The Deal of Shame: $6.35 Billion for Settling Palestinians in Lebanon

Nasrallah: The Next War Will Devastate Israel and Decimate its Population, We Will Liberate Palestine and Pray in Al-Quds

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah’s interview with Al-Manar Channel on July 12, 2019. 

This live interview commemorated the 13th anniversary of the ‘Truthful Promise’ operation and the outbreak of the 2006 war. It lasted more than 3 hours.

The first part is dedicated to the prospect of an Israeli war against Lebanon and the ‘Deal of the Century’. The videos feature only the main parts of the interview, but the transcript below is full.

Right after this speech, Israel took immediate measures to reassure its population: Hezbollah Threat Prompts Israel to Boost Anti-missile Protection at 20 Strategic Sites 
  
Source : http://program.almanar.com.lb/episode/75495 

 

 

 

Transcript:

Journalist: Good evening, Eminent Sayed. I thank you for granting us this interview, which is (closely) followed by both your opponents and your friends. Allow me to begin by addressing you and our listeners with my congratulations on this commemoration of the divine victory (of 2006).

From July 2006 to July 2019, did the balances and equations that were imposed by the 2006 victory remain valid, or have the events and developments in the region imposed new realities?

Hassan Nasrallah
: In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. First of all, I must also congratulate you on this occasion. We are beginning this commemoration with this interview with Al-Manar TV, and we will also celebrate the Victory Festival on August 14, after 33 days. I must also address all those who shaped this victory and participated in shaping it, and in the first place the families of the martyrs, the fighters, the wounded and all the elements of the golden equation, ‘The Army, the People and the Resistance’, as well as all the forces, all the actors, and all those who assisted us, helped us and supported us (if only) by taking a stance, by saying a word (of support) or uttering a prayer (for our victory). To all of you, I extend my congratulations on this day of commemoration of this great victory.

As far as your question is concerned, the equations are still valid. All the new equations that we achieved and obtained during the July (2006) war in the (Arab-Israeli) conflict are still valid and have even been confirmed and strengthened further over the days and years. And that is why we can (all) bear witness to one of the fruits of these achievements and victories, namely that Lebanon, since 2006 to this day, is protected and safe, a security that nobody granted to him, neither the Americans, nor the United Nations, nor the UN Security Council, nor any international authority. Lebanon is absolutely safe, in southern Lebanon, at the border, and everywhere throughout Lebanon, with the exception of a few incidents that we will discuss later.

This security has been shaped by the Lebanese, by their unity, by their Resistance, by their people, by their army, by their will, by the blood of their martyrs. And today, against Israel, the most important point is that there is a real deterrent, the so-called balance of deterrence. Between who and who? Between Lebanon and the Zionist entity, that is between a (mere) Popular Resistance movement and a State that considers itself a great power in the region. (Such a balance between two actors so unequal) is a considerable thing. And it is this very deterrence that, until now, has prevented Israel from attacking Lebanon, from 2006 to the present. The Israelis themselves acknowledge (this situation of deterrence): their military and political leaders acknowledge this, as well as the leaders of their (political) parties, their analysts and their media. Similarly, (we can clearly see that Israel is deterred) when we read the statements of the Generals, especially after they leave their position, because they become more free to express themselves and they reveal things previously kept secret. We see that (this balance of deterrence) is something accepted and acknowledged by all (in Israel and elsewhere).

That is why we keep repeating that after the 2006 war and the equations that this war imposed, the enemy thinks about it a thousand times before considering any aggression against Lebanon, (and this balance of deterrence and dissuasion) is confirmed and more deeply rooted day after day, as I will show you with precise data.

Journalist: And what about the Resistance, what has changed after 13 years separating us from the victory (of 2006)? You’ve talked about this several times, but after all the pressure, sanctions and state of siege (imposed on the Resistance by Trump), can we still say that the Resistance is (today) stronger than ever, and that this equation has not changed?


Hassan Nasrallah: For 13 years (since 2006), we made considerable progress regarding the number of our fighters –and this is the most important element for us, the human element, the resistant, the fighter ready to sacrifice in the way of God Almighty and Exalted. The development of our strength was absolutely huge and cannot be compared to any previous stage.

Journalist: The number of Hezbollah fighters increased?

Hassan Nasrallah: It was multiplied several times. And likewise, through our actions meant to develop our capabilities and also through our field experience, on the battlefield –I speak of what happened in Syria–, we have gained a real ground offensive capability. In the past, in 2006 (and before), our offensive capability was limited, and most of our capacity was a defensive capacity, even in what is called the infantry forces. But today, we have a real offensive capability at the level of our ground troops, with modern, powerful and excellent weaponry at all levels, and a real qualitative force in every sense of the term: at the levels of faith, motivation, commitment, courage, expertise, training, experience and also the accumulation of (fighting) experience. (These forces are capable of liberating vast swathes of territory, as they have demonstrated in Syria against forces that are far more motivated than the Israeli army).

In addition to our conventional military units, I can mention in particular our two special (elite) units, the Al-Redwan forces and Al-Abbas cohorts, where the number of fighters is very high. We have (thousands) of such experienced fighters, constantly ready (for anything), highly specialized in offensive battles, and they have a great experience in offensive operations. This is something we did not have in 2006.

I can also talk about the development of our ballistic capability, the ballistic capacity of the Resistance today, which has considerably increased both in quantity –the number of missiles we have is incomparable with what we had in 2006– and also qualitatively, and I speak here of precision missiles, which are an obsession for Israel, and that is why the US is trying to intervene to help resolve this problem.

I can also speak of another military asset in our capacity, the drones or UAVs, which are now a major force in the equation of any confrontation.

Journalist: You now have an air force?

Hassan Nasrallah: In 2006 we only had a few drones, and we tried to do something with them, but we were at the beginning of the foundation of this new type of weapon. But today, this type of weapon is very advanced, available in large numbers and fully operational, and it must be taken into consideration because of its significant offensive capabilities (demonstrated by the Resistance in Yemen, where Hezbollah is likely involved).

About the other aspects (of our) strength –I am not going to mention them all one by one–, I can also mention the fact that at the level of the quality and exhaustivity of our intelligence services, our capacity is greater than ever. We also have a number of weapons for which a huge qualitative development has been achieved. And of course, there are other things that I will not mention and that I keep as surprises (for the enemy).

In short, whether on land, sea or in the air, in all areas, this Resistance has considerably developed and made huge steps forward, both in quantity and quality, both in numbers, strength, equipment, expertise, experience, training, capacity, and, more importantly, in faith and certainty in God’s victory, trust in God and disposition to sacrifice.

And that is why it is evident today, as I sit with you, if we consider the current state of mind of all the Israeli leaders (at the political and military levels), they all fear the Resistance and they are greatly afraid of it, and they will think a million times before doing anything against us, much more than was previously the case, even in 2006.

Journalist: Eminent Sayed, maybe there only remains one weakness (for Hezbollah), the fact that you still don’t have air defenses capable of shooting down Israeli planes who continue to constantly violate our airspace.

Hassan Nasrallah: Who says we do not have them? Maybe we do, maybe we don’t. To say absolutely that we don’t have them is not accurate. But I will not say that we have them, because the time has not come yet to reveal whether we have them or not. Leave that in the area of ​​our hidden abilities (about which we maintain uncertainty).

Journalist: But on the other hand, Eminent Sayed, the Israeli enemy has also developed its capacities and has benefited from the lessons of its failures during the July 2006 war. Don’t you take into consideration the fact that Israel has also done lots of work on itself, working (relentlessly) to remedy its shortcomings, to develop and strengthen its capacity, and therefore became stronger that it was in 2006?

Hassan Nasrallah: It is true that Israel has been working to develop and strengthen its capacity, and has analyzed and worked to address its weaknesses, flaws, breaches and shortcomings. Beyond the Winograd Commission, whose conclusions were damning (for the Israeli army), they also commissioned special studies within the Israeli army and in other institutions, in order to resolve their technical failures.

But what struck Israel, this usurper entity, –each time I say ‘Israel’, it is merely for convenience, but we do not recognize the usurper Zionist entity as a (legitimate) State–, what struck this entity was something very deep. The entity was struck in depth, at a level that is not easily remediable, namely its mind and soul. I speak of the (entity’s) confidence and trust in the (capabilities of its) army, the trust of the leaders in their forces, the officers’ trust in their soldiers, the soldiers’ trust in their officers, the people’s trust in the army, the politicians’ trust in the military leadership, the military leaders’ trust in the political leadership. Restoring this (shattered) trust is not something easy. It is extremely difficult to achieve a level of trust and confidence which means certainty, absolute assurance, determination, that allows everyone to move forward with confidence (in wartime). This was shaken at a very high point. And everything the Israeli enemy did since the 2006 war to restore this trust failed. And this is also one of the benefits of the endurance of Gaza, the Resistance in Gaza. Israel attacked Gaza in 2014 and on other occasions, and until the last confrontation with Gaza (on May 2019), we all could see Israel’s (powerlessness), which failed to restore the trust that has been struck in depth. That’s the first aspect.

There is another problem that Israel has failed to solve, and that’s something very important which is part of the consequences of the 2006 war. I mean the weakness and impotence of the Israeli home front, the internal front of the enemy entity, which was exposed (in 2006). (In previous wars), the home front was always preserved and spared. Where did wars happen (before 2006)? On our land, in Lebanon, in the Syrian territory, or the Egyptian territory, or in the other (Arab) territories. It was not on Palestinian territory –because there is no such thing as Israeli territory–, it was not in the territory on which the Zionists erected the usurper entity (that the battles took place or that the missiles were falling). But the war of 2006 carried the battle inside the land of the enemy –if we can consider this land as ‘theirs’–, on the home front of the enemy, (which was hit daily by the missiles of the Resistance). And now the Resistance is stronger than ever in terms of its ability to target and shake the enemy’s home front (by a barrage of missiles or even a ground offensive in Galilee).

Israel has failed to address this issue so far. They have been vainly striving to resolve it since 2006 to date. They began to try to solve this problem in 2007, organizing maneuvers at the level of the home front, dubbed ‘Turning Point 1’. The year 2008 saw the maneuvers ‘Turning Point 2’, then the year after ‘Turning Point 3’, then ‘Turning Point 4’, ‘Turning Point 5’, and so on and so forth. Each year, they organize large maneuvers on their whole territory (involving both the military and civilians, to assess the preparedness of) their home front. And so far, the main Israeli Generals say that the home front is still not ready for war. And it’s been 13 years that they are trying to remedy this issue. But they will never be ready for war, they will never be ready to bear the burden of a war. It is also a major problem that remains.

Yet another problem (for Israel) is the land forces. Since 2006 to date, although they claim to have dealt with this issue, we can see, with the admission of the Israeli leadership, a sharp decline in the strength, capacity and reliability of the Israeli infantry, as acknowledged by the Israelis themselves, I’m not the (only) one who says so. Israel and the whole world know that the air force is not capable of winning a war without ground support, without land forces. Without a large ground offensive, nothing in the equations can be changed. Everything the air force can achieve is some destruction (and massacres of civilians) here or there. Therefore, this is also one of the negative developments for Israel, that they have not managed to solve for 13 years. Rather, this problem has become more serious, it became deeper. The trust crisis caused by the failure against Gaza –after the Lebanese experience in 2006– became deeper. The weakness and impotence of the ground force (worsened, just like) the weakness and impotence of the home front.

Yesterday, I was reading an (Israeli) paper saying that despite all that was done (to face this threat), if the territory of the Israeli entity was attacked from several locations (simultaneous invasions from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria…), Israel does not have the capacity to absorb 2 million internal refugees, inside occupied Palestine. We’re talking about a population of 9 million people. What will they do with the remaining 7 million Israelis? Where will they flee (if Israel is already struggling to cope with 2 million)?

Journalist: But Eminent Sayed …

Hassan Nasrallah: Of course, on the other hand, we do not deny the fact that for 13 years, Israel has intensified its training and maneuvers, either in Cyprus, Greece, Europe or elsewhere. We do not deny the fact that they got more sophisticated technologies and new weapons from the United States, at the aviation level (F-35), etc., etc., etc., etc. . But for us, the main issue against the Israeli enemy is not the military arsenal. Their military arsenal during the July (2006) War was absolutely huge and unparalleled, but despite this, (we won).

Journalist: Within the Israeli entity, in their statements, they constantly threaten to return Lebanon to the Stone Age in case of war, referring to a comprehensive list of targets (whose destruction would paralyze the country). But if we consider the situation from the other side, if a war occurs, God forbid, what will happen to the situation of the (Zionist) entity? And I do not know if I can ask, but how many targets will find themselves within reach of your missiles?

Hassan Nasrallah: Today, after what I will expose, I advise the Israelis not to repeat this kind of threat, that they will return Lebanon to the Stone Age. Some of them said they would send Lebanon 50 years back, but you know, for the Lebanese, this is a joke, because they say ‘We’d like that, because 50 years ago (before the civil war in Lebanon), there was (functional) electricity, water, streets were clean, etc.’ Implying that Lebanon can be sent back to the Stone Age is a gross underestimation (of our capabilities).

Let us consider what we, on our part, can do with Israel (in case of war). I do not say ‘To what Age we will send them back’, because before 1948, they did not even exist. What can we do with this entity and the people of this entity, the settlers? I’m not talking about civilians in the strict sense, but about occupants, colonists, invaders. I say this so that no one says that I threaten the civilians of the entity (in Israel, only the Arab population can be deemed civilian).

(In May 25), 2000, in Bint Jbeil, I said that Israel was weaker than a spider web. During the last 13 years, my certainty about this has strengthened, and it occurred to me that even the expression ‘weaker than a spider web’ is not strong enough to describe the weakness of this entity. I’m going to show it in a scientific way, with accurate data.

As (Israel) was to be the essential topic of our meeting this evening (dedicated to the 2006 victory), I brought a map with me. On this map… Normally, the expert in this area is Netanyahu at the UN (where he often shows diagrams or maps to incriminate Iran) or Trump, when he wants to sell his weapons (to Saudi Arabia), right? But today, it is I who am forced to resort to this method. 

Let’s look at this map that I hold in my hands, Professor Imad. Here is occupied Palestine, the entity usurping Palestinian land that they currently denominate ‘Israel’. What we see here in white, it is the West Bank, and down here, the Gaza Strip. If we look at the whole region, the North is here… Here, we can see the Golan, we represented it in Syria, because for us it will never be part of the (Zionist) entity. Here is the North, and here is the South. We see that the largest area (of Israel) is the South, the South of occupied Palestine. The South is between Beersheva here and Eilat there, the most notable cities. Everywhere else (in the South), there’s nothing important. There are small towns, small settlements. And we find the same thing near the Gaza Strip. Therefore, consider that operationally, the South is beyond our line of sight. Of course, the Resistance is able to hit all the ‘Israeli’ territory, up to Eilat at the very South. (In 2006), I said that (we could hit) ‘beyond, way beyond Haifa’, and I meant Tel Aviv. But today, I say that I can hit beyond Tel Aviv and beyond Eilat: if they have something after Eilat, we can also hit this location with the grace of God. But let’s leave the South aside, (because there is no valuable target there).

The whole North is in our line of sight. We can hit the North from anywhere in Lebanon, and for as long as it takes. And we have the coordinates of all the Northern targets, whether military, security, technological, economic, industrial, etc., etc., etc. All the data is in our hands. But the most important point I want to talk about is this coastal strip (in central Israel). I want to expose this to the public so that they understand how Israel is weaker than a spider web.

