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Mashaal: No one can disarm Palestinian resistance

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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas’ political bureau, said Wednesday that Palestinian militant groups in Gaza refused to disarm.

“No can disarm the resistance,” Mashaal said in a televised speech from Doha.

Twenty-eight foreign ministers of EU member states had on Tuesday called on Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades and other militant groups to disarm.

Mashaal’s speech came as the death toll from Israel’s latest assault on Gaza neared 700 on the 16th day of the offensive. Over 4,000 Palestinians have been wounded and some 140,000 have been displaced due to the Israeli attacks.

“We cannot accept any proposal that does not include the lifting of the siege on Gazans,” Meshaal said.

“How many Israeli soldiers is Israel willing to see dead before the siege is lifted?”

Some 31 Israeli soldiers have been killed by Palestinian militants since the army began a mass ground invasion on July 17, according to army figures.

The leader bemoaned the severe number of Palestinian casualties and the breakdown of the humanitarian situation in Gaza since the start of the offensive.

“Everything in Gaza is collapsing,” Mashaal said. “No water, no electricity, no medicine, no fuel, no food.”

He urged UN chief Ban Ki-Moon to visit Gaza to witness the effects of the onslaught firsthand.

Israel says it launched “Operation Protective Edge” in response to increased rocket fire on southern Israel in June and early July.

Militant groups in Gaza say they launched the rockets in response to Israel’s military search campaign to find three missing Israeli teenagers, a campaign that left at least six Palestinians dead, dozens injured, and hundreds arrested.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2006.

The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.

(Source / 23.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 23, 2014 at 8:57 pm

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Hamas rocket strike halts airline flights to Israel

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israel flights.jpg

A departure board at the Philadelphia International Airport shows that US Airways Flight 796 to Tel Aviv has been canceled on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in Philadelphia. The Federal Aviation Administration is telling US airlines they are prohibited from flying to the Tel Aviv airport in Israel for 24 hours after a Hamas rocket exploded nearby

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: A rocket fired from Gaza on Tuesday led airlines to halt flights to Israel, as the UN chief urged an end to a conflict that has killed more than 630 Palestinians.
As the violence entered its third week, the United States and Egypt discussed cease-fire proposals in Cairo, and the Palestinian leadership sought to coax Hamas to end hostilities.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on a visit to Tel Aviv, appealed to Israel and the Islamist movement to “stop fighting” and “start talking,” but neither side appeared willing to do so.
Israel insisted it would press on with its punishing aerial and ground assault until it destroys cross-border tunnels used by Gaza militants to attack the Jewish state, while Hamas continued to fire rockets and inflicted more casualties on the army.
One rocket crashed just a few kilometers (miles) north of Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion international airport prompting the US Federal Aviation Authority to ban commercial flights to and from Israel for at least 24 hours.
And the European Aviation Safety Agency advised all carriers to avoid Tel Aviv “until further notice.”
It was the first time such measures had been taken since the 1990-1991 Gulf war.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to US Secretary of State John Kerry to get the FAA ban rescinded.
“Netanyahu spoke this evening with … Kerry and asked him to act to restore flights by American airline companies to Israel,” sources in Netanyahu’s office told AFP.
Kerry said the order would be reviewed within in a day and told Netanyahu the ban was solely due to safety concerns, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Following top-level talks in Cairo, Ban went to Israel to deliver his views in person as the 15-day conflict showed no sign of easing.
“My message to Israelis and Palestinians is the same: Stop fighting, start talking and take on the root causes of the conflict so that we are not at the same situation in the next six months or a year,” he said.
In Cairo, Kerry discussed cease-fire proposals with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, with both voicing guarded hopes of an end to the violence.

Abbas talks with Hamas
And a senior Palestinian official said talks were ongoing between President Mahmud Abbas and Hamas for a cease-fire.
Abbas pledged that Israel would be held accountable internationally for Gaza deaths.
“We will pursue all those who commit crimes against our people, however long it takes,” he said in televised comments ahead of an emergency meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.
The meeting’s concluding statement called for “widespread popular protest in solidarity with Gaza and the resistance.”
Israel initially refused to halt its fire without finishing a ground operation to destroy tunnels used by Hamas for attacks inside Israeli territory, and Hamas has rejected cease-fire proposals presented by Egypt, saying its own demands must first be met.

