selling the land in bulk and retail, which paved a way for the Deal of the Century which Washington is betting on Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arabs to support and implement.

After 71 years on the Nakba, Palestine and its cause have become at the bottom of the concerns of the divided Arab regimes. It has become a poem and a repeated statement in the fragmented Arab conferences and leagues which have become opposing entities and parties looking for different means to strike the resistance and study possibilities of surrender rather than rejection options.

However, Palestinian people have never had surrender as an option. They have turned the table upside down on Arabs and Israelis by escalating the conflict with marching weekly and protesting against the Zionist criminal. The Great March of Return, which was launched on March 30, 2018, was initially planned to last for 6 weeks until Nakba Day on May 15. Over one year later, people in Gaza continue to march on the militarized border fence every single Friday, demanding their right to return and an end to the siege and blockade of Gaza. They have been marching for more than sixty consecutive weeks without boredom or fatigue despite the killing and wounding of thousands of youth, women and children as well.

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Gaza’s march of return

To make things worse, not long ago, Washington had recognized occupied Al-Quds as the capital of ‘Israel’, opened an embassy in it, and tightened the financial and economic siege on the Palestinians, while the occupation entity continues to commit crimes, attacks and daily arrests. The aim is to kneel down the Palestinians and force them to submit to the so-called deal with what it entails, from distortion of history to pushing towards the resettlement of Palestinian refugees in the land of the diaspora.

 

700 Rockets in Two Days Proved Zionist Fragility

The Nakba continues in various aspects and at a more difficult pace, but the Palestinian people, who did not settle down for more than a century, are creating everyday new means of resistance.

Without any exaggeration, there is no day that passes in the occupied Palestine without an act aimed at the occupation soldiers, its patrols and sites, by stabbing or running-on operations until the Palestinian cities and camps, especially the Gaza Strip, have become strongholds of resistance fighters and martyrdom bombers, dragging the enemy into a continuous state of depletion.

All this was evident in the Palestinian resistance confrontation to the latest Israeli aggression earlier this month on the Gaza Strip, where the enemy could not bear the continued firing of rockets for more than two days, seeking an international mediation and Arab cease-fire.

The Israeli enemy, today, is no longer able to face the Palestinian resistance alone, which has created a joint military effort and coordination (Joint Operations Room) to ‘make Israel pay a heavy price’. So, the firing of nearly 700 rockets within two days had questioned the effectiveness of the Zionist defensive means –which even Israeli sources said were futile- and expanded the circle of resistance targets beyond Beersheba and Tel Aviv and even deeper into the occupied territories.

The Palestinian resistance is echoing in its every day battle of existence the famous statement quoted by the hero Abdul Qadir al-Husseini back in 1948: “It’s either us or them.”

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The Icons of Return أيقونات العودة

By Yousef Fares, al-Akhbar Newspaper

“Israel” never gets tired of imposing the same occupation experience. It is stupidity or the nature of tyrants that gave rise – knowingly or unknowingly – to the popular icons that occupy a large portion of the society’s emotional state.

The “Israeli” army’s snipers rewrote the details of the story of the Great March of Return. Its heroes are a group of simple people who took to the streets in their thousands on March 30, 2018 to demand their historic right to return to Palestine. This was before the bullets transformed them into unforgettable icons. Others are still alive – and so is the resistance.

A sniper of a different kind

“Even Yasser himself did not expect the ending to be so quick. He might have expected how it would look, but he still had so much he wanted to do,” said a close friend of martyred journalist Yasser Murtaja. Since the first day of the Great March of Return, Murtaja had not left the field. He shot images of what his camera captured and what the snipers hit. The young man spent his 30 years in Gaza, the only city he knew his entire life as he once said. Since the beginning of his career as a journalist, he was able to capture the most beautiful images that reflected his optimism. “Always smiling,” his fellow journalists said, adding that he was one of the few who only had their pictures taken while they were smiling. He also published materials that made people smile but invoked a sense of bewilderment at the same time.

In the devastated Shejaiya neighborhood following the 2014 war, Murtaja filmed his documentary, “Gaza: Surviving Shejaiya”. The story revolves around a girl, Bisan, who he rescued from the rubble. A close bond formed between Yasser and her, allowing him to be Bisan’s only friend and companion through the mental and physical rehabilitation that she underwent following the martyrdom of her family.

He was an ambitious young man. Murtaja was the founder of Ain Media and one of the first individuals to take a picture of Gaza using a drone camera. The residents of the Strip, who never saw their land from an airplane window or from a skyscraper, saw the picture but without knowing it was him who took it. Murtaja was injured on April 4, 2018. Everyone prayed for him to get better. However, he passed away on the same evening to become the first media person to be killed by the “Israelis” in the Great March of Return. His colleagues carried his body as it was photographed using his drone camera.

A child’s patent

The Icons of Return

The image of the child, Mohammed Ayyash, aroused the curiosity of various international agencies. Ayash, who is barely nine years old, filed a patent and an idea in an attempt to overcome the tear gas fired by the “Israeli” army on demonstrators. He heard his father, who was wounded in the first Palestinian Intifada [uprising] (1989), say that onions are the best solution to fight the effect of the gas. Although the “onion mask” is only made up of a medical facemask and an onion he picked from one of the agricultural fields, the child became an icon on social media, as well as among the Arab and international press. After his picture was taken by journalist Osama al-Kahlout, he was honored and hosted by various media and national bodies.

“The onion mask” picture was recorded as one of the funniest, most innocent and challenging scenes. It was a piece of equipment the child had prepared in his bag along with pieces of potatoes because he was expecting that he would enter occupied Palestine on that day. Thinking that the stones thrown at the soldiers come only from refugee camps, he decided to stone the soldiers with potatoes! In this innocent manner, Muhammad recounted the events of that day. He became one of those who translated their actions into a simple language, the language spoken by the rightful owners before their occupiers, who are armed with all the instruments of death.

The revolutionaries in wheelchair

The Icons of Return

What symbol can a picture of a limbless young man leaving his wheelchair and crawling across the eastern border of the Strip present? He chants sometimes, and throws a stone that won’t fall further than a few meters from his body at other times. That is what martyr Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, the first icon of the protests against the American declaration to transfer the US Embassy to occupied Al-Quds, did. His picture and footage of his chants, which spread rapidly, was the beginning of the storm that his death caused on 15/12/2017. Abu Thuraya lost both legs in a bombing that targeted him in 2008. Despite his disability, he was keen to be the first attendee along the border since late 2017. The events of his martyrdom shocked the people in Gaza, as if he was telling them that they had no excuse when the wounded and the disabled head the ranks of the masses.

