Sheikh Jarrah’s Activists Muna, Muhammed El-Kurd Make TIME Top 100 List

September 16, 2021

Mohammed and Muna el-Kurd. (Photo: via Twitter)

Time magazine has named Palestinian twins and activists, Muna and Muhammed El-Kurd of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The magazine said Muna and her twin brother Muhammed have become symbols of the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation’s attempts to evict Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah.

“Through online posts and media appearances, sibling activists Muhammed and Muna El-Kurd provided the world with a window into living under occupation in East Jerusalem this spring—helping to prompt an international shift in rhetoric in regard to Israel and Palestine,” the magazine wrote.

“Charismatic and bold, they became the most recognizable voices of those threatened with losing their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.”

A statement by Mohammed El-Kurd after he and his sister were designated by Time Magazine as being among the 100 most influential personalities in the world. https://t.co/c0jlTE7RBZ

— J. Shawa جاسم الشوا (@shawajason) September 15, 2021

In response to the announcement, Muhammed El-Kurd wrote: “My sister and I’s selection as part of the ‘100 most influential people in the world’ may be a positive indicator of the centralization of the Palestinian cause in the global public sphere. However, the creation of symbols – which reduces the struggle of a whole people to a single face – is not enough.”

“What we are demanding is a tangible, radical change in the media system (including the Times) to end its Zionist bias.”

“The untold story of Sheikh Jarrah, of Jerusalem – in fact, of all of Palestin,” Ramzy Baroud is at it again: Muna is Palestine, Yakub is Israel: The Untold Story of Sheikh Jarrah – https://t.co/JhsGfRkrM3 https://t.co/c5J8AH5wyp

— Nasser Rabbat (@nasserrabbat) May 15, 2021

The list also includes current US President Joe Biden, his predecessor Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Salvador President Nayib Bukele, who is of Palestinian origin, was also named.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

أبعد من نفق الحرية… معادلات جديدة

8 سبتمبر/ أيلول 2021

ناصر قنديل

عملية نفق الحرية التي نفذها القادة الأسرى الأبطال ليست بلا سياق كي نتوقف في قراءتها عند حدود البطولة والعزم والإرادة، كعناصر تختزنها العملية وتعبر عنها بقوة من جهة، فيما تعبر من جهة أخرى، عن حال الاهتراء والضعف والتراجع في حال كيان الاحتلال ومستوى جاهزية وتفوق إجراءاته الأمنية، وتطعن بفعالية مؤسساته العسكرية والاستخبارية والإدارية والقضائية في ردع المقاومين الفلسطينيين، وتقديم السجن المؤبد كنهاية حتمية لجيل المقاومين القادة، إعلاناً بإخراجهم نهائياً من حلبة الصراع، فالعملية التي نفذها قادة مقاومون أصحاب رؤية ودور فاعل في رسم سياق النضال الوطني الفلسطيني، تأتي في سياق فهمهم لتنامي هاتين المعادلتين، معادلة تعبّر عن القوس الصاعد بثبات لحضور الشعب الفلسطيني ومقاومته، ومعادلة تعبّر عن القوس الهابط بثبات أيضاً، لحضور وفعالية المؤسسة العسكرية والأمنية لكيان الاحتلال، بصفتها العصب الوجودي لهذا الكيان.

تأتي العملية ضمن سياق متلاحق على إيقاع سريع لوجهة واحدة، هي وجهة هذا الصعود والتألق في حضور الفلسطينيين شعباً وناشطين ومقاومة مسلحة، لفرض معادلات بدأت مع انتفاضة شباب القدس وحي الشيخ جراح والحضور في المسجد الأقصى، لتتوّجها صواريخ المقاومة الرادعة لحماية المقدسات، والتي انتهت بمواجهة سيف القدس التي كسرت خلالها مهابة ردع جيش الاحتلال لتحل مكانه عبر الصواريخ التي أحيت ليل تل أبيب معادلة الردع الفلسطينية، وبالتوازي تزامنت المواجهة مع ظهور عامل خطير تمثل بنهوض ظاهرة شباب الأراضي المحتلة العام 48 وإسقاط لمعادلة توصيفهم بـ»عرب إسرائيل»، وإعادة إنتاج موقعهم الحاسم في النضال الوطني الفلسطيني، على قاعدة رفض الاحتلال والاستيطان، وبعد تثبيت معادلة سيف القدس تواصلت حركة فلسطينيي الداخل، بصفتها تعبيراً عن توازن جديد غير قابل للكسر، وظهر المستوطنون في حال تراجع مع عمليات الهجرة التي سجلتها المدن والبلدات المختلطة بالنسبة لعشرات العائلات اليهودية، بما أعاد إحياء الصورة الأصلية لهذه البلدات والمدن، كجزء من الجغرافيا الفلسطينية، كما وصف نواب الجماعات المتطرفة للمستوطنين في مداخلاتهم تحت قبة الكنيست ما جرى في مدينة اللد، وترافق هذا المشهد المزدوج بين غزة والأراضي المحتلة عام 48 بحركة نضالية متصاعدة وثابتة الحضور في بلدات جوار القدس بوجه المستوطنين وامتدت إلى الضفة الغربية بتعبيرات مختلفة كانت أبرزها مواجهة بالسلاح في جنين سقط فيها أربعة شهداء، أعقبتها الطلقة الفلسطينية من مسافة صفر التي قتلت القناص الإسرائيلي في فوهة جدار غزة، وما تركته من تداعيات على صورة الآلة العسكرية الإسرائيلية أمام النهوض الفلسطيني الجديد، وفي تحول ربما يكون الأهم على الصعيد السياسي جاء التراجع الكبير في صورة السلطة الفلسطينية شعبياً، مع تحركات تشكك بوطنيتها وشرعيتها، مسجلة تحولاً جديداً لا يقل أهمية عن التحولات الموازية، وهو سقوط الشرعية الشعبية عن التنسيق الأمني الذي يربط أجهزة الاحتلال مع أجهزة السلطة الفلسطينية، وكانت الذروة مع استشهاد المقاوم نزار بنات، والانتفاضة التي رافقت استشهاده، بوجه السلطة وأجهزتها، من بوابة عنوان عريض لا للتنسيق مع الاحتلال ، ما حدا بالعديد من مسؤولي الأمن والاستخبارات والمحللين والخبراء الأمنيين في كيان الاحتلال للتحذير من خطورة انهيار السلطة وأجهزتها، أمام عجزها عن تحمل تبعات التنسيق الأمني والأحمال التي يرتبها على السلطة، مسجلاً سقوطها الأخلاقي بعيون الفلسطينيين، في ظل الغياب الكامل لكل المشاريع السياسية التي كانت تشكل غطاء تبرير التنسيق وتشرعنه، وظهور وعي فلسطيني ينظر بعين الريبة لكل وعود جديدة تطرح على هذا الصعيد، سواء في ظل حكومة بنيامين نتنياهو أو حكومة نفتالي بينيت.

الذي يمنح هذه التحولات قيمة استراتيجية واستثنائية، ويجعل عملية نفق الحرية تزخيماً لمسار يبشر بلحظة نوعية قادمة حكماً، هو أنها تجري في مناخ دولي وإقليمي مليء بالمتغيرات التي تسير بالاتجاه ذاته، اتجاه التراجع لكيان الاحتلال وحليفه وداعمه الأول الذي تمثله الهيمنة الأميركية على المنطقة والعالم، فتحت ظلال معادلة القدس تعادل حرباً إقليمية أنجز تكامل التنسيق بين قوى وحكومات محور المقاومة، وتحت عنوان سفن المقاومة لجلب المحروقات من إيران إلى لبنان أرض لبنانية فرضت معادلة الردع في البحار على الكيان، وتحت عنوان مشابه دعت المقاومة للبدء بالحفر والتنقيب عن الغاز والنفط تحت حماية صواريخها، وجاء الانهزام غير المسبوق للأميركي في أفغانستان وما رافقه من ذل، لم تنجح محاولات التمويه والتغطية بتحويله إلى انسحاب منسق يتم تسويقه بصفته علامة مهابة القوة العظمى، فجاء مقتل الجنود المغادرين وإصرار الإدارة الأميركية على مواصلة الانسحاب قطعاً لكل جدل حول الهزيمة المحققة التي تمثل طليعة خروج أميركي من آسيا، لم يعد ممكناً تفاديه، وترجمت العملية العسكرية السورية في منطقة درعا الواقعة تحت أنف قاعدة التنف وعلى حدود القواعد الأميركية في الأردن والعراق والحدود مع الجولان المحتل، أكبر اختبار للحقائق الجديدة وأهم إثبات طازج على المعادلات التي ترسمها، ولم يكن الكلام الأميركي الذي ترجم بخطوات عملية لفتح الطريق لرفع العقوبات التي يفرضها قانون قيصر على استجرار الكهرباء الأردنية والغاز المصري إلى لبنان عبر سورية، إلا تعبيراً عن محدودية هوامش المناورة المتاحة أمام الإدارة الأميركية في مواجهة تمدد مساحات معادلات الردع التي ينقلها محور المقاومة من مدى إلى مدى جديد، كما فعلت سفن المقاومة بنقل معادلة الردع إلى البحار، فوجد الأميركي اضطراراً أن القبول بتثبيت نتائجها في البر، رد للضرر الأعلى بالضرر الأدنى.

عملية نفق الحرية تأتي لتتوج هذا السياق المتسارع، تأكيداً لثنائية، مناخ فلسطيني جديد يشمل الشعب وفصائل المقاومة والنشطاء والنخب وشباب وصبايا الجيل الرابع، يرتكز على الشعور بالقوة، مفعم بالحيوية، مليء بالمبادرات، غير قابل للاحتواء، غير آبه بالتضحيات، قادر على فرض المعادلات، يتحرك تحت عنوان كل فلسطين لنا، ويضع السلطة بين خيارات صعبة، وكيان الاحتلال بين خيارات أصعب، وبالمقابل كيان مترهل، يشعر بالضعف، يتشظى سياسياً ويتراجع أمنياً، لا يملك هامش الاختيار للمناورة بين حرب يخشاها، وتسوية لا يقدر على رفع فواتيرها بما يجعلها قابلة للتداول، فهو بين شاقوفي مقاومة شعبية وعسكرية متصاعدة واثقة من أن كل معركة تقربها شوطاً من تحقيق أهدافها، ومستوطنين يزدادون تطرفاً وتوحشاً وشكوكاً بصدقية حكوماتهم، وهو عالق في منتصف الطريق بين مواجهة هذه الروح الفلسطينية الجديدة، فلا يجرؤ على تحديها والمضي في التحدي حتى النهاية، وبين التعامل مع عدمية وعبثية التطرف الاستيطاني الذي يشكل البيئة الانتخابية لصاعة السياسة، لا يجرؤ على تخطيها والقفز فوقها لإطلاق مبادرات سياسية تتجاوز الكلام الإنشائي الفارغ.

لحظة دراماتيكية لتلاقي هذا القوس الفلسطيني الصاعد وهذا القوس الإسرائيلي الهابط ستشعل المنازلة الشاملة، وتنشئ حقائق جديدة تشبه لحظة ولادة التحرير في غزة، لتشق الطريق نحو مسار تراكمي جديد، يضع الكيان بين خياري المضي في حرب شاملة قد تكون آخر حروبه، أو التساكن مع متغيرات تزيد هزاله وتعمق حال التراجع الاستراتيجي، وتمنح خيار المقاومة مساحات إضافية في توازن الردع والتحرير، على قاعدة معادلة «القدس أقرب»، والمعادلة التي سبقتها «إسرائيل أوهن من بيت العنكبوت» التي جاءت عملية نفق الحرية أبرز تجسيد حي لحضورها.

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Video: Innumerable Ways Canada Supports Israeli Apartheid

A Canadian Foreign Policy Institute panel

By Michael WelchBianca Mugyenyi, and Yves Engler

Global Research, August 08, 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). 

Visit and follow us on Instagram at @crg_globalresearch.

***

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

The violence between Israelis and Palestinians went up substantially in May of this year.

A dust-up which began with protests over the threat of the Supreme Court of Israel authorizing the eviction of six families from Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem led to Israeli forces storming the compound of the Al-Aqsa mosque. Before long, the conflict arose between Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad firing rockets, and Israel launching 1500 land, sea, and airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. When the dust settled after an 11 day rampage, 256 Palestinians, 66 of whom were children, perished. Israel by contrast lost 13 people including 2 children.

This episode of terror is most likely not going to end given the failures of past attempts to settle the dispute. As many episodes of Global Research have made clear, the United States have used so-called peace deals to harness more power to them, with Israel as their junior partner.

However, there is another player on the stage that similarly steered the course on the side of Israel against the Palestinians. As outspoken author Yves Engler has pointed out in his book Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid, both of the governing parties in our home and native land and even the Left are promoting Israel.

On this week’s program, we present a panel discussion produced by the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute entitled Innumerable Ways Canada Supports Israeli Apartheid – And What We Can Do About it.

The Canadian Foreign Policy Institute is a non-partisan organization which seeks to inform people living in Canada about the country’s diplomatic, aid, intelligence, trade and military policies abroad which are at odds with their self-portrait as a benevolent force around the world. Its director is Bianca Mugyenyi who will function as the moderator for the discussion.

Yves Engler is one of Canada’s foremost Canadian foreign policy critics and dissidents. He is the author of ten books on Canadian foreign policy including House of Cards: Justin Trudeau’s Foreign Policy (2020), and Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid (2010). His articles have appeared at rabble.ca, canadiandimension.com, and on his own site yvesengler.com.

Jonathan Kuttab is an international human rights lawyer and a co-founder of Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq and of Nonviolence International.

Karen Rodman is a reverend and a founder of Just Peace Advocates.

Bianca Mugyenyi is an activist, a journalist and the director of the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM out of the University of Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

Other stations airing the show:

CIXX 106.9 FM, broadcasting from Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. It airs Sundays at 6am.

WZBC 90.3 FM in Newton Massachusetts is Boston College Radio and broadcasts to the greater Boston area. The Global Research News Hour airs during Truth and Justice Radio which starts Sunday at 6am.

Campus and community radio CFMH 107.3fm in  Saint John, N.B. airs the Global Research News Hour Fridays at 7pm.

CJMP 90.1 FM, Powell River Community Radio, airs the Global Research News Hour every Saturday at 8am. 

Caper Radio CJBU 107.3FM in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia airs the Global Research News Hour starting Wednesday afternoon from 3-4pm.

Cowichan Valley Community Radio CICV 98.7 FM serving the Cowichan Lake area of Vancouver Island, BC airs the program Thursdays at 9am pacific time.

Sheikh Jarrah: Israeli Court Wants Palestinian Homeowners to Pay ‘Rent’ to Jewish Settlers

August 2, 2021

Palestinian and Israeli activists protest against house evictions in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. (Photo: via Activestills.org)

Israel’s Supreme Court today offered Palestinian residents of the occupied Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood ‘protected residence’ status, saying that if they pay rent to the settler organization which claims the land on which their homes are built, their properties will not be demolished.

The families have rejected the proposition, objecting to Nahalat Shimon’s claims of ownership and subsequent plans for their forcible eviction, Ir Amim reported.

The Israeli Supreme Court suggests to recognise the 4 Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah as “protected tenants” of their own homes in lieu of acknowledging the settlers’ ownership of their homes.
This unfair suggestion was totally rejected by the families.#savesheikhjarrah pic.twitter.com/PQ4fZ15Nej

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) August 2, 2021

The hearing took place before a panel of three judges – Yitzhak Amit, Noam Sohlberg and Daphne Barak-Erez, who were ruling on a leave to appeal request submitted by the El-Kurd, Jaouni, Abu Hasna, and Askafi families who are facing eviction from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah by the Nahalat Shimon settler company.

Both sides subsequently presented arguments, and the hearing concluded without the handing down of a court ruling. The justices are expected to issue a decision within the coming days concerning the continuation of proceedings.

According to one of the attorneys representing the families, an additional hearing on the matter will likely be scheduled. Originally slated for early May, the hearing was deferred until now to allow for the Attorney General to weigh his intervention in the case, which he ultimately declined.

#SheikhJarrah#Palestinian Families Await Critical Israeli High Court Decision; #Settlers Attack Protesters https://t.co/jm8g80A0aZ via @PalestineChron #SaveSheikhJarrah pic.twitter.com/TEQzKMWbT6

— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) August 2, 2021

The court’s decision, in this case, will likely impact the additional families from the Kerem Al-Jaouni section of Sheikh Jarrah facing eviction lawsuits filed by Nahalat Shimon, including the case of the Dajani, Daoudi, and Hammad families, likewise pending at the Supreme Court.

On July 28, the attorney representing the three aforementioned families submitted a request to postpone their eviction date set for yesterday.

In response, the Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction, provisionally freezing their eviction and asking the settler group to respond by 8 August. While the three families have likewise filed a leave to appeal request to the Supreme Court, neither a hearing has been scheduled, nor a decision rendered.

Israeli occupiiers abuse Palestinian children; tell the el-Kurds they’ll be arrested if they walk on the pavement #SaveSheikhJarrah #Apartheid pic.twitter.com/OSxklecaH5

— Sarah Wilkinson (@swilkinsonbc) August 2, 2021

Currently, there are open eviction lawsuits against a total of approximately 50-60 families in Sheikh Jarrah (30 families – Kerem Al-Jaouni section and 20-30 families – Um Haroun section), which are at various stages of legal proceedings.

