AFTER 25 YEARS, DO WE KNOW WHAT HAMAS IS AND WHAT IT STANDS FOR?

25-years later, Hamas is still understood within limited confines of an ever-redundant discourse obsessed with Israel’s security, and later with an imagined Iranian threat. A new understanding is desperately required, one that is sensible enough to take into account the uniqueness of the Palestinian narrative itself, Palestinian history, the struggle and rights, as opposed to Israel’s security – the cornerstone of western media reporting on Palestine and the Middle East.
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Understanding Hamas at 25: Beyond the Tired Language

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. (Photo: via Al Jazeera)

By Ramzy Baroud*

 

“In a moment of high theatre he dropped to his knees, placed his lips on the ground and kissed the land he has commanded by proxy”. This is how Robert Tait of the British Telegraph worded the moment Khaled Meshaal arrived in Gaza on Dec 07. Tait’s report on what many in Gaza and elsewhere consider a watershed event in the history of the Islamic movement, was mostly consistent with mainstream reporting on any event concerning the impoverished and besieged Strip: often biased, selective and devoid of real understanding or empathy.

 

Media reporting on Hamas is doubly provocative, controversial and similar to political stances towards Hamas. However, in the eyes of Israel, through the prism of its media and among Israel’s western supporters, Hamas is an unequaled terrorist organization, sworn to destroy Israel and unlike the other ‘moderate’ Palestinians – for example, western-backed Palestinian Authority – it refuses to recognize Israel’s ‘right to exist’. The latter point was faithfully emphasized by Tait. He, like many others, unthinkingly or deliberately fails to question the incredulous condition placed on a relatively small movement as it faces a powerful and habitually brutal military.

 

Hamas’ supporters, on the other hand, see the 25-year-old movement as the pinnacle of Palestinian resistance; an iconic organization that unlike leading secular Palestinian factions, refuses to compromise. To make the point, they cite various battles and numerous assassinations of Hamas’ leaders, including that of quadriplegic Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, who was pitilessly murdered by an Israeli missile in 2004. They argue that a movement which is willing to pay this kind of a price – life itself – for its political and moral stances must be above suspicion, if not criticism.

 

However, for many in the left that is barely enough. The notion that the movement was an outright creation of the Israeli internal intelligence Shin Bet, has been stable in leftist discourse for many years. The idea is often accepted without any serious attempts at qualification or discussion, like many leftist ideals on Palestine and Israel.

 

Each party does its utmost to defend their anti and pro Hamas arguments.

Pro-Israeli media is anchored in the suicide bombings line of reasoning, which, again, is selective, lacks context and conveniently overlooks the fact that thousands of Palestinians were killed by the Israeli military, even years after Hamas abandoned such tactics.

 

Hamas supporters reference battles, notwithstanding the Nov 14, 8-day war on Gaza, where Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other resistance groups, earned what they perceive as an unprecedented victory against Israel.

 

There are also those who, while sympathizing with Palestinian aspirations and resistance, have a difficult time accepting Hamas’ turnabout regarding Syria, its suspicious closeness to Qatar, and what they see as shifty and dubious political style.

 

Peculiarly, there is a common denominator between all of these perceptions of Hamas. They all brand the movement using single, uniform logic, devoid of any accommodating analysis that examines facts, overt and subtle discourses, and places such intricate phenomena in larger political contexts. Such a unitary view is of course not unique to Hamas, but it also applies to everything Palestinian. It is a natural outcome of media distortions and political bias. Anyone Israel perceives as an enemy, is instantly dehumanized and presented with crude and inane language. Social media helps correct the imbalance to a degree, although it also contributes to the polarization: a Palestinian thus becomes either a cold-blooded terrorist or a would-be martyr, bad or good, pro-US or pro-Iran, and so on.

 

However, an unpretentious analysis requires breaking away from all the fixed ideas and preemptive conclusions, where Hamas is neither a violence-driven menace nor a flawless organization with a perfect track record; neither a brainchild of Israeli intelligence, nor a political conduit of Qatar.

 

Some of those who reported on Meshaal’s visit to Gaza, emphasized the militant or religious symbols that awaited him upon arrival. He was “greeted by a throng of hundreds of chanting supporters – some armed to the teeth with Kalishnikovs and rocket propelled grenades,” wrote Tait right in the first paragraph. Others highlighted his ‘wish’ to one day die a ‘martyr’ in Gaza (AFP). Once again, such reporting confounds terms with deep cultural references – as in his willingness to pay the ultimate price for his beliefs. Interestingly, Meshaal was in fact all but dead in an Israeli assassination attempt at his life in Amman, Jordan in 1997, another fact conveniently omitted from many reports.

 

Since its inception, Hamas has grown in every pertinent way. Its very first statement was a true depiction of the inexperience of the movement at the time and the nature of the relationship that governed ill-fated Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world: “It’s our duty to address the word to the Arab rulers, and particularly to the rulers of Egypt, the Egyptian army and the Egyptian people, as follows: What has happened to you, O rulers of Egypt? Were you asleep in the period of the treaty of shame and surrender, the Camp David treaty?”

 

Since then, the political landscape has been repeatedly altered. While Hamas’ own evolution had itself impacted some of the change – for example, its decision to participate in the legislative elections in 2006, its conflict with Fatah, and its handling of the situation in Gaza since then – much of the transformation, especially in the last two years has not been of its own making.

 

As violence flared in Syria, Hamas attempted to develop a unique neutral position which failed. The political schisms in Syria proved impossible to navigate and the June 2012 assassination of Kamal Ghanaja, a Hamas mid-level leader in Damascus was the bloody culmination of that failure.

 

Fearing that Hamas’ anxiety would lead to further closeness to Iran – especially as the political score in tumultuous Egypt is yet to be settled – a major campaign, led by Qatar was initiated to sway Hamas from Iran, which was a major source of support to Hamas and other Palestinian factions. The push to influence Hamas was topped by a late October visit to Gaza by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, emir of Qatar. It was then that Hamas’ Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh declared that the siege was over, only to be reminded three weeks later by a massive Israeli war that it was not. However, deterring Hamas backfired and Israel soundly lost that battle. In the process there were new discoveries that the resistance in Gaza was much more resourceful than previously thought.

 

Days after Gazans celebrated the defeat of Israel’s war objectives, several billboards thanking Iran for its help of the resistance were erected in Gaza. It was perhaps Hamas’ (and the Islamic Jihad) way of sending a clear message that it will continue to play by its own rules, that it is a member of no camp, that its allegiance remains to principles and not to governments or funds. Interestingly though, the billboards were not signed.

 

Now that Meshaal has visited Gaza and was greeted by a large number of Palestinians, the movement seems to operate with greater clarity and confidence than any other time in the last two years. “Politics without resistance has no meaning,” he said soon after arrival. The statement is rife with meanings and suggestions.

 

At 25, Hamas has morphed in its status and importance, and within that prominence lays its strengths and weaknesses. In order to maintain a level of power and to safeguard its political evolution, it has no other option but to become even more dependent on other parties, Egypt notwithstanding, whose prospects for stability are receding by the day.

 

The Israeli prescription of understanding everything Palestinian, including Hamas, no longer suffices. Western journalists need to take notice of that complex reality and quit stereotyping and cataloging Palestinians using the same old language. There is more to understanding such issues than a tired division between good guys and others “hell-bent on the destruction of Israel.” Hamas should be understood properly within its local context, and then in relations to all of its surroundings, including Israel.

 

25-years later, Hamas is still understood within limited confines of an ever-redundant discourse obsessed with Israel’s security, and later with an imagined Iranian threat. A new understanding is desperately required, one that is sensible enough to take into account the uniqueness of the Palestinian narrative itself, Palestinian history, the struggle and rights, as opposed to Israel’s security – the cornerstone of western media reporting on Palestine and the Middle East.

 

* Ramzy Baroud  is an internationally syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London).

 

From an Editorial IN

WESTERN PRESS DEMONISING HAMAS’ LEADERSHIP

 Of course Zionists and Israelis are free to interpret Meshaal’s words according to their wildest fantasies and fears, but supposedly impartial news organizations like the AP never claim that by attacking Gaza and killing and injuring thousands of people, and destroying public buildings and infrastructure, that Israel is “wiping Gaza off the map.”
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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
Demonizing+Islam
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When Israel says ‘jump’, much of the Western Press says ‘how high’? When Israel says ‘lie about what is being said by Hamas’ leadership’, that same press says ‘no problem’!*As Hamas gains popularity among the Palestinian people, both in Gaza and in the Occupied West Bank, the zionists have swung into ‘fast forward’ trying to demonise the Movement by attacking its leadership.
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So here we have it …. first from Britain’s Observer; UK’s Observer adds “kill Jews” to Hamas leader Khaled Meshal’s Gaza speech when he did not say it …. that was on Sunday …
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Then on Monday AP follows the lead with …
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  • AP tries to put “wipe Israel off the map” into Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal’s mouth

  • *By Ali Abunimah

  • *

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal is driven to the Rafah border crossing by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh at the end of Meshaal’s first ever visit to Gaza, on 10 December 2012.

 (Mohammed Ostaz / APA images)

After the Observer mistranslated a section from Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal’s speech during his historic visit to Gaza last week, to falsely insert the words “kill Jews,” a report from Josef Federman of the Associated Press (AP) includes this:

Making his first trip to the Hamas-ruled territory over the weekend, Mashaal delivered a series of speeches to throngs of supporters vowing to wipe Israel off the map.

Although Federman does not attribute the words directly to Meshaal, who did not say them, the phrase “wipe Israel off the map” is notorious and provocative since it is the phrasecontroversially attributed to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and used to falsely claim that Ahmedinejad or Iran had threatened to attack Israel unprovoked to destroy it, which neither has ever done, or would do so if they had the chance.

The phrase has been used emotively by Israel and its propagandists to stir up war fever against Iran under the pretext of stopping Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. In no way can this phrase be seen as a neutral or descriptive term.

Listening to the speech

In his speech, Meshaal did restate a refusal to recognize the legitimacy of Israel, spoke about liberating all of historic Palestine and praised resistance. Does that amount to “wiping Israel off the map”?

“Liberation” of course can mean many things, especially ending a racist and oppressive system and freeing the people who live under it.

As I pointed out previously, Meshaal talked about resistance as a means, not an end, and a necessity for an occupied people who are offered no other path to regaining their rights.

Meshaal was also very clear in his speech that he accepted all forms of struggle, including political and diplomatic, but argued that in light of recent events armed resistance provided a base of strength that no other form of struggle could match at the present time.

It is an arguable point of view, but undoubtedly strengthened by the fact that the only serious negotiations Israel has conducted with Palestinians in recent years have been with Hamas, over the prisoner swap last year, and the Gaza ceasefire last month.

Meshaal and other Hamas leaders view it as a “victory” that they forced Israel to negotiateand reach an agreement closer to their terms. They are under no illusion that they can achieve their goals by strictly military means.

Meshaal’s comments about historic Palestine, meanwhile, should be understood as a direct rebuttal to recent and wildly unpopular remarks by Mahmoud Abbas claiming that only the West Bank and Gaza Strip were “Palestine”.

Double standards

Of course Zionists and Israelis are free to interpret Meshaal’s words according to their wildest fantasies and fears, but supposedly impartial news organizations like the AP never claim that by attacking Gaza and killing and injuring thousands of people, and destroying public buildings and infrastructure, that Israel is “wiping Gaza off the map.”

I’ve never seen an AP report that matter-of-factly states that Israel is “wiping Palestine off the map” by continuing its construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Nor have I ever seen a news organization use the phrase “wiping Palestine off the map” even though it would be a pretty accurate description of the Nakba, the 1947-48 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Look at schoolroom maps and atlases from before 1948 and they all say “Palestine.” That word was erased from most maps after 1948.

