Brotherhood Complicity in Israeli aggression on Gaza regime to impose new security arrangements


“Today we declare victory against the blockade through this historic visit,” he said. “We say thank you, Emir, thank you Qatar for this noble Arab stance … Hail to the blood of martyrs which brought us to this moment.”


This aggression came a few days after the declaration of the alliancebetween the “Hamas” Brotherhood and Qatar, the U.S. and Israeli front base in the region, which was crowned on “Nationial Day” by Qatari Emir  LANDMARK, and HISTORICAL visit to Gaza, who fled Gaza after his security found a gun in the Haniya’s headquarters.

 

It also came after Mursi, instead of easing the siege on Gaza, tightened his criminal siege by closure of the official crossings, and destroyed tunnels used to smuggle arms besides food and medicine in collaboration with USA experts equipped with devices able to detect tunnels fro above the ground.

Moreover, while following the events in Gaza, I noted that Israel tried to assasinate Dr. Mahmoud Al-zahar, who recently met Nasrallah and visited Tehran.

The Israeli military continued its aggression on the Gaza strip besieged by the Zionist Entity and Egyptian Brotherhood. Two days ago, the later brokered a cease-fire that stopped firing of rockets at Israeli cities and towns, as admitted by Hamas leaders yesterday.

In a press statement to Al-Jazeera, Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman blamed “Israel” for not abiding the understandings that have been reached through Egyptian mediation.

“The occupation has opened the gates of hell on itself,” said a statement from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which vowed its militants would “continue the path of resistance.”

The air, land and sea aggression has led to the martyrdom of nine citizens so far, injuring more than seventy, mostly civilians, including the military commander Ahmed Al-Jaabari, who was martyred by a missile from the drone.

The Israeli military sources said “that Jaabari’s assassination will not be the last, and other leaders are on the list of assassinations.”
 
Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence service has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that it had killed Jaabari because of his decade-long anti-Israel activities.

Martyre Ahmed Jabari (third from left) before handing over Shalit to the Egyptian side. According to Zionist TV: Jabari was planning for capturing Israeli soldiers

Israel gave al-Jaabari the title “Chief of Staff of the Hamas movement,” and says that it is him who planed and supervised the implementation of capturing Gilad Shalit,al-Jaabari has appeared Jabari days delivery Shalit to the Egyptian side. 
In a later development Israeli television reported that the resistance in Gaza was able to hit Israeli warship with a Korneet” anti-tankmissile which led to the killing of an Israeli soldier and wounding three others.

Feeling cornered by the Israeli strike, and Hamas calling the Egyptians to take the street, Egypt Brotherhood, FJP, demanded Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi Mubarak to reconsider the Egyptian-Israeli relations, and to review all ties with Israel, adding that the Israeli attacks require “swift Arab and international action to stop the massacres.” So, the American Brother’s regime announced the withdrawal of its Ambassador from and called for an urgent meeting of the Security Council.

“The Israelis must understand that we do not accept this aggression, which could lead to instability in the region,”  Mursi said in televised remarks. “Shortly before dawn, I called President Obama and we discussed the need to put an end to this aggression and to ensure it does not happen again,” he said.

“We discussed ways to promote calm and to stop these acts… and to achieve peace and security.”

“I explained Egypt’s role, Egypt’s position, that we have relations with the United States and the world, but at the same time we totally reject this aggression.”

This move was interpreted by observers as a familiar “Dirty Media Game”, to cover brotherhood’s secret plans to impose new security arrangements on Gaza to stop the flow of Iranians and Hezbollah arms to the Non-Hamas resistance factions in Gaza, such as Islamic Jihad and PFLP and others, given that these factions are the resistance in Gaza, after the involvement Hamas Merchants of Venice (GUN), in the American /Arab /Brotherhood alliance.

Note that on ground Hamas has become Hamasan (Two), that Hamas in Gaza is at odds with its external wing represented by Mishaal and Abu Marzouk, and insisting on resistance priority over anything else as expressed by Hamas leaders visiting Iran and Hezbollah without the consent of Mishaal, The ungrateful “son” of Hamas and his group.