Many more families are at risk of receiving eviction demands due to land registration procedures the Israeli authorities underhandedly began in occupied East Jerusalem in 2020 for the first time since 1967.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

20 Palestinians Injured As Zionist Settlers Attack Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood

Source

20 Palestinians Injured As Zionist Settlers Attack Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood

By Staff, Agencies

At least 20 Palestinians were injured while defending themselves when Zionist settlers and ‘security’ forces stormed the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east al-Quds on Monday night, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported.

Additionally, four other Palestinians were detained by the occupation forces overnight, KAN News reported.

In the same context, four Palestinian minors, ranging in ages from 12 to 14 years, sustained injuries after being pepper-sprayed in the face by a Zionist settler in the neighborhood, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

A Jewish settler pepper-sprayed the girls, causing them burns on their faces.

The settler chased after the four girls after pepper spraying them and then filed a complaint with the Zionist police, who detained two Palestinian youth after the attack and did nothing to the settler.

Dozens of families in Sheikh Jarrah have been facing the imminent risk of forced expulsion from their homes for the benefit of Zionist settlers.

No Signs of ‘Israeli’ Intentions to Solve Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis – Sinwar

22/06/2021

No Signs of ‘Israeli’ Intentions to Solve Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis - Sinwar

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance movement Hamas in the besieged Gaza Strip, Yehya Sinwar, expressed dissatisfaction with “bad” talks with United Nations diplomats supporting an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with ‘Israel,’ saying the Zionist regime has no will to end the humanitarian crisis in the enclave.

UN Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland arrived in Gaza on Monday for talks with Hamas leaders, one month after the fragile Egypt-mediated ceasefire ended 11 days of onslaught by the occupying entity on the coastal enclave.

“The meeting was bad, it was not at all positive,” Sinwar told reporters.

“They listened to us attentively. The roots of the problem must be resolved and unfortunately, there are no signs that there are intentions towards solving the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip,” Sinwar added.

Meanwhile, a source in Hamas, who asked not to be identified, also said the UN envoy had delivered a “negative message” from the Tel Aviv regime to Hamas, without giving further details.

The UN declined to make any comment about the meeting.

The Tel Aviv regime claimed Monday that it had allowed the “limited export” of farm produce to begin and trucks carrying clothes and fabrics to leave.

However, Sinwar rejected the claim and said the occupation regime did nothing to change the situation in Gaza.

The occupation regime continues to block international aid, as well as critical fuel deliveries needed for the electricity plant, and restrict movement, including fishermen in the Mediterranean, the Hamas official added.

“It is clear that the occupation continues to practice its policies against us and our people in the Gaza Strip,” Sinwar said.

“We told the representatives of the United Nations that we will not accept this matter.”

Tel Aviv launched the bombing campaign against the besieged Gaza Strip on May 10, following Palestinian retaliation against violent raids on worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque and the regime’s plans to force a number of Palestinian families out of their homes at the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East al-Quds.

Apparently caught off guard by the unprecedented barrage of rockets from Gaza, the Tel Aviv regime announced a unilateral ceasefire on May 21, which Palestinian resistance movements accepted with Egyptian mediation.

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 260 Palestinians were martyred in the ‘Israeli’ offensive, including 66 children, 40 women and 16 elderly while 1,948 others were wounded.

In response, Palestinian resistance factions fired more than 4,000 rockets and missiles into the occupied territories, killing 12 Zionist settlers.

Zionist Ethnic Cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood and the Silwan Village

19/06/2021

See the source image
By Dr. Zuhair Sabbagh | June 19, 2021

In order to understand the issue of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Zionist entity and its tools in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in colonized Jerusalem, we must not address it in the Zionist colonial settler context because it lacks scientific credibility. In order to solve this problem, we have to ask and answer the following questions: Who is the real side that legally owns the properties of the “Jewish Quarter” in colonized Jerusalem? Who legally owns the real estate of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the Silwan village? What follows is a serious attempt to answer these two questions.

Who is the Legal Owner of the Real Estate of the “Jewish Quarter”?

As a result of capitalist contradictions and class conflicts that led to the birth and development of nationalist movements in Europe, European Jewish communities suffered arbitrary persecutions, which included a number of massacres against them. These campaigns of arbitrary persecution have prompted large numbers of European Jews to emigrate from Eastern Europe, particularly Tsarist Russia, to Western Europe. Some of these Jews emigrated also to the Ottoman Empire, particularly to the rising city of Jerusalem.

When the persecution of Jews intensified in a number of European countries in 1880, 

Youssef ibn Rahamim Miyohas arrived in Jerusalem seeking help. Abed Rabbo son of Khalil son of Ibrahim, a resident of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, rented him a plot of land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood for 90 years. Due to the fact that the land was an Islamic trust land, this lease allows Jews to rent land and prohibits the sale of land to them under Ottoman regulations and laws. 1

In his research article entitled “Guests, then Renters, then Settlers”, Abed Al-Raoof Arnaoot, a Palestinian researcher, reported that after Miyohas signed the rent agreement, he brought 62 Jews to the location and divided the rented land into 62 pieces, which enabled each of them to build a small house of tens to hundreds of meters in area. They then lived in these houses. 2

The land was then registered in the name of Abed Rabbo, the person in charge of this Islamic trust. This is proven in the Turkish property ownership documents which are still owned by both the Abed Rabbo family and the Hijazi family. 3

In addition, the credible historical references indicate that “the year 1880 and its aftermath witnessed a remarkable influx of thousands of Jews from Europe to Jerusalem after facing persecutions. The then Ottomanic laws allowed the rental of these lands by Jews, but not their sale. According to Ottoman laws, Islamic trust lands are legally permitted for lease but are not legally allowed to be sold. 4

According to a reputable and highly credible scientific reference, 85 percent of the real estate in the ‘Jewish Quarter’ was owned by Muslim Arabsin the Ottoman period. This real estate belonged to the Islamic trusts. As is well known, Islamic trusts are prohibited from selling their real estate and are only allowed to rent it.

In 1968, the Zionist state expropriated for public usage 12 percent of the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, which included the “Jewish Quarter”. The equivalent of 80 percent of the expropriated area was not Jewish property.6 These expropriated properties were put up for sale only to the Israeli and Jewish publics.

Thus, the credible historical references undoubtedly prove that the territory of the so-called “Jewish Quarter” is mostly the land of the “waqf” Islamic trusts. As is also well known, Islamic trusts are prohibited from selling their property because they are endowed for the benefit of a social purpose or for the benefit of a mosque or a religious place. The land of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is leased land owned by Islamic trusts. Mr. Abed Rabbo al-Saadi, who is the custodian of the bulk of the land, confirms that: “In 1880, some Jews emigrated to Jerusalem, they were in a deplorable state, they came to our ancestors and asked them to lease them this land, and because of their situation and persecution in Europe, our ancestors agreed. Our ancestors agreed to lease the land to a Jewish person named Yusuf ibn Rahamim Miyohas.” 7

Here we can come to the firm conclusion that the Jews who inhabited the so-called “Jewish Quarter” during the Ottoman rule rented their homes from Arabs and Islamic trusts, and did not buy them, because Islamic trusts do not sell their property. Legally, the majority of Jews are not owners of the properties they lived in, but remain tenants. Therefore, they are not entitled to claim ownership of this real estate. These properties are owned exclusively, and mostly by Islamic trusts.

How the Guardian of the Property of the Absentees Turned into a Despicable Thief

According to a credible research that was carried out by two Israeli criminologists, Uzi Livia and Ariel Aboksis, the state of Israel reached in total area of 20,770 square kilometers (more than four and a half million dunams) at the end of the Zionist war of aggression, which began on November 30, 1947 and ended on July 30, 1949. Most of this area, was considered to be the property of the absentees, i.e. Palestinian refugees, and constituted 77 percent of the total area of the Zionist entity. The absentees, a Zionist term, were “Arabs who “left”, and there are those who say they were “expelled” and/or “fled”, during the war of independence. Absentees’ property includes real estate, land, workshops, factories, bank accounts and movable property.” 8

After the end of the war, the newly established Zionist State designated a custodian on the property of Palestinian refugees and gave him a temporary role, with established legal arrangement to determine that role. Uzi Livia and Ariel Aboksis explain this role as follows:

… Basically, these laws are based on the principle that in a period of war, the government temporarily uses these properties for the benefit of the war effort. Its role is to preserve the property for the benefit of their owners or for war damage compensation, in order to return it to them when the state of emergency is abolished. Under this concept, the custodian was given only a temporary role. His primary duty was to preserve the property of those absentees in the transitional period. 9

The justification set by the Zionist state for the “temporary” seizure of the property of Palestinian refugees was that,

Because of their status as hostile citizens, that are located outside the country, under arrest or under surveillance, the law does not allow them to use their property as long as hostilities are under way. The moment the owners stop being absent, the custodian must return their property to them. Therefore, he cannot make a permanent and final decision on the property that he holds temporarily. For the same reason, he can rent property for only a short period of time, which does not exceed five years, and is not authorized to sell or transfer this property to others in an irreversible manner. 10

As a result of the limitations imposed by the law, the custodian of the property of the absentees requested, in 1949, that the government expand his powers so that, for example, he can transfer or lease property for a longer period than five years and also provide him with freedom of disposal, in order to allow the property to be placed in the service of the colonial settlement and colonial objectives of the Zionist entity. This required the enactment of a new law. 11

All requests of the custodian regarding the expansion of his powers were accepted, and the Zionist parliament enacted the “Absentee Property Act of 1950”. Under this law, all property owned by refugees, including the property of the Islamic Waqf,12 was transferred to the absolute control of the Zionist state, represented by the Zionist custodian on the property of refugees. Thus, the power of the custodian has been transformed into a government institution that is the richest in the Zionist state. 13

It is worth mentioning that the establishment of peace between the Arabs and the Zionist entity required talks and concessions, especially on the issue of the return of the Palestinian refugees. The Zionists opposed the return or compensation of the refugees and threw the blame for the creation of the refugee problem on the Arab side, and falsely accused the Arab side of rejecting peace. Historical facts prove that those who ethnically cleansed the Palestinians and that those who occupied half of the Palestinian proposed state under the Partition Resolution, were the Zionist side. 14 These facts have been confirmed by the two researchers Uzi Livia and Ariel Aboksis, who wrote that:

Thus, we believe that the first seeds of Israel’s anti-peace stance have been cultivated in Israel’s position on the return of refugees, which Israel has sharply opposed. All sources of living for Arab refugees who previously lived in the State of Israel has been completely obliterated. Their economy has been destroyed, so their re-absorption into Israel will produce a social and financial problem that is much worse than the arrangement of their absorption in every other country. 15

Thus, the Zionist State plundered and acted freely and without restrictions regarding the property of the Palestinian refugees, selling and renting it as it wished. In order to establish a false legal cover for this theft, the Parliament of the Zionist entity enacted the so-called “Absentee Property Act of 1950.” According to this law, the role of the custodian of the property of the absentees has changed from a “custodian” with temporary and limited powers, to a despicable thief armed with a settler colonial law. Here, the Zionist State has pursued, in its policies towards the property of the indigenous population, a settler colonial approach that is very similar to that pursued by all settler colonial states such as: the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa during the Apartheid regime, and Algeria under French settler colonialism. When comparing them with each other, one notices the great similarities among them regarding the course of action they adopted towards the lands of the indigenous population. Of course, there are special characteristics for each settler colonial project, and there is a different historical context. 

Today, the Zionist colonial entity is using the Absentee Property Act of 1950 to give justification and legal cover to all ethnic cleansing carried out in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, Al-Khan al-Ahmar, the Al-Walaji village, Jaffa, Hebron and the Negev region.

The Zionist entity uses all its colonial tools to carry out operations associated with ethnic cleansing such as unjust law, false documents, complicit colonial courts, colonial police and army, herds of armed and violent settlers, and settlement organizations financed with American money from Jews and others. All of them, under the leadership of the extremist colonial government of the Zionist right-wing parties, are carrying out a fierce offensive campaign of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian population. The focus of this study will be on the ethnic cleansing campaigns that are taking  place in Sheikh Jarrah and Salwan.

Preparing for Ethnic Cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood

Ethnic cleansing in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood began with the settlement organizations of “Benvenisti Endowment”, “Ateret Cohanim”, “the Nahlat Shamoun Limited”, and “El-Aad Society”, filing legal proceedings in Israeli courts against the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The first cases began in 1972, in which they claimed that Palestinian-inhabited houses were owned by Yemeni Jews. Lawyers for these organizations provided fake documents to prove their ownership.

In return, the Palestinians submitted their documents from Turkish agreements, and official receipts that clearly show that the land is Arab and owned by Islamic trusts, and that the Jews rented it from their owners and did not own it. The Palestinians have proved that they are the real owners of the land and that the land of the Islamic Trust is not sold, but is rented.

“We have provided all the documents,” said Yahya Abed Rabbo al-Saadi, who was the custodian for the bulk of the land in Sheikh Jarrah: “We presented to the court all the documents which prove Palestinian ownership of the land. These documents were issued to us by the Islamic Shari’a Court in Jerusalem, the Ottoman Archives in Ankara, and the Land Department of Amman…” 16 The Zionist Central Court refused to accept these documents, arguing that the court does not recognize them as valid documents.

For its part, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry sent 14 official documents concerning Sheikh Jarrah’s houses to the Palestinian Authority. These documents show that in 1956, the Jordanian Ministry of Development and the UNRWA refugee agency, concluded an agreement with 28 Palestinian refugee families under which 28 housing units were built in the Al-Jani vineyard to house them. UNRWA’s condition was for Palestinian refugees to relinquish their legal status as refugees. After three years, their ownership will be legally established. 17 For reasons that remain unknown, these families have not been able to register the land in their names. Consequently, these Jordanian documents have been submitted to the Zionist Central Court, which also rejected them.

In 2010, cartographer Khalil Tofakji traveled to Istanbul. At the Ottoman State Archives he found documents which prove that the territory of Sheikh Jarrah is Palestinian and owned by Palestinians, which is contrary to the Zionist claim. These documents have been submitted to the Israeli court. 18

The Zionist Central Court rejected both the Jordanian and Tofakji’s documents and claimed that it did not recognize their credibility. The court then issued an order to adopt the Zionist position which was based on fake documents and false allegations. This has always been the controversial approach of the Israeli courts.

The Role of Zionist Judicial Institutions in Land Cases

The writer Abdelkader Badawi believes that these Zionist judicial institutions have an important role in the settler colonial system and that they provide the Zionist government with a legal cover for the plunder of Palestinian property. No matter how fragile and discredited this cover may be, the oppression and arrogance of the Zionist entity and its instruments, make the settlers’ cases successful through falsification and when unjust judicial decisions are made, the Palestinians have no real power to change them. It is a racist and colonial justice that is devoid of justice, fairness and credibility. The writer further believes that,

It is customary in the Israeli judiciary system to accept the account of Jews and settlers, particularly in matters of land and property, without paying attention to the nature or eligibility of legal justifications, as these institutions have already existed to be, among other objectives and endeavors, an instrument of the settler colonial system to control the land, and to overcome all legal obstacles to this goal. 19

The writer Abdelkader Badawi stated that Zionist settler colonial associations played a big role “… Through its expansionist post-occupation settlement activities, which have never been separated from the activity, in support of successive Israeli governments, as well as, the Israeli judicial system. They constituted a tool of the Israeli settler colonial system of control, expropriation, displacement and expulsion…” 20 

These associations have emerged as “… a representative of the settlers, through the legal cases it filed in the Israeli courts requesting the evacuation of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood from its Palestinian residents…” 21

The Process of Ethnic Cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah

After the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, and its illegal annexation of it to Israel by the Zionist entity, “… The residents of The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood were surprised when two Jewish committees registered, in 1972, the ownership of the Palestinian-owned 18-dunum land, in settler’s name at the Israeli Department of Lands.” 22

Commenting on the Zionist courts and their arbitrary decisions against the Palestinian population in Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinian-American writer Stephen Salaita wrote that,

Palestinians don’t need to respect the institutions of the Zionist state precisely because those institutions negate the Palestinians’ simplest political imperative: existence. Those institutions represent the machinery of colonization. All settler colonies come equipped with a legal apparatus to validate their cruelty. We cannot expect Western pundits and politicians to question the institutional logic so harmful to Palestinians, for their own legitimacy is contingent on the reproduction of state power. 23

Salaita elaborates on his explanation of the logic on which the idea is based that “property is Jewish” and that the Zionist state seeks to restore it and return it to Jewish ownership. 

