IS THE IDF INCITING A THIRD INTIFADA?

Image ‘Copyleft by Carlos Latuff
mother-palestine-gives-abbas-a-lesson-on-right-of-return (2)
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There is nothing more the State of Israel wants at this time than a new Intifada in the West Bank. The defunct ‘President’ of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas has been successful in garnering the support of the United Nations, but not from the people of his own nation. The frustration felt by the Palestinian people today is moreso aimed at him than at Israel itself, especially after speaking out against the Right of Return of displaced Palestinians to THEIR HOMES. If any movement emerges as a result, it won’t be in the form of an Intifada against Israel, but one against the Palestinian Authority and Abbas for allowing their nation to suffer as they do.
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The IDF and the Israeli media disagree with my analysis as can be seen in the following …
‘West Bank on verge of intifada’

IDF officials warn tensions in West Bank close to boiling point following PA’s successful UN gambit, say coming March’s Nakba and Naksa days will foretell potential violence

Is a third intifada unavoidable? The recent Palestinian successin the UN, the deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the achievements noted by Hamas during Operation Pillar of Defense have prompted greater agitation in the West Bank, and the IDF is concerned that the area may soon reach a boiling point.
According to Shin Bet data, the unrest in the area is ripe for the development of the kind of infrastructure that could potentially support a third intifada – prolonged and violent unrest the likes of which Israel had to deal with in 1987 and 2000.

In recent weeks, the number of arrests made by the Palestinian Authority’s security forces against Hamas operatives in the West Bank has plummeted, and the PA no longer seems motivated to curb their activities in the area.

Almost simultaneously, military intelligence has seen a spike in alerts suggesting terror groups are planning attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians alike.
According to the data, 130 attacks or attempted attacks were launched from the West Bank in November alone, the majority of which were classified by the defense establishment as “difficult to contain.”

עימותים ביהודה ושומרון במהלך מבצע "עמוד ענן" (צילום: AFP)

West Bank riots during Gaza op (Photo: AFP)

Still, an IDF military source in the Judea and Samaria Division told Ynet that, “We’re able to reach everyone eventually, even those who hurl Molotov cocktails or throw rocks at cars.”
The senior officer hedged that despite the palpable tension in the West Bank, the atmosphere is still far from resembling that which led to the al-Aqsa Intifada.

“We’ll have a better assessment of the situation in March, after the Palestinians mark the Nakba and Naksa days and the Prisoners Day. That’s a critical window. The Palestinians have a clear interest in maintaining their coordination (with the IDF) and the calm in the area. It’s an asset for them,” he said.

The IDF and Shin Bet’s near-complete intelligence network in the area has enabled the arrest of five terror cells in the Ramallah sector in the past four months alone, all of which were planning to abduct soldiers.

The defense establishment believes the timing was not coincidental, as all of the plots were set to be executed on or around the anniversary marking the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in the Shalit deal.

The coming weeks will see dozens of former Palestinian prisoners return to the area, after the term of their imposed exile – stipulated in the deal – will end.

 

Riots in Issawiya (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

The IDF considers Ramallah to be a barometer for the atmosphere in entire Palestinian Authority and it seems that the latter no longer considers Hamas’ presence in its cities illegal.

According to a top military source, “There are two scenarios that may indicate the future: The reopening of Hamas’ da’wah institutions in the West Bank and the complete suspension of Hamas’ operatives’ arrests.”

Still, he stressed that both were theoretical, and will require “a closer relationship” between Fatah and Hamas.

“The Palestinian security forces in the West Bank have been targeting Hamas, crisscross-wise, for a long time, right down to bugging mosques and arresting muezzins for incitement,” he said.

The PA still has a firm grip on the ground and its security forces are able to successfully ward off riots in the Palestinian cities.

Commanders of the IDF’s spatial brigades still hold regular coordination meetings with their Palestinian counterparts and the defense establishment is tracking any potential escalation in the area.

The defense establishment has, however, expressed concern that the trigger for a third intifada may end up being Jewish terror, such as “price tag” acts or clashed between Palestinians and settlers.

Israeli security forces have increased their efforts to contain and thwart such incidents.

Source

THE NON AUTHORITIVE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

The Palestinian Authority – devoid of any authority

The Oslo Accords, initially intended to create Palestinian self-government, have in fact left them with autonomous pockets that only reinforce Israel’s rule.

By Amira Hass
Palestinians for Dignity protesting in Ramallah, with a permit from police.
Palestinians for Dignity protesting in Ramallah, with a permit from police.  Photo by Amira Hass

“Everything Will Be Fine,” the enjoyable program broadcast by Army Radio, has a younger relation over at the Voice of Palestine: At “Good Morning Palestine,” the microphone is sometimes open to regular citizens with complaints about various institutions of the Palestinian bureaucracy. As at “Everything Will Be Fine,” the program hosts find it easier than regular people to locate the phone number of whoever is in charge and extract a promise that the matter under discussion will be taken care of. For example, Saturday morning, an officer in the Hebron police was put on the line to answer allegations made by a Yatta resident (who declined to identify himself ) that the Palestinian police are shirking their duty and are slow to intervene in internal conflicts of the large town. The complainant didn’t want to hear about Area A and Area C and interrupted the officer several times.

Another radio program provides airtime to family members of people imprisoned in Israel. It is a particularly important show for prisoners whose parents, wives and children aren’t allowed to visit them for obscure, unspecified “security reasons.” Some relatives make do with a brief, “How are you, habibi? We’re all fine, don’t worry about us. We hope you’re taking care of yourself and your health, and that you’ll be released soon – you and all the other prisoners.” Others go on at length, especially the women. A mother will tell her son that she sent him money for snacks or that his younger brother is out of control and that she’s worried. She’ll speak as if the conversation weren’t one-way and part of a broadcast to which lots of people are listening – cab drivers, their passengers, store clerks and several hundred other prisoners.

Speaking of cabs: As a result of a string of fatal traffic accidents involving taxi drivers, the Palestinian Ministry of Transportation has issued an order limiting the speed of all public transportation vehicles on intercity roads to 90 kilometers per hour. From now on, all new cabs will be modified mechanically to disable higher speeds.

Between a talk show and a news edition, one may hear a public service announcement encouraging people to pay off their debts to the electric company because non-payment strengthens the occupation. A recent installment of “Women’s Voices” was dedicated to an extensive discussion of the phenomenon of men preventing their ex-wives from seeing their children, and of the legal means available to women to fight this injustice.

Speaking of injustices: The Coalition for Palestinian Human Rights Organizations has criticized unnamed figures in the office of President Mahmoud Abbas who, according to the coalition, ordered the police to violently suppress demonstrations held two months ago by the new group Palestinians for Dignity. The youths were protesting the invitation extended to Shaul Mofaz to meet with Abu Mazen. But the criticism had its impact. Two weeks ago, the police allowed the group to march as far as the Muqata wall in Ramallah and shout, without interference, “Traitor, traitor, our government is a traitor.”

What is the common denominator of these anecdotes? What is this compilation doing here? It’s my way of addressing an assertion made in the book, “The Bureaucracy of the Occupation: The Regime of Movement Permits 2000-2006,” by attorney Yael Barda, recently published by the United Kibbutz Movement and Jerusalem’s Van Leer Institute. The book is based on her master’s thesis in the sociology and anthropology department at Tel Aviv University. The research started with Barda’s stubborn slog through the trenches while representing Palestinian laborers who got lost in the intentionally repressive labyrinth of official red tape. Barda argues against the conclusion drawn by Neve Gordon in his book, “Israel’s Occupation” (University of California Press, Berkeley, 2008 ), which she summarizes as follows: “Since the Oslo Accords, the force used against the Palestinians has changed and is now a sovereign power employing legal control by means of the law and policing forces; it does not intervene in civil decisions and does not distinguish between those who oppose the occupation and those who accept it …”

By contrast, Barda’s conclusion is as follows: “After the administrative and regional separation enacted as a result of the Oslo Accords, control over the lives of the Palestinians and interference in their civilian matters did not decrease; on the contrary, it grew.” Barda has accompanied hundreds of laborers on their Via Dolorosa to an entrance permit to Israel and has interviewed many functionaries within the system. That is how she has learned up close how invasive, non-transparent and unsupervised the Israeli authorities are – from the Shin Bet security service to the Supreme Court – that dominate the lives of Palestinians seeking to realize their right to freedom of movement, and come up against walls of concrete, orders and injunctions.

I have not read Gordon’s book, but I assume he saw the range of prohibitions in force during the period of the direct occupation: on construction, reading and writing, unionizing and broadcasting opinions, plays and movies, on planting and seeding. The people in charge in the civilian offices were Israeli bureaucrats/military personnel. They carefully parceled out permits to hook up a telephone line here or build another floor there, while putting petitioners through a gauntlet of depressing humiliations. The offensive, intentional neglect of infrastructure was always a key part of the mechanism of dominating the natives. Even getting a driver’s license was a grind through the same mechanism. The Shin Bet used collaborators even before the ban on freedom of movement that started in 1991, preceding the implementation of Oslo by three years. It’s enough to think about the terrifying presence of the Border Police, Special Patrol Units and National Insurance Institute inspectors in East Jerusalem neighborhood and villages, turned into choking pockets of poverty by the Israeli government, in order to remember the potential of direct control and its predatory nature. It’s enough to remember Area C in which Israel will not allow an old Palestinian community to build toilets or install a solar energy system.

Area C, the 61-62 percent of the West Bank over which the Oslo Accords give Israel full authority, surrounds pockets of Palestinian self-rule in which direct Israeli control over civilian matters has, in fact, become very tenuous despite frequent military incursions, Israel’s authority to arrest any Palestinian at any time, and restrictions on movement. In these pockets, autonomous moments and spaces of a civilian community are created and experienced despite the huge shadow cast by the ever-present occupation. People get used to the internal logic of these pockets. Is the normality only a mirage? A self-delusion? No. The regime created is a confusing hybrid of military-colonial state of emergency and civilian autonomy. The duality and all its contradictions are the glue that makes it hard to undo what there is, i.e. the Palestinian Authority.

This, too, is the genius of the authors of Oslo, who formulated a vague business contract open to opposing interpretations. And since the interpretation of the strong wins, we’re left with autonomous pockets that only reinforce Israel’s rule.

Source

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY WAKES UP TO THE REALITIES OF APARTHEID

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that…
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“The establishment of a politically and economically viable State of Palestine is impossible without ending the Israeli occupation of the whole West Bank and Gaza Strip, including East Jerusalem.”
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Israel logjam threatens statehood, Palestinians warn

 
A Palestinian baker removes unleavened bread off a tray at a traditional bakery in the Palestinian Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday (AFP photo)

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RAMALLAH — The Palestinian Authority warned on Saturday that long-standing lack of movement towards peace with Israel was threatening the concept of a two-state solution and could lead to Palestinians being left in an Israeli-run “apartheid” state.

“Without a tangible shift from a conflict management approach towards a just and lasting political agreement… Israelis and Palestinians will inevitably slide into one state governed by the principles of apartheid,” it said in a report prepared for a meeting of international donors in New York on Monday.

