‘The Palestinian View’ – with Ramzy Baroud: Will the UN Deliver Justice for Palestine? (VIDEO)

September 21, 2022

Baroud comments on the Palestinian Authority’s quest to obtain full UN membership and whether such status is merely symbolic. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

In the latest Palestine Chronicle episode of the “Palestinian View’, Ramzy Baroud raises the question “Will the United Nations Finally Deliver Justice for Palestine?”

Baroud comments on the Palestinian Authority’s quest to obtain full UN membership and whether such status is merely symbolic. 

To understand the historical context of this issue and to offer your own opinion, make sure to watch and share the Palestine Chronicle’s latest production. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Donate NOW  Learn More  Watch Video(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)

Dismantling ‘Israel’

20 Sep 2022 23:52 

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Liberal Zionists, unhappy with the fascist brand, already working on a post-apartheid regime is clear proof that the dismantling of Apartheid “Israel” may come sooner than expected.

Tim Anderson 

Director of the Sydney-based Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies.

The future of the Apartheid Israeli regime in Palestine is often seen as either (1) maintenance of the racist “state”, with more than half the population excluded and brutally repressed or (2) complete collapse of the regime and Palestinian liberation – a simple dichotomy. 

However, tensions among Zionist elites and the historic unraveling of previous racist regimes suggest that the dismantling of Apartheid “Israel” may come sooner than expected but in a more complicated manner. Racist states have often been dismantled with serious compromises. 

The combined forces of steadfast Palestinian Resistance and the plummeting “international legitimacy of Israel” are certainly powerful agents working toward a democratic Palestine. Yet, liberal Zionists, unhappy with the fascist brand, are already working on a post-apartheid regime. This group does not currently have the upper hand in occupied Palestine, but they do have greater say with the colony’s chief sponsor, the USA. 

Meanwhile, the disunity of Palestinian factions – actively encouraged by the Zionist regime – undermines their bargaining position. That leaves the door open for dirty deals.

Let’s remember that the ‘abolition’ of mass slavery in the USA was followed by another century of brutal ‘Jim Crow’ racial discrimination, a system which has often been called ‘slavery by another name’. This next stage racist system was given a legal blessing by the ‘separate but equal’ Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), a decision not overturned until Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision (1954). So ‘abolition’ did not mean emancipation.

Correctly pointing to parallels with the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, Omar Barghouti calls for an increase in boycott and sanction initiatives against “Israel”. Yet, he does not refer to the compromises involved in the South African transitional process, which led to extreme economic inequality and post-apartheid South Africa becoming one of the most unequal countries on earth.

Perhaps even more relevant are the compromises made when the racial regime in Zimbabwe (formerly ‘Rhodesia’) was dismantled at the end of the 1970s. Talks hosted in Britain led to the ‘Lancaster House Accords’ with the following features.

First ‘equal citizenship’ was created, but it was accompanied by several protective provisions. A ‘white roll’ was created to maintain ten (of 40) ‘white’ senators and 20 (of 100) ‘white’ reps in the Assembly. There were then requirements for a 70% parliamentary agreement for constitutional changes. A unanimous requirement to change “the separate representation of the white minority in parliament” gave that group veto power. 

Second, under the “freedom from deprivation of property” provisions, the compulsory acquisition of property was banned and consensual compensation provisions were required. Protective provisions to privilege white minority representation and ban state acquisition of land could, for a period of ten years, only be carried out “by the unanimous vote of the House of Assembly”. That ‘froze’ white colonist control of most of the country’s arable land.

Nevertheless, the Lancaster House agreement went on to claim that “the question of majority rule … has been resolved”. Britain promised to provide capital for land buyouts but failed to do so. Twenty years after independence, as the Mugabe government attempted to ‘fast track’ land reforms, Britain and the USA imposed coercive ‘sanctions’ on the country. 

The land question is particularly important in Palestine, where steady land grabs, house thefts, and demolitions committed by “Israel” have economically marginalized the indigenous population, and in the process exposed the seven-decade-long myth of the ‘two states’. 

Yet, the cost of destroying that myth, for the Zionists, is the naked reality of apartheid, now recognized by six independent reports. Two former Israeli leaders, both of the ‘liberal zionist’ faction, have warned of the existential threat the apartheid brand poses to their dream of a ‘Jewish state’. In 2007, Ehud Olmert warned that “Israel” faces an “apartheid-like struggle” if the “two-state” myth collapses. Similarly, in 2017, Ehud Barak warned that his “state” was “on a slippery slope” toward apartheid.

This matter is of less concern for the more openly fascist Zionists, who dominate the regime these days. However liberal Zionists, with greater influence in the USA, have not been sitting on their hands. They are alarmed at the damage to the reputation of their ‘Jewish state’, by being labeled an apartheid regime and therefore, by the 1973 UN Convention, a crime against humanity and a regime that must be dismantled. 

For these reasons, we see influential former liberal Zionists openly agitating against the apartheid regime. They are not prepared to live with that “shame” and are looking for their own type of restructure. For example, former Israeli negotiator Daniel Levy, now President of the US-based Middle East Project, told the United Nations Security Council that the notion of an ‘Arab state’ was dead and that apartheid in Palestine was a reality. Similarly, Peter Beinart, an editor at Jewish Currents and contributor to The Atlantic and CNNwrote in the New York Times about fake Zionist claims of ‘anti-Semitism’. He said that Zionist groups were “abandoning a traditional commitment to human rights out of blind support for Israel”. 

These developments have important implications for the dismantling of the Zionist regime. The liberal Zionists will use their influence with Washington and London to get sponsorship for talks over a deal with compliant and property-owning elements of the Palestinian community. Almost certainly, the emerging deal will involve the protection of ‘settler rights’, Zionist privileges, and a freeze on property relations. The ‘right to return’ will also be subject to a deal.

Palestinian collaborators in this will not be the small-time agents who acted as informants and later sought refuge in “Tel Aviv” with temporary residence permits which do not allow them to work or get health benefits. Washington and “Tel Aviv” will abandon them.

The likely Palestinian collaborators for a ‘New Israel’ will be those linked to the Arab monarchies, with both property and embedded interests in the Palestinian Authority, which has long functioned as a municipality of the Apartheid “regime”. Religion will be no barrier, as secular collaborators will be joined by those who threw in their hands with the Muslim Brotherhood players, notably Qatar and Turkey, leading ‘false friends’ of the Palestinian cause. 

The Palestinian Resistance and its allies face new challenges. There is a real risk that a coalition of Washington, liberal Zionists, and Palestinian collaborators will begin to cut a deal behind closed doors, regardless of the legacy of Palestinian sacrifice and resistance. Such struggles are often betrayed at the last moment. 

That deal could include a last-minute grab for land, the freezing of property relations, and transitional provisions to protect the colonists. If deep divisions persist among Palestinian resistance factions, that deal will be easier to sell to an unsuspecting Palestinian and world audience. The dismantling of the ‘Old Israel’ will be so dramatic that few will pay attention to key details of the ‘New Israel’. But those details will be very important for the long-suffering Palestinian population.

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

Palestinian factions to PA: Abort Oslo, recant ‘Israel’ recognition

September 13, 2022 14:28 

Source: Al-Mayadeen

By Al-Mayadeen English 

Palestinian factions reaffirm position to liberate all of Palestine.

29 years after Oslo Accords, Palestinians have not given up on liberation.

Hamas movement urged on Tuesday the Palestinian Authority to take the initiative and announce the end of the Oslo Accords and recanting the recognition of the usurping Zionist entity.

Hamas said in a statement on the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords that “the Lapid government’s quest to co-opt the Palestinian Authority and its members is suspicious, and we warn the authority not to go along with it.”

The statement added that “the security coordination policy with the Zionist enemy and the prosecution of our people and activists defending their land and holy sites in the face of settlement and Judaization projects is a crime and a code of conduct that violates all national customs and values and must stop,” stressing that the “masses revolting to defend themselves, their land and holy sites by all available means must not be restricted.”

The statement renewed its “categorical rejection of all agreements, no matter their source, that do not recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, foremost of which is their struggle and Resistance to defend themselves, their land and holy sites, and their right to liberate the land and return to their cities and villages from which they were forcefully displaced, not to mention establishing their independent, fully sovereign state with Al-Quds as its capital.”

Resistance Committees in Palestine: The Oslo agreement led to the loss of many achievements

Director of the media office of the Resistance Committees in Palestine, Mohammed Al-Barim “Abu Mujahid”, stressed that “all agreements and conspiracies will not take away or cancel any of our rights or our constant principles and will not give any legitimacy to the existence of the Zionist entity occupying our land.”

“The Oslo agreement brought disasters and misfortunes to our people and represented a dangerous decline for which the Palestinian cause paid heavy prices and was exploited by the Zionist enemy as a cover for Judaization, settlement, and normalization, whether secret or public,” Al-Barim said.

He also pointed out that “the Oslo accords led to the loss of many achievements reached by the Palestinian people during the course of their struggle and restricted the march to liberation in light of numerous attempts to end the Resistance, which throughout history has been the conscience of the people and the nation and its legitimate force in the face of the occupation and Zionist aggression.”

“What is required now is to end the current approach of settlement with the enemy, end all forms of relationship with it, cancel the Oslo Accords, and withdraw recognition of the criminal entity,” he said.

Al-Ahrar: Vast difference between the Resistance Project and the settlement project

Al-Ahrar movement said in a statement, “We must work nationally to get rid of the Oslo Accords and its annexes, considering that the first and last beneficiary from them is the Zionist occupation through the abominable security coordination.”

“The Palestinian negotiator who went alone to conclude this disastrous agreement contrary to the will of our people committed a great sin during which he made more concessions than the occupation expected, so we call for its dissolution and siding with the will of our people to build a national strategy for comprehensive Resistance,” it added.

“After 29 years of signing this ill-fated agreement, everyone must move to push for a complete revision of this absurd path to abandon and drop the Oslo accords, which has only brought misery to our people,” the statement said.

The movement pointed out that “there is a difference between the Resistance Project, which has accomplished achievements and succeeded in forcing the occupation out of Gaza, and the frail settlement project, which opened the door wide for the occupation to implement its settlement and Judaization plans to plunder the capabilities of our people, their land and their rights.”

The movement stressed that “resistance will remain the only way to achieve the unity of our people, end its crises, defeat the occupation and free the land of Palestine, all of Palestine.”

Mujahideen movement: Oslo is a national sin

The Palestinian Mujahideen movement said in a statement that “Oslo is a national sin that must be cleansed and dropped, and the defeat of the occupation in Gaza is proof of the effectiveness of the option of Resistance.”

The movement added that “the fateful Oslo accords were a phase of betrayal to our national cause and opened the doors to all forms of normalization of some Arab regimes with this criminal occupier.”

The movement stressed that “liberating our land from the occupation can only be by Resistance, not by surrender and concession, and this requires everyone to adopt an inclusive national strategy that supports the option of Resistance and strengthens the resilience of our people in the face of dangers and challenges.”

25 Palestinians still in occupation prisons 29 years after Oslo

The Ministry of Prisoners in Gaza said that “25 Palestinians have been imprisoned in occupation cells since before the Oslo Accords, 29 years ago, some even for longer than 35 years.”

Overthrowing “Oslo” and the Palestinian state… the strategic choice of resistance

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

10 Sep 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

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

Ismail Haniyeh arrives in Moscow heading a delegation from Hamas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What to Expect at the Arab League Summit in Algiers

    Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°  

    Amin Qammouria

    Algeria’s strong anti-colonial stance and ties to Russia, Syria and Iran ensures that the upcoming Arab League Summit in Algiers will be anything but business-as-usual

    Algeria will be taking the political centre stage in the Arab world when it hosts the 31st Arab League Summit on 2 November, the first after a three-year pandemic hiatus.