More nonsensically, we’re asked to assign ethnic characteristics to abstractions and inanimate objects. The basis for Israel’s aggression in Sheikh Jarrah (as throughout all of historic Palestine) is repossession of so-called Jewish property. The property, in other words, doesn’t belong to people who happen to be Jewish. The property itself is Jewish—nobody can specify which denomination—and is therefore fit only for a certain kind of inhabitant. The property has some kind of innate disposition. It is apparently capable of worship. It becomes a crass approximation of humanity. Endowing housing units with confessional qualities exemplifies the problem of prioritizing property over sentient life:  a dwelling has no utility beyond the project of demographic engineering. Under the Zionist regime, even brick and mortar are sectarian. 24

Both Noura Erikat and Mariam Barghouthi described the atmosphere at today’s Sheikh Jarrah as being “… practically a war zone as armed Israeli settlers, under the protection of Israeli police, terrorize the Palestinian residents. These are the very settlers who are looking to kick out families, including El-Kurd’s.” 25

The Settlers are Cowardly Thieves

I have observed Zionist colonial settlers for a number of years. I have also studied their conduct and explored their ideology. Based on my close observation of their conduct inside Israel proper, as well as inside the colonized territories of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Syrian Heights, I can certainly state the following.

All Zionist settlers are armed militia of fascists, psychologically deranged, cowards as individuals, and work with great passion as mercenaries of the Zionist settler colonial regime. They’re armed with guns and their Jewish religiosity is nothing but a fragile cover to hide their obnoxious behavior. They are inhuman, school dropouts and have a psycho-social willingness to earn their living by theft, bullying and extreme violence. They work in small groups that look like flocks of wild hyenas that go after their victims and keep tirelessly attempting to eat their flesh. They lack any human moral system but they seem to possess a capitalist system of robbers’ morality. In contrast to this distorted human situation, the Zionist and settler colonial class system is ready to defend their violent banditry behavior because it is itself an inhuman system that uses extreme colonial violence against the indigenous Palestinian population. In addition, the Zionist settler regime deploys the settlers in its colonial schemes. Consequently, the Zionist colonial system is extremely violent. It cannot live in tranquility and thus is unable to conduct a calm and civilized dialogue with the indigenous Palestinians.

Some settlers admit that they are thieves who steal Palestinian houses, some of whom openly admit it, such as the settler who lives in half of Mona al-Kurd’s house, where he told her, “If I don’t steal, your house it will be stolen by someone else,” said Mona al-Kurd, a young Palestinian woman who accused him of stealing her home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. 26

Other settlers hide their motives by offering bribes with a threat to the owner of the house. Zuhair Rajabi, who lives in Sheikh Jarrah’s neighborhood in a house with his wife and four children, said the settlers “tried to bribe me by paying 1 million shekels [$300,000], provided I will leave my house quietly. When I refused, they threatened to put me in prison. They then sent the Israeli police to my house to try to arrest me, claiming that I physically attacked the man who was suing me.” 27

These two examples could serve as a proof that the settlers do not own these houses and that the Israeli courts are complicit in the plunder of the indigenous Palestinians.

Inhuman Colonial Brutality

The methods of removing Palestinians from their homes are varied, but some are carried out with extreme cruelty and inhumanity, as happened to the Al-Ghawi family.

Nuha Atiyeh, a resident of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood recalls the following incident. “I watched the doors of our neighbors, the Al-Ghawi family, crash during a black night. The women were evicted by force and were thrown, in their night clothes, outside their house. This scene doesn’t escape my imagination. I remember taking some clothes from my house and giving them to the women.” 28

As a result of dozens of lawsuits filed by the settlers’ committees at the Zionist Central Court in Jerusalem, the Court issued a decision to vacate against 28 Palestinian nuclear families. The total number of people facing expulsion for settlers reached 500, including 111 children. 29/sup>

The Central Zionist Court itself ruled that seven other families would leave their homes from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood by August 1, 2021. In total, an additional 58 people, including 17 children, are to be forcibly displaced to allow Jewish settlers to occupy their homes. 30 The Zionist Central Court also ruled that four families — Kurd, Skaif, Qasim and Al-Jawaani — must leave their homes for settlers, or reach an agreement with these settler organizations by paying rent and recognizing settlers as landowners. 31

Here we clearly see that there are no limits to settler’s arrogance and no limits to colonial insolence, as aggressors and thieves ask real house owners to pay their rent for their houses to the thieves. Of course, if the real Palestinian house owners had acquiesced to this request, they would have lost their right to property.

Ethnic Cleansing in Silwan

In 2002, the custodian of Absentee Property transferred land from the village of Silwan to the “Benvenesti Development Fund”, whose administration belongs to the settler organization “Ateret Cohanim”. This decision was upheld by the Jerusalem District Court, and the transfer was made without informing the Palestinian residents living on the land since the 1950s, and who have contracts to prove it. 32

The colonial settlement project in the village of Silwan began “in 2004, when two outposts were established in the village. By 2014, there were six outposts ranging from apartments for individuals and entire buildings. “Since then, the “Ateret Cohanim” committee has submitted eviction orders against other Palestinian families. In 2017, Palestinian residents petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to challenge the evictions, arguing that in accordance with applicable Ottoman law at that time, the property applied only on buildings, which no longer exist, but not on the same land… 33

Similar to what happened in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, on 26 May 2021, the Jerusalem District Court held a hearing on the forced eviction of some 108 Palestinians from 18 families from their homes in the Batan al-Hawa neighborhood of Silwan. The Jewish “Benvenisti Development Fund” claims to own 5.2 dunums of the land of Batan al-Hawa neighborhood. 34

Israeli television channel 12 reported that settlers had placed Israeli flags on 15 houses in Silwan after they were captured by the “Ateret Cohanim”, association and handed over to the settlers’ families. The channel noted that these new houses that were seized joined 22 other houses recently captured by “Ateret Cohanim”. 35

It is worth mentioning that the Zionist state has “… A settlement strategy called the “Holy Basin”, consisting of the construction of housing units for settlers and a series of parks themed after Biblical places and figures around the Old City of Jerusalem. The plan would require the expulsion of Palestinian residents from Silwan neighborhoods and then the evacuation of 87 Palestinians from the Batan al-Hawa neighborhood of Silwan, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This will be done for the “Ateret Cohanim” settlers association.

Since 1995, the Israeli Antiquities Authority has been excavating sites in Silwan with the official support of the Settlers’ Foundation “Ire David” (the city of David), in order to create a new tourist attraction and find evidence of the 3,000-year-old “City of David”. 36

The group, which aims to expand the presence of settlers within the predominantly Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem around and inside the Old City, sued the residents of Batan al-Hawa, a district of Silwan, claiming that the land belonged to Yemeni Jews during the Ottoman period until 1938, when the residents were transferred to another location by the British Mandate authorities because of political tensions. 37

It is worth mentioning that the Zionist policy of uprooting and ethnic cleansing has been followed in a number of places in Palestinian geography such as the Red Khan, Jaffa, Hebron, the village of Al-Walajeh, and the Palestinian Negev region. These remain tense hotbeds ignited by right-wing leaders who have lost their minds. But this fire will burn their fingers and will increase the determination of the indigenous Palestinian population to unite efforts, escalate the struggle and continue the process of liberation.

The essence of Zionist claims about the property is that it is “Jewish property”, some of which belonged to Jews 3,000 years ago, and some of which belonged to Jews a little more than one hundred years ago. These allegations give no regard to modern laws in determining the legal acquisition of real estate, which have changed radically from the time of the Greeks, the Romans, the Mongols and the Vikings, where the property belonged to the usurper and the occupier, not to the indigenous peoples who lived above these properties.

This Zionist nonsense is sponsored and adopted by the Zionist colonial bodies, and those who defend them from Arab protectorates and vassals, European and American imperialists, and by the Zionist and reactionary Arab media, who are hostile to the rights of the Palestinian Arab people in their homeland especially their right to self-determination. 

It is scientifically known that the Jewish Torah does not constitute an official and credible document that is recognized by international law and therefore, can be presented in modern courts as a document of legal ownership. Moreover, God has not been recognized as a feudal landlord who owns the lands of the peoples and can distribute them to whoever he wants and denies them from whoever he wants. Consequently, the British imperialist Lord Balfour does not own Palestine, nor does the extremist right wing President Donald Trump own the colonized land of Palestine or the colonized Syrian Golan Heights, so he has no right to give these lands to the Zionist settler colonialists. 

It should be added that many of the historical events and “facts” mentioned in the Torah were partly a form of broad religious fiction and partly came out of the misappropriation of the heritage of Mesopotamian civilizations. The Torah has no solid scientific credibility, and whoever adopts it reflects the fact that he lacks credible legal documents. Therefore, the claims by the Zionist settler colonialists to their right to own Palestinian land and real estate based on the Torah are fragile and null and void because the real owners were and still are the Arab Palestinians, who are the indigenous people of Palestine, which constitutes a part of the greater Syrian motherland.

International Law is not a Tool in the Service of Zionist Settler Colonialism.

International law prohibits the occupying power from imposing its laws on the inhabitants of the area it has occupied because it is a war zone outside the sovereignty of the belligerent state. International law also prohibits the belligerent occupying power from transferring its citizens to live within the area it has occupied. Moreover, the occupying power may not change the laws in force within the occupied zone.

The Al-Haq human rights foundation stated that,

… the legal framework applicable in occupied East Jerusalem is international humanitarian and international human rights law. Israel is specifically prohibited from annexing the occupied territory under Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. As such, Israel’s application of its domestic law, including the Legal and Administrative Matters Law in 1970, and provisions of Israel Tenancy law are not only wrongful acts in violation of international law, of which there can be no recognition, but acts which third States must collectively work to bring to an end. 38

There are clear obligations under Article 43 of the Hague Regulations, to continue the status quo ante bellum including the preservation of private tenancy rights, which are further protected as private property of the civilian population under Article 46 of the Hague Regulations. In particular, such acts amount to forcible transfer, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and war crimes and crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. 39

American imperialism helps Zionist colonialism, embraces its wars of aggression and provides it with money and weapons. The imperialist West abandoned the Palestinian people, and the son-in-law of the American President, the Zionist Jared Kushner, who financed the right-wing settlement movement in Israel, was given absolute authority to fabricate “A peace process”, aided by the regimes of colonial mercenaries in the Gulf, the most important of which is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who just imprisoned his relatives, after he ordered the assassination of the Saudi opposition journalist Jamal Al-Khashoukji. 

Expected Results of a Deteriorating Zionist Path

Many indications are that the Zionist settlement entity will continue its Judaization quest in colonized East Jerusalem, but during this insane colonial quest, it has transformed East Jerusalem into the world’s most tense outpost that will become the poorest, most racist and most heinous “capital.” No matter how much the colonial mentality brings about more racist laws and more inhumane practices, the situation that is formed before the eyes of the peoples of the world will make the Zionist entity a rogue, aggressive, hideous and repulsive state.

The deteriorating path chosen by the extreme right-wing leadership of the Zionist entity has generated a severe political crisis that has shown a deep structural imbalance in the level of political leadership, which in turn has produced a turbulent political right, fragmented, and does not benefit, either from elections or from democracy to get out of its acute crisis. This deteriorating path has also produced a Zionist voter with callous consciousness, racial intolerance and ideological blindness. This deteriorated situation has produced more failed leadership than its predecessor. After four parliamentary elections that produced repeated results, the Zionist entity got itself into a fiasco that has no equivalent in the world. It is a lost entity that cannot save itself from the path of deterioration because it is the same path that South Africa followed until the world came to save it from its fiasco by imposing on it a solution that it does not desire.

Here it appears that the Palestinian steadfastness and determination to fight for its patriotic rights, with the assistance of Arab and international solidarity, will lead the Zionist regime to choose a solution similar to that chosen by South Africa. The Palestinian national struggle will not be extinguished, as it is developing and promoted by the united efforts of workers, and progressive elements in the Middle Class. During its development, all the reactionary elements, Palestinian, Arab and international, who together are attempting to preserve the dissonant parts of a rogue state that insists on falling, will disappear forever.

References

  1. Arnaout, Abdul Rauf, “Sheikh Jarrah: Guests, Tenants and Settlers”, Palestinian Studies Foundation, https://www.palestine-studies.org, access to the site on 1-6-2021
  2. Scholch, Alexander, “Jerusalem in 19th Century (1831 – 1917 AD)” in Jerusalem in History, Edited by K.J. Asali. 1989. ISBN 0-905906-70-5. Page 234. Quoting Muhammad Adib al-Amiri, “Al Quds al-‘Arabiyya“, Amman, 1971, page 12 and ‘Arif al-‘Arif, “Al-Nakba“, vol 2, Sidon and Beirut, page 490 (90%). As quoted by: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “Old City” (Jerusalem), https://en.wikipedia.org,1-6-2021.
  3. Dumper, Michael (2017). Najem, Tom; Molloy, Michael J.; Bell, Michael; Bell, John (eds.). “Contested Sites in Jerusalem: The Jerusalem Old City Initiative”. Routledge. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-317-21344-4. As quoted by: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “Old City” (Jerusalem), https://en.wikipedia.org,1-6-2021.
  4. Livia, Uzi and Aboksis, Ariel, “For the development of the country and for the benefit of its citizens” (in Hebrew), https://web.archive.org, 30-10-2017
  5. 2. See Ilan Papi’s Book, Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine https://www.ebay.com, 9-6-2021
  6. Alsaafin, Linah, “What is happening in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah?”, https://www.aljazeera 
  7. Badawi, Abdel Kader, “Nahalat Chamoun”: A private settler’s company and the arm of the Israeli government in the case of the displacement of the people of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood”, https://www.madarcenter.org,17-5-2021
  8. Jundi, Aseel, “Neighborhood’s resilient women say ‘we will not leave’”, https://www.middleeasteye.net, 11-5-2021
  9.  Salaita, Steve,  “Sheikh Jarrah: Zionism Distilled to Its Purest Expression”, https://alethonews.com, 12-5-2021
  10. Erakat, Noura, and Barghouti, Mariam, “Sheikh Jarrah highlights the violent brazenness of Israel’s colonialist project”, https://www.washingtonpost.com, 10-5-2021
  11.  AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES, “Video shows Israeli settler trying to take over Palestinian house”, https://www.aljazeera.com, 4-5-2021
  12. Kunzl, Kelly, “Families face imminent evictions in East Jerusalem”, The Electronic Intifadahttps://electronicintifada.net, 24-12-2020
  13. Jundi, Aseel, “Neighborhood’s resilient women say ‘we will not leave’”, https://www.middleeasteye.net, 11-5-2021
  14. Linah, Alsaafin, “What is happening in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah?”, https://www.aljazeera.com, 1-5-2021
  15. Palestine Chronicle, “East Jerusalem: Jewish Settlers Seize 15 Palestinian Homes in Silwan”, https://www.palestinechronicle.com, 8-4-2021
  16. MEE staff, “Not just Sheikh Jarrah: Palestinians elsewhere are facing forced eviction”, https://www.middleeasteye.net, 11-5-2021
  17. AL-JAZERA AND NEWS AGENCIES, “Hundreds hurt as Palestinians protest evictions in Jerusalem”,  https://www.aljazeera.com, 8-5-2021

Zuhair Sabbagh is a writer on Israeli and Palestinian issues. He has published a number of books and research articles in both English and Arabic. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He lives in Nazareth, Palestine

Press Violations Explode to 180 in May Alone as Israel Cracks Down to Buff Its Image

June 11th, 2021

Israel Press Freedom Feature photo

By Jessical Buxbaum

Source

“The more that Israel is exposed internationally for its human rights violations in Palestine, the more it becomes desperate in its attempt to crack down on journalists and the media in general.” — Dr. Ramzy Baroud

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — Despite wearing a press vest and holding a government press card, Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Givara Budeiri was violently assaulted and arrested by Israeli police on June 5.

Budeiri was covering a demonstration in the Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah when Israeli forces attacked and then detained her for several hours on the grounds she kicked a soldier, which she denies. She was released only on terms that she doesn’t visit Sheikh Jarrah for 15 days.

“The silencing of journalists by terrorizing them has become a routine activity for the Israeli authorities, as witnessed in recent weeks in Gaza and occupied Jerusalem,” Dr. Mostefa Souag, acting director-general of Al Jazeera Media Network, said in a statement regarding Budeiri’s detention.

Violence against journalists, destruction of media property, and online censorship are all part of Israel’s systematic campaign to prevent the Palestinian narrative from reaching a global platform and exposing Israel’s crimes. And these efforts are only increasing.

The climate of press freedom

During the course of Israel’s 11-day war on Gaza, Israeli airstrikes destroyed four buildings housing at least 18 local and international media outlets. These included the offices belonging to Al Jazeera, Associated Press, Al-Araby TV, and Nawa Online Women Media Network. Israel’s bombardment also killed Palestinian journalist Yousef Abu Hussein and injured journalists Mohammad al-Louh and Elias Karram. Since April 21, a growing number of journalists have been harassed and assaulted by Israeli security forces and right-wing activists.

But attacks on the press aren’t exclusive to the recent violence in Palestine associated with Sheikh Jarrah, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Gaza. Israel holds a ranking of 86 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index (with “1” being the most free) and Palestine sits at 132.

Israel Press Freedom

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 18 journalists have been killed in the region since 1992; and currently 13 Palestinian journalists are imprisoned in Israeli jailsThe Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) reported 408 violations in the Occupied West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza in 2020, with Israel responsible for 53% of the attacks. The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) reported 608 media violations in 2020, with 490 of those violations committed by Israeli forces.

