DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR TAX DOLLARS ARE GOING?

Global public opinion has shifted decisively in favour of justice for the Palestinians. What’s needed is to turn that into unrelenting pressure for an end to support for occupation, an arms embargo and sanctions, from above and below. The horror of Gaza is a crime made in Washington and London, as well as Jerusalem.

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Gaza is a crime made in Washington as well as Jerusalem

The carnage unleashed on the Palestinians is part of a decades-old routine that depends on western support
By Seumas Milne IN
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MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS CONFLICT

An Israeli army flare illuminating Gaza on 3 August. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPA

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Global revulsion at the mind-numbing carnage of Israel’s onslaught on Gaza seems finally to have spurred some of the western political class to speak out. The resignation of Sayeeda Warsi, Britain’s first Muslim cabinet minister, inprotest against her government’s “morally indefensible” stance, emboldened Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, to demand the suspension of arms export licences to Israel.

Last week it was Ed Miliband who condemned Israel’s invasion and the prime minister’s “silence on the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians”. Even the United States administration denounced its strategic protege’s“disgraceful” bombardment of a school, while Barack Obama described Palestinian suffering as “ heartbreaking” – as if he had nothing to do with it.

Now that Israelis and Palestinians have arrived in Cairo to turn the ceasefire into something more long-lasting, perhaps it feels safer to take a stand. But a month of indiscriminate brutality in which 1,875 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed is still presented, grotesquely, as a war of Israeli self-defence – rather than as a decades-long confrontation between occupier and occupied, in which western governments stand resolutely on the side of the occupier.

And while the overwhelming majority of Palestinian dead are civilians – 430 of them children – and 64 of the Israeli dead are soldiers, it is Hamas that is branded terrorist, rather than the Israeli armed forces armed with the most sophisticated targeting technology in the world.

It’s only necessary to consider for a moment what the reaction would have been if the death toll had been the other way round to realise how loaded are the scales of western moral outrage and selective the appetite for action. And it’s only by ignoring the entire history of the conflict that it can be portrayed as the result of some wearisome ancient ethnic hatred.

This week’s centenary of the outbreak of the first world war should help. David Cameron claims it was fought for freedom. In reality, it was a savage industrial slaughter perpetrated by a gang of imperial powers to carve up territories, markets and resources.

Far from defending democracy or the rights of small nations, Britain and France ended the war divvying up the defeated German and Ottoman empires between them, from Iraq to Palestine. A century on, we’re still living with the consequences.

In my own family, both my grandmothers lost brothers in the 1914-18 war. One was George Mackay Clark, who fought with the Royal Scots in Gallipoli and the campaign to conquer Palestine. He was killed in November 1917, just outside Gaza.

Ten days earlier, a British foreign secretary had signed the Balfour declaration, which on behalf of one people promised to a second the land of a third. Palestine would be a “home for the Jewish people” provided that nothing would prejudice the rights of the “existing non-Jewish communities”, as the Palestinians were described.

So began its full-scale colonisation by mainly European settlers – something that could have happened only under colonial rule – which three decades later would lead to the establishment of Israel and the dispossession or expulsion of the majority of the Palestinian people.

Four Arab-Israeli wars on, the 44% of Palestine allocated to the Palestinian majority under the 1947 UN partition plan had been entirely occupied by Israel – and the Palestinians were fighting a guerrilla war for self-determination and the refugees’ right of return.

The other day I came across a copy of Newsweek magazine from March 1978, with a picture of an Israeli tank on the cover under the headline “Israel strikes back”. Then it was south Lebanon that Israel was punishing, not Gaza – and the “terrorists” of Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation, not Hamas, that its forces were targeting.

Israel staged an even larger-scale invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and occupied the south for another 18 years. Since the Oslo agreement of the early 1990s failed to produce the Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza it was supposed to, Israel has colonised, bombed and reinvaded the Palestinian territories it illegally occupies (along with Syria and Lebanon) time and again: in 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2012.

The justification is always the same: the security of the occupier must be upheld against the resistance of the occupied and blockaded population. And at every stage Israel has had the military, financial and diplomatic support of the west, the US above all.

Despite the hand-wringing, that backing has been unwavering throughout the past month’s devastation of Gaza. Not only is Israel’s right of “self-defence” in a territory it illegally controls upheld, while the same right is denied to the Palestinians, but the US, whose military aid to Israel runs to $3bn a year, has been re-supplying it with weapons as its troops and aircraft pulverised and massacred their way through an impoverished territory from which its captive people are unable to escape.

Europe is in the same game. Britain has licensed the sale of a startling£8bn worth of military or dual-use equipment since 2010, and £42m of direct arms sales – including parts for drones and tanks used in the destruction of Gaza.

But a month on, Israel has failed to achieve its objectives. It has “mown the lawn”, as Israel’s military likes to describe its campaigns of destruction and bloodletting. But Hamas has been strengthened by its defiance and military performance; itsrate of rocket fire was barely reduced by Israel’s attacks; and the united front with other Palestinian groups Israel is so keen to destroy has been shored up by the campaign.

If the Palestinians are going to break out of their current subjection, that will have to go further. For the rest of the world it’s the outrageous big-power backing for Israel’s 47-year illegal occupation, colonisation and denial of Palestinian rights – while orchestrating an endless phoney peace process that simply allows the land grab to continue – that has to be challenged and dismantled.

Global public opinion has shifted decisively in favour of justice for the Palestinians. What’s needed is to turn that into unrelenting pressure for an end to support for occupation, an arms embargo and sanctions, from above and below. The horror of Gaza is a crime made in Washington and London, as well as Jerusalem.

 

WITH DERSHOWITZ’s RETIREMENT, ISRAEL FOUND A NEW LAWYER

You’ll never guess who ….

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unclesam1

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Who’s the Israeli government’s best spokesperson? Ron Dermer? Michael Oren? Bibi himself? Nope. It’s Hillary Clinton

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REMEMBER THAT WHEN YOU VOTE FOR A US PRESIDENT!

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Israel’s new lawyer: Hillary Clinton

She sees the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through Bibi’s eyes, which could be the reason she gets so much wrong.

By Peter Beinart IN
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Clinton and Netanyahu.

Hillary Clinton during a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo by GPO
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Who’s the Israeli government’s best spokesperson? Ron Dermer? Michael Oren? Bibi himself? Nope. It’s Hillary Clinton. In her interview on Sunday with Jeffrey Goldberg, Clinton offered the most articulate, sophisticated, passionate defense of Netanyahu’s conduct I’ve heard from a government official on either side of the Atlantic. Unfortunately, important chunks of it aren’t true.

Let’s take her claims in turn.

In his first term, Netanyahu moved towards a Palestinian state

Clinton began her defense of Bibi by noting that in his first term, in the late 1990s, he had “give[n] up territory” and “moved in that direction [towards a Palestinian state], as hard as it was.”

That’s extremely generous. It’s true that in 1997, Bibi withdrew Israeli troops from most of the West Bank city of Hebron (though they can reenter any time Israel wants) and the following year signed the Wye River Accords, under which Israel was supposed to hand over 13 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority (though Bibi’s government fell before it could do so).

What Clinton leaves out is that Bibi only agreed to these withdrawals to forestall the far larger ones envisioned under the Oslo Accords he inherited from Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. In 1993, when Oslo was signed, Bibi publicly compared it to Neville Chamberlain’s surrender of the Sudetenland to Adolf Hitler.