    As a former revolutionary state – once at the forefront of resistance against the western settler-colonialism of the twentieth century, and still today a champion of Arab resistance – it is no surprise that majority-Sunni Algeria continues to take positions that are at odds with those of western-backed Sunni Arab governments of West Asia and North Africa.

    Algeria’s principles that irk the region’s pro-west monarchies include its vehement opposition to Zionism, support of the Palestinian cause, insistence on maintaining relations with Iran, and engagement with Syria, with Algiers adamantly demanding that the Syrian state be readmitted to the Arab League.

    Diplomacy or distraction?

    The host country is pinning great hopes on the success of this summit for several reasons, the most important of which is its desire for a major event that restores vitality to Algerian diplomacy.

    The state’s regional clout had receded during the years of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s prolonged illness and death, which inhibited his ability to exercise his duties. During this period, widespread street protests thwarted Bouteflika’s plans to extend his presidential term, ultimately bringing down his administration.

    By hosting the summit, Algiers seeks an opportunity to shine regionally and highlight its diplomatic reach, distracting Algerians from the daily grind they’ve endured for years. It is a formula Iraq’s prime minister has used to some degree of success.

    In this context, Algeria’s leaders have ensured the summit coincides with the 68th anniversary of the launch of their revolution against colonial France, and have planned an elaborate series of political, cultural, youth and artistic activities to burnish Algeria’s image as a regional powerhouse.

    These are intended to project the North African state as the new ‘Mecca of Arab diplomacy,’ just as it remains a hub for liberation movements across the Global South and the ‘Mecca for revolutionaries’ since the 1960s.

    It’s not such a wild idea. Algeria has come into play in recent years, not just for championing popular Arab worldviews, but for its geopolitical choices that are now in ascent. Like Syria, Algeria’s military is heavily invested with Russian equipment, training, and know-how. The energy-producing state is also receiving windfall profits from skyrocketing fuel and gas prices globally. And the increasing Russian, Iranian and Chinese (RIC) influence in West Asia – concurrent with the receding US presence – places Arab Algiers in a strong starting position.

    Energy and food security

    Recent global and regional developments, however, may make this Arab League meeting one of its most complex summits. The reverberations of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine just as the world began to emerge from the repercussions of the pandemic, have added a slate of pressing issues to Algiers’ table in November.

    The impact of these two events have reshuffled geopolitical cards everywhere, and caused a global energy crisis that has placed several nations on the brink of severe economic and food crises.

    In the unlikely scenario that the war in Ukraine ends before this year’s Arab Summit, its impact will remain on the top of the agenda. On the economic level, oil and gas prices will be a priority for both energy-producing and energy-consuming Arab countries, with expectations that the price of a barrel of oil will exceed $160 if the situation continues as is.

    Another important agenda item is food security – especially vital crops such wheat and maize. It is expected that the summit will study the possibility of inter-cooperation to develop agriculture within regional states, with the hope that the studies will not remain as ink on paper as is the usual outcome of these gatherings.

    Algeria calls for Syria’s return

    Syria’s return to the Arab League after its highly politicized and unprecedented suspension in 2011 is another important challenge facing the summit. Algeria, which has maintained good relations with Damascus, has been adamant that Syria should be re-admitted to the League.

    Algiers’ position is supported by several Arab countries such as Tunisia, Lebanon, Iraq, the UAE and Bahrain. But Syria’s return depends on buy-in from the remaining members too – with Qatar playing spoiler to Damascus’ regional rehabilitation. This too may change in time, as even Doha’s close Turkish allies are working toward normalizing relations with the Syrian government.

    Syria’s membership was suspended at a highly-irregular emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo in November 2011. The move came after the Syrian government failed to implement the terms of the “Arab initiative” that gave President Bashar Al-Assad an unrealistic two weeks to conduct a political dialogue with the opposition, form a “national unity government” within two months, and conduct early presidential and parliamentary elections.

    Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has said Syria’s participation in the upcoming Arab summit “is still subject to an Arab consensus,” which has not yet been achieved.

    It does not seem that the countries that demanded the suspension of Syria’s membership will agree to its return as long as the conditions of suspension still exist. In turn, Damascus is unenthusiastic about returning to the League before certain Arab countries apologize for their material support of the Syrian armed opposition.

    In fact, on 4 September, in a phone call with his Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra, Syrian Foreign Minister Faysal Mikdad appeared to unilaterally bow out from the November summit, saying he “prefers not to raise” Syrian’s readmission to the League at this time.

    Mikdad said his decision was made to keep the Arab focus on more urgent issues facing the region: “[To] contribute to uniting the Arab world and ranks in facing the challenges posed by the current situation at the regional and international levels.”

    Israel’s presence at Algeria’s border

    The most pressing diplomatic issue for Algiers though has been its fallout with neighboring Rabat, particularly following the latter’s decision to resume relations and sign defense agreements with Tel Aviv, which has heightened security concerns in Algeria.

    It remains to be seen whether Morocco will participate in the summit after Algiers severed diplomatic relations with Rabat in August 2021.

    At the heart of the neighbors’ spat is a territorial dispute in the Western Sahara. Both states have long been at odds over this sparsely-populated desert terrain where the Algiers-backed Polisario Front is seeking independence from Rabat’s rule. Morocco, in turn, is believed to have secured Washington’s recognition of its ‘sovereign claim’ to the Western Sahara in exchange for normalizing relations with Tel Aviv.

    Morocco fears that, as the summit’s host, Algeria will be able to advance the momentum on this contentious issue and win over other Arab states to its side.

    With the escalation in tension between the two countries, Algerian political writer Ahmed Boudaoud expects Morocco to be absent from this summit or reduce its level of representation: “especially with the assurances of Algerian officials that their country’s position will not change as long as the reasons that led to the diplomatic rupture between the two countries persist.”

    In order to legitimize the diplomatic and economic estrangement with Rabat, Algeria may insist at the summit on issuing a statement condemning the wave of Arab normalization with Israel.

    But such a statement will not be unanimously approved as long as there are influential countries, in addition to Morocco, with which Israel has peace treaties, such as Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Sudan and Bahrain.

    Unwavering Palestinian solidarity

    As is customary in all Arab summits, the Palestinian issue is given priority on the agenda – though typically without any practical measures that actually support Palestinians and their oft-neglected cause.

    But Algerian President Abdel Majid Tebboune made a special gesture toward Palestinians in an attempt to reconcile key factions at the summit, particularly Fatah and Hamas.

    On 6 July, Tebboune brought together Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the head of the Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, during their attendance at the 60th anniversary celebrations of Algeria’s independence.

    Despite the meeting being praised as “historic” after years of estrangement, the gloomy looks on the faces of those present, and the statements issued thereafter, indicated that reconciliation is far from being achieved.

    The limits of Algerian diplomacy

    The situation in neighboring Libya, around which both regional and European schisms are intensifying, will be another important issue expected to be discussed in Algiers.

    Algeria seeks to consolidate Arab consensus around the  adoption of a “Libyan-Libyan solution” which rejects any external interference that might hinder the unification of the Libyan parties and disrupt the course of upcoming presidential elections.

    Some Arab countries such as Morocco, however, have accused Algeria of interference in Libya with the intention to dominate its neighbor’s political discourse – taking particular aim at Algiers’ own diplomatic shortcomings in Libya and its failed mediation attempt in the Egyptian-Ethiopian dispute over the Renaissance Dam.

    Cracks in Arab “unity” will also appear in discussions on the growing Iranian and Turkish influence in a number of Arab countries.

    Given the significant Arab differences over basic regional and global issues, and the preoccupation of each of states with their internal problems and priorities, the Algeria summit will likely be similar to the summits that preceded it: Luxurious receptions, resonant speeches, projects, plans, and decisions that expire the moment participants return to their respective countries.

    Although swimming against a powerful tide of Arab states still servile to western diktats, an Algeria noted for its revolutionary struggle toward genuine independence will not entirely be faulted for sticking to its principles. Instead, Algiers will be able to collect its ‘summit success’ from the popular sentiment of the Arab street, which still shares its worldview stances.

    Al-Shami: Preparing the Yemeni Army to have a role in Palestine

    September 8, 2022

    Source: Al Mayadeen Net

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    Information Minister of the Yemeni National Salvation Government Daifallah Al-Shami stresses that any attack against Yemen will be met with a response.

    Information Minister of the Yemeni National Salvation Government Daifallah Al-Shami 

    In an interview with Al Mayadeen, Information Minister of the Yemeni National Salvation Government Daifallah Al-Shami confirmed that calling the military parade “The Promise of the Hereafter” confirms “Yemen’s connection with Palestine.”

    Al-Shami said, “We are preparing our Yemeni army and people to have a role in the nation’s issues, especially in the liberation of Palestine,” adding that “Yemen is not a country that can be subject to normalization with Israel.”

    The Yemeni Minister of Information indicated that “The Promise of the Hereafter military parade was an affirmation of the strength of the Yemeni army, despite the ongoing eight-year war.”

    Regarding the selection of the city of Al-Hudaydah as a site for the military parade, Al-Shami said, “it is a message to the forces of aggression that the efforts to destroy Yemen have failed.”

    Al-Shami stressed that Yemen will respond to any aggression, saying, “if any attack on Yemen from any side whatsoever occurs, it is our legitimate right to respond, and we have the ability to do so.”

    It is worth noting that the Yemeni Armed Forces’ The Promise of the Hereafter military parade held in Al-Hudaydah saw the participation of various units of the Yemeni army, such as the coast guard, the navy, the air force, the air defense force, and several elite forces, sources told Al Mayadeen last Thursday.

    Some 25,000 soldiers participated in the parade, spanning all of the aforementioned forces, the sources added, noting that the parade kicked off with the troop companies before large forces of armored vehicles, tanks, and ground and naval weapons exhibited their capabilities.

    The Yemeni armed forces showcased their ground and air defenses, as well as homemade UAVs, the sources added.

    They pointed out that the military parade “The Promise of the Hereafter”, in which the armed forces revealed “Yemeni-made marine missiles that have never been unveiled before, the Mandeb 2 and Mandeb 1 and Russian-made missiles Rubezh.”

    Following the military parade, the head of the Supreme Political Council in Yemen, Mahdi Al-Mashat, said that “the Yemeni forces have developed their weapons, and they are able to hit their targets by land and sea.”

    MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

    Gilboa Prison: The Zionist Entity’s Guantanamo

    September 6, 2022

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    Gilboa Prison Break: The masters of their own jail

    September 6, 2022

    Source: Agencies

    By Rasha Reslan 

    Did you know that in Gilboa Prison, “Israel’s” maximum-security prison, six Palestinian heroes, driven by their thirst for freedom, outlined one of the most epic stories?

    The six Palestinian prisoners are incarcerated in deplorable conditions.

    On Monday morning of September 6, 2021, six Palestinian prisoners carried out a heroic operation to liberate themselves from the Israeli Gilboa prison, one of the most fortified Israeli prisons — nicknamed in “Israel” as the “iron safe”. with determination, they dug a tunnel that led them outside the prison walls. Despite the high-security facility, the six heroes were able to dig their way out of the prison through concrete and metal rebar floors.

    Their will to live freely inspired millions around the world.

    Know their names:

    The six Palestinian heroes, who’ve carried out Operation Freedom Tunnel and showed the world the true meaning of resistance and resilience, are Mahmoud Al-Arida, Zakaria Al-Zubaidi, Yaqoub Qadri, Mohammad Al-Arida, Ayham Kamamji, and Munadel Nafi’at.

    Mahmoud Abdullah Al Arida (46 years old)

    Al-Arida is the architect of the Gilboa prison escape operation – Operation Freedom Tunnel.
     