“The status-quo is not sustainable neither politically, nor economically,” the report in English wrote.

“The establishment of a politically and economically viable State of Palestine is impossible without ending the Israeli occupation of the whole West Bank and Gaza Strip, including East Jerusalem,” the 22-page document, published on Saturday, said.

It called on donor members of what is known as the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee to pressure Israel to dismantle its checkpoints in the West Bank and allow unhindered development of all areas, including so-called Area C, which is under full Israeli control and which covers some 60 per cent of the West Bank.

It also asked them to make diplomatic protests to Israel over its demolition of Palestinian homes.

A coalition of global NGOs said in a statement on Friday that demolition rates had hit a three-year high.

Citing UN statistics, the group of 30 aid, development and human rights organisations said demolitions of Palestinian property had tripled in the past three years, rising to an average of 64 per month in 2012, up from 23 in 2009.

The monthly average of people displaced as a result had doubled, increasing from 52 in 2009 to 103 in 2012, it said.

Direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been on hold since late September 2010.

 

Source

ACTION ALERT: DEMAND FREEDOM FOR PALESTINIANS ARRESTED BY PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

Take Action: Demand Freedom for Palestinians Arrested by the PA!

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On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, as Palestinian hunger strikers Samer al-Barq, Hassan Safadi and Ayman Sharawna struggle for their lives within Israeli prisons, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank launched a campaign of arrests throughout the area, rounding up 60 political activists, including youth organizers, journalists, writers and former political prisoners. The arrest total has now risen to 114 and none of the detainees have been released. Act today to demand immediate freedom for the arrestees!

Among the detainees are at least 35 freed prisoners, including some freed in recent weeks from Israeli jails. Fuad al-Khuffash, director of the Ahrar Centre in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners – and who has now declared an open hunger strike –  was one of the arrestees, as was journalist Walid Khaled, released from occupation prisons only 2 weeks prior. Among the detainees, rounded up by the Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence and Preventive Security, are participants in the recent hunger strikes in occupation prisons and a number of recently freed prisoners. Adel Shawamra, one of today’s detainees from Bethlehem, was recently released after 13 years in Israeli prisons.

The PA’s role here is nothing new. As part of the Oslo Accords and its subsequent security corollaries, the Palestinian Authority and its Preventive Security/General Intelligence have acted as security subcontractors for the Israeli occupation, trained by US military officials (such as Gen. Keith Dayton) to round up Palestinian resistance fighters and political dissidents.

It is not coincidental that these arrests come shortly after mass protests in response to economic inequality swept the West Bank, soon focusing on the Oslo Accords and their economic corollary, the Paris Agreements. The existence of Palestinian Authority security forces engaging in “security coordination” with the Israeli occupation, effectively undermining the Palestinian resistance, links directly back to the Oslo Accords.

Amid Hassan Safadi’s hunger strike, his brother Saleh was arrested by the PA; Palestinian prisoners including Ahmad Sa’adat, Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Ahmed Qatamesh and many others have spent time in PA prisons as well as Israeli prisons. This practice has been part and parcel of “security cooperation” with the Israeli occupation from the earliest days of the Palestinian Authority.

As we mark the nineteenth anniversary of the Oslo Accords with a series of PA arrests, we also note that there remain 111 prisoners who have been imprisoned since before the Oslo accords – these prisoners remain inside the occupation’s jails to the present day. Prisoners throughout the Israeli prisons engaged in a one-day hunger strike on Thursday, September 13 – the anniversary of Oslo – and again on Tuesday, September 18 – demanding the freedom of these long-time prisoners. Just as Oslo did not bring freedom, justice or liberation to Palestine, nor did it for its prisoners, a group of Palestinians who despite their centrality to the Palestinian national movement – were ignored and excluded from the Oslo “peace process.” Oslo’s latest victims – the political detainees in the West Bank – are demanding freedom. Act today to support their freedom and united Palestinian struggle against Israeli apartheid, occupation, and settler colonialism.

Take action!

1. Email the Palestinian Embassy or PLO Mission in your country. Click here for a list of contact information. Act now to send this email message!  Make it clear that Palestinians around the world and international activists stand together to confront occupation, end security coordination, and free these detainees – including the former prisoners who have already given so much to the Palestinian struggle for liberation.

2. Call the Palestinian Embassy or PLO Mission. This is a case where phone calls can make a real difference! Palestinians and internationals around the world can raise their voice and demand action. Phone numbers for some missions follow: PLO Delegation in Washington, DC:  202-974-6360. Palestinian Mission to the UN: 212-288-8500. Palestinian General Delegation in Ottawa, Canada: 613-736-0053. Palestinian Mission UK: +44 (0)20 8563 0008. More may be found here!

3. Act to support Palestinian prisoners in occupation prisons. Hassan Safadi, Samer al-Barq and Ayman Sharawna are all still on hunger strike demanding their freedom! Write now to take action to demand their freedom from occupation prisons!

Write to Palestinian Authority/PLO Missions To Demand an End to the Political Arrest Campaign

Send an email to international missions of the Palestinian Authority and PLO to demand that the political arrests end and the detainees be freed immediately.
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Prepared BY .. click on link to get text of letter

DOES THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY WORK FOR ISRAEL OR PALESTINE?

 
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Even Netanyahu admits PA is an Israeli interest
By Khalid Amayreh in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem
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The fact that Israel, which continues to murder Palestinians nearly on a daily basis, narrows Palestinian horizons and steals Palestinian land is hastening to rescue the Palestinian Authority (PA) from its crushing financial-economic crisis may raise a lot of eyebrows both among Palestinians themselves and others around the world.

After all, millions of people around the world grew up thinking that Palestinian and Israeli interest are inherently paradoxical and contradictory. So the last thing a casual observer would expect with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli strife is a concordance of Palestinian and Israeli interests in the form of a “positive” Israeli intervention to help the PA overcome the current crisis.

The truth of the matter, however, is that Israelis are not being charitable, generous, magnanimous or good neighbors.

In fact, Israel has always been a racist murderer and thief; it continues to be murderer and thief and is not expected to change her skin in the foreseeable future.

To begin with, Israel is the root-cause of all problems and troubles, economic and otherwise, facing the Palestinians. Indeed, one would have to be totally gullible to believe that a real, prosperous economy can be maintained under a sinister foreign military occupation.

This is undoubtedly one of the stupidest blunders committed by the PA leadership which still must go back to Grammar Schools to learn the meanings of such words as freedom, independence and sovereignty.

In the final analysis, Israel tightly and completely controls all Palestinian infrastructures, including water resources, electricity, roads, skies and border crossings. In fact, not a single matchbox or a small sewing needle can get into or out of the occupied territories without Israeli consent.

So, one could imagine the extent to which the Palestinian economy is subservient to the Israeli occupation.

It is also important to keep in mind that whatever money Israel transfers to the PA coffers is actually Palestinian money the occupying power collects on behalf of the PA in accordance with the scandalous Paris protocol which effectively put the entire Palestinian economy under Israel’s mercy.

Israel levies an estimated $100 million per month on commodities imported by Palestinians through Israeli ports. Normally, Israel devours bloated commissions and hefty salaries for Israeli operatives handling clearance operations at border crossings.

Speaking hours after ordering the transfer of some $63 million to the PA last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said helping the PA overcome the current economic crisis in the West Bank was an Israeli interest.

He described those Israeli officials objecting to aiding the PA in this regard as “politically myopic and not understanding what they are talking about.”

“We are working on several fronts in order to help the Palestinian Authority cope with its economic problems. We have made several agreements in the taxation agreements. We are advancing several transfers. We have also helped with Palestinian workers and with a series of other steps in order to make things easier for them.

“Of course, there is a global reality and it is also related to the internal management of every economy, but for our part we are making efforts to help the Palestinian Authority survive this crisis. I hope they will succeed in doing so, this is in our common interest.”

Interestingly, the PA leadership doesn’t deny that the survival of the Ramallah regime is a paramount Israeli interest.

Last week, a high-ranking PA official told reporters in Hebron that Israel was interested in weakening the PA regime, but never in destroying it.

“Israel wants to weaken the Palestinian Authority to a certain point which would enable the Jewish state to impose its will and conditions on the Palestinians.”

The official added that Israel wants to see the PA perpetually busy and occupied with its internal political and economic problems which would give Israel a sort of carte blanche to pursue its settlement scheme.

He disclosed that at least some of the protesters who assaulted and vandalized the main police station at al-Haras in Hebron last week were saboteurs and provocateurs working for the Israeli intelligence.

If indeed the survival and “prosperity” of the PA is a mutual Palestinian-Israeli interest, then there must be a huge flaw in the relations between the Palestinian victims and their Israeli victimizers.

It is lamentable that the PA leadership is oblivious of this flaw. It is also a real calamity that the PA is willing to function and operate under crippling Israeli constraints. In this case, the PA behaves and acts as a collaborator and colluder with the occupying power, rather than a national authority aspiring to become an independent state.

PA leaders had argued ad nauseam that the creation of the autonomous authority was a step toward the creation of a fully-independent and completely sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Now, almost everyone, including some PA officials, realizes that the PA is probably the biggest obstacle impeding the establishment of a viable Palestinian state worthy of the name, after the Israeli occupation.

There is no doubt that the scandalous Oslo Accords put the Palestinians, including the PLO itself, the so-called sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, in a lose-lose situation whereby they will have to choose between two unattractive choices: Direct Israeli occupation on the one hand or indirect but equally sinister Israeli domination on the other.

The PA regime has given Israel unconditional recognition without receiving a reciprocal Israeli recognition of a putative Palestinian state.

The Palestinian harrowing toward the political and moral abyss reasserted itself earlier this month when Chairman Abbas told a visiting Israeli delegation, which included some rabbis, in Ramallah that “Israel was created to last forever.”

Unfortunately, virtually all Fatah leaders were mum, fearing Abbas’s fury and reprisals.

There is no doubt that the Palestinian cause is being gradually and quietly liquidated while PA leaders keep babbling about a state that seems ever more unlikely to see the light of the day with the passage of everyday.

Is there an exit out of this political labyrinth? Of course there is, provided we put our national interests before the immediate and precarious interests of maintaining the status quo.

This necessarily requires the liquidation of the Oslo Accords. I realize that exiting the Oslo Accords, or more correctly delivering our people from its clutches, wouldn’t be easy or safe. But it can be done and it must be done.

Otherwise, we sacrifice Palestine for the sake of maintaining an authority that has no future if only because that authority is inherently subservient to and dependent upon Israel.  

AN URGENT APPEAL FROM ARNA’S CHILDREN IN JENIN

 Remember this video? Following it is a report on the situation today…
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From The Freedom Theatre …
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Urgent Call for Action: Free Zakaria Zubeidi

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On the 9th of September Zakaria Zubeidi announced that he will embark on a death fast, a complete food and fluid strike, in response to the continuous postponement of his release from Palestinian Authority prison. This effectively means that unless the Palestinian Authority releases Zakaria he will most probably not make it through the week.