If you look at the coastal strip of Israel, here on this greater map, the narrowest part of the whole (Zionist) entity, of which we have an enlargement here. In this rectangle from (the city of) Netanya to Ashdod, we have a length of 60 or 70 kilometers. In some places, the width of this area is (only) 14 kilometers, and elsewhere, it is up to 20 kilometers. We also see another problem with Israel, which is the lack of strategic depth. Looking at the heart of this area, it gets narrower, and we have a length of 40 kilometers and width of 20 kilometers. But let us consider the broader area, from Netanya to Ashdod. We cut a territorial strip –we made this map ourselves, I am not merely showing (an existing map) on TV; this is one of the maps that we have in our room of operations–, we have a strip from Netanya to Ashdod, about 20 kilometers wide and 60 to 70 kilometers long. Let’s see what targets we have in this area.

First, the bulk of the Israeli settlers (all Jewish Israelis are settlers, whether they live in 1948 or 1967 occupied Palestine) lives in this area. Half of the population, or just over half of Israel’s (Jewish) population, according to different surveys, lives there. Just look at the targets we have in this area, which in the best case, is 1200 square kilometers, an insignificant area (from the military point of view). It’s a confined area. We are not engaged in a war with a huge State with vast spaces, which would lead us to wonder how we can reach all the (strategic) targets in its territory. In this small rectangle, are located all the main bodies of the (Israeli) State, be it the government, the Ministries, the Ministry of War, the Command and General Staff of the Army, Ben-Gurion International Airport, the national airports, the Air Force bases, military bases with unconventional weapons (chemical and nuclear), petrochemical plants, nuclear power plants… All this is in this small area. We should also mention the ports of Tel Aviv and Ashdod, the military armament factories, civil and industrial complexes, major trade and finance hubs, the Israeli Stock Exchange, the main plants for generation and distribution of electricity, refineries and suppliers of gas, centers for treatment and distribution of water, oil refineries, etc. 90% of these (targets) are in this area.

Journalist: What does this mean?

Hassan Nasrallah: Imagine, therefore, that there is a Resistance with a ballistic capability, meaning thousands, tens of thousands of missiles or even more –I will not give a more precise order of magnitude (of what we have)–, all able to reach this area. For it is not necessary for us to hit Southern Palestine or any other area, (we can focus on this strategic central area). We can hit the North with some type of missiles (our smaller range rockets), and the rest of our missiles, instead of wasting them on the North, we will focus them on this coastal strip. Can this entity hold on and endure (such devastation)? Here is the Stone Age! Who will return the other to the Stone Age?

Even in the North, we have already spoken of the ammonia storage in Haifa, a problem that they have not resolved despite their attempts to do so. They tried to move the storage to the South, but in vain. Similarly, it is difficult to store it at sea. They confess themselves that if the ammonia reserves were hit… One day, in one of my speeches, I said that we had a nuclear weapon, and the whole audience laughed, but I told them I was not joking. They thought I was joking. I told them that a single missile targeting the ammonia warehouses in Haifa, two missiles at most, the Israelis themselves say that if that happened, there would be tens of thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of casualties, and that the whole area would become unlivable. And I do not even talk about the operation (to liberate) Galilee, about our land force, about our entry into the dear beloved land of Palestine, I speak only of our firepower. Is that day (where Israel will burn under thousands of missiles) coming? Yes, this day will come, and we are ready for it.

Journalist: And Hezbollah is capable of…
 
Hassan Nasrallah: Israel knows just as we do that this area harbors many chemical and petrochemical plants, nuclear power plants, and all this is within range of our missiles, and we can strike them. This entity is now deterred in every sense of the word to get into a war against Lebanon, even though it’s been 13 years (they are doing their best to prepare for such a war).

Didn’t they say… I do not seek to provoke them, but it’s the truth. They have been saying for 13 years that Hezbollah is forbidden to develop its ballistic capability. But we have (considerably) developed our ballistic capability. Hezbollah is forbidden to possess precision missiles. But we have them. Hezbollah is forbidden to possess game-changing weapons. But we have them. It is forbidden, it is forbidden… (All the so-called Israeli red lines have been violated, and Israel did nothing.)

They try to resort to other ways (to impede our growth, for instance by supporting terrorists in Syria), but the choice of war against Lebanon, or even the choice to hit any military target in Lebanon, to launch any air raid against Lebanon, they forbid themselves to do it. Why? From who Israel is afraid? From Trump? From Europe ? From the Arab League? From who Israel is afraid? Israel is afraid of the Hezbollah Resistance, which is able to do all the things I just mentioned.

Journalist: So the new equation, Eminent Sayed, is that Hezbollah is now capable of inflicting massive destruction in central Israel and into the depth of Israeli territory?

Hassan Nasrallah: You can use the language of your choice. I do not know exactly what terms would accurately describe (what we’ll inflict on Israel in the next war).

Journalist: What are the words closest to reality, according to your estimation?

Hassan Nasrallah
: The words you used were minimal.

Journalist: “Massive destruction”?

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes. I do not exaggerate. Today, Israel knows that I speak the truth. I do not care if some Arab (leaders) believe me or not. If they believe me, great. Otherwise, it’s not a problem. What matters to me is that the Israelis know (that I’m saying the truth).

Today, in everything I say, there’s no secret. People can be reassured about that. The secrets that the Israelis do not know, I never reveal them before the time comes, it’s part of the (military or psychological) battle. But everything I just said, Israel knows it, and they know what to expect in case of war. And so today, and ever since 2006, all their discussions and all their speeches (revolve around Hezbollah).

A few days ago (from June 30 to July 2, in Israel), was held the annual (security) conference of Herzliya. I advise people to look at what they talked about in their seminars, general statements, etc.: Israel against Hezbollah, Israel against Hezbollah, Israel against Hezbollah, etc. Why is Hezbollah such an obsession? Because Israel knows the data I just mentioned and this equation (of strength and deterrence).

Journalist: The 
Times of Israel reported that Hezbollah has a major secret plan to invade Galilee which does not require the tunnels that were discovered by the Israeli army. The newspaper said that since the tunnels have been blocked, it is likely that the (elite) Al-Redwan troops plan to bring thousands of fighters in Israel crossing simultaneously from several points, during an intense bombardment of the border area, with the use of surveillance drones to obtain live field data and to hit Israeli positions. Is this your plan?

Hassan Nasrallah: Do you think I’m going to tell you? This is a logical and feasible scenario. But in general, and our brothers (at the operational command of Hezbollah) are now recognized for their competence in this area, thank God, they have significant expertise and founded a real school in this field, and that’s why they are preparing more than one plan and scenario…

Journalist: But the plan to invade Galilee is still relevant?

Hassan Nasrallah: It is part of our war plans. In general, we devise many plans and prepare everything we need to be able to achieve them. But it is only during the war that we decide what part of what plan we will implement.

Journalist: What you tell us is supposed to happen in case of war. But until now, you consider it unlikely that the Great War against the Israeli enemy occur (in the near future)?

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes, because of the situation of deterrence, I still consider it unlikely that Israel initiates a war of this nature. We see this in their analyses during the (Herzliya) conference. None of them has certainty, or even confidence in the fact that a war against Lebanon would lead to a victory for Israel. They know that launching a war against Lebanon, despite their capacity for destruction –they have been destroying for 70 years, this is not new, but what is new is the destruction that will befall on them!–, any new war will not resemble that of July 2006, but will be much worse for Israel and will bring it to the edge of the abyss and to possible extinction, as they know very well, if they fail to win a big, decisive and fast victory. But how could they get such a victory?

Journalist: But on the other hand, Eminent Sayed, we might ask you to what extent Lebanon, which goes through an economic and financial crisis, could bear the burden of a new war against the Israeli enemy, especially as the conditions seem harder today than in 2006. I speak of the general conditions, and not those of Hezbollah in particular. For instance the situation in Iran, which is weaker in a certain extent (due to US sanctions), and in Syria, which has changed dramatically: in 2006, it was a (strong and stable) pillar where (one million) Lebanese could take refuge…

Hassan Nasrallah: This analysis of the situation is wrong. We never had a strategy of classical warfare. We are a Resistance movement that has well-defined objectives and specific ways (of guerrilla). We are talking of a war that would be imposed in Lebanon, and we are fully prepared for it.

Journalist: According to the calculations of the enemy, if they managed to target you personally (and kill you), God forbid, it would deal a fatal blow to Hezbollah. How do you consider this risk, and to what degree does the future of the Resistance and struggle (against Israel) depend on your person, Eminent Sayed?

Hassan Nasrallah: It is confirmed day after day that Hezbollah does not depend on a particular person. Since it was founded, Hezbollah has never rested on a person or the existence of a person. This is why we had leaders who have found martyrdom, who have left Hezbollah or who have remained, without their fate affecting Hezbollah. On the contrary, the blood of the martyrs gives a considerable boost to the (Resistance) path we have adopted, (as was particularly manifest) with Sayed Abbas al-Musawi, our Secretary General and beloved Master, (murdered by Israel with his wife and 5-year-old son in 1992), as well as other martyred leaders: Hajj Imad [Moghniyeh, murdered in 2009], Sayed [Mostafa Badreddine] Zulfiqar, [martyred in Syria in 2016], and all our other brothers. But I repeat, the Party of God and the Resistance do not depend on a personality: it is an entire organization, and it functions as an organization.

And that is why today, one of the reasons for the power of Hezbollah and the increase of its power, of its activities and of its field of intervention (Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc.)… If it was me in person who had to follow all the files in which we are involved, it would be humanly impossible! There are bodies, officials, leaders, and I am only one of them. It is natural that trust, affection, love, attachment, obedience and all these positive aspects are attached (to me in particular). But each person has his particular influence.

In my opinion, this calculation of the enemy (is wrong), and he would not achieve a victory (by murdering me). On the contrary, with us, the blood of the martyrs and the blood of the leaders, especially at times of combat, gives an enormous impetus to all the combatants to continue on their way and to all the leaders to remain faithful to the same objectives. We do not fear anything in this regard. Of course, my duty and the duty of Hezbollah is to pay special attention to our security, and to take every precaution to protect Hezbollah leaders (from any assassination attempt), whether it be me or any other cadre. It is our duty not to be an easy prey for our enemy. But we do not base our victory calculations on that.

Journalist: So you are absolutely positive about your ability to win a decisive victory if the Great War was to take place? Is it correct?

Hassan Nasrallah: It is a certainty, with the grace of God, in every respect. That it is from the point of view of faith, because it is the promise of God the Most High and Exalted. God has promised us that “If you help God, He will help you and make you steadfast (in your faith).” (Quran, 47, 7). What does it mean to defend the Cause of God?

1 / If the cause is a just cause –and you can explore the whole world, nowhere will you find a cause more just or clearer than this, as bright as the sun at noon, whether from the perspective of Islam, of religion, of civilization, of morals, from a humanitarian or legal perspective, up to international law and all other criteria, there is nothing more just than the battle against this enemy who occupies our territory and desecrates our holy places, in Palestine and in the region. It is therefore a just cause, and we defend this just cause.

2 / We defend the Lebanese people, the Palestinian people and the peoples of the region, who are oppressed peoples. We defend the oppressed.

3 / We are ready for any sacrifice.

4 / We take all the necessary measures (we do not just pray but we are active, industrious, diligent, etc.).

5 / We plan (carefully) all our actions.

6 / We focus on our strengths and accumulate them.

7 / We have a high sense of sacrifice (of ourselves and of what we hold dearest).

8 / And all this, we do it to please God, the Most High and the Exalted. During the 2006 war, in the history of the Resistance and in the current strength of the Resistance, there is one thing that many people do not understand: it is this aspect of belief, of soul, of doctrine. We do not fight for power, nor for any earthly riches, we compete with no one for power, we do not aspire to be filled with praise, nor to be glorified in poems. Of course, whoever praises or glorifies us, we thank him. But we do all this on the Way of God the Most High and Exalted, in order to gain His pleasure and satisfaction, nothing more. This momentum, what does it mean? It means that we are trying to bond with the Master of Heaven and Earth.

A few days ago, I read a statement that had a great effect on me. We will talk about Yemen later, but I really liked this sentence, so I’m telling it now. I saw a tweet –I do not know if it’s a tweet or a speech excerpt– from our beloved brother Sayed Abd al-Malik Badr al-Din al-Houthi (AnsarAllah leader). He was speaking to Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, saying: “If the United States are with you, if Europe is with you, if the majority of the Arab world is with you, if the countries (of the world) are with you, if the (Western) warships are with you, if the armies (of the world) are with you, if the warplanes are with you, if the (most sophisticated) technologies of the world are with you –perhaps I made it longer than the orinigal[Laughter]–, if the money is with you, if the oil is with you, if the media are with you, against this (Yemeni) fighting and oppressed people, and you are defeated and we are the winners, know that God is with us and not with you.” This is a very beautiful sentence. When I read it, (I was very affected). This religious aspect is something fundamental in our confrontation (against Israel), and this is in our eyes the main element. 

Journalist: I don’t know if I can ask this question now, but who will pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Al-Quds (Jerusalem, after the disappearance of Israel)? Is that you, your children or your grandchildren (who will see the complete liberation of Palestine)?

Hassan Nasrallah: First, our life is in the hands of God Almighty and Exalted. He can take back our life at any time. But if you put that aside, I think that considering the logic, the times (we are living) and the evolution of events in the region and in the world, I am one of those who have a very high hope of praying myself at Al-Quds (after its Liberation). I speak here basing myself on logical (analysis), (and considering that I will die a natural death). But I do not know the divine decree, and I do not know how long I will stay alive.

Journalist: But what matters is the logical analysis (as to the life expectancy of Israel).
 
Hassan Nasrallah: Yes, it is on that basis that I speak. We speak only of Israel, (an artificial entity weaker than a spider web). The problem, Professor Imad, the problem is that there was almost no (involvement) of the Arabs (in favor of Palestine during all these decades). The problem is that in Lebanon, we were hampered by a seat belt, in the person of Antoine Lahd that protected Israel (with his SLA militia). But (in other countries), the seat belts were (directly) at the level of the Arab States, which protected Israel. This (Zionist) entity, if it was left to itself, (it would have no chance to survive).

This entity is based only on two equations, and not on an inner strength (of which it is totally devoid). 1 / The US and Western support; 2 / The treason (of Palestine) by the Arab (regimes). That is all. Israel is not based on any inner strength.

Journalist: These are the only strengths of Israel.

Hassan Nasrallah: If the Arab regimes were content to remain neutral, as I asked them during the July (2006) War… We do not ask them to fight with us, but only to stop stabbing us in the back. Is it not what I asked them (in 2006)? Leave us alone, that’s all (we ask). If the Arab regimes remain neutral and stop plotting against Palestine, against the Palestinians and against the Resistance movements… I call on them again to remain neutral, since they are not neutral. They continue to plot, to incite and impose sanctions (against the Palestinians and anyone who supports them). And I know for a fact that until now, in most Arab countries, if someone collects money not for Hezbollah but for our brothers in Palestine, the Palestinian people, for the factions of the Palestinian Resistance, they do not simply seize the funds but he is thrown in jail. Do not plott against the Resistance, stay neutral (and we will do away with Israel without your help).

Today, Israel exists only thanks to the support and protection of the United States. If the Resistance is prepared enough and decides (to attack Israel), even the US will not be able to cross the seas and oceans to defend an entity devoid of inner strength. If one puts aside external factors, and actives (all the strengths) of the Resistance Axis and the choice of Resistance, this entity has no chance to survive.

Journalist: We will conclude this part with this question. It is well known that the media played a vital role during the 2006 war, as well as during other confrontations against the Israeli enemy, and in particular the Resistance media. Eminent Sayed, what can you tell us about the importance of these media and their role, especially concerning the efforts being made to besiege and censor them, as happened with Al-Manar TV (Hezbollah’s channel)? (Al-Manar (was bombed from the first day of the 2006 war, but continued uninterrupted during the war thanks to secret installations)?