Death toll still rising
Despite the flurry of diplomatic activity, the death toll on the ground in Gaza stood at 631 Palestinians, medics said.
Tension also remained high in the West Bank where Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man early Wednesday, Palestinian security sources told AFP.
Israel pummelled targets throughout the besieged Gaza Strip, hitting a UN school sheltering the displaced, said the United Nations’ Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA.
At the time a team from the agency, with Israeli clearance, was at the school observing damage from a possible strike the day before.
“While they were there, they came under Israeli shelling,” an official said, adding there were holes blown through the walls of the school compound, but that no-one was hurt.
Since the offensive, more than 100,000 Gazans have fled their homes, seeking shelter in 69 schools run by UNRWA.
The Israeli military said two more of its soldiers had been killed in the fighting a day earlier, hiking its overall death toll to 29, among them 27 soldiers who died in the past four days.
It also confirmed the death of a soldier who Hamas militants claimed they had kidnapped, saying his body remained unaccounted for, which suggested Hamas was likely holding the soldier’s remains.
Despite its rising body count, Israel said it would only halt its Gaza offensive after laying waste to a sophisticated network of tunnels used by militants for cross-border attacks.
A cease-fire “won’t happen before we really finish the tunnels project which was laid out as a strategic objective,” Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said, referring to a ground offensive launched on Thursday evening.
She said Hamas’s “completely unacceptable” preconditions for a truce had “no chance of being accepted by anyone.”
Hamas has laid out a list of demands for halting its fire, including a lifting of Israel’s eight-year blockade on Gaza, the release of dozens of prisoners, and the opening of its Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

UN chief urges maximum restraint
As he touched down in Tel Aviv, the UN’s Ban demanded the two sides immediately hold their fire.
Describing Hamas rocket fire on Israel as “shocking,” he said it must “stop immediately.”
But he also said Israel must exercise “maximum restraint” in Gaza, and he urged it to take a hard look at some of the root causes of the conflict “so people will not feel they have to resort to violence as a means of expressing their grievances.”
In Cairo, following talks with Sisi, Kerry again placed the onus on Hamas to accept a cease-fire to end the raging conflict in Gaza, voicing support for an Egyptian truce initiative as a “framework” to end the fighting.
The European Union appealed to Israel to keep its military operation in Gaza “proportionate” and for “all sides to implement in good faith an immediate cease-fire,” a statement from a meeting of European foreign ministers in Brussels said.
It added that “All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm,” a comment welcomed by Israel.

(Source / 23.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Posted in Revolution Palestine

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Gaza conflict: Palestinian Authority backs Hamas truce demands

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CBC's Sasa Petricic reports from Gaza border

The Palestinian decision-making body led by U.S.-backed President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday endorsed demands by Hamas for halting Gaza hostilities with Israel, a closing of ranks that may help Egyptian-mediated truce efforts.

With Israeli and U.S. encouragement, Egypt has tried to get both sides to hold fire and then negotiate terms for protracted calm in the Palestinian enclave where officials said 624 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in 15 days of fighting.

Hamas, the Gaza Strip’s dominant Islamists, and other armed factions had balked at Cairo’s offer, saying they wanted assurances of relief from an Israeli-Egyptian blockade and other concessions. The dispute was further complicated by distrust between Egypt under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Hamas.

In a move that could effectively turn Abbas into the main interlocutor for a Gaza truce, his umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Wednesday formally supported core conditions set by the Hamas-led fighters.

“The Gaza demands of stopping the aggression and lifting the blockade in all its forms are the demands of the entire Palestinian people and they represent the goal that the Palestinian leadership has dedicated all its power to achieve,” senior PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo said in Ramallah, the hub city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank where Abbas is based.

“We are confident Gaza will not be broken as long as our people are standing beside it to support it through all possible means until the invaders understand that our great people inside the homeland and outside will not leave Gaza alone.”

Gaza rocket lands near Israeli airport

Signalling that Abbas, too, sought a staggered cessation of hostilities, the Palestinian leader’s Fatah faction on Tuesday proposed a truce followed by five days of negotiations on terms.

There was no immediate response to the PLO statement from Hamas or Israel, which pressed the Gaza offensive it began on July 8 after a surge of cross-border rocket salvoes.

Earlier on Tuesday, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed near Israel’s main airport, wounding one Israeli and prompting all U.S. and some European and Canadian airlines to cancel flights to Tel Aviv, as the international community stepped up diplomatic efforts to revive a ceasefire proposal that was rejected by Hamas.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon met with Egyptian and Israeli officials in a bid to broker a truce, while Israel’s Transportation Ministry called on airline companies to reverse their decision, insisting the Ben-Gurion Airport is safe and completely guarded and saying there is no reason to “hand terror a prize,” by halting the flights.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 2,000 rockets toward Israel, and several heading toward the area of Ben-Gurion Airport have been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system, but police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Tuesday’s landing was the closet to the airport since fighting began two weeks ago.