Zubeidi, co-founder of The Freedom Theatre and former leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, has been imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority for close to four months. No charges have been made against him, no evidence presented and throughout his imprisonment his rights have been severely violated, as described by among others Human Rights Watch (http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/07/27/israelpalestinian-authori
ty-theater-group-hit-both-sides).

Being one of the last survivors of Arna’s Children(1), Zakaria joined the armed resistance during the second Intifada and became one of its leading figures. After co-founding The Freedom Theatre in 2006 Zakaria decided to lay down his weapons in order to join a cultural resistance, which he deemed a more powerful tool against the Israeli occupation. Surviving numerous assassination attempts by the Israeli army and vowing to never again enter an Israeli prison, Zakaria is now instead facing death in a Palestinian prison unless immediate action is taken.

The Freedom Theatre urges all its friends and supporters to:

– Contact the local representative office of the Palestinian Authority(2) and demand Zakaria Zubeidi’s release. Since the situation is urgent we also ask you to take more direct actions such as organising protests at PA representative offices.
– Contact local or regional human rights offices and organisations such as Amnesty International and urge them to take action.
– Contact your local MP and MEP and urge them to take action.
– Contact your country’s representative office in the occupied Palestinian territory and urge them to take action(3).
– Call these numbers to demand Zakaria’s release:

+972 (0)599000011 Abo Mohammad Shadeh, Head of the Palestinian Authority President’s Security Office

+972(0)2000011 Said Abualheja, Ministry of Interior

+972 (0)-597778887 Majd Faraj, Head of Palestinian Intelligence

PRESIDENT’S OFFICE
Tel +972(0)22959928/81370-5

Secretary General
Tayyeb Abdul Rahim
Tel +972(0)2959928 / (0)82824171

Director General
Intesar Abu Ammara
Tel +972(0)2959928

Media Unit
Tel. +972(0)2959928

Legal Unit
Tel +972(0)2959928
Tel +972(0598929900

Public Relations
Director General Hussam Dabbas
Tel +972(0)22981377
Tel +972(0599478478
Email hdabbas@president.ps

Special Representative
Rawhi Fattouh
Tel +972 (0)22959928

Presidential Spokesperson
Nabil Abu Rudaineh
Tel +972 (0)22959928
Fax 022963170

PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE
Tel +972(0)22968989
Email pm@pmo.pna.p
http://palestinecabinet.gov.ps

Dir. Gen., Prime Minister’s Office
Mohammad Jarrad
Tel +972(0)22968989
Email mjarrad@pmo.pna.ps

International Relations Unit
Dir.Gen Manal Zeidan
Tel +972(0)22968989
Advisor to the Prime Minister
Omar Al-Ghoul
Tel +972(0)22951766/ (0)599408871

MINISTRY OF INTERIOR
Minister: Saed Abu Ali
Director General: Bassam Queder
Tel +972 (0)22429878

Deputy Minister: Hassan Alawi
Tel +972 (0)22429248

Legal Affairs: Nehaya Al-Saqqa
Tel +972 (0)22409964

Public Relations: Nasser Abu Fekhedeh
Tel +972 (0)22422684
Jenin Office: Dir. Mostafa Jaradat
Tel +972 (0)42503199/2501375

MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
Minister: Dr. Ali Khashan
Tel +972 (0)22973263 / +972 (0)2599549015
E-mail minister@moj.gov.ps, khashan@alqudsnet.com
Media & PR Unit
Dir. Samer Sharqawi
Tel +972 (0)599774335
E-mail sharq@moj.gov.ps

The Freedom Theatre will continue to monitor Zakaria’s case closely and we will keep you updated.

SAMPLE LETTER

To [Name], representative of the Palestinian Authority

I am a staunch supporter of the Palestinian people and therefore I am now contacting you on an urgent matter. It has come to my knowledge that Zakaria Zubeidi, co-founder of The Freedom Theatre in Jenin and former military leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has been kept in Palestinian prison for over four months without any charges or accusations brought against him. I have also been informed that Zakaria’s human rights have been violated on several accounts and that as a result he has started a death fast, refusing water or food. That means that he will die within 8-10 days and most probably before that suffer irreversible effects to his health. I urge you to take immediate actions for Zakaria’s release. If you, as a representative of the Palestinian Authority will allow Zakaria to die then you must also know that I and many others will consider you partly responsible for his death.

I trust that you understand the need for your immediate response to this case.

Sincerely Yours,

[Name]
[Place]

REFERENCES
(1) http://www.arna.info/Arna

(2)http://www.palestinecabinet.gov.ps/site/456/default.aspx
http://www.minfo.ps/English/index.php?pagess=main&id=193&but
t=5

http://www.un.int/wcm/content/site/palestine/
http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/Palestine#5057
http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/Palestine

(3)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_diplomatic_missions_in_
Palestine

Twitter: #Freezakaria
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefreedomtheatre

Previous press releases, background and updates

Zakaria Zubeidi remains in prison (02092012)
http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=275

Zakaria Zubeidi’s release postponed (27082012)
http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=274

Zakaria Zubeidi to be released on bail (22082012)
http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=272

Zakaria Zubeidi temporarily released (19082012)
http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=271

Human Rights Watch calls for end to harassment of The Freedom Theatre (28072012)
http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=263

New information on Nabil and Zakaria (11072012)
http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=257

Nabil and Zakaria on hunger strike (05072012)
http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=256

Latest news on Nabil and Zakaria (01072012)
http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=251

Action Alert: Free Nabil Al-Raee and Zakaria Zubeidi (07062012)
http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=239

WHAT SECRETS LIE BURIED WITH ARAFAT?

Arafat had suffered intestinal inflammation, jaundice and a blood condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation, or DIC, according to French medical records. But the records were inconclusive about what brought about DIC, which has numerous causes including infections, colitis and liver disease.
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As PA prepares to exhume body, Israel calls Arafat poisoning claim ‘baseless’

Government officials rejected suggestions Israel may have poisoned Yasser Arafat with lethal radioactive isotopes in 2004; top Muslim cleric gives go-ahead for autopsy.

A woman walks past a mural depicting Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Yasser Arafat in Gaza.
A Palestinian woman walking past a mural depicting Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, left, and Yasser Arafat in Gaza City on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Photo by AFP

As the Palestinian Authority prepared to exhume the body of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Israeli government officials on Wednesday rejected suggestions that Israel may have poisoned him with a lethal radioactive isotope, polonium.

“The report is baseless,” said one senior official on condition of anonymity, adding that it was not Israel that decided to keep the late Palestinian leader’s medical records closed.

“The circumstances of Arafat’s death are not a mystery,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. “He was treated in France, in a French hospital by French doctors and they have all the medical information.”

A Swiss lab announced that it found elevated levels of polonium on Arafat’s belongings. The lab said it tested the items in response to a request by the Al Jazeera TV station, who approached the lab on behalf of Arafat’s widow Suha at the beginning of this year.

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Suha Arafat rejected an autopsy at the time of her husband’s death nearly eight years ago. She has requested one now in light of lab tests that found the lethal substance polonium on his belongings.

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Suha said the items, including a toothbrush and a fur hat, were used by Arafat in his final days. She said they have since been kept in a secure room at her attorney’s office in Paris.

While the lab said it found “very small” quantities of polonium on some items, there were higher quantities in, for example, a urine stain on underwear worn by Arafat and a blood stain on hospital clothing than on belongings he hadn’t used, such as new and unworn socks stored in the same bag.

These developments reignited a storm of speculation over what killed Arafat, who died on Nov. 11, 2004 at the age of 75, at a military hospital outside Paris.

On Wednesday, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas cleared the way for a possible autopsy on Arafat’s remains, following a request from Suha. While Suha had rejected an autopsy at the time of her husband’s death, she now said she wanted one done in the wake of the lab’s findings. She did not explain why she waited nearly eight years to have the belongings tested.

Suha’s request had put Abbas in a bind, since digging up Arafat’s remains would go against the traditions of conservative Muslims and could stir angry protests. But refusing to exhume the body could be seen as an attempt to block an investigation.

The top Muslim cleric in the Palestinian territories, Mufti Mohammed Hussein, also said Wednesday he would not object to an autopsy on religious grounds.

When Arafat died, French doctors identified the cause of death as a massive brain hemorrhage, which occurred weeks after he fell violently ill at his Ramallah compound in the West Bank.

Arafat had suffered intestinal inflammation, jaundice and a blood condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation, or DIC, according to French medical records. But the records were inconclusive about what brought about DIC, which has numerous causes including infections, colitis and liver disease.

Many in the Arab world had alleged he was killed by Israel, an accusation Israeli officials vociferously denied.

The lab’s head, Francois Bochud, said the findings do not necessarily mean Arafat was poisoned, and that it is impossible to say where the polonium might have originated.

A French military doctor said he did not know whether doctors had checked Arafat for polonium when he was hospitalized in 2004. He also said he was unaware of any mention of poisoning in the 558-page classified report on Arafat’s death.

Source

DOZENS OF ARRESTS AS PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PAVES THE WAY TO INTERNET MONITORING

At work in the Occupied West Bank… Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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Yesterday I reported with disgust about the new Israeli military censor’s plans to monitor FaceBook, Twitter and Blogs….
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Well, guess what …. PA security forces have arrested dozens of Palestinian journalists, bloggers, students and activists in recent weeks. Many have been detained for statements they made on social networking sites like Facebook that were critical of the PA, while others were targeted for articles and other work they published. It looks like Israel’s representative in the Occupied West Bank beat the master to this..
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Dozens of journalists, activists arrested as PA cracks down on dissent
Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
 
Demonstrators hold banners protesting restrictions on free speech

Palestinian journalists in Gaza City protest the arrest of West Bank journalist Yousef al-Shayab, 4 April 2012. (Mohammed Asad / APA images)

The Palestinian Authority’s arrest of journalists and activists critical of its policies are threatening freedom of expression in the West Bank, according to local human rights groups.

“We monitored a new trend of arresting people and journalists and the oppression of freedom of expression,” Shawan Jabarin, director of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq, said. “There are many people I’m sure that are afraid and will count to ten before they say anything. Maybe they’ll push people to speak underground instead of expressing their opinions freely.”

In the most recent case, the Palestinian Authority security forces summoned 23-year-old Hasan Abbadi for interrogation near his home in the West Bank village Sebastia, in the Nablus area. Abbadi, a student at An-Najah University, was accused of “creating disunity” through his political cartoons.

He spent some days in jail, before being released on 3,000 Jordanian dinars ($4,200) bail, and is currently awaiting trial.

Failure to protect freedom

“I think they’re using different words here and there, just to undermine these people in the eyes of the public and to say that they are creating trouble and creating divisions. It’s a political judgement more than [anything] illegal,” said Jabarin.

Jabarin said most charges leveled against Palestinian journalists are based on the Jordanian Penal Code, dating back to 1960. Palestinian attorney general Ahmad al-Maghni has failed to protect Palestinian freedoms in the West Bank and should be held responsible for the arrests, he added.