    He was born in the town of Arraba, Jenin District. He was arrested for the first time in 1992 and released in 1996, then arrested again in the same year on September 21, 1996.
     
    He was also sentenced to life in prison, in addition to 15 years, on charges of membership in the military wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement and participation in resistance operations.
     
    During his lengthy detention, prisoner Al-Arida was subjected to punishment and restrictive measures, as he was isolated on June 19, 2011, for four months, after which an internal court convened and renewed his isolation for 60 additional days with no justification.  
     
    Furthermore, the occupation prisons authority re-isolated him on June 11, 2014, upon the discovery of a tunnel in Shatta prison through which he intended to escape.
     
    In a heartfelt letter to his mother, in which he described his time outside the Gilboa prison before being recaptured, his words had a great impact: “I tried to go to you and embrace you dear mother before you leave this world, but God has decreed for us otherwise.”

    Zakaria Al-Zubaidi (46 years old)

    Born in the Jenin refugee camp, Al-Zubaidi is the former commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement. Al-Zubaidi was elected as a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in 2006 and was arrested in the West Bank city of Ramallah on February 27, 2019.
     
    Prior to the prison break, Al-Zubaidi was still detained and no verdict was issued against him after he was charged with being a member of the Al-Aqsa Brigades.

    Mohammad Qassem Al-Arida (39 years old)

    He was born in the town of Arraba, Jenin District. He was arrested in an Israeli ambush on January 7, 2002, then released in mid-March 2002.
     
    On May 16, 2002, he was besieged and arrested in Ramallah and was sentenced to three life sentences and 20 years in prison.
     
    Al-Arida said, “My five-day journey through the streets of my country will compensate all the years of detention.”

    Yaqoub Mahmoud Qadri (49 years old)

    Qadri was born in the village of Bir Al-Basha, Jenin district. In 2000, he was chased by the occupation. He participated in the battle to defend Jenin camp in 2002 and was arrested on October 18, 2003. In 2004, Qadri was sentenced to two life sentences and 35 years in prison. In 2014, he planned an unsuccessful escape through a tunnel from Shatta prison with a group of prisoners. He said, “A five-day journey is great for a person who has been deprived of everything for 19 years.”

    Ayham Kamamji (35 years old)

    Born in the village of Kafr Dan, Jenin, the occupation began pursuing Kamamji in May 2003 and arrested him on July 4, 2006. He was sentenced to life in prison. Kamamji was the first to respond to the assassination of the martyrdom of the Al-Quds Brigades’ Muhammad Kamil, by carrying out a shooting on an Israeli bus in Ramallah.

    Munadel Nafi’at (26 years old)

    Nafi’at was born in the town of Ya`bad, Jenin district. He was arrested in 2006 and released in 2015. Then, he was re-arrested in 2016 and 2020 on charges of belonging to Saraya Al-Quds (Al-Quds Brigades) — the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement — and participating in resistance operations against the occupation forces.

    It is noteworthy that the Israeli occupation re-arrested Yaqoub Qadri and Mahmoud Al-Arida on September 10, 2021, in occupied Al-Nasira. On September 11, 2021, the occupation re-arrested Zakaria Al-Zubaidi and Mohammad Qassem Al Arida and re-arrested Ayham Kamamji and Munadel Nafi’at on September 19, 2021. 

    “Israel’s” crushed pride

    “The first [goal] was to see my family and live in the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority’s protection, and the second was to prove to all Israeli security organizations and the Israeli government that they are a failure. We managed to dig a tunnel from Israel’s most secure prison,” Al Arida said as quoted by Israeli media during his investigation shortly after he was re-arrested after the operation.

    Simultaneously, Israeli media reported the occupation’s Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked as saying that the Gilboa Prison escape is a serious failure that cannot be covered up, as it exposed a series of failures in the prison service.

    According to Israeli Channel 12, Shaked said she believed that the PM’s decision to form an official inquiry on the Gilboa escape and the prison service’s failure was the right step to take.  
     
    She also added that the escape has revealed two things: the prison service’s many failures, and the living conditions of the “security prisoners”.
     
    Israeli Minister of Public Security Omar Bar-Lev considered the operation an immense failure of the Israeli establishment.
     
    In this context, Knesset Member Amichai Chekli told Channel 13 that “the Gilboa prison escape operation is one of the prison service’s most serious failures.”
      
    It was also reported by a senior security official that the escape of prisoners from Gilboa reflects a “series of dangerous failures,” noting that estimates reveal that the digging of the tunnel took years, not months.
     
    On his part, Israeli PM Naftali Bennett said “the incident is a serious one”.

    When a hole humiliates “Israel”

    In an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen English, the Representative of the Islamic Jihad movement in the Prisoners Committee of the National and Islamic Forces Yaser Mizher commented on the systemic failure of “Israel” by saying, “the six prisoners managed to dig the tunnel over a period of 9 months, demonstrating the fiascoes of the Israeli security establishment”.

    “The six prisoners rubbed the occupation’s nose in the dirt”, he tersely explained.

    “Despite daily security inspections, the Israeli occupation was unable to detect any signs before the operation and was not aware of the prison break until six hours,” he added.

    After the operation, the Israeli enemy mobilized all of its military force to arrest the six heroes over a period of five days, he said.

    “Israel’s” clampdown

    In a blatant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, “Israel” unleashed a wave of torture and abuse against the six Palestinian heroes after their re-arrest, where they are imprisoned under inhumane conditions.

    Mizher told Al Mayadeen English that the six prisoners were subjected to brutal beating which left obvious bruises on their bodies.

    Mizher added that the Israeli occupation has also threatened and arrested the six prisoner’s family members, including the sister and brother of prisoner Mahmoud Al-Arida.

    The current Health conditions of the six prisoners

    Kefah Al-Arida, a former Palestinian prisoner, and cousin of Mahmoud and Mohammad Al-Arida, revealed to Al Mayadeen English the current health situations of the six Palestinian prisoners.

    Kefah divulged that Mohammad Al-Arida is suffering from severe back pain and was given painkillers only after his lawyer pressured the Israeli prison authorities.

    Meanwhile, Zakaria Al-Zubaidi who was severely beaten alongside Mohammad Al-Arida is suffering from a dislocated jaw with no access to medical care, according to Kefah.

    The ex-Palestinian prisoner told Al Mayadeen English that two prisoners, Yaqoub Qadri and Ayham Kamamji, are suffering from critical health issues.

    Kefah revealed that Qadri’s health is further deteriorating since he suffers from a heart condition with no access to medical care, stressing that Qadri also needs surgery. In addition, Kefah also noted that Qadri suffers from dangerous head injuries, due to consistent beatings.

    The ex-prisoner also told Al Mayadeen English that Ayham is suffering from a severe stomach disease with no access to medical care.

    In violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and others, the Israeli occupation pursues a policy of medical neglect against Palestinian prisoners deliberately to aggravate their sufferings, Kefah concluded.

    Solitary confinement

    One of the harshest forms of torture in Israeli prisons is transferring prisoners to solitary confinement.
    After an unjust trial, the six Palestinian prisoners were charged with escaping in October by the Israeli Magistrate’s Court.

    The penalty for fleeing prison, where prisoners are constantly subjected to abuse, mistreatment, and deprivation of their basic human rights, is an additional five years.

    Simultaneously, the Israeli occupation authorities transferred the six Palestinian prisoners to solitary confinement in various prisons.

    since a year ago, the heroes have been incarcerated in deplorable conditions and subjected to inhumane treatment, including arbitrary beatings and denial of family visits.

    They are forcefully cramped in dark cells “unfit for the residing of humans,” subjected to illegal punitive measures, including being tied to their beds for hours or even days at a time, segregation from other prisoners, and subjection to unjustified, non-consensual strip searches. Prisoners prefer sleeping on the floor due to bed bugs festering the mattresses, while the walls are moldy and crumbling, in addition to mice and rats infesting the cells. As they suffer in abysmal conditions, strict routines govern every aspect of their lives.

    Furthermore, Palestinian prisoners suffer from acute mental health problems due to overcrowding and lack of sunlight, especially in solitary confinement. They have little or no access to medical care.

    Types of Solitary confinement in Israeli prisons:

    First type of Solitary confinement

    The first type of solitary confinement is not only the cruelest, most inhumane, and degrading form of punishment, but also a serious form of human rights violation.

    The cell is 180 cm long and 80 cm wide. It has no windows and no toilet. The Israeli occupation usually keeps the prisoner locked inside for 21 days; yet, that period can be extended to 37 days, breaking their own laws.

    The cell has one camera, and it is always directed at the prisoner, leaving no room for privacy whatsoever. 

    In this cell, a prisoner loses the track of time. The prisoner is kept alone in this cell for 24 hours a day.
    The six Palestinian prisons have been transferred to this type of solitary confinement before the Israeli court decision.

    Ex-Palestinian prisoners described this type of solitary confinement as a grave.

    “It doesn’t require much imagination to realize how horrid the situation is: there is no bathroom in solitary confinement, one could barely possess space to breathe, let alone the privilege to use a toilet more than the once-every-6-A.M. per day”, Kefah told Al Mayadeen English.

    “If you are forced to use the cell as a toilet, then you have to stay awake till the next day until they give you little water to clean the cell by yourself, he continued, adding, “this adds up to the culmination of diseases and health issues that the prisoner is already suffering from in the prison”.

    “This is part of a deliberate policy the Israelis use to create a ripple of intended effects on the psyche of the Palestinian prisoner, “he added.

    • Gilboa Prison Break: The masters of their own jailGilboa Prison Break: The masters of their own jail

    Second type of Solitary confinement

    The cell is 250 cm long and 200 cm wide. It has a small window and a toilet. The prisoner’s sentence in this type of solitary confinement is extended every 6 months. The six Israeli prisoners have been in this type of solitary confinement for almost a year now.

    It is worth mentioning that there are two cameras in this cell — one directed toward the prisoners and the other directed toward the toilet. Two prisoners occupy this cell. A prisoner can spend at least 5 years in this type of confinement.

    The prisoner is allowed to spend one hour a day outside the cell. He or she is handcuffed and taken to another room with half a meter concrete window.

    The prisoners are not allowed to wear their own clothing. They are also deprived of family visits, books, and essential personal hygiene products.

    Third type of Solitary confinement

    The cell is 300 cm long and 250 cm wide. It has a small window and a toilet. The prisoner’s sentence in this type of solitary confinement is extended for years. The prisoner is allowed to spend only one hour a day outside the cell. Two prisoners occupy this cell.

    We have seen many examples of how the Israeli entity has been humiliated time and time again, not only by the Gilboa prison break but even by its own crumbling internal politics. Or did their own crumbling internal dilemmas pave the way for the Gilboa break? One thing is certain, “Israel’s” image, no matter how security-tight, will never be the same.

    Read more: Hunger Strikes: Palestinian Prisoners’ Last Resort

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    Nasrallah: ‘Israel’s’ threats regarding demarcation deal are worthless

     August 23, 2022

    Source: Al Mayadeen Net

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    On the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Hezbollah, Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah calls back the legendary steadfastness in the July 2006 war that nipped the so-called “New Middle East” project in the bud.

    Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah

    Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Monday that the 2000 victory ended the so-called “Greater Israel” project and shattered the myth of the “invincible army”.

    Sayyed Nasrallah’s speech came during a festival organized by Hezbollah on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of its establishment.

    The Resistance leader considered that one of the results of the legendary steadfastness in the July 2006 war was thwarting the so-called “New Middle East” project and ending the “Greater Israel” project, not to mention the Resistance’s engagement in the file of restoring Lebanon’s oil and gas rights.

    Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that propaganda campaigns, distortion attempts, and lies can never destroy the will of this Resistance.