Hassan Nasrallah: I will not talk about truisms, because everyone knows the importance of the media in everything: battles, wars, politics, economics, trade, industry, for absolutely everything. Today, the media is a fundamental and influential player in shaping things: they not only report the facts and cover events, but shape them. The Resistance media, despite their modest financial and equipment capabilities, have a very strong influence because of the sincerity of those who work there, and the truth of the information they report. If someone invests hundreds of millions of dollars each year for a media outlet, but we end up knowing that he reports a lot of false things [laughs], this media will have no weight. The reliability of the Resistance media, for example Al-Manar TV channel, Al-Nour radio and other organizations directly linked to us, made it natural and predictable for this enemy [lying on the lie] to target them. . The important thing is that the brothers and sisters working in these organizations can continue their work and remain convinced that their action has a great influence, regardless of the strength of the seat imposed on them, because we are able to overcome it and to send our voice to the public. This role must continue, and its importance can not be ignored.

Journalist: I now come to the question of the Deal of Century, Eminent Sayed. With the permission of Walid Jumblatt (Druze leader in Lebanon, Hezbollah opponent), where is this agreement heading to? Will Trump’s billions of dollars manage to ensure its success?

Hassan Nasrallah: We believe, me and my brothers, that the Deal of the Century is doomed to fail. We are absolutely certain of that. The reason is that the Deal itself does not contain elements that could ensure its success. Rather, it contains a number of elements that will make it implode from within, and, basically, do not even allow it to stand on its feet.

The most important point which prevents the success of this Deal is the issue of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), without neglecting the importance of the other issues. If one is very pessimistic, we can say that it is possible to find –I do not say that one can find Palestinians who are so inclined, but I consider the worst case–, it is possible to find, among the Palestinians, Arabs or Muslims of the world, or the States, governments or leaders, people who would be willing to accept an unfair solution for the refugees in the diaspora (by renouncing the right of return for Palestinians), or for the territories (by ceding large parts of historic Palestine to Israel), or for (the nature of) the Palestinian state, or for the issue of sovereignty, or for the swathes (of land), for everything, even for (some) East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Even for (some) East Jerusalem neighborhoods. But you will not find any Palestinian, whether Muslim or Christian, you will not find any Arab and you will not find any Muslim in the world who can accept a Deal giving the holy places of Islam and Christianity to Israel.

We all remember that during the last negotiations held with the late President Yasser Arafat, they arrived at a point where Israel offered to give some East Jerusalem neighborhoods to Palestine, but regarding the Al-Aqsa mosque, everything above the earth would be for Palestine, and what was below the earth was meant to be for Israel. It was impossible for Arafat to accept such a thing (despite all his ignominious concessions). And this is the essential weak point (of the Deal of the Century).

The American arrogance, which leads to sheer stupidity, if I may say, has fired a fatal bullet to the Deal of the Century when Trump acknowledged Al-Quds as the eternal capital of Israel and moved the US embassy to Al-Quds. The Deal of Century died from that moment, Professor Imad. All current attempts are attempts to resuscitate a (dead) corpse. To me, the Deal of the Century is stillborn. There are currently attempts to resuscitate this corpse, relying on some Arab leaders, on some Arab governments, on financial enticements, on Palestinians’ fatigue, on the siege imposed on the Palestinians, etc., etc., etc. But in short, I believe that they won’t be able to achieve anything for several reasons:

1 / The unity of the Palestinian stance. All of Palestine, all the Palestinian people, inside and outside (in the Diaspora), whether the Palestinian Authority, the PLO, Fatah, (Resistance) factions, absolutely all, it is impossible for anyone of them to accepts this Deal. If Palestine does not sign this Deal, even if the whole world signs it, it will be null and void, and it will fail.

2 / Iran’s steadfastness against all that was inflicted to it in recent years. And about Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran, I have to remind that this is almost the only country really supporting Palestine. Politically and morally, I cannot say that this is almost their only support, but if I speak from the perspective of capacity, logistics, military (help), Iran is the sole support of Palestine, or almost the only support if we want to be careful.

3 / The victory in Syria. Although it is not yet complete, (it is clear) that the enemy project in Syria failed. Professor Imad, some leaders of the Syrian opposition, even before the victory, went to Tel Aviv and spoke with the Israelis, speaking in the (Israeli) media and saying it was all over: regarding the Golan, either they were going to give it to Israel, or they were going to rent it to Israel for 99 years. If these people had triumphed in Syria, the Deal of the Century might have worked. The blood that was shed in Syria, the martyrs who have fallen in Syria, those who defended the Resistance Axis, and first and foremost the Syrian Arab Army, prevented the Deal of the Century from succeeding, or at least have been (largely) instrumental in its failure.

4 / The victory in Iraq. Today, Iraq has an active and distinguished position in the fight against this Deal.

5 / Yemen. May the peace of God be upon (the heroic) Yemen. If Mohammad Bin Salman had managed to prevail in Yemen, within a week or two, or one, two or three months (as was announced at the beginning of the war), he would have been extolled by hundreds of Arab satellite TV channels exalting this historic victory and the ‘noble, heroic, historic and courageous Arab prince’. And with the (the weight of) the two holy places (Mecca and Medina) behind him, the Council of Scholars of Saudi Arabia, and hundreds of billions of dollars, Bin Salman would have grabbed the Palestinians (by the neck) and imposed the Deal of the Century on them by pressures, violence, seduction and terror. This is what he promised to Trump. But today Mohammad Bin Salman needs someone to come save him (from the Yemeni quagmire), this poor guy, he is unable to help anyone to enforce the Deal of the Century. And the failure of this Deal is also due to the martyrs of Yemen, to Yemen and the sacrifices of the Resistance in Yemen.

6 / The strength of the Resistance Axis in the region. And here I mean the movements (of Resistance), their peoples, their public opinion, the Palestinian people and its steadfastness. The strength of the Resistance Axis (is an obstacle to the Deal of the Century).

7 / Similarly, the absence of a powerful Arab State capable of carrying on its own the burden of the Deal of the Century and (to) move forward. You see, as regards the Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel (signed in 1979), Anwar Sadat (dared) to go to the Knesset. A (powerful) Arab State that could boast of a (semi-) military victory (during the 1973 war), representing a large part of the Arab world (with over 40 million inhabitants at the time), the most powerful Arab army in the region, took the burden of the Peace Treaty on his back and moved forward with it, (breaking the Arab consensus against Israel). Now who among the Arab kings, leaders and Presidents will dare to (bear the burden of betraying Palestine and the holy places)? Nobody so far (dares to do so publicly). Behind the scenes, many are supporting the Deal of the Century, but in public, all the Summits of the Arab League (repeat their commitment) to international resolutions, to the Arab Peace Initiative of Beirut in 2002, to the two-state solution, etc. They say what we want to hear, but they do not say what is in their hearts. Because none of them, absolutely no one dares, not even Mohammad Bin Salman, to say that he supports the Deal of the Century put forward by (Jared) Kushner.

There is no obvious Arab support (for this Deal), whereas in the past, with the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty, there was a prominent support in the person of President Anwar Sadat. Between Jordan and Israel, there was a prominent support in the person of King Hussein (who signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994). Even in Oslo, there was a prominent support in the person of President Yasser Arafat, who was supported in his efforts by (several) Arab (countries). But now, where is the prominent Arab support for this Deal? Saudi Arabia could have been the prominent support of this Deal if it had not failed in Yemen and throughout the region. Riyad is not only defeated in Yemen but everywhere, but its main and daily battlefield is Yemen. Therefore, there is no prominent Arab support nor Arab enthusiasm (for the Deal of the Century). There is only an Arab tendency (in favor of this Deal), and there are also countries genuinely concerned (with this Deal). In Jordan, for example, if the Deal of the Century works, will the Hashemite dynasty remain in power? Or will the ruling family be told that it comes from Mecca anyway, and has nothing more to do in Jordan as they have served their purpose, and can now be bade good bye. This fear is very strong in Jordan.

To this I add –I began with Palestine and conclude with Israel– the confusion in Israel. Just see what happened with their elections, the impossibility of forming a government, the corruption charges that catch up with Netanyahu, the crisis at the level of the leaders of the enemy entity, etc.

In short, there are several real and genuine factors, and not mere hopes, which indicate that the Deal of the Century will fail. This is why it has no future, and that’s what Pompeo himself acknowledged in remarks that were reported. And anyway, I saw in the media –I have not heard it directly, but many media reported it– that Kushner himself felt that the Bahrain Conference (supposed to inaugurate the Deal of the Century) was a failure.

Journalist: How much were you surprised by the stance of the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, who firmly rejected the Deal of the Century? Do you expect that he will not yield to the pressures exerted on him to force him to accept this Deal?

Hassan Nasrallah: As shown in what I have just stated, this is not a surprising thing. If we want to exaggerate a little, we can say that it is a surprise, but it’s not a big surprise, because it is obvious that no Palestinian can accept such a Deal.

Abbas undergoes pressure, yes, he suffered colossal pressures. Today, Palestinians have suffered and still suffer considerable pressure, all of them: the Palestinian Authority, Fatah, the PLO, all factions of the Resistance in Gaza and all the Palestinian leaders undergo both a campaign of terror and seduction, and enormous pressure is exerted on them. They will continue to suffer such pressure until the Americans despair and realize that this Deal has no hope of success.

Journalist: Let us talk about the danger of the permanent settlement of Palestinian refugees in their host countries through naturalization. How do you assess the danger of naturalization of Palestinians, whether in Lebanon or in the other Arab countries that host them?

Hassan Nasrallah: What happens does not depend on what Trump decides. Some people think that whenever Trump decides something, like the naturalization of Palestinian refugees, there is nothing to be done except resignation and prayers to God. This issue depends neither on Trump nor on Kushner or the United States. This depends primarily on the State and the country hosting the Palestinian refugees, and on the Palestinians themselves.

Here in Lebanon, for example, Palestinians universally reject naturalization, and refuse to give up (their claims on) their 1948 territories, not just those of 1967. And from generation to generation, this unwavering commitment is transmitted, the older ones teach it to their children and their grandchildren, and instill in them the culture and will to return to occupied Palestine. And they still carry the keys to their house around their neck. The Palestinian people, the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are not accused, and I do not think anyone in Lebanon accused them (to aspire to stay permanently in Lebanon). They are opposed to naturalization and to the Deal of the Century, in public and in private, and they are right to do so. This is regarding the Palestinians.

As for the Lebanese, both the Preamble to our Constitution and the unanimous will of the Lebanese (both the people and the political parties) reject, until now –I will explain why I specify until now–, the idea of the ​​naturalization of Palestinians. If we are all unanimous in rejecting the naturalization of the Palestinians in Lebanon, how could it happen?

This does not mean that the Palestinians must continue to live in their current humanitarian and social living conditions (which are deplorable). There is sometimes confusion between these two questions, as if the only alternative was between a miserable life or naturalization. Certainly not ! A proper balance must be struck between the two! We have a duty in Lebanon to resolve this issue (the living conditions of Palestinian refugees).

If the Lebanese are unanimous in rejecting naturalization, who can impose it on them? Theyll never sign any such thing! As for us, we have great confidence in our Presidents (of the Republic, of the Council of Ministers and of the Parliament). The President of the Republic said that the world may be able to topple him, but not to get his signature (for the naturalization of Palestinians). This is an element of strength in our case. If the Lebanese are unanimous on this point, who could impose the naturalization of Palestinians to Lebanon? This question will be decided by the States and by the willingness of the States and governments, and by Palestinians who are refugees. This is why I am not worried about it, at least concerning Lebanon.

But I say we have to do something. A Lebanese-Palestinian dialogue should be held, and I have already referred to this, but it has not been done yet because Lebanese officials are busy with other matters at the moment. I do not accuse them of contempt or disdain for Hezbollah’s position, but I understand they are very busy with pressing issues. They are not indifferent to the words I just mentioned touching on very important issues, which concern the whole region. But this Lebanese-Palestinian debate and dialogue should be held, so that concrete measures be taken to face the danger of naturalization.

I have only one concern which is linked to the will of the Lebanese people, and that’s the fact that we may be intimidated with the risk of collapse of our economic and financial situation, etc., and told that the only way to save our finances, our economy and our (dignified) lives in Lebanon is that we accept naturalization, in exchange for 80 billion dollars, 100 billion or I don’t know what sum. In this respect, I do not know who (in Lebanon) might be tempted by such offers, but some (political forces) will perhaps be interested in this bargain. But even (the possibility of such a break from the Lebanese consensus) would not be a problem.

I listened to the statements of Lebanese officials and political leaders, and they were (very reassuring). The President (of Parliament), Nabih Berri (Hezbollah ally), has a well-known stance, but there are other very positive stances –and you will perhaps be surprised that I quote them– who said they would not accept naturalization even against all the money in the world. It’s excellent.

Journalist: For example the position of the leader of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea (war criminal who collaborated with Israel during the Lebanese civil war)?

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes. Thus, from the Lebanese Forces party (on the far right of the political spectrum) to the other extreme, from the far right to the far left, including the center, there is a Lebanese consensus to reject naturalization. Therefore, nobody in the world can impose it on us.

Journalist: But don’t you think that reality will be stronger than the Lebanese unanimity and than the constitutional veto?

Hassan Nasrallah: No, under no circumstances. If our will is firm, nothing is stronger than our will. If the will of the Lebanese is exercised and if none of us yields to the intimidation and threats (of the enemy) meant to weaken us, the world will bow to our will, as it has during the 2006 war. The whole world then bowed to us. There was an international commitment (to crush us), it was a world war against us. This [Ehud] Olmert was merely executing the US decision to crush Hezbollah in the framework of the New Middle East Project. The 2006 war –I will not repeat what I have stated in many speeches –foiled an American project that encompassed the entire region, with only the Lebanese will. It is we, the Lebanese, who have fought (and won). And therefore, it will be even easier to thwart this naturalization project.

Journalist: Before taking a short break and going to the second part of our interview, devoted to the rest of the Resistance Axis (Iran, Syria, Iraq, Yemen), I have one last question on this point, namely the issue of Syrian refugees. Because some people fear that their naturalization (and permanent settlement in Lebanon) might happen in one way or another. What are the results of the ongoing efforts of Hezbollah to return them to their country, and what is your information on this issue, its progress and its future? What about the true position of President Bashar al-Assad? Because some people doubt him and claim that he does not really want them to return to Syria.

Hassan Nasrallah: Listen, if you want us to talk about Syria, we need to do it in the part of our interview devoted to Syria, (after discussing the overall situation in Syria).

Journalist: All right, we’ll talk about it again after the break. I know that spectators are anxiously waiting for us to talk about the other issues. We will talk about the clash between the United States and Iran, American sanctions against Hezbollah deputies and internal events in Lebanon, from the shooting in the (Druze) mountains to the economic situation. Stay with us.

End of the first part of the interview, that lasted one hour. The second part, lasting one hour and a half, was devoted to the situation in the Middle East (Iran, Syria, Irak, Yemen…), and will be translated soon. The third part, devoted to the internal situation in Lebanon, will not be translated.

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Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

كوشنر يُرجئ ترسيم الحدود الجنوبية؟

يوليو 5, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

بعد أشهر من التفاؤل اللبناني بوساطة أميركية كانت تزعم أن «الكيان الإسرائيلي المحتل» موافقٌ على وجهة النظر اللبنانية بترسيم الحدود مع فلسطين المحتلة براً وبحراً، عاد الوسيط الأميركي ديفيد ساترفيلد في زيارته الأخيرة لرئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري الى تبني وجهة نظر إسرائيلية معدّلة نسبياً وهو العارف مسبقاً بالرفض اللبناني للتسويات التي لا تنال إلا من حقوق لبنان في بحره وارضه.

