Article of 17 April 2015
Haneen Zoabi (left) and Khalida Jarrar have dedicated their life to Palestine
Khalida Jarrar and Haneen Zoabi have spent their lives fighting occupation while the men in charge have squabbled and squandered everything.
The phrase used to praise women is an inherited customary expression that refers to them as “the sisters of men”.
However, that expression is often unfair, because it actually attributes praise to the men when it really belongs to a women.
It becomes even more unfair when anyone dares to use it to describe a woman who is at the forefront of the confrontation with Israel and is showing rare courage, while her supposed brothers continue to pursue miserable and desperate peace deals.
Khalida Jarrar and Haneen Zoabi are two Palestinian women who have spent their lives fighting Israeli occupation, each in her own way and each in keeping with her surrounding circumstances and the facts of her objective situation.
They have succeeded in stripping the occupation of all its civilised masks, particularly in the last few weeks and months, and shown it up for what it really is: a racist, fascist entity that is exposed by the impotence of its power before their will.
This would have seemed less surprising had it occurred during a phase different to this one, in which the Palestinian cause has fallen to the lower levels of the Arab and international list priorities, while the massacres of despots against their peoples, accompanied by the spread of the dark forces of sectarianism through vast parts of the Arab world have gained a higher priority.
However, the arrest of Khalida Jarrar in the middle of Ramallah, which is supposed to be under the control of the Palestinian Authority, and the issuing of an unjust verdict to keep her under administrative arrest for six months, serves as a reminder of where priorities should be.
We are speaking here of a woman who took it upon herself, since her early youth, to carry the burden of defending prisoners in Israeli jails through her work as director of the Dameer (Conscience) organisation.
The Palestinian people showed its confidence in her by electing her as a member of the legislative council, in addition to her membership in Popular Front’s politbureau.
When Israel issued a military order to exile her to Jericho last September on the pretext that she was a severe security risk, she refused to comply and responded in a manner likely to lay the ground for a wide-scale popular revolt against the occupation authorities.
She pitched a protest tent and people rallied around her. Her recent arrest is a clear message that says that Palestine was and will remain the first and last concern, no matter how complicated the other conflicts raging around it become.
That message also says that every peace deal that allows Palestinian land to remain under occupation is a sham, and that any resistance that does not confront the occupiers is false.
Just like Khalida Jarrar, Haneen Zoabi followed a courageous course in confronting Israel. She has done so at the very heart of Israel’s institutions, and succeeded in becoming the first woman to run as a candidate on the Arab List, winning Knesset membership in 2009.
She provoked the anger of most Israelis when she opted, during the swearing in ceremony, to leave the Knesset just before the Israeli national anthem was played, saying that it constituted a hypocrisy of which she would not be part.
Her participation in the Freedom Flotilla to break the siege against Gaza in 2010 prompted some Israelis to call for lifting her parliamentary immunity, for putting her on trial and for expelling her from her country.
Extremist right wing groups tried to prevent her from running in the recent legislative elections, but failed. Palestinians of the interior (Galilee, the Triangle and the Negev) showed their confidence in her by re-electing her, so that she would conscientiously defend their national rights, and remain a cactus thorn in the throats of Netanyahu, Lieberman, Eli Yishai and other members of the extremist racist Israeli elite.
At this time of darkness and injustice throughout the Arab world, Khalida and Haneen protect the embers of our fire and guard what is left of our rights, which have been lost by leaders and generals, all of whom are men with not a single woman among them.
Given this situation, they are not the sisters of such men, who are only good at grovelling before Israel. Perhaps the biography of each of them requires a reconsideration of the traditional saying, so that a man who takes a courageous stand can be told, for example, that he deserves to be described as the brother of a woman called Khalida or Haneen.
(Source / 30.06.2016)
A Palestinian supporter of the former head of Fatah in Gaza, Mohammed Dahlan, holds a poster depicting Dahlan during a protest against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza City, Dec. 18, 2014
RAMALLAH, West Bank — The article by Jihad al-Khazen in the London-based Al-Hayat published June 12 and titled “A Gulf Opinion on Obama and the Palestinian Cause” has provoked silent controversy between the Palestinian Authority and the United Arab Emirates. Khazen quoted a Gulf official, without mentioning who he was, saying, “The PA ought to retire because it is a mixture of failure and corruption and is unreliable.”
Khazen continued, quoting the same official, “The UAE has stopped all aid to the PA because the latter had accused it [the UAE] of money laundering through an association in the West Bank, run by former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The UAE demands an apology from the PA for such accusations.”
