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September 1, 2014 / 6 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Palestinians’

Palestinian Unity Watch, Day 10

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Palestinian Authority security services assaulted a large group of journalists  Wednesday. The group was covering a Hamas protest against the detention of Hamas members by the Palestinian Authority at Lion Square in downtown Ramallah.

According to the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedom (MADA) a  Ramallah-based media watchdog group, PA security forces insulted the journalists, confiscated equipment, and prevented them from filming the event.
One victim, Filistin al-Yom cameraman Hadi Al-Dibbs, told MADA that plainclothes security forces attacked and punched him, then tried to seize his camera and prevented him from taking photos. Another man, an independent photographer named Mohammed Jaradat, said police broke into his office overlooking the square having spotted him photographing from the balcony. He was detained and police confiscated his camera. Others were beaten badly enough to require medical treatment from the Red Crescent Society.

In a statement posted on the MADA website, the organization said there has been a sharp escalation since the Palestinian Unity Government agreement was signed on June 2. The organization also demanded the Palestinian Authority investigate the attack and hold the individuals involved responsible.

However, one of the wounded journalists said he did not expect the Palestinian Authority to follow through on the incident. Speaking on condition of anonymity because he is afraid of government retribution, the journalist said those calling on the Palestinian Authority to show responsibility simply do not understand who they are dealing with.

“You want Abu Mazen to ‘investigate’?”, the journalist told The Jewish Press. “The Palestinian Authority has been harassing journalists since it was founded. Why do you think this episode will be any different?”

Hamas Spokesman: Abbas Lying to Americans

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Conventional American wisdom has it that bringing Hamas into a Fatah-led government will be a moderating force on the terror group. Give them something to lose, they say, and they won’t be so fast to give it up.

It appears, unfortunately, that the opposite is actually true. Ihab al-Ghussein, a former spokesman for the Hamas government in Gaza, said Sunday that Abu Mazen has assured Hamas leaders that he has no intention of fulfilling his commitments to the United States. Instead, al-Guyessein said that Abu Mazen’s public statements have been constructed “in order to ‘trick the Americans’”.

According to Palestinian Media Watch al-Ghussein posted a note on his Facebook page poking fun at Palestinians who trust Abbas and the reconciliation. “You know what Mahmoud Abbas says behind closed doors?? He says: ‘Guys, let me [continue] saying what I say to the media. Those words are meant for the Americans and the occupation (i.e., Israel), not for you [Hamas].

“What’s important is what we agree on among ourselves. In other words, when I go out [publicly] and say that the government is my [Abbas] government and it recognizes ‘Israel’ and so on, fine – these words are meant to trick the Americans. But we agree that the government has nothing to do with politics (i.e., foreign relations). The same thing happened in 2006,’ he [Abbas] said: ‘Don’t harp on everything I tell the media, forget about the statements in the media,’” al-Ghussein wrote.

US: Hamas Okay, Homes for Jews No Good

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the same vein, plainly-stated, simple facts speak louder than a thousand scholarly articles by top political “analysts.” So, here goes: in the view of the current United States administration, Hamas’ participation in the Palestinian Authority government is legitimate. Building permits for Jews in Judea and Samaria are criminal.

In many ways, Washington’s stance on the current Israel-Palestinian diplomatic dustup illustrates the failure of President Obama’s foreign policy on a host of issues, particularly in the Middle East. Obama won election in 2008 calling for “changes” to America’s domestic and foreign policies, saying he would be prepared to talk to the government of Iran and promising to “re-brand” American foreign policy after the aggressive, “you’re-with-us-or-against-us” approach of George W. Bush.

In that vein, the president’s June, 2009 speech at Cairo University calling for a “re-set” of America’s relations with the Muslim world was hailed as a breakthrough moment: The president spoke passionately about the “dignity and peace” that many people find in their Muslim faith, quoted the “holy Koran” and called for a ”new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect.

However, it quickly became clear that Obama lacked either the understanding or the conviction to redefine America-Muslim relations in a way that would be consistent with democratic principles and supportive of American political interests in the region.

Challenges

The first challenge to Obama’s offer for a new beginning came quickly: Eight days after the president appeared in Cairo on June 5, 2009, mass protests broke out around Iran as young people claimed that Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and the mullahs of the Islamic Revolution had falsified election results. The government response was brutal: Several people were killed, hundreds were imprisoned.

But dissident groups both in- and out of Iran were stunned when Mr Obama, then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden and other American officials remained silent. Eventually the protests were quashed; several participants were hanged, included a 45-year-old mother of two who held dual nationality between the Netherlands and Iran.

The second challenge to Obama’s offer to re-define American-Muslim relations came a year-and-a-half later, in December, 2010 and continues to this day. For the second time in his presidency, pro-democracy demonstrations broke out in the Middle East, this time around the Arab world. Again, however, the protests caught the US administration by surprise. This time, the protests presented a challenge to US interests: thousands of people calling for the ouster of US-backed dictators, versus the unappetising alternative of a likely radical Islamist takeover were truly democratic elections to be held.