فلماذا يعطّل الأميركيون ترسيماً سعوا إليه بإصرار قبل أشهر عدة؟ منقلبين عليه منذ أيام عدة فقط؟

توقفت اذاً وحتى إشعار آخر جولات ساترفيلد ما يدلّ على استنفاد الحاجة الأميركية اليها حالياً وتوجّههم لتلبية مواضيع أكثر إلحاحاً. وهذا لا يكون إلا بالتوافق مع الطرف الإسرائيلي الذي لا يمتلك حالياً إمكانية إصدار قرار بحجّة الترسيم، فالكيان الإسرائيلي في مرحلة انتخابات جديدة لا يريد أي من قواها المتنافسة ان يؤثر هذا الترسيم عليه عند الناخبين الذي ينتمي معظمهم الى فئات المتشددين.

وكان الأميركيون أوفدوا ساترفيلد في وساطة بين لبنان والكيان المحتل، تحت تأثير ما أسمي «حرب الغاز في شرقي المتوسط» وصفقة القرن التي كان صهر الرئيس الأميركي جاريد كوشنر يعمل على عقدها في المنامة عاصمة البحرين، لذلك اعتقد الأمن القومي الأميركي أن جذب لبنان الى محوره، يؤدي تلقائياً الى انضمام لبنان الى الحلف الأميركي في حرب الغاز وصفقة القرن ما دفع بالأميركيين الى الضغط على «إسرائيل» للتراجع عن ادعاءاتها الحدودية في آبار غاز ونقاط حدودية تثبت ترسيمات فرنسية وأخرى حديثة انها للبنان. وبالفعل استسلم الكيان الإسرائيلي لصمت كامل في مرحلة جولات ساترفيلد وحمّله موافقته على وجهة النظر اللبنانية مع شيء من التحفظ واللبس.

إلا أن محادثات الوسيط مع الرؤساء اللبنانيين لم تكن تستقر على خاتمة مفيدة، لأن ساترفيلد لم يكشف عن كل ما في جعبته.

فبدا ان هناك رهاناً أميركياً على حضور لبنان لقمة صفقة القرن ومفاوضات مباشرة لبنانية إسرائيلية برعاية أميركية مع جذبه نحو محور الغاز المتشكل من مصر و»إسرائيل» والاردن وقبرص واليونان، المراد منه أميركياً مجابهة الغاز الروسي عبر تركيا وبحر الباسفيك وتقليص حظوظ سورية بإيجاد منافذ لتصدير «غازها» والحدّ من حركة إيران في هذا الاتجاه.

هناك ايضاً رغبة أميركية جارفة في تأمين حصص وازنة لشركات نفط وغاز أميركية في آبار لبنان بما يحدّ من حركة الشركات الروسية والفرنسية والايطالية التي لديها حقوق تنقيب كبيرة فيها.

لقد ظهر مستجدّان اثنان أربكا مهمة ساترفيلد. وهما عودة «إسرائيل» الى انتخابات جديدة، وغياب لبنان عن حضور صفقة القرن في البحرين، مع إعلانه مواقف تصعيدية منها، اقلها رفضه المطلق لتوطين الفلسطينيين على أراضيه.

فظهر مشروع ساترفيلد على حقيقته وهو الغاز مقابل الاعتراف اللبناني بالكيان الإسرائيلي، وتطبيع العلاقة معه على كل المستويات وكان طبيعياً أن يؤكد الرئيس بري على لبنانية الآبار والنقاط الحدودية المختلف عليها ورفض كامل لأي اعتراف او لقاءات ثنائية مباشرة لا تجري بوساطة ورعاية الأمم المتحدة، وسط إجماع كامل القوى السياسية اللبنانية على هذا الموقف ورفض تقديم أي تنازلات مهما كانت بسيطة.

عند هذا الحد توقف دور ساترفيلد وبدأ دور جاريد كوشنر صهر الرئيس ترامب وعراب صفقة القرن، بمعنى أنه انتقال من خلافات حدودية مع الكيان الإسرائيلي الى مستوى إدراج لبنان في المشروع الأميركي الأكبر وهو تصفية القضية الفلسطينية وهذا يدفع بلبنان الى الحلف السعودي الإسرائيلي بشكل مباشر.

فجاء تصريح كوشنر الجديد حول ضرورة قبول لبنان بتوطين الفلسطينيين على أراضيه مثابة شرط أساسي للسماح بحل الخلافات الحدودية، وبالتالي التنقيب عن الغاز في الآبار الحدودية – يجري ذلك على وقع تسريب معلومات من مصادر أميركية عن احتواء الآبار اللبنانية المتنازع عليها مع «إسرائيل» على كميات يصل ثمنها الى 600 مليار دولار. وهذا إغراء اضافي للبنان الذي ينوء بديون تزيدُ عن المئة مليار دولار ووصل اقتصاده الى مرحلة إعلان الافلاس كما أن العلاقات بين قواه السياسية تتهاوى وتصل الى حدود الاشتباكات المسلحة والاغتيالات.

فيصبح المشهد كالآتي: كوشنر يريد تصفية قضية فلسطين وسط انهيار الأوضاع الوطنية والسياسية والاقتصادية في لبنان وإعلان ولادة حلف سعودي إسرائيلي أميركي يرعى هذه التصفية بقيادة مباشرة من كوشنر ويحضّر في الوقت لعمليات اعتداء واسعة على أعالي اليمن في صعدة الجبلية والساحل الغربي عند مدينة الحديدة باستعمال مكثف للطيران الحربي الإسرائيلي.

وهناك معلومات أن مناطق السعودية المطلة على البحر الاحمر تستعد لإعداد مدارج لطائرات إسرائيلية تتحضّر للإغارة على اليمن.

فهل يستدرج كوشنر لبنان الى مشروعه؟

لا شك في أنه قادر على نسف التسوية الحدودية مع لبنان وبوسعه المراهنة على حلف إسرائيلي – سعودي إماراتي مصري أردني، ولكن تطويع لبنان مسألة متعذرة لارتباطها بتوازنه الداخلي المرتكز على العداء لـ»إسرائيل» ولبنانية الآبار والمتحالف مع مد إقليمي كبير يُعِينهُ على مقاومة كل انواع الضغوط.

هذا الى جانب أن حزب الله لن يتسامح مع اي عدوان إسرائيلي عسكري أو تحريض أميركي سياسي في الداخل، والكل يعرف أن مثل هذه الأمور، تستنفر حزب الله نحو حرب مفتوحة تضع كامل الكيان المحتل تحت مرمى صواريخه، وتصبحُ مناطق لبنان كمائن لمجابهة أي تقدم للجيش الإسرائيلي بطريقة أكثر احترافاً من ذي قبل.

كوشنر إلى أين؟ يسقط مشروعَه لبنانياً وفلسطينياً وسورياً متلقياً ضربة مميتة فيعود ساترفيلد في مراحل لاحقة وتحت وطأة المنافسة الأميركية للغاز الروسي لعرض تسوية تشبه الموقف اللبناني المصرّ على الثروة والسيادة من دون استرهان وشروط مسبقة.

Syria: Resistance Mounts Against FSA in Palestinian Camp

The British Ambassador in Amman Peter Millett, is exploring the views of of Jordanian leadership and civil society on the issue of acceptance of the resettlement of the Palestinian refugees living in Syria and in Jordan for resolving its financial crisis and the abolition of its foreign debt, which exceeded $ 22 billion Saidi Orient newspaper.

Syria: Resistance Mounts Against FSA in Palestinian Camp

Published Monday, February 25, 2013
Damascus – Syria’s second largest Palestinian refugee camp, Khan al-Sheeh, has slowly been turned into a war zone, much like the Yarmouk camp before it. Over the past three weeks, large sections of the camp have been overrun by fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

At first camp residents responded with peaceful protests, but then turned to armed resistance when the FSA ignored their demands that the camp remain neutral in their battle against the regime.
Residents’ anger reached its peak the morning of Tuesday, 19 February, when those living in the eastern part of the camp awoke to a loud explosion triggered by a booby-trapped car, causing a number of injuries and damaging many homes.

FSA fighters arrived at the scene and began firing into the air to disperse those who had gathered in the area, prompting residents to shut down camp roads with burning tires and barricades in protest of the fighters’ behavior.

Young men from the camp and FSA fighters exchanged harsh words, which then quickly escalated into violent physical confrontations that led to two fighters being seriously injured.

By the evening, the two sides were exchanging gunfire, after camp residents – the majority of whom belong to bedouin tribes driven out of northern Palestine in 1948 – decided that this was the only way to drive out the FSA.

Abu Mohammed, 38, who participated in the fighting, explained that many in the camp bear arms, insisting that he “hasn’t shot a single bullet in the past 13 years, until the appropriate time came to do so.”

Many in Khan al-Sheeh followed the events in the Yarmouk camp, which had been taken over by the armed opposition months earlier, and did their best to make sure their camp does not go down the same road, but to no avail.

“There are more than 15,000 displaced refugees from Yarmouk living amongst us now,” said Abu Hani, who helps distribute aid to the displaced in the camp.

He added that they did their best to keep their camp neutral, insisting that no opposition fighters enter the camp. “We organized several demonstrations, calling on the FSA and the armed opposition to leave the camp so that it does not become a target for the Syrian army, but their response came hard and fast.”

Despite the fact that Khan al-Sheeh is surrounded by Syrian villages sympathetic to the opposition, the FSA decided to base its area operations in the camp. It has now been thrust unwillingly into the vortex of violence consuming many parts of the country.

Social activist Adham, 24, is not cowed by the armed fighters. He recalled the Nakba commemoration two years ago. “In 2011, this camp lost 22 martyrs in the occupied Golan as we faced down the occupation soldiers. It is not impossible for us to fight back against those who have breached the sanctity of our camp with our bare hands, no matter who they may be.”

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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

Lebanese Politicians Continue Playing the Palestinians

 Comment:


While reading the following article, replace the statements of March 14 movement such as  “solidarity with the Palestinian people and committing to securing all their rights “with “solidarity with the Hamas leadership position on Syria, and committing to securing israel’s right to exist” and never ever forget sabra and Shatila.

Most likely March 14 carried an Israeli message to Haniya, niether about granting Palestinian refugees their basic human rights, nor about Resettlement in Lebanon, I guess about Transfer to Hamastan.

Unfortunately, we have in WB a Palestinian version of March 14, a Palestinian version of so Lahd’s army,

In Gaza, we saw yesterday Mishaal blowing Hot Air about liberaration, not only Jerusalem, but every inch of Palestine, including Safad, the birth place of Abbas, who sold his right of return to Safad. We heard his open polite letter to Lebanon on the civil rights of the Palestinian refugees, and his rude mesage to Syria, the only country that dealt Palestinians as citizens.
Mishaal, the leader of the Gazan branch of Palestinian March 14, confirmed yesterday that the Syrian people (Syrian brotherhood) is his first, second and, and, tenth priority, and “his own” people in Syria are paying dearly his sectarianism and stupidity.

Finally, my friend Mr. Lamb asked: ” …do the refugees in Lebanon need a civil rights intifada?”   
 
Yes my friend “The words and winds of Intifada are being spoken and are blowing in the camps.”

But, unfortunately, our camps in Lebanon are controlled by the Palestinian March 14 branchs in both West bank and Gaza, and / or by Takfiri Gangs run directly by the Lenanese March 14th movement.


=========

…do the refugees in Lebanon need a civil rights intifada?

Franklin Lamb
Wavell camp, Baalbek Lebanon

 Al-Manar

Every Lebanese politician who visited Gaza last month has consistently voted in Parliament against granting Lebanon’s Palestinian refugees even the most elementary civil rights to work and to own a home.

The Gaza resistance to last month’s Israeli aggression, and the 138 to 9 UN
General Assembly vote, most people of good will might agree, are important “victories” for the nearly 11 million Palestinians ethnically cleaned from their country Palestine as a consequence of the Zionist colonial enterprise, an unsustainable remnant from the 19th century.

Sincere congratulations are no doubt much appreciated here in Lebanon’s 12 refugee camps, including Jalil (Wavell) camp in the Bekaa valley-maybe the poorest of the camps in Lebanon which contains the most wretched of the Palestinian refugee camps in the world.

In Gaza!!!Remarkably, a delegation of local politicians from the pro-US-Saudi March 14 alliance, every one of whom is a longtime adversary of granting Palestinians in Lebanon even the most modest civil right, visited the Gaza Strip last month “as a show of support for the Palestinian people following the latest Israeli aggression on the territory.”

Lebanese Forces MP Antoine Zahra, as a delegate representing party leader, Samir Geagea, and al-Mustaqbal bloc (future movement) deputies Jamal al-Jarrah and Amine Wehbe representing parties opposed to the Hezbollah led National Lebanese Resistance, and each with a long history of anti-Palestinian activities in Lebanon, declared on arriving in Gaza that

“We are here to show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza who are facing Israeli atrocities.”


Al-Jarrah told LBCI TV channel.  

MP Zahra added,

“Through our visit we want to say to all that we reject Israel’s assaults and its deprivation of human rights for Palestinian refugees.”




Shame on Haniya

The last stop of the Lebanese delegation was at Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniya’s house. Presumably aware of their anti-Palestinian careers in Lebanon, Haniya nonetheless graciously welcomed the delegation’s visit, expressing that it strengthens Lebanese-Palestinian relations, LBCI reported.

Meanwhile, March 14 General-Secretariat Coordinator Fares Soaid stated to al-Joumhouria newspapers that the “one-day visit is aimed at (announcing our) solidarity with the Palestinian people and committing to securing all their rights and sending a political message that defending major causes like Palestinian refugee rights is not the monopoly of any Lebanese or Islamic party.” 

Obliquely attacking Hezbollah, which supports the Palestinian cause, Soaid declared that “The party that claims to be more patriotic than all the rest of us will find out from assured his listeners that “the structure of the March 14” delegation to Gaza as well as the entire opposition shows solidarity with the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights.”

Meanwhile, Lebanese MP Jamal al-Jarrah declared that:

“All parliamentary blocs in Lebanon are in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their human rights case, and the Lebanese people support the Palestinian position, principles, and national rights.”


MP Soaid held another news conference in case his message was not understood and he stressed that “Hezbollah should make better recalculations and stop making treason accusations against others, adding that the pro-US-Saudi opposition represents the true conscience of Lebanese patriotism and struggle for human rights that fits with the nationalistic spirit of the Palestinians everywhere.

The March 14 presence in Gaza is a clear message that Arab support for the steadfastness of the Palestinian people has no boundaries.”

Well, truth told, maybe MP Soaid got just a little bit carried away with his “no boundaries to supporting Palestinians” statement. Because speaking with his media representative the next day, this observer was advised that the MP did not mean to imply that he or his March 14 colleagues were (after 65 years and counting) yet ready to support in Lebanon’s Parliament the right to work or the right to own a home for Palestinians in Lebanon even if it was true, as this observer averred, that it would require no more than 90 minutes of Parliaments time to repeal the 2001 racist law forbidding home ownership and enacting the elementary right to work. Rights, this observer reminded the gentleman, that Soaid knows well are given to every other foreigner in Lebanon and which have been granted, by international law, (applicable obviously to Lebanon) to every other refugee on the planet, including by the Zionists brutalizing occupied Palestine. But not to Palestinians in Lebanon.

Last weekend, Alaa, a 26 year old mother of two beauties, is depressed and worries in her home in Jalil Palestinian refugee camp (Wavell) about the coming deep freeze that winter brings to the Bekaa valley and the fact that her husband, by Lebanese law, cannot work, and they have no fuel for their tiny oil heater. The family’s home in Jalil camp consists of a public outdoor toilet up a steep flight of 26 stairs shared by nine families and three rooms being two horse stalls left over from the French colonial period when French General Wavell built the facility to house his colonial’s troop’s horses.

Two just released studies put Alaa’s, and other Palestinians in Lebanon’s, plight into perspective while politicians are holding media conferences extoling their support for Palestinian rights.