The official Palestinian news agency Wafa attacked Khazen on June 14 in an article titled “Jihad al-Khazen, the eyes and ears of indecency.” It reported, “The Gulf official mentioned in the article is Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, whom the agency [Wafa] called upon to categorically deny the statements of the [Al-Hayat] article.”
In a June 15 statement, Fatah demanded Zayed take an explicit stance on Khazen’s article in Al-Hayat, yet Zayed did not issue any response or explanation.
Meanwhile, the semi-official Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported June 18 on the visit of Khaled Islam, a former Palestinian official wanted for corruption, to Jerusalem to meet with Israeli officials. The newspaper said that Islam accompanied one of the Israeli officials to the Nahariya hospital to meet a former leader of Jabhat al-Nusra who is currently a leader in the Ahrar al-Sham movement.
“The UAE is well informed of Islam’s moves, especially now since he has been moving between Erbil and Abu Dhabi,” Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported.
Islam is a close associate of former Fatah member Mohammed Dahlan. The report is an indirect reference to the Palestinian dispute regarding the good ties between Israel and the UAE, which Islam serves, and the UAE role in supporting and communicating with radical groups.
Some Palestinian officials have remained silent and refused to comment on the crisis. However, an official source in Fatah who spoke on condition of anonymity told Al-Monitor, “There are old disagreements between Palestine and the UAE, but I cannot discuss them as we do not wish to worsen the relations between the two sides.”
“This is a highly sensitive issue and we do not seek to further deteriorate relations. Thus, the PA chose to remain silent, leaving media outlets to respond,” he added.
The crisis between the PA and the UAE is not something new. It started when Fatah expelled Dahlan on June 11, 2011. Dahlan then moved to the UAE as a result of his strong ties with the ruling family, particularly Zayed, whom he serves as security consultant. In the same context, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected UAE mediation to halt legalproceedings against Dahlan before his dismissal and to heal the rift within the Fatah movement.
The dispute gap widened when on June 15, 2015, Palestinian Attorney-General Abdul Ghani Oweiwi confiscated the funds donated to the association Palestine Tomorrow for Social Development, headed by Fayyad, based on charges of money laundering and managing funds for political purposes. This has raised the ire of the UAE, especially since most of the support to the association is provided by the UAE Red Crescent. On July 8, 2015, the Palestinian Supreme Court decided to release the funds.
Sufian Abu Zaida, a dismissed member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council and a close associate of Dahlan, told Al-Monitor, “The crisis between the UAE and the PA started when Abbas foiled the attempts by Sheikh bin Zayed to heal the rift with Dahlan. Abbas promised Zayed to halt legal actions against Dahlan, but reneged on his promises and dismissed the latter from the movement, which angered the UAE.”
Abu Zaida added, “The crisis deepened when the PA has involved the UAE in several issues, which was seen by the latter as distorting its image, especially following accusations [against the UAE] of money laundering through Fayyad’s association. The PA also involved the UAE in the issue of dismissing Yasser Abed Rabbo as secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee on June 30, 2015. The PA also fell silent on the investigative report that was published by the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper on May 27, 2016, accusing the UAE and Palestinian figures such as Dahlan of buying houses and selling them to settlers in Jerusalem.”
For his part, Muwaffaq Mattar, the executive director of the Office of Information and Culture in Fatah and member of the movement’s Revolutionary Council, told Al-Monitor, “We are not concerned with any dispute with any Arab country. However, Dahlan — who serves as a security consultant in the UAE, which contributed to strengthening his ties with Egypt — has been seeking, since he sought refuge to the UAE, to stir sedition between the PA leadership and the Arab countries, namely the UAE,” by inciting against the PA.
“It is not a personal dispute between Abbas and Dahlan. We, in the Fatah movement, reject such labeling because Dahlan is wanted for murder and corruption. However, the pertinent question is how the UAE receives and supports him, knowing that he is wanted by the Palestinian judiciary,” he said.
He added, “Dahlan is doing security business within an international system [American and Israeli] to strike the PA and disturb its relations with the Arab countries, taking advantage of their concerns and fears vis-a-vis armed Islamic terrorist groups, given his security expertise in the Gaza Strip.”
For his part, Hani al-Masri, director general of the Palestinian Center for Policy Research & Strategic Studies – Masarat, told Al-Monitor, “The dispute between the PA and the UAE is not something new. However, sometimes it takes a more difficult turn. This dispute will continue to exist as long as the UAE continues to endorse Dahlan.”
He added, “The PA has to separate between the dispute with the UAE regarding Dahlan and establishing strong UAE-Palestinian relations.”