Obama’s own Cairo speech could have given the president guidance on how to react to the protests – “government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power: you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy,” the president said in 2009.

Instead, Obama chose to throw his support behind radical governments like Mohammed Morsi in Egypt. Rather than announcing that American aid would be tied to the clear maintenance of liberty for opposition and minority groups, Morsi enjoyed Washington’s full support for the year he was in office. Eventually, it took a military coup, rather than public pressure from Washington, to oust the Moslem Brotherhood.

Haniyeh: Unity Deal to Aid ‘Resistance’; Abbas silent

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) hailed today’s national unity government with Hamas as “the end” of a long period of tension between Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah organization.  Palestinian division.

“Today, with the formation of a national consensus government, we announce the end of a Palestinian division that has greatly damaged our national case, Abu Mazen said. “This black page in the history (of the Palestinians) has been turned forever, and we will not allow it to come back.”

However, Abbas was silent on comments made last week by his senior government partner, Hamas’ Gaza Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, that the unity government would serve to further the Palestinian struggle “against the main enemy, the Zionist enemy, and to continue with the option of resistance.”

According to footage posted on the Palestinian Media Watch website, Haniya also told the Arabic-language al-Hayat al-Jadida paper last Wednesday that “Those who liberated Gaza, with the help of Allah, can liberate Jerusalem, the West Bank and the rest of Palestine (i.e., Israel).”

Haniyeh also reiterated to al-Aqsa TV Hamas’ Hamas goal of destroying Israel through violence, and said that the same, determined Palestinian “resistance” that led to Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip would eventually cause Israel to flee “Jerusalem, the West Bank and the rest of Palestine.”

“Since he already said ‘Jerusalem and the West Bank,’ the term ‘rest of Palestine,’ can only mean the rest of Israel,” said Palestinian Media Watch.

The website also cited the Ma’an news service, which quoted Haniyeh’s explanation that the partnership with Fatah was designed to”protect… the resistance project” and “the weapon of resistance.”

‘[Reconciliation] also means real partnership in the institution of leadership, adherence to the national principles, protection of the resistance project, protection of the weapon of resistance, and [joint] action with all our people for the release of the prisoners and Jerusalem.’”Haniyeh said:

UN to Tackle UNRWA Charter

Monday, May 19th, 2014

The United Nations will discuss revisions to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) today at the organization headquarters in New York.

The organization has come under criticism from left-and right-wing Jewish groups in Israel, who say UNRWA perpetrates the Palestinian “refugee” issue by granting refugee status to the children and grandchildren of Palestinians who left their homes during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. No other displaced population enjoys such a broad definition of “refugee,” and no other refugee population has a UN relief organization dedicated specifically to its needs.

In addition, the organization has been accused of refusing solutions for permanent housing for Palestinian refugees in Judea and Samaria and Jordan. Observers say UNRWA schools are a hotbed of anti-Israel incitement and encourage children to retain their allegiance to the right of “return” to the homes their grandparents abandoned as little children.

As a result, UNRWA perpetuates the refugee issue (66 years after the War of Independence it is no longer a “crisis”) and empowers a Middle East culture that encourages dictators to blame Israel for all regional troubles in order to deflect local criticism of their minority rule.

As a result of UNRWA policies and Middle East politics, Palestinians in refugee camps around the Middle East suffer some of the most squalid living conditions in the world.

Monday’s discussion will focus on an initiative by the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, specifically on a proposal to change UNRWA’s definition of refugee. According to the Israel Hayom daily, the group argues that in contrast to other relief organizations that seek to resettle refugees, UNRWA has repeatedly prevented the resettlement of Palestinians. Additionally, while in other organizations the number of refugees is limited to those who fled their countries, UNRWA inflates its numbers by including all the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees from the War of Independence in 1948.

“There is no reason for a fifth-generation descendant, living in Gaza, to be considered by an organization supported by Western countries as a refugee from Palestine,” said former MK Einat Wilf, an activist who supports UNRWA reform.

Irit Kohn, the president of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, concurred: ["UNRWA] prolongs the refugee problem and does not facilitate any solution. Had the considerable funds that have been transferred [to it] been utilized properly, the situation could be totally different,” Israel Hayom reported.

UNRWA and the Nakba

The New York discussion comes on the heels of several embarrassing revelations about UNRWA in recent weeks. Last week, the Algemeiner Journal reported that UNRWA had refused to protest Hamas refusal to purchase vaccines and medicines for health clinics and hospitals in Gaza.

And last week, UNRWA officials attended a Nakba Day celebration in Gaza City dedicated to the supposed “right” of Palestinian refugees to immigrate to Israel.  At that ceremony, Palestinian children dedicated themselves to “returning” to long-destroyed villages in Israel.

“The Right of return is not subject to any statute of limitation, as it is a personal right that stems from the sanctity of the private property of the refugee according to which Jews had restored their confiscated properties after the Second World War,” the children said at a press conference at the Ministry of Culture. 