Last month’s U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) study documents that children like Alaa’s and other Palestinian youths in Lebanon suffer from marginalization from an early age, and that nearly half of these refugee children drop out of secondary school. According to Soha Boustani, spokeswoman for UNICEF in Lebanon, “What is striking is the fact that only 53 percent of Palestinian children in Lebanon even attend secondary school. This means that nearly half of Palestinian youths become marginalized from an early age in Lebanon, creating major obstacles for children’s futures.”


The UNICEF study documents that “living conditions in Lebanon’s 12 official refugee camps are squalid, with poor sanitation, infrastructure and inadequate access to basic services such as health and education.”

Approximately 45 percent of Lebanon’s Palestinian refugees are aged below 19, according to a survey of camps and other communities where refugees live in Lebanon, conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and UNICEF. “The way that Palestinian children are growing up in Lebanon, is a time-bomb. What compounds this tragedy is the fact that if allowed to work many, if not most, of these kinds of problems could be overcome.” PCBS President Ola Awad wrote in an email “It is very upsetting that these youths have such potential, but no opportunities …We are looking at a generation bound to live with psychosocial and health problems.” Conditions of life for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon’s camps were described in June by international NGO ANERA as “the worst of the region’s camps.”
While poverty drives many boys to seek informal work from a young age, disillusionment also plays a role in the decision by Palestinian teenagers to drop out of school. According to a UNICEF child protection expert Isabella Castrogiovanni, “a major part of the problem is that Palestinians face stiff work restrictions that effectively bar them from employment in more than two dozen professions. Palestinians in Lebanon face major barriers, including problems related to the right to work.”


Meanwhile, the UNICEF-PCBS also found Palestinian refugee children also suffer from rates of malnutrition so high that they qualify as chronic. Speaking at the launch of the report, Ola Awad, president of the PCBS, said the results of the survey – which was conducted at 5,190 households throughout the country – A survey on the living standards of women and children in Palestinian camps across Lebanon Speaking at the launch of the report, Ola Awad, president of the PCBS, said the results of the survey – which was conducted at 5,190 households throughout the country – A survey on the living standards of women and children in Palestinian camps across Lebanon showed that despite some improvement, 13 percent of youths have stunted growth and half of all secondary school age kids are not receiving education. The survey results showed “that 13 percent of children are severely or moderately stunted (or too short for their age) and five percent are severely stunted.” “These indicators reflect chronic malnutrition,” it added. “It’s clear to the eyes when you walk into any camp that sanitation, environmental and social conditions are not apt for children,” said the PCBS’ Awad, “and In such conditions, it should be no surprise to anyone that social violence exists,” she added.


The survey found that young women are the least satisfied with where they live – only 58 percent in Beirut, increasing to 84 percent in the Bekaa Valley, with an average level of 73 percent. Only 54 percent of Palestinian women aged 15-24 replied that they were satisfied with life in general, but levels increased among families who had a least one person employed.

Annamaria Laurini, UNICEF’s Lebanese representative said that the report’s examples “tell us again that every effort, every possible means and resource of imagination and reflection should be brought to alleviate some of the real burdens facing Palestinian children in Lebanon so they can aspire to the future with determination and optimism facilitated by the right to work and to own a home.”
“Let us commit to ensuring that these disparities are addressed and that no Palestinian child is left behind because of where she or he happens to live or because of the situation of her or his family,” she added.

It is to be hoped that the Lebanese politicians who visited Gaza last month might be inspired to give Palestinians in Lebanon a reason for hope. Failing this, the future is grim in the camps and for Lebanon.


 To paraphrase Palestinian Professor Sari Hanafi writing from the American University of Beirut recently, there is a conservative current in Lebanon among politicians that considers the right to work and to own property as the first step towards the resettlement and naturalization of Palestinians. At a time when Arab revolutions are carrying the winds of change and with this a deep reflection on transitional justice, these Lebanese politicians continue to deny social justice to refugees who have lived among them for some 65 years.

The words and winds of Intifada are being spoken and are blowing in the camps.

Franklin LambFranklin Lamb, former Assistant Counsel, US House Judiciary Committee and Professor of International Law at Northwestern College of Law in Oregon, earned his Law Degree at Boston University and his LLM, M.Phil., and PhD degrees at the London School of Economics.
Following three years at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Lamb was visiting fellow at the Harvard Law School’s East Asian Legal Studies Center.

He is currently doing research in Lebanon and volunteers with the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign and the Sabra-Shatila Foundation. 

Lamb is the author of: Israel’s 1982 War in Lebanon: Eyewitness Chronicles of the Invasion and Occupation, South End Press, First Printing, 1983, International Legal Responsibility for the Sabra-Shatila Massacre, Imp. TIPE: 42, Rue Lebour 93100 Montreuil, Paris, France 1984, The Price We Pay: A Quarter Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons in Lebanon (Lamont Press) 2007, His latest book, The Case for Palestinian Civil Rights in Lebanon, is due out shortly.

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

Mahmoud Zahar opposes resettleme​nt of Palestinia​n refugees

By Hiyam Noir
Monday October 10, 2011
On Saturday, October 9, one of the leaders of Hamas political bureau, Dr. Mahmoud Zahar, Gaza, meet in Lebanon with the chairman of the Loyalty to the Resistance, Mohammed Raad, as well as a delegation of Hamas movement’s political officials in the Beirut area of Raafat, including the assistant of the Palestinian registry of Hezbollah, Sheikh Atallah Hamoud.
At the initiation of the meetings, Mahmoud Zahar disputed a point of great concerns; he opposed resettlement of Palestinian refugees, emphasizing Palestinian refugee’s rights to return to their own homes, from where they were expelled.

Zahar said:

“We do not consider to re -settling our people, we demand the fundamental rights of our refugees to return to their homes. We need a genuine social and humanitarian policy in which the Palestinian people can achieve their dreams of liberation and a safe return. “

On his part, Mohammed Raad emphasized; “Full support of the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to live their lives in dignity and with pride.”

The deliberations of the meeting, brought into light the latest developments on the Palestinian arena, concerning regional issues and the conditions of refugee camps in Lebanon and the Palestinian reconciliation – as well as the development of the soon five – year long siege on Gaza. Concerning the prevailing circumstances of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Dr Zahar said that; their life conditions are not acceptable, there is “a wrong policy pursued towards them”.

In his elongated speech to the people of the refugee camp he said that he felt – “ pain of what he experienced as a tragedy unfolding in the camps of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon”, he compared the life of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon to the life of the Palestinians in Gaza, and he said that: despite of the great suffering from the embargo in Gaza, the Israeli attacks and assassination campaigns, which is continuing in the occupied territories as fair functioning, compared with the living-conditions in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

The meeting on Saturday also brought up the situation of particularly civil and human rights groups, and how to improve their conditions. In addition the parties also discussed how to improve the life in the region so that Palestinian refugees would be able to return to their homeland with dignity, emphasizing that the Palestinians shattered across the region and the Palestinians abroad never left Palestine free willingly, and that the Palestinian home land always is in their mind.

The Hamas leader will also meet the Secretary General of the Arab League, Nabil el-Araby, to forward a request to urgently pressure the Lebanese government to improve the living conditions of the Palestinians. Improved living conditions will contribute to civil and human rights. Dr. Zahar emphasized that the granting of civil and human rights will protect and support Palestinian steadfastness and resistance from the settlement projects planned for Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria and in Egypt, Mahmoud Zahar added: “the recognition of civil and human rights in Lebanon will not abandon the struggle for civil and human rights of Palestinian refugees in the occupied Palestine territories, because this subject is crucial and remain as a constant memento in every cell of my body.”

Dr. Mahmoud Zahar call upon UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, and the Lebanese governments attention to render its fundamental responsibility towards Palestinian refugees, to accelerate the reconstruction process and to secure necessary founding’s to finish what is required of them. Before he ended his visit, he continued to a construction site of newly built, residential apartment buildings and stopped at the site of the temporary steel housing ( Albaraksat), where Dr. Mahmoud Zahar listened to complaints from the residents.

At the end of Zahar’s visit – a luncheon was held in honor of the prominent guest together with the elder residents of the camp, members of the Peoples Committee, and representatives of Palestinian factions and institutions, also the city representatives of Tripoli and northern Lebanon counties participated.
Related

“Palestine is the heart of Arab countries”The PalestineFreeVoice
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Palestine State constitution Palestinian refugees and UN Security Council

Source

Friday, 19 August 2011 08:43

Republished on the International Day of Al-Quds, August 29, 2011 12:05 PM
The acting PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas visit to Lebanon this week was arranged to discuss the Lebanese recognition of a Palestinian statehood, which was successfully completed by the transfer of status from the Representative office of the PA in Lebanon, to the Embassy of Palestine. Preparations were conducted to coordinate efforts of the diplomatic battle initiated by the Palestinian Authority, for the UN recognition of the State of Palestine, since Lebanon is currently a member of the Security Council.

The PA chairman and accompanying delegation, also met during this visit with several Lebanese figures, including the Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati with whom Mr. Mahmoud Abbas also inaugurated the official opening of the Embassy of Palestine.

This official Palestinian visit to Lebanon raised important questions about the status of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Firstly, Palestinian refugees are not citizens of a Palestinian state which at the present only include the West Bank, the eastern part of Al-Quds and the Gaza Strip. While a greater part of Palestinian refugees are inhabitating the cities, the towns and villages of the occupied 48 – Palestine. Will these Palestinians keep their status of refugees, pending their return to Palestine – as required by law and human rights first, then the international Resolution 194, which calls for the return of refugees and the compensation for their confiscated property?
These issues are extremely important especially since several months ago a battle have raged around the role of UNRWA, which is the UN body, specially established to aid improvement to Palestinian refugees in the areas of housing, education and work, pending their return to their home. But without addressing the issue of UNRWA in this essay, thus it is necessary to not avoid what is coming into prominence in a time of confidence crisis between the parties involved.
We are troubled to the breaking point by the fact that the well-established framework of UNRWA will decrease its service to Gaza. UNRWA has for many years had one purpose in common: to provide education, food, housing and employment to Gaza. UNRWA to 90 % funded by contributions from UN member states are aiding some 5 million registered Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian Territories. However, in Lebanese camps the living conditions of the Palestinian refugees are deplorable, often cited in reports as locations of grievous mistreatment The UN Agency have launched a new watchdog organization in Gaza, “UNRWA- Watch ” to monitor the performance of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees.
But Abbas, has never visited Palestinian refuge camps. While stating refusal to permanent settlement of refugees in host countries, including Lebanon, he restated his rejection of the right to the means of weaponry in Palestinian camps in Lebanon, ahead of his scheduled visit to seek support for the Palestinian bid for U.N. recognition – Abbas said to the Lebanese authorities that –“we will hand over weapons anytime you wish ” – In short demilitarize Palestinian refugee camps, thus the Palestinians deny that most organizations, including Fatah does not have access to weaponry.
Mahmoud Abbas statements were granting concessions to his Lebanese interlocutors regarding the matter of permanent settlement of refugees; the Lebanese reject the greater number, not in a form of patriotism, but to preserve a confessional balance which remains the foundation of the Lebanese state.
Maintaining the status of refugees and the right of return
In the Palestinian camp, questions arise about the deeper meaning of the visit to Lebanon, and by extension, that of the proclamation of a Palestinian state in the United Nations Security Council next month.
For his part, the official representative of Islamic Jihad in Lebanon, Abu Hajj ‘Imad Rifa’i, expressed the Palestinian refugees feeling of agitation and anxiety concerning the impending UN recognition of a Palestinian state. Beyond the important issue of the right to carry arms, while welcoming the change of status of representation to the PLO, as part of the diplomatic battle led by the Palestinian Authority – “we believe that any achievement is acquired by our people against the Zionist enemy, and furthermore we are facing the U.S. administrations warning against a final installation project Tawtîn, aimed at hindering and liquidating the cause of the Palestinian refugees.
We therefore call to distinguish between the issue of Palestinian refugees and the role of the Palestinian embassy in Lebanon. The connection to the Palestinian embassy in Lebanon and the Palestinian refugees seriously threatens our cause, which is the heart of the Palestinian question. A telling example: The proposals raised by some, of providing passports to refugees. These passports would be issued by the office of the Palestinian consul in Beirut, which in reality mean the liquidation of the refugee cause and a steep step towards the removal of the Palestinian right of return, and the deprivation of the right to claim it back.
Hajj Abu Imad stressed that the issue of passports has no serious consequences because it means changing the legal status of Palestinian refugees, they were expelled from their land occupied in 1948 and recognized worldwide as what they become, subjects resident of other countries. The cancellation of refugee status means the dismantling of UNRWA, with serious consequences involved.
The greatest and most significant problem is the discharged of the international community from its responsibility to the suffering, caused by the erection of the Zionist entity for more than sixty years ago, still depraving the Palestinian refugees’ right to claim back their land and their homes, as they have become subjects of an entity which area is a limited part of the historic Palestine, recognized as a State of the Zionist enemy on Palestinian land. “
The representative of the Islamic Jihad, Hajj Abu Imad stated that:” One must distinguish between raising the level of diplomatic representation, and the issue of the Palestinian refugees. We emphasize that the responsibility for the cause of the Palestinian refugees, is entirely up to the international community, primarily responsible for the suffering of refugees, the international community is represented by UNRWA. Do not make any transformations in the direction by discharging the international community of its responsibility, or make changes in the legal status of refugees waiting to return to their land. “
Hajj Abu Imad added: “We in Islamic Jihad movement believe in the inclusion of a reference representing the unified Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, to put forth reasons against the “final installation project” which is instigated to liquidate the right of return. And we are assuming that the resolutions of all problems is, to protect the cause of Palestinian refugees, to work out a correct solution of our daily life suffering caused by our economic problems .
This statement by Abu Hajj ‘Imad Rifa’I, the representative of Islamic Jihad in Lebanon, on the occasion of the visit to Lebanon by Mahmoud Abbas and his delegation, was indeed welcomed by all Palestinian organizations which continue to demand the right of refugees to return to their home.
Rallies for the return of Palestine refugees were held the 15th of May and 6th of June, in Maroun el-Ras, located at the border with occupied Palestine, and the Golan, vis a vis’ the area occupied by the Zionists, also displaying courage in the determination of refugees to fight and sacrifice themselves for the return. It is through their mobilization and structure of their motion, the Palestinian refugees will prevent the execution of such conspiracies being hatched, between the Arab capitalist and its Palestinian associates.

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Truth, Non-Violence and the Palestinian Hills

JNOUBIYEH | 3:04 PM |


By Samah Sabawi

(Based on a presentation given at Melbourne University Australia on April 30, 2010. The event was sponsored by Students for Palestine. )

Where is the Palestinian Gandhi? I get this question at the end of almost every presentation I’ve given on Palestine. This fascination with finding a Palestinian Gandhi has been reflected time and again in newspapers commentary, and political discourse. Obama has promised in his Cairo speech [1] that should Palestinians renounce violence peace will find its way.

Singer Bono wished with all his heart for Palestinians to find their Gandhi or their King [2]. A slew of bleeding hearts said it, wrote it, preached it and insisted on it.

The search for the Palestinian Gandhi even manifested itself in well-intentioned projects that end up being incredibly patronizing and condescending to the Palestinians. Take the Gandhi Project [3] for example; an initiative by the Skoll foundation that aims to teach Palestinians non-violence by translating the movie Gandhi and projecting it in cities camps and villages throughout the West Bank. This project – as well meaning as it appears to be – reflects an almost insulting level of ignorance of the existing Palestinian culture of non-violence and the challenges Palestinians face when protesting non-violently against the brutal apartheid State.
For generations, Palestinians have adopted in their daily lives a culture of non-violent “Sumud”, an Arabic word that means to be “steadfast” and to “persevere”. Through Sumud, Palestinians have been able to protect their identity and to refuse not to exist. After all, since its inception, the Zionist project denied Palestinians their existence. Who can forget the false claim that Palestine was “a land without a people”?
Although Sumud was always part of the Palestinian story, it came to a full bloom as a distinct feature of Palestinian life during and in the aftermath of the six-day war in 1967. Having learned from their 1948 experience, more Palestinians were urged to show sumud and chose to be steadfast remaining on their land regardless of Israel’s war and occupation. Many believe that Palestinian steadfastness and Sumud and their refusal to leave in huge numbers during and after the 1967 war contributed to the reason why Israel wasn’t able to annex the West Bank and the Gaza strip as they had a very high Arab Palestinian population [4] which could have undermined the purity of the Jewish state.