He accepted Oslo in the 1996 election campaign only because he couldn’t repudiate a process endorsed by the Israeli center and championed by the United States. So Bibi sabotaged Oslo by accelerating settlement growth and minimizing the amount of land Israel relinquished. “Before I took office,” he later boasted, “the conception was to give away everything except for two percent [of West Bank] while I turned everything around and gave just two percent to [full control] of the Palestinian Authority.” Or as he told settlers after leaving office, “I stopped the Oslo Accords.”

The Clinton administration officials who dealt with Bibi in his first term understood this all too well. “Neither President Clinton nor Secretary [Madeleine] Albright believed that Bibi had any real interest in pursuing peace,” writes Dennis Ross in The Missing Peace. Ross’ deputy, Aaron Miller, adds in his memoir that, “all of us saw Bibi as a kind of speed bump that would have to be negotiated along the way until a new Israeli prime minister came along who was more serious about peace.”

That’s a far cry from what Hillary told Goldberg. Then again, Ross and Miller aren’t running for president.

Bibi agreed to a settlement freeze but Abbas wouldn’t negotiate

Fast-forwarding to the Obama years, Clinton claims that, “I got Netanyahu to agree to the unprecedented settlement freeze… It took me nine months to get Abbas into the negotiations even after we delivered on the settlement freeze.”

What’s striking, again, is what Clinton leaves out. The settlement freeze was indeed, unprecedented. Unfortunately, it didn’t actually freeze settlement growth. It’s not just that, as Clinton admits, the “freeze” exempted East Jerusalem. Even more importantly, it exempted buildings on which construction had all ready begun. This loophole proved crucial because, as the Israeli press reported at the time, settlers spent the months preceding the “freeze” feverishly breaking ground on new construction, on which they continued to build during the ten month “freeze,” before breaking new ground once it expired. As a result, according to Peace Now, there was more new settlement construction in 2010 – the year of the freeze – than in 2008. As Obama administration envoy George Mitchell admitted to Palestinian negotiator Saab Erekat, the Obama administration had wanted a freeze that truly stopped settlement growth but “we failed.”

Clinton’s claim that Abbas refused to negotiate until the last minute is disingenuous too. In fact, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met repeatedly during the “freeze.” In January 2010, just over a month after it began, veteran Israeli columnist Ben Caspit reported that, “In the past weeks, Israeli representatives, including Netanyahu, have repeatedly rejected official documents that their Palestinian counterparts have tried to submit to them, with details of the Palestinian positions on all the core issues. The Israeli representatives are completely unwilling to discuss, read or touch these documents, not to speak of submitting an equivalent Israeli document with the Israeli positions.”

While reporting my book, The Crisis of Zionism, I heard four different Obama officials confirm this account. During the settlement “freeze,” the Palestinians submitted to Netanyahu and his aides the same positions they had submitted to Netanyahu’s predecessor, Ehud Olmert. These included a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with a 1.9 percent land swap for territory inside Israel proper, Israeli control of all the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, international troops in the Jordan Valley and the return of 150,000 Palestinian refugees over ten years. The Netanyahu government, by contrast, steadfastly refused to discuss the parameters of a Palestinian state.

In her interview with Goldberg, Clinton never mentions that.

Netanyahu’s views on Palestinian statehood resembled Ehud Barak’s.

Given the evidence that during her time as secretary of state, Bibi refused to discuss territory, Clinton’s claim that “I saw Netanyahu move from being against the two-state solution to…considering all kinds of Barak-like options” is bizarre. Whatever you think of Ehud Barak’s offer at Camp David in July 2000, it was a detailed offer. Netanyahu, by contrast, refused put forward a territorial proposal not merely during Clinton’s term, but during John Kerry’s far more aggressive effort to broker a deal. During the Kerry negotiations, according to Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, Netanyahu “flatly refused to present a map or even to discuss the subject theoretically…throughout the nine months of the talks Netanyahu did not give the slightest hint about the scale of the territorial concessions he would be willing to make.”

It’s too bad Goldberg didn’t press Clinton on what kind of “Barak-like options” she heard Netanyahu propose, because the best reporting we have suggests he offered no territorial “options” at all.

Netanyahu is right to demand indefinite control of the West Bank

Most remarkable of all, Clinton tells Goldberg that, “If I were the prime minister of Israel, you’re damn right I would expect to have security [control over the West Bank].” What makes this statement so remarkable is that earlier in the interview, Hillary praised the Clinton parametersoutlined by her husband in December 2000. Those parameters permit Israeli troops to remain in the Jordan Valley, along the West Bank’s border with Jordan, for three years. Later in the interview, Clinton claims that she convinced Abbas to agree to allow Israeli troops to remain for “six, seven, eight years” and that she “got Netanyahu to go from forever to 2025” as a date for their withdrawal. Even this, from a Palestinian perspective, represents painful backsliding from the position outlined by Hillary’s husband. But as Hillary must know, Bibi three weeks ago said that in light of regional developments, “there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.” Which is to say that, as of now, Bibi’s position really does seem to be “forever.” Yet rather than challenge that stance, Clinton endorses it.

Why does Clinton again and again endorse Netanyahu’s view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict even when it contradicts long-standing American positions? Because she’s so willing to see the world through his eyes. Notice how she begins her statement about security control of the West Bank: “If I were the prime minister of Israel.” There’s nothing wrong with that. U.S. officials should understand, and empathize with, Israeli leaders, even right-wing ones. But what’s missing from Clinton’s interview is any willingness to do the same for Palestinians. If it’s so easy to understand why some Israelis might want perpetual military control of the West Bank, why can’t Clinton understand why Palestinians – after living for almost fifty years under a foreign army – might not want it to indefinitely patrol their supposedly independent state.

One of the hallmarks of Barack Obama’s statements about Israel and Palestine, going back to his 2008 presidential campaign, has been his insistence on giving voice to the fears and aspirations of both sides. Writing about his trip to Israel in The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote that, “I talked to Jews who’d lost parents in the Holocaust and brothers in suicide bombings; I heard Palestinians talk of the indignities of checkpoints and reminisce about the land they had lost.” In Jerusalem last March, he spoke movingly, and in detail about the Jewish story, but also asked Israelis to “put yourself in their [the Palestinians] shoes. Look at the world through their eyes.” In her interview with Goldberg, that’s exactly what Clinton does not do. Her interpretations of recent Israeli-Palestinian history reflect from a deep imbalance: a willingness to see reality through Israeli eyes and an almost total refusal to do the same for Palestinians.

“For far too long,” wrote Aaron Miller in 2005, “many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, myself included, have acted as Israel’s attorney, catering and coordinating with the Israelis at the expense of successful peace negotiations.” From the beginning, Barack Obama has tried to avoid that. Although he hasn’t brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace, he has tried to make good on his campaign promise to“hold up a mirror” to both sides. In Hillary Clinton, by contrast, at least judging from her interview on Sunay, Israel has yet another lawyer. And a very good one at that.

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Bibi just might need a good lawyer soon …. Read THIS Ynet report.

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HillaryforPrison2016

CEASEFIRE TALKS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND ISRAEL

Egypt seems  to be trying to act as broker in negotiating a ceasefire between the warring factions of Israel and Palestine, BUT …. an important element is missing from those talks. The Palestinians are NOT being represented at all so what you have in actuality are talks between Israel and itself ….. talks that will obviously lead nowhere.