Israeli press violations encompass a wide range of dangerous actions, including physical assaults, targeting of media institutions, arrests, detentions, interrogations, raids, confiscation and destruction of equipment, and even using journalists as human shields.

A journalist’s personal experience

In one case, Dan Cohen — an American journalist and MintPress News contributor who was in Palestine from 2014 to 2017 — experienced being used as a human shield by Israeli forces firsthand. During an Israeli army raid into the Aida refugee camp in the West Bank in March 2014, a commander grabbed Cohen while he was reporting and forced him to stand in front of soldiers shooting at Palestinian youth. He was able to escape unscathed, but the incident still burns in his mind when considering freedom of the press in Israel-Palestine. “It was a very obvious case of the Israeli army attempting to use me as a hu

man shield either to punish me for documenting their activities, potentially injure me, or just to scare me,” Cohen said.

Cohen was harassed again during another army operation into the camp in 2014. A group of soldiers approached him, with one brandishing his weapon at Cohen. They forced him to turn around against a wall. “And then when I couldn’t see, they threw a flash [grenade] at me,” Cohen said. “Of course, it startled me and then they just laughed as they walked away. So, this is typical Israeli army harassment of journalists.”

Journalists — foreign and local — face a myriad of barriers when covering Palestine-Israel. But Cohen feels the pressures are more extreme for journalists who don’t fit into the establishment mold. “If you do the mainstream, New York Times reporting and stick to official events and don’t really challenge the hasbara narrative, then you’re not in any kind of danger. But if you dare to go to where Palestinians are demonstrating, then you’ll get tear gassed. You might get shot with a rubber-coated bullet and you may even get hit with live ammunition,” Cohen said. Hasbara is the Israeli term for propaganda and refers to the government’s diplomatic efforts to manipulate information and control the global narrative on Israel-Palestine. Cohen concluded, “A lot of it just depends on what you expose yourself to, but fundamentally journalists in Israel have no real protection.”

Israel Airstrike press offices

For journalists like Cohen, who has reported for alternative media outlets like Mondoweiss, challenging Israel’s status quo can turn you into a target. This is even more likely if you’re Jewish. “Zionists consider Jews who dissent from the Israeli government positions as traitors who are even worse than Arabs,” Cohen told MintPress, adding:

Jews speaking out against Israeli crimes — whether you’re an activist, a journalist, or anybody — severely undermines the so-called Jewish state’s ability to project itself as a defender of Jews worldwide and claim that its crimes against Palestinians are necessary to ensure the livelihood of a worldwide Jewry.

Yet it’s not just the Israeli military and government targeting the press. In recent weeks, CPJ, the Committee to Protect Journalists, uncovered far-right, Jewish nationalists encouraging violence against media professionals documenting these extremists’ coordinated attacks against Palestinians. “[We] can do both [target Arabs and journalists], it really doesn’t contradict. There are Arab terrorists and there are media terrorists,” read a WhatsApp message from a local group.

According to the Union of Journalists in Israel (ITONAIM), Israeli journalists faced dozens of attacks from the public and Israeli authorities from April 21 to May 15.

The I’lam – Arab Center for Media Freedom, Development and Research also released a report documenting 13 incidents of harassment and violence against Palestinian and Israeli journalists in May. The majority of these cases were committed by Israeli security forces. I’lam reported: 

According to the testimonies collected, the Israeli security forces’ attempts to eradicate journalists and prevent the media from reporting on the events aim to provide the official Israeli narrative with legitimacy and credibility in front of the world… Eradicating journalists is not only violating national and international laws, it also undermines the people’s right to know the facts, which it appears Israel is trying to hide.

Palestinian press under greater threat

Neither Israeli nor Palestinian journalists are immune to harassment — especially when it comes to reporting on Israeli corruption. But one group faces significantly greater danger in doing their job.

“There is very little margin for press freedom in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories. Traditionally, the limitations and the restrictions have been imposed on Palestinian journalists covering Israeli military activities, the Israeli occupation, and Israeli violations of human rights,” Dr. Ramzy Baroud, editor of Palestine Chronicle, told MintPress News, adding:

As of late, even Israeli journalists and media that seem to be sympathetic in any way with Palestinians or who are exposing the right-wing policies of Benjamin Netanyahu and his government have also faced a degree of limitation and restriction. But, of course, we are still talking about a vastly disproportionate difference here in how Palestinian and Israeli journalists are treated.”

According to a report from PJS’ Freedom Committee, Israel committed more than 180 press violations against Palestinians in May. About 80 violations occurred in the Gaza Strip, with around 37 media institutions targeted and at least 10 journalists injured by rocket fire.

In the West Bank and Jerusalem, roughly 100 Palestinian journalists have faced ongoing attacks from Israeli authorities through work restrictions, confiscation of equipment, tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets.

PJS called on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) to send a commission to investigate Israeli crimes against Palestinian journalists. The HRC responded on May 27 by adopting a resolution establishing a commission to investigate press violations that have occurred in Palestine-Israel since April 13.

Amid Israel’s latest crackdown on Palestinian journalists, Cohen emphasized, however, that this isn’t a new phenomenon explaining:

For decades Palestinian journalists have been persecuted by an Israeli military dictatorship that doesn’t afford Palestinians any rights or guarantee any kind of freedom, whether that’s freedom of press or anything else. So, the recent attacks on Palestinian journalists and media institutions are part and parcel of the modus operandi of the apartheid regime.”

Media attacks worsening

As previously mentioned, multiple press watchdog groups monitoring Palestine-Israel indicate a drastic increase in media violations in recent months. Dr. Baroud agrees freedom of the press is worsening as Israeli crimes are broadcast on the world stage, concluding:

The more that Israel is exposed internationally for its human rights violations in Palestine, the more it becomes desperate in its attempt to crack down on journalists and the media in general. [Journalists] pose a threat to Israel in the sense that their job exposes Israeli practices and human rights violations against the Palestinians. So, in the eyes of Israel the journalist becomes the enemy because, even though he’s not carrying a weapon, the camera and the pen become weapons.”

Nasrallah: Gaza’s victory paves the way for the total Liberation of Palestine (full speech)

Date: 9 June 2021

Author: lecridespeuples

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 25, 2021, on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the Liberation of Lebanon.

Note: This is not a literal translation of Nasrallah’s speech, but a detailed summary of its content.

Source: video.moqawama.org

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

Praise be to God. Greetings on the Prophet and his family. Peace be upon you, as well as the Mercy of God.

I apologize for having given no speech since Al-Quds Day, I was a bit sick and I still am [Nasrallah clearly had difficulties breathing and was coughing; it was a pneumonia, not Covid, despite the usual Israeli propaganda about a terminal disease, as proven by his ability to make a 2-hours live speech on May 25, and by his healthy looks on his June 8th 1-hour-speech].

The days gone by have seen historical events which I have followed closely, but I could not speak publicly despite my will. I will speak extensively about the events in Gaza in this speech. Quranic verse: « And slacken not in following up the enemy: if ye are suffering hardships, they are suffering similar hardships; but ye have hope from God while they have none. » (S. IV, v. 104).

The month of May saw some unhappy events (the Nakba) and other happy ones (the Liberation of Lebanon on May 25, 2000). Congratulations to the people of Palestine who have added a new victory, from Gaza to Jerusalem to the territories occupied in 1948. Condolences to the families of martyrs and best wishes for recovery to the wounded. Congratulations in particular to the cadres of the Resistance & the people of Gaza who patiently endured Israeli barbarity.

I also congratulate the Lebanese on this Liberation Day. I want the Lebanese people, especially the new generations, not to forget that this Liberation of May 25, 2000 is the result of long years of sacrifices by many Lebanese and Resistance factions, not just Hezbollah. Let us recall the memory of the martyrs of Hezbollah, Amal movement, other nationalist movements, the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance fighters, as well as the Lebanese Army and the martyrs of the Syrian army. Let us not forget the Lebanese civilian martyrs, men, women and children, victims of the civil war and of the Israeli massacres. Finally, we should mention the martyrs of the Resistance and the people’s support for this Resistance. I don’t speak only of southern Lebanon, but of the Bekaa, cradle of Hezbollah, and all over Lebanon. May 25, 2000 (the date of the expulsion of the last Israeli forces occupying Lebanon) was the victory of all of Lebanon, of Beirut, of the North, of every place in Lebanon. The whole country helped shape this victory.

I recall in particular the martyr Sayed Abbas Mousawi (former Hezbollah Secretary General), assassinated by Israel with his wife and child; the martyr Sheikh Ragheb Harb; the martyr Imad Moghniyeh; the martyr Sayed Zulfiqar. A whole caravan of Hezbollah martyrs.

In addition to the Lebanese Resistance and the Lebanese people, we must salute the official Lebanese position embodied by President Emile Lahoud, Nabih Berri and Salim al-Hoss, as well as the majoritary position of the Lebanese government which supported the Resistance and its legitimacy. All this made it possible to obtain the Liberation, and to avoid the civil war that Ehud Barak was preparing (to devastate Lebanon after the departure of the Israeli troops).

I also praise the Syrian support of Hafez al-Assad and Bashar al-Assad, and the support of Iran, of Imam Khomeini and Imam Khamenei. And I especially salute Qassem Soleimani’s role in the 2000 victory, even though his name and role were kept secret at the time. This Liberation ushered in the era of victories for the Arab-Muslim world. On May 25, 2000, I dedicated this victory to the Palestinian people, with the Liberation of Palestine and Al-Quds (Jerusalem) being the ultimate goal. This victory opened a new culture, new values, imposing new clear strategic equations. In 2000, many Zionist leaders spoke of the dire consequences this humiliating retreat would have. Yithzak Shamir, at Ben-Gurion’s grave, spoke of Hezbollah’s victory as something that could lead to Israel’s demise. Then took place the first Intifada in 2000, and the Liberation of Gaza in 2005.

The Popular Armed Resistance established two strong bases in Lebanon and Gaza, which the enemy wanted to destroy. He failed, accumulating defeats and strengthening the Resistance, whether during the 2006 war against Lebanon, or the 2008, 2012 or 2014 wars in Gaza. The siege of Gaza for more than 15 years, assassination campaigns, etc. have also failed. The last 11-day war is very different. But all these wars won by the Palestinian and Lebanese camp have confirmed and strengthened the path of the Resistance.

I now come to the last battle named “Sword of Al-Quds” by the Palestinian Resistance. I will not go into detail, but explain why this is a great victory and what it announces for the future of the struggle against Israel. The beginning was in Al-Quds (Jerusalem), with Israel’s insistence on ethnically cleansing Al-Quds and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, attacks on Palestinians, preventing worshipers from praying at Al-Aqsa during Ramadan (the Palestinians from the territories of 1948, 1967 and Jerusalem itself). Israel did its best to prevent worshipers from going to Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa, and repeatedly assaulted those who did manage to get there.

There was a real threat to Al-Quds, which caused the Resistance in Gaza to issue a historic ultimatum to Israel: cease your ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah and your assaults on believers in Al-Aqsa, or we will intervene militarily. The threat was carried out by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who launched their rockets/missiles at the promised time.

This whole crisis was caused by the stupidity of Netanyahu & the Israeli leaders, their arrogance, hubris, contempt and underestimation of Arabs, traits which are a constant in the history of Israel. All previous wars had the same cause, and this enemy will remain blind, arrogant, stupid, making mistakes and miscalculations that will lead to its downfall and demise. Imam Khomeini said “Praise be to God who made our enemies stupid”. Netanyahu and the Israelis believed they could take over Jerusalem and Judaize it, expel Palestinian families, replace them with Jewish settlers, assault the Muslim/Christian worshippers, without anything happening, just empty protests. They did so, deeming the Arabs defeated and having normalized their relations with Israel. They believed that the Arab world had abandoned the cause, that the Palestinians of the territories occupied in 1948, of the West Bank and of Gaza were powerless.

The enemy never even imagined that Gaza could intervene militarily in defense of Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa. It hadn’t occurred to anyone within the Zionist entity, neither the political leaders, nor the military leaders, nor the security services. But Gaza surprised both the enemy and the friend. Israel did not imagine such a thing, and therefore persevered in its indiscriminate aggression in Al-Quds (Jerusalem). That’s why Israel was surprised and defeated.

Gaza’s decision is historic, and its lessons must be understood. Previously, all the wars in Gaza had causes linked to Gaza: reaction to assassinations or Israeli aggressions in Gaza, struggle against the severe siege of Gaza, etc. The Resistance’s calculations were still purely Gazan, protecting only the residents of Gaza. But what happened in this last round is that Gaza intervened to protect Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Sheikh Jarrah, Al-Aqsa. This decision is historic, exceptional, and turns things upside down. The Resistance knew it was heading for war, massacres, destruction of Gaza. But the Gaza Resistance was ready to sacrifice itself to defend Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Al-Aqsa.

Gaza and all of its inhabitants sacrificed themselves to preserve Islam’s 3rd holiest site, considering themselves to be in charge and responsible for it. It was a decision of a high level of jihad and sincerity, and that is why it had this enormous influence, rocking the Palestinians all over occupied Palestine, with the support of the refugees and the whole world, except the minority of zombies (Arab dictators) who normalized their relations with Israel. The protests on the Lebanese-Israeli, Jordanian-Israeli border and all around the world, the popular support and final victory were exceptional, commensurate with this exceptional decision of the Gaza Resistance.

The Zionists must understand this, as must the Muslim community and the Resistance Axis, but I am addressing the enemy and its leaders: this experience must lead you to redo all your calculations. You should know that laying your hands on Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa is a red line. Assassinations here or there, expropriations here or there, besieging here or there has nothing to do with laying your hands on Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa, our holy places, as demonstrated by what Gaza has done, the promises made and kept by the Resistance in Gaza. They were sincere and will stand ready to do what they did again if Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa are threatened or desecrated again.

All the factions of the Resistance Axis (Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Irak’s PMU & Yemeni Resistance) were in constant contact, hour by hour during this war. In the future, we will ensure that touching Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa will not only involve Gaza but the entire Resistance Axis. The Resistance in Gaza has imposed a new equation: if Israel lays its hands on Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa, Gaza is going to war. What we must now impose is that if Israel lays its hands on Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa, then there will be a regional war!

The whole Resistance Axis must be ready and make this clear to Israel: we will never allow the Al-Aqsa Mosque to be endangered. For the outcome of any regional war can only be the eradication of the Zionist entity. It is this new equation that will allow us to protect the holy city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and its Muslim and Christian holy places. We are working very seriously on it. When our holy places are in danger, there is no more red line, no more calculation (= it will be total war).

I will not analyze all the consequences of this war, but highlight a few of them:

1/ The soul of the Resistance resurfaced in all the Palestinians, who all united and rose up as one man, in Gaza, the West Bank, the territories occupied in 1948, the Palestinians refugees all over the world, etc. The decades-long division and dislocation is over: the Palestinian people are united.

2/ The Palestinian cause has been revived all over the world. It was deemed buried once and for all by Trump and normalization, but this cause has reclaimed its prominent place all over the world, in all media, all minds and all consciousnesses.

3/ The Palestinian identity and the dream of Liberation have been brought back to the fore.

4/ Belief in the Armed Resistance and the Intifada has once again become the best choice to obtain Liberation. The soul of Resistance has returned to our peoples.

5/ The failure to locate (and assassinate) the main military leaders. Israel came up with several names, including Hamas Commander Mohamed Dayf, but they failed to kill them. That some (minor field commanders) were killed is normal in a war, but it is far from what Israel wanted.

6/ Israel, both in terms of political, military and security leaders, was unable, as I said, not only to anticipate, but even to imagine that Gaza would enter the scene militarily to protect Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah, just as Israel was unable to anticipate or imagine that all of Palestine would rise up in the face of Israeli aggression at Al-Quds.

7/ The Deal of the Century is definitely buried. The Resistance in Gaza and the Israeli failure to win made the Biden administration abandon Trump’s concessions. Biden put East Jerusalem back on the table and called on the Israelis not to expropriate the residents of Sheikh Jarrah. The heart of the Deal of the Century was to give all of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) to Israel, but that is forgotten now. Of course, Biden did not intervene for humanitarian reasons, but because he saw Israel’s helplessness and the risk of an explosion in the region, which thwarted his own international priorities.

8/ The true face of Israel, barbaric, bloodthirsty, slaughtering children, racist and Jewish supremacist, clearly returned to everyone’s eyes and mind, despite Israel’s grip on media and social networks. Israel couldn’t care less about the opinion of the Arab world, but not that of the Western world, and we have seen that even EU countries were forced to condemn Israel in one way or another, and put it in an awkward position.

9/ One of the most important political results is that the compass of conflict in the region has settled again on Israel, after years of civil wars, creation of bogus enemies like Iran, etc. Today, it is clear to the whole world (and not just in the Arab-Muslim world) that the enemy of humanity, of justice, of truth, the racist and criminal entity is Israel and nobody else.

After discussing the political consequences of this Gaza-Israel war, I now come to the military consequences. We must take into account the scales (in this asymmetric conflict): on the one hand, Israel is the regular Army of a State, US-backed, which has the most powerful air force in the region, and on the other hand, Gaza, under siege for more than 15 years, is a tiny territory surrounded on all sides, with +2 million inhabitants, and an ungrateful geography (from the point of view of Resistance opportunities: no mountains, etc.). Some weapons from Gaza are imported and others are manufactured locally. But we can clearly see that despite their very limited possibilities, and Israel’s total control over information (Gaza is under constant surveillance by all means: drones, electronic surveillance, spies, etc.), Gaza has been able to demonstrate courage, sagacity and victorious struggle against one of the most militarily powerful States in the world.