“Al-Maghni’s role is to protect the freedoms and the rights of the people in the face of arbitrary detention, instead of arresting people. Here, we see him acting quickly and exaggerating with all of these [charges]. And at the same time, he’s closing his ears and his eyes on the crimes going on,” Jabarin said.

“He is not taking into his mind that the law that he is using was approved in 1960 and these days, we are in 2012 and the main principle now in all the world is freedom of expression.”

Arrested for Facebook posts

PA security forces have arrested dozens of Palestinian journalists, bloggers, students and activists in recent weeks. Many have been detained for statements they made on social networking sites like Facebook that were critical of the PA, while others were targeted for articles and other work they published.

Jordan Valley activist Jamal Abu-Rihan was interrogated on 1 April in relation to a Facebook page he runs that pushes for an end to corruption. He was accused of writing political statements against PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestinian journalist Yousef al-Shayab was also arrested, in late March, after publishing an investigative report in the Jordanian al-Ghad newspaper that questioned the activities of the Palestinian Authority embassy in Paris, and refusing to reveal his sources.

“The protection of sources is universally accepted as an essential tenet of independent reporting,” president of the International Federation of Journalists, Jim Boumelha, said in a statement condemning the arrest. “Journalists the world over will be outraged that [al-Shayab] has been sentenced for upholding such a basic principle. He has no case to answer and should be released immediately.”

Protests

Al-Shayab was eventually jailed and accused of libel and of creating disunity among Palestinians. He conducted a hunger strike in protest against his detention before being released on bail in early April. Protests were also held in the West Bank while al-Shayab was in prison, calling for his release. He is now awaiting trial.

“Arrests and harassment and attacks against journalists in Palestine are enhancing fear and censorship among journalists,” Moussa Rinawi, director of the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) said.

“The level of local media will become worse and worse, and psychologically, it is affecting journalists. We are against harassment and attacks against journalists, either by the Israeli side or Palestinians.”

In late April, Ma’an News Agency reported that the PA had instructed Internet service providers to block access to news websites that were critical of Abbas.

Since the report came out, PA communications minister Mashour Abu Daka has resigned from his post. Attorney General al-Maghni, for his part, has defended the decision to block the websites, arguing that they were censored for security reasons and because personal complaints had been made against their content.

According to Rinawi, the censorship is a bad sign for media freedoms in Palestine.

“We were proud that the Internet is open in Palestine and there is no censorship on the Internet and any journalist can post anything and can open any site. The last few months, we noticed there is some control of Facebook and social media in general, and they blocked some sites. It’s a bad phenomenon,” Rinawi said.

He added that mobilizing Palestinian campaign groups in order to protect freedom of speech is crucial.

“When there is a strong reaction on the arrest of [al-Shayab], they released him. We need to increase the pressure from the Palestinian civil society organizations. Civil society activities are having a result.”

Reported AT

PRESIDENTIAL CENSORSHIP

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been trying to muzzle press freedom and freedom of expression under the rubric of “upholding the rule of law”.
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Fettering the press in Ramallah

By Khalid Amayreh
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Frustrated with the dead end in the supposed peace process with Israel, Palestinian Authority leaders are getting increasingly edgy about criticism, writes Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah
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The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been trying to muzzle press freedom and freedom of expression under the rubric of “upholding the rule of law”.Several Palestinian journalists have been interrogated and imprisoned of late in connection with articles they wrote or opinions they voiced about leading PA figures, including President Mahmoud Abbas.

One of the highlighted cases is that of Youssef Shayeb who has been put in jail since mid-March following an article he penned mid-January exposing alleged financial and administrative corruption plaguing the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) diplomatic mission in Paris.

In the article, which was published in the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad, Shayeb alleged that members of the Palestinian mission in Paris were involved in financial mismanagement, illegal security operations and espionage for the benefit of unnamed foreign intelligence organisations. Shayeb quoted detailed testimony from anonymous sources that he refused to disclose.

Initially, the Ramallah Magistrates Court decided to remand Shayeb for 48 hours pending further interrogation. This led him to declare a hunger strike in protest at “this flagrant treatment”.

The Palestinian press law, which is yet to be complete and take a final form, prevents the executive authority — via the security agencies — from questioning or interrogating or harassing journalists over matters pertaining to their professional work. However, the PA security apparatus has more or less failed to uphold the rule of law in this regard, often justifying its encroachment and abuse by citing security considerations.

According to Shayeb’s wife, Badeia, the interrogation of her husband centred on the identity of his sources, although the Palestinian press law, in its fourth clause, grants journalists the right to keep their sources anonymous.

“The attorney-general has no right to demand that a given journalist disclose his or her sources unless there is a court order to this effect.”

The attorney general’s office, however, argued that the interrogation of Shayeb and his subsequent detention was legal, “because no one, including journalists, has the right to defame, libel and smear the reputation of people without indicting evidence.”

The office said it was duty bound to address formal complaints by those whose names were mentioned in the investigative article, including PA Foreign Minister Riyadh Maliki, the Palestinian ambassador to France, and his deputy.

Ahmed Al-Mughni, the attorney-general, told reporters in Ramallah this week that Shayeb was charged with defamation and libel as well as perjury in violation of the law.

The continued arrest of Shayeb generated protests by Palestinian journalists who called on Abbas to free the man. However, sources at Abbas’s office pointed out that the president couldn’t and wouldn’t interfere with the work of the judiciary.

On Sunday, 2 April, the Magistrates Court decided to release Shayeb on bail, set at $7000. However, Shayeb is still in jail, apparently due to the intervention of “powerful people” within the PA regime.

Another less publicised case involving PA encroachment on freedom of expression has been that of journalist Ismat Abdel-Khaleq who has been in jail for over a week over “insulting and ridiculing” PA Chairman Abbas on her Facebook page.

The female journalist was transferred to hospital on Monday, 3 April, following deterioration in her health. She has been remanded for 15 days for further investigation.

According to Nehad Abu Gohsh, a Journalists’ Union spokesman, Abdel-Khaleq has been interrogated by the Preventive Security Services. Abdel-Khaleq reportedly argued that the controversial content on her Facebook page was not hers, but comments added by others.

The attorney-general charged the journalist with verbally abusing high-ranking government officials, a charge many journalists are worried will muzzle press freedom and seriously undermine the ability of the press to carry out its function as a watchdog over the government.

The increasingly draconian PA approach to press freedom and other civil liberties is raising many eyebrows in the occupied West Bank. One PA official intimated to Al-Ahram Weekly that the Ramallah regime is feeling increasingly insecure due to the political dead end facing the peace process with Israel.

A visibly frustrated Abbas has been saying he will send a “decisive letter” to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, warning — even threatening — that the Palestinians would soon abandon the two-state solution strategy if Israel continued to expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

In an article published this week, Fatah’s leading figure in the occupied territories, Ahmed Qurei argued that it was pointless and irresponsible to continue pursuing a peace process that is void of any real content.

He called the peace process, among other things, a mirage, a great deception and a big lie, pointing to ongoing Israeli efforts to de-Arabise and de-Islamicise the demographic and cultural identity of occupied East Jerusalem.

The PLO hopes to establish a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital. However, intensive and ubiquitous expansion of Jewish colonies throughout the West Bank, especially in Jerusalem, has rendered this Palestinian hope unrealistic.

Written FOR

ISRAEL QUICKLY LOSING ITS STATUS AS THE ONLY DEMOCRACY IN THE REGION

 As the Palestinian Authority itself continues to erode away at Human Rights..
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How ironic that Mahmoud Abbas is slowly turning the Occupied West Bank into a mini Israel void of Human Rights and Civil Liberties…
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Are these the ploys he wants to use to convince the West that Palestine is as Democratic as Israel is and deserves Nation  Status? (sic)
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Here are some of the latest violations;
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From a report by Amira Hass in today’s HaAretz….
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What happens when a Palestinian journalist dares criticize the Palestinian Authority?

Palestinian journalist Yusuf Al-Shayeb dared raise suspicions of corruption at the PA’s mission in France. Now he languishes in a Ramallah cell.

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And an AP Report from the same edition….
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Palestinian woman arrested for alleged anti-Abbas Facebook post

A 37-year-old university lecturer is being detained over comments found on her Facebook page calling for Abbas’ retirement.

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Finally, a comment from our own Khalid Amayreh, written FOR
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A game of make believe
By Khalid Amayreh

Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas is behaving in a theatrical manner these days. It is very much like “now you see it, now you don’t,”

The talk about his mythical “letter” or “ultimatum” to Israel reminds us of the notorious illusions of the past few years such as the “September entitlement,” the Annapolis conference and the numerous other lies and events orchestrated in coordination with the U.S. and meant to deceive and mislead the Palestinian public by giving the masses a false hope that something is in the offing.

The PA-run media has been babbling and blathering about “Abbas’s letter” as if the Day of Judgment would take place the day after the letter is delivered to the “graceful hands” of Bibi Netanyahu.

According to the latest reports, the Americans and their European partners have convinced Abu Mazen to delete any indication or threat from the letter alluding to the dismantlement of the PA.

On some occasions, Abbas alluded to the possible dissolution of the PA regime if the world community failed to force Israel to end the occupation that started in 1967.

But neither the US nor Israel took this warning seriously. It also seems that many Palestinians as well, perhaps a sizeable majority, don’t believe the PA leadership.

There is no doubt that the very existence of the PA is an Israeli achievement and vital interest. This is why Israel, and especially the United States, will think twice before allowing Abbas to reach the Rubicon.

This is not say though that the Israelis and their guardian-allies, the Americans, will meet Abbas’s demands, including taking a decision to freeze all Jewish settlement expansion activity and seriously revive the effectively moribund two-state solution.

The maximum the Obama administration would do, especially at this juncture, is to give the PA some extra money and tell it to shut up. They would also do a little bit of cajoling and bamboozling, along with some prodding and bullying.

Hasn’t this been the American and European modus operandi in dealing with the PA ever since the death of Yasser Arafat and even before?

I believe a great majority of our people, both at home and in the Diaspora, are fed up with Abbas’s whimsical rituals. Some unctuous hangers-on and hypocrites would portray the huge disillusionment of the people as support for Abbas. But this is the task of these sycophants, namely to falsify facts to make their boss feel that all’s right.

But this is not the case.

First of all, the PA and Mr. Abbas in particular, ought to be frank and honest with the people, and tell them in straightforward manner that the goal of establishing a viable and sovereign state in the West Bank is no longer realistic due to the ubiquitous proliferation of Jewish colonies.

And there is no shred of evidence that a prospective Israeli government, let alone the present Nazi-like coalition of hard-line Zionists and brashly racist Talmudic gurus, would under no circumstances agree to dismantle or depopulate these colonies, even in return for a perfect peace offer.

The Israeli political-military establishment is too arrogant, too insolent and ideologically too rigid to allow any real transformation toward peace. In fact, the only transformation that we notice in Israel these days is a transformation toward Jewish fascism.

The recent election of Shaul Mofaz, a certified war criminal by every standard of imagination, as Leader of the Kadima party should provide us with some food for thought in this regard.