The Icons of Return

Fadi Abu Salah was Abu Thuraya’s successor. He was not content with just a symbolic participation in rebellion against his disability. He was an active contributor to throwing stones and mobilizing the masses. As in his life, his martyrdom in 14/5/2018 marked a turning point in the Arab and international media coverage of the Great March of Return. His photos contributed to the continuity of the popular momentum.

The first of the angels

A visitor to the house of martyr Razan al-Najjar in the Khuza’a neighborhood east of Khan Younis (south) can understand that the siege and repeated wars would only push a young woman to believe that the occupation is the cause of her crisis as well as that of her peers. Poverty that gave them simplicity, rebellion and redemption is the common factor that brought together Razan and the thousands who participated in protests along the eastern border of the Strip. The 21-year-old was known for her courage and her energy in providing first aid to the injured on the field. She seemed convinced of what she was doing when she said, “I am here at the line of contact. I form a human shield. I came here with courage and strength to save the lives of our brothers. Despite being injured and have a fractured arm, I refused to put a cast so it would not hinder my movement.”

Courageous Razan’s story came to an end when an “Israeli” sniper decided to kill it with a bullet that penetrated her back. The young woman, who was an active volunteer in the medical relief organization, passed away. With her departure, she shed the light on the cause of targeting medical staff during the marches. On the next Friday after her martyrdom, Razan’s mother wore her daughter’s medical coat and joined the marches with tens of Razan’s colleagues.

أيقونات العودة

فلسطين

 يوسف فارس
السبت 30 آذار 2019

غزة | لا تملّ إسرائيل من ممارسة التجربة الاحتلالية نفسها. إنه الغباء، أو طبائع المستبدين التي تصدّر من حيث تدري أو لا تدري أيقونات شعبية تحتل مساحة كبيرة في الحالة الشعورية للمجتمع. الحكاية أعاد قنّاصة جيش العدو كتابة تفاصيلها في «مسيرات العودة الكبرى»، وأبطالها مجموعة من البسطاء الذين خرجوا كعشرات الآلاف في 30 آذار/ مارس 2018، للمطالبة بحقهم التاريخي في العودة إلى فلسطين، قبل أن يحوّلهم الرصاص إلى رموز لا تنسى، وآخرون لا يزالون على قيد الحياة… والمقاومة

«قنّاص» من نوع آخر

«حتى ياسر نفسه لم يكن يتوقع أن تكون النهاية بهذه السرعة، ربما توقّع شكل الخاتمة، لكن في جعبته الكثير مما كان يريد أن يفعله»، هكذا يعلّق أحد أصدقاء الشهيد المصور ياسر مرتجى، مِمَّن عايشوه عن قرب. فمنذ اليوم الأول لـ«مسيرات العودة» لم يترك مرتجى الميدان: يراقب المساحة بين ما تقتنصه عدسة كاميراته، وما يصطاده قناصة الاحتلال. صاحب الأعوام الثلاثين التي قضاها في غزة، المدينة التي لم يشاهد سواها في حياته كما يقول، أبدع منذ بداية عمله الصحافي في أن يلتقط لها أجمل الصور التي تعكس شخصيته المتفائلة. «مبتسمٌ»، يقول زملاؤه الصحافيين، ويضيفون أنه من القلة الذين لا يلتقطون صورهم إلا وهم مبتسمون، ويعمدون إلى نشر مواد تثير الابتسامة والدهشة في آن واحد.

في الشجاعية المدمرة عقب حرب 2014، سجّل شهادته في فيلم وثائقي سمّاه «الشجاعية الناجية»، الذي تدور قصته حول الطفلة بيسان التي أنقذها من بين الركام، ونشأت بينه وبينها علاقة وثيقة أهّلته لأن يكون صديقها الوحيد الذي رافقها في رحلة علاجها الجسدي والنفسي بعد استشهاد عائلتها.

كان الشاب الطموح، مؤسس شركة «عين ميديا»، أول من التقط صورة لغزة بواسطة كاميرا طائرة، شاهدها سكان القطاع الذين لم يروا أرضهم يوماً من نافذة طائرة أو من ناطحة سحاب ليس لديهم مثلها، لكن من دون أن يعرفوا أنه كان هو من التقط الصورة. أصيب مرتجى ظهر الرابع من نيسان/ أبريل 2018، وجمع الدعاء القلوب في انتظار تحسن حالته، لكنه قضى في مساء اليوم نفسه، تاركاً برحيله أول «توقيع» إسرائيلي على الطواقم الصحافية، جسداً مسجّىً على أكتاف زملائه، صُوّر بواسطة كاميراته الطائرة.

براءة اختراع طفولية

أثارت صورة الطفل، محمد عياش، فضول مختلف الوكالات العالمية. عياش، الذي لم يتجاوز الأعوام التسعة، قدّم براءة اختراع وتفكير في محاولة للتغلب على الغاز المسيل للدموع الذي يطلقه الجيش الإسرائيلي بكثافة على المتظاهرين، بعدما كان قد سمع من والده الذي أصيب في الانتفاضة الفلسطينية الأولى (1989) أن البصل هو الحل الأمثل للتخفيف من تأثير الغاز. ورغم أن «قناع البصلة» ليس سوى نبتة بصل التقطها من أحد الحقول الزراعية، وغطّاها بكمامة طبية، فإن الطفل صار بعد هذا المشهد أيقونة ضجّت بها وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، فضلاً عن الصحافة العربية والدولية. فصورته، التي التقطها الصحافي أسامة الكحلوت، كانت سفيرة له لتكريمه واستضافته في مختلف الهيئات الإعلامية والوطنية.

«قناع البصل» سُجّل كأحد أكثر المشاهد طرافة وبراءة وتحدياً، وكان واحداً من المعدات التي جهزها الطفل في جعبته، وإلى جانبه كان يضع حبات من البطاطا لأنه كان يتوقع أن يدخل في ذلك اليوم إلى فلسطين المحتلة. ولأنه اعتقد أن الحجارة التي ترمى على الجنود ابنة مخيمات اللجوء فقط، قرّر أن يرجم الجنود بالبطاطا! هكذا قدّم محمد سرديته البريئة عن أحداث ذلك اليوم، وصار من الذين ترجموا فعلهم بلغة البسطاء، لغة أصحاب الحق أمام محتليهم المسلحين بكل أدوات الموت.