I will quickly set out the military consequences of this conflict:

1/ The entry of Gaza into the protection equation of Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah. In fact, Gaza has entered the issues of all of Palestine, shifting from defense to attack.

2/ Despite the severe siege, the Resistance was able to greatly improve its rocket/missile & fighting capacities. For 11 days, they continued to fire rockets/missiles despite Israel’s best efforts, its planes, drones, artillery strikes, etc.

3/ Gaza even proved its ability to fire rockets/missiles at times announced in advance, to the point that some brothers were surprised, advising not to give this information to the enemy (which would allow him to better defend itself), but it was a point of strength (psychological warfare).

4/ The number of rockets/missiles fired was very large, hundreds every day, which reflects very large stocks and great skill. The type of rockets/missiles fired, the targets hit, the damage done, it was all very powerful.

5/ All of this shook the Israeli State like never before. All countries can go through civil wars, very trying crises, and remain. But Israel is a fake, artificial State that has been shaken to the point that its very existence has been called into question. Israel is a State whose precondition for existence is security. If security is no longer there, all Israelis (who all have dual citizenships) will come back from where they come from: Europe, USA, Australia… At the first (serious) storm, Israeli society will pack up and leave! This sets Israel apart from all other countries: the Palestinians, despite 1948 and 1967, remained attached to their land. They are willing to sacrifice themselves by the hundreds of thousands to return there, until this day. They have not abandoned their territory! But Israel, no! The Israelis have their second passport ready, their suitcase ready, and they will leave at the first storm: if neither the government nor the military can protect them, why would they stay? This consequence, namely to shake Israel to such an extent, is unprecedented, even during the 2006 war. Never before has such a large area of ​​Israel been under rocket fire: Tel Aviv, Beer Sheva, Ashdod, airports, the Negev… 70% of Israelis were holed up in shelters for 11 days ! The worst for Israel was not the material losses, but the psychological losses: the warnings rang everywhere, introducing terror into their hearts. It doesn’t really matter if the rockets hit their target or not!

6/ In addition to all the economic losses and the feeling of insecurity at home, it is the same abroad: who is going to come and invest in Israel without guarantee of security for their investments, without stability? Israel’s dream of becoming an economical/financial hub in the Mediterranean is over!

7/ For the first time, the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948 entered into revolt. It’s not just Gaza and the West Bank anymore. All Israeli leaders recognize that this is an existential threat for Israel!

8/ The Gaza Resistance was also exceptional: the way they carried out the fight, the way they prepared for a ground invasion, to the point that the enemy did not dare to set foot in Gaza, all of this is a huge victory.

9/ The Resistance was able to present to its people, to the whole world and to its enemies a brilliant image of victory.

On the other hand, let us see the failures of the enemy, as admitted by their officials and experts:

1/ Failure to achieve any strategic success after 11 days. Nothing!

2/ Israeli officials speak of tactical successes, but these are insignificant for such a powerful army: destroying some tunnels, killing some cadres, it’s negligible! The rocket fire could not be stopped, and Israel did not even know where it was coming from. Even when they knew the time of the rocket salvos in advance, their planes and drones were unable to locate them. The Iron Dome was also a failure. The 90% interception figure is a lie, it’s more like 50-60%. The damage proves that their 90% figure for the Iron Dome is a lie. The proof of the failure of the Iron Dome is also the fact that Netanyahu asked for military aid from Biden, who immediately granted it. The rockets kept hitting all of occupied Palestine!

3/ The failure of the trap set for the Resistance in Gaza, which Israel had been preparing to neutralize for years, but the Israeli Army proved to be powerless.

4/ The failure to prevent weapons from reaching the Resistance. The rockets did not stop and could have been launched at this rate for months on end. Israel is incapable not only of knowing where the rockets are, but has no idea how many they are, which is a colossal failure of their intelligence.

5/ The failure to locate (and assassinate) the main military leaders. Israel came up with several names, including Hamas Commander Mohamed Dayf, but they failed to kill them. That some (minor field commanders) were killed is normal in a war, but it is far from what Israel wanted.

6/ Israel, both in terms of political, military and security leaders, was unable, as I said, not only to anticipate, but even to imagine that Gaza would enter the scene militarily to protect Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah, just as Israel was unable to anticipate or imagine that all of Palestine would rise up in the face of Israeli aggression at Al-Quds.

7/ The worst part is that Israel found itself completely taken aback, lost, not knowing what to do with this unforeseen explosion on all sides.

And now I ask a question to the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Aviv Kochavi, this so-called “philosopher” who for 3 years has been rethinking Israel’s strategy, organizing colossal maneuvers, etc. His main thought was that the infantry was the basis for achieving victory. But this great strategic thinker [irony] bit the dust against Gaza, despite all his measures, all his maneuvers, all his preparations. There was not even a land incursion into Gaza! It’s a humiliating mark of their defeat.

I am not claiming that Israel is incapable of carrying out a major ground operation, no, but I am claiming that the morale of the Israeli troops is shaped by fear: they are terrified at the idea of a ground operation, whether in Gaza, Lebanon or anywhere. Despite their technology, weaponry, planes, tanks, etc., they are scared to death to conduct a ground operation. They are still haunted by their bloody debacle in 2014 in Gaza (+60 soldiers killed), with soldiers they did not even know if they were alive. That the so-called most powerful army in the region is so afraid is a major strategic failure.

Lastly, Israel has failed to present even an image of victory, short of a real victory! Polls indicate that no more than 20% of Israelis consider Israel to have won. So much for the description, consequences and lessons to be learned from this confrontation in Gaza.

I come now to Lebanon. On this day commemorating the Liberation of Lebanon, I assure the Lebanese people that Hezbollah has never been better off than today. We are more powerful than ever (weapons, numbers, experience, preparation, faith, courage, morale, etc.). I tell the Israelis not to be stupid, not to be arrogant, not to miscalculate against Lebanon. The rules of engagement remain valid (the slightest aggression against Lebanon will trigger a response). You made a big miscalculation with Gaza and saw what it cost you, so imagine what it would be like with Hezbollah, which is in a much better situation than Gaza! Despite the sanctions and the difficulties, we are not under siege! We will not tolerate any aggression against our territory or population!

Third point, the masses who support Hezbollah remain firmly attached to the Resistance despite the economic difficulties, which will not change the massive support of our popular base. The President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun, continues to support the Resistance and the rights of Lebanon. The same goes for the government and the Parliament. All US sanctions and threats weaken neither the Resistance nor those who support it.

Fourth point, in terms of our pending accounts with Israel, we add (to our 2 martyrs in Damascus to avenge) the martyr Mohamad Tahan, killed on the Lebanese-Israeli border while demonstrating unarmed for Palestine. I renew my congratulations and condolences to his family. This blood will be avenged: we had the patience not to avenge it immediately, but we add it to the pending accounts (and he will be avenged sooner or later).

Tahan

Fifth point before the conclusion: the formation of a new government is the key to everything. There is no need for the resignation of President Aoun, nor the resignation of Prime Minister Hariri charged with forming the government, nor the simultaneous resignation of both. What prevents the formation of a government are purely internal obstacles.

There are two solutions:

– either Hariri sits down with Aoun for as long as it takes to achieve the formation of a government. Lebanon is in your hands.

– or a friend intervenes to help you, like Nabih Berri, the President of the Chamber of Deputies. Everyone must help them to achieve the formation of a government to save the country. There is no other solution. Because the country must move forward: the dire economic, social situation can’t stand the vacuum.

In conclusion, looking back on all that has happened over the past few days, months and years, the Middle East has gone through the 10 most difficult years it has ever experienced. Entire countries were targeted for destruction. But the Resistance Axis thwarted these plans. The Resistance Axis not only preserved the Middle East, but also enabled Palestine to stand tall and achieve victories. If it hadn’t been for Iran who faced ISIS alongside the local forces in Irak and Syria, where would we be? What would have become of Lebanon, of the other countries? Iran has overcome the threat of (US) war, triumphed over sanctions, and is heading towards presidential elections. ISIS is almost eradicated in Iraq. All of Iraq supported Gaza and the Resistance. Syria is recovering from ISIS, and will also hold presidential elections tomorrow. Lebanon is holding on despite everything. But imagine what the situation would be in Palestine if Iran, Syria and Lebanon had been defeated? Where would we be, with all the regimes having normalized with Israel? Today, the Arab-Muslim world stands alongside Palestine, from one end to the other, and joins the Resistance camp at least at the level of the populations.

And in terms of political and military forces, Yemen has joined the Resistance Axis, and it is ready to share its bread with Gaza despite the famine there (Nasrallah is moved to tears): the solidarity of famine-stricken Yemen with Palestine, ready to share the very bread it lacks, while the billionaire oil monarchies normalize with Israel! This is a basis that makes you optimistic about the future.

The Liberation of Al-Quds is closer than ever, and the demise of Israel is very near. Independence, stability, noble and dignified peace are the future of our region.

I thank all those who have supported the Resistance, in one way or another, first and foremost the Islamic Republic of Iran & Sayed Khamenei, as well as the soul of Hajj Qassem Soleimani who has dedicated more than 20 years to strengthen our region. When he came to our help, he had not a single white hair on his head, and when he left, all of his hair was white. I salute the soul of this great martyr, Soleimani, who sacrificed everything for the region and Palestine, tireless even when others got tired.

Peace be upon you, as well as the Mercy of God.

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‘Israel’ Begged US to Broker Gaza Ceasefire – Yedioth

06-06-2021

‘Israel’ Begged US to Broker Gaza Ceasefire - Yedioth

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israeli’ newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said Tel Aviv begged the US to mediate a ceasefire during the 11-day military aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip that prompted the Palestinian resistance to retaliate with a massive rocket barrage.

Contrary to what is believed, ‘Israel’ was the side trying to achieve a truce during the war, Yedioth reported on Saturday.

According to the report, Tel Aviv repeatedly contacted the administration of US President Joe Biden to broker “a dignified ceasefire” by putting pressure on Egypt and some other countries.

After the Biden administration did not show much interest in intervening in the matter, Tel Aviv sent a message to Cairo calling on the North African state to intervene with the US approval, it added.

Tel Aviv launched the bombing campaign against Gaza on May 10, after Palestinian retaliation against violent raids on worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque and the regime’s plans to force a number of Palestinian families out of their homes at Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East al-Quds.

The Gaza-based resistance groups did not sit idly by in the face of the ‘Israeli’ onslaught. Appearing noticeably stronger than before, the Palestinian fighters took the occupation entity by surprise with massive barrages of rockets.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired 4,300 rockets towards different cities in the occupied lands during the war, which ended on May 21 after ‘Israel’ announced a unilateral ceasefire that the resistance movements accepted with Egyptian mediation.

The Palestinian resistance struck the Red Sea port of Eilat, over 190 kilometers away using a new Ayyash-250 rocket.

Zionist media admitted at least 13 Zionist settlers were killed in the panic-stricken occupied territories and 357 others were injured, suggesting that the regime’s much-publicized “Iron Dome” missile system had failed in the face of the massive rocket fire.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said 253 Palestinians lost their lives in the ‘Israeli’ offensive, including 66 children and 39 women, and 1948 others were wounded.

Israeli General: 11-Day Gaza War Just ‘First Stage’ of Wider Campaign

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

Israeli soldiers work at an artillery unit as it fires near the border between Israel and the Gaza strip, on the Israeli side May 17, 2021

Morgan Artyukhina
After the Second Intifada uprising and the 2006 election victory of Hamas in Gaza, Israel was forced to pull all its settlers out of the Gaza Strip, at which time it imposed a cordon sanitaire around the territory that has dramatically impacted access to basic necessities by its more than 2 million Palestinian inhabitants.

During an interview with Israel’s Channel 13 on Thursday, Maj. Gen. Eliezer Toledano, head of the Israel Defense Forces’ Southern Command, said that the IDF limited its recent war in Gaza due to civilian pressure “on the home front,” but noted the military is “totally prepared” to continue if necessary.

“The operation ended, or at least its first stage did. The next stage will happen if we see that the security situation has changed,” Toledano said, according to the Times of Israel. That “first stage” involved roughly 1,500 airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip, which the IDF said targeted members of Hamas and the group’s facilities. The group’s militant wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, fired more than 4,300 rockets and mortars at Israel during the 11-day war.

While most of Hamas’ projectiles were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, Gaza has few air defenses and the bombs fell on apartment buildings in the densely populated city, killing 254 people, 67 of whom were children and 80 of whom were militants, according to local health officials and Hamas. In Israel, 12 civilians, including two children, were killed by Hamas rockets.

Toledano said the IDF tried to “make the most” of the conflict while public opinion in Israel was on their side.

“We don’t have operations like this every week or every month because we understand the burden that this puts on civilians, especially on the home front. And therefore when we launched this operation, we had to make the most of it,” he said, adding that “these wars are complicated in terms of the rockets.”

“We are totally prepared to continue from the 11th day, with the 12th day, with the 13th day. It’s all contingent upon the security situation,” he continued. “If we succeeded with this first stage, that’s great. If we didn’t, we’ll have to continue.”

Israel’s previous major military operations in Gaza, in 2009 and 2014, each lasted several weeks and killed thousands of people, the vast majority of them Palestinians in Gaza, but also saw significantly increased numbers of Israeli civilians killed and injured as well.

In the aftermath of the May 20 ceasefire, both the IDF and Hamas have claimed victory. Hamas called the operation “Sword of Jerusalem” and said its intent was to halt the attacks by Israelis police against worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque and in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where several Palestinian families are at risk of being evicted after an Israeli court ruled in favor of Jewish settlers.

However, while the IDF claimed to have destroyed large numbers of stockpiled rockets and Hamas infrastructure and shot down some 90% of the rockets launched, the Times of Israel said after the conflict that the IDF’s “Operation Guardian of the Walls” had not been the resounding victory Jerusalem hoped for.

The wildcard now is the Wednesday formation of a government with New Right chief Naftali Bennett at the helm. While the right-wing figure recently referred to the bombardment of Gaza as part of Israel’s “just war against terrorism,” the kingmaker United Arab List, a small Palestinian party that helped the coalition to reach a majority in the Knesset, could be a moderating factor on some of Bennett’s more aggressive intentions.

A Palestinian party has never before been part of an Israeli government, and leader Mansour Abbas said on Wednesday that he only agreed to join the coalition after reaching “critical agreements on various issues that serve the interests of Arab society,” including education, welfare, employment, economic development, planning, construction, and crime and violence, according to Haaretz, as well as granting official status to Arab Bedouin settlements in the Negev Desert.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been head of the Israeli government for 12 years, warned right-wing members of the Knesset on Thursday to oppose what he characterized as a “dangerous left-wing government” coming into power, saying it was “selling” the Negev to the Bedouin.

Israel, Don’t Raise the Roof Beams High As You “Resettle” Lifta; Its Owners Will Return

By Rima Najjar

Global Research, June 01, 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). 

Visit and follow us on Instagram at @crg_globalresearch.

***

The latest crisis in Palestine cannot be set aside as another passing episode in Israel’s forever war against the Palestinian people.

We are now witnessing shocks within Israel behind the Green Line, something that Israel had hitherto been able to contain. In the process, it pretended, along with much of the western world, that it is the “longest-lived democracy in the Middle East” and that only its continued occupation of the West Bank and its harsh blockade of Gaza undermine its “constitutional ideals”- ideals now exposed for what they’ve always been: Jewish supremacist in nature. 

We know, as CJ Werleman wrote in Inside Arabia on May 14, 2021,

“Israel is a country built on racism, dispossession, and genocide. The recent rise in attacks by Israeli settlers, vigilante groups, and lynch mobs targeting Palestinians are a continuation of that history and must be addressed.”

There is an unbreakable thread between the Palestinian man lynched by Israeli Jews on the pavement after being pulled from his car in Jaffa and then beaten unconscious recently and the killings and massacres at the hands of Zionist militia in Jaffa and elsewhere in 1948 that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, as recounted by Israeli historian Benny Morris.

The myth, amplified by Wikipedia, is that historians [presumably Israeli] disagree “concerning the effect these killings and massacres had on the Palestinian refugee flight and whether or not these killings and massacres were carried out with the intent of hastening it.”

Palestinian historians have absolutely no doubt about what happened then and why, just as we Palestinians have no doubt about what is happening now in occupied Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, in Gaza and in several towns and cities behind the Green Line where Israel has imposed states of emergency — and why.

Take, for example, my own father’s village of Lifta on the northwestern edge of Jerusalem. It is the last remaining Palestinian village that was ethnically cleansed of its population in the 1948 Nakba. Now, Israel is set to destroy what remains of it.

The Jerusalem Post (JP), an Israeli English newspaper where facts are shaped by a narrative driven by Zionist values instead of knowledge, reported on this deeply disturbing piece of news this month by denying, like those Israeli historians who are still disputing historical facts, that any ethnic cleansing took place in Lifta — apparently, my grandfather just up and put his eight children and wife in a truck and abandoned his home so that, 73 years later, his village would be “resettled” by Israeli Jews and a luxury hotel built there.