More recently, Israel has begun stamping passports of visitors to areas nominally controlled by the Palestinian Authority with the words “Judea and Samaria,” a nomenclature intended to assert Jewish nationalist claims to the land and, well, wipe Palestine off the map – or ensure it doesn’t get back on to any maps.

Yet no AP writer would dare use the phrase “wipe Palestine off the map” in a manner similar to how Federman used “wipe Israel off the map.”

Meshaal and the 1967 borders: missing context

AP’s report highlights the broader problem of the media’s refusal to put Meshaal’s speech, or indeed any Palestinian politics, into a broader and Palestinian context, and the insistence, instead, on sticking to simply storylines.

Although Meshaal did not talk about it in his Gaza speech, he and other Hamas leaders have a long record of implicitly edging toward the so-called “two-state solution.” In 2009, for example, Meshaal told the New York Times:

We are with a state on the 1967 borders, based on a long-term truce. This includes East Jerusalem, the dismantling of settlements and the right of return of the Palestinian refugees.

As The New York Times noted:

Apart from the time restriction and the refusal to accept Israel’s existence, Mr. Meshal’s terms approximate the Arab League peace plan and what the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas says it is seeking. Israel rejects a full return to the 1967 borders, as well as a Palestinian right of return to Israel itself.

Meshaal’s interview with The New York Times was part of a concerted effort to build a bridge to the new Obama administration and mark Hamas’ way into the international political fold.

Yet these openings by Hamas were completely rejected, and the Obama administration maintained and even increased its support for Israel’s siege on Gaza, where Hamas has its stronghold.

So given that context there was absolutely no reason to expect Meshaal, in Gaza of all places, in the wake of Israel’s recent savage attack, to reiterate far-reaching concessions that had gotten him no credit or reciprocation previously.

If Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were making what media would typically call a “hardline” speech, you’d expect all sorts of excuses and justifications about how he needed to shore up his base, or appeal to his right-wing. Palestinians, apparently, don’t have politics.

The AP’s eagerness to paint Meshaal with the same brush as Ahmedinejad and replicate the wild misreporting and fear-mongering about Iran suggests the organization’s Jerusalem bureau is more interested in churning out propaganda than helping readers understand the world.

 

Written FOR

THE REBIRTH OF A PALESTINIAN MARTYR

Mashaal said, he was born three times, the natural birth in1956, the second when he narrowly escaped the Mossad’s murder attempt on his life in Amman, and the third, yesterday, when he set foot on the soil of Palestine.
Abu Walid, Welcome home
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem
 

The homecoming of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is undoubtedly a land-mark and morale-boosting event for all Palestinians and their supporters.

Indeed, this is what the entire Palestinian struggle is all, about, namely being able to return to one’s homeland from which millions of our people were uprooted at the hands of Zionist savages.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians (and non-Palestinians) have sacrificed their lives for the sake of regaining the right to return home.

And there is little doubt that attaining this right in full will require still more Palestinians and Muslims to sacrifice their lives for their freedom and the freedom of their country.

I don’t know Khaled Mashaal personally. But I do know, as an academic-journalist that his credentials are quite impeccable. He could have become a man of wealth, like other Palestinian “leaders” with morbid minds who used the national struggle against Zionism to swell their bank account and live luxurious lives at the expense of our people and enduring just cause.

The fact that the ghoul of corruption has been utterly unable to make a dent in Khaled Mashaal’s integrity is a great moral asset for the man and the movement he represents and has been running.

Yes, a man shouldn’t be praised for doing his duty even in the most exemplary manner. However, in an age where corruption is rampant, especially in the Palestinian context, Hamas’s integrity stands out really as a matter of admiration and pride for Palestinian Islamists in particular and Palestinians in general.

Needless to Say, the Israeli and Western media, which often parrots the Israeli narrative rather sheepishly, has carefully avoided this particular dimension in Hamas’s life and management of its financial resources. The reason for this is clear. The Israeli and Jewish media along with their numerous apologists, mouthpieces and barking dogs in the West don’t like to highlight any positive feature about Hamas. For these Zionist propaganda organs, Hamas must be vilified, despised and hated, not admired, loved and praised.

Of course, people may legitimately differ on Hamas. However, what honest people shouldn’t differ about is the fact that Hamas is a genuine liberation movement seeking liberation and freedom for the Palestinian people from the Nazi-like Israeli occupation that is hell-bent on completing and perfecting the decades-old ethnic cleansing of native Palestinians from their ancestral homeland.

Hamas did carry out acts of violence. It would be dishonest to deny this. However it would be likewise dishonest to deny the fact that whatever acts of violence committed by Hamas in the course of its noble struggle were consistently in reaction to incomparably massive and deadly violence perpetrated by Israel, using the most advanced American technology of death.

It is always lamentable to see innocent people killed especially deliberately in any conflict. However, when invaders from overseas invade a country and indulge in genocidal ethnic cleansing against its native inhabitants, the oppressed victims have a legitimate right, indeed a moral, national and even religious duty to fight back. This is exactly what Hamas has been doing.

In the final analysis, Hamas didn’t invade the former homelands of Jews in Poland, Khazaria and Russia. It was them who invaded Palestine, massacred its people, destroyed their homes and expelled the bulk of its inhabitants all over the globe.

In addition, Hamas never really had an official policy of targeting Israeli civilians. None the less, one doesn’t have to be really too smart to realize that the decades-old Israeli policy of knowingly and deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians, including children, makes the death and injury of some Israeli settlers inevitable.

At the end of the day, Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions cannot simply recline on a lazy-boy chair watching Israel’s Judeo-Nazis slaughter Palestinian kids and their mothers at will, often by showering refugee barracks in Gaza with bombs, missiles and White Phosphorus and remain passive. No other resistance group or state under the sun could behave passively under such circumstances.

In a nutshell, Hamas and Palestinians in general can’t be “terrorists” if only because they are victims of Judeo-Nazi terror.

Dignified return
Unlike PLO officials and operatives who returned to occupied Palestine in the shadow of Zionist rifles, Mashaal’s arrival in the Gaza Strip has not been subject to Israel’s consent. This is a significant aspect, especially in comparison to similar arrangements in the West Bank where no Palestinian can enter the occupied territory without Israeli permission.

Hence, the fact that brother Mashaal has been able to enter Gaza without having to pass through Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints, or, indeed through an Israeli manned-border terminal, is something that the Palestinian Islamic movement should be proud of.

We hope that the Zionist state will shun its characteristic insolence and arrogance of power and start viewing Palestinians as human beings whose lives are sacred and who deserve to be treated really humanely on equal footing with other human beings, including Jews.

This would be the first order of any possible de-escalation in the seemingly existential confrontation between Islam and Zionism in the Middle East. Otherwise, as long as Zionism clings to its supremacist and megalomaniac belief that Jews are superior to non-Jews and therefore should be given preferential treatment, there can be no respite in the strife.

 

Living Martyr
In 1997, Israel tried to murder Khaled Mashaal. However, the souls of men are in the hand of God, and the Almighty willed that Mashaal would still be living and able to anoint his face and eyes with the dust of the homeland.

Mashaal said, he was born three times, the natural birth in1956, the second when he narrowly escaped the Mossad’s murder attempt on his life in Amman, and the third, yesterday, when he set foot on the soil of Palestine.

We pray Mashaal and all other Palestinian refugees will experience their ultimate rebirth when they return to their ancestral homeland, Palestine, and anoint their faces with a thanksgiving prostration at the Aqsa mosque. Amen.

WHAT AWAITS PALESTINE IN 2012?

The Palestinian leadership, including Fatah and Hamas, must get its act together in 2012 and make sure it is not going to be another year of futile waiting.
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Palestinians must get their act together in 2012
By Khalid Amayreh
 

2011 was not a particularly bad year for Palestine. In this year, hundreds of Palestinian political and resistance prisoners were able to see the light, having been released from Israeli dungeons and detention camps.

Needless to say, many of these heroes would have spent the rest of their lives in Zionist jails, had it not been for the so-called Shalit deal and Israel’s effective capitulation to Hamas’s conditions for the release of the captive Zionist soldier.

Thanks to the deal, hundreds of Palestinian families, which had lost the hope for ever seeing their beloved ones alive again, breathed a sigh of relief as they were reunited with their children, brothers, husbands and daughters.

Needless to say, Israel had tried every conceivable effort and intelligence act  to locate the captive soldier, but to no avail. After all, Shalit was held under Israel’s nose somewhere in the Gaza Strip for more than 60 months.

This fact alone should make us look with admiration and gratitude to those unknown but heroic soldiers who were able to keep this valuable secret all these months and years.

2011 brought us the Arab Spring, which consigned several tyrannical  pro-American regimes to the dustbin  of history. Some of these regimes, such as that of ex-president Husni Mubarak of Egypt , had been a serious liability for the Palestinian struggle and steadfastness.

For example,  in 2008-09, the Egyptian regime colluded, connived and collaborated with the Zionist entity to murder, torment and vanquish the Gaza Strip, enabling Israel to carry out its Nazi-like  onslaught on the virtually unprotected coastal territory, killing, incinerating and maiming thousands of Palestinians men, women and children.

More to the point, the regime sought effectively to consolidate the criminal Israeli siege on Gaza, by building another concrete wall to make it virtually impossible for Gazans to smuggle even a pack of milk from the Egyptian side of the borders to their starving children on the other side.

Hence, the removal of that regime is considered a great victory for both the Egyptian and Palestinian peoples, for the Egyptians because the corrupt Mubarak regime suppressed human rights and civil liberties in deference to Israeli and American interests, and for the Palestinians because the regime was viewed as a strategic asset for the Zionist regime since it allowed the Zionist entity to savage the Palestinians in exchange for American aid and political protection.

The elections that occurred in Tunisia and Egypt were also auspicious news for the Palestinian cause. The triumph of  Islamic or quasi-Islamic parties, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, is probably some of the best news the Palestinian cause and people have received in many decades.

True, we don’t expect to see miracles very soon as a result of the Arab Spring. However, there is no doubt that the strategic changes taking  place in the Arab world have confused and unsettled Israel’s strategic calculations in the region.

Israel, which is becoming a fully-fledged fascist state, had probably planned to embark on unthinkable measures against the Palestinians, possibly including genocidal massacres, induced emigration and ethnic cleansing.

However, thanks to the Arab Spring, especially the Egyptian revolution, Israel is very likely to think twice before pursuing its lebensraum policy against its neighbors.

The end of 2011 also brought the Palestinian people much closer to national reconciliation and unity.

Hamas agreed to join the PLO and all the sides agreed to form a government of national unity, release political prisoners and hold elections for the Palestinian Authority (PA) as well as for the Palestinian National Council.

What is especially important is that the psychology of the Palestinian people improved significantly during 2011 despite unrelenting Zionist aggressions and provocations.

None the less, there is much to be done in 2012. The National reconciliation must materialize on the ground and ordinary Palestinians must feel its tangible effects.

However,  It is probably  unlikely that true national unity between Fatah and Hamas will  be achievable unless the PA and the Ramallah regime end the  ignominious cooperation and coordination with the Zionist occupation army.

Indeed, the security coordination has been  a sad chapter in recent Palestinian history and it  must be ended sooner than later.

Moreover, with the unmitigated theft of Palestinian land continuing at the hands of the Zionist regime, the PA should have the courage to declare the end of the mendacious peace process.

Yes, dismantling the PA infrastructure may not seem easily done as said. However, if it becomes clear that the existence of the PA militates against and hinders the establishment of a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state, then Palestinian leaders must not flinch from  embarking on dissolving the PA. After all the establishment of an independent  Palestinian state is the  raison d’etre of the PA itself, as PA official Sa’eb Erikat said on several occasions.

In any case, the Palestinian leadership should stop playing games with the fate and destiny of the Palestinian people and cause.