The “quality” of arms that appeared yesterday’s evening in the Gaza Strip in the hands of non-Hamas resistance brings to mind the Israeli media claims that Iran and Hezbollah stopped arming “Hamas” since Khalid Mishaal hired his gun for the destruction of resistance.

 According to a latest reports the Resistance Factions in Gaza were able to target the southern suburbs of Tel Aviv for the first time from Gaza by three long-range missiles, which prompted a hysterical Israelis response to the Gaza Strip. It is reported that explosions were heard in different parts of the Gaza Strip.

As usual, the Majic turns against the Magicians, both the Zionists and the International brotherhood’s magicians. The gate to hell is oppened, a Fajr 5 missele just hit TEL AVIV, leaving parts of it without electricity, 4 settlers are killed, 28 injured. Resistance misselss are not blind. Thanks to Ayyoub.

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Israel Attacks Gaza, Kills Hamas Leader


 

Palestinians carry the body of Ahmed Al-Jabari, Hamas’s military mastermind, during his funeral in Gaza City, Nov. 15, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Ali Hassan)

By:Helmi Moussa. Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon)
 

Israel launched a shock and awe war against the Gaza Strip. As soon as it had succeeded in killing Ahmed al-Jabari in Gaza City, it immediately launched air raids on several Hamas and Islamic Jihad installations in the southern and northern parts of the Gaza Strip.

The initial strikes suggest that Israel is settling old scores with those who have humiliated it by capturing Gilad Shalit and holding him for years. On the other hand, the strikes were contrary to the belief that prevailed in the last two days, which held that Israel is hesitating about attacking Gaza for fear of falling into a trap.

Israel’s new aggression on Gaza had until yesterday evening caused the martyrdom of 10 Palestinians and the wounding of 60. Israel conducted air raids targeting a leading figure in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades Ahmed al-Jabari, who was martyred. The assassination was followed by continuous airstrikes and artillery shelling on targets across the strip. Jabari’s assassination came in the wake of Israeli media reports saying that Israel is about to resume assassinating the leaders of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza. Jabari is Hamas’s highest-ranking official to be assassinated since the last Israeli war on Gaza in 2008-2009.

It should be noted that Jabari was on Israel’s wanted list. Israel says he was responsible for several military operations, including the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006. Shalit was released five years later as part of a large prisoner exchange deal.

The Israeli bombing raids also killed nine Palestinians and injured more than 60. According to medical sources, among the nine martyrs were three resistance fighters and two children.
Some think that the reason why Israel targeted Jabari and others in Khan Younis and Rafah in the initial strikes was to send a message saying: Israel is ready to escalate, even to the point of war.

As they did at the start of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Israeli media referred to the subsequent strikes as “preemptive strikes” on caches of long-range missiles. Apparently, Israel wants to send a message that the Palestinians will not be able to establish a status quo of mutual deterrence.
Haaretz’s military analyst said that the mere fact that the operation was given a name (Pillar of Defense) indicates that the Israeli escalation is not a limited operation, and that this is just the beginning.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were doing what could be only described as a major propaganda campaign. They signaled that they wanted calm and that Israel will cease fire if the attacks from Gaza stop. After the Palestinian factions announced a truce, Netanyahu and Barak arrived at the headquarters of the northern front in Safed. This gave the impression that their attention was on the Golan Heights and Lebanon, not Gaza. Then suddenly, Israel started hitting Gaza. Netanyahu and Barak want to promote the idea that Jabari is Israel’s Osama bin Laden.

When the Palestinians reacted by firing rockets, the air and sea became filled with Israeli planes, vessels and gunboats, which started intensively shelling several areas in a clear show of force. Israel wants to intimidate its enemies to restore its deterrent capability, which it had lost in the last few months. That was the objective of the news conference by Netanyahu and Barak.