The Israeli newspaper published the following shameful headline:

“Arab village of Lifta, abandoned in ’48, to house new Israeli neighborhood: The western neighborhood in Jerusalem which was abandoned in ’48 will be resettled with 259 housing units, including a luxury hotel.”

report by Hidden Palestine: a News & Media Website, which, unlike JP, is a site driven by a narrative that values freedom from oppression, provides us with the following facts:

The Israeli land authority announced this month that it is taking bids from construction companies to take charge of the real estate development of Lifta, with the contract set to last 98 years.

The agreement includes the construction of 259 buildings, as well as commercial and business units, in addition to a hotel. If it moves forward, the deal would also see the majority of the Palestinian village’s remaining buildings razed to the ground.

Thanks to petitions by its past Palestinian residents, Lifta was declared as one of 25 endangered sites on the 2018 World Monuments Watch list. It also appears on UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Sites, which has led to threats from Netanyahu that Israel would withdraw from UNESCO.

Lifta has few parallels anywhere in the world. The Palestinian village, lying on a slope at the entrance to Jerusalem, is the last ethnically cleansed Palestinian village to be frozen in time. Here, hundreds of beautiful Palestinian stone houses have continued to stand the test of time, empty and neglected for the past 73 years.

With a history dating back at least 700 years as a Palestinian Arab village, Lifta was among the wealthiest communities in the Jerusalem area, and the women were known for their fine embroiders. Thob Ghabani bridal dresses were sewn in Lifta, which were made of ghabani, a natural cotton covered with gold color silk floral embroidery produced in Aleppo. The village’s clothing stores attracted Palestinians and Arabs from across the Levant.

The entire population was forced out following brutal attacks by the invading Hagannah militias in early 1948. It is an incredible but depressing place to visit, and its destruction would contribute to the continued erasure of Palestinian culture and heritage.

The Jerusalem Post’s story made it sound as though the “resettling” of Lifta was a preservation and development project. What it is, in fact, is a rewriting of history.

Destroying Lifta destroys opportunities for Palestinians to uncover the past of both Palestinians and Israelis: “Lifta has a lasting value in its own right, as it can link restitution to the right of return. Moreover, its preservation will be an opportunity to assert the restoration of dignity in the Palestinian as well as the Jewish community. Finally, by halting the new development in Lifta, UNESCO will affirm its global credibility in response to cultural cleansing.” [See LIFTA AFTER ZIONIST PLANNING and PLANNING AS A CRIMINAL ACT]

Israel’s expulsions of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, Jerusalem neighborhoods just outside the Green Line, are motivated by the same Zionist objective that resulted in the expulsion, also known as ethnic cleansing, of Palestinians like my family from Lifta, which is just inside the Green line. (See Israeli 2019 map of so-called “Greater Israel” below with Lifta, Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan circled). That objective is Israel’s desire to Zionize/Judaize all of Jerusalem and all of Palestine.

Israeli 2019 map of so-called “Greater Israel” below with (left to right) Lifta, Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan circled

I hope the ongoing worldwide protests on social media against Israel’s crimes will now add the rallying cry of #SaveLifta, in addition to #SaveSheikhJarrah and #SaveSilwan.

If you are still in doubt about Israel’s intention, listen to two Palestinian citizens of Israel reacting to the message they have heard loud and clear all their lives from successive Israeli governments:

Eva Najjar, Haifa-based lead designer and developer at Just Vision, writes:

“I knew I was bringing my children into an ethnic-supremacist state when they were born. But after these past weeks, I don’t know how I can continue to raise them here.” (In The Washington Post: Palestinian citizens of Israel like me are facing terrifying new attacks)

Diana Buttu wonders:

“How do I explain to my 7-year-old son what being a Palestinian citizen of Israel means? What future can he look toward, when the leaders of the government incite hatred against him? What audacious hope can he have when he is bound to face racism and discrimination in education, employment and housing? For now, I try to shield him from the images on television and on our phones, but there will soon come a time when I cannot shield him from the reality that he is surrounded by people who consider him a second-class citizen.” (In The New York Times: The Myth of Coexistence in Israel)

I am heartened by the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) Special Session held on May 27, which for the first time has included a geographic scope encompassing Israeli violations targeting the Palestinian people on both sides of the Green Line.

Israel’s institutionalized regime of racial domination and oppression targets the Palestinian people as a whole, including those no longer in Lifta through no fault of their own, who have more right by far to reconstruct their homes in Lifta than Israeli Jews have in constructing housing and luxury hotels to “resettle” the village. We will return, so don’t raise the roof beams high, Israel.

*

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Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem and whose mother’s side of the family is from Ijzim, south of Haifa. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.

She is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image: Taken from slides in “Reconstruction of Memory — Lifta — 2007” by Malkit Shoshan

Hezbollah, IRGC, Hamas Established Chamber of Military Operations in Beirut during Israeli War on Gaza: Report

SOURCE

The editor-in-chief of the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, Ibrahim Al-Amin, said during an interview with Al-Manar TV Channel that Hezbollah, IRGC, and Hamas established a chamber of military operations in Beirut during the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza.

See the source image

Al-Amin added that officers from Hezbollah, IRGC, and Hamas coordinated the military confrontation in Gaza, adding that the Commander of IRGC’s Al-Quds Force, General Esmail Qaani, visited Lebanon twice to attend the chamber meetings.

Hezbollah transmitted weaponry and ammunition to Gaza and moved a number of Palestinian Resistance officers out of the Strip during the aggression, according to Al-Amin.

The Islamic Resistance also provided the Palestinian factions with the needed data about the movements of the Israeli occupation military, which frustrated the enemy’s plot to ambush the Palestinian fighters near Gaza border, adding that drones were employed to reach this goal.

Had ‘Israel’ expanded its aggression, the entire axis of resistance would have confronted it.”

On May 10, 2021, the Palestinian resistance waged its battle against the Israeli enemy in response to the Zionist attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosue and plots to expel the Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Al-Quds, firing thousands of missiles at the Zionist settlements in most of the Palestinian cities and inflicting heavy losses upon the Zionists. The Zionist enemy insisted on its violations and launched an aggression on Gaza, killing 232 of its civilians and injuring around 1900 others. After an 11-day confrontation, the Palestinian resistance managed to defeat the Zionist aggression and provide Al-Quds City and its sanctities with a considerable protection from the Israeli attacks and violations.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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UN Human Rights Council to Investigate Israeli War Crimes in Palestine (VIDEO)

Source

May 27, 2021

Israeli warplanes attacked hundreds of ‘targets’ in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) decided on Thursday, May 27, to “urgently establish an ongoing independent, international commission of inquiry,” to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, to,

“Investigate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021”.

The resolution was passed with 24 votes in favor, 9 against, and 14 abstentions. The US delegation of the Council in Geneva expressed its disappointment following the vote, alleging that the resolution represents an obstacle to the ‘progress’ that has been made.

LIVE: UNHRC holds special session on human rights situation in occupied West Bank https://t.co/nVw6GyPzpy

— PresserWatch (@PresserWatch) May 27, 2021

For its part, an Israeli Foreign Ministry’s statement dubbed the resolution a ‘moral failure’, aimed at covering the ‘crimes’ of the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas. The Israeli statement also officially rejected the decision and declared that it will not participate in the investigation. 

Below, are the full events that preceded the UNHRC’s vote, as reported on the Council’s website:

Human Rights Council Opens Special Session on “the Grave Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, Speakers Urge it to Establish an International Commission of Inquiry

“The Human Right Council this morning opened its special session on “the grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”.  It heard calls from speakers for the Council to establish an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021.

“In her opening remarks, Nazhat Shameem Khan, President of the Human Rights Council, outlining the proposed extraordinary modalities for the session, said these modalities had been defined due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, which prohibited public meetings of more than 15 participants, and should not serve as a precedent. 

“Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said both sides had the right to defend their citizens, and Palestinians had the right to live safely and freely in their homes, something that they were unable to experience due to the Israeli blockade.  The risk of evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and other neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem remained high, while the situation in the West Bank was alarming, with Israeli Security Forces killing 10 Palestinians on 14 May – the highest number in one day since the collection of these figures by the United Nations began in 2008.  The situation inside Israel was concerning: mob attacks took place on individuals in mixed cities of Bat-Yam, Jaffa and Acra, as well as attacks on places of worship instigated by both sides, with Israeli police failing to protect Palestinian citizens.  Despite the welcome news of the ceasefire, Ms. Bachelet emphasised that the root causes of violence must be addressed. 

“Michael Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, speaking on behalf of his mandate and on behalf of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures, said the events over the past month in Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and also across Israel, were a calamitous repetition of what all had previously witnessed in 2018, 2014, 2012, 2008-09, 2000, 1987 and further and deeper into the tragic history of the Palestinians.  The United Nations had demanded repeatedly over the years that Israel comply with its international legal obligations and remove its settlements, stop its evictions, end the unlawful annexation, and halt the demolitions and forced removal of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem.  Defiance by the occupying power had been the answer.  The international community must insist upon a brand-new diplomatic playbook to end the Israeli occupation, one that was centred on rights, rather than Realpolitik.

Israel rejects UNHRC decision to launch probe into Gaza war crimes while Hamas welcomes resolution, saying its action against Israel is “legitimate resistance”https://t.co/8j1G9grXT7

— TRT World (@trtworld) May 27, 2021

“Issam Younis, Director of Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza and Head of the Independent Commission for Human Rights of Palestine, said that all over Gaza, for 11 days, entire families were huddled and living on kitchen floors as this seemed the safest place.  But nowhere was safe in Gaza.  Israel’s unlawful closure of Gaza, 14 years of collective punishment, had been tightened.  The bringing down of the Associated Press building had made it more difficult to get information out.  Recent events were a mere symptom: for 73 years, there had been systematic, institutionalised efforts to impose a settler-colonial regime of racial domination and oppression on both sides of the Green Line. 

“Mohammad Barakeh, former Member of the Knesset and Chairman of the Arab Higher Committee in Israel, speaking on behalf of the committee that represented all Palestinians inside Israel, noted that they had been spared displacement in 1948.  Over the past decades, they had faced different forms of discrimination – confiscation of land, imposition of emergency laws, restriction of job opportunities and more.  In July 2018, the Knesset had approved the Jewish nation-state law stipulating that the land of Palestine was the historical home of the Jews, who had the exclusive right to self-determination.  With this, democratic principles were dismissed by Netanyahu and the Israeli State. 

“Muna El Kurd, journalist and resident of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem, said the Israeli occupation forces refused to properly examine the property rights of Palestinians while the Israeli Government and colonial businesses were separating Palestinians from the land.  There was an apartheid regime: settlers could move around freely unlike Palestinians.  Sheikh Jarrah was illegally sealed off; residents could go out with their papers but nobody – nor their friends nor their loved ones- could come into this area.  The colonial violence suffered by residents and people who took part in peaceful protest was barbaric.  Palestinians were fired upon using rubber bullets, including in their homes.

Muna al-Kurd, a renowned journalist and citizen of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied #Jerusalem, was forced out of a UN Human Rights Council session today after she criticized lies by Israel’s UN ambassador. #savesheikhjarrah pic.twitter.com/gkNFTne4ra

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) May 27, 2021

“In the discussion that followed, speakers, while welcoming the decision of the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes within its material scope that might have been committed on the territory of Palestine, urged the Court to include the crime against humanity of apartheid in its investigations.  History showed the ceasefire would not end the everyday sufferings of the people in the occupied Palestinian territory that had been going on for more than seven decades.  The Council should take decisive actions towards ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including through dispatching a commission of inquiry, speakers said.  Some speakers said the establishment of a commission of inquiry would not serve the purpose of peace.  Regrettably, the self-professed global champions of human rights continued to shield the occupier from global accountability, and literally provided arm and ammunitions for its widely reported war crimes and crimes of apartheid against the Palestinian people.  Member States should support the draft resolution; the credibility of the Council was at stake.

“Speaking in the urgent debate were Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of Namibia; Abdul Momen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh; Shah Mahmood Qureshi,  Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan; and Najla Elmangoush, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Government of National Unity of Libya.

“Also taking the floor were Egypt on behalf of the Group of Arab States, Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Portugal on behalf of the European Union, Sweden on behalf of Nordic countries, Azerbaijan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, South Africa on behalf of the Group of African States, Mauritania, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, Russian Federation, Bolivia, Bahrain, India, Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, China, Republic of Korea, Czech Republic, Venezuela, Sudan, Somalia, Denmark, United Kingdom, Tunisia, Kuwait and Turkey.

“The Council will next meet this afternoon at 3 p.m. to continue the discussion and take action on the draft resolution before closing the special session.”

To read in full, please click here..

(The Palestine Chronicle)

The Third Intifada. Israel’s Crimes. Palestine’s Wrath. Ray of Hope?

Conversations with Richard Falk, Richard Silverstein and Laith Marouf

By Michael WelchRichard FalkRichard Silverstein, and Laith Marouf

Global Research, May 22, 2021

“What they need to do is they need to occupy the bases of the Canadian Armed Forces! They need to occupy the military hardware factories! They need to occupy their courts and stop the shipping of these weapons to apartheid Israel! Anything less than that will not actually cleanse them from the blood on their hands as Canadians!” 

– Laith Marouf, from this week’s interview

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

As of 2:00 am on May 21 by the Israel-Palestine hour this morning, or 7:00pm EDT on Thursday, the two sides of the disputing rivals had ceased hostilities – at least for the time being.[1]

As of 2:00 am on May 21 by the Israel-Palestine hour this morning, or 7:00pm EDT on Thursday, the two sides of the disputing rivals had ceased hostilities – at least for the time being.[1]

By the standard account, the bitter eruption rose up on May 6 when Palestinians rose up in protest to a Supreme Court of Israel ruling on the matter of evicting six Palestinian families from their housing units in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. This was followed the next day by Israeli police storming the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam and firing stun grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas at the worshippers in attendance.

Then on May 10, Hamas, the militant force governing over Gaza, wanted Israeli security forces removed from Sheikh Jarrah and the Temple Mount complex, location of the holiest site in Judaism which also housed Al-Aqsa Mosque. When Israel refused they fired rockets on targets in Israel. What followed was a campaign of airstrikes by Israel.

What followed was the most destructive period of violence in years.. [2]

The following clip recorded by Middle East Eye is just a sample of what the last two weeks were like:

“I don’t know what to do.”

A 10-year-old Palestinian girl breaks down while talking to MEE after Israeli air strikes destroyed her neighbour’s house, killing 8 children and 2 women#Gaza #Palestine #Israel pic.twitter.com/jnZx8wruaX

— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) May 17, 2021

Israel-Palestine: The Humanitarian Consequences of an Occupation

Regrettably, violence in the region tends to spring up from time to time. And absent being held to account for past crimes by the UN, Washington, or really anyone, Israel will most likely continue on setting up more shelters on occupied land, and besieging the beleaguered Gaza, and ignoring the human rights of their Palestinian neighbours frankly at levels well beyond the harsh treatment of Blacks in modern day America.

But something is a little different this time. Despite Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ technology taking out as many as 90 percent of rockets, some projectiles, cruise missiles no less, are punching through and hitting Israel stronger than ever. The Palestinians in Israel are themselves taking action in the streets, in businesses, and synagogues. And even in the United States, while the President continues to disappoint with his tepid remarks about the right of Israel to defend itself, sharp and popular critics in Congress such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are speaking out loudly against continuing to arm Israel despite its ongoing abuses against Palestinians.

Do these and other unique scenarios marking this 11 day period of terror mean things will be different now or in the long term? This is the question running through this Global Research News Hour and its sixty minute broadcast.

On the show in our first half hour, Richard Falk, professor emeritus of law at Princeton university talks to listeners highlighting some of the less talked about elements of the past month, including how it was incited by right wing settlers and during the Islamic holy period known as Ramadan. He also discussed attacks on media and the prospects for victory for Palestinians in the long term.

Following that, we hear from Richard Silverstein, a progressive blogger focused on the Israel-Palestine conflict. He will dwell on the growth in Hamas’ arsenal, the growth of Palestinian solidarity in Israel, and the potential ability of the International Criminal Court to wound Israel’s prospects.

Finally, Palestine activist and commentator Laith Marouf joins us again to dwell on the motives of the new Palestinian resistance, the prospects for the conflict to intensify, and the goals of Canadians wishing to show their solidarity with the damaged but determined victims of 73 years of Israeli confrontation.

Richard Falk is an international law and international relations scholar who taught at Princeton University for forty years and holds the title of professor emeritus. In 2008 he was also appointed by the UN to serve a six-year term as the Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights. He contributes regularly to Global Research.

Richard Silverstein is a political writer and commentator. Since 2003 he has authored the progressive Jewish blog Tikun Olam, which focuses on exposing the excesses of the Israeli national security state. He contributes regularly to Middle East Eye, and has contributed in the past to Truthout, Alternet, Haaretz, Mint Press News, Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, Comment Is Free and Al Jazeera English.