    “In 2006, they failed to crush the Resistance, which came out stronger and more powerful than ever,” he stressed.

    He also indicated that the Resistance is heading in the direction of developing its military structure and capabilities to keep pace with the developments at the level of weapons and technology.

    During his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that the “Army, People, and Resistance” golden equation has become solid, whether included in the ministerial statement or not, stressing that liberating the rest of the occupied Lebanese land is a national responsibility.

    The Lebanese leader pointed out that the Resistance’s responsibilities in the next stage are to establish the deterrence equations necessary for protecting Lebanon’s land, people, and wealth.

    Regarding the file of border demarcation with occupied Palestine, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the Israeli threats are to no avail, adding that Hezbollah’s decision and approach are clear and “we are waiting for the coming days to act accordingly.”

    In his speech, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah underlined that the Palestinian cause is part of the religion, culture, and honor of this nation, stressing that there is no place for abandonment, neutrality, or retreat when it comes to this cause.

    The core of Hezbollah’s strategy toward the Palestinian cause is based on the ultimate conviction that the Palestinian people will continue to resist and reject nationalization and normalization, he indicated.

    “Our bet is on young people like Charbel Abu Daher and Nadia Fawaz, who refused to compete against the Israeli,” he said.

    Addressing Syria, which Hezbollah Secretary-General described as the backbone of the Axis of Resistance and the steadfastness front, characterized by ultimate refusal to Israeli conditions, he stressed, “By the day, we grow increasingly convinced of the validity of our choice and decision to go to Syria.”

    In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “if Syria is exposed to any similar attacks, we will not hesitate to engage in the battlefields on its side.”

    He said, “It is our duty to thank our fellow brothers in Syria who, throughout 40 years, stood by us, welcomed us with arms wide open, and provided us with political, diplomatic, and security protection, which we deeply thank Syria and its leadership for.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah added, “We will remain an integral part of the Axis of Resistance, which we trust will always be the solid basis for confronting hegemony projects and defending holy sites,” pointing out that “Iran is the major regional power on which all the Resistance movements and the downtrodden people in the region rely.”

    He also revealed that Hezbollah contributed within its capabilities to fighting ISIS in Iraq and stressed that “if Iraq is exposed to this again and asks us, as in previous years, for help, we will not hesitate to send our leaders and fellow freedom fighters to go and fight side by side with our Iraqi brothers there.”

    On the relationship with Gulf states, the Lebanese leader said, “We had no problem in developing Lebanon’s relations, especially with the Gulf, but some aim at turning Lebanon into an affiliate, which cannot be tolerated.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah “will never be dragged and will not go into a civil war or engage in a sectarian strife,” recalling the Tayouneh ambush, in which a number of Lebanese citizens were martyred after snipers opened fire at unarmed peaceful protesters in Tayouneh, Beirut from the rooftops of buildings where they had stationed themselves.

    Therefore, he called for addressing this issue, just as others, as it is linked to civil peace.

    Hezbollah chief stressed that throughout the party’s 40 years in Lebanon, “we avoided slipping into any civil war or sectarian strife, and this was what was being prepared for Lebanon in 2005, but we cooperated with the political forces to save Lebanon from going into war and falling prey to sectarian strife.”

    In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah considered that “internal security and stability are the responsibility of the state and should be governed by the cooperation of the various state components.”

    “Some are making every effort to drag the Resistance into a clash with the Lebanese army and security forces, and this is a permanent and declared American project,” he stressed.

    To this end, Sayyed Nasrallah reminded the people that “the shooting on the Airport Bridge demonstration against the Oslo agreement was not the decision of the army, but rather a major breach within the personnel on the ground.”

    The Resistance leader pointed out that among the achievements is the transition of the relationship between Hezbollah and the Amal movement from a negative position to a very positive one, leading to integration.

    He said that Hezbollah is keen to maintain a permanent relationship with the Amal movement that is based on integration, cooperation, and unity, especially on major issues, pointing out that in the next stage, “we will remain keen on maintaining our understanding with the Free Patriotic Movement, as well as strengthening and developing it.”

    Nasrallah affirmed that Hezbollah will continue to be present in future governments to defend the people’s interests mainly due to the party’s clear political vision about the internal situation, indicating that Hezbollah’s main aim in the next stage is to cooperate with various political forces in order to build a just and capable state.

    “We strongly believe in the principle of partnership between the Lebanese components away from exclusivity,” he said.

    The Hezbollah Secretary-General stressed that the Resistance party will continue to serve people in all frameworks, institutions, and regions, despite the siege, sanctions, pressure, and threats against anyone who donates money to Hezbollah, reiterating that the Lebanese party will strengthen its institutions and that serving people is a core commitment and one of the greatest acts of worship. 

    “We are now in the eye of the storm, and this expresses the extent of our commitment to alleviate the living conditions and economic situation of the Lebanese people,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

    The Lebanese leader considered that “we are looking forward to a real sovereign country that is not subjugated to an American embassy or any other embassy or foreign hegemony,” noting that “the interference of the US embassy in the affairs of the Lebanese ministries is at its utmost level.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that Hezbollah sees that the international developments are positive and “in the interest of the Axis of Resistance and true sovereignty.”

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    Without Palestine, There is No Arab Unity: Why Normalization with Israel Will Fail

    August 10, 2022

    Pro-Palestinian rally in Cairo. (Photo: Ali Martin, via Wikimedia Commons)

    By Ramzy Baroud

    It seemed all but a done deal: Israel is finally managing to bend the Arabs to its will, and Palestine is becoming a marginal issue that no longer defines Israel’s relations with Arab countries. Indeed, normalization with Israel is afoot, and the Arabs, so it seems, have been finally tamed.

    Not so fast. Many events continue to demonstrate the opposite. Take, for example, the Arab League two-day meeting in Cairo on July 31 – August 1. The meeting was largely dominated by discussions on Palestine and concluded with statements that called on Arab countries to reactivate the Arab boycott of Israel, until the latter abides by international law.

    The strongest language came from the League’s Assistant Secretary-General who called for solidarity with the Palestinian people by boycotting companies that support the Israeli occupation.

    The two-day Conference of the Liaison Officers of the Arab Regional Offices on the Boycott of Israel praised the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has been under intense western pressures for its unrelenting advocacy of international action against Israel.

    One of the recommendations by Arab officials was to support Arab boycott initiatives in accordance with the Tunis Arab Summit in March 2019, which resolved that “boycott of the Israeli occupation and its colonial regime is one of the effective and legitimate means to resist.”

    Though one may rightly cast doubts on the significance of such statements in terms of dissuading Israel from its ongoing colonization schemes in Palestine, at least, it demonstrates that in terms of political discourse, the collective Arab position remains unchanged. This was also expressed clearly to US President Joe Biden during his latest visit to the Middle East. Biden may have expected to leave the region with major Arab concession to Israel – which would be considered a significant political victory for the pro-Israel members of his Democratic Party prior to the defining November midterm elections – but he received none.

    What American officials do not understand is that Palestine is a deeply rooted emotional, cultural and spiritual issue for Arabs – and Muslims. Neither Biden, nor Donald Trump and Jared Kushner before him, could easily – or possibly – alter that.

    Indeed, anyone who is familiar with the history of the centrality of Palestine in the Arab discourse understands that Palestine is not a mere political question that is governed by opportunism, and immediate political or geopolitical interests. Modern Arab history is a testament to the fact that no matter how great US-Western-Israeli pressures and however weak or divided the Arabs are, Palestine will continue to reign supreme as the cause of all Arabs. Political platitudes aside, the Palestinian struggle for freedom remains a recurring theme in Arab poetry, art, sports, religion, and culture in all its manifestations.

    This is not an opinion, but a demonstrable fact.

    The latest Arab Center Washington DC (ACW) public opinion poll examined the views of 28,288 Arabs in 13 different countries. Majority of the 350 million Arabs continue to hold the same view as previous generations of Arabs did: Palestine is an Arab cause and Israel is the main threat.

    The Arab Opinion Index (AOI) of late 2020 is not the first of its kind. In fact, it is the seventh such study to be conducted since 2011. The trend remains stable. All the US-Israeli plots – and bribes – to sideline Palestine and the Palestinians have failed and, despite purported diplomatic ‘successes’, they will continue to fail.

    According to the poll: Vast majority of Arabs – 81 percent – oppose US policy towards Palestine; 89 percent and 81 percent believe that Israel and the US respectively are “the largest threat” to their individual countries’ national security. Particularly important, majority of Arab respondents insist that the “Palestinian cause concerns all Arabs and not simply the Palestinians.” This includes 89 percent of Saudis and 88 percent of Qataris.

    Arabs may disagree on many issues, and they do. They might stand at opposite sides of regional and international conflicts, and they do. They might even go to war against one another and, sadly, they often do. But Palestine remains the exception. Historically, it has been the Arabs’ most compelling case for unity. When governments forget that, and they often do, the Arab streets constantly remind them of why Palestine is not for sale and is not a subject for self-serving compromises.

    For Arabs, Palestine is also a personal and intimate subject. Numerous Arab households have framed photos of Arab martyrs who were killed by Israel during previous wars or were killed fighting for Palestine. This means that no amount of normalization or even outright recognition of Israel by an Arab country can wash away Israel’s sordid past or menacing image in the eyes of ordinary Arabs.

    A most telling example of this is how Egyptians and Jordanians answered the AOI question “Would you support or oppose diplomatic recognition of Israel by your country?” The interesting thing about this question is that both Cairo and Amman already recognized Israel and have diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv since 1979 and 1994, respectively. Still, to this day, 93 percent of Jordanians and 85 percent of Egyptians still oppose that recognition as if it never took place.

    The argument that Arab public opinion carries no weight in non-democratic societies neglects the fact that every form of government is predicated on some form of legitimacy, if not through a direct vote, it is through other means. Considering the degree of involvement the cause of Palestine carries in every aspect of Arab societies – on the street, in the mosque and church, in universities, sports, civil society organizations and much more – disowning Palestine would be a major delegitimizing factor and a risky political move.

    American politicians, who are constantly angling for quick political victories on behalf of Israel in the Middle East do not understand, or simply do not care that marginalizing Palestine and incorporating Israel into the Arab body politic is not simply unethical, but also a major destabilizing factor in an already unstable region.

    Historically, such attempts have failed, and often miserably so, as apartheid Israel remains as hated by those who normalized as much as it is hated by those who have not. Nothing will ever change that, as long as Palestine remains an occupied country.

    – Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

    The Post-Oslo Social Economy: An Analysis

    August 12, 2022

    Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, US President Bill Clinton, and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the signing of the Oslo Accord. (Photo: Vince Musi, via Wikimedia Commons)

    By Omar Zahzah

    “It’s classic Fanon, if you think about it,” Palestinian writer Yara Hawari, Senior Analyst of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network,  remarked in 2018 about the 25th anniversary Oslo Accords.

    “It’s like, Let’s create this class of people that are going to maintain the security of the oppressed or the natives, so that we don’t have to do it.”

    The “class” Hawari refers to here is the Palestinian Authority, that repressive, native informant apparatus whose incarceration and brutalization of its own people and total obedience to the Zionist colonial state was institutionalized through the passage of the Oslo Accords in 1993. Hawari relates the formation of the PA to the underdeveloped national middle-class Fanon describes in “The Pitfalls of National Consciousness,” a class that maintains its material integrity and interests by preserving neo-colonial relations and collaborations with the colonial power.

    Palestinian activist Jamal Juma explains that through the Accords, the PA made it so that Palestinian livelihoods would be controlled by organizations including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and that the division of the West Bank into areas A, B, and C is ultimately guided by a larger strategy of total annexation. 