Israeli media said that the targeting of Jabari was a joint operation by the General Security Service (Shabak) and the Israeli army. Israeli media said that the assassination was the starting signal for a series of air raids across the Gaza Strip to destroy caches of long-range missiles.

Israeli media noted that the operation’s leader, Chief of Staff Gen. Benny Gantz, has called it “Pillar of Defense.” Israeli military leaders were quoted as saying that other senior Palestinian resistance leaders in Gaza are on the target list. The head of the Shin Bet, Yoram Cohen, is overseeing the intelligence side of the operation.

The security cabinet is scheduled to meet this morning to determine the next steps following the expected Palestinian response.

A spokesman for the Israeli army said that Israeli citizens should follow the instructions of the Home Front Command, pointing out that the situation “may last for days.” He said that the Israeli army is “ready for confrontation” and that “a ground operation is on the agenda.” Military circles reported that several Israeli army brigades have gathered around the Gaza Strip in preparation for a ground invasion. But such a move is not likely despite the military’s demands. One of the lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War and the Cast Lead operation in Gaza was that a ground invasion should be done quickly to shorten the duration of the war. And since the Israeli general elections are near, nobody in Israel wants the war to drag on.

The Israeli spokesman said that the initial airstrikes destroyed about 20 underground sites designed for launching medium-range missiles by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The preoccupation now is about the Iranian Fajr rockets, which have a range of 75 kilometers and can thus reach Tel Aviv. The spokesman acknowledged that Israel does not yet know if it succeeded in eliminating that threat.
The Palestinian resistance pledged to respond to the Israeli aggression. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, said in a statement, “The occupation has opened on itself the gates of hell,” and Islamic Jihad warned that “Israel has declared war on the Gaza Strip and will be held responsible for this escalation and its implications.”

Hamas declared a state of emergency in Gaza and evacuated all of its security centers. Islam Shahwan, the spokesman for the deposed government’s interior ministry, said, “We are working under fire to protect our people and support the resistance. … We have a full contingency plan, which we are applying.”

The Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip launched dozens of rockets toward Israeli towns bordering the Gaza Strip. The rockets, which were launched from throughout the Gaza Strip, caused a tremendous sound.

Illustrating the seriousness of the situation in Gaza, the Israeli shekel fell by more than 1% against the dollar, to its lowest level in two months. Normally, the Israeli market ignores Israeli-Palestinian violence. But traders said that investors fear that the Hamas rockets will have a greater range than before and will thus cause heavy damages in south Israel.

Media reports said that the Palestinian resistance targeted the towns of Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod. There were also reports about the launching of two locally-made missiles toward Tel Aviv.
In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman said that the United States is “closely watching” the situation in the Gaza Strip. He added, “We support our Israeli partner’s right of self-defense against terrorism.”
Israeli President Shimon Peres briefed his US counterpart Barack Obama on the aggression against Gaza, especially the assassination of Jabari.

In Gaza, many are wondering the Egyptian reaction will be, especially after the rumor that Egypt warned Israel of the consequences of its aggression on Gaza and that it may lead to the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.

Some Palestinian circles think that Egypt must respond, especially after the Palestinian factions cooperated with Egyptian mediation efforts and declared a truce.

In the first Egyptian reaction to the aggression, presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said that President Mohammad Morsi summoned the Israeli ambassador in Cairo. After Egypt withdrew its ambassador in Tel Aviv, there was information that the Israeli ambassador left Egypt along with the embassy’s staff. But Reuters quoted an Israeli diplomatic source saying that the Israeli ambassador in Cairo has not been recalled yet and that the embassy is functioning normally.

A state of emergency was declared in several Israeli departments and ministries.

Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Ben Helli said that the Arab League will hold an emergency meeting at the foreign ministers’ level to discuss the developments in the Gaza Strip.

Commenting on the Israeli aggression on Gaza, Hezbollah demanded that the Arab League, the main Arab states, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation “take responsibility for stopping the siege, the shelling, the killing, the destruction and the genocide against Gaza and its people.” Hezbollah condemned “the American position supporting the aggression.” Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is expected to address the developments in Gaza during his Ashura speech today.