ثائرو الكراسي المتحركة 

أي رمزية يمكن أن تقدمها صورة شاب مبتور الأطراف يترك كرسيّه المتحرك ويزحف على الحدود الشرقية للقطاع؟! يهتف تارةً، ويلقي حجراً لن يتجاوز جسده بأمتار في تارة أخرى. ذلك ما فعله الشهيد إبراهيم أبو ثريا، أُولى أيقونات الاحتجاج على الإعلان الأميركي لنقل السفارة إلى القدس المحتلة. صورته والمقاطع المصورة لهتافاته التي انتشرت سريعاً، كانت بداية العاصفة التي أحدثها استشهاده يوم 15/12/2017. أبو ثريا كان قد فقد كلتا قدميه في قصف استهدفه عام 2008، ورغم ذلك حرص على أن يكون أول الحاضرين على الحدود منذ نهاية 2017. أحدث استشهاده صدمة تفاعل معها الشارع في غزة، كأنه قال برحيله للجماهير إنه لا عذر لأحد حينما يتقدم المصابون والمقعدون صفوف الجماهير.

كان فادي أبو صلاح خليفة أبو ثريا الأول، إذ لم يكتفِ بالمشاركة الرمزية للتمرد على العجز، بل كان مساهماً فعالاً في رجم الحجارة وتعبئة الجماهير. وكما في حياته، مثّل استشهاده يوم 14/5/2018 حدثاً فارقاً في التغطية الإعلامية العربية والدولية التي نالتها «مسيرات العودة»، وأسهمت صوره في استمرارية الزخم الشعبي.

أول الملائكة 

يمكن زائرَ منزل الشهيدة رزان النجار، في حيّ خزاعة شرقي مدينة خانيونس (جنوب)، أن يفهم أنه ما كان يمكن الحصارَ والحروب المتكررة إلا أن تدفع شابة في عمرها إلى القناعة بأن وجود الاحتلال هو سبب أزمتها كما كل أبناء جيلها. والفقر الذي أورثهم البساطة والتمرد والفداء هو العامل المشترك الذي جمع بين رزان والآلاف الذين داوموا على الحدود الشرقية للقطاع. ابنة الواحد والعشرين ربيعاً، التي عُرفت بجرأتها ونشاطها في تقديم المساعدة الطبية الأولية إلى المصابين في الميدان، بدت مقتنعة بما تقوم به، حين قالت: «أنا هنا على خطوط التماس، أُشكّل درعاً بشرية… جئت إلى هنا وقد امتلكت الجرأة والقوة لأنقذ أرواح إخواننا، ورغم تعرضي للإصابة والكسر في يدي، رفضتُ أن أضع الجبيرة حتى لا تعوق حركتي».

انتهت حكاية رزان الشجاعة من وجهة نظر القناص الإسرائيلي بطلقة اخترقت ظهرها. قضت الشابة التي نشطت في «منظمة الإغاثة الطبية» تطوعاً، وسلطت برحيلها الضوء على قضية استهداف الطواقم الطبية التي لم تسلم خلال المسيرات. في الجمعة التالية لرحيلها، كانت أم رزان تلبس معطف ابنتها الطبي، وتنضم إلى المسيرات برفقة العشرات من زميلاتها المتطوعات.

من ملف : يوم الأرض: العودة أقرب

Million-Person March Sets off in Gaza on Land Day.. Israeli occupation Forces Shot Dead Palestinian Youth

 ST

Saturday, 30 March 2019

GAZA – Mohammad Jihad Saad, 20, became the first casualty of the first anniversary of the March of Return protests in Gaza when he died this morning after being hit by shrapnel in the head fired by Israeli occupationn soldiers deployed on the other side of the Gaza fence with Israel, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Wafa news agency reported.

WAFA correspondent in Gaza said Saad was hit east of Gaza City and was taken to Shifa hospital where he was declared dead.

A million-person protest set off  today marking Land Day and the first anniversary of the launch of the March of Return protests in which more than 250 Palestinians were martyred and over 10,000 injured by Israel army gunfire.

The National Committee for Breaking the Siege had called for this million-person march.

“The Great March of Return” had begun on March 30th, 2018, by thousands of Gazans demanding the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their original homeland.

According to Maan news agency, thousands of Palestinians arrived at the eastern frontiers two hours earlier than the scheduled time for protests, waving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans.

The National Committee for Breaking the Siege deployed hundreds of volunteers to help maintain the safety of protesters.

Comprehensive strike was observed across all cities and refugee camps of the Gaza Strip upon call by the committee; stores and shops closed their doors while schools and universities were suspended.

Three Palestinians injured by Israeli forces near Ramallah

In Ramallah,at least three Palestinians were injured today from rubber-coated metal bullets after Israeli soldiers attacked a nonviolent march at the northern entrance to Ramallah in the occupied West Bank commemorating the 43rd anniversary of Land Day.

Israeli soldiers fired metal rounds and teargas canisters at the protesters who gathered near an Israeli military checkpoint at the entrance to Ramallah, injuring three of them by rubber bullets and causing many cases of suffocation from gas inhalation.

WAFA correspondent said the soldiers also targeted journalists and medics in the area and showered them with tear gas.

Meanwhile, Israeli army dispersed dozens of protesters who demonstrated at Huwwara checkpoint, south of Nablus in the north of the West Bank, protesting army targeting of medical staff and ambulances while attending to the wounded during protests.

Several of the protesters sustained suffocation from gas inhalation.

Land Day An Integral Part of Palestinians’ Political Life: Iran

Meanwhile in Tehran,  Iran’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement on the occasion of the Land Day of Palestine, saying that the day is an “integral part” of Palestinians’ political life and has played a key role in keeping alive their resistance against the occupation of the Zionist eney, Tasnim news Agency reported.

The Palestinian Land Day is an annual event to mark the killing of six Palestinians by Israeli forces during mass protests against Israel’s seizure of their land in 1976.

In late March 1976, Israeli troops killed six Palestinians, wounded 100 others and detained hundreds more who had held peaceful demonstrations against Israel’s confiscation of 21,000 dunams (5,189 acres) of their land. Palestinians, both at home and overseas, have been marking the event known as the Land Day with rallies and remembrance ever since.

Hamda Mustafa

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Highlights of Israeli Ruthlessness

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Last year was devastating for long-suffering Palestinians, the way things have been for over seven decades.

B’Tselem compiled examples of Israeli ruthlessness in 2018. Its security forces murdered 290 defenseless Palestinian civilians, including 55 children.

The toll includes 254 Gazan deaths, mostly during peaceful Great March of Return demonstrations, assaulted by extreme Israeli violence. 

Another 34 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, two others in Jewish state territory – all of it stolen from Palestinians.

Repeated incidents throughout the year, and every year, “are a direct result of Israel’s reckless open-fire policy, authorized by the government and the top military command, and backed by the judicial system,” B’Tselem stressed, adding: 

“As long as Israel adheres to this policy, despite its predictable outcomes, the casualties will continue to amass.”

Extremist settlers killed at least three Palestinians, harmed many others, including young children. A Palestinians woman threatening no one, Aishah Rabi, was stoned to death in a car she was riding in.