The rocket heavily damaged a house and lightly injured one Israeli in Yehud, a Tel Aviv suburb near the airport, Samri said.

However, international airlines and passengers are growing more anxious about safety since last week, when a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

Israel Palestine Gaza conflict

Palestinians take cover as warning Israeli airstrikes are fired at a nearby building in Gaza City on Tuesday.

The disruption to air travel, which includes Air Canada flights, came as Israel is increasingly suffering from the effects of the war in Gaza after nearly two weeks of largely remaining insulated as the air defence system dependably zapped incoming Hamas rockets from the skies and the military successfully repelled infiltration attempts on the ground and from the sea. That has changed since Israel launched a ground operation on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes continued to pummel a wide range of locations in Gaza and diplomatic efforts intensified to end the fighting that has killed at least 609 Palestinians and 29 Israelis — 27 soldiers and two civilians. The UN office of humanitarian affairs estimates that at least 75 percent of the Palestinian deaths were civilians, including dozens of children.

The fate of another Israeli soldier who went missing following a deadly battle in the Gaza Strip remained unknown, a defence official said Tuesday.

  • A Palestinian woman walks past the rubble of a residential building, which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City on July 22, 2014. Israel kept up its assaults in Gaza as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the region with a mission to seek a ceasefire in the 14-day-old conflict.
It was not immediately known if the missing soldier was alive or dead, the Israeli defence official told The Associated Press. The disappearance raised the possibility that he had been captured by Hamas — a nightmare scenario for Israel. In the past, Israel has paid a heavy price in lopsided prisoner swaps to retrieve captured soldiers or remains held by its enemies.

Military officials said the soldier, identified as Sgt. Oron Shaul, was among seven soldiers in a vehicle that was hit by an anti-tank missile in a battle in Gaza over the weekend. The other six have been confirmed as dead, but no remains have been identified as Shaul, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the incident with media.

Hamas’ claimed earlier this week that it had captured an Israeli soldier. Israel’s UN ambassador initially denied the claim but the military neither confirmed nor denied it.

A representative of Shaul’s family, Racheli Gazit, said that “so long as the verification has not been completed … as far as the family is concerned Oron is not a fallen soldier.”

PALESTINIANS-ISRAEL/

Palestinians evacuate a building after what witnesses said were warning Israeli airstrikes next to their homes in Gaza City July 22, 2014.

Abductions of Israeli soldiers have turned in the past into drawn-out mediation with opponents leading to prisoner releases. In 2008, Israel released five Lebanese militants in exchange for the remains of two soldiers killed in the 2006 Lebanon war.

Also in 2006, Hamas-allied militants seized an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid and held him captive in Gaza until Israel traded more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for his return in 2011.

Hamas had threatened in the past to kidnap more Israelis and Israel says the militant group’s attacks through tunnels that stretch into Israel are for this purpose.

Rockets reportedly found in Gaza school

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Tuesday he wanted an investigation into reports that 20 rockets were found in a Gaza school operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

Baird is “calling for the UN to launch an immediate independent investigation to determine the facts surrounding these reports,” after the UNRWA said it found the rockets at one of its schools during an inspection.

The agency runs more than 200 schools in Gaza, serving more than 230,000 students.

UNRWA said the vacant Gaza school is located near two buildings housing refugees who have fled. It was the second instance of militants accused of storing weaponry in a school during the latest offensive.

An UNRWA statement said staff were removed from the building where the rockets were found, adding that it “strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible.”

Rumours were circulating in Israeli media on Sunday that the rockets ended up in the hands of Hamas, but UNRWA denied the rockets were given to Hamas.

Hamas, with some support from Qatar and Turkey, wants guarantees on lifting the blockade before halting fire. The Islamic militant group has no faith in mediation by Egypt’s rulers, who deposed a Hamas-friendly government in Cairo a year ago and tightened restrictions on Gaza — to the point of driving Hamas into its worst financial crisis since its founding in 1987.

The border blockade has set Gaza back years, wiping out tens of thousands of jobs through bans on most exports and on imports of vital construction materials Israel says could be diverted by Hamas for military use. Israel allows many consumer goods into Gaza, but experts say Gaza’s economy cannot recover without a resumption of exports.