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Palestine’s Prisoners Day: In the Footsteps of Khader Adnan

Palestinian children take part in a rally in front of the Red Cross headquarters in Gaza City marking Palestinian Prisoners Day 17 April 2012. (Photo: REUTERS – Suhaib Salem)
Published Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Khader Adnan was expected to return to his village of Arrabeh today after waging a 67-day hunger strike that led to Israel agreeing to release him on 17 April, by chance coinciding with the annual Palestinian Prisoners Day. However, at the time of publishing, Khader had still not been released and the Israeli Prison Service had not communicated with either his lawyer or family on his status.

When Khader Adnan is finally allowed to return to his home village of Arrabeh, just outside of Jenin, he will return to a resurged prisoners’ movement that he very well may have sparked.

Palestinian prisoners are reinstating their integral role in the national struggle, notably without the help – or interference – of political parties and leaders. Adnan’s solitary bravery and commitment restored a sense of agency and power to prisoners.

Without directives from political organizations, individual prisoners have been steadily enlisting in a battle against the policy of administrative detention by refusing their meals. The final outcome of this movement is still unknown, but its recession does not appear imminent. On the contrary, the prisoners’ movement is gaining momentum as today hundreds more launched an open-ended hunger strike.

Following the precedent of Khader, female prisoner Hana Shalabi began a hunger strike immediately upon her re-arrest on 16 February. She spent 43 days fasting before reaching an agreement with Israel that saw her exiled to Gaza for three years. After her there were more. Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh have fasted for 49 days, Omar abu Shalal for 45 days, and Hassan al-Safadi for 43.

 

In recognition of Khader’s impact on the strength of the prisoners’ movement, the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners Affairs held its annual Prisoners Day commemoration in Arrabeh yesterday evening.
While driving to the ceremony, Abdel Aal, the General Director of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, received a phone call from a prisoner in Ofer jail, Muhammed Dawood Abu Ajaj. Abu Ajaj has been held in administrative detention for the last 20 months and had received notice that his incarceration was extended another four months.

He called Abdel Aal to announce that he too will go on hunger strike.

So, as of yesterday there were at least 11 prisoners fasting in protest of administrative detention, which allows Israel to hold prisoners indefinitely without charge.

In a significant development today, coinciding with Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, over 1,200 prisoners – of the 4,610 currently held – began an open-ended hunger strike, thus broadening the struggle from administrative detention to a more general demand for rights that are denied to Palestinians in Israeli jails.

While the repercussions of Khader’s example are undeniable, some have argued that the seeds of this fertile movement may have been planted before last December’s arrest of Khader.

On 27 September 2011, prisoners affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine began a hunger strike to protest what was called the “Shalit laws.”

“These were not laws, but punitive measures that had been inflicted on Palestinians prisoners in retribution for Hamas holding Gilad Shalit,” a representative from Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner rights group, explains.

Small solidarity tents were quickly erected in West Bank cities. By October 6 Addameer approximated that about 400 prisoners had joined the strike.

But just as the strike was finding its stride, Israel announced the punitive measures would be reversed.
“The prison authorities told the strikers that soon there would be an ‘event’ that would change everything,” said Addameer.

The “event” was the prisoner exchange deal Hamas brokered with Israel wherein 1,027 Palestinians would be released in exchange for Gilad Shalit, the sole Israeli held by Palestinians.
 

Shalit was released, the prisoners ended their hunger strike, but the punitive measures did not end.
“Following the deal, the measures were altered but not reversed,” says Addameer. “The deal significantly overshadowed the hunger strike that was started in September.”

The large-scale strike that was launched today is a continuation of what prisoners began in September. But this time the strike will not be characterized by any one political faction.

In order to emphasize the unified nature of the strike, the prisoners are forming a committee with representatives from Hamas, Fatah, PFLP, and Islamic Jihad.