Second, the United States, on which the PA and like-minded Arabs still pin their hope for achieving peace and justice, is actually part of the problem. Israel through its powerful Jewish lobby is simply grabbing America by the throat, so much so, that most American politicians have come to realize that without throwing themselves squarely into the Jewish lobby’s lap, they would have no chance of winning elections or staying in their jobs for five minutes.

And, of course, Barack Obama, is no exception.

I know that most American politicians shake at the mere notion of criticizing Israel or saying a kind word about the Palestinians. I also know that many others are virtual political whores who would just side with richer and more powerful party, and American Jews have both the political power and money.

This American reality should enable us to argue rather objectively that if the Palestinians wanted to wait until the US restores a sense of justice, morality and balance to its Middle Eastern policy, they would have to wait decades, many decades, perhaps even centuries.

In short, America is part of the problem, it can’t be part of the solution.

As to the Europeans, their role seems innocuous, but they can’t be relied upon to make Israel budge. Europe is simply too weak, too undetermined, too unprincipled and too divided to force Israel to succumb to the logic of peace.

Added to this is the fact that the two-state strategy is actually dead, even though its kept alive by artificial means. Yes, the Americans, Europeans and some Palestinian leaders keep talking about it, but they all know in their hearts that this solution is no longer possible.

Last week, PLO official Ahmed Qrei’ pointed out that it was too late for establishing a Palestinian state, especially one enjoying territorial continuity, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

It is really mind-boggling why Abbas and his coteries in Ramallah don’t really listen to these words. Are they blind? Or are they treating the national interests and legitimate rights of their people with recklessness and nonchalance?

Well, it is time these people sought an alternative strategy to put our people on a definitive track that would lead to freedom and liberation.

We certainly are not demanding miracles from President Abbas and his partners. We only would like to see them think right for the future.*

Adding to the irony of the situation, THIS report was filed before I even finished editing this post…*

Jerusalem Mayor aims to establish new settlement in East Jerusalem

About 200 new homes are being planned for the new neighborhood, known as Kidmat Zion, on a plot of land purchased by U.S. millionaire Irving Moskowitz.

US BREAKS ITS OWN LAWS TO SUPPORT ISRAELI TERRORISM

The Foreign Assistance Act, signed into law in 1961, stipulates that “no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”*

US sent 600,000 tear gas canisters to Israel, says new report

David Elkins
Israeli soldier fires tear gas cannister

Israeli soldiers have killed and injured Palestinians and US citizens with weaponry supplied by the US government.

(Najeh Hashlamoun / APA images)

WASHINGTON  – A new policy paper published earlier this week by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation documents a number of cases occurring over the past decade in which weapons and ammunition produced and financed by the US have been used to kill unarmed Palestinians and US citizens.

“US military aid to Israel is a policy that is running on autopilot and must be reconsidered,” Josh Ruebner, the national advocacy director for the organization and author of the new policy paper, said on Monday.

“US weapons provided to Israel at taxpayer expense make the US complicit in Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians living under Israel’s 44-year military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip and defeat US foreign policy objectives of halting Israeli settlement expansion, ending Israeli military occupation and establishing a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace,” Ruebner added.

Between the years 2000 and 2009, the US transferred “more than 670 million weapons, rounds of ammunition and related equipment,” according to the report.

Violating US law

During the same period, “Israel killed at least 2,969 unarmed Palestinians, including 1,128 children, often with US weapons in violation of the Foreign Assistance Act and Arms Export Control Act.”

The Foreign Assistance Act, signed into law in 1961, stipulates that “no security assistance may be provided to any country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

Several US administrations have sanctioned or withheld funding from countries, including Israel, that violated laws such as the Foreign Assistance Act. But according to the report, official inquires and investigations into US military aid to Israel over recent decades have been met with growing resistance from groups both within and outside of the US government.

Although more expensive weapons systems such as tanks and aircraft make up the bulk of purchasing contracts made between the Israeli government and US manufacturers, small arms and ammunition purchases account for the largest number of deaths.

Killing with American bullets

The report notes evidence that the Israeli military loads many of its guns with high-velocity tear gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets manufactured in the US — a frequent culprit in deaths throughout the West Bank.

“From fiscal year 2000 to 2009, the State Department licensed — and US taxpayers funded — the delivery of more than 595,000 tear gas canisters and other ‘riot control’ equipment to the Israeli military, valued at more than $20.5 million,” according to the report.

In a 2007 “memorandum of understanding,” the US pledged $30 billion in military assistance to Israel between 2009 and 2018 — a 25 percent increase in average annual military aid over previous years. Israel will receive roughly $3.1 billion in US military aid for fiscal year 2012.

Speaking at a conference held at the Palestine Center on Monday, Ruebner argued that, apart from the seeming contradiction of US pledges to protect human rights for everyone, military aid to Israel imperils US strategic interests in the region.

It also defers much-needed US tax revenues away from domestic programs, and contributes to a positive feedback loop that conditions the fulfillment of stated US goals in the region, such as a negotiated, two-state settlement, on even more military aid that, in turn, is used to continue the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, he said.

Citing data obtained for the US Internal Revenue Service and Census Bureau, the report places the quantity of US military aid in a larger context.

Liability

“With the same amount of money that the US gives each year to fund weapons for Israel, the federal government could instead fund affordable housing vouchers for 350,000 low-income families, or green jobs training for 500,000 unemployed workers, or early reading programs for 900,000 at-risk students, or primary health care to 24 million people without insurance,” according to the report.

“Far from being a strategic benefit to the US, [military aid to Israel] is actually a growing political, economic and strategic liability,” Ruebner said.

The release of the policy paper coincided with the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a Zionist lobbying group, in Washington that included speeches by senior US government officials, including President Barack Obama.

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta reaffirmed America’s security commitment to Israel, including financing for a missile defense and fighter-jet weapons systems in a speech during the conference.

“This is an ironclad pledge which says that the United States will provide whatever support is necessary so that Israel can maintain military superiority over any state or coalition of states, as well as non-state actors,” Panetta said.

On Monday, US Congressmen Eric Cantor and Steny Hoyer introduced legislation that will “expand Israel’s authority to make purchases under the foreign military financing program,” and require the president to report to Congress on “actions to improve the process relating to Israel’s purchase of F-35 aircraft to improve cost efficiency and timely delivery.”

“Today, my friend Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and I are introducing legislation to reaffirm our enduring commitment to the US-Israel strategic relationship and to ensure that threats to Israeli and American security will be answered with strength,” Cantor stated on Monday.

“It is a bond that reflects the shared values of our people and our shared interests in preserving stability in the Middle East…It is a reminder that support for Israel is not and should never be a partisan issue,” Congressman Hoyer added.

Ruebner emphasised several steps US lawmakers could take to prevent additional human rights violations, most notably the enactment of laws that would make US military aid conditional on freezing Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and ending theblockade of the Gaza Strip.

Source

WHERE WILL ABBAS’ ‘KISSING UP’ TO ISRAEL LEAD TO?

See THIS humourous post as well
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The great Arab poet, Abu’ttayeb al-Mutannabi, said:
wa’inna domo’a la’yni ghodron berabbeha  Itha konna ithra al ghadereena jawariya
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(The tears of the eye betray a man if they keep running after the traitors)
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PA must end security coordination with Israel now
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

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The apartheid Israeli regime decided last week to freeze the transfer of tax and customs revenue levied by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
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The illegal and immoral measure, which Israel resorts to rather routinely, is intended to bully the Ramallah leadership to capitulate to Zionist whims and blackmailing tactics.
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Israel never stopped threatening to strangulate the PA economically and financially if the latter didn’t succumb to the Israeli will.
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The systematic Israeli blackmail of the PA is a disgraceful expression of the Oslo Accords and other subsequent accords and understandings between the pseudo autonomous authority and the Nazi-like Israeli occupation regime. 
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Needless to say, these scandalous agreements which effectively reduced the Palestinian regime-from the supposed equal partner envisioned in these so-called agreements-to a vanquished supplicant begging for virtually everything from the Israeli side, from travel permits to basic commodities without which any modern society wouldn’t be able to function.
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But the story doesn’t end here, which reminds us of what the legendary Arab poet, Abu’ttayeb al-Mutannabi, said about slaves who cling to their masters while crying out for freedom:
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The great Arab poet said:
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wa’inna domo’a la’yni ghodron berabbeha  Itha konna ithra al ghadereena jawariya
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(The tears of the eye betray a man if they keep running after the traitors)
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The PA does possess numerous cards which, if used properly and   forcefully, can force Israel to treat the Palestinians with a semblance of respect and dignity.
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For example, there is strong ongoing security coordination between the Israeli occupation army and Palestinian security agencies. 
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This security coordination, which is actually no more than a mere subordination, subjugation and  subservience by the PA security apparatus to the Israeli occupation army, covers the entirety of the West Bank and commits the PA to protect and safeguard Israeli interests, including guarding hundreds of Jewish settlers, most of whom indoctrinated in a Nazi-like ideology that teaches that non-Jews, e.g. Palestinians, living under Jewish rule,  must submit to the Chosen People or master race and resign to a status of water carriers and wood hewers.
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If the goyem (or non-Jews)  don’t submit and continue to demand human rights and civil liberties,  then they must be either expelled or killed.
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As mentioned above, Israel had resorted to withholding the transfer of Palestinian monies several times for the purpose of forcing the PA on its knees, with the PA doing virtually nothing to respond to the hostile provocation apart from issuing statements of denunciation and condemnation.
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The estimated $100 million dollar which Israel transfers to PA coffers per month constitutes the lion’s share of the Palestinian monthly budget. Hence, PA inaction and ostensible indifference with regard to this issue must invite the strongest condemnation from the Palestinian masses, especially those tens of thousands of civil servants and wage earners who receive their income from the PA regime.
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The scandal becomes even more clarion and shocking when we know that a good part of the money  withheld is used to pay salaries for those very  soldiers and officers tasked with  coordinating security matters with Israel, or, more correctly,  guarding the Nazi-like settlers.
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What can the PA do?
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Without making a short story long, the PA can and must terminate all forms of security coordination with Israel. To begin with, this coordination is a stigma upon the forehead of every Palestinian political and security official, because in its simplest form, security coordination means collaboration with the enemy against the forces of resistance and freedom.
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Moreover, it is amply clear that Israel accords “security coordination” with a pliant PA a paramount  importance since that very coordination  allows Israel to maintain its enduring occupation with minimal costs. 
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During the heights of the first and second intifadas or uprisings, Israel maintained a heavy security presence of more than 80,000 troops in the occupied territories. 
Hence, a genuine threat by the PA to terminate security coordination with the Zionist regime is very likely to sound alarm bells in Tel Aviv and Washington. Needless to say, it is the latter than finances that security coordination and bribes the PA with more money to maintain that sinful relationship with Israel.
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In any case, it is illogical and unethical to keep the Palestinian loaf of bread hostage to the rapacious and cannibalistic instincts of Talmudic sages who view all non-Jews as subhuman creatures whose lives have no sanctity and who have no human rights or dignity.
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It is these so fuehrers of Zionism who control rather tightly the present Israeli government of Binyamin Netanyahu.
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This throws the proverbial ball rather squarely onto the PA court.
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In addition, I believe the PA should immediately revoke the scandalous Economic Protocol of Paris which made the very lifeline of the Palestinian economy subject to   Israel’s whims and haphazard, sadistic fantasies.
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The PA regime did commit an unforgivable blunder in 1994; it is time the Ramallah leadership rectified and corrected that blunder which has cost our people dearly.
Finally, the PA and other Palestinian forces ought to do their utmost to get  friendly Arab, Muslim and other states involved in enabling our people to withstand Israeli bullying and blackmail.
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For example, the PA ought to press the new rulers of   Egypt to make the Egyptian commitment to honor and uphold  the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty subject to  Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people.
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The same thing applies to all new governments and regimes in the Arab world. This is what everyone would call smart politics.
Otherwise, the Palestinian people should wait to seeing a mere reproduction of the same futility and same failure characterizing PA performance over the years.