(Source / 23.07.2014)

 

Written by altahrir

July 23, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Posted in Revolution Palestine

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Hamas ties truce to lifting of Gaza blockade

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“We kill their soldiers, they kill our civilians,” the Hamas leader said

The leader of Hamas repeated on Wednesday his rejection to a ceasefire with Israel before the lifting of the eight-year-old blockade of Gaza Strip, where an Israeli military offensive has so far killed more than 640 Palestinians, mostly civilians.

Khalid Mashal, in a televised speech, also praised the “heroism” of Palestinian fighters facing the Israeli Army in the Gaza Strip, saying that the Palestinians are “stronger” than their arch nemesis.

Mashal said the Palestinian fighters had surprised Israel and outperformed it in the “ethics of war.”

“We kill their soldiers, they kill our civilians,” the Hamas leader said.

His comments came shortly after hopes for a ceasefire to end the almost three week conflict between the two sides, with Palestinian official Saeb Erakat saying he expected a truce between Hamas and Israel to begin in a manner of hours or Thursday at the latest.

Israeli blockade

Palestinians have repeatedly called for the lifting of the blockade from Gaza, which has strangled the Palestinian enclave for years, before any talk of a cessation to the hostilities.

“The Egyptian initiative didn’t care about lifting the blockade. It talks about ceasefire first, talks later. The Palestinians say they will not accept a ceasefire without lifting the blockade, and we have to listen to the Palestinians,” Khashoggi, a Saudi political commentator and editor-in-chief of Alarab TV, told Al Arabiya News.

“The blockade is the major issue in Gaza. Saudi Arabia for sure will support lifting the blockade in any agreement,” he said.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday defended Egypt’s role in trying to broker a Gaza truce between Israel and Hamas.
Sisi said his truce proposal would give Hamas its key demand for an end to the eight-year blockade of Gaza once calm is restored.
“What we want is that normal citizens in the Gaza Strip not be subjected to what they are going through now,” Sisi said of the proposal, which demands a ceasefire before talks.

(Source / 23.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm

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The deafening silence around the Hamas proposal for a 10-year truce

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Palestinian rescue workers search for survivors under the rubble of a house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike, in Gaza City, Monday, July 21, 2014. (Photo: Khalil Hamra/ AP)

Palestinian rescue workers search for survivors under the rubble of a house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike, in Gaza City, Monday, July 21, 2014

During its first 14 days, the Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip has left atoll of over 500 dead, the vast majority of whom civilians, and many more injured. Thousands of houses were targeted and destroyed together with other essential civilian infrastructures. Over one hundred thousand civilians have been displaced. By the time you will read this article the numbers will have grown higher and, despicably, no real truce seems in sight. When I say real, I mean practicable, agreeable to both sides and sustainable for some time.

The Israeli government, followed suit by Western media and governments, was quick to put the blame on Hamas for that. Hamas – they claim – had an opportunity to accept a truce brokered by Egypt – and refused it. Others have already explained at length why this proposal crafted without any consultations with Hamas, was hard to accept by Hamas.

Much less noticed by the Western media was that Hamas and Islamic Jihad had meanwhile proposed a 10 year truce on the basis of 10 – very reasonable – conditions. While Israel was too busy preparing for the ground invasion, why didn’t anyone in the diplomatic community spend a word about this proposal? The question is all the more poignant as this proposal was in essence in line with what many international experts as well as the United Nations have asked for years now, and included some aspects that Israel had already considered as feasible requests in the past.

The main demands of this proposal revolve around lifting the Israeli siege in Gaza through the opening of its borders with Israel to commerce and people, the establishment of an international seaport and airport under U.N. supervision, the expansion of the permitted fishing zone in the Gaza sea to 10 kilometers, and the revitalization of Gaza industrial zone. None of these demands is new. The United Nations among others have repeatedly demanded the lifting of the siege, which is illegal under international law, as a necessary condition to end the dire humanitarian situation in the Strip. The facilitation of movement of goods and people between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip had already been stipulated in the Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA) signed between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 2005. Even the construction of a port and the possibility of an airport in Gaza had already been stipulated in the AMA, though the actual implementation never followed. The requested increase of the permitted fishing zone is less than what envisaged in the 1994 Oslo Agreements and it was already part of the 2012 ceasefire understanding. Unhindered fishermen’s access to the sea, without fear of being shot or arrested and having boats and nets confiscated by Israeli patrols is essential to the 3000 Gaza fishermen struggling to survive today by fishing in a limited area which is overfished and heavily polluted. The revitalization of the Gaza industrial zone, which has progressively been dismantled since the 2005 disengagement and by continuous military operations, was already considered a crucial Palestinian interest at the time of the 2005 Disengagement.