This committee will be responsible with setting and communicating their demands with the Israeli Prison Service (IPS).

The strike seeks to fully reverse all punitive measures that were taken in connection with Shalit, including arbitrarily denying or humiliating visitors to prisoners and humiliating and abusing prisoners during transfers.

Prisoners are also seeking an end to solitary confinement and the prohibition against residents of the Gaza Strip from visiting family members in prison. There are currently 456 Gazan prisoners who have been denied family visits since 2007.

Outside the prison walls, the national unity that prisoners are fostering is still limited to political rhetoric. With both Fatah and Hamas being accused of trying to manipulate the hunger strike for political gains, this enduring political rivalry threatens fissures within the prisoners’ movement as well. However, prisoners, no matter their party affiliation, are united by a common experience inside Israeli jails that may allow the movement to surmount looming divisions. 

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Noam Shalit: ‘Hamas has the right to capture Israeli soldiers’

Israeli Zionist hawks and their supporters around the world are very upset with the comments made by father of Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was captured five years ago by Palestinian freedom-fighters during a raid on a Jewish Army outpost. Shalit was released in a prisoner swap in October 2011.

Noam Shalit who is hoping to contest next Knesset elections for Opposition Labour Party is reported by British daily The Guardian (March 15, 2012) as saying “I will kidnap Israeli soldiers if I were a Palestinian“. Noam’s rant, though not based on facts – has provoked outrage among Israeli warmonger Zionist Jews and their partners-in-crimes in the US, Britain and France. The fact is, Jewish soldier Gilad Shalit was captured in a fight and was treated as ‘PoW’ by Hamas’ military wing.
Noam Shalit supported his statement by saying that in the past, Jewish terrorist groups Haganah and Irgun applied similar techniques against British soldiers in Palestine. “We also kidnapped British soldiers when we were fighting for our freedom“. Freedom from who, one wonders!

Gilad Shalit himself had irked the Israelis when in an interview before returning to Israel – he admitted that “he was treated well by his captors and hoped that his release will bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians“.

The Zionazi Jewish leaders are very allergic to historical facts. Not long ago, the current Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak had told daily Ha’aretz’s columnist, Gideon Levy: “If I were a Palestinian, I would have joined a (Resistance) terrorist organization“.

Speaking to a television interviewer from his family kitchen, Noam Shalit blasted Israeli government for not applying military or diplomatic muscles for the release of his son during his long captivity. He also said, as a Knesset member, he would be prepared to negotiate peace with Hamas – something the Zionist regime and its poodles in the US, UK, Germany, France, Australia and Canada refuse to do.
I am in favour of speaking to anyone who wants to talk to us,” he said. When asked whether he would negotiate with a Hamas government headed by his son’s kidnapper, he maintained: “If they change their ways and are willing to recognize Israelas a Jewish state, yes, I would shake his hand”.
Only when the Israeli pigs fly, Noam.

They want us to recognize the Israeli occupation and cease resistance but, as the representative of the Palestinian people and in the name of all the world’s freedom seekers, I am announcing from Azadi Square in Tehran that we will never recognize Israel. The resistance will continue until all Palestinian land, including al-Quds (Jerusalem), has been liberated and all the refugees have returned,” Ismail Haniyeh, democratically elected prime minister of Palestinian Territories, February 11, 2012.

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Israel Re-arrests Shalit-deal Palestinians, Hunger Strikes Start

Local Editor
Hana ShalabiOver the past few weeks, the Zionist occupation regime has re-arrested five Palestinian prisoners that were freed from ‘Israeli’ jails in October and December last year under the so-called Swap Deal.

The deal was mediated by Egypt to free 1,027 Palestinian inmates in exchange for Hamas-captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Female Palestinian prisoner Hana al-Shalabi is one of the re-arrested detainees. She has reportedly gone on a hunger strike since her arrest, 12 days ago.