Palestinians exhibit Sumud in their daily lives as they perform what would amount to normal everyday tasks in other places. Palestinian children resist succumbing to the will of their Occupiers non-violently as they make their daily journey to school despite the long waits at the checkpoints and the harassment by Israeli illegal settlers [5].

Palestinian men and women non-violently challenge their occupiers when they continue to go to work even if it means riding a donkey using back mud roads because they are denied access to the main streets in their villages as well as denied access to the Jewish only roads[6] which Israel has built illegally to connect the settlements. It is worth mentioning here that to build these Jewish only roads Israel has confiscated and carved up pieces of Palestinian land fragmenting and isolating hundreds of communities.

Palestinian families non-violently resist the imposed isolation by the occupiers when they insist on doing their family visits, even though what should be a 10 minute walk at times can take an entire afternoon of waiting for permits, submitting to body searches, waving IDs and waiting and waiting and waiting…. [7]

Even when Palestinians get married and have babies under occupation they are challenging their oppressors in a place where birth registration, family reunification, marriage certificates and building permits are controlled by a state that has one thing in mind – reducing the number of Arabs and paving the way for Jews to colonize their land.

But Palestinians still preserver not only as individuals or families but also as organized communities! Palestinian NGOs today play a big role in helping the people deal with these issues. Through the method known as Reverse Strike – a non-violent method of resistance that focuses on community building – Palestinian civil society has created alternatives for the people to help lessen their dependency on their oppressors. Palestinian civil society has also successfully built an infrastructure of resistance. Inside the Occupied Territories, non-violent resistance shines through as villages and various Communities take on direct action to protests Israel’s continued assault on their rights, their freedom and their dignity. The protests of the communities of Jayyous, Budrus, Bil’in, Ni’lin and Umm Salamonah have now become known as the white intifada. The organization of these protests reflects a healthy and determined Palestinian Civil Society.

Palestinian Civil Society initiated the calls for the BDS campaign and is also working closely with international organizations and individuals to support the Free Gaza campaign. Both campaigns aim at engaging international solidarity groups giving them an important role to play in the liberation struggle. This month, the latest BDS victory was Elvis Costello’s refusal to play in Israel. This happened while the Freedom Flotilla’s three cargo ships and five passenger ships set sail to Gaza. The ships are carrying 5,000 tons of construction materials, medical equipment, and school supplies, as well as around 600 people from 40 countries. They will once more challenge Israel’s illegal hold over Gaza’s borders, air and sea. We are seeing a fantastic rise in a people to people movement that is inspiring hope for a better future.

In Diaspora as well as inside the OT, Palestinian academia, artists and human rights activists do their part in Palestinian Sumud as they document Israel’s atrocities, write about the injustices, paint pictures, publish articles, sing traditional songs, write books and recite poetry that keeps the Palestinian narrative alive. People like Sari Nussiebeh, Ramzy Baroud, Ismael Shamout, Rima Bana, Mazin Qumsiah, Sam Bahour, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Dr. Sari Makdisi, Ali Abunimah and thousands of others who are hard at work non-violently protecting the Palestinian narrative. They have built the pillars of resistance that have kept the Palestinian identity and culture alive.

As I have shown so far, Palestinian culture of Sumud and non-violent resistance has encompassed direct action, reverse strike and civil disobedience over decades of oppression. There is so much evidence to show that the Palestinian non-violent resistance is and has always been central to the Palestinian struggle. But if that was the case, then where is that Palestinian Gandhi? The answer to that is simple: You are asking the wrong question.

There is no shortage of Palestinian Gandhis in Israel’s jails, at checkpoints, and in refugee camps. There are even Gandhis as young as five years old walking to school holding on to their backpacks, to their pride and to their dignity while they get stoned and showered with settler garbage. There are scores of Gandhis in Palestine, young, old, men and women. The problem is how to make these Gandhis visible to a world blinded by ignorance and by prejudice. The correct questions to ask are how do we make the work of the Palestinian Gandhis effective and visible? Can non-violent Sumud ever fulfill its goals of liberation and justice? What are the challenges facing the Palestinian non-violent movement and how can we help overcome these challenges?

There are two major challenges to Palestinian non-violence; the first is Israel’s reaction to peaceful protest. Israel is a country that views itself as being above international universal laws rights and jurisdictions. It often reacts violently to non-violent protests, spraying protesters with chemicals, rubber bullets and tear gas at times claiming their lives. Israel crushes political dissent by arresting political activists even those who hold Israeli citizenship. Israel holds activists on administrative detention without fair trial for indefinite periods of time. In short, Israel doesn’t respond and is not phased by non-violent protests simply because it views all Palestinians peaceful or not as a threat. The minute a Palestinian baby is born, it is automatically a dangerous threat to the nature of a state that defines itself by its Jewishness. All Palestinians are seen as demographic bombs, they are enemies of the state and therefore no matter what methods Palestinians use – violent or non-violent, Israel will not change its course. It will still view them as enemies that must be fought, crushed and ethnically cleansed.

The other challenge to the Palestinian non-violent movement is that it remains invisible to the international community. Palestinian daily hardships in going to school or work or visiting relatives are all daily acts of non-violent resistance that go by completely unnoticed by Israelis and by the International community. The media is hungry for blood…a peaceful protest that occurs on a weekly basis with civilians sprayed with sewerage water or injured or even killed doesn’t make the news. A child’s journey to school, head held high as Jewish settlers’ children throw garbage at him and stones never makes the headlines.

This pattern of Palestinian invisibility feeds into Israel’s impunity. Soldiers and settlers are not held accountable for their actions and rarely, if ever, has any soldier been punished for degrading, humiliating, or taking the life of an innocent Palestinian. Even when Israel’s impunity reaches extreme levels as it did when they attacked Gaza, committing a long list of war crimes and human rights violations there was not enough international outcry to hold it accountable and to change the course of its actions.

So, where do we go from here? It is clear that the Gandhis of Palestine cannot succeed in their liberation struggle without the help of the international community. Palestinian civil society has called on people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel. This idea was inspired by the South African struggle against apartheid. BDS has been endorsed by over 170 Palestinian parties, organizations, trade unions and movements representing the Palestinian people in the 1967 and 1948 territories and in the Diaspora. I urge you to visit the Global BDS website (www.bdsmovement.com) for ideas on how any one of you can help.

Finally, I’d like to say that it is a fallacy to assume that non-violent resistance is not a natural human reaction to oppression, especially when you’re dealing with unarmed civilians, families and communities. Non-violence is not a doctrine that has to be taught, preached, projected on large screens and stuffed down the throats of an indigenous people trying to survive and to have normal lives. Gandhi himself has refused to be seen as an inventor of the methods of non-violence, saying [8]. “I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and Non-violence are as old as the hills.” If Gandhi was to visit the West Bank and Gaza Strip today, I am sure he would agree that truth and non-violence in Palestine are indeed as old as the Palestinian hills.

– Samah Sabawi is a writer and a human rights activist from Gaza. She has published numerous articles and poems on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. She is the co-author of “The Journey To Peace in Palestine: From the Song of Deborah to the Simpsons”

Notes:

[1] See White House website.
[2] Ten for the Next Ten by Bono Guest Oped.
[3] “As part of its vision to empower people to create a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world, the Skoll Foundation has partnered with the Global Catalyst Foundation to sponsor the Gandhi Project in the Palestinian Territories.” See here.
[4] Waleed Mustafa, Former Dean of Arts Talking About the Concept of Sumud to Palestine-Family Bethlehem University.
[5] AT-TUWANI: Settler youth harass Palestinians and international human rights workers CPTnet23 April 2010.
[6] B’tselem The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights: Restrictions on Movement.
[7] Palestine Monitor: Exposing Life Under Occupation.
[8] Brief outline of Ghandhi’s Philosophy – by Stephen Murphy.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

A Nation Behind Bars: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israeli Detention

A Voice From Palestine

17/04/2010 — reham alhelsi


While the whole world demands the release of the Zionist soldier Shalit, who was captured by Palestinians while he was on a mission to kill and destroy, the so-called “free world” continues to ignore that the Zionist entity holds a whole nation hostage.

The Palestinian people in occupied Palestine have been held hostage by a brutal military occupation, confined to ghettos build on their own lands.

Some 2.5 Million Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are captives in their own homes, towns and villages, with military checkpoints locking them up, controlling and limiting their movement.

1.5 Million Palestinians are held hostages in the open-air prison Gaza, not allowed to leave even for urgently needed medical treatment.

In addition to that, there are over 7000 Palestinians locked up behind bars in Israeli dungeons.

These 7000 Palestinians unite occupied Palestine from the River to the Sea; they unite Jerusalem with Yafa, Jenin with Ara, Hebron with Nazareth, Gaza with Akka. These 7000 Palestinians unite families, unite the pain, unite the hope and unite the struggle for freedom.

Almost every Palestinian family has had at least one family member detained by Israel. Almost every Palestinian family has been abused by Israeli soldiers while visiting their loved ones. Almost every Palestinian family has known the pain of waiting, the fear of what might happen behind bars, the hope for a near release and a safe return home. Every Palestinian family knows the meaning of detention, has felt it directly through its members. Every Palestinian family knows the meaning of freedom, for we pay the highest price for the sake of this freedom, and we love our freedom, we cherish our freedom and we yearn for our freedom and would always fight for it.

Since 1967, Israel detained some 750,000 Palestinians, including 12,000 women and tens of thousands of children. During the First Intifada 116,000 Palestinians were detained. Since the beginning of Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, 70,000 Palestinians were detained, including 900 women and 8000 children. On average, 9000 Palestinians are detained yearly, including 700 children.

Alone during the first 3 months of 2010 Israel detained more than 1400 Palestinians, including 90 from Gaza (18 were fishermen and 1 child), 400 from Jerusalem and 7 female detainees. Latest statistics show that there are over 7000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli detention; including 35 women, 337 children, 257 administrative detainees, 15 MP and 1 minister.

The Israeli Prison Authority (IPA) refuses to recognize the legitimate rights of Palestinian political prisoners and violates these rights on a daily basis. In addition to torture, physical and verbal abuse, repeated attacks and humiliation, Palestinian political prisoners in general suffer from medical negligence and are denied proper nourishment. Cells are daily raided and searched, often at night, and the private property of prisoners is destroyed or confiscated. Family visits are restricted or cancelled and Gaza, Arab and many West Bank prisoners are denied their visitation rights completely. In the last couple of months, families of prisoners on their way to see their children were abused and humiliated at Israeli checkpoints and parents were asked to undergo naked body searches. This forced the families to return without visiting their children.

Political prisoners are further punished by the IPA through being forced to buy their own food and water for extremely high prices from the prison canteen and to pay for the water and electricity they consume through high fines imposed on prisoners for trivial reason such as leaving the bathroom one minute later than decided by the jailor. These sums are withdrawn from the prisoners’ accounts without their knowledge.

Families of prisoners are further collectively punished by Israel: some families have their homes demolished, others have their property destroyed and often parents, siblings and children of prisoners are taken as hostages to pressure prisoners into confessing to things they didn’t do.

Avigdor Lieberman, current Israeli foreign minister, stated on 07.07.2003 in front of the Israeli Knesset in a discussion on Palestinian political prisoners that “It would be better to drown these prisoners in the Dead Sea if possible, since that’s the lowest point in the world.”[1], adding that as transport minister, he would be willing to provide the buses to take the prisoners there.

Since 1967; 198 Palestinian prisoners have been killed by the IOF while in detention; 70 as a result of torture, 71 killed in cold blood after being arrested, 50 as a result of medical negligence and 7 being shot dead inside prisons by the Israeli prison authorities. The latest victim of Israeli detention being Ra’id Mahmoud Ahmad Abu Hammad, 30 years old from Izariyyeh, Jerusalem who was killed on 16.04.2010 due to medical negligence.

On 07.04.2010, Palestinian political prisoners in 10 Israeli jails and 3 military detention facilities started a 24-hour comprehensive hunger strike in protest of the inhumane treatment they get on the hands of the IPA and its use of family visits to blackmail prisoners.

This action is to be repeated on the 17th and 27th of April. As reason for their strike the prisoners gave, among others, the humiliating treatment and the abuse their families endure during visits and the cancellation of family visits for Gaza detainees since 4 years and for many West Bank detainees.

Palestinians have often protested the inhumane conditions in Israeli prisons through general hunger strikes. Previous hunger strikes include the Ramleh strike of 18.02.1969 which lasted 11 days, the Neve Tirza strike of Palestinian female prisoners on 28.04.1070 which lasted 9 days, Asqalan strike on 13.09.1973 which lasted 24 days, and the open-strike in Asqalan on 11.12.1976 which lasted 45 days and was renewed on 24.02.1977 for 20 days, the Nafha strike on 14.07.1980 for 32 days, the Jneid strike in September 1984 for 13 days, the Jneid strike on 25.03.1967 which was extended to all other prisons and lasted 20 days, the Nafha strike on 23.06.1991 for 17 days, the comprehensive strike in all prisons on 27.09.1992 which lasted 15 days, the comprehensive strike on 15.08.2004 which lasted 19 days.

Tzahi Hanegbi, former Israeli ministry for internal security, said in 2004 after Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails declared a hunger strike against the inhumane prison conditions: “They can strike for a day, a month, until death. We will ward off this strike and it will be as if it never happened. He has ordered large, open grills to be set up to barbecue meat and for bread to be baked just outside the prison doors, to torture prisoners with the smells. Prison guards are encouraged to eat all this in front of the fasting prisoners.”[2] He later said: “for all I care, they can starve to death!”[3] The IPA often tries to break up these strikes by force which had lead to the death of some prisoners.

According to various reports, hunger strike martyrs include:
1 Abdel Qader Jabir Ahmad Abu Al-Fahim, from Jabalia RC, Gaza, killed on 11.05.1970 during the Asqalan hunger strike.
2 Rasim Mohammad Halaweh, from Jabalia RC, Gaza, killed on 20.07.1980 during the Nafha hunger strike.
3 Ali Shehadeh Mohammad Al-Ja’fari, from Dheisheh RC, Gaza, killed on 24.07.1980 during the Nafha hunger strike.
4 Anis Mahmoud Douleh, from Qalqilia, killed on 31.08.1980 in Asqalan
5 Ishaq Mousa Al-Maraghah, from Silwan, Jerusalem, killed on 16.11.1983 in Beir Al-Sabi’
6 Hussein As’ad Ubeidat, from Jerusalem, killed on 04.10.1992 during the Asqalan hunger strike.


One form of punishing Palestinian political prisoners who protest Israeli inhumane treatment is isolation. Solitary confinement is used as a punishment for the slightest thing, to humiliate prisoners and to isolate them from the outside world. According to the “Detainees Centre for Prisoners Studies” there are currently 19 Palestinians prisoners in solitary confinement, including female prisoner Wafa’ Al-Bis from Gaza. Usually isolation orders are extended without reason and prisoners who are placed in isolation remain so for many years and have no access to other prisoners, no contact with the outside world or to news from other prisons.