Laith Marouf is a long time multimedia consultant and producer and currently serves as Senior Consultant at the Community Media Advocacy Centre (www.cmacentre.org) and the coordinator of ICTV, in Canada (www.tele1.ca). Laith derives much of his understanding of Middle Eastern Affairs from his ancestral background of being both of Palestinian and of Syrian extraction. He is currently based in Beirut.

(Global Research News Hour Episode 317)

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM out of the University of Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

Other stations airing the show:

CIXX 106.9 FM, broadcasting from Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. It airs Sundays at 6am.

WZBC 90.3 FM in Newton Massachusetts is Boston College Radio and broadcasts to the greater Boston area. The Global Research News Hour airs during Truth and Justice Radio which starts Sunday at 6am.

Campus and community radio CFMH 107.3fm in  Saint John, N.B. airs the Global Research News Hour Fridays at 7pm.

CJMP 90.1 FM, Powell River Community Radio, airs the Global Research News Hour every Saturday at 8am. 

Caper Radio CJBU 107.3FM in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia airs the Global Research News Hour starting Wednesday afternoon from 3-4pm.

Cowichan Valley Community Radio CICV 98.7 FM serving the Cowichan Lake area of Vancouver Island, BC airs the program Thursdays at 9am pacific time. 

Notes:

  1. http://www.bbc.com/news/57200843
  2. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-idUSKCN2D12SV

Palestine: Palestinian Unity Defeats Israel

Important Note:

“Operation Sword of al-Quds” was not initiated by the Occupation entity as claimed in the below article. It was a natural Palestinian response for Anglo Zionist attempt to Judaize Sheikh Jarrah and Eastern Al-Quds, not a war between Hamas and the Occupation entity. Therefore I advise out friend “The Saker” to be careful in using terms, because, though Hamas is the ruling authority in Gaza, its not there alone. The “Operation Sword of al-Quds” started with a Cornet rocket launched by Al jihad – Jerusalem Brigades, moreover, the 2014 confrontation was launched by Jerusalem Brigades alone.

Naming Hamas serves the Anlozionist’s agenda, and the so- called “Israel right to defend it self against Hamas, classified by west as a terrorist group.

“Operation Sword of al-Quds” united the majority of Palestinians in Gaza, west bank, Palestine occupied in 1948, and diaspora Palestinians. This unity reminded Arab and Muslim peoples that Palestine is their central cause.

In his yesterday’s speech, Sayyed Nasrallah, the Hezbollah Secretary General, said “Gaza surprised the friend and enemy in its decision to implement its threat in responding to “Israeli” practices in Al-Quds.”

His Excellency confirmed:

  • “Gaza’s move was a historic and qualitative one in the history of the struggle with the enemy”,  
  • “When the matter is related to Al-Quds and its Muslim and Christian holy sites, it will not remain limited to the resistance in Palestine.” 
  • “When the ‘Israeli’ entity recognizes that it is in front of the equation that says ‘Al-Quds vs. a regional war’, then it will know that any step it will take will result in its elimination.”
  • “The ‘Sword of Al-Quds’ operation dealt a blow to the course of normalization and all those who have normalized the ties, and after this battle, the ‘Deal of the Century’ fell and vanished.
  • “‘Al-Quds Sword’ reconsidered the Palestinian Cause in the world and imposed it on media outlets,”
  • “One of the ‘Al-Quds Sword Operation’ results is reviving the culture and spirit of resistance as the sole way to return the occupied land.”
  • “Among the most important results of ‘Al-Quds Sword Operation’ is that it redirected the compass in the region against the real enemy.”
  •  ‘Al-Quds Sword Operation exposed the true and ugly face of “Israel”, especially as an apartheid regime.”
  • “One result of ‘Al-Quds Sword Operation’ was that Gaza Strip has entered the entire Palestinian equation, which is a major development in the battle,” he stated, pointing out that “When the ‘Israeli’ feels insecure in all of Palestine, the least he can do is leave.”
  • “One result of ‘Al-Quds Sword Operation’ was that Gaza Strip has entered the entire Palestinian equation, which is a major development in the battle,” “When the ‘Israeli’ feels insecure in all of Palestine, the least he can do is leave.”

More

Palestine: “Hamas” Defeats Israel

THE SAKER • MAY 25, 2021 • 3,500 WORDS

Just like in 2006, when both Ehud Olmert and George Bush declared that the “invincible IDF” had, yet again, achieved a “glorious victory” and the entire Middle-East almost died laughing hearing this ridiculous claim, today both the US and Israeli propaganda machine have declared another “glorious” victory for the “Jewish state of Israel” cum “sole democracy in the Middle-East”. And, just like in 2006, everybody in the region (and in Zone B) knows that the truth is that the Zionist entity suffered a huge, humiliated, defeat. Let’s try to unpack this.

First, a few numbers. The combat operations lasted two weeks. All other missile numbers are in dispute. Rather than trust this or that source, I will simply say that Hamas fired many thousands of missiles into Israel. Some, probably less than 50%, were truly intercepted by the Israeli air defenses, others hit in no man’s land, and some actually landed and caused plenty of destruction and at least 12 deaths. The Israelis executed hundreds of artillery and airstrikes causing massive destruction in the Gaza strip and killing about 250 Palestinians. Again, these numbers are guesstimates and they don’t really tell the full story. To understand the story, we need to forget about these numbers and look at what each side was hoping for and what each side achieved. Let’s begin with the Israelis:

The Israeli scorecard

To understand Israel’s goals in this war, we first need to place this latest war in its context, and that context is that Israel was comprehensively defeated in Syria. To substantiate this thesis, let’s remember the goals of the Zionists when they unleashed a major international war against Syria. These objectives, as listed in my July 2019 article “Debunking the Rumors About Russia Caving in to Israel” were:

The initial AngloZionist plan was to overthrow Assad and replace him with the Takfiri crazies (Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIS – call them whatever you want). Doing this would achieve the following goals:

  1. Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces, and security services.
  2. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a “security zone” by Israel not only in the Golan but further north.
  3. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.
  4. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a “security zone,” but this time in Lebanon.
  5. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.
  6. Break up Syria along ethnic and religious lines.
  7. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
  8. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and force the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project.
  9. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert, and eventually attack Iran with a broad regional coalition of forces.
  10. Eliminate all centers of Shia power in the Middle-East.

As we all know, this is what actually happened:

  1. The Syrian state has survived, and its armed and security forces are now far more capable than they were before the war started (remember how they almost lost the war initially? The Syrians bounced back while learning some very hard lessons. By all reports, they improved tremendously, while at critical moments Iran and Hezbollah were literally “plugging holes” in the Syrian frontlines and “extinguishing fires” on local flashpoints. Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).
  2. Not only is Syria stronger, but the Iranians and Hezbollah are all over the country now, which is driving the Israelis into a state of panic and rage.
  3. Lebanon is rock solid; even the latest Saudi attempt to kidnap Hariri is backfiring. (2021 update: in spite of the explosion in Beirut, Hezbollah is still in charge)
  4. Syria will remain unitary, and Kurdistan is not happening. Millions of displaced refugees are returning home.
  5. Israel and the US look like total idiots and, even worse, as losers with no credibility left.

Seeing their defeat in Syria, the Zionists did what they always do: they used their propaganda machine to list an apparently neverending victorious strikes on supposed “Iranian targets” in Syria. While a few civilian simpletons with zero military experience did buy into this nonsense, the truth about Israeli operations in Syria is simple: the Syrian air defenses have successfully prevented the Israelis from striking at important, sensitive, targets, and they Israelis have been forced to declare as major victories the destruction of empty barns as “destruction of important IRGC headquarters” thereby “proving” to a few naive folks in Zone A and to themselves (!) that the IDF is still as “invincible” as it “always was”. As for the Neocons, they doubled-up on that and declared that 1) Russian air defenses are useless 2) that Russia and Israel work hand in hand and 3) that the Israelis are still invincible. Yet if any of that was true, why has Israel failed to achieve a single one of its goals? And why are both the Russians and the Iranians still in Syria were the Russians just finished a 2nd runway at Khmeimim and they have just deployed a group of Tu-22M3 at that air base from where they can now threaten any ship sailing in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. In their otherwise “free time” they can deliver tons of bombs and missiles to the remaining Takfiri forces in Syria.

As I have been saying for many years now, the truth is that the IDF is a poor fighting force. Why? First, they have the exact same problem as the USA (and the KSA, for that matter): they rely on expensive technology, but don’t have good combat-capable “boots on the ground”. That is now how modern wars are won (see here for a list of popular misconceptions about modern wars).

In its recent history, the entire gamut of Israeli “elite” forces (including the air force, the navy, the artillery and even the Golani Brigade) got its collective butt handed to them by about 1000 and only lightly armed regular Hezbollah fighters in 2006: keep in mind that the elite Hezbollah forces were deployed only north of the Litani river to protect Beirut against a possible land invasion by Israel. Instead of taking Beirut or “disarming Hezbollah” (that was an official goal!), the Israelis could not even control the small town of Bint Jbeil located right across the official Israeli border! So much for being “invincible”!

What the IDF is very experienced at is terrorising Palestinian civilians and executing what could be called a slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian people. The problem with Gaza now is the same that the failed invasion of Lebanon in 2006 has revealed: just like the Lebanese in 2006, the Palestinians of 2021 are not afraid of the Zionists anymore. Furthermore, with a great deal of help from Iran and others, Hamas in Gaza is now much, much better armed than in the past. True, some of its missiles are decidedly low tech and not very effective (low accuracy, small warheads, simple trajectory, limited range), but Hamas also has shown some pretty decent UAVs too. Most importantly, from now on for Hamas it is only one way: up the “quality ladder” (just like the Houthis did in Yemen, starting with modest drones but eventually getting very capable ones).

The other major goal of the Israelis in this war was to prove to the world (and, even more importantly for the always narcissistic self-worshipping Israeli cowards, to themselves!) that their “Iron Dome” air defense network was the “super-dooper most bestest” in the world (no doubt, due to the famed “Jewish genius”!). It now appears that at best, the Israelis intercepted somewhere around 30-40% of the Hamas missiles. The way the Israeli hid this is by claiming that their fancy shmancy Iron Drone did not even try to engage missiles which were not deemed dangerous. But in the age of the ubiquitous smartphone, that kind of silly nonsense can easily be debunked (including by showing the total chaos in the Israeli skies or, for that matter, the missile strikes on Israeli military objectives). While the full Iron Dome air defense system probably works marginally better than the quasi-useless US Patriot, the Israeli air defenses are clearly at least a generation behind the Russian ones, including the S-300s the Russians sold to Syria (again, in the age of of the ubiquitous smartphone, this is not hard to prove).

It is crucial to remember that Hamas’ missiles are much inferior to those of the Houthis and the Syrians, and even more inferior when compared to Hezbollah or Iranian drones and missiles! In other words, the “invincible” IDF can’t deal with even its weakest, least sophisticated enemies (Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad) and the grotesquely expensive Iron Done cannot protect the Zionists from any determined missile attacks by the Resistance coalition (Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia).

In their utter despair, the Zionist entity did what the AngloZionists always do when they fail to defeat a military forces: they will turn their wrath on the civilian infrastructure and murder as many as they can. They will also strike highly symbolic targets such as the International Press Center in Gaza or a Red Crescent hospital (under the pretext that Hamas, which is the democratically elected local government) has offices there (this is clearly a F-you to those who condemn Israel for violating international law). To a normal human being, this sounds both obscene and ridiculous. But remember, the Israelis are first and foremost narcissists and they have no means of imagining how normal human beings think or feel. All these guys can feel is self-worship and hatred for all “others”.

We could say that in this war, the Palestinians defeated both military high tech and truly medieval type of genocidal hatred.

In other words, far from showing how “invincible” the Zionist entity is, this latest war against the Palestinians has shown beyond reasonable doubt that the IDF cannot deal with any of its enemies.

Besides missiles and bombs, the Israelis love to use terror, as their ideology has convinced them of two things: the Arabs only understand force and we, the Israelis, are invincible. But this begs the question of why the Israelis did not dare to move into Gaza, not even symbolically. Yeah, I know, the official doxa of Zone A is that “Biden called Netanyahu and told him to stop”. As if “Biden” could give orders to the Israelis!

The truth is that even with a casualty rate of 10:1 in the IDF’s advantage and no armor or artillery, the Palestinians are much more willing to engage in street battles than the IDF. Would the IDF eventually win a ground battle against Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad? Maybe, probably, the objective advantages in everything (except courage!) for the Israelis is so huge that no amount of skills and courage can forever negate the immense superiority in means of the Israelis.

However, as most people in the West tend to forget, wars are but means towards a political goal. If the IDF decided to basically flatten Gaza and kill many thousands of Palestinians at the cost of casualties probably in the hundereds, then this would be politically suicidal for the Zionist regime. This is why I offer this very basic conclusion:

During the latest Gaza war, deterrence did work. But only in the sense that the Palestinians successfully deterred the Israelis from launching a ground attack against Gaza.

There is another crucial political development which should also be noted: while both Iran and Hezbollah did give their full political support to Hamas+Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the latter did not request any assistance. In other words, not only did the Palestinians defeat the Israelis, but they did so absolutely alone, with no help from the other Resistance members.

Again, those Zone A civilians who believe that Israel is scoring huge victories in Syria on a quasi daily basis won’t get it, which is par for the course. But you can be darn sure that at least most of the IDF top commanders know the true score and for them it is yet another huge disaster.

There is also a political factor to consider. While there have been coordination resistance actions by the Palestinians in Israel (proper, as defined by the UN), this is the first time when the Palestinians from Gaza, those from the Occupied Territories and those in “Israel” truly fought, if not side by side (yet!), then at least at the same time and in a common cause. This is a major political victory for Hamas+Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a major problem for Fatah and the Zionists. Now let’s look at the rest of the Palestinian scorecard:

The Palestinian scorecard:

Let’s start by the obvious one: the Palestinians were not defeated. This victory can be further subdivided in the following:

  • The Palestinian leadership has mostly physically survived, it still exists as a local authority. Plenty of Palestinians were murdered, but that did not affect the operational capabilities of the Palestinian forces (any more than the IDF succeeded in affecting Iranian operational capabilities in Syria).
  • The Palestinian leadership has also survived politically. It was not blamed by the “Palestinian street” for starting the war, nor was it blamed for how it executed it. As for Fatah, it is now, by all accounts, lost somewhere in a political no man’s land which, admittedly, it richly deserves for its incompetence, corruption and subservience to Israel and the USA.
  • Militarily speaking, the Palestinian missile strikes were not nearly as effective than, say, Hezbollah (nevermind Iranian!) strikes would have been, but, hey, they made huge progress and we can all rest assured that the Palestinians of Gaza will, sooner or later, catch up with the Houthis and, further down the road, maybe even Hezbollah.
  • By many accounts, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have made major political inroads into the Palestinian political scene outside Gaza. Even in spite of a truly immense hasbara effort by the Israelis, the international public opinion was blaming Israel for the orgy of violence.

It is interesting to note here that the famous Israeli journalist Gideon Levy has written an article for Ha’aretz entitled “Israeli Propaganda Isn’t Fooling Anyone – Except Israelis” which was further subtitled “’Hasbara’ is the Israeli euphemism for propaganda, and there are some things, said the late ambassador Yohanan Meroz, that are not ‘hasbarable.’ One of them is Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.” This is how Levy’s article began:

And propaganda shall cover for everything. We’ll say terrorism, we’ll shout anti-Semitism, we’ll scream delegitimation, we’ll cite the Holocaust; we’ll say Jewish state, gay-friendly, drip irrigation, cherry tomatoes, aid to Nepal, Nobel Prizes for Jews, look what’s happening in Syria, the only democracy, the greatest army. We’ll say the Palestinians are making unilateral moves, we’ll propose negotiations on the “settlement bloc borders,” we’ll demand recognition of a Jewish state and we’ll complain that “there’s no one to talk to.” We’ll wail that the whole world is against us and wants to destroy us, no less.

Now comes the best part: Levy wrote this on Jun. 4, 2015 and updated it on Apr. 10, 2018 – years before the current disaster! Since then, things have only gone south for the IDF and the Israelis in general. Just the blowback from the war in Syria is, for the IDF, a true disaster.

Of course, “Israel” is still worshipped and faithfully served by many ruling classes worldwide (that is one of the functions of the Empire, to enforce this), but that officially lauded Israel is viewed with disgust and revulsion on most of the planet. Hence the inevitable failure of the truly galactic PR effort to brainwash the regular people into believing that Israeli is a polyyanish country, a “place without people for a people without country”, etc. etc. etc. This “Ziolatry”, if you wish, was effective when the PLO was blowing up Jewish grade schools in Western Europe, but today it has lost almost all of its traction, especially amongst thinking people.

The sad and disgusting reality about the Zionist entity is truly coming out, seeping under the propaganda walls of the Empire, and slowly but inevitably resulting in a common reaction of outrage and utter disgust for what is nothing else but the last officially racist country on the planet, the only country with an open air concentration camp it surrounds on all sides, the only country which truly, openly and sincerely does not give a damn about international law or about the lives of non-Jews (while calling their own lives sacred, of course!). This is a state which constantly repeats the mantra about the supposedly “sacred” blood of Jews while, at the same time, committing a slow motion (but very real) genocide of the Palestinian people while using non-stop terrorist attacks against any country daring to defy the order of the latest, and hopefully last, wannabe “superior race” in human history. This is also why the “crime of crimes” for politically correct and successfully brainwashed people is to declare that Israel has no right to exist. This is such a major crimethink that I want to conclude by committing it right now and asking others to join me in this “crimethink”!