Jaber Weshah, the deputy director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, said on Sunday the Israeli move is a “violation of the norms of the exchange and I think this should be highlighted internationally and Israel should abide by the agreement.”
Palestinian in Israeli prisonAccording to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, before the release of the 1,027 prisoners, about 6,000 Palestinian detainees were held in Israeli prisons.

Islam Abdo, a Hamas official, called on Egypt to “oblige Israel to respect the agreement and release the prisoners and also improve the detention conditions of the other Palestinian prisoners.”

Hana Shalbi, 30, said she was subjected to an embarrassing body search by a male Israeli soldier upon being detained and was assaulted when she resisted.

Shalbi stated that prison authorities have put her in periodic solitary confinement as punishment for her hunger strike.

Swap deal 2011This is the second high-profile hunger strike by an arrested Palestinian in recent months. Khader Adman, a senior official in the Islamic Jihad, ended a 67-day fast last week after the Zionist occupation authorities agreed to release him from administrative detention on April 17.
Administrative detention involves imprisonment without trial for up to six months, and it can be extended if the courts approve.

Shalbi is a resident of the West Bank village of Burkin near Jenin. She previously served 25 months under administrative detention; her detentions was repeatedly renewed.

Other administrative detainees have announced their intention to refuse to appear in ‘Israeli’ military courts starting on March 1. They say the courts extend administrative detention even when lacking evidence of any involvement in terrorism by the suspects.

Source: Websites

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Hamas at 24: Politics of Resistance in Changing Middle East

مهرجان انطلاقة حماس

Tens of thousands celebrate the 24rd anniversary of the Islamic movement Hamas in Gaza City 

By Ramzy Baroud

Ever since Hamas emerged victorious in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, myriad public opinion polls revealed that its popularity in the Occupied Territories was on a steady decline.
However, there are actually few indications that Hamas as a popular movement will be departing the Palestinian political landscape anytime soon.

Ongoing talks in Cairo between Hamas and Fatah officials, sometimes involving the Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas himself, indicate that Hamas’ imprint is likely to be felt in political institutions like the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the near future. 

In the few weeks following the latest round of unity talks between Abbas and Hamas’ leader, Khalid Mesha’al, in Cairo, Hamas has outdone itself in commemorating its anniversary. The Gaza rally on December 14 was a stage for Hamas leaders to recount the achievements of their movement over the course of 24 years, including the number of rockets fired at Israel since 2000 (the year the Second Uprising began) in retaliation for the numerous Israeli attacks and incursions. Such recounting was meant to assert that the armed wing of Hamas — a small force armed with homemade rockets and smuggled light weapons — was a strong contender to the Israeli army.

But what Hamas truly represented to the estimated 350,000 Gazans at the rally was not any illusion that the movement could single-handedly defeat the Israeli army. What Hamas has offered since its inception in December 1987 is the idea that resistance is actually still an option.

مهرجان انطلاقة حماس

“We affirm that armed resistance is our strategic option and the only way to liberate our land, from the sea to the river,” said Esmail Haniyeh, Hamas’ Prime Minister. “God willing, Hamas will lead the people … to the uprising until we liberate Palestine, all of Palestine.” Haniyeh also asserted that Hamas “will not recognize Israel” (AP, December 14).

The mere listing of these objectives is meant to delineate that the movement’s program remains true to the original goals it declared 24 years ago. Since then, Hamas has morphed in both popularity and political import. It has proven itself to be resourceful and resilient against all sorts of pressures, including the Israeli assassinations of several top tiers of its founders and political and military leaders.

 

The recent prisoner swap, which saw the freedom of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one Israeli soldier, is a testimony to Hamas’ ability to claim hard-earned achievements in the most difficult of circumstances.

However, the movement, which managed to survive successive Israeli wars and an economic siege, is facing one of its greatest challenges yet: unity talks with Fatah, which has always dominated the PLO. It is a great challenge because the Fatah leadership has yet to truly depart from an old political mindset keen on repeating political mistakes predicated on political exclusivity and domination over other PLO factions, favoritism, and the ability to co-exist with the Israeli occupation.