Most Palestinian deaths are because of Israel’s shoot-first-ask-no-questions policy, its longstanding contempt for Palestinian lives and welfare.

Israel considers cold-blooded murder self-defense. Soldiers given unlawful orders use live fire against peaceful demonstrators in Gaza and elsewhere in the Territories.

“Despite the predictable lethal outcomes, Israel has refused to alter its policy,” said B’Tselem, adding:

“This ongoing profound disregard for the lives of Palestinians is broadly backed by senior policy-makers in the military, the government and the judicial system.” 

Almost never is anyone “held accountable for these incidents, and the military law enforcement system whitewashes them. Given this sweeping support and the lack of accountability for these deaths, such incidents will continue” – as they have since the Jewish state’s creation.

Law enforcement in Occupied Palestine is “a whitewash mechanism,” B’Tselem stressed. Investigations when conducted, including violent incidents causing deaths and injuries, are routinely whitewashed.

Senior government and military officials are never held accountable for the worst of high crimes against Palestinians – rank-and-file military personnel almost never. The rarest of rare exceptions prove the rule.

Military law enforcement shows almost no attempts to punish Israeli wrongdoers when it comes crimes against Palestinians.

Settlers nearly always go unpunished for violent and vandalism incidents. One aggrieved Palestinian said the following:

“The settlers have the army, the state and the law on their side to protect them. We don’t have anyone. We’re guilty even if we did nothing. We’re always the guilty ones. It’s really hard to feel that your life is in danger and your property is being destroyed in front of your eyes.”

A Palestinian woman recounted the horror of a settler attack she and her husband endured, saying the following:

“At first, I thought that the people standing by the road were Palestinians who work in the settlements. As we got closer, I noticed that they were masked, and then they started to throw stones at us.” 

“One of the stones shattered the front windshield and I hollered in fear. I told my husband to drive quickly.” 

“I heard the stones hitting the car and felt that we were about to die, especially when the settlers chased after us after we’d passed them.” 

“Iman asked me to recite verses from the Quran and to trust in God. I was shaking with fear and cold, because the window had been broken and it was very windy.” 

‘Small fragments of glass got in my eye and I felt stinging and pain. I couldn’t open my eye and lots of tears were coming out.” 

“When we got home, I left Rital with my sister and went to see the doctor at the village clinic. He cleaned my eye and gave me some liquid to rinse it with.” 

“I got home at about eleven o’clock and I couldn’t sleep because I was so scared. I couldn’t get the images of the attack out of my mind.” 

“It’s like they found live prey to attack. I still panic when I think about it. On Saturday my husband went to Nablus to replace the front windshield. It cost us 700 shekels. The body of the car also need to be repaired, and that will cost us more money and take time.”

Countless other horror stories are similar to the above ones. Yesh Din volunteers for human rights include lawyers, human rights experts, and other professionals.

They document, compile, and disseminate information on human rights violations in the Territories – by security forces and settlers, complicit with each other against defenseless Palestinians.

Numerous incidents happen almost daily. Palestinians are longstanding victims of a ruthless occupier, Gazans suffering most of all.

Supporting Palestinian Rights Verboten in the West

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Some disturbing facts about Israel virtually unreported in the West:

Occupation and settlements are flagrantly illegal. There’s nothing “disputed” about the cold hard truth.

Under Israeli regimes from inception, state terror, institutionalized racism and apartheid rule, slow-motion genocide, and naked aggression have been and remain official state policy.

Palestinians are persecuted and brutalized viciously for not being Jewish – for praying to the wrong God.

Zionism is tyranny by another name – extremist, undemocratic, hateful, ruthless, racist, destructive, and hostile to peace, equity and justice.

It’s contemptuous of fundamental legal, moral and ethical principles – a monster threatening anyone and anything it opposes, a cancer infesting Israel, America, other Western societies and elsewhere.

It considers Jews and others unequal, Muslims especially demeaned, Palestinians considered virtual enemies of the state, Gazans most of all – besieged, virtually imprisoned, and held hostage for political reasons, no others.

The Territories overall are a virtual isolated prison, an entire population being suffocated into submission or out of existence – Zionism’s final solution.

Ethnic cleansing, land theft, mass gulag imprisonment for political reasons, torture, targeted assassinations, and other crimes without punishment reflect what Edward Said called Israeli state-sponsored “refined viciousness,” adding:

It’s “a disheartening bloody impasse,” the world community indifferent about Palestinian suffering, one-sidedly supporting Israel, ignoring its high crimes.

Francis Boyle explained that Israel willfully and maliciously “inflicts on the Palestinian people conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in substantial part in violation of Article II(c) of the Genocide Convention.”

Ilan Pappe stressed that “(t)he inhuman living conditions in (Gaza is) the most dense area in the world, and one of the poorest human spaces in the northern hemisphere, disabl(ing) the people who live it to reconcile with the imprisonment Israel had imposed on them ever since 1967.”

The rest of Occupied Palestine fares little better, subjected to dozens of brutalizing community raids weekly, numerous arrests and detentions, an entire population held hostage to an occupying power, treating them like subhumans.

For Occupied Palestinians and Arab citizens, Israel is a ruthless fascist police state, treating them as viciously as Nazis mistreated Jews.

For Jews, the Jewish state enforces neoliberal harshness, serving its privileged class exclusively at the expense of most others.

For the region and beyond, Israel is a warrior state, armed and dangerous with nuclear, chemical, biological, and other banned weapons, willing to use them against adversaries.

Criticizing Israel publicly is verboten in the West, notably in the US, especially through print and electronic media to expose its longstanding high crimes.

Temple University Professor of Media Studies and Urban Education Marc Lamont Hill is the latest casualty for stating hard truths about Israel on CNN.

The most distrusted name in television news sacked him as a commentator, the cable channel saying he’s “no longer under contract,” according to its spokesman, with no further elaboration.

At a Wednesday UN meeting on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with them, Hill justifiably accused Israel of “normalizing settler colonization…state violence and “ethnic cleaning.” 

He said “(w)e have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots action, local action and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea.”

Commenting on his remarks, Hill forthrightly said he “supports Palestinian freedom,” adding via Twitter: 

“My reference to ‘river to the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone. It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza.” 

“The speech very clearly and specifically said those things. No amount of debate will change what I actually said or what I meant.”

Palestinians deserve universal support for their liberating struggle – Israel universal condemnation for high crimes too egregious to ignore.

Hill supports the global BDS movement. So do I as a cultural member, an unapologetic Israeli critic, a staunch supporter of Palestinian rights – not a self-hating Jew. The movement is the single most effective campaign against Israeli ruthlessness.

It’s why efforts in the Jewish state and West aim to criminalize and delegitimize what deserves universal support.

Israel bans BDS supporters from entering the country. Congressional efforts to restrict or ban boycotting Israel so far failed to be enacted into law.