IF PALESTINE GIVES UP ITS BID FOR STATEHOOD, ISRAEL WILL RELEASE MORE PRISONERS

That’s what I read in the following ….
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Over the last two weeks, the Israeli official said, several of Abbas’ advisors, including his chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, have urged him to disband the PA and hand responsibility for the territories back to Israel. This has strengthened the army’s view that gestures to bolster Abbas are needed.
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Israel mulls freeing Fatah prisoners as gesture to Abbas

Cabinet split over bolstering PA leader or punishing him for UN statehood bid; next month IDF to give government list of recommended goodwill gestures, including releasing additional Palestinian prisoners.

Israel should make a series of gestures to the Palestinian Authority to reduce the damage caused the PA by last week’s deal for the return of Gilad Shalit, the Israel Defense Forces’ General Staff believes. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s advisors vehemently oppose the idea, as do several members of his forum of eight senior ministers, arguing that PA President Mahmoud Abbas “should be punished” for his unilateral bid for UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

“We don’t want the Palestinian Authority to collapse,” one advisor said, “but if it happens, it won’t be the end of the world.”

Next month, the IDF will give the government a list of the gestures it recommends, including releasing additional Palestinian prisoners and perhaps transferring additional parts of the West Bank to Palestinian security control. The army considers this necessary to help Abbas regain the upper hand in his ongoing battle with Hamas for control of the territories, since Israel’s intelligence agencies all concur that the Shalit deal, in which Hamas obtained the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one kidnapped soldier, bolstered the Islamic organization at the PA’s expense.

One senior Israeli official told Haaretz that Abbas thinks the deal was deliberately intended to strengthen Hamas and weaken him, in order to punish him for his UN bid.

One of the IDF’s proposals relates to the second stage of the Shalit deal, in which Israel will free another 550 prisoners of its own choosing. While the list has not yet been drawn up, it seems that most will be low-level terrorists belonging to Abbas’ Fatah party, and the army deems the Fatah affiliation critical.

The army also proposes that Israel release additional prisoners beyond these 550 as a gesture to Abbas in honor of Id al-Adha, the Muslim holiday that falls in another two weeks.

Last-minute orders

Another proposal is to transfer part of what is known as Area B – areas of the West Bank that, according to the Oslo Accords, are under Palestinian civilian control but Israeli security control – to Area A, which is under full Palestinian control. Most of the territory the army favors transferring is in the northern West Bank, between Jenin, Nablus and Tul Karm, as this area has few Israeli settlements.

A fourth idea is returning the bodies of slain terrorists to the PA. That was supposed to have happened a few months ago, but was canceled at the last minute on orders from Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Senior PA officials have said in recent days that the principal gesture they want from Israel is the release of Fatah terrorists who have been imprisoned since before the 1993 Oslo Accords. They also said they have had several discussions with Israel recently about transferring additional territory to Area A, but all have gone nowhere.

In the past, Barak has voiced support for far-reaching gestures toward Abbas. But Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has consistently opposed the idea and Netanyahu is unenthusiastic. Thus, when the army proposed gestures to the PA in the run-up to last month’s UN bid, with the goal of calming the atmosphere and preventing an explosion, the government rejected the proposal.

With the Shalit deal concluded, the IDF is hoping the government will be more amenable. But given Jerusalem’s anger at Abbas’ statehood bid, that seems doubtful.

The issue is further complicated by uncertainty over Abbas’ intentions – a question on which both government officials and intelligence professionals are split. Some believe that Abbas has no interest in resuming negotiations with Israel, preferring to pursue his case at the UN and among the international community in the hope of forcing concessions on Israel. Members of this camp see no point in making any gestures to him.

The IDF, in contrast, thinks Israel must make substantial gestures to bolster Abbas. Minor steps – like dismantling unmanned roadblocks or releasing Palestinian prisoners convicted of crimes other than terrorism – won’t suffice, it argues.

The senior Israeli official said the army’s concerns were on full display at a briefing for Barak last week given by Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, the coordinator of government activities in the territories. Dangot, he said, expressed great concern over the messages he has been getting from senior PA officials recently – namely, that Abbas is depressed and threatening to resign in light of the impasse in negotiations, the boost the Shalit deal gave Hamas and the fear that his UN bid will fail even without an American veto, given his difficulties in recruiting the necessary nine votes in the Security Council.

Over the last two weeks, the Israeli official said, several of Abbas’ advisors, including his chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, have urged him to disband the PA and hand responsibility for the territories back to Israel. This has strengthened the army’s view that gestures to bolster Abbas are needed.

Netanyahu’s advisors, however, don’t take Abbas’ resignation threats seriously, noting that such threats tend to recur frequently. “There’s nothing new in this,” said one. “He threatens all the time.”

Source

RAMADAN FAST EXTENDED DUE TO POVERTY IN PALESTINE

“Last year my family had two or three types of food on our iftar [daily meal to break the Ramadan fast] table and now we barely have enough.”

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Meanwhile, iftar tables in Gaza are often barren, power cuts are frequent and nearly half the population lacks a guaranteed access to adequate nutrition, according to the World Food Program.

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Barren tables at Ramadan as PA loses $35 million in aid each month

Economic woes are affecting Palestinian families’ abilities to put food on the table for Ramadan.(Mamoun Wazwaz/MaanImages)

RAMALLAH  – Palestinian families are facing increasing financial woes this Ramadan, as the Palestinian Authority (PA) juggles with its dwindling budget.

August salary payments for the PA’s estimated 150,000 employees, about half in the West Bank and half in the Gaza Strip, arrived late and it is unclear when September payments will arrive.

“The PA’s financial situation has deteriorated due to shortfalls in donor financing, and revenue collection has been lower than budgeted,” Udo Kock, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) representative in Jerusalem, said.

“Mostly Arab donors are not paying,” Ghassan Khatib, spokesman for PA prime minister Salam Fayyad’s office, said.

Foreign donations account for just over a quarter of the total Palestinian budget of $3.7 billion used to pay salaries and for other public spending.

The PA budget has been missing about $35 million monthly in donor payments since the start of the year, said Khatib. He estimated the total unpaid amount since January to be about $300 million.

According to the PA finance ministry, between January and July, 33 percent of required external budget support has been spent, instead of the 58 percent that should have been spent during this period.

Saudi Arabia made a partial payment of $30 million in July. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the largest Arab donors to the PA.

Experts say Arab nations have been focused on other concerns since the January uprising erupted in Egypt, and crises in other parts of the Arab world, like Libya and Syria.

Cutbacks to Ramadan meals

“Last year my family had two or three types of food on our iftar [daily meal to break the Ramadan fast] table and now we barely have enough,” said Mohammed Musa, a 48-year-old guard at a municipal building in Ramallah and a PA employee.

His monthly salary of about $460 supports a family of ten living in Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, which has high unemployment and a population of about 10,000.

In response to the crisis, PA President Mahmoud Abbas ordered PA institutions to stop holding official Ramadan iftar dinners and to divert the allocated funds to poor Palestinians.

Several public and private institutions followed suit, like telecommunications company Paltel Group, the largest private sector company in the West Bank and Gaza.

Wael Qadan, director of planning with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), said: “In response to Abbas’s request, PRCS cancelled the iftar meal for businesspeople and redirected the funds — about $20,000 — to our emergency budget.” These funds (about $35,000) are used to assist Palestinians with medical care, education fees, and home building, he said.

According to Fayyad’s office, the PA social affairs ministry has a fund of about $223,000 from the Emirates Red Crescent which is being spent on Ramadan meals for 12,000 individuals in the West Bank and Gaza, and new clothing for the holiday.

No money to spend

Palestinian families and businesses say they are feeling the pressure.

“I am selling a quarter of what I sold last Ramadan,” said cafeteria owner Amjad Baker, 28 years old from Ramallah, as he prepared qatayef, a traditional pancake-like holiday sweet.

“The economy is down, aid is not coming in, and people do not have money to spend,” said Amjad.

He said new elections should be held.

The PA’s current financial crisis is being exacerbated by uncertainty surrounding the potential Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN in September, and the outcome of a reconciliation agreement between Palestinian factions Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.

Salaries for the estimated 25,000-30,000 military and civilian employees of the Hamas-led government in Gaza will be paid in full after delays over the past eight months, a Gaza official who preferred anonymity said.

“The Gaza government collects $10-12 million in local revenue, and the rest of the government operating budget [estimated at about $30-35 million, according to Hamas officials interviewed by IRIN in 2010] comes from outside sources,” said the official.

There may be additional delays, said the official, mostly related to logistical problems in receiving the funds due to political upheaval in the region.

Meanwhile, iftar tables in Gaza are often barren, power cuts are frequent and nearly half the population lacks a guaranteed access to adequate nutrition, according to the World Food Program.

This item comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian news and information service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. All IRIN material may be reposted or reprinted free-of-charge; refer to the copyright page for conditions of use. IRIN is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

 

Source

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE RAMADAN IN PALESTINE

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Some Arab states have been dawdling in paying their pledged financial assistance to the PA, complaining about the spread of corruption and financial mismanagement with the self-rule authority.

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On Ramadan’s eve, severe financial crunch hitting occupied territories

By Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah

Muhammed and Sarah Sawabha live at a middle class Ramallah neighborhood, with their six children, including two college students. Muhammed has a Bachelor of Science and earns a monthly salary of about $800 US dollars as a teacher at a local school.

His wife, who has a BA in Arabic Language and Literature earns nearly the same amount, teaching Arabic at one of the largest and most prestigious high schools in suburban Ramallah.

Like many other Palestinian families, the Sawabhas are ill-prepared to receive the Muslim holy month of Ramadan during which family spending increases substantially.

“We always struggled to make ends meet. But this is the first time we feel we are fighting on many fronts and losing,” said Muhammed.

The family, which doesn’t own a home, pays an annual rent amounting to $3000. And with ever increasing college tuition, school expenses and disappearing government subsidies, only a meager amount of money is left for a decent living.