Prisoner Mu’taz Hijazy is spending his 8th year in isolation and Jamal Abul-Haija, Ahmad Al-Mughraby and Hasan Salameh are currently spending their 5th years in solitary confinement. In isolation, many Palestinian prisoners are subjected to all forms of physical, psychological and emotional suffering. Isolation cells have an area of only 1.8m x 2.7m, including the WC. The cells are damp, badly ventilated with only one small window (causing respiratory diseases) and there is almost no room for movement. Isolated prisoners are deprived of family visitation. Family members, who often make the long and hard trip to the Israeli prisons, are often turned back without being allowed to see their loved ones. Also, those who have family members locked up as well inside Israeli jails are not allowed to see them. For example, Jamal Abul-Haija “is not allowed to see his wife Asma’a Abul- Haija, a former prisoner whose life is withering with cancer. Also, he is not permitted to see his small son and two daughters or to meet any of his three sons who are imprisoned in the occupation jails.”[4] Other punishments include sending the prisoners to the “snooker”, which a very small room (180cm x 150cm). The only facilities in the room are two containers for drinking and washing after urinating. Prisoners locked up in the “snooker” are allowed to go to the toilet only once a day. A number of isolated prisoners are in need of urgent medical treatment but do not receive it. A report of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club mentions:[5]

Hassan Salameh: suffers from an injury in the stomach inflicted upon him on his arrest.
Mohammed Jaber Abdoh: suffers from urinary tract problems.
Mu’taz Hijazy: suffers from the brutal assault on him, because of which he was transferred to the intensive care unit. He has been in solitary confinement for the past 8 years.
Yehya As-Sinwar: in need of medical treatment.

Palestinian political prisoners currently in isolation:
1 Ahmad Sa’dat
2 Yehya As-Sinwar
3 Thabet Merdawi
4 Hasan Salameh
5 Ahmad Al-Mughraby
6 Abdallah Al-Barghouthi
7 Mohammad Jamal An-Natsheh
8 Ibrahim Hamed
9 Mu’taz Hijazi
10 Jamal Abul-Haija
11 Mahmoud Issa
12 Saleh Dar-Musa
13 Hisham Ash-Sharabaty
14 Muhawish Ne’mat
15 Atweh Al-Amour
16 Iyad Abu Hasnah
17 Muhannad Shreim
18 Ahed Ghalmeh
19 Wafa’ Al-bis

According to “the Center for Prison Studies” there are 2000 Palestinian and Arab prisoners with medical problems, 550 of them are in need of surgery. Many prisoners suffer from cancer, heart diseases, high blood pressure, respiratory and kidney diseases, diabetes, severe inflammation, bone and skin diseases, paralysis, vision loss, dental problems and other malignant or chronic diseases. Some suffer from past injuries inflicted upon them by the IOF during their arrest, or by the Israeli prison authority and the Israeli intelligence (Shabak) during interrogation and after it. Many await an inevitable death because of medical negligence, lack of appropriate medical treatment, medications and specialists to treat their cases. Reasons for the deteriorating health conditions among Palestinian prisoners include: torture, overcrowded cells, lack of hygiene in cells, high degree of moisture, dirty mattresses, unhealthy and inedible food.

Today, there are 16 Palestinian prisoners who suffer from cancer, which, according to several reports, is on the rise among Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails and among those who have been released. At least 160 Palestinian prisoners suffer from heart, kidney and blood pressure problems, 80 suffer from diabetes, 18 are paralyzed, 2 blind, tens have become handicapped in one body part after being shot at by the IOF just before their arrest and at least 12 suffer from Hemiplegia. In addition to physical suffering, more than 40 Palestinian prisoners suffer from mental and psychological ailments due to the interrogation methods used by the Israeli Shabak and the IPA which include torture. Urgently needed medical treatment is denied and often protests are needed to force a treatment or action. There are no specialists and no doctors for emergencies at night. No special diet is provided for patients who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and often food is out-dated and poisonous. Patients who need continuous medication for their chronic disease are often deprived of the medication as punishment.

Palestinian patients are treated either in the so-called prison clinics or are sent to the Ramleh prison “hospital”. Both the “hospital” and the clinics lack basic medical equipment and supplies and are run by military personnel with little to no medical training. They are not allowed to see a specialist or be taken to a special clinic or get treatment in Israeli hospitals. Dany Naveh, former Israeli health minister, gave orders preventing Palestinian prisoners from receiving treatment in health facilities: “let them be treated where they lie … we don’t want these murderers in hospitals.”[6] At least 41 prisoners are constantly hospitalized at the Ramleh prison hospital and at least 28 prisoners are dying in Israeli prisons. Palestinian prisoners who need urgent treatment get interrogated in the so-called prison clinics and are blackmailed into giving information or admitting to things they didn’t commit. According to one report, upon arrest, Palestinian political detainees are first taken to the prison clinic for a medical test to determine their weak points so these might be used by Shabak during interrogations. Patients are transferred in vans to the Ramlah prison “hospital” instead of in ambulances and they are hand and leg cuffed. They are also hand and leg cuffed during the operations which are often conducted without anesthetic. All ailment and diseases, no matter how malignant, are “treated” with pain killers, expired or useless medicines and those who do get operated end up in a worse situation than before the operation. There is also a lack of medical equipment for chronic cases or artificial limbs and a lack of isolation rooms for patients with infectious diseases.

Those who urgently need medical help have often to wait long before receiving the appropriate treatment, i.e. if they are lucky enough to get any treatment at all, and are often left to die a slow and painful death or are treated with mere painkiller and other unknown medicines, no matter how severe the case is, while those who suffer from minor ailments end up with severe problems after they get “treated” at the so-called prison clinics. Examples exist of prisoners who needed urgent surgery but didn’t receive it, and of others who had to wait years before they were finally operated, with the condition of the patients not getting better after the operation, and others who lost their eye-sight, movement in their limbs and caught serious diseases after being “treated”. There are cases of prisoners suffering from diabetes where the deliberate delay in providing the needed medical help had led to the amputation of their limbs. Several registered cases of mass food poisoning inside the prisons strengthen what many prisoners and prisoner organizations say about Palestinian prisoners being used against their will and knowledge as test persons in medical experiments conducted by the Israeli prison authorities. One very disturbing fact is the rise in the number of cancer patients. Many reports mentions prisoners who were healthy before being detained and later developing cancer; some while in detention and other immediately after their release.

A number of prisoners with cancer were only released when their condition became hopeless and the Zionist entity wanted to avoid having the prisoner dying in its jails. Some of these cases include:
Hayel Hussein Abu Zeid: 37 yrs old from the Golan developed Leukemia while in jail and was only released when his condition proved critical and hopeless. Hayel died in hospital on 07.07.05.
Murad Ahmad Abu Aakut: 29 yrs old from Hebron, developed cancer and was release when it reached a critical stage on the condition that he comes back to prison after treatment. Murad died in hospital Jordan on 13.01.07.
Sitan Nimer Al-Wali: 42 yrs old from the Golan, was released in July 2008 as he developed cancer, still being treated.
Faiz Abdel Hadi Zeidat: 48 yrs old from Bani N’em in Hebron, developed cancer in jail and was released on 02.06.2009 to get treatment.
Hamzah Yousif Tarayra: 22 yrs old from Bani N’em in Hebron, developed cancer in jail and was released in August 2009 to get treatment.

A very recent case reported late March 2010 is that of a Palestinian prisoner who first had a mild eye infection but the IPA refused to provide needed medical treatment causing the prisoner to become blind in both eyes. Another case is of Nahid Al-Aqra’ who lost his leg due to injury before his arrest in 2007 and now faces losing his second leg (left) due to untreated infections. Raid Darabieh, 36 years old, from Jabalya RC, was diagnosed with kidney stones and was operated by the Israeli prison authority 4 times in the back and spine after the discovery of a tumor in the spinal cord. All operations failed, leaving Darabieh with open back-wounds and the loss of feeling in his feet, making him a cripple. Anas Shihadeh had an Appendectomy without any anesthetic being used. During the operation his heart stopped beating 3 times. Nur Alasa, 23, suffered from kidney failure and cirrhosis of the liver after being given pills by the Israeli prison authority as treatment for his cold. Ahmad Mustafa An-Najjar from Silwad in Ramallah and Imad Addin Zu’rub from Gaza had several operations that failed. Mohammad Abu Wahdan was tied to the bed in the “hospital” by his hands and legs and was left to die a slow and painful death. Jum’a Muhammad Musa, 66 years old and a father of 8, died on 24.12.2008 in Israeli jails after spending 10 years in the so-called Ramlah prison “hospital”. Musa was given all sorts of medicines causing him only more pain and suffering, and an injection given to him caused paralysis in his left arm and leg.

Since 1967 50 Palestinian prisoners have been killed while in detention as a result of medical negligence. Moreover, hundreds of detainees suffering from chronic diseases died after being released from jails such as Walid Al-Ghoul, Abed Wahab Al-Masri, Talal At-Tahhan, Saleh Dardonah, Ahmad Khadra, Mahmoud Abu Mathkour.

Medical negligence is one systematic policy of the IPA. Another is torture and other forms of physical abuse. 70 Palestinians prisoners have been tortured to death inside Israeli dungeons and interrogation cells. Torture is used systematically against Palestinians in Israeli jails. Israeli laws legalize torture and allow Israeli intelligence services to use “moderate degree of physical pressure”, whatever that is, against Palestinians and Arab prisoners and protect these interrogators from prosecution.

For the use of severe physical pressure, interrogates of Shabak (general security services) have to get the “permission” of their superiors. Torture is not only limited to male adult Palestinian prisoners, females and children are also tortured to extract confessions. The Israeli interrogators use over 80 methods of physical and psychological torture, including severe beating, shackling, depriving the detainees of sleep, burning detainees with cigarettes, removing their nails, shabih, freezing or boiling baths, standing for long hours, sexual harassment. “All of the detainees who are detained exposed to inhuman treatment, fettering hands and legs and covering eyes. 99% of them are beating, 93% are deprived from sleeping, 92% are forced to stand for a long time, 88% are exposed to “shabh” policy and 68% are exposed to stay what-so called fridge for hours and days” … “Concerning Israeli usage of the methods of torture for trade, Amnesty International report entitled the trades of pain stated;” Israel is the most productive state in producing different methods of torture in order to be source for trade such as shackling, chemical substances, tear gas, electro-shock and poisonous drugs.”[7]

Among the over 7000 Palestinian prisoners locked up inside Israeli jails, there are 313 “Veteran Prisoners”. The “Veteran Prisoners” is an expression used by prisoner movements and organizations to refer to Palestinian prisoners who have been locked up in Israelis jails since before the signing of the so-called peace agreement between Israel and the PLO in May 1994. Of these 126 are from the West Bank, 125 from Gaza, 41 from Jerusalem, 20 from Palestinians areas occupied in 1948 and one prisoner from the Golan. There are 115 Palestinian prisoners who have spent more than 20 years inside Israeli jails. These prisoners are called the “Deans of Prisoners” and among them there are 14 “Generals of Patience”, a term given to Palestinian prisoners who have been locked up behind Israeli bars since more than 25 years.

 These prisoners are:
1 Na’il Saleh Al Bargouhti, 52 years old, Ramallah, in prison since 04.04.1978 (32 years) and is thus the longest-standing political prisoner in the world.
2 Fakhri (Asfour) Abdallah Al Bargouthi, 55 years old, Ramallah, in prison since 23.06.1978 (31 years, 9 months)
3 Akram Abdel Aziz Mansour, 47 years old, Qalqilya, in prison since 02.08.1979 (30 years, 8 months)
4 Fouad Qasem Arafat Al-Razem, 51 years old, Jerusalem, in prison since 30.01.1981 (29 years, 2 months)
5 Ibrahim Fadel Jaber, 55 years old, Hebron, in prison since 08.01.1982 (28 years, 3 months)
6 Hasan Nimir Ali Salma, 51 years old, Ramallah, in prison since 08.08.1982 (27 years, 8 months)
7 Othman Ali Misleh, 57 years old, Nablus, in prison since 15.10.1982 (27 years, 6 months)
8 Sami Khaled Salameh Younis, 77 years old, from ‘Ara, in prison since 05.01.1983 (27 years, 3 months)
9 Karim Yousif Fadil Younis, 51 years old, from ‘Ara, in prison since 06.01.1983 (27 years, 3 months)
10 Maher Abdel Latif Younis, 52 years old, from ‘Ara, in prison since 20.01.1983 (27 years, 2 months)
11 Salim Ali Ibrahim Al-Kayyal, 56 years old, from Gaza, in prison since 30.05.1983 (26 years, 10 months)
12 Hafith Qundus, 46 years old, from Yafa, in prison since 15.05.1984 (25 years, 11 months)
13 Issa Abed Rabbo, 46 years old, from Dheisheh RC, in prison since 20.10.1984 (25 years, 5 months)
14 Ahmad Farid Shehadeh, from Ramallah, in prison since 16.02.1985 (25 years, 2 months)

Every now and then we are read in newspapers, on websites or watch on TV reports on Gilad Shalit, the Israeli occupation soldier who entered occupied Gaza to kill innocent Palestinians civilians and who has been made a “victim” in American and European media. Some European countries have even granted this occupation soldier honorary citizenship and his parents were flown from country to another to give interviews on the “suffering” of their son and demand his release. One particular report showed a photo of Gilad’s supporters standing near tens of life-size cardboards of the soldier. Palestinians demanding the release of their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and children would not need to make hundreds of copies of one prisoner because we have thousands behind bars. The hypocrisy is that while the world demands the release of this one single Israeli occupation soldier, it is silent about the thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians, including women and children who are kidnapped from their homes in the middle of the night, from their schools, from their work place and locked up in Israeli dungeons.

Palestinian political prisoners lost their freedom in the fight for the freedom of Palestine and for our freedom. Their “road of suffering” begins with the minute of their arrest. They are often brutally beaten by the IOF upon arrest, to be then handed over to the Israeli intelligence “Shabak”, who don’t hesitate to use all forms of physical and psychological torture to extract confession. Those who survive the Shabak interrogation are then handed over to the Israeli prison authority, which runs some Nazi-like prison facilities, death cells waiting to engulf Palestinians. Here, Palestinian prisoners are subjected to an inhumane treatment much similar to methods used by the Nazis in Concentration camps, such as conducting medical experiments on powerless prisoners, or neglecting their injuries and ailments leaving them to die an agonizing and slow death, or defining Palestinian prisoners according to their given numbers and not as human beings with names.

 Despite all, these Palestinian prisoners fight as one against the injustices inflicted upon them, against the atrocities of their executioners. Their fight is a daily fight; for they have to fight for the food they eat and the water the drink and the air they breathe. They fight for their right to see their families, to get medical treatment, to get decent food fit for human consumption, to sleep at night, to walk and see the sun during the day, to read books and newspapers, to watch television and hear a radio and get legal support. It is a daily fight to survive a prison institution that is run by a terror state that wouldn’t hesitate in shooting at unarmed prisoners who go on hunger strikes in protest of the treatment they receive; A prison institution that wouldn’t hesitate in sending a terminally ill Palestinian prisoner back to his cell with a pill of Acamol; a useless pain killer, and ignore his screams of pain all night long; A prison institution that wouldn’t hesitate to lock up blind and handicapped Palestinian prisoners in isolation cells which are not fit to be used as a pig’s pens; A prison institution that feeds and thrives on the lives of Palestinian children, women, men and elderly.

Almost every single day there are news and reports of nightly raids, of mass arrests, of more suffering inside Israeli jails, of more horrors and new crimes being committed against Palestinian prisoners by the Israeli prison authority. No matter how many times we raise the issue of Palestinian prisoners, we will not do them justice. Those who are locked up behind bars are denied the sight of the green meadows of Palestine and the smell of the Taboon bread. They are denied the sight of their families, the hug of their mothers, the talk with their fathers. They are denied the chance to say goodbye to those family members who die waiting and hoping. They are denied the sight of their children, seeing them grow up, sharing their joy, comforting them. They are denied all this because of their love of Palestine and their fight for freedom, which is a legitimate right.