    An expansive exploration of the former subject, Toufic Haddad’s Palestine, Ltd. demonstrates how Western donor states and financial institutions used the Oslo Accords as a test-case in the exploration of national and governmental forms of arrangement that could be most agreeable to neoliberal capitalist ventures—an insight that suggests how Palestine operates as a “lab” in ways other than the more familiar discussion of the Zionist state honing the weaponry, crowd-control and surveillance tactics that it will eventually export to other nations and corporations upon Palestinian bodies and territories.

    Yet as crucial as these insights are, they are tied to the material components of the Oslo Accords’ disastrous impacts.

    I believe it’s also important to discuss other, more abstract components of the Accords’ destructiveness—components that are not even limited to Palestine alone. Such an undertaking is important, as every attempt to diagnose the true colonial character of our condition brings us one step closer to a potentially liberated–and liberatory–consciousness.

    Emotional and Mental Reproduction

    The physical character of colonial projects may reproduce itself emotionally and mentally, both within the collective morale of the colonized as well as in the minds and hearts of individuals among colonized populations. Thus, it takes no great leap of the imagination to consider that the physical and political fragmentation wrought by the Oslo Accords—the arrogant and arbitrary declaration that a future Palestinian state would only concern those Palestinians presently within colonized and militarily occupied Palestinian territory; the abandonment of the liberation struggle; the creation of a corrupt Palestinian bourgeoisie elite that would profit directly off of oppressing and exploiting its own people–have also reinscribed themselves within the individual Palestinian psyche.

    It also stands to reason that such a reinscription would have profound effects not only upon individual Palestinian morale, but the activism (and here I deploy this term intentionally) that followed in the wake of the Oslo Accords.

    My subject of analysis is a particular type of activism (again, used here to describe a mindset and various forms of prioritization) that values the individual reputation, ego, “brand,” politics, over, or at the complete exclusion of, the larger liberation struggle as well as the need for mutual and collective struggle among our people. One person or organization becomes the default representative of the Palestinian cause, and rather than seeing others involved in the same struggle as comrades, all become competitors in a cheap struggle for “authenticity.” 

    Collectivity shifts from a strength to a liability, as the plurality of voices and approaches so integral to the health of any veritable liberation movement becomes crowded out by the cultural lure of being the default Palestinian voice, the Palestinian activist, the Palestinian intellectual, and so on, as opposed to one among many.

    Anti-colonial criticality becomes redirected towards liberal policy analysis and so-called “thought leadership” that takes for granted and even benefits from the perseverance of structures and systems that need to be destroyed rather than sustained. But even a more critical posture is not necessarily indicative of having transcended this status quo, as being the most radical presence can become commodified as its own, cynical show of competition.  

    It is no longer the Palestinian struggle that is engaged, in its entirety and contradictions, but a sanitized version that is repackaged and sold to a target audience. The fragmentation imposed upon our struggle by our colonizers and the so-called leadership among our people that willfully collaborate with them for their own personal gain is restaged in this competition, and fragmentation itself becomes incentivized rather than challenged.

    All oppositional forces, from our colonizers to their imperialist allies, would like nothing more than for us to remain scattered, to remain fragmented, so it is natural that we would find ourselves in systems and situations where attacking one another as a way of building ourselves up is encouraged, however indirectly.

    What is Meant By Social Economy

    An “economy” typically implies a system of relation and exchange. Thus to refer to the phenomenon in question as a “social economy” might seem a strange choice of words. But through this formulation we are considering the ways in which social relations themselves are conditioned by economic processes—the way, for example, personal and professional relationships become distorted by capitalistic notions of profit, productivity, and artificial scarcity, or how neoliberal belief systems encourage a “buffet” style approach to issues of oppression that says holding a marginalized identity in and of itself entails liberatory intentions (Mahmoud Abbas should be a sufficient enough refutation of this regressive political tendency.)

    In our example, political work becomes imperceptibly overtaken by for-profit incentives of competition, false scarcity, and exclusion, and a cause that is at heart a collective struggle for anti-colonial liberation becomes nothing more than a means of self-promotion and advancement. To the extent that rampant NGOization both in Palestine and internationally diverts liberation-focused efforts to reformist ones sharply limited by strings-attached funding and siphons the intellect and creativity of organizers into bureaucratic demands such as fundraising and donor relationship building, we cannot ignore the interplay between compromised institutions, predatory economic subjugation, and political mercurialness.

    Good Faith and the Unconscious

    However, while such engagement may at times be informed by a willful disregard, our experiences suggest that such a state of affairs is more likely to be reinforced unconsciously. Thus, even in the most intense moments of seeming competition and disagreement, the possibility of good faith should always be presumed.

    One imperfect yet nevertheless amelioratory practice given this state of affairs is to insist upon intentional and conscientious distinctions between the grassroots and non-profit spheres. To be sure, there is overlap, but to consciously present non-profits as the grassroots would ultimately water down grassroots work with the demands, limitations, and restrictions of non-profit bureaucracy. 

    In the interim to the complete dissolution to the non-profit system, one important approach is to navigate non-profit spaces with an awareness of these material distinctions and always ask oneself (and one’s organization(s)) how best to utilize the resources and networks of the non-profit milieu to amplify the grassroots without restriction whenever possible. 

    It would be a far simpler task if the Oslo Accords had resulted in a generation of self-interested activists and organizations competitively profiting off of their Palestinian “brands,” for better or worse, but this is not what I’m arguing. The reality is murkier, and more difficult to define, but ultimately what I’m suggesting is that various factors, including the overemphasis on the individual within settler-colonial/capitalist US nationalist ethos, as well as the myriad forms of fragmentation inflicted upon us through the Oslo Accords, are themselves internalized and re-staged within US activist scenes, but often at the level of general instinct and impression. 

    Various social and symbolic norms make it so that certain actions and attitudes are simply felt to come more naturally than others. This is the case with capitalism in general, which presents a complete distortion of social relations and attachments as so-called “reality,” “nature,” “society,” and so on. Our colonial condition, while in some ways more particular, nevertheless operates with similar effect: the horizon of possibility is increasingly depleted by shrinking borders and an abdication of responsibility and dedication to the struggle.

    The Way(s) Forward

    There is no one set “solution” to such a state of affairs, but as individualism and competition are the scourges, approaches that center collaboration and mutual uplift obviously should be prioritized. To that extent, continually engaging in (and presuming) good faith from others—with the exception of crossing red lines about Zionism and normalization—should be standardized. But even when it comes to these red lines, it is crucial to be able to name exhaustive standards for Zionism and normalization, as well as to establish and maintain cultures of principled political commitment.

    At this point, it ought to be far from politically controversial to say that the Zionist entity has no right to exist, should never have existed and in fact, should not exist even now; that Palestinians have the right to all forms of resistance until total return and liberation, and that all of the Zionist entity is, in fact, occupied Palestine, an alien construction upon stolen land and lives that needs to be destroyed in the lead-up to comprehensive Palestinian liberation and reparations.

    Explicitly naming competitions and turf wars as reflective of the Oslo Accords rather than feeding into them can at times aid in refocusing efforts towards the larger struggle and collective betterment, though this is not always a guarantee.

    At the root of the issue is the need to operate with a sense of Movement rather than individualism or activism, and always begin from a position of helping the collective cause rather than advancing individual gains. The struggle is hurt by our fragmentation, though it’s important to resist the cynical cooptation of this principle as a means of encouraging tolerance of any and all political lines within our spaces and wider networks (such as normalization of the Zionist entity, including acceptance of the Palestinian “Authority’s” security coordination).

    For the purpose is to rekindle and preserve a sense of collective identity and resistance that operates within a genuinely anti-colonial frame, rather than accepting our colonization as an inevitability, or even past event.   

    – Omar Zahzah is the Education and Advocacy Coordinator for Eyewitness Palestine as well as a member of the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) and the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI). Omar is also an independent scholar, writer and poet and holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

    S. Nasrallah Warns ‘Israel’ against Miscalculation: We’ve Reached End of Line, Ready for All Options

    August 9, 2022

    Marwa Haidar

    Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah Warned the Zionist entity against any miscalculation towards Lebanon, stressing that Hezbollah has reached “the end of the line” regarding the issue of gas and maritime border.

    Addressing mourners in Beirut’s southern suburb (Dahiyeh) on Ashura Day, Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed that the Lebanese resistance group is fully ready to confront all options, in response to Israeli threats and in a clear message that Hezbollah is prepared for war.

    Sayyed Nasrallah hailed what he called the legendry steadfastness of Gaza’s people and resistance in face of Israeli aggression, voicing full commitment to Palestine as the central cause of the nation.

    His eminence also voiced sympathy and support to Nigeria’s Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and people of Bahrain, Yemen and Syria.

    Sayyed Nasrallah also warned Iraqis against foreign schemes.

    Ashura and Nigeria

    Sayyed Nasrallah started his speech by offering condolences for Imam Mahdi (a.j.), the lord of the age, and all Muslims over martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (a.s.).

    Talking via a video link, Sayyed Nasrallah renewed allegiance to Imam Hussein, noting that “throughout 40 years, we haven’t abandoned him, and we will never do so.”

    He voiced sympathy with Nigeria Shia cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been for years subjected to repeated crackdowns by Nigerian authorities.

    “Ashura is the day when we shall voice support to all those who are oppressed. We voice sympathy with Sheikh Zakzaky, along with his supporters.”

    Palestine and Bahrain

    The Hezbollah S.G. then stressed that Palestine is the central cause of the nation, praising those who were martyred and injured to defend the occupied country.

    “Palestine is the central cause. We don’t expect mercy from the US, but we address those who claim they are Arabs. To be Muslims or Arabs is to support oppressed people.”

    “We feel proud of the martyrs and resistance fighters over their legendry steadfastness. We renew our commitment to this affair.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah, meanwhile, slammed Bahraini regime over normalizing ties with the Zionist entity, and over attacking Ashura ceremonies across the Arab island.

    “One of the ugliest parties who normalized ties with Israel is the regime in Bahrain who proved that it doesn’t tolerate a black flag,” he said referring to flags raised during Ashura ceremonies.

    “We recall the oppression of people of Bahrain, whose rights are stolen by their treacherous rulers who are embracing the enemies of this nation.”

    Yemen, Iraq and Syria

    Sayyed Nasrallah then reiterated the Lebanese resistance group’s stance towards Yemen.

    “In the day of oppressed (Ashura) we reiterate that we stand by the people of Yemen who have been for years tirelessly fighting for their dignity and confronting tyrants.”

    “People of Yemen are real personification of Karbala and supporting them is a duty.”

    The Hezbollah S.G. also urged Iraqis to solve their disagreements, calling on them to foil schemes set by the nation’s enemies.

    On Syria, Sayyed Nasrallah said the country has overcome the universal war launched by many international regional sides, but stressed that the blockade represented by the US Caesar Act.

    His eminence also praised Iran, describing the Islamic Republic, led by Supreme Leader Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, as the heart of the Axis of Resistance.

    In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled sacrifices made by martyrs Qassem Suleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis who were martyred by a US strike in Baghdad in 2020.

    In Lebanon, Another Account to Settle

    On Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah was very clear, as he responded to Israeli threats and warned the occupation regime against any miscalculation.

    “The Lebanese are the only people who decide their fates and make their decisions. Throughout 40 years we have confronted all forms of challenges including wars, blockades and assassinations.”

    “We look forward to a free and powerful Lebanon that is capable to defend its dignity and to invest its wealth. We look forward to Lebanon which is capable of cutting off any hand that would extend to its wealth.”

    Meanwhile, his eminence called on Lebanese sides to exert joint efforts in a bid to form a government and to cope with current crises, urging officials to feel the pain of the Lebanese citizens.