The proposed truce also demands the withdrawal of Israeli tanks from the Gaza border and the Internationalization of the Rafah Crossing and its placement under international supervision. The presence of international forces on the borders and the withdrawal of the Israeli army requested by Hamas is unsurprising, considered the heavy toll of casualties by Israeli fire in the Access Restricted Areas near the Israeli border (i.e. an area of 1.5km along the border comprising 35% of Gaza land and 85% of its whole arable land). The international presence should guarantee that Egyptian and Israeli security concerns are equally met.

The proposal also requests Israel to release the Palestinian prisoners whom had been freed as part of the deal to liberate Gilat Shalit and were arrested after the killing of the three Israeli youths in June 2014 in the West Bank; that Israel refrains from interfering in the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah; and that the permits for worshippers to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque be eased.

Not only are these conditions sensible in light of previous agreements but, especially those who pertain to the lift of the siege, are the minimum standards that Hamas and the people of Gaza could accept in the current circumstances. As Raji Sourani reports, the most common sentence from people in Gaza after the announcement of the Egyptian ‘brokered’ ceasefire was “Either this situation really improves or it is better to just die”. The dire circumstances under which Gazans have lived in the last 7 years have indeed evoked in many the image of the enclave as “the world’s largest open air prison”. A prison which is overcrowded and where in 6 years there will no longer be enough drinkable water or capacity to provide other essential services, as a recent UN report denounces. Facing this gloomy context, for many the continuous launch of rockets from Gaza is a response to the siege and the harsh conditions imposed by the occupation.

One could imagine that an agreement on the basis of the Hamas proposal could not only stop the current round of hostilities but also pave the way towards a lasting solution of the conflict. However Israel has shown no interest in considering this proposal and continues to prefer the military option. As a result one wonders whether Israel really wants a long lasting resolution of the conflict. This resolution would necessarily require compromises on the Israeli side, including relinquishing control over the West Bank and Gaza. Netanyahu recently made it perfectly clear that this option is off the table. An eventual agreement between Israel and Hamas would further strengthen the legitimacy of Hamas in the newly achieved Palestinian unity, which is a prerequisite for any lasting peace. Legitimizing the Palestinian unity is something the Israeli government is avoiding like the plague as it would push forward their quest for justice in the international arena.

Perhaps more surprisingly, the international community – with the exception of Turkey and Qatar – has spent no words on the Hamas truce proposal although many of the points of the proposal already enjoy international support. This refusal to deal with the proposal is particularly problematic in the current context. Without any pressure by the international community, Israel, the party who has the upper hand in this conflict, will feel legitimized to keep refusing negotiations for a real truce with Hamas. Truces and negotiations are made with enemies not friends. International organizations and Western leaders, echoing Israel and the United States, maintain that Hamas is a terrorist organization and thus any direct negotiations with it are embargoed.

Hamas resorts to violence, which is often indiscriminate and targets civilians – also due to the lack of precision weapons. But so does Israel – no matter how sophisticated its weaponry is. If the point is to help parties negotiate, both parties have to be treated equally, encouraged to consider measures other than military ones and accept compromises based on international law. Especially when sensible proposals are on the table as in this case. The firm refusal to engage with Hamas at this point epitomizes the failure of the international community to deal with the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Unless the international community reverts this pattern by taking a honest stand grounded in international law and diplomacy, the plight of Gaza and of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue.

(Source / 23.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 23, 2014 at 7:24 pm

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Thousands attend funeral for young protester killed by Israeli forces

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The 21-year-old was killed during clashes in Jerusalem on Monday. (AFP/File)

The 21-year-old was killed during clashes in Jerusalem on Monday

Thousands of Palestinians have attended a mass funeral for a young protester killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.

The funeral of 21-year-old Mahmoud Shawamreh was held in the occupied West Bank village of al-Ram on Wednesday.

The mourners chanted anti-Israeli slogans and called on the international community to break its silence in relation to Israel’s acts of violence against Gazans.

Shawamreh was shot in the chest during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers north of al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Monday.

Palestinian officials say he was killed as Israeli forces attempted to disperse demonstrators who were throwing stones at a military jeep.

The massive rally was held against Israel’s ongoing deadly aerial and ground offensive on the besieged coastal enclave.

Figures show Israeli aerial and ground raids have killed 665 Palestinians, including women and children, and injured more than 4,200 others so far.