We have indulged in futile political games too much and for too long, and must therefore come to the hour of truth.

And reaching the hour of truth should also mean a realization that the creation of a viable Palestinian state on the West Bank, one with Jerusalem as its capital, is no longer a realistic option given the phenomenal spread of Jewish colonies.

Hence, the Palestinian leadership, including Fatah and Hamas, must get its act together in 2012 and make sure it is not going to be another year of futile waiting.

IS ISRAEL BEHIND THE ROCKET ATTACKS FROM GAZA?

 Image by Skulz Fontaine
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The timing seems to say YES
Israel got what it wanted from Hamas a week ago when Shalit was sent home….
Israel will do everything in its power to prevent Palestinian Statehood…
Israel must also try to justify its continued attacks on the civilian population in Gaza …
So the circumstances also seem to say YES.
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The following video published at HaAretz shows Gaza ‘militants’ preparing to fire rockets at Israel…. The IDF watched, captured it on video and did not try to stop them? Isn’t that a bit strange? It really makes one wonder if this is nothing more than another Israeli false flag attempt to ‘con the world’.
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Israel has already lost its credibility with much of the world, hopefully they will see these recent incidents as part of the lies spread by zion to prevent the inevitable Freedom and Independence FOR ALL OF PALESTINE.

GILAD SHALIT: THE REAL STORY

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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Everybody’s Son
By Uri Avnery

THE MOST sensible – I almost wrote “the only sensible” – sentence uttered this week sprang from the lips of a 5-year old boy.

After the prisoner swap, one of those smart-aleck TV reporters asked him: “Why did we release 1027 Arabs for one Israeli soldier?” He expected, of course, the usual answer: because one Israeli is worth a thousand Arabs.

The little boy replied: “Because we caught many of them and they caught only one.”

FOR MORE than a week, the whole of Israel was in a state of intoxication. Gilad Shalit indeed ruled the country (Shalit means “ruler”). His pictures were plastered all over the place like those of Comrade Kim in North Korea.

It was one of those rare moments, when Israelis could be proud of themselves. Few countries, if any, would have been prepared to exchange 1027 prisoners for one. In most places, including the USA, it would have been politically impossible for a leader to make such a decision.

In a way it is a continuation of the Jewish ghetto tradition. The “Redemption of Prisoners” is a sacred religious duty, born of the circumstances of a persecuted and scattered community. If a Jew from Marseilles was captured by Muslim corsairs to be sold on the market of Alexandria, it was the duty of Jews in Cairo to pay the ransom and “redeem” him.

As the ancient saying goes: “All Israel are guarantors for each other”.

Israelis could (and did) look in the mirror and say “aren’t we wonderful?”

IMMEDIATELY AFTER the Oslo agreement, Gush Shalom, the peace movement to which I belong, proposed releasing all Palestinian prisoners at once. They are prisoners-of-war, we said, and when the fighting ends, PoWs are sent home. This would transmit a powerful human message of peace to every Palestinian town and village. We organized a joint demonstration with the late Jerusalemite Arab leader, Feisal Husseini, in front of Jeneid prison near Nablus. More than ten thousand Palestinians and Israelis took part.

But Israel has never recognized these Palestinians as prisoners-of-war. They are considered common criminals, only worse.

This week, the released prisoners were never referred to as “Palestinian fighters”, or “militants”’ or just “Palestinians”. Every single newspaper and TV program, from the elitist Haaretz to the most primitive tabloid, referred to them exclusively as “murderers”, or, for good measure, “vile murderers”.

One of the worst tyrannies on earth is the tyranny of words. Once a word becomes entrenched, it directs thought and action. As the Bible has it: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Releasing a thousand enemy fighters is one thing, releasing a thousand vile murderers is something else.

Some of these prisoners have assisted suicide bombers in killing a lot of people. Some have committed really atrocious acts – like the pretty young Palestinian woman who used the internet to lure a love-sick Israeli boy of 15 into a trap, where he was riddled with bullets. But others were sentenced to life for belonging to an “illegal organization” and possessing arms, or for throwing an ineffectual home made bomb at a bus hurting nobody.

Almost all of them were convicted by military courts. As has been said, military courts have the same relation to real courts as military music does to real music.

All of these prisoners, in Israeli parlance, have “blood on their hands”. But which of us Israelis has no blood on his hands? Sure, a young woman soldier remotely controlling a drone that kills a Palestinian suspect and his entire family has no sticky blood on her hands. Neither has a pilot who drops a bomb on a residential neighborhood and feels only “a slight bump on the wing”, as a former Chief of Staff put it. (A Palestinian once told me: “Give me a tank or a fighter plane, and I shall give up terrorism immediately.”)

The main argument against the swap was that, according to Security Service statistics, 15% of prisoners thus released become active “terrorists” again. Perhaps. But the majority of them become active supporters of peace. Practically all of my Palestinian friends are former prisoners, some of whom were behind bars for 12 years and more. They learned Hebrew in prison, became acquainted with Israeli life by watching television and even began to admire some aspects of Israel, such as our parliamentary democracy. Most prisoners just want to go home, settle down and found a family.

But during the endless hours of waiting for Gilad’s return, all our TV stations showed scenes of the killings in which the prisoners-to-be-released had been involved, such as the young woman who drove a bomber to his destination. It was a continuous tirade of hatred. Our warm admiration for our own virtue was mingled with the chilling feeling that we are again the victims, compelled to release vile murderers who are going to try and kill us again.

Yet all these prisoners fervently believed that they had served their people in its struggle for liberation. Like the famous song: “Shoot me as an Irish soldier / Do not hang me like a dog / For I fought for Ireland’s freedom…” Nelson Mandela, it should be remembered, was an active terrorist who languished in prison for 28 years because he refused to sign a statement condemning terrorism.

Israelis (probably like most peoples) are quite unable to put themselves into the shoes of their adversaries. This makes it practically impossible to pursue an intelligent policy, particularly on this issue.

HOW WAS Binyamin Netanyahu brought to bend?

The hero of the campaign is Noam Shalit, the father. An introverted person, withdrawn and shy of publicity, he came out and fought for his son every single day during these five years and four months. So did the mother. They literally saved his life. They succeeded in raising a mass movement without precedent in the annals of the state.

It helped that Gilad looks like everybody’s son. He is a shy young man with an engaging smile that could be seen on each of the stills and videos from before the capture. He was youngish looking, thin and unassuming. Five years later, this week, he still looked the same, only very pale.

If our intelligence services had been able to locate him, they would have undoubtedly tried to liberate him by force. This could well have been his death sentence, as happened so often in the past. The fact that they could not find him, despite their hundreds of agents in the Gaza Strip, is a remarkable achievement for Hamas. It explains why he was kept in strict isolation and was not allowed to meet anyone.

Israelis were relieved to discover, on his release, that he seemed to be in good condition, healthy and alert. From the few sentences he voiced on his way in Egypt, he had been provided with radio and TV and knew about his parents’ efforts.

From the moment he set foot on Israeli soil, almost nothing about the way he was treated was allowed to come out. Where was he kept? How was the food? Did his captors talk with him? What did he think about them? Did he learn Arabic? Up to now, not a word about that, probably because it might throw some positive light on Hamas. He will certainly be thoroughly briefed before being allowed to speak.

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS repeatedly asked me this week whether the deal had opened the way to a new peace process. As far as the public mood is concerned, the very opposite is true.

The same journalists asked me if Binyamin Netanyahu had not been disturbed by the fact that the swap was bound to strengthen Hamas and deal a grievous blow to Mahmoud Abbas. They were flabbergasted by my answer: that this was one of its main purposes, if not the main one.

The master stroke was a stroke against Abbas.

Abbas’ moves in the UN have profoundly disturbed our right-wing government. Even if the only practical outcome is a resolution of the General Assembly to recognize the State of Palestine as an observer state, it will be a major step towards a real Palestinian state.

This government, like all our governments since the foundation of Israel – only more so – is dead set against Palestinian statehood. It would put an end to the dream of a Greater Israel up to the Jordan River, compel us to give back a great chunk of the Land-God-Promised-Us and evacuate scores of settlements.

For Netanyahu and Co. this is the real danger. Hamas poses no danger at all. What can they do? Launch a few rockets, kill a few people – so what? In no year has “terrorism” killed as many as half the people dying on our roads. Israel can deal with that. The Hamas regime would probably not be running the Gaza Strip in the first place if Israel had not cut the Strip off from the West Bank, contrary to its solemn undertaking in Oslo to create four safe passages. None was ever opened.

That, by the way, also explains the timing. Why did Netanyahu agree now to something he has violently opposed all his life? Because Abbas, the featherless chicken, has suddenly turned into an eagle.

On the day of the swap, Abbas made a speech. It sounded rather flat. For the average Palestinian, the case was quite simple: Abbas, with all his Israeli and American friends, has got no one released for years. Hamas, using force, has released more than a thousand, including Fatah members. Ergo: “Israel understands only the language of force”.

THE VAST majority of Israelis supported the deal, though convinced that the vile murderers will try again to kill us.

Never were the lines of division as clear as this time: some 25% opposed it. These included all the extreme right-wing, all the settlers and almost all the national-religious. All the others – the huge camp of the center and left, the secular, liberal and moderate religious – supported it.

This is the Israeli mainstream on which the hopes for the future are resting. If Netanyahu had proposed a peace agreement with the Palestinians this week, and if he had been supported by the chiefs of the army, the Mossad and the Security Service (as he was this week), the same majority would have supported him.

As for the prisoners – another 4000 are still held in Israeli prisons, and this number is liable to grow again. The opponents of the deal are quite right in saying that it will provide Palestinian organizations with a strong incentive to renew their efforts to capture Israeli soldiers in order to get more prisoners released.

If all of Israel is drunk with emotion because one boy has been returned to his family – what about 4000 families on the other side? Unfortunately, ordinary Israelis don’t put the question this way. They have got used to seeing the Palestinian prisoners only as bargaining chips.

How to thwart the efforts to capture more soldiers? There is only one alternative: to open a credible way to have them released by agreement.

Such as by peace, if you can excuse the expression.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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Also see Stuart Littlewood’s essay HERE

Yes, rejoice for precious Shalit. Spare a thought for the 8,000 Palestinian prisoners

NEW YORK TIMES FEARS SHALIT DEAL WILL HARM ISRAEL’S SECURITY

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While applauding the fact that Shalit is now home with his family, a picture of gloom is painted regarding the Palestinian prisoners that were released in yesterday’s swap. In today’s editorial, the New York Times makes it clear what their position on Israel is, basically, the hell with Palestine. Their concern for Abbas and his ilk and total negation of the FACT that Hamas was the Party elected by the Palestinian people shows a total disregard for the hopes and aspirations of those people … Now that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has compromised with Hamas, we fear that to prove his toughness he will be even less willing to make the necessary compromises to restart negotiations. And we fear that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and his Fatah faction, who were cut out of the swap altogether, will be further weakened.
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Perhaps the time has come for the New York Times and other pro zionist news outlets to reexamine the situation and present the facts, rather than their distorted opinions and lies.
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Gilad Shalit’s Release

We share the joy of Israelis over the release of Sgt. First Class Gilad Shalit, who was held by Hamas for five years. We will leave it to the Israeli people to debate whether the deal — which includes the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners — will make their country safer or lead to more violence or more abductions of Israeli soldiers or other citizens.

We are already concerned that the deal will further thwart an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, the only real guarantee of lasting security for both sides.

Now that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has compromised with Hamas, we fear that to prove his toughness he will be even less willing to make the necessary compromises to restart negotiations. And we fear that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and his Fatah faction, who were cut out of the swap altogether, will be further weakened.

Both Mr. Netanyahu and Hamas were looking for a political win after Mr. Abbas grabbed the international spotlight — and saw his popularity soar — when he asked the United Nations last month to grant his undefined country full membership.