Israel has no right to exist whatsoever first and foremost because it is an artificial creation of West European imperialist powers. Second, it is a country which has always engaged in atrocities and massive violations of international laws and norms. Instead, Israel is based on a racist ideology which is, for all practical purpose, indistinguishable from Hitler’s Nazi ideology (both National Socialism and Zionism have the same roots in both time, space and culture, both being products of European secularism and nationalism). For these reasons, Israel, and the Zionist ideology which supports it, are both a clear and present danger for international peace and stability (for details on Zionism as an ideology and its toxicity, please see here). Furthermore, the only possibly way for the Palestinian people to ever recover their land and their rights under international law is for the Zionist “regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time” (to quote the often mistranslated sentence by Ayatollah Komenei). By the way, this awareness also presupposes a clear understanding that the so-called “Two State Solution” (2SS) is an impossibility. Yes, I know, the 2SS is currently the only one under international law, but that is hardly surprising since the state of Israel was created with not only many of the trappings of “being an internationally recognized state” but also with the shameful complicity of the country which won WWII. There is one thing which Israel has in common with the so-called “Republic of Kosovo”: they will be the very first to be liberated as soon as the AngloZionist Empire finally crashes visibly (of course, it has already crashed, hence the many disastrous outcomes for the USA and Israel on the international scene, but that is still denied officially in Zone A and,of course, by the AngloZionist propaganda and those who pay attention to it.

In truth, there is only one true “solution” to this war: the so-called “One State Solution”, meaning that those who live in this land will get to choose their leaders and lifestyles according to the old “one person, one vote” principle. All other “solutions” simply perpetuate the current genocide!

As for those Jews who still want an ethnically pure state of Israel, they can either grow up and get real, or they can choose to colonize some other planet. As long as they don’t persecute local lifeforms, that might work. But if they do this will all happen again, over and over.

Conclusion: “Gaza” and the future of the Zionist entity

I want to end here with what I believe is a glance at the future (or lack thereof!) of Israel. The website Islamic World News Analysis Group (which I highly recommend!) recently posted what it claims to be a video of a new Iranian combat drone named “Gaza” described as so: “The Gaza drone, capable of carrying 13 bombs and 500 kilograms of equipment, as well as 35 hours of flight up to a radius of 2,000 kilometers, is capable of carrying out a variety of combat and intelligence operations. According to the published images, it seems that the Gaza drone uses the Rotary Bomb Launcher mechanism under its fuselage, which can carry up to 5 bombs. This is the first Iranian drone to use this mechanism. 8 bombs are also installed under the wings and in total this drone is capable of carrying 13 bombs”. Here is the footage of this new drone. Take a look for yourself and imagine what the next round of this campaign to liberate Palestine might look like.

Related Pieces by Author

Owner of Al-Jawarha Tower Speaks to The Palestine Chronicle: ‘We Will Never Compromise on Our Freedom’ (PHOTOS)

May 21, 2021

Owner of the Al-Jawarha Tower, Ahmad Moustafa al-Za’im, with his children. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

On May 12, Israel destroyed the Al-Jawarha tower in Gaza City, a large building of many stories and numerous flats. It was not the only tower that Israel destroyed in its latest war on Gaza. A few others too were leveled to the ground, as if they were legitimate military targets. 

Palestine Chronicle correspondent in the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud Ajjour, met with one of the main owners of the tower, Mr. Ahmad Moustafa al-Za’im. A successful businessman, al-Za’im is also a loving father of two boys and two girls. 

The Chronicle also interviewed Al-Za’im’s young daughter, Malak. Like her father, her testimony was that of pride and defiance. This is what they have to say:

Ahmad Moustafa al-Za’im:

“I have invested my whole life, everything I owned and worked hard for, in this building. Israel bombed it for no reason at all, aside from scoring a point that it simply can. It is a residential tower, which also hosted law offices, media companies, and the like. Lots of accountants and engineers were based here as well. Also, it had advertisement companies and a few clinics. We had an office that facilitates pilgrimage to Mecca. Also, an optical clinic and an office for marriage services.

“It was a thriving place of families and businesses and nothing else that could be understood, even from Israel’s point of view, as a ‘security threat’. 

“But thank God for everything in this life, good or bad. Israel has destroyed it completely. But I say it proudly, I am Ahmad al-Za’im, everything I own, my very life, in fact, my whole family, is a small price to pay for the freedom of Al-Quds, Jerusalem, for Al-Aqsa Mosque and for our people in Sheikh Jarrah. In fact, for Al-Khalil (Hebron), Jenin, Palestine ‘48 and the whole of Palestine. Thank Allah for everything. 

“My message to the Resistance: We will continue to be steadfast, you lead the way and we will march behind you. Israel will never break our will or weaken our steadfastness. We know that Israel has destroyed the tower, and all other towers to put pressure on the Resistance to relent and accept an end to the war with no achievements. But that will never happen. We will never compromise on our rights and our freedom, no matter the cost.”

Malak Ahmad al-Za’im:

“I am Malak Ahmad al-Za’im. We were living in this tower. When the Israelis decided to bomb it, they called the neighbors, then the neighbors called my dad and we hurried very, very fast. But there was no time to gather any of our belongings. I had so many toys in my house, but also so many memories as my brothers and I were always playing on the stairs. There was a very nice restaurant here that we often ate. Also, many lawyers worked here and there was a place where you can get your eyes fixed. Many many things and many people. But more importantly, all of our dreams, hopes and memories were in this tower. 

“When the tower was destroyed, I cried a lot. I don’t know what else to say aside from that, that I cried all the time.”

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour)

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Tens of thousands attend largest pro-Palestine march in British history

Source

Organisers say the demonstration in London was attended by 180,000 people, as Gaza ceasefire holds for second day

Pro-Palestine demonstrators marched through the streets of London, passing Parliament and Downing Street (Reuters)

By Areeb Ullah

Published date: 22 May 2021 16:07 UTC | Last update: 7 hours 49 mins ago

Holding Palestinian flags and placards in the pouring rain, tens of thousands of people on Saturday descended on the streets of central London to protest against Israeli attacks in Gaza and the rest of historic Palestine. 

Gathering on London’s Embankment, protesters marched past the Parliament buildings and through Oxford Street as they chanted “Free Palestine” and demanded an end to Israel’s occupation. Israel-Palestine: The girl who showed the world the suffering of Gaza’s children

Read More »

Some protesters lit flares showing the colours of the Palestinian flag as they gathered in the capital’s iconic Trafalgar Square, chanting “Palestine will be free”. 

Organisers, including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Friends of Al-Aqsa, estimated that at least 180,000 people attended the London demonstration, making it the largest pro-Palestine protest in British history. 

Protests also took place in other UK cities, including Birmingham and Liverpool, as calls mounted for Britain to impose sanctions on Israel for its actions.

Ceasefire holds

The protests came after Hamas and Israel agreed to a ceasefire on a Friday that saw an end to Israel’s daily bombardment of Gaza that killed at least 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, since the 10 May.

Despite the ceasefire, Israeli forces stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday after prayers ended in the afternoon, when hundreds of Palestinians had gathered to celebrate the ceasefire. Israel-Palestine: Ceasefire holding as aid arrives in bomb-shattered Gaza

Read More »

Israeli forces continue to bar Palestinian protesters from entering the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Jerusalem, where residents face possible expulsion from their homes.

However, pro-Israeli protesters continue to be let into the Sheikh Jarrah area, according to human rights observers. 

The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas held in Gaza on Saturday as humanitarian aid began to enter the besieged enclave and as thousands of displaced Palestinians returned to their homes. 

Convoys of lorries carrying aid began passing into Gaza through the Karem Abu Salem crossing after it was reopened by Israel, bringing much-needed medicine, food and fuel. 

The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund said it had released $18.5m for humanitarian efforts.

Iran Will Never Leave Palestine Alone, IRGC Quds Force Commander Reiterates

 May 22, 2021

Esmail Qaani
Commander of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force Esmail Qaani

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Quds Force Brigadier General Esmaeil Qaani hailed the Palestinian nation’s “epical” struggle against the Zionist regime of Israel and underscored Iran’s continued support for Palestine.

Iran will not leave Palestine alone and will never end its support for Palestinians, no matter how much challenges may intensify and dangers may increase, General Esmaeil Qaani said in messages to senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements’ commanders Muhammad Zaif and Akram al-Ajouri.

“We will continue (our support) until the downfall of the occupying regime,” he added.

“You, the Palestinian resistance groups, created a magnificent epic with your steadfastness and proved the enemy’s weakness,” the general said, adding that the resistance forces humiliated the Israeli regime’s army.

“Your capabilities are far greater than the enemy has seen so far and even imagines,” the top commander stressed.

“We have no doubt that we will enter Al-Aqsa Mosque and say prayers there with dignity and strength,” he went on to say.

The message came as the Israeli regime’s “security cabinet” approved what it called “Egypt’s proposal” for a ceasefire amid continued avalanche of retaliatory attacks from the Gaza Strip in response to Tel Aviv’s escalation.

The ceasefire came into effect from 02:00 am on Friday (23:00 GMT on Thursday), according to the regime’s announcement on Thursday.

“The Security Cabinet unanimously accepted the recommendation of all heads of security services, the chief of general staff, the head of Shin Bet (the regime’s internal security service), the head of the Mossad (the regime’s spy agency), and the head of the National Security Council to accept the Egyptian initiative on a bilateral ceasefire, which will come into force later,” the statement said.

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan also confirmed reports about the potential of the truce, in remarks to Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network, saying, “The resistance movement has received guarantees from the mediators that the aggression on Gaza will stop.”

According to NBC News, the Egyptian government — which has in the past been involved in mediatory efforts between the two sides — said the truce would be “mutual and simultaneous.”

The Israeli regime intensified its attacks against Gaza after the coastal sliver rose up in protest in support of the Palestinians in the Israeli-blockaded West Bank, who had come under weeks of significantly violent Israeli assaults.

“Other guarantees have also been received about the expulsion of the occupying regime from al-Quds’ Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the al-Aqsa Mosque,” Hamdan added.

The resistance began its reprisal on the exact day as the escalation started and has so far, according to Tel Aviv itself, fired more than 4,000 rockets towards the occupied territories.

The reprisal has swept through the entirety of the occupied lands.

Also on Thursday, it was reported that continued avalanche of retaliatory rockets from the Gaza Strip had imposed a complete shutdown over Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv, the Israeli regime’s main air terminal.

Israeli media outlets said the airport was closed off to all inbound and outbound flights. The inbound flights were all redirected to the Ramon Airport located in the Timna Valley in the extreme southern part of the occupied territories.

The rocket attacks also earlier set off sirens throughout the whole “Gaza envelope,” which comprises the illegal Israeli settlements that lie within seven kilometers (4.3 miles) of the coastal sliver.

The Gaza-based resistance movement of Hamas identified the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon near the enclave’s border with the occupied territories as the latest target of its counterattacks.

The Israeli attacks have killed hundreds in Gaza and scores of others in the West Bank. At least 10 people have, meanwhile, been killed during the resistance’s retaliation.

Reports about the regime’s intention towards a truce came a day after deputy Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouq declared victory on the part of the resistance group, and predicted that Tel Aviv would stop its attacks soon.

Source: Iranian Agencies

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‘We want this to end’: No normal life for Israelis in range of Hamas rockets

Source

For more than a week, the intermittent wailing of rocket sirens has rung out day and night across Israel

Journalists film a damaged house following a rocket attack fired from Gaza, in the southern Israeli city of Sderot on 19 May 2021 (MEE/Jack Guez)

By Lubna MasarwaFrank Andrews

Published date: 19 May 2021 22:41 UTC | Last update: 12 hours 22 mins ago

On Saturday, after enduring nearly a week of shelling close to his home in Sderot, an Israeli city less than a mile from Gaza, Avi Dabush and his family packed their things and left, moving southeast, to stay with friends in the small kibbutz of Sde Boker in Israel’s Negev desert.

“It was impossible to stay under the rockets,” Dabush told Middle East Eye.

“I know that in Gaza [it] is more difficult. They don’t have the military power that we have and they don’t have anywhere to run. They have no shelters, but I feel that our destiny is similar.” 

According to the Israeli military, some 4,000 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza since last Monday.

“They usually say about [Sderot] that 90 percent of the time it’s heaven, and 10 percent it’s hell,” Dabush said. “But when there are rockets from Gaza, it’s 100 percent hell.”

The latest violence erupted when Israeli forces raided the al-Aqsa Mosque multiple times during the holy month of Ramadan, attacking hundreds of worshippers, following weeks of protests over forced evictions in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.Explained: Why did Israel bomb Gaza?

Read More »

When Israel failed to meet a Hamas deadline to withdraw its forces from the al-Aqsa Mosque, Hamas, the Palestinian group which controls the Gaza Strip, fired rockets into Israel.

Since then, Israeli jets have been pounding Gaza, leaving widespread death and destruction in the besieged Palestinian enclave.

At least 227 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air strikes, including 64 children and 38 women, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Unlike Israel, whose advanced arsenal includes precision-guided bombs, thanks to its own booming arms industry and billions of dollars of imported weaponry, Hamas’ rockets are unguided and mostly put together from homemade and smuggled materials.

For more than a week now, the intermittent wailing of rocket sirens has rung out day and night across Israel. Unlike Israel, the Gaza Strip has no air raid sirens or bomb shelters.

Strikes from Gaza have reached as far north as the Jezreel Valley, just south of Nazareth. But Israelis in the south and centre of the country – in towns such as Ashdod, Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva, Sderot, Jerusalem and others along the Gaza border – have seen much of the shelling.

According to Magen David Adom, Israel’s medical emergency service, rockets fired from Gaza have killed 12 and wounded 333.

Both sides have likely committed war crimes over the past week, according to Amnesty International. Israel for its attacks on residential buildings, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups for the indiscriminate nature of their shelling.

‘Ordinary people just want quiet’

“Let there be food on the table for the children, a good school to educate them, and a living environment that allows everyone to thrive according to their faith,” said Tomer, who lives in a small Israeli moshav (agricultural community) on the Gaza border.

“The truth is that the vast majority of ordinary people just want quiet,” he told MEE, declining to give his surname.

Avi Dabush agrees. “Most of the people around me… are terrified,” he said.

Dabush’s parents and sister live in Ashkelon, a few miles up the Mediterranean coast from Gaza, while his wife’s family live in Nirim, a kibbutz east of Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza. Both have been shelled.

“My mother hasn’t moved from the shelter for nine days,” he told MEE. “My father is the only one who brings her food.”

Dabush has two children, aged 15 and 12.

“[They] have been living this reality since they were born. They have gotten used to it, unfortunately,” he said.

“One of my children is empathetic, the other became more right-wing and he thinks we should defeat Hamas,” he added.

Dabush was a member of the Knesset and one of the founders of the Movement for the Future of the Western Negev, which seeks a political settlement between residents of Gaza and southern Israel.

“The Israeli media likes to highlight voices that are calling to continue the attack on Gaza until Hamas is destroyed,” Dabush said. “This is very frustrating, because in reality people want to go back to a normal life – they want this to finish.”

‘Why am I doing this to my children?’

Under growing international pressure, US President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday that he “expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire”, according to the White House.

But in a statement released soon after, Netanyahu said: “I am determined to continue this operation until its objective is achieved – to restore quiet and security to you, the citizens of Israel,” Reuters reported.

He had earlier said that “it is not possible to set a timeframe” for when the conflict might end.

Rockets continue to hurtle in and out of Gaza.

Adi Blontir, a lawyer and mother of three from the city of Be’er Sheva, east of Gaza, says the situation is so bad that for the first time she is considering leaving Israel.

“With every fresh round of fighting, I feel Gaza is born anew and blows up in our faces, as though it’s not been like that for decades,” she told MEE from her parents’ house in Ra’anana, having fled Be’er Sheva on Friday because of the shelling.

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“I am still traumatised,” she said. “My son was born in the middle of the rockets and the sirens, and I went to the hospital’s [bomb] shelter. Now I have my third baby, who was born a week before this started.”

“It’s more difficult when you have grown-up children who are asking questions, and you are worried for their mental health.

“My seven-year-old son Yonatan only sleeps in the shelter room, and has refused to go out of the house since everything started,” she added. “The anxiety level is very high among the children.”

Blontir’s husband is also a lawyer, and goes back south for work. 

“I worry about him all the time,” she said. 

Meanwhile, her children aren’t going to school. “The fact that I am away from my house with three children – and one of them is two-weeks-old, it’s very difficult.”

“I like my life here, and my work… I have a good community, but I feel now that I want to run away from here, I don’t want to raise my children in this climate.”

It’s the first time she has felt like this, she admits.

“Not only because of the feeling of laying in the indoor safe room, terrified that a rocket will fall on your house, and the sirens and sound of the bombs,” she said, but also, “the feeling I have is, ‘why am I doing this to my children?”

“In the end,” she added, “I have to answer to them.”

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