Speech, media, and academic freedoms are fundamental, including the right to publicly criticize Israel or any other nations.

Anti-Zionism and public criticism of Israeli viciousness aren’t anti-Semitic. Claiming otherwise is a long ago discredited canard.

I’m a longstanding harsh Israeli critic. As a Jew, I’m neither self-hating or anti-Semitic.

I’m anti-high crimes no one should tolerate. I’m pro-what democracy is supposed to be all about, pro-peace, equity, and justice for everyone everywhere.

I’m against anyone harming the fundamental rights of others under international, constitutional, and US statute laws.

I’m for rule of law principles and holding violators fully accountable for breaching them. I’m for a world fit and safe to live in.

I’m against the horrors committed by my country, NATO, Israel, and their accomplices against anyone unwilling to bow to their will.

I’m for saving planet earth and all its life forms by radically changing the way things are – dooming us if not stopped.

A Final Comment

Temple University where Hill teaches issued the following statement in response to his sacking by CNN, saying:

“Marc Lamont Hill has been quoted extensively over the last 24 hours. (He) does not represent Temple University and his views are his own. However, we acknowledge that he has a constitutionally protected right to express his opinion as a private citizen.”

So does everyone else, protected by law – free from unjustifiable recrimination. That’s the way it’s supposed to be but most often otherwise.

CNN’s action is another reason to avoid its broadcasts. Tune it out and other major media. 

Choose reliable independent sources for news, information and opinion, largely online – the only way to get informed and stay that way.

‘A cruel choice’: Why Israel targets Palestinian schools

20180911_2_32305441_37100693.jpgPalestinian student Mohammed Abu Hussain from Gaza, who lost his leg after being shot by an Israeli sniper during “Great March of Return” demonstrations, plays football with his crutches at the playground of his school in Gaza City, Gaza on 3 September, 2018
[Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

By Ramzy Baroud
Source

Several Palestinian students, along with teachers and officials, were wounded in the Israeli army attack on a school south of Nablus in the West Bank on 15 October. The students of Al- Sawiya Al-Lebban Mixed School were challenging an Israeli military order to shut down their school based on the ever-versatile accusation of the school being a “site of popular terror and rioting”.

“Popular terror” is an Israeli army code for protests. The students, of course, have every right to protest, not just the Israeli military occupation but also the encroaching colonisation of the settlements of Alie and Ma’ale Levona. These two illegal Jewish settlements have unlawfully confiscated thousands of dunams of land belonging to the villages of As-Sawiya and Al-Lebban.

“The Israeli citizens” that the occupation army is set to protect by shutting down the school, are, in fact, the very armed Jewish settlers who have been terrorising this West Bank region for years.

According to a 2016 study commissioned by the United Nations, at least 2,500 Palestinian students from 35 West Bank communities must cross through Israeli military checkpoints to reach their schools every day. About half of these students have reported army harassment and violence for merely attempting to get to their classes or back home.

However, this is only half of the story, as violent Jewish settlers are always on the lookout for Palestinian kids. These settlers, who “also set up their own checkpoints”, engage in regular violence as well, by “throwing stones” at children, or “physically pushing (Palestinian children) around.”

What is truly uplifting, however, is that, despite the Israeli military occupation and ongoing restrictions on Palestinian freedom, the Palestinian population remains one of the most educated in the Middle East.

“UNICEF’s protective presence teams have reported that their volunteers have been subjected to physical attacks, harassment, arrest and detention, and death threats,” according to the same UN report.

In other words, even the “protectors” themselves often fall victim to the army and Jewish settler terror tactics.

Add to this that Area C – a major part of the West Bank that is under full Israeli military control – represents the pinnacle of Palestinian suffering. An estimated 50,000 children face numerous hurdles, including the lack of facilities, access, violence, closure and unjustified demolition orders.

The school of Al-Sawiya Al-Lebban located in Area C is, therefore, under the total mercy of the Israeli military, which has no tolerance for any form of resistance, including non-violent popular protests by school children.

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the literacy rate in Palestine (estimated at 96.3 per cent) is one of the highest in the Middle East and the illiteracy rate (3.7 per cent among individuals over the age of 15) is one of the lowest in the world.

If these statistics are not heartening enough, bearing in mind the ongoing Israeli war on Palestinian school and curricula, consider this: the besieged and war-stricken Gaza Strip has an even higher literacy rate than the West Bank, as they both stand at 96.6 per cent and 96 per cent respectively.

In truth, this should not come as a total surprise. The first wave of Palestinian refugees that were ethnically-cleansed from historic Palestine was so keen on ensuring their children strive to continue their education, they established school tents, operated by volunteer teachers as early as 1948.

Palestinians understand well that education is their greatest weapon to obtain their long-denied freedom. Israel, too, is aware of this dichotomy, knowing that an empowered Palestinian population is far more capable of challenging Israeli dominance than a subdued one, thus the relentless and systematic targeting of the Palestinian educational system.

Israel’s strategy in destroying the infrastructure of Palestinian schooling system is centered on the allegation of “terror”: that is, Palestinians teach “terror” in their schools; Palestinian school books celebrate “terrorists”; schools are sites for “popular terror” and various other accusations that, per Israeli logic, compels the army to seal off schools, demolish facilities, arrest and shoot students.

Take for example the recent comments made by the Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, who is now leading a government campaign aimed at shutting down operations by the UN organisation that caters for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

“It is time to remove UNRWA from Jerusalem,” Barkat announced early October. Without any evidence whatsoever, Barkat claimed that “UNRWA is strengthening terror,” and that “the children of Jerusalem are taught under their auspices, terror, and this must be stopped.”

Of course, Barkat is being dishonest. The jibe at UNRWA in Jerusalem is part of a larger Israeli-US campaign aimed at shutting down an organisationthat proved central to the status and welfare of Palestinian refugees.

According to this skewed thinking, without UNRWA, Palestinian refugees would have no legal platform, thus closing down UNRWA is closing down the chapter of Palestinian refugees and their Right of Return altogether.

The link between the shutting down of Al-Sawiya Al-Lebban, the targeting of UNRWA by Israel and the US, the numerous checkpoints separating students from their schools in the West Bank and more, have more in common than Israel’s false allegation of “terror”.

Israeli writer, Orly Noy, summed up the Israeli logic in one sentence.

By destroying schools in Palestinian villages in Area C and elsewhere, Israel is forcing Palestinians to make a cruel choice — between their land and their children’s futures

she wrote earlier this year.

It is this brutal logic that has guided the Israeli government strategy regarding Palestinian education for 70 years. It is a war that cannot be discussed or understood outside the larger war on Palestinian identity, freedom, and, in fact, the very existence of the Palestinian people.