“It is an individual and collective right that could not be waived for any reason at any agreement or convention,” they added. 

 

Unity, Palestinian style

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

So much for Palestinian “unity.”

As expected, the recent Palestinian Authority “unity” deal has done little to curb internecine fighting amongst Palestinian Authority Arabs: A Palestinian website reported Sunday that political arrests continue unabated in both Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

According to PA-run Ma’an News Service, Fatah-linked security forces have continued detaining Hamas suspects around Judea and Samaria, while Hamas forces in Gaza have done the same to local residents there suspected of membership in Abu Mazen’s faction.

The website said that although the pace of detentions has slowed, there are few signs of political freedom in either jurisdiction: Since the agreement was signed, the Palestinian Authority leadership has taken some small steps to allow Hamas to come out of hiding in Judea and Samaria: After the agreement was signed, Fatah unbanned a Hamas newspaper, Falesteen, for the first time since 2007. And Hamas banners and protesters have openly taken part in some demonstrations, mainly in Qalqilia.

In addition, Fatah has refused to serve the consular needs of Gaza residents since the Hamas takeover in 2007. For example, current regulations call for Gaza residents to apply for passports via the government in Ramallah. But P.A. officials have refused to fulfil those requests. There is no indication that that policy has changed over the past month.

In general, Palestinian Authority forces continue to fear a Gaza-style Hamas take over in Judea and Samaria. Some Israeli security officials brushed off Palestinian threats to break security ties in response to the deaths of two Palestinian rioters on “nakba” day, the Palestinians’ annual commemoration of the “disaster” of Israel’s founding. The security officials say there is little chance that Abu Mazen would order the Palestinian Authority security apparatus to stop cooperating with IDF and Shabak security officials, for a simple reason: Israel’s presence in Palestinian-majority areas of Judea and Samaria are the only reason Hamas hasn’t routed Fatah there.

To prevent this, security forces loyal to Abu Mazen have continued arresting Hamas operatives on a near-daily basis, particularly in Hebron and Tulkarem.

In Gaza, too, Hamas forces have slowed their detentions of Fatah activists, and have moved to make life easier for Fatah loyalists. But Khalil Abu Shamala, secretary of the Freedoms Committee in the Gaza Strip, told Ma’an that Hamas continues to “summons” Fatah members on a regular basis, albeit less frequently than before the reconciliation agreement was signed.

The Freedoms Committee was set up to help implement the political reunification process. The Committee has made several recommendations, including streamlining passport applications for Gaza residents by opening a  branch of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of the Interior in Gaza.

Currently, Gaza residents must apply for passports through the mail to Ramallah, a process which causes substantial burden. Few Gaza residents have received passports since Hamas’ violent takeover of the Strip seven years ago.

Khalil Assaf, a member of the Freedoms Committee in the West Bank, warned Ma’an that the campaigns of arrests “strained the reconciliation atmosphere” in the Fatah-led region.

As of this writing, however, there is no indication that political freedom is on the agenda for either of the major Palestinian factions.

Danny Danon Threatens to Quit Over Upcoming Terrorist Release (+Terrorist List)

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon has written an unprecedented letter to PM Netanyahu, threatening to quit the government if more terrorists are released in the planned “4th round” set to take place on March 28, 2014.

Below is Danon’s letter, followed by a translation, and the list of terrorists set to be released.

Danny Danon Letter

To Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,

The government of Israel has agreed to release terrorists who have brutally murdered the sons and daughters of our state in order to advance negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. I, as you recall, have been among those that have expressed opposition to these steps. Those who have been supporting the release of terrorists claimed that this is a worthwhile price to pay for the hope of advancing peace with the Palestinians. Meantime, its become clear, as expected, the Palestinians took advantage, and not for the first time, our desire for peace and naiveté, to fool us. They pretended to negotiate and we released abominable terrorists.

But now this has reach a new peak: senior officials in the Palestinian Authority are openly admitting that this is a con job for the sole purpose of releasing prisoners, and the Palestinians have absolutely no desire to advance the peace process. More so – the president of the Palestinian Authority himself is not prepared to affirm that he will recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state. Therefore, I expect from the government of Israel to tell the Palestinians and the whole world, “no more” and immediately announce that the release of terrorists stops this instant.

I have made a decision: I will not be part of the executive branch – the government – if it approves and carries through with the release of additional prisoners as part of the “4th round” that is supposed to take place on the 28th of this month. On the day the first terrorist is released from jail to freedom – I will present my resignation letter as Deputy Minister of Defense in the State of Israel.

I believe that you are aware of the difficult feelings of the public on this matter, and the significance that the release of terrorist-murderers will have on the strength of the State of Israel.

Danny Danon Deputy Minister of Defense

The following is the proposed list of terrorists, originally published by YNET, that are likely to be released in the upcoming round of terrorist releases on March 28, and their victim:

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/danny-danon-threatens-to-quit-over-upcoming-terrorist-release-terrorist-list/2014/03/19/

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