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And thanks to Uncle Sam that budget is unlimited

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From HaAretz, a report on the Palestinian view of the ‘talks’ …

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Confusion reigns in Cairo as sides remain far apart

Egypt’s president doesn’t think Hamas and Israel will reach an agreement in coming days, while the Palestinians aren’t even sure who’s authorized to agree on their behalf.

There is some confusion in the Palestinian delegation about who is actually conducting their negotiations. According to Egyptian sources, every idea that is raised goes to Hamas’ political leader Khaled Meshal for comments, agreement or rejection. His delegates in Cairo have no authority to decide – in contrast to Islamic Jihad representatives, who were instructed by the organization’s leader to accept Egyptian proposals.

Read the full Report HERE

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Below is a post from last night outlining the source of that confusion …

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THIS IS WHAT THEY PROPOSE AS THE LEADER OF GAZA

latuff-abbas-settler

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WHY NOT GO ALL THE WAY AND PROPOSE THIS INSTEAD?

We can call it a Troika ;)

color-obam-netan-abbas-web

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I really had to laugh when I read the following report from Ynet ….

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Egyptian ceasefire plan introduces PA control in Gaza

Analysis: Israel seems prepared to accept passage of goods, people between Gaza, West Bank; diplomats considering release of prisoners withheld during peace talks.

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Egypt’s intelligence chief, Major General Mohamed Ahmed Fareed Al-Tuhami, is taking action at ceasefire talks in Cairo to consolidate an initial agreement focused on a ceasefire and humanitarian relief.

According to the emerging agreement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA) will have control over the Philadelphi Route to prevent further construction of smuggling tunnels beneath the border between Egypt and Gaza.

By following this plan, Abbas and forces under the PA would be responsible for monitoring or destroying entrances to smuggling tunnels on the Palestinian side and the Egyptians would do the same from Sinai as they have done up till now.

 

Under the Egyptian initiative, the PA would gain control of the Philadelphi Roue. (Photo: AFP)
Under the Egyptian initiative, the PA would gain control of the Philadelphi Roue. (Photo: AFP)

 

These plans for the Philadelphi Route are all part of the Egyptian ceasefire plan which would include the opening of the Rafah border crossing under control of the PA and which Abbas’ negotiators seem ready to accept within the framework of their reconciliation government with Hamas, restoring some form of control and status to the PA in the Gaza Strip.

In accordance with the current outlines drawn up by the Egyptians, Israel is required to facilitate the movement of goods at the Kerem Shalom border crossing as well as the movement of people between Gaza and the West Bank through the Erez border crossing. Israel is prepared to agree to such a deal.

The Israelis have also signaled that they are prepared to grant the Palestinians expanded fishing rights off the Gaza coast, but demand that Israeli forces will be able to monitor a security parameter from the west to the fence surrounding the Strip in order to make sure that Palestinian organizations aren’t digging new smuggling tunnels.

It’s not completely clear if the Israelis are demanding a permanent presence in the security parameter or simply the right to enter the area when there is suspicion of a tunnel being dug and about to emerge in Israeli territory.

According to the Egyptian initiative, besides having control of the Philidelphi Route and the Rafah border crossing, the PA will act as a middle man, passing funds from Qatar to Hamas in the amount required to pay some 43,000 government officials who have not been paid for quite some time.

The efforts to reach an agreement are being held mainly in Cairo, but are also taking place by telephone between the Israelis, Egypt, the PA, the US, and a few countries representing EU interests. The UN envoy Robert Serry is also involved in these efforts.

These efforts are complex, but can be easily separated into two different political fronts or goals to be achieved.

1. The involved parties are working to achieve an immediate ceasefire that will allow for humanitarian relief to reach Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

2. The general consensus is also that a long-term agreement needs to be reached that will include an international declaration to prevent Hamas’ military build up under either Palestinian or international supervision, and a large aid package to rebuild the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli delegation is not currently present in Cairo, mostly because their presence isn’t necessary for talks to continue. The envoy that returned to Israel on Friday already gave the Egyptians their stance on the initial agreement.

So far, Egyptian mediators have not phoned and asked the Israelis to change or reconsider any of their terms. Therefore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can say without hesitation that he is not negotiating with Hamas while Israel remains under fire. At least for the time being, the Israeli envoy doesn’t seem to be preparing to return to Cairo, but such action is possible.

 

A rocket that fell near a town in the Eshkol Regional Council as fire from Gaza continued Saturday. (Photo: Eshkol Regional Council Spokesperson)
A rocket that fell near a town in the Eshkol Regional Council as fire from Gaza continued Saturday. (Photo: Eshkol Regional Council Spokesperson)

 

Israel, Egypt, and the PA all have mutual interests in the Egyptian initiative which intelligence chief Al-Tuhami is currently trying to sell to the Palestinians. At the moment, Hamas is standing by its demands, but according to assessments in Cairo and Jerusalem, the group will eventually agree to a ceasefire and the terms of the initial agreement. The sides will then sit and talk out the main diplomatic truce.

Prisoner release

Israel will most likely agree to release Palestinian prisoners that were denied their freedom during the last round of peace talks. This move will strengthen PA leader Abbas and at least partially meet Hamas’ demands to release certain prisoners. However, right-wing politicians in Israel deny reports regarding the possible release of prisoners who were released in the deal for Gilad Shalit and re-captured during Operation Brother’s keeper in the West Bank.

Bassam as-Salhi, a member of the Palestinian envoy to Cairo, said Saturday that the Palestinians have postponed Israel’s suggestion to release prisoners in exchange for the bodies of Israeli soldiers.

As-Salhi spoke to Ma’an News Agency on Saturday saying that the Palestinians are refusing to discuss the subject of the soldiers in the framework of the ceasefire talks. He said that the delegates would be ready to raise the issue after their other demands were met.

 

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is making a push on the international front to come to an agreement in Gaza. (Photo: Emil Salman)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is making a push on the international front to come to an agreement in Gaza. (Photo: Emil Salman)

 

Meanwhile, in the international arena, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is pushing for an agreement that will finance the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip with funds from the US, EU and possibly even the UN while making sure to enforce strict inspection to prevent the military build up of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas proactively continues to fire rockets at Israel in relatively small amounts. Even Hamas doesn’t want to anger the Egyptians and lose points in international and Palestinian opinion. Therefore, they are simply allowing Islamic Jihad to fire the rockets while seemingly putting limits on them.

This policy allows Hamas to keep its stockpile of rockets for another day. Israel is responding to rocket fire by hitting targets picked out by intelligence efforts during the fighting including operation and control centers which were already attacked but which Hamas is trying to reoccupy.

Israel is also attacking with comparative restraint in order no to upset Egyptian efforts to reach a stable ceasefire.

 

#GazaUnderAttack~~ EGYPTIAN ‘INTELLIGENCE’S’ LACK OF SAME REGARDING PEACE IN GAZA

THIS IS WHAT THEY PROPOSE AS THE LEADER OF GAZA

latuff-abbas-settler

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WHY NOT GO ALL THE WAY AND PROPOSE THIS INSTEAD?

We can call it a Troika ;)

color-obam-netan-abbas-web

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I really had to laugh when I read the following report from Ynet ….

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Egyptian ceasefire plan introduces PA control in Gaza

Analysis: Israel seems prepared to accept passage of goods, people between Gaza, West Bank; diplomats considering release of prisoners withheld during peace talks.

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Egypt’s intelligence chief, Major General Mohamed Ahmed Fareed Al-Tuhami, is taking action at ceasefire talks in Cairo to consolidate an initial agreement focused on a ceasefire and humanitarian relief.