Latest reports say Palestinian resistance forces continue to inflict heavy losses on the Israeli army in retaliation for its deadly onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army has confirmed that three more soldiers were killed in clashes with Hamas fighters in Khan Yunis on Wednesday morning. This brings the Israeli military death toll to 33.

However, the military wing of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades, says at least 60 Israeli soldiers have been killed so far, nine of them on Wednesday alone.

Hamas has also fired a fresh volley of rockets on the regional councils in Ashdod and Ashkelon. A red alert is also in place in Lod, Yavne, Ramla, Shfela, Ashdod, and Ashkelon.

Sirens are also sounding in Rehovot and Beit Shemesh near al-Quds (Jerusalem ).

Israeli media say the Iron Dome missile system intercepted only five of Palestinian rockets fired at Ashkelon.

(Source / 23.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 23, 2014 at 7:16 pm

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Abbas’s Collaborative Efforts Against Palestinian Resistance

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With his history of collaborating with settler-colonialist and imperialist dictates, Mahmoud Abbas must be applauding himself for every victim in the ongoing tragedy.

Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas listens to Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby, during their meeting at his residence in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Talks focused on the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza

Despite the atrocities inflicted upon Palestinians in Gaza since Israel’s genocidal Operation Protective Edge started on July 8, and despite Israel’s deadliest assault on Gaza over the weekend, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is steadfast in upholding his history of collaborative efforts with settler-colonialist and imperialist dictates.

The earliest plans for a Zionist colonization of Palestine date back to 1882 and culminated in the Nakba of 1948, when thousands of Palestinians were massacred and displaced in order to establish Israel’s settler-colonialist state we see today — an expansionist ideology and implementation in perfect accordance with plans for imperialist domination in the region.

As the horrors of mutilated bodies in Gaza unfold for all to behold, and with international impunity bequeathed to Israel looming in the background, Abbas seems intent on thwarting Palestinian resistance.

Abbas remains completely opposed to resistance — despite its legitimacy. “What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets? We prefer to fight with wisdom and politics,” he said recently in a Palestinian TV broadcast without explicitly naming Hamas.

Any claims to alleged wisdom should be seriously questioned within the parameters of historical concessions and recent history. Just as the creation of Zionist settler-colonialism initiated a prolonged process, the gradual deterioration of Palestinian resistance as a unifying component — particularly in the post-Oslo period — translated into a series of extended negotiations that facilitated both privilege among the settler population as well as colonial expansion.

As recognition from both Israel and the hostile international community took precedence over the liberation of historic Palestine, Abbas sought to further the Israeli narrative through evocations of “painful concessions” and the repeated denial of Palestinians’ rights.

“Painful concessions” — the clichéd metaphor that stands in for willing acquiescence — has wrought havoc upon the Palestinian population, irrespective of location and experience. Abbas has contributed greatly to the turmoil. In November 2012, the Palestinian Authority president publicly renounced his right to return to his birthplace, Safed, during an interview on Israel’s Channel 2.

“I visited Safed before once,” Abbas said. “It’s my right to see it but not to live there”

“I am a refugee, but I am living in Ramallah. I believe that the West Bank and Gaza is Palestine and the other parts are Israel.”

During the recent U.S.-brokered negotiations that resulted in trading the lives of Palestinian prisoners for Israeli colonial expansion, Abbas actually ridiculed the right of return for all Palestinians. The return of all Palestinians back to Palestine is “a joke,” according to Abbas, who added that it was not his intention to disrupt the demography and character of the Zionist entity.

Aside from Abbas endorsing Israel’s decades-long policy of displacing Palestinians through the repudiation of their right of return, security coordination with Israel is often evoked as a favorable operation that allegedly provides stability in the West Bank. Enshrined in U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194, the Palestinian right of return applies to all Palestinians displaced since 1948, as well as their descendents.

However, the non-binding nature of U.N. resolutions has rendered the right of return  as a point of contention, as well as an opportunity for manipulation, by Israel, which has outrightly refused the concept due to the obvious demographic changes that would necessarily result if the resolution were ever implemented in its entirely. The joint collaboration financed by the U.S. is an oppressive network in which Palestinian Authority security forces collaborate with Sherut Habitachon Haklali — or Shin Bet, Israel’s internal intelligence unit — in their quest to eliminate Palestinian resistance. Throughout the fast-paced formation of the so-called “unity government” on June 2 — a compromise of establishing a hypothetical state based upon the 1967 borders, thereby acquiescing to colonial and imperialist demands — Abbas has reiterated the sanctity of security coordination throughout discussions, declaring that the collaboration would be a continuous process.