The students’ fight for their right to education in Al-Sawiya Al-Lebban Mixed School is by no means an isolated skirmish involving Palestinian school kids and trigger-happy Israeli soldiers. Rather, it is at the heart of the Palestinian people’s fight for their freedom.

Hassan Nasrallah: Israel Strives to Conceal Defeat in Syria, Final War to Liberate Palestine is Coming

The Saker

June 23, 2018

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on June 8, 2018, on the occasion of the International Day of Al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Translation: unz.com/sayedhasan

Transcript:

 

[…] Today, Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Palestine, as Imam Khomeini wanted when he instituted the (International) Day of Al-Quds, became a cause of (Islamic) dogma, a cause of faith, outside the (opportunistic) area of ​​politics and the political bazaar, they became a cause of dogma, faith, humanity, truth, values…

Young Palestinians (in Gaza) go out (demonstrating) with bare hands against live bullets, and in Sanaa (tens of thousands of Yemeni) demonstrated under the bombs, just like in Al-Foua and Kafraya (Syria), the besieged and starving population demonstrated (for this International Day of Al-Quds). And combatants and Resistance are ready to shed their blood on all fronts for this (inevitable) day where Al-Quds and Palestine will be returned to their people, their owners and their (Muslim) community.

Today, this is our generation, these are our people, and this is a point of strength. Today, the power of the Resistance Axis lies firstly and fundamentally in his generations, one generation, a second, a third… Those who count on the fact that these (new) generations… Some refer to them as the generations of the Internet, Facebook, etc. Do not count on the fact that these generations in our Arab and Muslim world will stay silent, collapse, abandon or withdraw from the battle. And it’s the same for countries.

I have two words to say about the countries.

First, Iran. Since the first day of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, it announced a resolute, radical and decisive stance on the Israeli-Palestinian issue (“Israel is a cancerous tumor that must be wiped out”), and pays the price of this position. And I want to tell you quite simply that the Islamic Republic of Iran would never have seen any hostility from the United States, Israel and the Gulf if Imam Khomeini had said from the first day: “We, Iran, just overthrew a tyrannical regime, we have poverty in our country, needy, hunger, underdevelopment, unemployment, etc. What do we care about Palestine?” It was not necessary that he recognize Israel, it would have been enough for him to say that he did not care about Palestine, that it was a cause that didn’t concern them at all, and Imam Khomeini and Iran would not have suffered this hostility, this collusion and these huge plots.

But the Islamic Republic, with Imam Khomeini, Imam Khamenei and its noble people, for 39 years, confirmed its resolute, radical and decisive position, of the magnitude of (religious) dogma, at the side of Palestine and the Palestinian people, and its absolute position with regard to Israel and Israel’s existence (illegitimate entity doomed to extinction). And Iran suffers the consequences of that position. It is natural, my brothers and sisters, that all those who oppose Iran find themselves allies of Israel. Excuse me (to emphasize this truth), but it is a natural equation. The hostility to Iran leads to embrace Israel, and it is a service rendered to Israel.

Also today, our Arab and Islamic peoples have the responsibility not to allow the United States, Israel and some of their instruments in the region to turn Iran into an enemy. Israel must remain the enemy, Palestine must remain the cause and Iran must be regarded as the fundamental, powerful, honest and truthful support. And this is what was expressed by His Eminence Imam Khamenei in his last speech, despite all Trump’s intimidation and threats, his withdrawal from the nuclear deal, US sanctions. And the US Secretary of State said Iran will face sanctions unprecedented in history. But these sanctions and threats, have they led to hesitation in the position of His Eminence Imam Sayed the Leader (Khamenei), officials of the regime or the Iranian people? Absolutely not. Today’s demonstrations in the streets of Iran confirm it.

Therefore, in our (Resistance) Axis, we also have a State, a regime and a people… Iran is not only a State and a regime. Behind us in Iran, stand a leader, a plan, a State, a people, religious authorities and a major regional power who support the Resistance, support Al-Quds (Jerusalem), the Palestinian cause and Resistance movements, who persevered for 39 years and are determined to persevere (in this direction), refusing subservience, submission, surrender or abandonment of any of their rights. Therein lies (another) point of strength.

And to all those who, as it happened just a few months ago, are betting on the fall of the Islamic regime in Iran that would cause a substantial disruption of the strategic situation, I tell them that their hopes are illusions, mirages. These people do not follow the Iranian media. I want to give them proof, since yesterday was the last Night of Decree in Iran. If they had taken some time, or if they had asked their media to collect photos of the Night of Decree in Iran yesterday, in Mashhad, Qom, Tehran, in other cities, (they would have seen the fervor) of this people, who fasts during the day, and stays up all night until dawn, for three nights, and reads (for a long time). And listen to me, listen to me, they read the Quran in Arabic, while we Arabs read very little of the Quran. They read (long) invocations for hours in Arabic. We see it on television. They read for hours invocations in Arabic! And the father, mother, children and grandchildren (the whole family, all generations) go (to mosques) for these occasions. Can such a people abandon its religion? Can it abandon its Islam? Can it abandon its Imam? Can it abandon its Islamic regime that it established itself with the blood of hundreds of thousands of martyrs (during the Revolution and the Iran-Iraq war)? In what illusory world do you live? On what mirages do you base your hopes? This Iran, despite all the blockade that has been imposed, has become increasingly powerful, present and active, both inside and in the region. Even if people could manifest here and there (in Iran) because of such excuse or such problem, it was fixed and it will lead to nothing (this is not an uprising against the regime).

I declare to Palestine in the first place, and to all the Resistance movements in the Resistance Axis, and the (different) generations of our (Muslim) community, our Axis: this great regional country (Iran) is powerful, influential (and stands) with resolve and decisiveness (with you).

Second, the upheaval that took place in Iraq in recent years (is another point of strength for the Resistance). In 2016-2017, Iraq was in grave danger, under threat of ISIS, this ISIS created by the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Wahhabi thought. But Iraqis have overcome it, and today in Al-Quds Day 2018, armed demonstrations and military parades are held in Baghdad for the International Day of Al-Quds, organized by those who participated in the victorious struggle against ISIS.

The Iraqi people elect their deputies, and we know the choice of the people. The position of religious authorities in the holy city of Najaf on Al-Quds and Palestine is very old, going back well before 1948, intangible, from Imam Sayed Mohsin al-Hakim, God have mercy on him, up to Imam Al-Sayed Khu’i, God have mercy on him, up to the highly active current authorities, (all denunced Israel as illegitimate and supported Armed Resistance). This is a well-known historical position followed by all (the successive authorities). The political forces in Iraq, the Iraqi people (are also on the same Resistance line). I do not want to attribute an official position to the Iraqi government, but I know well, thanks to my information, my contacts and my meetings, the true position of these people, and I know where they will be when the great battle (against Israel) will be triggered in this region. I will return to this point in conclusion.