According to the emerging agreement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA) will have control over the Philadelphi Route to prevent further construction of smuggling tunnels beneath the border between Egypt and Gaza.

By following this plan, Abbas and forces under the PA would be responsible for monitoring or destroying entrances to smuggling tunnels on the Palestinian side and the Egyptians would do the same from Sinai as they have done up till now.

 

Under the Egyptian initiative, the PA would gain control of the Philadelphi Roue. (Photo: AFP)
Under the Egyptian initiative, the PA would gain control of the Philadelphi Roue. (Photo: AFP)

 

These plans for the Philadelphi Route are all part of the Egyptian ceasefire plan which would include the opening of the Rafah border crossing under control of the PA and which Abbas’ negotiators seem ready to accept within the framework of their reconciliation government with Hamas, restoring some form of control and status to the PA in the Gaza Strip.

In accordance with the current outlines drawn up by the Egyptians, Israel is required to facilitate the movement of goods at the Kerem Shalom border crossing as well as the movement of people between Gaza and the West Bank through the Erez border crossing. Israel is prepared to agree to such a deal.

The Israelis have also signaled that they are prepared to grant the Palestinians expanded fishing rights off the Gaza coast, but demand that Israeli forces will be able to monitor a security parameter from the west to the fence surrounding the Strip in order to make sure that Palestinian organizations aren’t digging new smuggling tunnels.

It’s not completely clear if the Israelis are demanding a permanent presence in the security parameter or simply the right to enter the area when there is suspicion of a tunnel being dug and about to emerge in Israeli territory.

According to the Egyptian initiative, besides having control of the Philidelphi Route and the Rafah border crossing, the PA will act as a middle man, passing funds from Qatar to Hamas in the amount required to pay some 43,000 government officials who have not been paid for quite some time.

The efforts to reach an agreement are being held mainly in Cairo, but are also taking place by telephone between the Israelis, Egypt, the PA, the US, and a few countries representing EU interests. The UN envoy Robert Serry is also involved in these efforts.

These efforts are complex, but can be easily separated into two different political fronts or goals to be achieved.

1. The involved parties are working to achieve an immediate ceasefire that will allow for humanitarian relief to reach Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

2. The general consensus is also that a long-term agreement needs to be reached that will include an international declaration to prevent Hamas’ military build up under either Palestinian or international supervision, and a large aid package to rebuild the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli delegation is not currently present in Cairo, mostly because their presence isn’t necessary for talks to continue. The envoy that returned to Israel on Friday already gave the Egyptians their stance on the initial agreement.

So far, Egyptian mediators have not phoned and asked the Israelis to change or reconsider any of their terms. Therefore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can say without hesitation that he is not negotiating with Hamas while Israel remains under fire. At least for the time being, the Israeli envoy doesn’t seem to be preparing to return to Cairo, but such action is possible.

 

A rocket that fell near a town in the Eshkol Regional Council as fire from Gaza continued Saturday. (Photo: Eshkol Regional Council Spokesperson)
A rocket that fell near a town in the Eshkol Regional Council as fire from Gaza continued Saturday. (Photo: Eshkol Regional Council Spokesperson)

 

Israel, Egypt, and the PA all have mutual interests in the Egyptian initiative which intelligence chief Al-Tuhami is currently trying to sell to the Palestinians. At the moment, Hamas is standing by its demands, but according to assessments in Cairo and Jerusalem, the group will eventually agree to a ceasefire and the terms of the initial agreement. The sides will then sit and talk out the main diplomatic truce.

Prisoner release

Israel will most likely agree to release Palestinian prisoners that were denied their freedom during the last round of peace talks. This move will strengthen PA leader Abbas and at least partially meet Hamas’ demands to release certain prisoners. However, right-wing politicians in Israel deny reports regarding the possible release of prisoners who were released in the deal for Gilad Shalit and re-captured during Operation Brother’s keeper in the West Bank.

Bassam as-Salhi, a member of the Palestinian envoy to Cairo, said Saturday that the Palestinians have postponed Israel’s suggestion to release prisoners in exchange for the bodies of Israeli soldiers.

As-Salhi spoke to Ma’an News Agency on Saturday saying that the Palestinians are refusing to discuss the subject of the soldiers in the framework of the ceasefire talks. He said that the delegates would be ready to raise the issue after their other demands were met.

 

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is making a push on the international front to come to an agreement in Gaza. (Photo: Emil Salman)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is making a push on the international front to come to an agreement in Gaza. (Photo: Emil Salman)

 

Meanwhile, in the international arena, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is pushing for an agreement that will finance the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip with funds from the US, EU and possibly even the UN while making sure to enforce strict inspection to prevent the military build up of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas proactively continues to fire rockets at Israel in relatively small amounts. Even Hamas doesn’t want to anger the Egyptians and lose points in international and Palestinian opinion. Therefore, they are simply allowing Islamic Jihad to fire the rockets while seemingly putting limits on them.

This policy allows Hamas to keep its stockpile of rockets for another day. Israel is responding to rocket fire by hitting targets picked out by intelligence efforts during the fighting including operation and control centers which were already attacked but which Hamas is trying to reoccupy.

Israel is also attacking with comparative restraint in order no to upset Egyptian efforts to reach a stable ceasefire.

USA FINALLY APPALLED BY ITS OWN MISDEEDS IN GAZA

It took 28 days of killing innocent civilians to finally get the USA to speak out against it …. don’t forget it was THEY that supplied the bombs and bullets. 

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“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed.”

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obama-appalled

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U.S. ‘Appalled’ By ‘Disgraceful Shelling’ On U.N. School in Gaza

Urges Israel to Avoid Civilian Casulties

By Reuters VIA

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The United States criticized the “disgraceful shelling” at a U.N. school in Gaza on Sunday and urged Israel to do more to prevent civilian casualties in its war against Hamas militants.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also called for an investigation into attacks on U.N. schools in densely populated Gaza.

“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed,” Psaki said in a statement.

Psaki urged Israel again to live up to its own standards of avoiding civilian casualties as the conflict in the Hamas-controlled Gaza stretched into its 27th day.

On Wednesday, at least 15 Palestinians who sought refuge in a U.N.-run school in Jabalya refugee camp were killed during fighting, and the United Nations said Israeli artillery had apparently hit the building. The Israeli military said gunmen had fired mortar bombs from near the school and it shot back in response.

Psaki said U.N. facilities should not be used as bases from which to launch attacks.

“The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians,” she added.

The fighting on Sunday pushed the Gaza death toll given by Palestinian officials to 1,775, most of them civilians. Israel has confirmed that 64 soldiers have died in combat, while Palestinian rockets have killed three civilians in Israel.

#GazaUnderAttack ~~ A SIMPLE EQUATION

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

United States + Israel = Gaza Attack

united-states-israel-gaza-altagreer

US TAX DOLLARS CONTINUE TO PAY FOR CARNAGE IN GAZA

The Pentagon confirmed the Israeli military had requested additional ammunition to restock its dwindling supplies on July 20, with the US Defense Department approving the sale just three days later.

SALE ????

 Did anyone see a receipt??

This might explain why you didn’t … the weapons were already in Israel.

Two of the requested munitions came from a little-known stockpile of ammunition stored by the US military on the ground in Israel for emergency use. The War Reserve Stockpile Ammunition-Israel is estimated to be worth $1 billion.