His wife concurred. “We are really frustrated; we only received half of our salaries this month. It is now the end of the month, and we are yet to receive the other half. Ramadan is coming and the government keeps telling us to be patient, but for how long?”

Muhammed explains that with Ramadan “knocking on the door,” and with the new college season only a few weeks away, and with three schools kids ready to go to school in mid September, he simply doesn’t know how he could meet the staggering financial obligations.

“I don’t know what do. But Allah befrejha, God will help us overcome the problem,” says the 48-year-old teacher, his eyes looking heavenward.

According to PA officials, the current financial crisis hitting the occupied territories is probably the severest in living memory, certainly since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA), following the conclusion of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO in 1993.

The crisis stems from direct and indirect causes. The direct causes includes the failure of mainly Arab donors to honor their pledges to a cash strapped PA living on a tight budget, the lion’s share of which goes to paying salaries to as many as 160,000 civil servants and public employees.

Last week, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas implored Arab states to “save us from going down.”

He explained that the current crisis was real; saying his government in Ramallah had been unable to pay salaries and meet urgent financial obligations.

Some Arab states have been dawdling in paying their pledged financial assistance to the PA, complaining about the spread of corruption and financial mismanagement with the self-rule authority.

Others, like Kuwait, are fed up with the chronic PA inability or failure to wean itself off dependence on foreign assistance.

Another key factor contributing to recurrent financial problems besetting the PA stems from the unnecessarily bloated security establishment which devours a huge chunk of the Palestinian budget.

The PA has as many as 80,000 security personnel on its payroll. The bloated force, built on instructions from the western donor countries, particularly the United States, consumes as much as $50 million per month.

The various Palestinian security agencies do very little work besides controlling and pacifying the Palestinian populace, including preventing any form of proactive resistance against the Israeli occupation.

Some security experts have opined that for the purposes of keeping law and order, the Palestinian community in the West Bank needs no more than a moderate civilian security force totaling 10,000-20,000 police officers.

However, the PA thinks that the huge security force is necessary to protect its own survival, especially in the face of a possible revolution and also to prevent the recurrence of what happened in the Gaza Strip in 2007 when the Islamic Liberation Movement, Hamas, wrested control over the coastal enclave, from Fatah militias which tried, with vigorous US assistance, to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Hamas.

A few years ago, the PA forced thousands of pro-Arafat activists within the security agencies into early retirement, fearing a possible revolt against the policies of Mahmoud Abbas and his pro-western government, headed by Salam Fayyad, who is largely viewed as unpatriotic or not patriotic enough.

However, to appease and pacify these people, many of them still in their mid 30s and early 40s, the Fayyad government paid them hefty retirement salaries reaching in some cases $4,000 dollars per month. The amount is considered a dream retirement for even the highest-ranking university professors who receive comparatively modest pension salaries.

Then there is the ghoul of corruption corroding through the PA financial structure whose tide successive Palestinian governments failed to stem. It is widely believed that hundreds of millions of dollars are lost to corruption every year.

Some observers believe that the PA is so-much infested with corruption that stemming its tide can’t be achieved without a comprehensive surgical intervention that would upset and alienate large segments of the PA hierarchy.

One Palestinian economist opined recently that “corruption within the PA financial system is structural, not rudimentary. I am afraid we can’t eliminate corruption without eliminating the overall structure of the PA.”

True, the corruption readings are not as high as they were five or six years ago, when embezzlement, nepotism, favoritism, bribery were the norm, rather than the exception.

Moreover, the PA government has shown a determination and a willingness to fight corruption, especially its stark and brazen forms. For example, a special ad hoc court has been established to prosecute corrupt officials.

The court head, Rafik Natshe, a veteran Fatah leader and former Speaker of the Legislative Council, recently ordered two cabinet ministers to appear before a special panel of judges for questioning in connection with allegations of financial mismanagement.

However, there are those, and they are many, who think that PA efforts are “too little and too late” and that the PA needs to declare fighting corruption a real national priority.

Some of the fundamental problems exacerbating recurrent financial problems hitting the PA lie in the fact that the PA is not a sovereign state or even a semi state given the fact that Israel continues to control Palestinian border crossings, financial resources, taxes and all other components of a healthy economic process.

In recent months, especially since the PA leadership announced plans to seek UN recognition of a putative Palestinian state, Israel suspended the transfer of customs and tax revenue payments to the Palestinian government in Ramallah. The financial strangulation was only relaxed after the PA pressed the Obama administration and EU states to pressure Israel to reconsider the draconian measure, resorted to every time the PA refuses to be at Israel’s beck and call.

Finally, it has always been a fantasy to build a prosperous economy with a sound financial system under a foreign military occupation. This is what many Palestinian and non-Palestinian intellectuals had warned about. This is why the current financial predicament facing the PA is the price the PA and the rest of the Palestinian people are paying, for venturing to placing the cart before the horse by trying to build a state before liberation from one of history’s most criminal and evil military occupations.

ABBAS CALLS ON EU TO RECOGNISE PALESTINIAN STATE ….. BUT WHO WILL RECOGNISE ABBAS?

There is a report in the Israeli press today dealing with the following;
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Abbas calls on EU to recognize Palestinian state
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Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas called upon European Union nations on Friday to recognize a Palestinian state, according to an AFP report.

According to the report, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said Abbas had held a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, during which he “affirmed that the Palestinian position was to resume the peace process” with Israel and expected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resume negotiations and stop settlement construction, especially in Jerusalem.

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The report from HaAretz can be read HERE

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Then, be sure to read or reread the following reports from the archives……

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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
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Despite the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, the fact remains that Abbas must go! How quickly, if ever, will the following be forgotten?
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First, a detailed report about the recent ‘Palestinian Leaks”….
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Secondly, the condemnation
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Does Abbas really believe the above will be forgotten when elections are held in Palestine? I am in no way implying that the EU AND THE REST OF THE WORLD must not recognise a Palestinian State, I am merely reminding you of the role played by Abbas in the past. He has proven, without a doubt, that he cannot be trusted.
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As far as American involvement in the Statehood process goes, our Associate Khalid Amayreh adds the following observations…
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Dennis Ross: go home, you are not welcome
By Khalid Amayreh
 

So Dennis Ross is back in town in occupied Palestine. He is succeeding the failed U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell who proved himself too cowardly, too obsequious and too pliant especially in the face of Israeli arrogance and insolence.

Mitchell thought that by employing nice words and  habitually invoking America’s iron-clad commitment to Israel, whether it goes right or goes wrong and whether its continues to build illegal settlements on occupied land or not, Israel’s would probably make some steps, even reluctant ones, on the road to peace.

However, the shocking insolence (and utter disrespect) he often received during  his multiple visits to occupied Palestine at the hands of Israeli  leaders and officials, seemed to have convinced the obviously gutless and spineless diplomat to quit it if only to retain his personal  dignity and  not be accused of anti-Semitism.

Mitchell told his equally helpless superior, President Obama, of his impressions. Obama listened and nodded his head, which could be a gesture of desperation and helpless indignation vis-à-vis the powerful Israeli lobby which controls the American government, congress and much of the media.

Nearly totally at loss as to what ought to be done  to restrain  Israeli rejectionsim and intransigence, Obama decided once again to dispatch Dennis Ross, the once-tried and often-proven venomous Zionist reptile to  occupied  Palestine, hoping  that  he  will succeed in convincing  the weak Palestinian leadership  to succumb to  the whims  and vagaries of Jewish fascism especially those voiced ad nauseam by clearly  psychotic Jewish  supremacists and megalomaniacs such as Benyamin Netanyahu and his cohorts both in Washington and  Occupied Jerusalem.

In truth, the last thing in the world that Ross is capable of doing is working   toward a true and just peace in Occupied Palestine. In recent statements, he was quoted as saying that in order for peace to prevail, the Palestinians would have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

For those who can’t read behind the headlines, this is a clear allusion to another Palestinian Nakba or catastrophe.

What this fanatical,   Zionist extremist is suggesting is that the Palestinian leadership, e.g.  The PLO or the Palestinian Authority (PA) should recognize Israel’s “right” to expel nearly two million Palestinians in what is now Israel. After all, these people are goyem or non-Jews and Israel is a Jewish state. Such would be the new Talmudic reasoning of the contemplated new Nakba, now being devised and envisaged by the likes of Dennis Ross under the misleading rubric of “two states for two peoples.”

For those who don’t know, these two million Palestinians preceded and predated the immigration to Palestine of Khazari land-thieves, such as Benyamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres from Eastern Europe, at least by a thousand years.

This is really what recognizing Israel as a Jewish state implies, a Jewish state without non-Jews or at the very least with as few non-Jews as possible.

More to the point, Ross during the Clinton administration demonstrated a stunning bias in Israel’s favor. This is to put it very mildly.

 According to one Palestinian negotiator who took  part in  numerous rounds of these failed talks, Ross often adopted views and stands that were even more extreme than those voiced by Israeli negotiators.

On many occasions, the chief Palestinian negotiator Sa’eb Ereikat described Ross as “Israel’s advocate, par excellance.”

It is really hard to imagine any positive contributions by Ross. This is the conclusion that the hopelessly pliant Palestinian leadership in Ramallah should have reached a long time ago.

In the Palestinian culture, we often invoke the following prophetic hadith or saying by the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH): la yoldagho al-Mo’emno min juhren waheden marratayen, which means that a believer shouldn’t be bitten by the same snake twice.

Unfortunately, due the imbecility, stupidity and naivety of the Palestinian leadership, we have been bitten by the same snake, and from the same hole, numerous times.

Which begs the question:  when will we ever learn from out mistakes and blunders?

Today, Ross, the venomous Zionist reptile, who obviously has no iota of honesty and rectitude, will try to bamboozle and cajole PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his never-repenting aides to drop plans to ask the UN General Assembly for recognition of Palestinian statehood this September. He will probably employ a combination of carrots and sticks to “get the message through to a leadership” that it is facing a growing dilemma of either appeasing an America that is at  Israel’s beck  and call and losing  the support and backing of the Palestinian masses or doing the opposite by refusing and resisting  the bullying, coercion and political bribery of Washington, which would allow it to retain its own people’s backing.

By now, the PA should have discovered the utter foolishness of relying on let alone believing or trusting any promises made by Washington. Hence, there is no point  really in  holding  serious negotiations   with the representatives of an administration that shakes  to the core at the very thought of saying or doing   something that might be disquieting for the real rulers of America, the Zionist Jews.

In the final analysis, why speak to the monkey when you can speak to the organ grinder. And if there is no point in talking to the organ grinder, then the PA should reach to the same conclusion that King Abdullah has reached, namely that Israel doesn’t want peace and that the Israeli Jewish society is moving to the “hard right,” a clear euphemism connoting Jewish fascism, with all its repulsive and virulent manifestations.

I mentioned the King of Jordan because his candid testimony, which was made in a recent interview with the Washington Post carries a special weight  and should be accorded all the seriousness and attention it deserves since  the King has no interest in being unduly pessimistic about peace in the region.