Hamas is, of course, guilty of some of Fatah’s mistakes. However, it also managed to successfully present itself as the bulwark of mouqawama (resistance) in the imagination of a large segment of the Palestinian population.

Since 2006, Hamas has also been attempting to learn the tricks of international politics, while maintaining its emphasis of armed resistance. Hamas’ political outreach has been neither a resounding success, nor a total failure.

Meanwhile, Israel’s attempt to destroy Hamas in its Cast Lead war of 2008-09 was an astounding military disaster. Military power obviously has its limits, and eradicating popular movements using illegal white phosphorous against civilians is just a bad idea (not to mention a war crime by any serious reading of international law).

Israel is unlikely to learn from its grievous military adventures, but Hamas continues to learn from adversity. It is finding ways to circumvent the Israeli siege, and to channel money from various Arab countries to rebuild Gaza.

But how long can Hamas remain committed to armed resistance, maintain an unofficial ceasefire with Israel, respond to Israeli incursions and airstrikes, carry on with unity talks and reconciliation with Fatah, rebuild Gaza under siege and break out from its political seclusion, while also remaining committed to its old charter?

There are ample readings of Hamas’ position in the currently changing political landscape of the Middle East. Some commentators argue that the movement is suffering a political crisis due to the uprising and civil war under way in Syria. Others have predicted Hamas’ regional ascendency based on the current political reshuffling in Egypt and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Either way, Hamas will most likely find ways to adjust and survive — if not thrive — under any possible scenario. The challenge, however, is maintaining a balance that would allow Hamas’ incorporation into the PLO – which could facilitate the end of its political isolation and permit its leaders to appeal to millions of Palestinians as the vanguard of Palestinian resistance.

 

The difficulties in maintaining both positions are already becoming clear. Mesha’al told AFP recently that “every people has the right to fight against occupation in every way, with weapons or otherwise. But at the moment, we want to cooperate with the popular resistance … We believe in armed resistance but popular resistance is a program which is common to all the factions” (Time online, November 27). This logic alone is a considerable shift from Hamas’ old resistance manual, and is not exactly consistent with Haniyeh’s recent speech in Gaza.

Will Hamas manage to keep one foot in the Abbas camp, and another in its old resistance-based political program? Even for a robust and resourceful movement like Hamas, such a conundrum may prove too difficult to solve.

– Ramzy Baroud – www.ramzybaroud.net – is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story. (This article was originally published in Gulf News – gulfnews.com)

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Second Phase of Swap Deal Completed: 550 Palestinian Prisoners Freed

Local Editor

550 Palestinian prisoners were freed on Sunday, in the second stage of a deal between the Zionist entity and the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas.

The majority of the freed prisoners returned to the West Bank, ruled by Fatah movement. The second stage of the deal included 41 prisoners returned to Gaza, two to east al-Quds (Jerusalem) two to Jordan and the remainder to the occupied West Bank.

Sunday’s release completes the Egyptian-brokered deal to exchange a total of 1,027 prisoners for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured by Hamas fighters in June 2006. Shalit returned home on October 18 when Israel freed the first batch of 477 prisoners.

Unlike the first stage, the second stage did not include anyone “with blood on their hands”. The October operation included hundreds of prisoners serving life for killing Zionists.


GREAT ACHIEVEMENT

For his part, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the movement welcomed the release of all prisoners, regardless of their political affiliation.

“We are proud of this great achievement,” he said.
He said Hamas leaders would welcome all returning prisoners, and offer them assistance with housing, employment and finding a spouse.



CLASHES BEFORE THE RELEASE

Hours before the release got underway, hundreds of Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers at a West Bank checkpoint. They were among the crowd gathered at Beitunia, southwest of Ramallah, anxiously awaiting their relatives who were being freed.
Tempers ran high and when youths began pushing the nearby security fence and throwing rocks, soldiers fired tear gas and stun grenades, witnesses said.

Source: Agencies

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