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US resupplies Israel with weapons as Gaza death toll hits 1384
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Members of Code Pink hold a vigil of civil disobedience and conduct a “die-in”
in front of the Israeli Embassy July 30, 2014 (AFP Paul J. Richards)
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GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The United States confirmed it had restocked Israel’s supplies of ammunition, hours after finally sharpening its tone to condemn an attack on a United Nations school in Gaza that killed 16 people sheltering there.Israeli airstrikes and shelling continued overnight and into the morning leaving 21 Gazans dead and dozens injured, bringing the 24-day death toll to 1,384 with 8,000 injured, according to the Ministry of Health. The Israeli military confirmed that 20 “sites” had been hit overnight.

The dead included six people, including Majdi Fseifis, 22, killed in a bombing that hit a crowd of civilians near a mosque in the Abasan area east of Khan Younis.

Also in Khan Younis, one Palestinian was killed and four were wounded in a strike that hit a motorcycle in the Ma’an area south of the city.

Mahdiya Suleiman Omar Abu Luli, 58, was killed in an Israeli strike on Khan Younis as well.

Maha Abd al-Nabi Salim Abu Hilal was killed in a strike on her home that also “seriously” injured her husband and three children. She was brought to Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital.

Suleiman Baraka, 31, and Aref Baraka, 58, were also killed in a strike, and their bodies were both brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital in Deir al-Balah.

At least 55 were wounded after the al-Hamoud house in Beit Lahiya was hit at dawn. Injuries were also reported during an Israeli strike on the home of the al-Haw family as well as against Block 7 in Jabaliya.

Israeli aircraft also targeted a house east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip belonging to Abu Abdullah Abu Huwayshal, destroying it completely.

Violent clashes broke out between Palestinian fighters and Israelis forces in the Nabahin field east of al-Bureij.

The dead overnight included Yusuf Ibrahim, 19, son of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs who died of wounds sustained in an Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp the day before. Ahmad al-Luh died early Thursday in al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital as a result of injuries as well.

The deaths in the besieged Gaza Strip come on the 24th day of an Israeli assault which has nearly topped the death toll from the 2008-9 Cast Lead, the bloodiest attack on the area in memory when Israel killed 1,400 in 22 days.

Israel launched the current assault — called Operation Protective Edge — in early July as part of what it said was an effort to combat rockets, but has since changed the focus to destroying what it say are tunnels dug from Gaza into Israel.

Rocket fire into Israel increased in late June and early July after Israel launched a sweeping assault on Hamas across the West Bank, killing nearly a dozen, injuring more than 100, and leading to more than 1,000 arrests, along with nightly airstrikes on Gaza.

Hamas has insisted that any ceasefire include an end to the eight-year Israeli blockade, which has severely crippled the tiny coastal enclave’s economy and led to recurring shortages of basic goods.

Israeli authorities, meanwhile, have signaled their refusal to end the assault without inflicting heavy damage on Palestinian military capabilities.

Palestinian paramedics move a victim of an Israeli air strike on a market to an
ambulance in Shujaiyya on Wednesday (AFP Mahmud Hams)
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No blame for Israel

While both the White House and the State Department condemned the shelling of the UN-run school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza on Wednesday in which at least 16 Palestinians were killed, neither would assign blame to staunch US ally Israel.

“Obviously nothing justifies the killing of innocent civilians seeking shelter in a UN facility,” deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf acknowledged, in some of the toughest US comments since the start of the 23-day fighting in the Gaza Strip.

“Innocent Palestinians seeking refuge in these schools should not have shells dropped on them, should not come under attack.”

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA said Israeli forces had hit the school, which had been sheltering some 3,300 Gazans.

But despite heated exchanges with reporters, Harf stressed that “we don’t know for certain who shelled this school, we need to get all the facts.”

National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan also condemned “those responsible for hiding weapons in United Nations facilities in Gaza” and warned of rising fears that thousands of Palestinians who have been told by Israel to leave their homes increasingly had nowhere to go in the blockaded narrow coastal strip.

US officials also warned that patience with “crazy” Israeli criticism of would-be-peacemaker John Kerry had snapped.

New ammunition for IsraelThe Pentagon confirmed the Israeli military had requested additional ammunition to restock its dwindling supplies on July 20, with the US Defense Department approving the sale just three days later.

“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

“This defense sale is consistent with those objectives.”

Two of the requested munitions came from a little-known stockpile of ammunition stored by the US military on the ground in Israel for emergency use. The War Reserve Stockpile Ammunition-Israel is estimated to be worth $1 billion.

The decision to provide ammunition to Israel could fuel controversy, coming just as Washington expresses growing concern about the deaths of more than 1,300 Palestinians, most of them civilians, since the Israeli operation began on July 8.

Kirby said Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel told his Israeli counterpart that the United States was concerned about the deadly consequences of the spiraling conflict, including a “worsening humanitarian situation” in Gaza, and called for a ceasefire and end to hostilities.

He also renewed calls for the disarmament of Gaza’s Hamas rulers and “all terrorist groups.”

Relations between Israel and its staunch ally the United States have plunged in recent days after Kerry returned from a mission to the Middle East to try to broker a ceasefire between the Israelis and Hamas militants.

Anonymous Israeli officials have hit out at Kerry’s truce proposal, calling it “a strategic terrorist attack” and criticizing it for being a “Hamas wish-list” including moves to lift a long-standing Israeli blockade of Gaza while failing to address Israel’s security concerns, such as Hamas rocket fire and a network of underground tunnels.

And on Tuesday a fabricated transcript of a call between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went viral on social media.

Out to hurt ties?

Stressing the “unprecedented” US support for Israel, Harf hit out at Israeli elites’ “offensive and absurd” claims that Kerry backs Hamas.

She rubbished the fake transcript as “complete crap,” adding “there’s clearly people … who are putting out false and defamatory and absurd information.”

“I don’t know what else you can assume about the intentions except that they’re designed to hurt our relationship,” she added.

Washington, which has provided billions in military aid to Israel, including funding the Iron Dome shield protecting the country from Hamas rockets, was “very committed” to Israel’s security, which is “why these vicious attacks on the secretary are just crazy,” she added.

And US lawmakers are working on a package of additional military support from Washington to commit $225 million for the Iron Dome missile defense shield.

More than 100 people died in Israeli strikes across Gaza Wednesday, medics said, including 17 at a crowded marketplace, sending the Palestinian toll from the 23 days of fighting to 1,363.

On the Israeli side, the conflict has cost the lives of 56 Israeli soldiers, and two civilians, as well as that of a Thai national.

AFP contributed to this report.

ISRAEL WELCOMES FRANCE TO THE LEAGUE OF TYRANTS

France became the first country in the world to ban pro Palestinian demonstrations …. does this make them ‘The Only Democracy In Europe?’ (sic)

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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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Israel-Gaza conflict: French minister Bernard Cazeneuve backs ban on pro-Palestinian protests in Paris

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 The French Interior Minister argued the protest could threaten public order
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Thousands of protesters were expected to march in Paris over the weekend and call for an end to the violence in Gaza, as it emerged on Friday that the Israeli military had killed 296 Palestinians in the renewed conflict – including a baby, four children and a 70-year-old woman since Thursday.  One Israeli civilian and one IDF soldier have died in the 11-day conflict.

Citing a “threat to public order”, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve backed the police ban on the widely-advertised mass demonstrations, after members of the Jewish Defence League (LDJ) and pro-Palestinian groups clashed last Sunday.

He also advised other police prefects to consider banning planned rallies on a “case by case” basis.