This featured prominently again during the violent rampage in the West Bank after the remains of the three Israeli settlers were discovered on June 30. During this chaos, many prisoners released under the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange agreement were re-arrested.

The above recapitulation of recent willing subjugation on the part of Abbas takes on a dangerous precedent in light of Protective Edge and his calls to place Palestinians under international protection. The process translates directly into seeking U.N. protection, despite sufficient evidence that through its imperialist policies, the organization supports the atrocities committed in Gaza by Israel. In a recent statement, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon persisted in condemning rocket fire from Hamas, while also summoning images of terrified Israelis in shelters, thus ignoring  the carnage that stands as testimony to Israel’s gruesome massacre in Gaza. By resorting to the U.N., Abbas is willing to further his collaborative oppression by undermining the legitimate right to armed resistance against colonialism, as stipulated ininternational law.

As the death toll authored by Israel’s precision strikes increase, the U.N. continues to endorse Israel’s fabricated right to defend itself, while condemning the resistance embodied by Hamas and other Palestinian factions. Abbas has also called on France to lobby Hamas’ allies — purportedly Qatar and Turkey, according to the Agence France-Presse — in order to negotiate a truce with the settler-colonial state. Hailed as comprehensive efforts toward seeking a solution, Abbas’ grovelling at leaders whose priority lies in safeguarding Israel is evidence of his blatant betrayal of the people he claims to represent.

Before turning to France, Abbas had sought to negotiate with Egypt’s Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi to broker a ceasefire. He did this despite the country’s work with Israel to destroy the Gaza tunnels, which provided Palestinians with some degree of mobility amid travel restrictions and border closures, as well as a means of importing goods and medicine. (Israel maintains that the tunnels are used primarily for “terrorist” purposes — the mainstream manipulation commonly used to detract from the right to legitimate resistance endorsed by Hamas.)

If further proof of Abbas’ capitulation was necessary, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro stated Saturday that the U.S. was also seeking to establish Abbas’ rule over Gaza.

Shapiro, as quoted in the Times of Israel, said, “At the end of this conflict, we’ll seek to help the moderate elements among the Palestinians to become stronger in Gaza. They might be able to run Gaza more effectively than Hamas, a terror organization.”

The statement reflects potential plans to further security coordination with Israel in Gaza to eliminate resistance, based on the U.S.’s unfounded assumptions of the military and political deterioration of Hamas. Further, the rhetoric represents the U.S. government’s negation of Hamas’ legitimacy as a democratically-elected government — particularly as Hamas has persistently upheld the right to resistance and the liberation of Palestine.

The victims of Protective Edge, meanwhile, are no more a source of concern for Abbas than they are for Israel. Ostensibly to promote the image of a leader concerned about his people, a three-day mourning period was declared after tragedy unfolded in Shujaiyya — the Gaza suburb where nearly 100 civilians were slaughtered by Israeli shelling over the weekend. Abbas’ credibility, however, is constantly tarnished by the intense efforts to ensure a continuation of the history that started during the Nakba of 1948.

Taken within an historical perspective, Protective Edge is the continuation of an historical trend toward murder, forced displacement, the creation of refugees, the attempted eradication of Palestinian resistance, and a gradual extermination that reflects the bloodbath that consolidated the establishment of the settler-colonial state.

In this scenario, however, Israel can safely rely on Abbas as a collaborator in ensuring a swift implementation of the latest phase. Abbas’ unwillingness to terminate security coordination with Israel reveals an unyielding rejection of tangible Palestinian independence.

If Abbas maintains the internal oppression of Palestinians as a priority, it is little wonder that gestures such as allegedly seeking international protection and begging for political reinforcement against Palestinians would take precedence over support for the resistance. The death toll signifies recognition of the successful, preliminary phase of Palestinian Authority’s collaboration in the West Bank during Operation Brother’s Keeper, the Israeli Defense Forces’ operation that came in response to the alleged kidnapping of the three Israeli teens and paved the way for Protective Edge.

With each victim of colonial violence, Abbas must be applauding himself.

(Source / 22.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Posted in Revolution Palestine

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Arsenal fans join pro-Palestine protest in west London as Middle East conflict intensifies

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Protest: the Arsenal fans at the pro-Palestine demonstration

Arsenal fans joined a pro-Palestine protest in west London today as fighting intensifies in the Middle East.