Mr. Netanyahu twisted himself in an ideological knot to get this deal. Only five months ago, he wanted to cut off tax remittances to the Palestinian Authority and urged the United States to halt aid because Mr. Abbas tried to forge a unity government with Hamas, which controls Gaza.

One has to ask: If Mr. Netanyahu can negotiate with Hamas — which shoots rockets at Israel, refuses to recognize Israel’s existence and, on Tuesday, vowed to take even more hostages — why won’t he negotiate seriously with the Palestinian Authority, which Israel relies on to help keep the peace in the West Bank?

Mr. Netanyahu’s backers claim that his coalition is so fragile that he can’t make the compromises needed to help revive peace negotiations. But he was strong enough to go against the grief-stricken families of those Israelis killed by the Palestinian prisoners he just freed. “I know that the price is very heavy for you,” he wrote to them. Why can’t he make a similarly impassioned appeal for a settlement freeze for the sake of Israel’s security?

The United States and its partners should keep trying to get negotiations going. Mr. Abbas should see the prisoner swap for what it is — a challenge to his authority and credibility. The best way to bolster his standing is by leading his people in the creation of a Palestinian state, through negotiations. As for Mr. Netanyahu, we saw on Tuesday that the problem is not that he can’t compromise and make tough choices. It’s that he won’t. That won’t make Israel safer.

Source

PHOTO ESSAY ~~ ISRAEL AND PALESTINE PREPARE FOR PRISONER EXCHANGE

Suddenly there is a Hamas and a Palestine …

Let’s see if this leads to total recognition 😉

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Palestine & Israel Prepare for Prisoner Release – in pictures

 




Gaza’s Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh attends a meeting with his ministers in his office in Gaza City, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. The relatives of Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks waged a charged debate Sunday over the planned release of militants this week in a deal to free an Israeli soldier held by Hamas for five years. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

 

In this photo released by the Israeli Government Press Office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, meets with his military adviser Major General Yohanan Locker, center, and with David Meidan, a coordinator for negotiations over the release of Israeli captured soldier Gilad Schalit, left, in netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. Relatives of Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks waged a charged debate Sunday over the planned release of militants this week in a deal to free Schalit held by Hamas for five years. (AP Photo/ GPO, Amos Ben Gershom)

 

Palestinian Hamas members sort out banners as they ready to celebrate the prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, on October 16, 2011, in Gaza City. Israel released a list of 477 Palestinian prisoners to be released next week as part of the deal to secure Gilad Shalit’s freedom, many of whom were involved in bloody militant attacks. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED

 

Palestinian Hamas members sort out banners as they ready to celebrate the prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, on October 16, 2011, in Gaza City. Israel released a list of 477 Palestinian prisoners to be released next week as part of the deal to secure Gilad Shalit’s freedom, many of whom were involved in bloody militant attacks. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED

 

Palestinian Hamas members sort out posters, banners, and flags as they ready to celebrate the prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, on October 16, 2011, in Gaza City. Israel released a list of 477 Palestinian prisoners to be released next week as part of the deal to secure Gilad Shalit’s freedom, many of whom were involved in bloody militant attacks. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED ABED

 

A Palestinian prints posters in preparation for a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, in Gaza City October 16, 2011. Israel on Sunday made public the names of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners it will free in exchange for soldier Gilad Shalit as part of a deal it reached with Hamas. The posters read, “Loyalty to the free”. REUTERS/ Mohammed Salem

 

A Palestinian prints posters in preparation for a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, in Gaza City October 16, 2011. Israel on Sunday made public the names of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners it will free in exchange for soldier Gilad Shalit as part of a deal it reached with Hamas. The posters read, “Loyalty to the free”. REUTERS/ Mohammed Salem

 

Palestinians print posters in preparation for a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel in Gaza City, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. Relatives of Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks waged a charged debate Sunday over the planned release of militants this week in a deal to free an Israeli soldier held by Hamas for five years. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

 

Palestinians print posters in preparation for a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel in Gaza City, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. Relatives of Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks waged a charged debate Sunday over the planned release of militants this week in a deal to free an Israeli soldier held by Hamas for five years. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

 

Palestinians look at the lists of Palestinian prisoners, who are to be exchanged for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, published in the newspapers in Gaza City, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. The relatives of Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks waged a charged debate Sunday over the planned release of militants this week in a deal to free an Israeli soldier held by Hamas for five years. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

 

Palestinians look at the lists of Palestinian prisoners, who are to be exchanged for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, published in the newspapers in Gaza City, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. The relatives of Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks waged a charged debate Sunday over the planned release of militants this week in a deal to free an Israeli soldier held by Hamas for five years. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

 

KZIOT, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16: International Red Cross vehicles arrive at Kziot prison on October 16, 2011 in Kziot, Israel. Israel began transferring Palestinian prisoners to jails in the south and center of the country to prepare for the high-profile swap which will see the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel Radio reported. Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

KZIOT, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16 2011 International Red Cross vehicles arrive at Kziot prison on October 16, 2011 in Kziot, Israel. Israel began transferring Palestinian prisoners to jails in the south and center of the country to prepare for the high-profile swap which will see the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel Radio reported. Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

KZIOT, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16: 2011 International Red Cross vehicles arrive at Kziot prison on October 16, 2011 in Kziot, Israel. Israel began transferring Palestinian prisoners to jails in the south and center of the country to prepare for the high-profile swap which will see the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel Radio reported. Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

KZIOT, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16: 2011 – International Red Cross vehicles arrive at Kziot prison on October 16, 2011 in Kziot, Israel. Israel began transferring Palestinian prisoners to jails in the south and center of the country to prepare for the high-profile swap which will see the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel Radio reported. Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

KZIOT, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – Israeli Prison Service buses carrying Palestinians prisoners arrive at Kziot prison on October 16, 2011 in Kziot, Israel. Israel began transferring Palestinian prisoners to jails in the south and center of the country to prepare for the high-profile swap which will see the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel Radio reported. Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

KZIOT, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – Israeli Prison Service buses carrying Palestinians prisoners arrive at Kziot prison on October 16, 2011 in Kziot, Israel. Israel began transferring Palestinian prisoners to jails in the south and center of the country to prepare for the high-profile swap which will see the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel Radio reported. Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

KZIOT, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – International Red Cross vehicles arrive at Kziot prison on October 16, 2011 in Kziot, Israel. Israel began transferring Palestinian prisoners to jails in the south and center of the country to prepare for the high-profile swap which will see the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel Radio reported. Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

KZIOT, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – Israeli Prison Service buses carrying Palestinians prisoners arrive Kziot prison on October 16, 2011 in Kziot, Israel. Israel began transferring Palestinian prisoners to jails in the south and center of the country to prepare for the high-profile swap which will see the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel Radio reported. Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – Israeli Prison Service bus carrying Palestinians prisoners leaves Nafha prison on October 16, 2011. in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel. IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – Israeli Prison Service bus carrying Palestinians prisoners leaves Nafha prison on October 16, 2011. in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel. IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

TEL MOND, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – An Israeli jail authority officer escorts a prison van containing Palestinian prisoners as it enters Hasharon jail on October 16, 2011 in Tel Mond, Israel. IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

 

TEL MOND, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – An Israeli Arab woman looks on after Palestinian prisoners were transported out of the Hasharon jail on October 16, 2011 in Tel Mond, Israel. IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

 

TEL MOND – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – An Israeli Arab woman arrives to visit a relative, as Palestinian prisoners prepare to be transported out of Hasharon jail on October 16, 2011 in Tel Mond, Israel. IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

 

TEL MOND, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – Israeli jail authority officers stand guard as a bus containing Palestinian prisoners prepares to exit Hasharon jail on October 16, 2011 in Tel Mond, Israel. IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

 

TEL MOND, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – A bus with Palestinian prisoners exits the Hasharon jail on October 16, 2011 in Tel Mond, Israel. IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

 

Palestinian prisoners set to be released as part of the first stage of an Israeli-Palestinian prisoner exchange arrive at Ketzion jail on October 16, 2011. Some 477 prisoners in 16 Israeli jails will be transferred throughout the day to the Ketziot Prison in south Israel and the Hasharon Prison in central Israel. Israel is releasing 1,027 Palestinians in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, in a two-stage operation. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Palestinian prisoners set to be released as part of the first stage of prisoner exchange arrive at Ketzion jail on October 16, 2011. Some 477 prisoners in 16 Israeli jails will be transferred throughout the day to the Ketziot Prison in south Israel and the Hasharon Prison in central Israel. Israel is releasing 1,027 Palestinians in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, in a two-stage operation. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

 

An Israeli soldier stands guard as Palestinian prisoners set to be released as part of the first stage of an Israeli-Palestinian prisoner exchange arrive at Ketzion jail on October 16, 2011. Some 477 prisoners in 16 Israeli jails will be transferred throughout the day to the Ketziot Prison in south Israel and the Hasharon Prison in central Israel. Israel is releasing 1,027 Palestinians in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, in a two-stage operation. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

 

A Palestinian prisoner gestures from the window of a bus as it arrives at Ketziot prison in southern Israel October 16, 2011, before a prisoner swap that is expected to take place on Tuesday. Israel took the first steps on Sunday in the prisoner swap with Hamas in which hundreds of Palestinian militants will be exchanged for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. REUTERS/Yehuda Lachiani/Maariv

 

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – Palestinian prisoners look out from an Israeli Prison Service bus as it leaves Nafha prison on October 16, 2011. in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel. IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – A Palestinian prisoner looks out from an Israeli Prison Service bus as it leaves Nafha prison on October 16, 2011. in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel. IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

MIZPE RAMON, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – A Palestinian prisoner peeks from a bus of the Israeli Prison Service while leaving Nafha prison on October 16, 2011 in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel. Israel began transferring Palestinian prisoners to jails in the south and center of the country to prepare for the high-profile swap which will see the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel Radio reported. Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

A Palestinian prisoner looks out of the jail truck, set to be released as part of the first stage of an Israeli-Palestinian prisoner exchange, as it arrives at Ketzion jail on October 16, 2011. Some 477 prisoners in 16 Israeli jails will be transferred throughout the day to the Ketziot Prison in south Israel and the Hasharon Prison in central Israel. Israel is releasing 1,027 Palestinians in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, in a two-stage operation. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

 

MITZPE RAMON, ISRAEL – OCTOBER 16, 2011 – A Palestinian prisoner looks out from an Israeli Prison Service bus as it leaves Nafha prison on October 16, 2011. in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel. IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is to be freed from 5 years of captivity in Gaza in an exchange deal which will see the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in an initial deal with another 550 to freed after the return of Shalit. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

 

A Palestinian prisoners flashes V-sign onboard an Israeli Prison Service bus transferring Palestinian prisoners, who are to be exchanged for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit arrive to Ktziot prison camp in southern Israel’s Negev desert, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. The relatives of Israeli victims of Palestinian attacks are waging a charged debate over the release of militants this week in a deal to free the Israeli soldier. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

 

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VIEWS ON THE SHALIT DEAL THAT WON’T BE IN THE JERUSALEM POST

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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After Schalit, Israel likely to move (further) right
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The 1-for-1,000 deal is probably the most “left-wing” thing Netanyahu’s ever done. The international community will now give him some slack, while the settlers, Lieberman et al will cash in their chits.

The deal to release Gilad Schalit was the right decision, and despite my lack of love for Netanyahu, I give him a lot of credit for pushing it through. But it seems to me that Schalit’s release, in addition to being an undeniable security risk for Israelis, is going to give the Right yet another boost, and make relations with the Palestinians even worse, as hard to imagine as that may be.