    On the issue of gas, oil and maritime border, Sayyed Nasrallah said Hezbollah will see the responses to the Lebanese State’s requests in the coming days.

    Addressing resistance supporters, and especially resistance fighters, Sayyed Nasrallah said they should be ready for all options.

    “We are dealing with this battle with utmost level of seriousness. I say to the Israelis and the Americans (US administration): Lebanon will never tolerate stealing its wealth.”

    “We have reached the end of the line and we will keep up on this way.”

    On the other hand, Sayyed Nasrallah responded to Israeli remarks regarding the “messages” behind the last 3-day aggression on Gaza.

    “Yes, I was watching the latest developments in Gaza and the message was delivered. We have seen heroism and steadfastness in Gaza as well as the unity of its resistance factions. Gaza managed to impose its own equation of deterrence. As for Lebanon, there is another account to settle.”

    In this context, his eminence warned: “any aggression on any person in Lebanon won’t go unpunished. We remind you that we are the lovers of Imam Hussein (a.s.) who once said ‘Humiliation, never!’.”

    Source: Al-Manar English Website

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    Saudi airspace open before Israelis but not Yemenis: Al-Houthi

    Aug 9 2022

    Source: Agencies

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    Ansar Allah chief Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi underlines Sanaa’s stance in support of the Palestinian cause and condemns “Israel” and the United States.

    Ansar Allah leader Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi during a speech on August 8, 2022 (Ansar Allah’s Website)

    There are aggressive steps being taken against those who oppose the Israeli occupation and counter American hegemony and normalization, Ansar Allah leader Sayyed Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi said on Monday.

    “The Americans and the Israelis want to deviate the Ummah from the right path, and the Israeli-US views corrupt human society, especially the Islamic society,” Al-Houthi added.

    “The Americans and Israelis cannot accept our nation being independent and rejecting subordination,” he said. “The enemies seek to deviate the Ummah so that  it is loyal, obedient, and submissive to them […] the Saudi airspace is open to the Israelis and closed to the Yemeni people.”

    The main goal of the enemies, he said, is normalization, which is an approach they are taking toward many Arab regimes. He also stressed the Sanaa government’s stance in support of the Palestinian cause, calling on the Islamic and Arab countries to take an explicit stance against the Israeli occupation.

    Regarding the recent Israeli offensives on Gaza, Al-Houthi said: “The recent Israeli escalation, which was confronted by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, is a message that reminds us that the enemy continues to commit its crimes.”

    “The Israeli tactic comprising of targeting a Palestinian faction while saying it is not targeting other factions is a means of trickery aimed at driving a wedge between the resistance factions,” Sayyed Al-Houthi underlined.

    The Israeli occupation’s aggression on Gaza was conducted under the pretext of “Tel Aviv” targeting high-ranking officials in Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) while murdering dozens of innocent civilians, including children.

    “The normalizing regime’s enmity toward the freedom fighters in Palestine is flagrant, so much so that the Saudi regime imprisoned humanitarian workers,” the Yemeni leader explained.

    The leader of the Ansar Allah movement called on the Palestinian resistance factions “not to allow this Israeli tactic to succeed,” while urging the Palestinian people “to remain in a state of constant readiness to confront the enemies at any moment during the temporary truce.”

    Al Mayadeen‘s source reported that there was a ceasefire agreement reached in the Gaza Strip on late Sunday. The sources noted that the agreement was reached with the Israeli occupation agreeing to the PIJ’s demands in full.

    The Israeli occupation began on August 5 with aggression on the Gaza Strip on Friday, and Al-Quds Brigades announced that Tayseer Al-Jaabari, a military commander in the northern Gaza Strip, had been martyred.

    Consequently, Al-Quds Brigades launched an operation in response to the Israeli occupation’s aggression on the Gaza Strip, by launching salvoes of rockets toward the occupied Palestinian territories.

    Our correspondent reported that the death toll of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip has reached 41 martyrs so far, with 311 others wounded.

    Palestine Resists

    Kicking off with a brutal Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip that claimed the lives of nearly a dozen civilians, including children, “Tel Aviv” is launching a campaign of aggression on the blockaded strip. This promoted the Palestinian resistance to take up arms against the occupation and resist its barbaric offensives.

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    International condemnation against Israel grows as Gaza blitz continues

    Russia referred to the Israeli strikes as a ‘provocation’, and has urged all sides to exercise restraint

    August 06 2022

    The father of five-year old Palestinian Alaa Qadoum carries her body during her funeral in Gaza City on 5 August, 2022. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Ashraf Amra)

    ByNews Desk- 

    Many nations have issued condemnations of Israel’s brutal airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip that started on 5 August.

    So far, Tel Aviv’s bombing campaign has left over 100 injured and caused the deaths of 13 Palestinians, including a five-year old girl and three commanders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

    Palestinian resistance groups have launched several rocket attacks in retaliation, targeting nearby illegal settlements.

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, condemned on 6 August the escalation that “was provoked by Israeli air strikes,” adding that Moscow is deeply concerned over the breakout of large-scale conflict.

    The official also called all sides to “exercise maximum restraint.”

    Egypt has also condemned the attacks and warned against escalation, with an anonymous Egyptian security source telling Arab media: “We hope to reach a consensus to return to calm as soon as possible.”

    Another Egyptian source revealed that a PIJ delegation may travel to Cairo on 6 August for talks with Egyptian officials.

    In another strong condemnation of the Israeli aggression, Qatar called on the international community to “move urgently” to stop Israel’s continuous violence against civilians.

    The Gulf state’s foreign ministry affirmed via statement the kingdom’s “firm position on the justice of the Palestinian cause, the legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people, and the establishment of their independent state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

    Jordan also called on Israel to “immediately stop its aggression,” warning of the dangerous consequences of increased escalation.

    The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan vehemently denounced Tel Aviv’s actions on Saturday, with the Taliban foreign ministry calling on the international community to perform its duty and prevent Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

    On the same day, the Islamic Republic of Iran issued its own condemnation of the attacks on Gaza.

    “In its last night’s crime, the Zionist regime once again showed its occupier and aggressor nature to the world, but the resistance of the people of Gaza will speed up the decline of this child-killing regime,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on the morning of 6 August.

    A statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on 5 August “strongly” condemned the Israeli bombardment, referring to the loss of civilian life as “unacceptable,” and urging “restraint and common sense.”

    Turkey has recently strengthened its diplomatic relationship with Israel after a long period of tension, and has reportedly been deporting members of the Hamas resistance faction at Tel Aviv’s request and in a bid to further improve relations with Israel.

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    Exclusive: PIJ chief orders Al-Quds Brigades to act against ‘Israel’

    5 Aug 2022

    Source: Al Mayadeen

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    Palestinian Islamic Jihad chief Ziyad Al-Nakhalah tells Al Mayadeen that the upcoming confrontation with “Tel Aviv” will have no red lines.

    Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad Al-Nakhalah

    The Israeli occupation must expect fierce fighting from the Palestinian resistance without any truce, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Secretary-General Ziyad Al-Nakhalah told Al Mayadeen on Friday.

    “Today is a day of victory […] today is a test for the Palestinian resistance against this Israeli aggression,” Al-Nakhalah said. “We are going ahead, and we ask Allah to grant success to the freedom fighters. Suffering will fall upon the Israelis.”

    “The freedom fighters must band together as one, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad has no red lines. It will not stop, and there will be no mediation,” the prominent resistance figure underlined.

    “We are in the midst of a true test against this aggression, and the Palestinian people must prove their ability to confront [the Israeli occupation],” he added.

    Al-Nakhalah underscored Palestinian unity

    Al-Nakhalah stressed that Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the PIJ, will band together with the other Palestinian resistance factions to confront the Israeli occupation’s aggression.

    “I tell all the freedom fighters in Palestine that we must all fight as one,” he said, stressing that the Israeli occupation, the party that initiated the aggression, must be held fully responsible.

    “There are no red lines in this battle, and I declare this before all the Palestinian people. Tel Aviv will bear the brunt of the Palestinian resistance’s rockets.”

    “All the combatants of the Al-Quds Brigades: We will neither back down nor hesitate. This is a military order for our forces to act upon laid-out plan,” he said.

    Israeli occupation naturally aggressive

    The Israeli occupation is launching this aggression as Egypt mediates between Palestine and “Israel”, Al-Nakhalah highlighted, stressing that the resistance will fiercely retaliate to “Tel Aviv’s” aggression. “There will be a confrontation in which our people will emerge victorious.”

    “The Israeli occupation is naturally aggressive, and we will retaliate fiercely to this aggression,” he told the Egyptian mediators.

    “The confrontation started, and it is too early to talk about mediation after the fall of Palestinian martyrs,” he stressed. “We expect martyrs to fall and homes to be destroyed. This is a war that was imposed on us, and we will retaliate until the very end.”

    Confrontation until freedom

    The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the PIJ chief said, will work to establish an equation of deterrence with the Israeli occupation. “We are ready to confront and continue until that is solidified.”

    However, Al-Nakhalah said that he was “not talking about equations at the moment. We are in the middle of a battle, and we will continue to fight until our people are free.”

    “‘Israel’ is trying to make it seem like the battle is against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and I say it’s an open confrontation against all the Palestinian people,” he said.

    “Today is historic; we either confront united or pay the price separated,” Al-Nakhalah added. “What we need is unity and solidarity against the aggression.”

    PA know their duties

    The occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip are united, he said. “The Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank will find means to fight. All of our people are fighting the same battle.”

    “The Palestinian Authority knows its duties, and I am asking all the Palestinian freedom fighters, especially those in Fatah, to carry out their duty.”

    “We are at the beginning of the confrontation, and God willing, we will bear its responsibility together. The moment is decisive. We have to fight and be steadfast on the battlefield,” Al-Nakhalah stressed.

    “We are amid the first few hours of an open battle, and we can’t currently talk about the causes of our allies,” he said.

    All Israeli cities to be struck

    “According to our arrangement, all of the freedom fighters will carry out their duties, and we will strike all the Israeli occupation’s cities. What is happening is an extension of the battle of the Seif Al-Quds, and God willing, we will achieve what we did not in Seif Al-Quds. This is an existential battle,” he stressed.

    “The pressures exerted on the Palestinian people are not new, and the resistance will carry out its duties and do all it can against the aggression,” Al-Nakhalah said.

    “There is a regional trend, and there are regimes that want to be slaves for the occupation,” Al-Nakhalah stressed.

    “Palestine, Al-Aqsa, and our people deserve sacrifice. Palestine is our land, and we will defend our rights. The resistance forces will not be broken,” Al-Nakhalah concluded.

    فلسطين لا إيران الخاسر الأكبر من زيارة بايدن

    السبت 16 تموز 2022

    ناصر قنديل

    يحاول الإعلام الأميركي والإسرائيلي والخليجي الترويج لمقولة اعتبار إيران الخاسر الأكبر من زيارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن الى المنطقة، من خلال تصوير الالتزامات الأميركية مع كيان الاحتلال بالدعم المالي والعسكري والسياسي من جهة، وإجراءات التطبيع التي ستقوم بها دول الخليج مع كيان الاحتلال من جهة مقابلة، بصفتها خسائر لإيران وخسائر تسببت بها إيران بسبب دعمها لحركات المقاومة في المنطقة من فلسطين الى اليمن، التي تسببت بهذا الدعم الأميركي للكيان وهذا الاقتراب الخليجي نحو التطبيع.