Videos from rallies last week reportedly showed armed LDJ vigilantes attempting to tempt pro-Palestinian demonstrators into fights.

“I consider that the conditions are not right to guarantee security,” Mr Cazeneuve said regarding the main Paris march, according to theMail Online.

On Friday evening, lawyers for a number of groups responded by lodging an appeal against the ban in a Paris court.

Attending an illegal demonstration is punishable by a year in prison, and a €15,000 fine – a penalty which rises to a three year sentence and a €45,000 fine if a demonstrator covers their face to avoid being identified.

Meanwhile, publicising an illegal demonstration on social media can lead to a year-long prison sentence, and a €15,000 fine. This increases to seven years and a 100,000 fine if the post sparks violence.

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French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve at the National Assembly in Paris (Getty)

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve at the National Assembly in Paris (Getty)

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Youssef Boussoumah, of the Party of the Indigenous of the Republic (PIR), told the website: “France is criminalising any show of solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

“This is an absolute outrage, it is a continuation of attempts to muzzle the Palestinian people and to get them and their supporters in France to surrender absolutely to Israel’s oppression,” he added.

False reports following last week’s protests claimed that pro-Palestinian demonstrators had damaged synagogues during the rally, but it later emerged none of the religious buildings had been targeted.

A judicial inquiry is to be launched into the false allegations.

TODAY’S GAZA SPOOF

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

 

Bibi and Abbas love to watch the horror show together

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IMAGES OF THE GAZA WAR AND THE OCCUPATION(S)

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All Thanks to America

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COMPARATIVE NAKBAS

Palestine 1948

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Poland 1940

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Holocaust-industry

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Bibi’s Wall 2014

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Never Again OR Over Again?

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VISITING PALESTINE (WHERE OUR BOMBS FALL)

A MUST WATCH ~~~

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Along with the growing Israeli settlement projects in Jerusalem and the West Bank, the siege of Gaza is part of the ongoing ethnic cleansing, community decimation and collective punishment of the Palestinian people. The 1.8 million people living in the tiny Palestinian territory of Gaza have been living under blockade for eight years and are increasingly impoverished.

The land, sea and air blockade of Gaza is enforced by both Israel and Egypt. Visiting Gaza is usually difficult or impossible. However, in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, with the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt, the Egyptian government briefly eased some of the restrictions on visiting Gaza. Thus I was able to join Medea Benjamin and Ann Wright of Code Pink, Kathy Kelley of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and other delegates from ISM and National Lawyer’s Guild on a visit to Gaza just after the eight-day Israeli attack November 14-21, 2012.

I filmed “Visiting Palestine” in the Jabalya Refugee Camp on December 3rd, my last day in Gaza. My guide was Majed Abusalama, who grew up in the Jabalya Camp, which is about a half hour north of Gaza City.

A majority of the people living in Gaza are refugees of the descendants of refugees who were forced from their homes by Europeans and into refugee camps in the Gaza Strip in 1948. Egypt administered Gaza until Israel captured it in the 1967 war. Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005, but the US and Israel imposed sanctions after the Palestinian political party Hamas won a majority of votes in the West Bank and Gaza in the election for the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006. In the ensuing power struggle between Fatah and Hamas, the latter seized control of Gaza in 2007, and Israel imposed a siege on Gaza.

What I most like about this video is the diversity of people I meet in it: secular and religious, pacifist and more militant, those with small houses and those with larger houses. And each Gazan I meet has her or his own way of coping with the absurdity of living under the siege and the repeated attacks. The video is a first-hand and, I believe, quite authentic document of the experiences and feelings of people in one place in Palestine: it is no more than that and no less than that.

Many of the Palestinians I meet tell me — quite spontaneously — that the US plays a huge role in making their lives so difficult. The people of Gaza must live every day with the knowledge that a new attack against them, financed in large measure by us US taxpayers, could be launched at any time.

I put a bit of myself in this video just so that you can see that I myself was surprised and even shocked at some of what I saw and learned. I believe that most of us Americans have little idea of the real human impact of US policies on other peoples. And it is important that we learn as much as we can, because we as citizens are ultimately responsible for the actions of our government.

The Israeli attack in November 2012 was clearly meant to be a “collective punishment” of the Palestinians living in Gaza. As one witness tells me in the video, rather than “targeting” the supposed militants, the Israelis warned them and their neighbors to get out of their houses and then blasted whole city blocks with bombs dropped from F-16s provided by the United States.

We US taxpayers give $3 billion to Israel for their military each year — this is hardly the way to achieve peace!

ISRAELI/PALESTINIAN ‘UNITY GOVERNMENT’ ANGERS PALESTINIANS

Angered by collaboration with Israel, Palestinians stone PA police – video

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Palestinian protestors turned their anger against the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, stoning the PA police headquarters in the early hours of Sunday morning, following an Israeli incursion into the center of the city.

Muhammad Ismail Atallah Tarifi, aged 30, was fatally shot by the Israeli forces who, according to Ma’an News Agency, “invaded several neighborhoods” and “broke into several houses and stores.”

Israeli occupation forces also invaded Ramallah’s central Manara Square area, which Palestinian youths defended with stones and fire bombs, as this video from the website raya.ps shows:

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The video also shows Israeli occupation forces apparently guarding the main Palestinian Authority police headquarters in Ramallah as PA personnel stare at them from second-floor windows.

 

Screenshot shows Israeli occupation forces outside Palestinian Authority police station as PA personnel observe from windows.

The Israeli incursion was the apparent spark for the protest by dozens of Palestinian youths seen in a second video, at the top of this post, who stoned the same police station following the withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces.

Israeli army, PA join forces against Palestinians

According to eyewitnesses PA police began firing warning shots toward the Palestinian youths. In the video at the top of the post, the sound of automatic weapons fire can be heard.

The video also shows Israeli occupation forces apparently guarding the main Palestinian Authority police headquarters in Ramallah as PA personnel stare at them from second-floor windows.

 

Screenshot shows Israeli occupation forces outside Palestinian Authority police station as PA personnel observe from windows.

The Israeli incursion was the apparent spark for the protest by dozens of Palestinian youths seen in a second video, at the top of this post, who stoned the same police station following the withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces.

Israeli army, PA join forces against Palestinians

According to eyewitnesses PA police began firing warning shots toward the Palestinian youths. In the video at the top of the post, the sound of automatic weapons fire can be heard.

 

Screenshot shows Palestinian youths throwing stones at Palestinian Authority police station after withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces.

See on Twitter

Mondoweiss reporter Allison Deger was on the scene and tweeted that protestors werechanting slogans against the Palestinian Authority.

A short time later, she tweeted “Omg!! #Israeli army is back in #Ramallah it’s both the army and the PA attacking Palestinians from about 3 blocks distance between.”

At least one person was injured when a bullet grazed his head, Deger reported.

Deger posted a number of photos she took of damaged PA police cars on her Twitter account.

See on Twitter

Deger also saw armed PA police entering Ramallah hospital and arresting a citizen.

See on Twitter

Eyewitnesses told Wattan TV that PA police fired heavy volleys of live bullets into the air.

One eyewitness, who asked not be named, presumably due to the danger of arrest from Israeli occupation forces or the PA, told Wattan TV that the confrontation developed between the protestors and the PA police after the Israeli forces withdrew from Manara Square.

Some of the youths began throwing stones at the police station. The police began firing into the air and youths damaged five police cars parked in front of the station.