Freeing 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, including many terrorists who took part in deadly attacks on Israeli civilians, is the most “left-wing” thing Netanyahu has ever done, with the possible exception of the Wye agreement with Arafat in his first term. The right wing – the settlers, Lieberman, Shas, much of Likud – now have some serious chits to cash in. Haaretz reported that during the cabinet debate, Shas leader Eli Yishai pressed for the release of Jewish terrorists from prison. arguing, “It’s the right thing to do as part of the balances in Israel’s society,” and that while it wouldn’t “undo the releasing of hundreds of (Palestinian) prisoners, it may sweeten the bitter pill.”

I don’t know if Netanyahu is going let Jewish terrorists out of jail, and I definitely don’t think the Schalit deal gives him the political capital to bomb Iran, as some have suggested. Nothing would give him that sort of capital; if Israel bombs Iran, we will be going it effectively alone. But the deal does get the world off his back for awhile – the “international community” will give him credit for taking a brave decision, for showing flexibility, for what it may wishfully, mistakenly interpret as a “confidence-building measure” for the Palestinians.

In short, after the Schalit release, the Right will be breathing down Bibi’s neck, while the UN, Europe, etc. will take a couple of steps back. (Still, I hope like hell the release goes through as planned; after five years of negotiations, it’s a matter of in for 95 cents, in for a dollar, especially when, as Netanyahu credibly says, the changes in the Middle East mean the window of opportunity for getting Schalit back could well be closing.)

The worst political outcome of the deal, though, is the weakening, not to say humiliation, of Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, to the great benefit of Hamas. It’s amazing that there are no doubt many Israelis who feel gratified now to be teaching Abbas a lesson after that dirty trick he pulled at the UN. Understanding that Hamas is gaining big time at Abbas’ expense, something that’s not exactly good for the Jews, would require much greater foresight than these Israeli nationalists possess.

And once again, there’s no evading the fact that putting hundreds of Palestinians “with blood on their hands” on the streets, including the streets of the West Bank, poses the risk that Israelis will get killed on account of this deal. If that happens, the “peace index” will sink even lower.

I’m sorry to be such a pessimist. I think the deal for Schalit shows a humanity in Israeli society that’s inspiring to witness. But the political mentality in this country,  the attitude toward all those “thems” out there, is something else again – and after this great act of solidarity with Schalit and his family, this heartening display of national sacrifice, I’m afraid the “us vs. them” state of mind around here is going to kick back in. Probably even with something of a vengeance.

 

Written FOR

 

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

FALSE FLAGS OVER GAZA?

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Yes Virginia, there was a ‘terrorist attack’ in Southern Israel today, near the Egyptian border….
Israel claimed that the ‘terrorists’ crossed over into Egypt, then entered Israel from there to carry out their dirty work…
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OK…. let’s look at the map…
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1. Rafah Crossing to Egypt from Gaza is closed….
2. Border from Egypt to Israel is heavily guarded….
HOW DID THE ‘TERRORISTS’ GET INTO EGYPT AND THEN CROSS INTO ISRAEL? (or didn’t they?)
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Yes Virginia, it looks like Israel has once again hoisted a false flag over Gaza to justify bombing them AGAIN, killing 7 people…
Despite Hamas’ claim that they had nothing to do with the ‘attack’, which BTW did not get any press coverage in Israel.
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Again, we are given only Israel’s ‘side’ on the situation, a side that has proven time and time again to be unreliable.
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Latest press reports from Israel can be found here…
From HaAretz
From Ynet
and From Ma’an News Agency.

THE ‘GAME’ CALLED FREE GILAD SHALIT

The ball is decidedly in the Israeli court with regard to Shalit; it has always been there.
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As to Shalit, the ball is still in the Israeli court
By Khalid Amayreh
 

There are unconfirmed reports that Israel may be willing to release a large number of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of an Israeli occupation soldier held by Islamic resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip.

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, has been quoted as saying that Israel has shown “significant flexibility” in its stance regarding a prisoner exchange deal on the imprisoned soldier, Gilad Shalit.

“Israel’s extreme position regarding the deal has become significantly more flexible in light of Hamas’ resoluteness regarding its position and demands,” Hamdan told the Gaza-based daily newspaper “Falasteen”, which is identified with the Hamas movement.

“If it was up to Hamas, we could have reached a deal within one round of negotiations,” Hamdan said, adding that his organization wants to recover its prisoners to “their natural place.”

Meanwhile, the Zionist Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed on Tuesday, 16 August, that there was “a grain of truth” to reports of renewed negotiations taking place in Cairo for a prisoner swap deal to secure the release of Shalit.

Barak told Israel’s 103 FM, however, that despite the validity of the rumors he “preferred not to say anything [about the negotiations], because it doesn’t help.”

Israel had hoped that a combination of brutal onslaughts against the Gaza Strip and random arrest of anyone associated with Hamas in the West Bank would coerce the Islamic liberation movement (Hamas) to release Shalit unconditionally.

However, the resoluteness and exemplary steadfastness of Hamas seems to have frustrated and exhausted all Israeli efforts to get Shalit released.

This is not to say, of course, that Israel has completely lost hope for “rescuing Shalit. The Israeli intelligence continues to make intensive efforts around the clock to discover the whereabouts of Shalit.

Moreover, a huge monetary ransom amounting to millions of dollars is still being offered to anyone, e.g. Palestinian informers and collaborators, who would give information that would lead to rescuing Shalit, possibly in a military operation.

None the less, its seems that Hamas has learned its lesson quite well,  taking   every possible  and necessary  precautionary effort to hide the whereabouts of Shalit, so  much so that it has refused to allow representatives of the Red Cross to visit the imprisoned Israeli soldier.

Hamas didn’t embark on such an ostensibly cruel conduct because it wanted to torment or persecute Shalit.

Hamas realizes that Islam instructs Muslims to treat prisoners of war kindly.  But Hamas felt, rather justifiably, that it had to behave extremely cautiously because it didn’t trust Israeli intentions, especially the possibility that Israeli agents disguised as RC representatives might try to carry out a certain foul play to rescue Shalit.

In this case, the hopes of thousands of Palestinian families for the early release of their beloved ones from Israeli dungeons and concentration camps would be dashed, and despair would reign over the Palestinian public opinion which accords the prisoners’ issue paramount attention and concern.

There is no doubt that the Palestinian community in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip has suffered so much agony and pain as a result of Nazi-like Israeli brutality, so much so that giving any concessions to Israeli supremacists with regard to Shalit would be a real betrayal of our people and the just cause of the prisoners themselves, many of whom are held as hostages, captives and bargaining chips without charge or trial.

In 2008-9, Israel carried out a virtual genocide in Gaza , killing, maiming and incinerating (using white phosphorous) thousands of Palestinian civilians, including more than 330 children and minors.

Israel also utterly destroyed thousands of homes, mosques, and other buildings. More to the point, Israel consistently refused to allow Gazans to rebuild their homes, partially in order to force Hamas’ leaders to release Shalit.

This happened as the Nazi-like entity maintained a hermetic siege from sea, land and air that virtually morphed the coastal enclave into a modern-day Warsaw Ghetto. The nearly pornographic brutalization and savaging of the estimated 1.6 million Gazans infuriated millions of Arabs and Muslims around the world, contributing to the outbreak of   revolutions against Arab tyrants such as ex-president Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak is widely believed to have connived and colluded with Israel to starve and torment Gazans during the Jewish state’s criminal onslaught in the winter of 2008-09.

In the West Bank, Israel waged a concerted witch-hunt campaign against essentially peaceful Muslim activists, dumping thousands of them behind bars in unbearable conditions.

Professors, lawmakers, medical doctors, teachers, engineers, intellectuals and college students in the thousands have been thrown in Israel’s cruel jails and given hefty prison sentences on concocted charges.

 And when these innocent inmates are released, having served their prison terms in full, they were rearrested and given new prolonged administrative detention terms just to satisfy the cannibalistic and sadistic whims of Israeli intelligence officials, seeking to vent their frustration and vindictiveness over their failure to liberate Shalit from Hamas’ custody.

Last week, the Israeli occupation forces rearrested Ayed Dudin from the village of Alaka near Dura in the southern West Bank. Dudin had been released a few weeks earlier, having served nearly six years in administrative detention, without charge or trial.

Just imagine being taken away from your family and beloved ones for six years or even ten years without knowing the reasons behind this oppression. Or worse, imagine being snatched from amongst your family on Christmas after agonizing for so many years in jail without knowing why you were there in the first place.

The same thing applies to dozens of democratically elected Palestinian lawmakers who are agonizing in an open-ended incarceration for nothing other than taking part in elections whose outcome Israel and her guardian ally, the United States, didn’t like.

These people, considered le crème de le crème of the Palestinian society committed no crime, violated no laws, and certainly did no violence.

Yet the so-called Israeli justice system has been treating those totally innocent people as terrorists and common criminals.

In light, the extent of the Israeli oppression meted out to the Palestinian people, along with the utmost leniency with which the West, particularly the Jewish controlled American government, treats Israeli violations of Palestinian human and civil rights, forces Hamas to adopt an extreme attitude regarding the Shalit issue.

Besides, there is really no symmetry between Israel and Hamas. Israel is a barbarian occupying power that holds the entire Palestinian people hostage to terrorist Zionist whims. Israel not only oppresses Palestinians. It kills them, shoots them, steals their land and destroys their property rather haphazardly and on a daily basis.

On the other hand, Hamas is a relatively small organization that seeks freedom for its people. Hamas long agreed to play by the rules of justice and fair play. But Israel constantly insists on adopting a policy toward the Palestinians based on bullying and coercion.

This tried policy, however, won’t work with a people who have been through it all, from creation to destruction.

Hence, the ball is decidedly in the Israeli court with regard to Shalit; it has always been there.

IS HAMAS ASSUMING THE ROLE OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY?

UPDATE  Sent By Paola Pisi @ Uruknet

good news from Gaza: Abu Yazan got released & he just arrived home after 3 days of illegal arrest by hamas authorities.

 

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When Hamas and Fatah supposedly reconciled their differences a few months ago it was hoped that there would be a new breath of Freedom in the Palestinian territories. Instead, we seem to be witnessing more of the same injustices we have seen in the West Bank in Gaza these days. Has Israel finally influenced Hamas to play the role the Palestinian Authority has been playing by serving zion’s interests, rather than those of Palestine?
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Is this their way of getting Israel’s ‘nod of approval’ to rule when Palestine is a Free State?
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Yesterday, news spread about arresting a young activist by the local authorities in Gaza. Hamas called him to take his confiscated things (laptop & mobile) then arrested him banning him from contacting his family or lawyer!
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FreeAbuYazan
by Ebaa Rezeq*

Yesterday, news spread about arresting a young activist by the local authorities in Gaza. Hamas called him to take his confiscated things (laptop & mobile) then arrested him banning him from contacting his family or lawyer! But how it all started..?

Well, Abu Yazan & I were chosen to travel to Paris for a social media program for 5 days! It was coordinated via the French Cultural Center in Gaza. We both study English-French literature, students in the French Center, blog, known social & political activists which make us qualified candidates for this program! But was it enough for Hamas?

After the five-day program finished we stayed extra more days in Paris then we left heading to Egypt. Abu Yazan was deported from the Egyptian side to Gaza and humiliated, but I was allowed to get in to Cairo! He got to Gaza, nothing happened. One month later on my way to cross the Palestinian hall in Rafah Crossing to finally get into Gaza that I missed so much, Hamas officers stopped me. They asked where and why was I travelling, I answered them saying that I went to France for some social media program, then to Egypt to meet with my aunts and attend the opening of the revolution movie “18 days” that I was invited to. Then later they knew that Abu Yazan was with me in France. They immediately started to look for more information about him. They interrogated me for more than 2 hours and searched through all of my stuff, clothes, opened presents in a very humiliating way as if I’m a drug dealer! A lot of things were confiscated (digital camera, flip camera, external hard disc, flash and memory cards, ipod, my mobile with the Egyptian, French and the Palestinian sim cards, a notebook, and all of the political magazines and leaflets I had with me! Most of those were mine but some were not, they just didn’t care. That was on Thursday July, 27. I had no contact with my family or a lawyer and when I asked what kind of accusations I might be having to get all of this, they said that it’s none of my business, I have no right to ask and I’ll know next time I get interrogated which was Sunday August the 7th! At the meantime, Abu Yazan received a paper saying he should go to the internal security office for interrogation. We both went there twice after that incident on the border on my way back to Gaza.