    التدقيق في مفاصل ومجريات الزيارة وخطاباتها السياسية سيكشف لنا أن الرئيس الأميركي جاء يلعب بالإسرائيليين والخليجيين لحساب كسب الأصوات في معركته الانتخابية من جهة، عبر ما تقدمه الصورة المنقولة الى الداخل الأميركي عن “الحنان” الأميركي تجاه “إسرائيل” للتأثير باتجاه ونسبة تصويت اليهود وفعالية اللوبيات الصهيونية لصالح حزبه انتخابياً، ولتظهير السخاء النفطي الذي يأمل بالحصول عليه من دول الخليج عموماً والسعودية خصوصاً، رهاناً على فعالية تأثيره في أسعار أسواق المحروقات على الأميركيين، وتأثير ذلك على وجهة تصويتهم.

    بالتراتب، بعد الربح الأميركي، أو بالأحرى ربح بايدن وحزبه، يأتي الربح الإسرائيلي، بإعلان تطابق الرؤية الأميركية المقدّمة نظرياً تحت شعار حل الدولتين للصراع حول مستقبل القضية الفلسطينية، ليقدم تماهياً مع الرؤية الإسرائيلية، حيث لا مكان للقدس، ولا لوقف الاستيطان، والبحث بإطلاق المسار التفاوضي، وهي العناوين التي كانت تشكل مفاصل التمايز الأميركي عن الرؤية الإسرائيلية، وبدلاً من تخفيض مستوى الدعم الأميركي لـ”إسرائيل” بسبب عدم تجاوبها مع هذه العناوين كما كان يجري عادة في زمن الإدارات الديمقراطية الأميركية خصوصاً، جاء بايدن يعلن التراجع الأميركي عن هذه العناوين لحساب التطابق مع الرؤية الإسرائيلية، ويزيد عليها جوائز مالية وعسكرية يكافئ بها “إسرائيل” على إغلاق الباب نهائيا أمام فرص حل الدولتين، عبر التهويد المتزايد للقدس, تكريسها عاصمة موحدة لكيان الاحتلال، وتنامي تقطيع أوصال الجغرافيا المتصلة للضفة الغربية بالمزيد من المراكز الاستيطانية، واختزال التفاوض بالتنسيق الأمني الذي يجعل السلطة الفلسطينية مجرد جهاز أمني رديف لأمن الكيان إلى جانب أجهزتها لملاحقة المقاومة، لا شريكاً سياسياً.

    على الضفة الخليجية، بمعزل عن حجم الخطوات التطبيعية التي سوف يحصدها بايدن لحساب كيان الاحتلال، ومهما كانت محدودة، تعبيراً عن القلق السعودي من التوازنات الدولية المتغيّرة، وتجنبها الإقدام على خطوات متهوّرة في لحظة تغير الموازين، سيبقى قرار من نوع فتح الأجواء السعودية أمام الطائرات الإسرائيلية الذي استبق وصول بايدن الى السعودية، كافياً لإطلاق الإشارة بأن المبادرة العربية للسلام التي كانت تشكل قيداً ذاتياً عربياً اقترحته السعودية في القمة العربية المنعقدة في بيروت عام 2002، للامتناع عن أية إجراءات تطبيعية إلا ربطاً بحصول الفلسطينيين على حقوقهم السياسية، كما وردت في المبادرة، وبالقياس لما وفرته عمليات التطبيع مع الإمارات والبحرين والمغرب من كسر لهذا الامتناع، سيكون القرار السعودي، الذي سيقال إنه شكلي وهامشي، كافياً لمنح الختم السعودي لمبدأ إزالة الحظر عن التطبيع وربطه بالقبول الإسرائيلي بالمبادرة العربية للسلام، وهذا كاف على الأقل بالنسبة للآن، لكل من واشنطن وتل أبيب، طالما أن الموقف السعودي يقول إن مسألة التطبيع لم تعد مسألة عربية جامعة مرتبطة بالقضية الفلسطينية، بل هي الآن قضية سيادية تخص نظرة كل دولة لمصالحها، وبقياس تخلي العرب سابقاً عن الحرب كأداة لنصرة فلسطين، ثم تخليهم عن النفط كسلاح، يأتي التخلي عن حرمة التطبيع إعلان فك نهائيّ وشامل الارتباط بالقضية الفلسطينية، وإسقاطها من سلم الأولويات والالتزامات العربية.

    يحاول بعض المتحدثين الخليجيين رمي مسؤولية هذا الانهيار الأخلاقي العربي على إيران بالقول إنه لولا الخوف الخليجي من إيران لما حدث ما حدث، لكن ما حفلت به الصحف الإسرائيلية عن التاريخ السري للعلاقات الإسرائيلية الخليجية، وحجم التنسيق والتعاون في مجالاتها المختلفة، يقول ما قالته الصحف نفسها بأن ما نشهده من إجراءات تطبيعيّة ليس إلا نقلاً لما كان في السر إلى العلن، وبالتوازي كيف يكون الذهاب لتقديم الجغرافيا العربية لـ”إسرائيل” التي تزداد فرص المواجهة بينها وبين إيران، نتيجة للخوف الخليجي من إيران، وهو يزيد فرص جعل الجغرافيا الخليجية مجرد حقل رمي إيراني لمواجهة التمدد الإسرائيلي، بينما الطبيعي عندما يكون الخوف المزعوم هو السبب أن تكون النتيجة الابتعاد عن كل استفزاز يمكن أن يصعد فرص الاستهداف.

    كل هذا في كفة، وفي كفة أخرى ما هو مخفيّ بين السطور، بالتدقيق في البيان الأميركي الإسرائيلي المشترك، سنجد كل ما نحتاجه لنعرف أن الأميركي حصل على الموافقة الإسرائيلية على المضي قدماً بالتفاوض توصلاً لاتفاق على الملف النووي مع إيران، وقد تم تزيين هذه الموافقة بتعابير رنانة من نوع التعهد بمنع إيران من امتلاكها سلاحاً نووياً، وجاء ما تلاه من كلام إسرائيلي على لسان مسؤول المخابرات العسكرية في جيش الاحتلال للواشنطن بوست حول أن الاتفاق مع إيران لا يزال الطريق الأمثل لمنع امتلاكها سلاحاً نووياً يفسر هذا الاستنتاج، بعدما حمل بايدن حبات البقلاوة العربية لـ”إسرائيل”، دافعاً من جيوبهم، أثمن ما لديهم، ثمن الحصول على الموافقة الإسرائيلية التي يحتاجها ليعاود التفاوض طليق اليدين.

    فيديوات ذات صلة

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    From stones to missiles: Evolution of the Palestinian resistance forms and methods

    13 Jul 2022

    Source: Al Mayadeen English

    The Palestinian resistance is now on the rise. With every passing day, its military capabilities are increasing steadily, and pledging more sacrifices and efforts.

    From stones to missiles: Evolution of the Palestinian resistance forms and methods

    After “Israel” invaded Lebanon in 1982, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was forced into yet another exile. PLO’s forces were stationed in far–away Arab capitals (Yemen and Algeria) and the PLO headquarters were moved to Tunisia. This major development resulted in a general decline in resistance activities inside and outside of occupied Palestine. The shock lasted for a few years during which “Israel”, backed by the US, tried to capitalize on its military achievement to turn it into a political triumph, hence the (Saudi) Arab Initiative for Peace in1982, the rapprochement between the PLO leadership and the Egyptian regime, and the increased activities of the collaborationist “villages’ leagues” in occupied Palestine.

    That period of lull and uncertainty ended in 1987, when the first uprising (in Arabic: Intifada) erupted. The heroic military operation against the Israeli army, using gliders, launched from Southern Lebanon, was very inspiring to the Palestinian people under occupation and revived the belief in resistance and revolution. The Intifada was very widespread among the masses, far exceeding the framework of the Palestinian organizations. Popular struggle against occupation; demonstrations, strikes, and closures, was its main feature. Brave young people confronting the heavily-armed Israeli troops and throwing stones at them, attracted the eyes of the world. Stone became the symbol of the Intifada. The Stone Revolution was actually a popular invention, considering the lack of support, the absence of infrastructure for armed struggle, and the state of encirclement imposed by “Israel” on the Palestinian people.

    The Dark Nineties

    After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the subsequent Gulf war, the first phase of the Intifada ended. The PLO got engaged in extensive series of public and secretive negotiations with “Israel”, that resulted in the “Oslo Agreement” in 1993 and the formation of the “Palestinian Authority” in the major cities of Gaza and the West Bank. As for the Palestinian struggle and resistance, the nineties were very bad years! The “Palestinian Authority (PA)” joined “Israel” in its battle against anybody who plans for, or even thinks of, fighting the Israeli forces. That happened under the banner of “security coordination” according to the terms of the infamous Oslo Agreement. Life became very difficult, if not impossible, for the real freedom fighters, especially in the environment of fake peace that took over the whole region. Jordan joined in and signed the “Wadi Araba Treaty” with 

    “Israel”, and with Egypt already having its “Camp David Accords” with “Israel”, the prospects for armed struggle against the Israeli occupation became gloomy. With Iraq defeated and isolated, Libya under sanctions, and Algeria in internal turmoil, Syria was pushed by the Arab League to join the negotiations process in the middle east – sponsored by the Clinton administration in the US (though it maintained its political stance towards the Palestinian cause and did not sign any bilateral deal with “Israel”).  The only country in the middle east that maintained its support for the Palestinian right to liberation via armed struggle and remained vocal in its opposition to the so-called “peace process”, was Iran. But Iran at that time was very busy in major internal rebuilding after the eight-year destructive war with Iraq (1980 – 1988). Iran’s focus was on helping the Lebanese resistance to liberate the Southern part of the country – still under Israeli occupation.

    Under these circumstances, popular and mass resistance actions were no longer possible, so the Palestinian revolutionaries turned to other methods targeting the Israeli occupation, particularly explosive devices and booby traps, individual attacks, and martyrdom operations carried out by small groups and orchestrated by a few individuals – planners. However, by the end of the nineties, “Israel” – with real contribution from the Palestinian Authority – was able to eliminate the active masterminds of that kind of armed resistance, and things in Palestine appeared as if the Israel-PA partnership is working.

    The Second Intifada

    In the year 2000, negotiations between PLO’s Yasser Arafat and Israel’s Ehud Barak reached a deadlock and collapsed. Arafat failed to get anything tangible or meaningful in return for his years-long cooperation. In the meantime, scenes came from Southern Lebanon of the humiliating and disgraceful Israeli withdrawal under the strikes of Lebanese armed resistance.

    Pragmatic in nature, Yasser Arafat decided to use the armed struggle as a means of pressurizing the Israelis. He had done that repeatedly in the past, while in Lebanon. Arafat hinted to his aides to bypass the security coordination with “Israel” and he relied on the Palestinian guerilla fighters. It didn’t take long for the second Intifada to break out. It quickly turned into a wave of strong and impactful martyrdom operations against “Israel”, the biggest of which was in the town of Netanya where 30 Israelis were killed on 27 March 2002.  

    Despite the large scale of the Israeli invasion of the PA territories, the massacre in the Jenin refugees camp, and the encirclement of Yasser Arafat in his headquarter, the Palestinian revolutionary spirit didn’t weaken, especially in the Gaza strip. Arafat passed away in 2004 and his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, was much less charismatic and powerful. In 2005, “Israel” came to the conclusion that the Gaza strip was a “lost cause” and decided to unilaterally withdraw its forces from there. The net result of these developments was a stronger presence of the armed resistance organizations in Gaza, particularly Al-Qassam group, the military wing of the (Islamic) Hamas movement, which started working almost openly.