Growing anger at collaboration

The incident in Ramallah comes amid growing Palestinian anger at PA collaboration with the violent Israeli crackdown in the West Bank which Israel has launched under the pretextof searching for three Israeli youths who went missing in the West Bank on 12 June. Israel says the youths, two of them minors, were kidnapped but has offered no evidence to support its assertions that Hamas was behind their abduction. No group has claimed responsibility.

Since the assault began, Israeli forces have killed five Palestinians in the West Bank, arrested 400, including politicians and activists, and ransacked hundreds of private homes, schools, universities and social institutions.

Human rights groups say the Israeli assault amounts to collective punishment.

PA de facto leader Mahmoud Abbas has expressed sympathy for the missing settlers but many Palestinians have noted that similar empathy for the suffering of Palestinians – especially hunger striking prisoners – has been remarkably absent.

On Friday, PA police attacked and beat mothers and wives of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners.

In Hebron today, as this Wattan TV video report shows, Palestinians held a rally against PA repression and called on Abbas to end “security coordination” with the occupation:

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Rally participant Alaa al-Amla told Wattan TV that the PA was acting more to reassure Israel than the Palestinian people. “The government should be standing with us, not against us,” she said.

Diaa Ighreib urged Abbas to “withdraw his insulting and shameful statements which truly reflect an attitude of surrender and defeat.”

“I say to Abbas, if he does not change his decisions, the people will say to you, ‘go, go go,’” he added.

Reeling from popular anger at its support for the assault, the PA today announced that it would go to the UN Security Council in an attempt to stop the violent Israeli campaign.

But this is likely to be understood by most Palestinians as nothing more than empty talk and an attempt to divert attention away from PA “security coordination” with Israel.

On the ground, Palestinian Authority forces, financed and trained under the auspices of the US and EU, continue to work closely with the occupation army, a duty Abbas deems “sacred.”

ISRAELI TERROR ENTERS ITS SEVENTH DAY

The view from zion …

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In its quest to find three Israeli teenagers Israel has literally turned Palestine upside down. The timing could not have been more perfect as the main goal was to put a halt to the conciliatory moves of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas has given his full cooperation to the Israeli government, once again proving where his loyalties lie.For this he was highly praised by his fellow zionist leaders.

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President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash 90)

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There was no comment from Abbas regarding THIS and other recent actions by the Israelis. For his role in helping to enforce the continuing division of Palestine and his continued cooperation with zion he was duly condemned by the leadership of Hamas. Netanyahu expects this to be the end of whatever unity government the Palestinians had hoped for. As far as he is concerned, the whole operation should now be called Operation Mission Accomplished rather than Operation Brother’s Keeper.

ENOUGH OF THIS MADNESS!

Now is the time to initiate a true Operation Brother’s Keeper and finally recognise that we ARE ALL brothers, Israelis and Palestinians. If this doesn’t happen there will be no end in sight to the madness on both side of the wall.

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STEPHEN HARPER ~~ SINGING AND DANCING FOR APARTHEID

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As a Canadian citizen, this truly saddens and disgusts me  *

Harper Sings ‘Hey Jude’ At State Dinner In Jerusalem

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It’s fair to say Stephen Harper has received a “rock star” welcome on his first official visit to Israel.

And on Tuesday, he rocked out.

The prime minister took the stage at a state dinner in Jerusalem to perform some Beatles tunes on the keyboard, including “Hey Jude,” with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looking on.

And judging by the videos posted online, it seems Harper’s musical stylings were warmly received by Netanyahu and his wife, Sara.

The Jerusalem Post described Harper’s performance as courageous.

Netanyahu posted a brief clip to his YouTube account.

Harper also dusted off an old classic, “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

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FROM

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Related Report

ABBAS: PEACE PARTNER OR COLLABORATOR?

This photo was taken in 2003 … 21 years after the massacre of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatilla. If you were a Palestinian would you trust him to speak about Peace on your behalf?

Photo by Reuters

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ISRAEL’S LATEST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION CAUGHT ON VIDEO TODAY

IDF stands idly by as settlers throw stones at Palestinians

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New video by human rights organization shows soldiers failing to intervene in standoff between Palestinians and settlers in West Bank.

Video: B’Tselem

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See Report HERE

TIMELY TOON ~~ OBAMA’S ‘SHOE-IN’ AT UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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‘ISRAELI-ARAB SPRING’ HITS GAZA’S WATERS

Since the 3 July military coup that overthrew Morsi, Palestinian fishermen from Gaza have come under unprecedented attack by Egyptian naval forces and at least three have been injured.

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Video: Along with Israeli attacks, Gaza fishermen face new danger from Egyptian navy

 Ali Abunimah
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In this video report for The Real News Network, Yousef Al-Helou speaks to Gaza fishermen, including survivors of recent Egyptian naval attacks, and the father of two fishermen who were arrested.

Many Palestinians in Gaza depend on the sea for their livelihood, but fishing has become increasingly difficult and dangerous as Israeli attacks on fishermen have reduced the zone where they can fish to just six nautical miles from Gaza’s shore.

This is a violation of the Oslo agreement which sets the fishing zone at 20 nautical miles.

For the past few years, Gaza fisherman were allowed to cross into Egyptian waters under the supervision of Egyptian forces, according to Nizar Ayyash, head of the Gaza fishermen’s syndicate.

This helped relieve the pressure as catches shrunk.

But since the 3 July military coup that overthrew Morsi, Palestinian fishermen from Gaza have come under unprecedented attack by Egyptian naval forces and at least three have been injured.

Ayyash said the attacks came without any warning. “We never expected from our Egyptian brothers to open fire on us,” Ayyash said.

Five others were arrested and an Egyptian military court sentenced them to a year in jail, allegedly for fishing in Egyptian waters.

In a new attempt to break Israel’s tight blockade, activists in Gaza are working to transform a fishing boat into “Gaza’s Ark” which will attempt to set sail from Gaza to export goods.

Due to the Israeli siege, virtually no Palestinian-produced goods are allowed out of Gaza.

 

 

Written FOR

CAPITALISM SANS FRONTIERES

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The warm relations between a segment of Palestinian capitalists and Israeli capitalists, details of which have recently emerged, is one of the worst forms of normalization which provides the [Israeli] occupation a fig leaf to cover up its continued occupation, ethnic cleansing, racism, siege of Gaza, land confiscation and settlement construction, and denial of the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
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Palestinian firms listed as clients of Israeli general who fled war crimes arrest

 Ali Abunimah 
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A “security company” owned by an Israeli general who once fled the UK fearing a war crimes arrest boasts of major Palestinian and foreign firms in Ramallah as its clients.

The firm, Netacs Ltd., was founded and is co-owned by reserve Major-General Danny Rothschild, who commanded Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank in the 1990s.

Rothschild, who has defended the use of torture, also commanded Israeli occupation forces in southern Lebanon and worked in military intelligence.

Among the clients Rothschild’s firm lists on its website is the Palestinian conglomerate PADICO, which owns large swathes of the Palestinian economy, and whose chairman is the billionaire Munib Masri.

In 2011, Rothschild cut short a visit to London after warnings that he could be arrested in relation to war crimes.

Other clients Rothschild’s firm lists include the Ramallah Mövenpick hotel, the Bank of Jordan, Jordan Ahli Bank, Cairo Amman Bank, the Palestinian “security firm” Pal-Safe, Google and Colombia’s Bogota international airport.

In addition to security, Netacs advertises services including “Business Facilitation” and “Establishment of National Intelligence Organizations.”