It turned out that our crime is that we’ve been very active in the March 15 protests that called for unity between Fatah and Hamas. We were interrogated separately, but had the same reaction when we felt that they deal with this movement as a crime and actually going after its members now. We tried to explain that we didn’t go against anyone and what we called for was in our cause’s interest which is the only thing that matters to us! What we did understand from their questions is that we’ve “as in March 15 members” been meeting with politicians (both Palestinian and foreign), implying their agendas as getting funded by them and asking them for visas. Also sitting with Israelis “which means we’re spies” and they’re holding all kinds of evidences against us! It doesn’t matter how repeatedly we denied all of this madness and how we asked them to show us those evidences and give us a fair trial then if that is the case. As you all should be aware of that there’s no such a thing called “law” here in this small coastal enclave. All we could do is go to human rights organizations to fill complaints which is what we’ve been doing for ages now every time a violation happens, but it’s all in vain! I assigned a lawyer this time, but what could he possibly do? He came to my first interrogation and wasn’t allowed to stay, wasn’t informed of any accusations held against me, simply, he did nothing more than I’d do and couldn’t make them (god forbid) abide by the law! All these organizations and centers could offer is their monthly report about Hamas violations after taking your statement. That is their one and only accomplishment and they seem to be satisfied with it :)

During the interrogation we were asked about our activities and about what the social media means. I tried over and over to explain them that social media is about civilian journalists. It’s that you are your own media which sometimes and recently much more effective than the mainstream media! After trying so hard to make them get it, they kept asking if our study in college has anything to do with media and for our press card, we said that social media requires no cards and no certificates! I mentioned that a video we (a group of activists) did on the Rafah crossing is a good example of what I’m trying to explain them, but they weren’t interested! And when my friend told them about the weekly demonstration we’re part of against the Israeli Occupation and the buffer zone northern Gaza, their immediate response was “Yeah, you go there, take photos of yourself to show off on facebook”!!!! Abu Yazan said: “Yeah, anything for facebook photos, even going standing only 80 meters far from the wall under live bullets!”. “Apparently, you’ve never been there!”

Abu Yazan & I were waiting for this big, unjustified mess to be over so we can at least blog about it. No one could’ve imagined that he’d be arrested!! We were told that we’ll be no longer interrogated and they’ll call us to get our stuff back. I had no call, but Abu Yazan did and that’s how they arrested him!

My dear friend had to listen to their inappropriate accusations of me and him being in a relationship when he told them that we’re classmates, bloggers and activists and that’s how we know each other!
And I’ve had to cover my head in order to be interrogated by them. They refused to meet me and give me back my things (that I still don’t have yet) unless I put on a hejab. I told them I don’t have any, so they brought me one, a stinky one! And also they brought a praying mattress to cover my legs. Wooo, wait a minute, no I wasn’t wearing a dress or a mini skirt. Nope, I was wearing trousers, baggy ones! We both had to put with their insults and religious preaches as being liberal and secular for them = an infidel!

Abu Yazan is one of the founders of GYBO which produced a rap song “The Mystery” honoring everyone who worked on breaking the blockade on Gaza!

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This is day two, and no one knows anything about him. I really wanted to blog about my very-first-time-to-get-out-of-Gaza experience, but I couldn’t escape posting about Hamas’s warm welcome for me that has been lasting for more than half a month now.

Free Abu Yazan..Free your minds!

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*About Ebaa Rezeq

A Palestinian girl from the craziest yet most unique place, Gaza! I automatically support mass uprisings and revolutions against injustice, oppression and violations of freedom of speech. I come from a family who lived under the rule of Mubarak (Egypt), Hafez El Asad (Syria), Hussein Ben Talal (Jordan), Al Qaddafi (Libya) and now Gaza, so I guess you all understand my obsession in revolutions. I have one BIG enemy, deadlines. And I’m a feminist.

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Written FOR

THOSE REVOLTING PALESTINIANS

Following a surge of momentum that has forced a reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, ending four years of official national division, the Nakba Day protests expanded the concept of unity from below to encompass Palestinian refugees living on Israel’s borders.
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Photo © by Bud Korotzer (Nakba Remembrance in NYC)
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A Palestinian Revolt in the Making?

Jesse Rosenfeld and Joseph Dana

At 10:30 on May 15, two battalions of Israeli combat soldiers opened fire with tear gas and rubber bullets on hundreds of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators at the Qalandia checkpoint dividing Ramallah from Jerusalem, sending people scrambling into the adjacent refugee camp. These were the opening shots of Israel’s response to protests commemorating the Nakba, the Arabic word for catastrophe, used to define Israel’s creation of 750,000 Palestinian refugees in 1948. By nightfall Israeli soldiers had killed thirteen Palestinian refugees and wounded hundreds with live fire on its borders with Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and inside the West Bank.

The May 15 demonstrations reinvigorated the long-alienated Palestinian refugee community; although it is 70 percent of the Palestinian population, it has been largely shut out of the negotiations process with Israel. The emerging unity was on display at Qalandia, where youth trying to symbolically march from Ramallah to Jerusalem wore black T-shirts with the slogan “Direct Elections for the Palestine National Council, a Vote for Every Palestinian, Everywhere.” The PNC is the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation organization and is responsible for electing its executive committee. Traditionally, seat allocation in the PNC has been divided to represent the influence factions within the PLO, of which Hamas is not a member.

The Nakba protests have been the largest so far of a growing Palestinian youth revolt. The protests—launched with unity protests on March 15 in the Palestinian Authority–controlled West Bank and Hamas-governed Gaza Strip—are the Palestinian response to the outbreak of revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. While it is a new development, this manifestation of popular anger against Palestinian Authority concessions in the failed negotiations process—shockingly revealed with Al Jazeera’s January release of top-secret negotiation minutes, known as the Palestine Papers—and Israel’s practice of divide and rule has been simmering under the surface for the past three years.

“The unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas gave people hope to be here today and continue with this new phase of struggle,” said Fadi Quran, a founding organizer of the March 15 movement, amid the clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Qalandia checkpoint. “It showed us that something was possible and we must continue,” he added, coughing from tear gas.

The March 15 movement marks a generational shift in Palestinian politics. Demanding that Palestinians shape their future through full democratization of the PLO, March 15 has sought to reshape national identity through unity and the relaunching of a popular struggle.

Following a surge of momentum that has forced a reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, ending four years of official national division, the Nakba Day protests expanded the concept of unity from below to encompass Palestinian refugees living on Israel’s borders.

According to Nathan Stock, the assistant director of the Carter Center conflict resolution team who was inside the Egyptian-brokered unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas, the momentum created on March 15, in concert with the uprising across the region, was a central catalyst in getting the parties to reconcile. Fresh from the closed-door negotiations in Cairo, Stock contended that “while the number of protesters was not huge, the demonstrations sent a clear signal to the leadership in Fatah and Hamas that the Arab Spring had reached Palestine, and that the public was getting increasingly frustrated with the division.” Stock noted that the revolution in Egypt, which brought about a command change in the Egyptian General Security Service and Foreign Ministry, enabled Egypt to become an honest broker and foster an environment of trust and compromise.

While the region in revolt was the immediate impetus for change in the Palestinian movement, the issues being addressed and the solutions now demanded on the street have long been seen as necessary to break the current Israeli-Palestinian impasse.

Speaking at her home in Amman, Jordan, in May 2008, Leila Khaled—a leading member of the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Palestinian National Council member of the PLO and famed icon of Palestinian resistance who hijacked two airplanes in the late 1960s and early ’70s—was unequivocal about what she saw as the problems facing the Palestinian struggle.

“The PA and Hamas are not playing the game properly with Israel,” said the woman whose picture with a kaffiya and AK-47 is still an international symbol of Palestinian resistance. “They are not understanding its nature as an apartheid system. Which means both sides are giving illusions to the people that we are getting somewhere, when in fact we are getting nowhere,” she added between drags of a cigarette, sitting in her living room next to a photo of her son in his university graduation gown.

Khaled was frustrated with both the collusion and concessions being made by the PLO leadership to Israel (made clear to all with the recent release of the Palestine Papers), as well as the lack of progress in a then-divided Palestinian resistance and decline of national consciousness. “Nothing is moving forward, either on the political, economic or social level. On the contrary, we are witnessing the return to the family, to the village, to the tribe.”

Still, Khaled was optimistic, discussing the need for a democratic, grassroots movement to transform the PLO and push the cause forward. “We stress the popular resistance… wherever it is. We believe that it is the people that need to be involved in the struggle and find the means to mobilize society, ” she said. Now, three years later, the demands and popular action that Khaled cited as necessary are materializing in the emergence of a new generation of Palestinians, who are making their demands heard through mass unarmed protest.

Already successful in forcing Fatah and Hamas to forge a unity agreement, this uprising-in-the-making is showing no signs backing down. Fadi Quran had strong concerns that Fatah and Hamas would prioritize the narrow political aim of holding onto the power they have, instead of contributing to a national Palestinian consensus. This, he felt, was demonstrated by the accord’s avoidance of calls for PNC elections.

It is in this context that Palestinian youth are taking control of their struggle, shaking up representation internally and presenting an emboldened and united face to Israel on all fronts. “We do not know what is going to happen, but we have set something in motion. It is now up to the Israelis and how they react,” said Quran at the Qalandia checkpoint, as injured protesters were carried by on stretchers.

Source via Uruknet

UNITY WITH HAMAS OR CONTINUED $UPPORT FROM ISRAEL

 ‘If you choose unity with Hamas, we’ll choke you
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Predictably, Israel is using financial blackmail in an attempt to snub out Palestinian national reconciliation and unity, writes Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

 
Fatah supporters take part in a rally celebrating the reconciliation agreement, at Al-Azhar University in Gaza City


The extreme rightwing government of Israel is carrying out threats to financially scuttle the Palestinian Authority (PA) for daring to restore national unity with Hamas.

Israeli leaders are worried Palestinian national unity will strengthen the overall Palestinian stance vis-à-vis Israel and might expedite international recognition of a prospective Palestinian state.

Israel has refused to transfer to PA coffers an estimated $100 million in tax and customs revenue, which Israel collects on the Palestinians’ behalf. Israel receives administration and other fees for collecting the money that the PA government uses to pay salaries for tens of thousands of civil servants.

Consequently, the PA has so far not been able to pay salaries for April. This is already generating discontent within the Palestinian community. Some Palestinian political leaders have urged the PA to respond stringently to Israel’s draconian measures by suspending or ending security coordination with Israel.

Israel and its guardian ally, the United States, view the continuation of security coordination between Israel and the PA as a sine qua non for the existence and survival of the PA as well as for the continuation of any semblance of peace efforts in the region.

However, with a growing feeling among Palestinians, including Fatah supporters, that Israel is effectively blackmailing the Palestinian leadership, some prominent Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leaders and officials have voiced exasperation at the Israeli behaviour.

“Look, we are not seeking money from Israel, which murders our children and is occupying our land. We are demanding our own money. So Israel is not really doing any favour to us by transferring these monies,” said Abbas Zaki, a leading Fatah figure in the West Bank.

“If Israel thinks that by withholding the transfer of our money we will surrender and succumb to its impossible demands, it is mistaken. This won’t happen because, if necessary, we will rock the whole boat and bring the temple down on everybody’s head.”