    Build up of Palestinian Military Capabilities

    2007 was a landmark. Hamas movement managed to expel the security apparatus of the PA and imposed its control all over the Gaza strip. Since then, the “golden era” of the armed Palestinian resistance began. The fighting groups, particularly Al-Qassam and “Saraya Al-Quds”, were inspired by the Hezbollah struggle against “Israel” in Lebanon, and gradually started moving in the direction of military professionalism, with brigades and hierarchy. They quickly established links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, headed by Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and to Hezbollah in Lebanon. For its part, “Israel” traced and thwarted several attempts to stop smuggling weapons from Iran to Gaza via the Red Sea, Sudan and Sinai. It also assassinated Hamas’ military wing liaison officer, Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai. Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt, in turn, arrested the Hezbollah commander, Sami Shehab, in charge of channeling military aid to Gaza in 2009. Despite all that, and the very complicated logistics situation, it was evident that significant technical and financial support did reach Gaza and enabled the resistance movements to start with a “local production” program for military tools and means, though simple and limited. 

    With the repeated Israeli attacks and encounters, the Palestinian resistance movements gained substantial military experience and became more effective. In 2014, the Palestinian armed resistance launched rockets that landed inside “Israel”, though with limited precision and range. “Israel” was getting very worried about the developments in Gaza and tried its best to eliminate the scientific and qualified personnel of the resistance in Gaza. “Israel” actually managed to assassinate senior leaders from the Palestinian military wings responsible in particular for the missiles programs, notably among them was Baha’ Abul Atta of Saraya Al-Quds, and before him Ahmad Al-Ja’abari, the deputy commander of Al-Qassam brigades. But the momentum gained by the resistance movements in Gaza didn’t vanish. On the contrary, military wings became even stronger and their work became systematic – not dependent on specific persons. When the Americans assassinated Hajj Qassem Suleimani early in 2020, the role that he played in building the Palestinian military capabilities came into public. The leaders of all armed wings of the Palestinian movements spoke very warmly of him and expressed their gratitude for his help and leadership. On the Palestinian front, Hajj Qassem cared for one thing only: unity against the Zionist entity (Israel). He whole-heartedly believed that Zionist injustice in Palestine will have to come to an end, sooner or later. 

    During Saif Al-Quds Battle

    In the last encounter of 2021, known as Saif Al-Quds, the much-improved military capabilities of the Palestinian military wings came into display. Within a few days, thousands of missiles were successfully launched from Gaza and reached their targets deep inside “Israel”. The Palestinian movements also formed a joint operation and command room to coordinate activities and responses. The Israeli army, and its “Iron Dome” defense system, failed to down the Palestinian rockets. “Israel” didn’t dare to carry out ground operations in Gaza and was no longer able to sustain prolonged military operations due to the internal turmoil caused by the Palestinian missiles which practically “froze” the Israeli economy for days. A state of deterrence was established with “Israel” as if it were between two armies. That was a remarkable success for the Palestinian resistance. The days when the Israeli army was able to wander in Gaza without expecting a damaging response were long gone. The Palestinian resistance was able to impose new realities on the ground. It’s a new era, that of the “missile” resistance. No more knives or stones throwing. 

    The Palestinian resistance is now on the rise. With every passing day, its military capabilities are increasing steadily, and pledging more sacrifices and efforts. The new generation in Palestine is more determined than ever before to liberate its country. And it’s not over yet.

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

    Hussam AbdelKareem 

    ‘Watani’: A Kanafanian Song in the Time of National Crisis (VIDEO)

    July 13, 2022

    Late Palestinian intellectual Ghassan Kanafani. (Photo: via as-Safir)

    By Haidar Eid

    Bodies fall, but not the idea. (Ghassan Kanafani)

    The 50th anniversary of the assassination of Ghassan Kanafani coincides with the passing of 15 years of the Fatah-Hamas rift, instigated by the Bush administration in 2007 and which has led to the formation of two local, opposing administrations by the two parties in the 1967 occupied territories.

    The clashes between the two parties created a new reality on the ground, the brunt of which has been paid, mainly, by the 2.4 million residents of the besieged Gaza Strip, and has led to one of the worst national crises Palestinians have had since the emergence of the contemporary Palestinian revolution and the formation of the PLO.

    What would Ghassan Kanafani have said?! This song is an attempt to address this question.

    The song is written and performed by Haidar Eid.

    Nai: Ismail Harazeen

    Oud: Mohammed Oukasha

    Graphic Design: Alaa Samir

    Lyrics:

    Oh, WATANY (MY HOMELAND)

    Patience and steadfastness

    And forgiveness for what we have done

    WATANY!

    You are the throbbing heart

    You are the throbbing HEART

    You are the soul

    The soul

    THE SOUL

    And the soul is dear (to the heart)

    And so TRANSCENDENTAL

    The liberation of Palestine is the liberation of the world

    10 Jul 2020

    Source: Al Mayadeen English

    Politologist and Researcher; Columnist and Activist; Founder of the Canaán Association.

    Susana Khalil 

    We have a date with history and it is the liberation of Palestine today in the XXI century against the colonial yoke and anachronism called “Israel”.

    Perhaps the end of hunger is the liberation of the world. Freedom is dignity and justice, there is no liberation with the injustice of hunger, hunger is savagery and slavery…The end of hunger is not in the universal human imaginary…It is a corpse theme and even laughable. There is an atheistic confession regarding the end of hunger in the world, anointed with alms, charity and philanthropy.     

    The liberation of Palestine is the liberation of the world

    Zionism is a Eurocentric fascist movement and today it is the engine of imperial inhumanity and is the very normalization of fascism. Zionism is an enemy of humanity that with its despotic supra-power allows it to mock and subjugate the world as the untouchable bearer of Peace.

    Zionism operates among rivals, i.e. there is American Zionism and there is Russian Zionism, and there is Chinese Zionism. There is Zionism in its fascist nature and there is also Zionism operating on the left wing. There is Nazi Christian Zionism as well as Islamo-fascist Zionism and at the same time, it operates in the illustrious temple of art, academia and intellectuality: in multiple cases in the scientific and technological plunder, always in the financial, commercial and media mafia. Its hyperrealistic power seems surrealistic.  

    For decades Zionism has been one of the great articulators of the West in the macabre spilling of the blood of the peoples of Africa and Latin America for the plundering of their natural resources.

    In 1948, the Euro-Zionist movement succeeded in imposing a colonial regime in Palestine called “Israel”. It was imposed on the basis of ethnic cleansing against the native Semitic Palestinian people. The wounded Arab world protested and the international Zionist power managed to conceal its barbarism, stating that they were Arab savages, anti-Semitic Muslims… Zionism is the perfect crime, the victim is guilty. Western egocentric gluttony ejaculates in its creative and illustrative ignorance: They found the land of love, sang Edith Piaf in tribute to the colonial regime of “Israel” that massacred the native Semitic Palestinian people. 

    Note

    “Israel” that was imposed in 1948 in Palestine is a classic colonialism, a colonial anachronism and its parallelism with the classic colonialism is that it does not come from a country but from a European movement (Zionism), which seeks to create a nation-state. In this case, they use the Jewish religious doctrine (Semitic heritage), they falsify history, they allege that it is about the ”return” to the ancestral land (Indo-Europeans, non-Semitic Jews). And this is why we are facing a colonialism in which it does not only colonize the land of the people but steals, appropriates the history of the native people, and this is because it is a colonialism that does not come from a country but from a movement that seeks to be a country. Therefore it takes the history of the native people. “Israelis” are not “Israelites”. This colonial particularity of usurping the native Palestinian history, culinary and cultural expression, is part of the equation of extermination of the Palestinian people. The native Palestinians are not only expelled from their homeland but the enemy  seeks to expel them from history.

    End of the note

    It is worrying to see today, how the tyrannies, neo-colonial Arab monarchies, in order to perpetuate themselves in power, are investing colossal sums of money in the falsification of Islam, in school education, in large international Islamic forums, to present this colonialism as an Islamic principle. Be careful with this.

    The liberation of Palestine, that is to say the end of the colonial regime of “Israel”, is the collapse of the Arab dictatorships, whether they are pro-imperialist Arab dictatorships or anti-imperialist Arab dictatorships.

    Behind the cruel US imperial invasion of Iraq was the colonial regime of “Israel”, through the Zionist Lobby, as part of the colonial expansionist project: “Greater Israel”, from the Nile to the Euphrates.

    Today, the colonial regime of “Israel” is in possession of at least 400 atomic bombs.

    The humiliating Oslo Accords in which a Palestinian elite groveled and were forced to abandon the armed struggle. By abandoning the armed struggle, much of the Palestinian imaginary was lost, we no longer speak of the Fida’i. It used to be said: To be against “Israel” is not to be against the Jews. Now it is said: To criticize “Israel” does not mean to be against “Israel”. Without realizing it, we are becoming Zionists. It is criminally naïve to believe in the existence of this colonialism.

    Former Palestinian leaders gave up the armed struggle for the peaceful struggle that already existed, but a peaceful struggle has not been achieved either, since Western repression does not allow us to express freely or to express the essence of the Palestinian Cause. We have not positioned our own lexicon, under the pretext that we must be intelligent, strategic, objective, subtle, tactical. Although the Palestinians have become more visible in the world, this has not stopped Zionism from advancing its ethnic cleansing in order to make the Palestinian people disappear.

    Yes, war is perverse, but pacifism, in some cases of a petty bourgeois humanism, demagogic and in other honest cases, has proved not to be enough to fight the most powerful fascism of today; on the contrary, it has facilitated its advance. Zionism scoffs at all the great denunciations made by great institutions of the world including the UN. We are contemplating history instead of provoking history.

    No one has the right to impose which is the way to resist, the peaceful or the armed struggle, both are valid. Another element is to impose on us to recognize Israeli colonialism as an alternative for Peace. That is a trap.  As a native Palestinian of the Diaspora, I do not recognize colonial despotism. The solution is Palestinian independence. Never expel any so-called Israeli, they were born there, that is their land, that is Palestine.

    Israeli colonialism is not limited to Palestine but to the rest of the Arab-Persian and Kurdish countries.

    The end of the Palestinian people would be the victory of fascist obscurantism, an attack against the rest of the peoples of the world. The peoples of the world will be weaker.  

    We have a date with history and it is the liberation of Palestine today in the XXI century against the colonial yoke and anachronism called “Israel”. We have a debt to Humanity and that is to extirpate colonialism from our contemporary history and to extirpate the most powerful fascism of our time. It sounds lovely to say this, the challenge is immense, we must stop self-censorship, under the pretext that we must be strategic. We must kick the table, educating the world about the just Palestinian cause and the danger that Zionism poses to humanity. That embarks deep determination and steadfastness, therein lies the beauty of being Palestinian. From our Diaspora they will come for us to ruin our lives, but to liberate Palestine is the liberation of the world. A more dignified and noble world is mandatory.

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

    Palestinian Leaders Abbas, Haniyeh Meet in Algeria (VIDEOS)

    July 6, 2022

    Palestinian leaders meet in Algeria. (Photo: via Algérie Information TW Page)

    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met on Tuesday with the head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, Algerian media reported.

    Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune reportedly succeeded in bringing the two leaders together for the first time in years. The post included a video clip showing Abbas, Haniyeh and the Algerian president shaking hands, with other Palestinian officials present.

    The Algerian presidency deleted the post about 20 minutes after posting it, but then re-posted the same video with the entry:

    “The President of the Republic, Abdel Majid Tebboune, brings together, in a historic meeting on the side-lines of the 60th independence celebrations in Algeria, the Palestinian brothers, the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, and his accompanying delegation, and the delegation of Hamas, led by the head of its political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, after many years of not meeting around the same table.”

    Palestinian official news agency WAFA reported that Abbas “informed his brother President Tebboune of the latest political developments related to the Palestinian cause, and the practices of the occupation and its aggression against our people, which undermine the chances of peace and the two-state solution.”

    WAFA added that the two presidents discussed “means of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries and nations, in addition to many international and regional issues of common interest.”

    Abbas also attended the large military parade held by Algeria, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its independence and the restoration of its sovereignty, which was performed by the Algerian army.

    (MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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