Hence, Palestinians at all levels have the right to ask: where are we heading? When will we extricate ourselves from American lies and Israeli deception?  And above all, when will we ever learn from the thousands of pitfalls and blunders we have faced ever since we got involved in this scandalous peace  process that only gave us more hateful Jewish  colonies, more ethnic cleansing, more apartheid and more land theft?

A MESSAGE FROM PALESTINE TO US CONGRESS: TAKE YOUR MONEY AND SHOVE IT!



Well, if American aid to the Palestinians is meant to help them help themselves (the US, the Palestinian’s ultimate tormentor and Israel’s guardian-ally, enabler, guarantor, and sustainer of Israeli insolence and territorial aggrandizement), then this aid is welcomed and appreciated and all of us Palestinians will have a standing ovation in America’s honor and solemnly say “thanks America for your most altruistic help.”

However, if this aid is meant as bribe money to encourage or entice Palestinians or certain Palestinian elements to sell off their people inalienable national rights, then, we are sorry; we can’t accept your money.

A message to Congress: Take your money and shove it
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine
 
After four grim years of mutual recriminations, cold war and deep mistrust, the two main Palestinian political camps, the nationalist Fatah and Islamic Hamas, reached an auspicious agreement to end their differences.

The four-year rift exhausted the Palestinian people, seriously weakened the traditionally-strong fabric of the Palestinian society, and nearly caused an irreversible implosion within the Palestinian community at home and in the Diaspora.

And, above all, it made the prospects of peace in the region as remote as ever if only because a divided nation can’t get its acts together, especially when an increasingly fascist Israel, which always searches for pretexts and red herrings in order to evade and circumvent peace, sought to utilize the inter-Palestinian front to evade real peace and keep up building peace-killing settlements for fanatical Jews.

Needless to say, many if not most of these so-called settlers, are taught a morbid, venomous ideology which inculcates in them a certain belief that the whole universe was created solely for them and that non-Jews were created by the Almighty solely to serve Jews.

Interestingly, both Israel and its allies, including Israel’s obedient dog, which is US Congress, have rather vehemently and opportunistically, even obscenely manipulated the Palestinian rift to throw the proverbial propaganda ball into the Palestinian and Arab courts. Hence, one would be affronted when hearing ostensibly respectable US senators and congressmen remark gloatingly, saying “Let the Palestinians first have peace amongst themselves; peace with Israel will only come when the Palestinians learn to live in peace with themselves.”

Similarly, opportunistic Israel raved and ranted on every conceivable occasion, claiming that the Palestinian division, not Israel’s “lebensraum” policy in the West Bank, especially in East Jerusalem, was impeding peace since the Palestinians didn’t have a unified leadership.

Now, after painstakingly achieving the long-awaited reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, Israel is fretting, like a woman who has just received a bad divorce deal in court, threatening the Palestinians with doom and reprisals, as if the Palestinians were supposed to perpetuate their internal difference for ever and ever for the sake of despicable Zionist thugs, many of whom originated in Eastern Europe and Russia and who brought with them a genocidal ideology along with every form of racism, fascism and jingoism to the Holy land.

And, unsurprisingly, Congress didn’t lag behind. Indeed, no sooner than Hamas and Fatah representatives had announced their rapprochement in Cairo on Thursday, 28 April, than several Congressional figures warned that the US would stop financial aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Well, if American aid to the Palestinians is meant to help them help themselves (the US, the Palestinian’s ultimate tormentor and Israel’s guardian-ally, enabler, guarantor, and sustainer of Israeli insolence and territorial aggrandizement), then this aid is welcomed and appreciated and all of us Palestinians will have a standing ovation in America’s honor and solemnly say “thanks America for your most altruistic help.”

However, if this aid is meant as bribe money to encourage or entice Palestinians or certain Palestinian elements to sell off their people inalienable national rights, then, we are sorry; we can’t accept your money.

More to the point, if Congress insists that aid to the PA or to a prospective Palestinian national unity entity hedges on the resumption of inter-Palestinian strife, which I am sure would instill in Israel and her allies a lot of mirth, glee and gloat, then we have no alternatives but to look our American interlocutors in the eye and say, “Sorry friends! Take your money and shove it.”

There is no doubt that Israel has been taken by surprise by the reconciliation pact in Cairo, an auspicious feat that complements the great historic changes now taking place in the Arab region.

Avigdor Lieberman, who combines Stalin’s ruthlessness and Hitler’s nefariousness, along with characteristic Zionist depravity, was quoted as saying that Israel was preparing “an arsenal of reprisals against the Palestinians.”

The more public relations savvy Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu reiterated old stands that Israel wouldn’t resume peace talks with a Hamas-Fatah government due to the participation of Hamas, as if the good tidings of peace were hovering over the Middle East prior to the reconciliation agreement.

Netanyahu, a real thug, with a neck tie and an amazing ability to fornicate with language to change and distort the truth, once again invoked the terror issue, ignoring the clarion and cardinal fact that Nazi-like Israel is the ultimate expression, embodiment of terror in our time.

Netanyahu invoked the fact that Hamas didn’t recognize Israel. Well, does Israel recognize Palestine? Does amorphous Israel have fixed borders? Hamas will never ever recognize such a state, which was born in terror and genocide and mendacity.

Likewise, Congress along with happy-go-lucky Hillary Clinton is re-invoking the so-called Quartet conditions for talking to Hamas. These anachronistic “Nay-set” includes, abandoning armed resistance, recognizing Israel, and accepting previous agreements between the PA and Israel.

Well, these impossible blackmailing conditions are illogical and preposterous to say the least.

First, Hamas has been serious and sincere about observing the tahdia or calm in the Gaza Strip, often in the face of Israel’s murderous provocations. However, rather than meeting appreciation and praise from Washington as well as hard opposition from some other Palestinian factions, Hamas only received malice and vilification from the U.S., which only underscores America’s pornographic subservience to Israel and her wantonly hegemonistic Jewish lobby.

As to negotiations with Israel, it is well known that Hamas, which is not part of the PLO, never took part in these futile negotiations. Hence, the resumption of whatever negotiations wouldn’t hedge on Hamas’ approval.

Finally, asking Hamas to accept previous agreements between Israel and the PLO is really ridiculous since nearly all these agreements, including the scandalous Oslo Accords, are essentially vague so much so that even Israel and the PLO themselves don’t agree on a common understanding of these agreements.

An advice to the PA
Finally, an advice to the PLO and its leadership: Don’t be obsequious or complacent vis-à-vis Israel or any of its obedient dogs. These people have no iota of morality or honesty, let alone justice in their moral set of ideals. They are willing to blackmail us to the last drop of our blood. They would embark on the unthinkable to keep us in a state of enslavement to Zionism.

Hence, you should be able to seriously threaten the Zionist regime to dismantle the whole autonomous regime once and for all; in addition, of course, to terminating irreversibly any vestige of “security coordination” a revolting and repulsive factor in inter-Palestinian discordance.

Don’t display weakness or cowardice or indecisiveness. Our destiny as a people is not to be perennially enslaved by those racist thugs from Eastern Europe who want to build their glory at our expense.

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

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


A NEW GUANTANAMO or A NEW SEASON OF FANTASY ISLAND

Four questions arise from the following report and video….

1. How long does Israel intend to keep Gaza under siege?
2. How long does Israel intend to keep Abbas ‘in charge’ of the Palestinian Authority??

A third question might be….
3. Is this proposed plan meant to expand the prison operations that exist today?
Or
4. Is this meant to become a new vacation spot for rich Israelis? If so, where is Mr. Rourke and Tattoo?


Israel studies plan to build island off Gaza Strip

JERUSALEM  — Israel is studying plans to create an artificial island along the Gaza Strip with sea and air ports to be controlled by the Palestinian Authority, an Israeli television channel reported Tuesday.

The project, under development for three months by Transport Minister Yaakov Katz, proposes building a man-made island four kilometers long and two kilometers wide, Israel’s Channel 2 television reported.

The area where the island would be is currently under a tight military sea blockade. Israeli warships patrol along the coast, firing on fishing boats that leave the enforced three-nautical-mile fishing zone, unilaterally declared by Israel in 2009.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly backs the plan for the island, which would also contain a tourist area, a marina, hotels and a desalination plant for sea water, the report said. It would be linked to Gaza by a four-kilometer bridge.

It is estimated the project will cost $5-$10 billion and take six to 10 years to complete, the channel reported.

The coastal enclave has been under a strict blockade, and construction materials for some 6,000 homes destroyed by Israeli warplanes during the 2008-9 Israeli offensive Operation Cast Lead have been prohibited from entering the area. Construction is only permitted by international aid groups, who say they have been waiting for the entry of 70,000 tons of material since 2007.

The project’s backers in the government would like to see the island managed by Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority — freezing out Islamist movement Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip.

Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah party have been at loggerheads since the early 1990s. Tensions boiled over in 2007, when the enmity erupted into bloodshed that saw Hamas kick their rivals out of Gaza.

Since then, Gaza has been effectively cut off from the West Bank, which is under the control of Fatah, and the coastal enclave has been under an Israeli naval blockade.




Translation of above…..

First Publication: Artificial island for final disengagement from Gaza

In recent months the Government formulated an idea put forward by senior officials and it won wide support. According to plan, an area off the coast of the Gaza Strip will be drained for sea and air ports to be set up – hopefully separating the area completely. The unusual move is being coordinated with the Palestinian Authority while Hamas is out of the picture.

Is the solution to the complex situation with Gaza in the sea? Israel recently developed a secret plan designed to bring a definitive disengagement from Gaza. In what initially may sound bizarre, the establishment of an artificial island off the coast of Gaza is being promoted seriously and with determination seriously by state officials.

Transport Minister Israel Katz conceived the idea with the knowledge of Prime Minister Netanyahu and enthusiastic support of President Shimon Peres. Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan was mentioned as one of those involved. According to the prepared possible model, an island will be formed in the sea within 4.5 kilometers from the shores of Gaza which will container 8000 dunam connected to the Gaza Strip by a bridge, similar to the bridge now serving the power stations in Hadera and Ashkelon.

The island would have a sea port, airport, along with logistical areas, tourist areas and hotels, facilities, electricity, water and more. All these are designed to allow the Gaza Strip access to the outside world without any Israeli involvement, without this causing security risks while allowing for a release from the effects of the blockade.

This policy can continue the closure of the Gaza Strip, while control of the island – which would be a demilitarized zone – will be transferred to international forces such as NATO, to monitor the movement of people from Gaza.

Hamas out of bounds

Access to the island will be possible only through the bridge to be erected, and it would be coordinated with the Palestinian Authority with no Hamas involvement in the project. So far the project has received much interest and support. It has an estimated cost of 5-10 billion dollars. Establishment of the island with its facilities is expected to take between half a decade and a decade.

The planning of the project has been assigned to a planning team of experts who have been working on it already for three months, and it is waiting now for the green light from the prime minister. Among other things, it will be possible to take the island territory into account in the territorial exchange agreement negotiated in the permanent status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. In the absence of a political initiative on the horizon, it appears the project is a fresh breeze from the Netanyahu government.


 

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