It seems the dispute between the PA and UAE is likely to persist as Fatah and the PA leadership are not making amends with Dahlan, accusing him of corruption and demanding that he be brought to justice. Dahlan enjoys official UAE support and has good relations with the heads of some Arab countries, such as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
(Source / 30.06.2016)
Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK) in Iran, Hossein Yazdan Banna
Irbil- An opposition Kurdish-Iranian commander revealed details on the Iranian administration backing terrorist organizations in the region, namely ISIS. Iranian forces have been training ISIS militants on national grounds first then deploying them to ISIS-held territories in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt.
ISIS has been receiving artillery support from Iran, which is being delivered either by airdrop or by land.
Moreover, the commander uncovered details on the Fallujah campaign advance in Iraq that was only made possible after Iranian forces negotiated an agreement with the self-declared caliphate to make way for Iraqi and Iranian forces to enter.
The commander of the military wing of the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK) in Iran, Hossein Yazdan Banna, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, warned that Iran will be cooking up news on ISIS attempting to stage terrorist attacks in Iran as to paint itself a victim’s image, deceiving the public’s opinion.
Recently, Iranian security and military officials have circulated news on thwarting an ISIS plot set to target 50 sites in Iran, claiming to arrest ten conspirers and giving Banna’s argument the solid proof it needed.
Banna added that the allegedly ISIS terrorists arrested by Iranian authorities are merely innocent citizens who have nothing to do with any terrorist group whatsoever.
PAK commander Banna added that those detained have been arrested for their affiliation to the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, a PAK branch. Over the past period, the Falcons were able to stage many attacks against IRGC camps used to train terrorists, as those camps are also transfer hubs for trained recruits to join ISIS ranks in Iraq.
Naming a number of the training camps in Iran, Banna mentioned Imam Ali camp located in Tehran, Qazanjy camp located in Kermanshah, Imam Sadeq camp located in Qom, Hezbollah camp located in Varamin and Amir al-Mu’minin camp located in the Elam province.
Banna pointed out that these camps do not only offer military training but also indoctrinate the recruits into a specific ideology and political orientation. Among the institutes responsible of for altering recruits’ mindsets are Qom’s International Center of Islamic Sciences and the International Institution on Bringing Together Islamic Sects.
The International Institution on Brining Islamic Sects together is an Iranian organization set to lure in Sunni Muslims into Iran. The institution is mainly run by the Quds Force, an IRGC fundamentalist division for special operations.
(Source / 30.06.2016)
United States Consul-General to Jerusalem Donald Blome announced on Thursday a contribution of $51.6 million from the United States to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza.
According to Yumna Patel, reporting for Ma’an News Agency, the donation was a response to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East’s (UNRWA) 2016 Emergency Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory, at a “critical” time when representatives said refugees were in dire need of assistance.
UNRWA is currently seeking $403 million in emergency funds, which it said it needed to meet the “minimum humanitarian needs” of Palestinian refugees living in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip.
Blome and UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Sandra Mitchell made the joint announcement during a ceremony at an UNRWA school in the al-Duheisha refugee camp near Bethlehem.
The funds will be distributed among a variety of programs, which include community mental health, food assistance, emergency health clinics, and a new “e-card” program.
Both Blome and Mitchell stressed the importance of the ‘e-card’ program, praising the “innovative nature” of the new system, which places a certain amount of money on a debit style-card, with which the cardholder can go shopping at affiliated grocery stores.
Blome hailed the e-card as multi-purpose solutions that could mitigate a series of problems, from giving refugees freedom of choice when it comes to shopping for food — whereas refugees previously received fixed food parcels — to making life easier for elderly refugees who previously had to wait in long lines for often heavy food parcels.
Instead of the $111 per year that had been provided to refugees in the form of a food basket, UNRWA’s new program will provide $130 per year via cash card, in four cycles annually, to some 36,129 people, according to the UN agency.
UNRWA decided to halt its food distribution program in West Bank refugee camps and replaced it with the cash card system in April, causing concern among UNRWA’s Palestinian employees, who said the move jeopardized the jobs of 300 to 400 people who work at the organization’s distribution centers.
Close to 775,000 Palestinians are registered as refugees to the UN in the occupied West Bank. UNRWA provides services in 19 camps in the Palestinian territory.
Mitchell told Ma’an on Thursday that no one who worked in UNRWA food distribution lost, or would lose, their job as a result of the e-card program, and that UNRWA had reserved open positions in other sectors for former food distribution workers.
Blome emphasized the fact that despite the continued monetary support of the United States for Palestinian refugees, “humanitarian funds cannot take the place of political action.”