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told reporters in Ramallah this week that the Israeli decision to freeze Palestinian funds was putting the Ramallah government in a very difficult financial situation.

He said the PA paid salaries to its 150,000 employees promptly on the 5th of each month, adding that “now is the 9th of May, and we have not been able to meet that obligation.”

A certain solace seems to have come from the European Union, which is less affected by pressure exerted by Jewish lobbies and other pro-Zionist circles in comparison to the United States. The EU reportedly has agreed to grant the PA the sum of $85 million, which would help the Ramallah government pay overdue salaries.

However, even this solace is going to be temporary and have a short lasting effect as the same problem will reappear and might even exacerbate next month. This, PA officials say, will necessitate the adoption of political measures that would extricate the PA from a situation where it is tightly held hostage to Israeli whims and blackmailing tactics.

“This situation is unacceptable. It could cause a real implosion or explosion. The Europeans, the Americans and all those concerned ought to take note of this,” warned Ghassan Khatib, head of the government’s press office in Ramallah.

“They are telling us either you have civil war and internal fighting or we will choke you and make your life an enduring hell. No dignified people under the sun would accept this kind of blackmail, and we are a dignified people.”

The Israeli decision has drawn less than angry reactions from the US administration but unreserved support from the excessively pro-Israeli US Congress.

Refraining from using strong epithets to denounce the Israeli decision, the US State Department described the withholding of funds from the PA as merely “premature”.

Deputy spokesman Mark Toner admitted that the Israelis “have their own government’s position” and that “we believe that we need to wait and see. We believe it’s important that the Palestinians ensure the implementations of the reconciliation agreement in a way that advances the peace process.”

“We are looking to see what this reconciliation agreement looks like in practical terms before we make any decisions about future assistance,” Toner added.

The Obama administration hinted that the warnings of some members of Congress to cut financial aid to the PA following reconciliation with Hamas would not be constructive.

“We understand these concerns, and I would just say, as the new Palestinian government’s formed, we’ll assess it based on its policies and we’ll determine the implications for our assistance,” Toner said, adding that training the Palestinian police force was “worthwhile” as “they are an effective force and they have made significant gains in providing security” for Israel .

Israel is adopting a conspicuously opportunistic and hypocritical attitude towards Palestinian reconciliation. Prior to the conclusion of the reconciliation agreement in Cairo last week, Israeli leaders and officials complained that Israel could not make peace with a divided people and that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had only partial authority over his people.

Meanwhile, one of the main terms of the reconciliation agreement states that calm with Israel is to be maintained with the consent of all Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas.

However, Israel is worried that the inclusion of Hamas into the mainstream Palestinian leadership would radicalise the overall Palestinian stance and thwart Israel’s efforts to wrest far-reaching concessions from the PLO, especially concessions pertaining to such fundamental issues as the refugees and Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Israeli President Shimon Peres suggested that a “line of communication” should be opened with Hamas. “We shouldn’t be overly concerned about the name or title of our interlocutors on the Palestinian side. We encountered the same problem when we first started talking to [late PLO leader Yasser] Arafat. Many argued then, how could we talk to a terrorist organisation?”

Peres argued that the creation of Palestinian statehood would have to be coupled with concrete security guarantees for Israel. “I have also said this to the UN secretary-general. I asked him, ‘Sir, you want to take a decision for a Palestinian state? Can you stop the terrorism? Can you stop the gunfire? Can you stop the incitement?”

Peres ignored that fact that Palestinian “terrorism, gunfire and incitement” has, in the overwhelming majority of cases, come as a desperate and less-than-proportionate reaction to far-greater Israeli terrorism, gunfire and provocations.

According to a recent UN report, Israel murdered as many as 1300 Palestinian children since 2000. During the same period, less than two or three-dozen Israeli children were killed by Palestinian fire.

However, it is important to keep in mind that Peres, a co- engineer of the Oslo Accords, which were vehemently rejected by the Likud Party and its current head, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, represents a small and diminishing minority in Israel as the bulk of Israeli Jewish society continues to drift towards jingoism and fanaticism.


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FINALLY IN ENGLISH ~~ AGREEMENT BETWEEN FATAH AND HAMAS

Text of the Agreement between Fatah and Hamas

Translated by Al Mubadara, the Palestinian National Initiative, this document is currently in the process of being signed by all of Palestine’s factions and parties.

Under the auspices of Egypt, delegations from the Fatah and Hamas movements met in Cairo on April 27, 2011 to discuss the issues concerning ending the political division and the achievement of national unity. On top of the issues were some reservations related to the Palestinian National Unity Accord made in 2009.

Both political parties mutually agreed that the basis of understanding made during the meeting are committing to both parties in the implementation of the Palestinian National Reconciliation Agreement. The basis of understanding agreed upon by Fatah and Hamas are as follows:

1. Elections

A. Election Committee:

Both Fatah and Hamas agree to identify the names of the members of the Central Election Commission in agreement with the Palestinian factions. This list will then be submitted to the Palestinian President who will issue a decree of the reformation of the committee.

B. Electoral Court:

Both Fatah and Hamas agree on the nomination of no more than twelve judges to be members of the Electoral Court. This list will then be submitted to the Palestinian President in order to take the necessary legal actions to form the Electoral Court in agreement with the Palestinian factions.

C. Timing of Elections:

The Legislative, Presidential, and the Palestinian National Council elections will be conducted at the same time exactly one year after the signing of the Palestinian National Reconciliation Agreement.

2. Palestine Liberation Organization

The political parties of both Fatah and Hamas agree that the tasks and decisions of the provisional interim leadership cannot be hindered or obstructed, but in a manner that is not conflicting with the authorities of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

3. Security

It was emphasized that the formation of the Higher Security Committee which will be formed by a decree of the Palestinian President and will consist of professional officers in consensus. 4.Government

A. Formation of the Government:

Both Fatah and Hamas agree to form a Palestinian government and to appoint the Prime Minister and Ministers in consensus between them.

B. Functions of the Government:

1. Preparation of necessary condition for the conduction of Presidential, Legislative and the Palestinian National Council elections. 2. Supervising and addressing the prevalent issues regarding the internal Palestinian reconciliation resulting from the state of division. 3. Follow-up of the reconstruction operations in the Gaza Strip and the efforts to end the siege and blockade that is imposed on it. 4. Continuation of the implementation of the provisions of the Palestinian National Accord. 5. To resolve the civil and administrative problems that resulted from the division. 6. Unification of the Palestinian National Authority institutions in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. 7. To fix the status of the associations, Non-Governmental Organizations and charities. 5. Legislative Council:

Both Fatah and Hamas agree to reactivate the Palestinian Legislative Council in accordance to the Basic Law.

Source

ISRAELI OCCUPATION REMAINS THE MAIN OBSTACLE TO PALESTINIAN UNITY

Occupation remains the obstacle to Palestinian unity

Posted by Joseph Dana

Put simply, Palestinian unity strikes fear in the hearts of Israeli strategists and military planners. A unified Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza which adopts nonviolent resistance tactics has the potential to inflict incredible damage on the Israeli occupation. Actually, Israel does not have an effective strategy to combat Palestinian nonviolence and unity. Look at the amount of military resources Israel have used to crush small West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh, which embrace unity and nonviolence against occupation. The agreement signed last night between Fatah and Hamas does not represent unity. The reconciliation agreement represents a move to appease growing popular movements on the streets of Gaza and the West Bank which are demanding real unity, one that might not even involve the PA and Hamas, in order to combat Israeli occupation.

At the heart of the problem of unity is the Palestinian Authority. After Israel firmly crushed the nonviolence of the first Intifada, the state employed a tested and true method of colonial control during the peace processes of the 1990’s, the formation of a small and wealthy elite which could act as an arm of the occupation itself.  Through the creation of the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the international aid which supports it helped establish an elite class which ruled the Palestinians from inside the occupation. As years of endless negotiations dragged on, it has become clear that the Palestinian Authority is not connected to the people. Given the aid structure and relations with the Israeli government, the PA has remained the sole recognized leadership of the Palestinians in the international community.

Following the colonial principle of sowing division to stop resistance, which worked well but ultimately failed for the Apartheid South African government, Israel funded various Palestinian groups in the 1980’s that it felt could challenge the PLO‘s legitimacy among Palestinians and undermine support for the PLO. One such group was Hamas.

The policy has so far worked for Israel. Over the past five years, there has been a relatively quiet status quo while the government has maintained and expanded its military occupation of Palestinian land. Israeli leaders have also continued to lie to the world about their intentions in the occupied territories with no abandon. The seemingly endless peace negotiations receive media attention while Israeli intransigence goes unpunished by the United States or international community.

All of a sudden the Egyptian and Tunisian revolution began to ignite new popular sentiments in Palestine which materialized in a call for national unity. In light of the revolutions and the Palestine Papers, the Palestinian Authority is now franticly trying to maintain what little control they have on the Palestinian street. The reality is that the PA has been mostly discredited by Palestinians as their legitimate representative. It is largely perceived as an instrument of Israeli occupation which does not work in the interest of the Palestinian people in the West Bank, Gaza and the diaspora.

That brings us finally to the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement. In solid political reality, the agreement means very little. Elections will not be held in the near future and the types of elections that will take place have not even been laid out. The agreement, however, shows that the voice of Palestinian civil society is heard by the leadership in the West Bank and Gaza. Afraid for its survival in a revolutionary climate, the PA and Hamas are taking pre-emptive measure to co-opt popular sentiment to ensure their continued governance.

There are so many factors in the air—Palestinian statehood, increasing international isolation of Israel, continued revolution in Syria—which make this reconciliation agreement meaningless because of its lack of concrete action.  Therefore, it is reckless to project how Israel will interact with a unified Palestinian leadership because the likelihood of one is small. We ought to think about what Palestinian unity and nonviolence means for Israel, her occupation and international standing. Israel, the PA and Hamas are all scared of the revolutionary sentiment brewing on the Palestinian street. This unity agreement does not address that sentiment.

Posted AT

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Joseph Dana is a writer based in Tel Aviv and Ramallah. His coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict focuses on the Palestinian unarmed resistance movements throughout the West Bank and the impact of Israel’s occupation on Palestinian life.

As an activist and fellow Blogger for justice, humanity in Israel/Palestine and the diaspora, I hereby appeal to my readers and supporters to help Joseph Dana on his fundraiser to keep his website online.

Unfatigued he stands up in very early mornings to cover protests in the West Bank or Tel Aviv, while delivering many valuable insights live from the ground to his readers, his fellow tweeps and solidarity activists online to keep them posted about the actual situation and the events. Accompanied with fantastic photos his website presents reports from ‘on the ground’ struggles.

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ISRAEL’S LATEST PSYCHOSIS ~~ PEACEOPHOBIA

 Image is by Mahmoud Al Tamimi, 11. ‘’Art for Peace’’ project for Jerusalem children in Jerusalem.
The mere thought of Hamas and Fatah finally burying the hatchet has caused sleepless nights for the zioright in Israel. The possibility of a unified Palestine, leading to an end to the Occupation has been their biggest nightmare since the creation of the state of Israel.

Fear of Peace … or is it the fear of losing the 3.5 BILLION Dollar$ a year which the American taxpayer unwillingly GIVES to Israel is great cause for alarm. What if there no longer is an ‘enemy’? What if a United Palestine achieves the Statehood they have been waiting for since 1948? For sure, unity will lead to statehood, statehood will lead to the end of the occupation, BOTH will lead to Peace. Can Israel live with these results?

The zio press seems to think otherwise; An Editorial in Today’s Jerusalem Post raises many invalid points regarding these matters…

The question of Palestinian Statehood is the greatest fear as can be seen in THIS ultra right column…

According to THIS article in the more moderate Daily Forward, White House: Palestinian Unity Government Must Renounce Terror, Accept Israel …. What about Israel renouncing terror and accepting Palestine? Why has this become a one sided issue as far as the Obama Administration is concerned?