This great upheaval in Iraq favors the Resistance Axis and the armed forces of the Resistance. Iraq, which the United States wanted to see busy and submitted, has not been submitted and never will be.

(As for) Syria, pillar of the Resistance Axis… Please bear (my speech for) a few more minutes for Al-Quds’ (Jerusalem) sake. Syria, this essential country of the Resistance Axis, was subjected in recent years to great trials, a total war, world war. This country belongs to this Axis (par excellence). Unlimited amounts of money have been poured there from all sides, as well as all types of weapons and all means, and all the red lines have been crossed. Today we are in 2018, and by the Grace of God the Most Noble and the Almighty, the largest and most important parts of Syria have regained peace and security, and the State has restored its control and presence, (including) in Damascus and the Damascus suburbs. And it is clear that the enemy Axis is now trying (desperately) to achieve if only a few (tokens of) victory.

Let me (explain) as regards Israel. Since the beginning of the events in Syria, Israel… I do not have time to read it (all), but our young (Hezbollah members) have compiled for me statements by Israeli officials since 2011 to date: from the President, then Shimon Peres, to the head of the government, Netanyahu, to successive ministers of Defense, chiefs of the intelligence services and some experts. Since 2011 and until recently, what did they say? I’ll just read you the headlines.

All options are preferable to Assad‘.

Israel’s interest lies in the departure of Assad‘.

Nobody in Israel prefer Assad to jihadists‘.

The fall of Assad would be a clear victory for Israel‘.

Assad will fall within a few weeks‘, said Barak in 2011.

The decisions of the Arab League against Assad are courageous and important‘.

We do not want the defeat…‘ said who? The chief of Israeli intelligence in 2016, and we inflicted a defeat on ISIS with our entire Axis in 2017-2018: in 2016 (he said) ‘We do not want the defeat of ISIS in Syria‘.

The weakening of Assad and his government’s expulsion is in the direct interest of Israel‘, said Ya’alon (Chief of Staff of the Israeli forces) in 2013.

We must defeat the regime of Bashar al-Assad‘. Etc., etc.

And after (all these Israel hopes were dashed), see how they called the (alleged) battle. Allow me (to speak) a few (more) minutes. Now they have (changed the aim of the battle, which was toppling Assad), and called it (‘Kicking Iran and Hezbollah out of Syria‘). Rather than conceding defeat in Syria, and recognizing that their hopes in Syria, pinned on terrorist takfiri organizations, collapsed, (these very groups that) Israel supported with its media, (direct) assistance, through its airstrikes, by providing weapons, ammunition, and everything (they could provide them). Absolutely everything. Instead of declaring their failure and defeat in Syria, and (recognize) that the State will remain, as well as the President and the (Syrian) Army, and that the organizations they have supported in recent years are about to disappear, Israel wants to falsify the (real) meaning of the battle, and now, Netanyahu, Lieberman and other are discoursing day and night (pretending) that the battle in Syria aims to kick out Iran and Hezbollah from Syria.

We accept this battle. We accept it. But before turning the page and opening this new chapter, you should first acknowledge, O Zionists, that you have been defeated in Syria, you have failed to bring down the pillar of the Resistance camp in the region, your hopes on terrorist groups were scattered to the four winds. Acknowledge that, and then, we could open a new page for the (alleged) battle you have entitled ‘Kicking out Iran and Hezbollah from Syria‘. And some Gulf countries also regard this battle as their own today, looking forward to make this new achievement, imagining that Russia will cooperate with them to get Iran and Hezbollah out of Syria. And they have high hopes and (are) happy (at this perspective), and they are ready to celebrate their victory.

I also say to these Gulf countries and all this Axis which fought (against us) in Syria: if you acknowledge your defeat, good. If you want to start a new battle under a new title, we can talk about it. I do not have time to talk about it in detail now, but I want to say a word regarding Hezbollah, so nobody thinks that this (PR stunt) is a (true) battle they can win.

As for Hezbollah, my brothers and sisters, when we went to Syria, we went there for two reasons, or rather for a reason that has two aspects. The first is our vision, our understanding and faith in the fact that what is happening in Syria is a major plot targeting the Syrian people, the Syrian government and the Syrian entity, and the Resistance Axis, and that if Syria fell into the hands of its enemies, into the hands of takfiris, a catastrophe would ensue for Lebanon, for Palestine and for the Resistance. And that’s what we explained for the last 7 years. That’s the first aspect. And the second aspect (is that we did it) at the request and with the agreement of the Syrian leadership and the Syrian government. That’s what got us in Syria.

When we went to Syria, we had no particular project. (Some say) that Hezbollah went to fight in Syria in order to get a seat in the Syrian government, or the Syrian Assembly, or to interfere in Syrian internal affairs, politics, government, or whatnot, or to get a share of the Syrian economy, etc., etc., etc. Sincerely and honestly, we had no particular project in Syria, and now that we are in 2018, and that Syria celebrates its victories, I declare to the world, to enemies as well as friends, that Hezbollah has no particular project in Syria, absolutely not. We are present in Syria where we need to be, and where Syrian leaders have asked us to be based on developments on the ground. There is (no project) for Hezbollah – as for Iran, they can speak for themselves, I will not appoint me as their spokesperson, unless they ask me to translate their position in Arabic. I speak for Hezbollah. This battle is an imaginary battle.

Naturally, when the goal is achieved, we will consider that we have won, from the position of those who have contributed (to victory), on their scale – you know me well, I do not increase the actual proportions of things and I do not exaggerate. Anyone has the right to comment on numbers, but as for us, we are not divulging (in detail the extent of our presence in Syria). At our level, with our contribution, (we participated) to the great Syrian victory in the World War (which was imposed on it). When Syria will be safe, when the remnants of armed terrorist groups disappear, when those responsible for the project (of destruction of Syria) will despair of (their ability to achieve) their project, we will consider it as a great achievement. And what I say publicly now, we (clearly) told it before to President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian leadership. We have no problem. There is no problem.

At any time, anywhere, in any area where the Syrian leadership will consider, because of field data and national interests of Syria and the Syrian people, that Hezbollah should not be there, we will be grateful to them. We will not assume in any way that anyone inflicted a defeat us. O people, we will be glad and happy! Let Gulf countries know that. Let Israel know that. When we repatriate our youth (fighters), our people and our brothers to Lebanon, to their cities, to their homes and to their families, we will be happy and we will feel victorious, we will have the feeling of a mission accomplished. This is why we do not consider that there is any (real) battle in Syria aiming to have us stay or leave. What keeps us there is our duty and the Syrian leadership.