International attention and involvement in the politics of Israel and the Palestinian territories have been brought to the forefront again in recent months, as many world leaders have come out in support of a French-led multilateral peace initiative.
The United States has yet to make an official statement coming out in full support of the French initiative — which has been backed by the Palestinian Authority as well as 28 EU foreign ministers — or the proposed bilateral Arab initiatives — put in motion by Egypt and backed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
After the press conference at al-Duheisha on Thursday morning, the spokesperson for the US Consulate General expressed the United States’ commitment to exploring all options for a viable peace initiative, though he added that the US viewed a “unilateral initiative” as “difficult,” and would prefer to have both Israeli and Palestinian parties to sit down at the table together in order to come up with a solution to the conflict.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed a sense of urgency regarding peace talks in press conferences with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Netanyahu on Tuesday, highlighting that as Palestinians were “faced with growing indignities and a humiliating occupation that will soon enter its 50th year, many are losing sight of the prospect of an independent Palestinian state.”
Ban implored Netanyahu to recognize the occupation as the root of the cycle of violence, and expressed Israel’s need for “a leadership that is committed to peace and a just and lasting solution.”
All past efforts towards peace negotiations have failed to end the decades-long Israeli military occupation or bring Palestinians closer to an independent contiguous state.
The most recent spate of negotiations led by the US collapsed in April 2014.
Israel claimed the process failed because the Palestinians refused to accept a US framework document outlining the way forward, while Palestinians pointed to Israel’s ongoing settlement building and the government’s refusal to release veteran prisoners.
A growing number of Palestinian activists have criticized the two-state solution as unsustainable and unlikely to bring durable peace, proposing instead a binational state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.
The binational state — termed the “one-state solution” — has increasingly gained support among Palestinians, activist groups, and intellectuals purporting it as the most reasonable way of upholding Palestinian human rights and their internationally recognized right to return to lands they were expelled from during and after the establishment of Israel in 1948.
(Source / 30.06.2016)
GAZA, (PIC)– The number of Palestinian female captives who are detained in Israeli jails under the illegal administrative detention order jumped to four. The number increased after Israeli Occupation Authority (IOA) issued an administrative detention order against Sabah Feroun, 34, from Eizeriya town to the east of Occupied Jerusalem. She has four children. Riyad al-Ashqar, media spokesman of Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, revealed that the other female captives are Suad Rzaiqat from al-Khalil, who has been detained since December 03, 2015, Sana Abu Snaineh from al-Khalil who has been detained since February, 2016 and Hanin Omar, from Tulkarem. She was arrested on March, 27, 2016. The fourth captive, Sabah Feroun, was arrested on June, 19, 2016. Ashqar pointed out that the IOA escalated the use of the administrative detention policy against Palestinians in violation of relevant articles of the international law.
(Source / 30.06.2016)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli high-level security cabinet on Wednesday approved a decision to crack down on Hamas detainees as a means to push for the release of Israeli captives in Gaza. The decisions adopted in the cabinet session include the formation of a sub-committee to persecute Hamas detainees as a means to force the group to strike new prisoner swap deal with the Israeli occupation. The cabinet further approved Israel’s newly inked reconciliation deal with Turkey, with seven out of its 10 members voting in favor of an agreement that ended six years of animosity between the two parties. Four Israeli soldiers have reportedly been held captive by Hamas following the 2014 Israeli offensive on the besieged coastal enclave of Gaza, two among whom are believed to be dead.
(Source / 30.06.2016)
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has reported, Thursday, that two Palestinian women have been killed, and seven others Palestinians have been wounded, in the terrorist attack that targeted Ataturk Airport in Istanbul Turkey, leading to the death of 42 persons.
The ministry said that Sondos Abdul-Halim Basha, from the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, died of her wounds, and that another woman, identified as Nisreen Hashem Hammad, 28, from Arraba near Jenin, died in the attack.
Hammad was a teacher and a married mother of one daughter, 4 years of age, and was living with her family in Jidda, Saudi Arabia. Her husband, Marwan, and their daughter, Rafeef, were injured.
Palestinian Ambassador in Turkey Faed Mustafa said t
hat the remains of the two slain Palestinian women will be transferred to Palestine after concluding all needed preparations, and added that seven Palestinians are currently receiving treatment in a number of Turkish hospitals, after suffering mild-to-moderate injuries.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said his ministry isclosely following the developments, and the outcome of this terrorist bombing, adding that President Mahmoud Abbasordered the formation of a crises committee in the Palestinian Embassy and in the Foreign Ministry, in order to provide the needed aid.
(Source / 30.06.2016)