Dealings date back to beginning of Oslo

Rothschild’s dealings date back to the early years of the Oslo accords, the 20th anniversary of which will be marked this week.

As Peter Lagerquist wrote in the Journal of Palestine Studies in 2003, Rothschild set up his firm in 1995, along with another officer, Gadi Zohar, and an intelligence agent named Samuel Ettinger.

Ettinger is still listed as an owner of Netacs. According to Lagerquist, “their business was based on privileged access both to the PA and the Israeli security establishment.”

In other words, they are occupation profiteers who peddle their influence with the occupation to help out Palestinian businessmen.

Zohar claimed to have very good relations with the PA and the Palestinian security services, as well as with PADICO, Paltel and other firms in Ramallah.

Netacs also worked for the now-defunct Casino near Jericho.

Close business ties

Another co-owner of Netacs is the Israeli army’s Lt. Colonel Avi Nudelman, who also heads the Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce (IPCC).

The IPCC is a body that prominent Palestinian businessmen, such as Rawabi developer Bashar Masri, and various PA figures, have worked closely with to help Israeli firms penetrate the Palestinian economy and profit even further from occupation.

“Worst forms of normalization”

Last year, the Palestinian Boycott National Committee censured PADICO’s Munib Masri for his close business ties to Israel, especially with Israeli tycoon Rami Levy, who builds supermarkets in illegal settlements.

The statement said:

The warm relations between a segment of Palestinian capitalists and Israeli capitalists, details of which have recently emerged, is one of the worst forms of normalization which provides the [Israeli] occupation a fig leaf to cover up its continued occupation, ethnic cleansing, racism, siege of Gaza, land confiscation and settlement construction, and denial of the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

The employment of Major-General Danny Rothschild by so many Palestinian firms, although apparently not new, has got to be a new low.

 

 

Written FOR

KERRY’S ‘PEACE’ PLAN ~~ A PEEK AND A LEAK

The first proclaimed leak from Secretary John Kerry’s efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as it is so often called, were published last week in the reputable London-based daily Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat.
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A Peek inside Kerry’s “Peace” Efforts or Propaganda?
By Sam Bahour

The first proclaimed leak from Secretary John Kerry’s efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as it is so often called, were published last week in the reputable London-based daily Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat. The source is said to be from a posting from the website of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, who claim the information was leaked to them by someone attending the tightly closed negotiating sessions. The validity of this claim and the contents of the leak are unverifiable and the infighting between Hamas and Fatah give both a vested interest to publicly damage the other, however, a read through the supposed leaked information makes anyone familiar with this issue take a worrying note.

 

The Al-Hayat article on the leak states that Secretary Kerry obtained Palestinian President Abbas’ approval on general parameters for the restart of negotiations, at meetings between the two in Amman on 17-18 July 2013, prior to Secretary Kerry’s announcement that negotiations would restart. According to the leaked document, “Kerry set a maximum period of time ranging from 6 to 9 monthswould be dedicated to bilateral Palestinian-Israeli negotiations … without anypreconditions,” beyond the principles listed below and whereby Jordanparticipates in meetings on refugees, Jerusalem and borders where necessary:

 

1.                The Separation Wall will serve as the security borders of the ‘Jewish’ state, and the temporary border of the ‘Palestinian’ state… Both parties will acknowledge and announce this.” 

2.                There will be “an exchange in disputed territories within the plan of the Separation Wall noted above, as agreed to by both parties and with the blessing of the Arab League Follow-up Committee, as specified by this Committee to Mr. Kerry during their last visit to Washington, ranging in size from eight to ten percent of West Bank lands.”

3.                There will be also be a “freeze in the settlement projects at a number of outposts, as approved by the Israeli government, which does not apply to existing projects in large settlement communities located in the vicinity of Jerusalem and in the Jordan Valley, including the settlements of Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, Har Homa, Gilo, Neve Yacov, Ramat Shlomo, Ramat Alman, Kiryat Arba’, and other densely populated settlements.

4.                The document adds that “residents in frozen settlement communities will have the right to choose between Israeli citizenship, or Palestinian citizenship, or both, at the conclusion of negotiations,” and that “talks will culminate with a historic agreement … along the lines of the Oslo Agreement, during which both parties will announce the end of the historic conflict between their peoples, as well as full normalization with all Arab states, at a celebratory meeting attended by the Arab League and representatives of all Arab countries, announcing their approval of Israel’s establishment of a Palestinian state within the limits set out … above, according to agreements…. concluded by the two parties at the end of the negotiations, which will also entail Palestinian recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

5.                It adds that “at the end of negotiations some Palestinian families will be allowed to reunite in the West Bank, Rafah and Gaza, while others will have the right to compensation, or emigration … to Arab countries, especially the Gulf…” where they will be “…naturalized… utilizing the Right of Return Fund for this purpose.

6.                Concerning the status of East Jerusalem, the leaked document indicates that it will be “placed under an international administration (Palestinian-Israeli-Jordanian) for ten years, whereby  resident Israelis in East Jerusalem will have the right  to choose their identity,” i.e. citizenship. 

7.                Furthermore, “Israelis and Palestinians agree to discuss the issue of land exchanges, in the West Bank and Jerusalem, through negotiating committees despite the non-core points of contention between the two parties… especially those points that are considered important by the delegation of the Arab League, including the proposal to grant citizenship to every Palestinian who has been resident in the Gulf for more than ten years.

8.                The document indicates that there will be a “discussion of executive steps in this agreement during negotiations within the time-limit mentioned above, and that its implementation will extend to ten years from the signing of the agreement.

9.                Israel will also “release a number of Palestinian detainees have who spent twenty years or more in detention, and no longer pose a security threat.

10.           It also stipulates that “President Mahmoud Abbas will call for legislative and presidential elections in the West Bank after the public announcement of the Agreement, in anticipation of the possibility of the emergence of objections to it, and that the terms of the agreement will not fully be announced until after the start of negotiations and the preoccupation of Palestinians with the battles of the Legislative Council and the Presidency.

11.           It also says that “with the signing of the agreement at the end of the specified time-limit and the declaration of an independent Palestinian state, the Palestinians and Jordanians will, with the blessing of Israel and the Arabs, reach an understandings on the role of Jordanian security assistance … to the Palestinian Authority … to stand by its side and help it overcome potential internal or external dangers … as part of a Confederation, which will be announced in conjunction with a trilateral economic initiative, in which Israel will play an active role in its formation.

Shocking, to say the least!

 

If these are anywhere near the truth, the region should be preparing for yet another major fallout, this time in Palestine and Israel, again.

 

If the U.S. and Israel continue to choose the game of might is right, then they should expect, sooner rather than later, a new generation of Palestinians to lookIsrael straight in the eye and say, “You win! You get it all Israel: Israel, theWest Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, both east and west sides, all of the settlements, all of the water, all of the Jordan Valley, all of the electromagnetic spectrum, all of the airspace, and most importantly, you also get all of us. Now, we heard you have free health care in Israel; where do we pick up our medical cards? We also want some of that free education too.”

 

In other words, if the U.S. and Israel are adamant to throw into the sea international law, humanitarian law, UN resolutions, human rights, rights of refugees, and sheer common sense, then expect the Palestinians to redefine their self-determination from a struggle for statehood to a struggle for civil rights between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.

 

In the words of the late Palestinian (and global) intellectual, Edward Said, it’s “equality or nothing.” What is it about these three simple words that are so hard to comprehend?

 

Written FOR

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