At the same time, I want to tell you something. At the same time, I want to tell you something. If the whole world formed a coalition… If the whole world formed a coalition to force us out of Syria, it would fail to make us leave. Even if the whole world gathered (against us). There is only one way (for us to leave), it is that the Syrian leadership tells us “Guys, God bless you, thank you…” They are grateful people and they thank us at every opportunity. “We are grateful and appreciate you, God bless you, the fighting has ended in this region and we won, you can go home.” How many fighters do we have (in order to) send troops to Syria (with no reason, our forces being limited)? Therefore, nobody should believe that there is a battle of this kind. Never. There is no battle here (these are lies of the enemy meant to allow him to save face). This whole issue concerns only the Syrian leadership, their estimate of the situation on the ground and their national security interests, and the current position of Syria against the great conspiracy which was hatched against it.

O my brothers and sisters! In Lebanon, we will bear all the pressure, (the designation as a) terrorist organization, etc. We have already talked a lot about the situation in Lebanon, the Israeli threats, I mentioned all these issues on May 25, and there is no need to evoke them again.

But on this International Day of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), I want to say to the Israelis, to the Palestinians and to the peoples of the world: just like we believe firmly, decisively and irrevocably, that Al-Quds and Palestine are just causes, we firmly believe, basing ourselves on our faith, on the Koran, on our doctrine, on the lessons, experiences and principles of History, and on our prediction of the future, that Al-Quds will be returned to its rightful owners, and that Palestine will be (completely) liberated. And Netanyahu’s sophistry will be to no avail.

Yesterday, Netanyahu said that Imam Khamenei wants to enrich uranium again in order to make a nuclear weapon and kill 6 million Jews in occupied Palestine. These are lies. First, Iran does not seek the nuclear bomb, and secondly, no one wants to kill 6 million Jews in occupied Palestine.

 

What we say, what the Palestinian people and the Arab and Muslim peoples say, and even what Islam says — I can say that this is the view of Islam — and what the Resistance says is this: we do not want to kill, we do not want to destroy, we do not want to throw (or drown) anyone in the sea. We tell you in a very civilized manner: embark in your ships, embark on your planes, and return to the countries from which you came. Regarding the (minority of) indigenous Jews, who are from Palestine, they are people of Palestine and they can stay there. As for the (Zionist) invaders, occupiers and settlers who came from all around the world, let them pack up their things and leave. This is the message of Islam, and this is the message of the Resistance. This is the message of the peoples of the region.

Contrary to what Netanyahu says, nobody wants to perpetrate another Holocaust or anything like that. But if you insist on perpetuating the occupation, then I assure you that the Day of the Great War in this region, whatever triggers it, is coming (fast). That day is close on which we will all pray in Al-Quds (Jerusalem).

We are awaiting that day, with a positive (active) expectation, getting ready for it, truly and faithfully. Fare well, and God’s peace be upon you and His mercy and blessings.

Quds Day 2018: World Marks Occasion with Rallies in 800+ Cities

Local Editor

08-06-2018 | 11:18

Millions of people across Iran and other countries are gathering for the International Quds Day rallies in a show of support and solidarity with the Palestinians and condemn the Zionist decades-long occupation of Palestine.
 
Quds Day

In Tehran and other Iranian cities and towns, people are participating in the annual event which falls on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Similar events are planned to take place in London and Toronto as well as in 800 cities worldwide, which usually see people chanting anti-“Israeli” slogans and burning the occupying regime’s flags.

Relatively, organizers in Toronto said the theme of the rally is to push for “justice, peace and love” and countering Islamophobia and racism as well as opposing the “Zionism and “Israeli” war crimes”. 

Near the “Israeli” fence separating Gaza from the occupied territories, Palestinians are expected to throng the site which has become the scene of bloodshed in recent weeks.

The International Quds Day is a legacy of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini, who designated the day in solidarity with the Palestinians. 

This year, Quds Day has become a larger rallying cry as it comes after months of mass protests in Gaza which proved “Israel’s” inability to stop the Palestinians despite widespread use of deadly force against unarmed protesters.

Since late March, over 120 Palestinian protesters were martyred and thousands more wounded by Zionist forces, mainly sharpshooters. The “Israeli” military has come under intense international criticism for permitting its forces to open fire on unarmed protesters in Gaza.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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Great Return March: 52 Palestinians Martyred, 2410 Injured in Gaza Protests

Update
Great Return March: 52 Palestinians Martyred, 2410 Injured in Gaza Protests

14-05-2018 | 14:47

“Israeli” Occupations Force [IOF] troops had martyred at least 28 Palestinians along the besieged Gaza border Monday, health officials said, as demonstrators streamed to the frontier on the day the United States prepared to open its embassy in al-Quds [Jerusalem].

Palestinian protesters in Gaza

 

It was the highest Palestinian single-day death toll since a series of protests dubbed the “Great March of Return” began at the border with Israel on March 30 and since a 2014 Gaza war.

The health officials said 900 Palestinians were wounded, about 450 of them by live bullets.

Protests intensified on the 70th anniversary of the “Israeli” entity’s founding, with loudspeakers on Gaza mosques urging Palestinians to join a “Great March of Return”. Black smoke from tires burned by demonstrators rose into the air at the border.

“Today is the big day when we will cross the fence and tell ‘Israel’ and the world we will not accept being occupied forever,” said Gaza science teacher Ali, who declined to give his last name.

“Many may get martyred today, so many, but the world will hear our message. Occupation must end,” he said.

“Israeli” troops martyred 16 Palestinians Monday, including a 14-year-old boy and a man in a wheelchair, and some 500 protesters were injured, at least 200 by live bullets, health officials said. The man in the wheelchair had been pictured on social media using a slingshot.

The latest casualties raised the Palestinian death toll to 70 since the protests began on March 30. No “Israeli” casualties had been reported.

The killings have drawn international criticism, but the United States, which has angered the Palestinians and Arab powers by relocating its embassy to al-Quds [Jerusalem] from Tel Aviv, has echoed the entity in accusing Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement of instigating violence, an allegation it denies.

Later in the day, “Israeli” leaders and a US delegation including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, were due to attend the opening of the embassy.

The entity’s military dropped leaflets into the enclave Monday, warning Palestinians “not to serve as a tool of Hamas” or approach or damage the entity’s frontier fence.

But thousands of Palestinians massed at five locations along the line. Of the 35 people wounded by “Israeli” gunfire, four were journalists, the officials said.

The “Israeli” military alleges its troops are defending the border and firing in accordance with the rules of engagement.

The protests are scheduled to culminate on Tuesday, the day Palestinians mourn as the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe” when, in 1948, hundreds of thousands of them were driven out of their homes or fled the fighting around the entity’s creation.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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