Israel’s Left Wing Haretz raises a completly different viewpoint …. Israel can redeem itself by recognizing a Palestinian state, It can be read HERE.

ANOTHER REPORT from HaAretz raises Netanyahu’s concerns Netanyahu presses for U.S. action over Fatah-Hamas dealCan you imagine a war free zone in the Middle East? Can you imagine an Israel and a Palestine acting as good neighbours, both recognising each other’s ‘place in the sun’?

PEACE WILL NOT BE SILENCED BY FEAR!  OR BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION!!

ISRAEL CAN HAVE A PEACE PARTNER WITH A UNIFIED PALESTINE, BUT WILL PALESTINE HAVE ONE?

“The State of Israel can and must reach a peace agreement with the entire Palestinian people, with all its factions, through a Palestinian Unity Government which represents them all. ”

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Former Knesset Member Avnery

Gush Shalom Welcomes Reconciliation Agreement Between Hamas and Fatah

Jerusalem –  The Israeli Human Rights group, Gush Shalom, issued a press statement on Thursday  welcoming the reconciliation agreement between the two Palestinian rival groups Hamas and Fatah in Cairo on Wednesday.

Former Knesset Member Avnery,  Gush Shalom activist, said “I wholeheartedly welcome the agreement reached by the Palestinians in Cairo. Palestinian unity, overcoming the malignant split, are not a threat to Israel, but a top Israeli interest. “

“The State of Israel can and must reach a peace agreement with the entire Palestinian people, with all its factions, through a Palestinian Unity Government which represents them all. ” Avnery added.

Earlier on Wednesday delegations headed by Musa Abu Marzoka, member of Hamas Politburo member, and Azzam al-Ahmad, member of Fatah central committee started talks to reach the long awaited unity deal mediated by the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Nabeel al-Arabi.

In a first response to the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority must decide whether it wants peace with Israel or reconciliation with Hamas.

Responding to PM Netanyahu  statmenet, Avnery said  “Prime Minister Netanyahu responded with the predictable futile refusal and rejection, and proved that his government has no solution and no way forward. The State of Israel destroyed the previous Palestinian Unity Government, resulting in a lot of bloodshed of Israelis and Palestinians alike, a serious error which must not be repeated.”

Avnery continued to say “ The State of Israel should support and encourage Palestinian unity, and contribute its share by opening the ‘Safe Passage’ between Gaza and the West Bank – as Israel undertook to do in the Oslo Agreement but never implemented. “

The Islamic movement, Hamas, is at loggerheads with Fatah, headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, since Hamas won the parliamentary elections in January of 2006. In the summer of 2006 Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip ending months of bloody conflict with Fatah allied security forces. Egypt and other Arab countries past attempts of reaching a reconciliation deal between the two largest Palestinian factions have failed

Source

PALESTINIAN UNITY; IF THE US CONGRESS IS AGAINST IT, THEN IT MUST BE OK


Hopes of seeing Palestinian Unity have reached a new level this week as can be seen in the following reports…..
Fatah, Hamas in unity govt ‘understanding’
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 Fatah and Hamas sign reconciliation deal
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Questions about “Hamas-Fatah reconciliation”

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
Needless to say, the zionists are downplaying the situation….

PA Unity Deal is Cosmetic, Bogus

BUT ….. the most interesting views come from the ‘Good Ole USA’ ….. If they don’t like it, I LOVE IT!
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House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen released a statement saying that, “The reported agreement between Fatah and Hamas means that a Foreign Terrorist Organization which has called for the destruction of Israel will be part of the Palestinian Authority government. US taxpayer funds should not and must not be used to support those who threaten US security, our interests, and our vital ally, Israel.
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How quickly they forget … does anyone remember  the name Jonathan Pollard?
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Congress says will halt US aid if PA merges with Hamas
US House members enrages by PA’s newfound desire to reconcile with Hamas, say it will render Ramallah ineligible for Washington aid funds  

WASHINGTON – Senior congressmen said Thursday that if the Palestinian Authority follows through on its intention to reconcile with Hamas, the move may jeopardize the United States’ aid to the Palestinians, and perhaps even bring it to a halt.

The United States Foreign Assistance Act names stipulations for such aid, which the Palestinian Authority – if it forms a government with Hamas – will fail to meet. The US considers Hamas a terror organization, and naturally, will halt any funds which may fund their way to it.

House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen released a statement saying that, “The reported agreement between Fatah and Hamas means that a Foreign Terrorist Organization which has called for the destruction of Israel will be part of the Palestinian Authority government. US taxpayer funds should not and must not be used to support those who threaten US security, our interests, and our vital ally, Israel.

“According to existing US law, such a hybrid government cannot be a recipient of US taxpayer funds because the law stipulates that the PA government must recognize the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist, among other things.

“By entering into this partnership with Hamas, Abu Mazen’s Palestinian leadership has shown again that it is not a partner for peace. If reports are correct, the PA would then be standing with those who want only death and destruction for Israel,” Ros-Lehtinen’s statement said.

‘PA making the wrong choice. Again’

Congressman Gary Ackerman, the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, echoed the sentiment: “The purported deal, which does not require Hamas to accept Israel’s right to exist, or the binding nature of prior Palestinian commitments, or even to require Hamas to temporarily forgo violence against Israel… is a recipe for failure, mixed with violence, leading to disaster. It is a ghastly mistake that I fear will be paid for in the lives of innocent Israelis.

“Rather than seizing the dynamic of this amazing Arab Spring to simply push for national elections and constitutional reform, the leadership of the Palestinian Authority has once again naively decided to test the trustworthiness of a bloody-handed bunch of terrorist want-to-be theocrats.

“While this step may be popular among Palestinians, many of whom wish to preserve the fantasy that they can have peace and so-called ‘resistance’ (also known in English as terrorism). As in prior cases, the United States will be compelled by both law and decency to withhold any assistance that could fall into the hands or control or even partial control of anyone reporting to, or belonging to a terrorist entity, as is Hamas,” said a statement by Ackerman.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey Nita Lowey, the highest ranking Democrat on the House foreign aid subcommittee, issued her own statement, warning that “Unless Hamas accepts the Quartet Principles, which include renouncing violence and recognizing Israel, the formation of a unity government with Fatah will be a deathblow to the peace process…

“A unity government with Hamas would put US assistance and support at risk, based on restrictions I authored as Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations.”

Source

See THIS report for a more realistic view of the situation….

Fatah and Hamas: Palestinian reconciliation will end Israeli occupation

Forging Palestinian unity is regarded as crucial to reviving any prospect for an independent Palestinian state, but Western powers have always refused to deal with Hamas because of its refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence.

JENIN MURDER ‘INVESTIGATION’ TURNING INTO ANTI HAMAS WITCH HUNT

“By way of deception, thou shalt do war”
Motto of the Mossad

How humble it was for Israel to ‘allow’ the defunct Palestinian Authority to conduct the investigation into the murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis. After all, the murder did take place on Palestinian soil, therefore it should be investigated by Palestinian authorities.

We must be reminded it was Hamas that was elected by the Palestinians to represent them in the last General Election…not the  Palestinian Authority which was chosen by Israel to represent Palestine instead..

As a result, we are witnessing a situation where the PA is pointing fingers at Hamas members, when very likely it was Israeli terrorists that were orchestrators of this horrendous crime. (look at this photo carefully, it wouldn’t be the first time settlers or the Mossad itself raised a false flag)…. Neither is this the first time the PA has covered up the crimes committed by their partner, the Israelis.



The above photo was a press release from Israeli sources purported to show Palestinian terrorists. However one of the suspected terrorists forgot to take off his star of David before being photographed. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE FUNNY, THIS IS TO SHOW YOU HOW FALSE FLAGS ARE RAISED BY THE ZIONISTS.


Israel leaving investigation of Mer-Khamis murder to PA

Zakaria Zubeidi, a former Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades commander who was granted amnesty by Israel and had been co-directing the Freedom Theatre with Mer-Khamis, says all signs point to a planned, professional hit.

JENIN – Palestinian Authority police have arrested a former Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades militant suspected of involvement in Monday’s fatal shooting of half-Jewish, half-Arab actor and director Juliano Mer-Khamis outside the theater he founded in Jenin.

The suspect, a Jenin resident who shifted his allegiance to Hamas after serving a five-year term in an Israeli prison for security offenses, was one of several suspects the PA police arrested within hours of the shooting, but he is the only one still in custody. He has also served eight months in a Palestinian jail.

It remains unclear whether police are convinced the suspect shot Mer-Khamis – he says he didn’t, unlike terror groups which often publicize their involvement in violent acts – and why the actor, who was raised in Israel and is the child of a Jewish mother and a Christian Arab father, was killed.

The investigation is complicated by the reluctance of possible witnesses to come forward.

“Everyone’s saying ‘I heard nothing, I saw nothing,” said an officer in the Palestinian security service. “They’re worried that they’ll be questioned by the PA and that they’ll have trouble.”

Zakaria Zubeidi, a former Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades commander who was granted amnesty by Israel and had been co-directing the Freedom Theatre with Mer-Khamis, said all signs point to a planned, professional hit.

“This was an organized action, not out of anger or rage over the theater’s activities or because of a personal quarrel with Jule,” Zubeidi told reporters in the theater yesterday. “This is something that was done deliberately by an organization or state. We will have no mercy on whoever harmed the man who led the Freedom Theatre. … We will not forgive this.”

But though Zubeidi did not specify which group he thinks may be behind the shooting, he said it looks like Mer-Khamis was killed by a Palestinian from Jenin.

After the shooting Monday, dozens of local residents gathered around the car of the man they knew as “Jule,” who they said never hid his intention of exposing Palestinian children to theater and fomenting a cultural revolution.

The theater has been vandalized by Islamists repeatedly, and there have been two attempts to torch it.

Israel is leaving the investigation of Mer-Khamis’ death to the Palestinian Authority, even though he has Israeli citizenship, Israeli security officials said yesterday.

The sources said the Shin Bet security service would be receiving regular updates from the Palestinian authorities, particularly since the PA has already begun investigating and since it does not appear that Mer-Khamis was killed because of his Israeli citizenship.

Friends of Mer-Khamis, who appears in Julian Schnabel’s recent movie “Miral,” about an orphaned Palestinian girl, dismiss the possibility that he may have been killed because of his Jewish heritage.

There has been unsubstantiated speculation that he may have been targeted for reasons related to financial debts or a romantic liaison.

Though he grew up in Israel, Mer-Khamis never referred to himself as an Israeli Arab, Khaled Abu al-Hijah, a board member at the theater, told the news agency AFP.

“He used to say: ‘I am both Palestinian and Jewish. I cannot divide myself between my mother and my father.'”

Mer-Khamis was born in Nazareth and raised partly in Haifa but has been living in Jenin in recent years. He was killed at 4:40 P.M. on Monday, when a young man called in Arabic for him to stop his car as he was driving away from the Freedom Theatre with his 8-month-old son and a babysitter. The gunman fired seven bullets into Mer-Khamis’ head and chest from close range, killing him on the spot.

The baby survived unscathed and the babysitter, Raida, who is originally from Bethlehem, was lightly wounded.

Raida said the gunman was not wearing a mask when he approached the car, but put one on as he was running away from the scene.

In being shot, Mer-Khamis appears to have become the first half-Jewish shahid, the Arabic word for martyr. Many photographs of him – in a V-for-victory pose – were pasted all over the theater announcing: “Juliano Mer-Khamis, Martyr for Freedom and Culture.”

Friends who gathered at the theater yesterday say his death will leave a huge vacuum but that they will work together to try to keep the theater running.

Source


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