Every nation has the right to fight for its freedom, for its legitimate rights and for the future of its children. These freedom fighters locked up behind Israeli bars also depend on us to fight for them, to carry their fight to the outside world, to remind the world of their suffering and their sacrifices. It is our word they depend upon, our word to inform those at home and those far away, to mobilize people on their behalf, to uncover the crimes being committed against them behind locked doors, and to keep their issue on the top of our national priorities.

Unfortunately, while some arrests make the headlines, tens of other arrests remain sidelines, numbers added to the list of thousands locked up inside Israeli jails. Regardless of the excuses given, ALL Palestinian prisoners deserve our interest and our work and campaigning for their freedom, and they don’t deserve to be reduced to a single line added to certain petitions whenever we find it appropriate or necessary. And as long as there is still one single Palestinian political prisoner in Israeli jails, it is our duty to talk about them, to write about them and demand their release, every single one of them! It is our duty to mobilize local and international support and efforts for their protection and release. It is our duty to expose the crimes committed against them and the daily violation of their human rights starting with their right to be free. The 7000 Palestinians are our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, cousins, they are our families, they are us, every single one of us. Their pain is our pain, their suffering is our suffering, their struggle is our struggle, their captivity is our captivity and their freedom is our freedom. We are their voice and they depend on us to keep their issue alive and not forgotten.

According to latest statistics there are:
Over 7000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails
35 Palestinian women inside Israeli jails
337 Palestinian children inside Israeli jails
15 members of the Palestinian Parliament
19 Palestinian prisoners in isolation cells
257 Palestinian administrative detainees
2000 Palestinian prisoners in need of medical care
16 Palestinian prisoners suffer from cancer
160 Palestinian prisoners suffer from heart, kidney and blood pressure problems
80 Palestinian prisoners suffer from diabetes
12 Palestinian prisoners suffer from Hemiplegia
40 Palestinian prisoners suffer from mental and psychological ailments due to the interrogation methods used by the Israeli Shabak and the Israeli prison authorities, which include torture
198 Palestinian prisoners have been killed by the IOF since 1967: 70 as a result of torture, 71 killed in cold blood after being arrested, 50 as a result of medical negligence and 7 being shot dead inside prisons by the Israeli prison authorities
313 Palestinian “Veteran Prisoners” have been locked up in Israelis jails since before 1994
115 Palestinian “Deans of Prisoners” have spent 20+ years inside Israeli jails
14 Palestinian “Generals of Patience” have spent 25+ years inside Israeli jails

For a list of Palestinian Martyr prisoners please see (http://poppiesofpalestine.wordpress.com/zionist-crimes/prison-martyrs/)

Sources:
http://www.addameer.info/

http://www.dci-pal.or/

http://www.palestinebehindbars.org/
http://www.waed.ps/
http://www.ahrar-pal.info/

http://www.sabiroon.org/
http://www.alasra.ps/
http://www.elasra.ps/

http://ppsmo.org/


[1] http://imeu.net/
[2] http://www.cageprisoners.com/articles.php?id=3088
[3] http://globalresearch.ca/articles/AVN408A.html
[4] http://www.friendsofhumanity.info/
[5] http://www.ppsmo.org/
[6] ibid.
[7] http://www.waed.ps/en/#

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Book Review: Gaza’s Untold Story By Mamoon Alabbasi

Link 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 1:19PM Gilad Atzmon
‘My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story” (Pluto Press, London, 2010) by Ramzy Baroud

Gaza’s Untold Story
By Mamoon Alabbasi – LONDON

One year on since Israel’s criminally-insane war on Gaza, many are still unaware of the roots of the ‘conflict’ and the plight of the Palestinian people. Israel would like to have us believe that its latest onslaught was a direct response to resistance rockets or even Hamas’s democratic accession to power, forgetting that both of which came into existence as a response to Israeli policies.

But even those of us who have seen the true light, and are no longer deceived by the barrage of ‘flat earth news’, sometimes forget – if we were ever aware of – the depth and complexity of the tragedy.

And that is the gap in understanding that veteran American-Palestinian author Ramzy Baroud seeks to fill in his latest book “‘My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story” (Pluto Press, London, 2010).

In our preoccupation with the Goldstone report (among other UN probes), human rights groups assessments, war crimes allegations, high civilian casualties, UNRWA statistics, official statements here an there, we become overwhelmed with information that makes many of us lose sight of context. And many of those who do take a step back to get a clearer picture of why such things are happening tend to stop at 1967; Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. Yet for Palestinians, and for those in Gaza in particular, the tragedy goes back to 1948; dispossession.

For those who are serious about achieving peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians, the issue of Palestinian refugees must be duly addressed. Baroud’s book provides an exceptional understanding of that very topic, beautifully combining the personal experiences of Palestinians (his family as one example, with a special focus on his father) with that of their collective history – in English.

The book shows us an example of the human face to that suffering at a time we have grown accustomed to debating cold facts and figures, and interpretations of humanitarian and international law.

These laws are meant to protect real people, and these statistics correspond to human beings – flesh and blood – who have their own dreams, aspirations, fears and even shortcomings. And these Palestinians are not demons (as some would like to have us believe) but nor are they angels who are above feeling human pain and hardship.

As some of the book’s pages cause you to burst into laughter, others would lead you to flood in tears as you interact with the true stories of his family, but Baroud’s words of reason frequently resurface to the text to provide you with context and relevant collective history and background. This parallel of facts and feelings keeps you aware that these moving  (sometimes comic but mainly tragic) stories are not meant for
entertainment, but are part of history. Yet you could never understand the impact of this history if you did not try to relate to the book’s real-life characters.

Baroud relies on context to explain the moral superiority of the plight of Palestinians, but the book’s characters invite everyone – even, no, especially Israelis – to step into their shoes to understand their legitimate grievances and systematic suffering.

The book is a must-read for even those who are extremely familiar with the Palestinian question. But such narrative should not be confined to educated readers. Its universal message must reach a wider audience
via film.

Palestinians who died suffering in poverty and under oppression should not exit this world without having the last word – even if that last word is only heard after their death. Mohammed Baroud – of Beit Daras – can now rest in peace. There are millions more who are dying – or have already died – to be heard, in their struggle for freedom. Who will step forward to tell their stories? Let history begin and maybe someday Palestinians too would have their own ‘Never Again’ moment in the not-too-distant future. The book is available at Amazon.com and also through the publisher, Pluto Press.

Mamoon Alabbasi is an Iraqi editor in London. He can be reached at: alabbasi@writing.com

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

No justice, no peace: interview with activist Haidar Eid

Electronic Intifada
Bianca Zammit, The Electronic Intifada, 29 December 2009

Haidar Eid

On 31 December 2009, one year after Israel’s devastating attacks on the Gaza Strip, activists plan to converge for the Gaza Freedom March. An unprecedented effort, the march draws inspiration from South Africa’s struggle for liberation from apartheid and from Gandhi’s tactics during the campaign for India’s independence.

The Electronic Intifada contributor Bianca Zammit recently interviewed the Gaza Freedom March Steering Committee member Dr. Haidar Eid about the effort.

Bianca Zammit: What is the aim of the Gaza Freedom March?

Haidar Eid:The goal of the Gaza Freedom March is to commemorate Gaza 2009. In January 2009 right after the end of Operation Cast Lead, we were all faced again with the deadly, hermitic siege. The march is calling for an end to this siege.

BZ: How did the Gaza Freedom March come about?

HE:In June CODEPINK led a delegation into Gaza and they started talking about a march. I was contacted by Palestinian solidarity groups from around the world and asked for my opinion. I liked the idea but it required a political context and it needed to be led by the people of Gaza. That is when Palestinian grassroots organizations came together to discuss the march and we suggested to the International Coalition to End the Siege that they include a statement of context which called for an end to the siege and which acknowledged the long history of Palestinian nonviolent direct action inspired by South Africa and Gandhi. This includes the weekly demonstrations that take place at Bilin, Nilin and al-Masara, the entry of international boats in Gaza’s port, which had not happened since 1967 and the work of international solidarity movements. More importantly, it has to acknowledge the growing BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] campaign.

The siege is an effect of the occupation and a continuation of the apartheid system initiated in 1948 [with the declaration of the State of Israel]. Since then two-thirds of the Palestinian people have lost their land. The occupation is illegal and found to be so by the United Nations under resolution 194, which calls for the return of all refugees.

BZ: Who is represented on the Steering Committee?

HE: We have all sectors of society. There are representatives of unions, [representatives from the] labor, political, religious, youth and women’s [sectors], students and also the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC).

BZ: Who will participate?

HE: As soon as we issued the statement of context all Palestinian civil organizations endorsed the Gaza Freedom March and there was global consensus.

The registration has now closed and 1,400 people from 42 countries have registered and processed. Palestinians living in 1948 land will also be participating in the march from the other side of the Erez border crossing.

BZ: What activities are planned?

The 1,400 internationals will join us hand in hand for a march that will start at 10am in Izbet Abed Rabbo towards the Erez Border Crossing with Israel. Izbet Abed Rabbo is the area that suffered the most damage and most horrendous war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, something Judge Goldstone alluded to in his report. When we get to Erez there shall be speeches.

The attacks on Gaza will be commemorated on New Years Eve at the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem [in the occupied West Bank]. A member of the Steering Committee for the March will address the people gathered in Bethlehem for this event. Palestinian refugees living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan shall partake in the march by organizing their own rallies.

BZ: How can those people who cannot come to Gaza show their solidarity with the people of Gaza?

HE: We are calling on 1.5 million conscientious people of the world to simultaneously rally with the 1.5 million inhabitants of Gaza in front of Israeli embassies in their country. Richard Falk, the [former] UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories has called Gaza the “world’s largest concentration camp.” [Israeli academic] Ilan Pappe has described the siege as a “slow-motion genocide.” After the 22 day massacre last winter we returned to the ongoing siege.

We ask freedom-loving people to put pressure on their governments to sever all ties with Israel and to support the boycott of Israel.

BZ: Why do you believe this will be a historic moment for Palestine?

HE: The march shall be the first mass mobilization of this size since 1967. Internationals will walk hand in hand with Palestinians, modeled on the South African anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s. This siege has been imposed upon the Palestinian people due to them exercising their democratic choice [during the 2006 parliamentary elections]. The significance of this march however also goes beyond the siege. As Palestinians 750,000 of us were displaced and forced to become refugees [in 1948]. Palestinians living in 1948 land [what is now called Israel] experience racial discrimination on a daily basis and there is a systematic policy of ethnic cleansing in place.

BZ: What is your message to the international community?

HE: If I could put into a slogan the current climate in Gaza, I would say, we are fed up. The international community has only given us empty rhetoric and lip service and in the meantime, we have been suffering. For this reason we rely on the people of the world and their power to change the course of the future. We believe in people-to-people solidarity in order to bring down the Israeli apartheid regime. We want peace with justice. This march shall be the first crack, the first concrete step to end the siege and the illegal occupation. This shall be a wake-up call to the international community that as Palestinians, we shall no longer tolerate hypocrisy.

BZ: What is your message to Israel?

HE: You cannot go on committing war crimes and crimes against humanity as witnessed by Judge Goldstone with impunity forever. Recent events in the UK [where an arrest warrant was issued against former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni] have shown that also the world will not tolerate Nazi-like acts committed by a Nazi-like government against civilians.

To the people of Israel I say, you voted for the most fascist government since 1948 expecting your government to completely get rid of Palestinians. History has shown us that this will only backfire and bring more wars, affecting not only Palestinians but the entire Middle East and inevitably Israel. Exactly like apartheid South Africa campaigned when their state became a pariah state, this is your time to put pressure on your government to implement the UN resolution that call for an end to the occupation and allow the return of refugees. Peace without justice is not peace.

BZ: What will happen after the march?

HE: The march is not symbolic but rather we expect it to be part of a series of events which will lead to the end of the siege. We want to intensify and continue building a global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign that is human rights-based and call for the implementation of international law and an end to the occupation.

We will continue to host international delegations visiting us and together we will be calling for Israeli war criminals to be tried in international courts.

Image by Bianca Zammit.

Bianca Zammit is a member of the International Solidarity Movement in Gaza active with the BDS movement.

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian

Sayyed Nasrallah Thanks Iran for Its Pro-Resistance Stances

Almanar

21/12/2009 Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah received on Monday visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and the accompanying delegation.

According to a statement issued by Hezbollah media relations, Sayyed Nasrallah and the Iranian delegation discussed the latest developments in the region, especially in Lebanon and Palestine.

The meeting also discussed the positive atmosphere prevailing in the Lebanese scene, especially following the formation of the national-unity government and the reconciliations taking place among the various political groups in Lebanon as well as the new developments in the Lebanese-Syrian relation.

The continuous Israeli threats against Lebanon were also raised during the meeting. In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah thanked the Islamic Republic in Iran through its leadership, government and nation for standing at the side of the Resistance in Lebanon and Palestine in facing occupation and threats.
Mottaki has earlier said the Islamic Republic’s policy is based on the promotion of peace and security in the entire region, and particularly in Lebanon. “The Islamic Republic of Iran prioritizes the promotion of stability and peace in Lebanon and serious fight against tension and violation of nations’ rights,” Mottaki said in a meeting with Lebanese President Michel Sleiman in Beirut on Monday.

Mottaki, who is on his first official visit to Beirut since the establishment of Lebanon’s new government last month, expressed the readiness of Iran’s private sector to participate in Lebanon’s infrastructural and development plans.

The Lebanese president stressed the importance of holding constant consultations between Tehran and Beirut on various international issues after Lebanon was elected by the United Nations General Assembly as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.

Earlier, he paid tribute to the late senior Hezbollah official, Imad Mughniyeh who was assassinated by Israel in early 2008.

In a separate meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister Ali Shami in Beirut on Monday, Mottaki called on political groups in Lebanon to strengthen national unity through their constructive interaction.

“National unity in Lebanon will play a key role in the promotion of stability and security in the country and in the Middle East to counter main challenges,” said the Iranian minister. The two ministers discussed regional developments and other topics of mutual concern.

Mottaki said that Premier Saad Hariri’s trip to Damascus consolidates stability and calm in the region. “Lebanon proved through its quick formation of the government that it has the ability to have a good standing in the region and internationally,” Mottaki said during a press conference at Bustros palace following talks with Shami. This is Mottaki’s first official visit to Lebanon since the new Lebanese government took office last month.

 Uprooted Palestinian

Sayyed Nasrallah: Political Actors Still Being Bribed to Criticize Resistance

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Almanar

20/12/2009 Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said on Saturday that Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s visit to Syria this weekend is a positive step that promotes a calm and relaxing climate in Lebanon.

Speaking at the Central Ashoura gathering hosted by Hezbollah in Sayyed Alshouhada Compound at Beirut’s southern suburb, Sayyed Nasrallah said that despite this, some [political] actors are still being bribed to continue criticizing the Resistance and its weapons.

His eminence said that many people are questioning the use and the importance of the Resistance’s weapons which are now strong enough to defeat Israel.

The Hezbollah Secretary General also said that racial and ethnic conflicts have always existed, but some people are using the tensions to their own advantage. Sayyed Nasrallah added that the US wants to have control over Lebanon’s policies and over the region.

His eminence also said that Israel continues to threaten Lebanon, especially after his party’s participation in the cabinet, adding that Hezbollah was a part of the cabinet last year, and no threat was mentioned then.

HEZBOLLAH SOURCES: HARIRI’S VISIT HELPS AVOID SUNNI-SHIITE STRIFE
Meanwhile, Hezbollah leadership sources have said that Hariri’s visit to Damascus was “important and historic” adding it would help “avoid any “Shiite-Sunni strife.”

The sources told daily An Nahar in remarks published Sunday that the party was relieved at the visit because “it would reflect positively” on Lebanon and produce “stability.” They said the party was keeping a close watch on the trip which would also “normalize ties” between the two countries and “consolidate national unity.”

 Uprooted Palestinian

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