The group of supporters were spotted with a banner which read ‘Gooners Against Apartheid’ and ‘Free Palestine’ at a march in Kensington High Street this evening.

The demonstration, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), is one of several to be staged outside the Israeli Embassy recently.

More than 600 Palestinians are believed to have killed and thousands more have been injured by Israeli army attacks since July 7, when the conflict in Gaza was reignited.

Campaigners are set to take part in another protest on Saturday, when they will march from the Embassy to Westminster.

Placards: demonstrators in Kensington High Street (Picture: Twitter/@Z_e_e_)They are calling on the UK government to put pressure on Israel to stop attacks on civilians.

In a statement online yesterday, the PSC said: “The Government is refusing to act to end the slaughter, and respect Palestinian lives.

“The new Foreign Secretary said “Israel has the right to defend itself”

“Israel is not defending itself: this attack on Gaza is simply the latest stage in a long, brutal, illegal, military occupation.

“We demand that the British government calls for an immediate end of Israel’s action – which is fundamentally based on the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

Today UN secretary-general  Ban Ki-moon said it was his “hope and belief” that his emergency mission to the Middle East will lead to an end to the fighting between Hamas and Israel “in the very near future”.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the international community must hold Hamas accountable for rejecting multiple cease-fire offers and continuing its attacks against Israeli civilians.

Mr Netanyahu said Hamas was “like al-Qaida” and it must be dealt with accordingly.

Overnight, Israel bombed five mosques, a sports complex and the home of the late Hamas military chief, a Gaza police official said.

The Israel military announced earlier that two more soldiers had died – one from sniper fire yesterday and one from as yet unexplained causes – bringing the military death toll to 27.

It is the highest number of Israeli military fatalities for any campaign since the 2006 Lebanon war. Two Israeli civilians have also been killed in the latest conflict.

(Source / 22.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 22, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Posted in Revolution Palestine

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#GazaUnderAttack | Egypt denies entry of Jordanian medical delegation into Gaza

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images_News_2014_07_21_rafah_300_0
AMMAN, (PIC)– Egyptian authorities have denied on Sunday the entry of a Jordanian medical delegation into Gaza Strip via Rafah crossing.

The delegation includes five Jordanian doctors who reached Cairo on Friday en route to Gaza to participate in the treatment of the growing number of injuries as a result of the ongoing Israeli aggression on the besieged enclave.

The delegation was carrying medical equipment and devices offered by the Jordanian Committee to support the health sector in the Gaza Strip.

The delegates said that the Egyptian authorities barred their entry along with other Arab and foreign doctors.

(Source / 21.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 21, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Posted in Revolution Palestine

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Hamas urges Iranians to expose Israel crimes in Gaza

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The photo shows a ball of fire following an Israeli airstrike on Rafah in the southern of Gaza Strip on July 11, 2014.

The photo shows a ball of fire following an Israeli airstrike on Rafah in the southern of Gaza Strip on July 11, 2014

The Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas has called on the Iranian officials, activists and media to join efforts to expose Israel’s crimes in Gaza to the world.

In a Monday statement, Hamas office in Tehran pointed to the continuation of Israel’s atrocities in Gaza and called on the Iranian media as well as political, religious and social activists to use any means at their disposal, including the Internet, to shed light on such crimes.

Hamas pointed to Israel’s recent brutal attacks against Shojaiya and al-Tofah neighborhoods in Gaza and noted that the bodies of Palestinian victims are still left scattered on the streets as Israel’s attacks on ambulances and rescue vehicles prevent the transfer of the dead and injured to hospitals.

The statement noted that Israel’s ongoing crimes in Gaza are reminiscent of the regime’s massacres in Deir Yassin in 1984, Sabra and Shatila in 1982 and Qana in 1996, which  once again unmask the inhumane character of the Israeli regime.

Israeli tanks and warplanes continue to pound the besieged enclave with sources saying that at least 39 Palestinians were killed on Monday alone.

Sunday has been the bloodiest day of the two-week conflict. More than 100 Palestinians were killed in Shojaiya neighborhood near Gaza City on Sunday. The majority of the victims were civilians, including children, women and the elderly.

The latest casualties bring the Palestinian death toll to 517 from 14 days of Israeli attacks. Over 3,000 Palestinians have been also injured in the onslaught.

Medical workers are now raising alarm over a humanitarian crisis in Gaza where hospitals are running low on basic medical supplies.

The UN Security Council has expressed serious concern over the growing number of casualties in the Gaza Strip.

(Source / 21.07.2014)

Written by altahrir

July 21, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Posted in Revolution Palestine

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