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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ramallah’

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?”

The Wedding is On – Hamas and Fatah Unite in Palestinian Authority

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahoud Abbas swore in what he called a new PA “unity government” today (Monday) at 1:00 p.m. local time in a televised ceremony in Ramallah. He apparently wasn’t confident enough to dare to do it in Gaza, and with very good reason.

“Today, after announcing the government of national unity we declare the end of division that caused catastrophic harm to our cause,” Abbas said. “This black page in the history (of the Palestinians) has been turned forever, and we will not allow it to come back.”

Initially, his new “unity” partners from the Hamas terrorist organization had declared they were backing out of the deal. But a few minutes later, Hamas official Salah Al-Bardaweel announced “the dispute between Hamas and Fatah has been resolved.”

Ministers who allegedly are politically unaffiliated took the oath of office at the inauguration, where Abbas vowed commitments and agreements made by previous PLO and PA administrations would be upheld. It is believed that he was referring to interim deals that were made with Israel.

There are a total of 17 new ministers, including five from Gaza. It is not clear how the Gaza-based ministers will join any legislative meetings, since it is unlikely they will be able to travel out of the region — nor are the other 12 likely to travel often to Gaza.

Sami Abu Zuhri, spokesman for Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, immediately disavowed the ceremony as a “unilateral” step and stated the terrorist group would “not recognize this announcement. Within the hour, he reversed himself, telling the AFP news agency, “We hail the national consensus government which represents all the Palestinian people.” He added the new government would enable the PA to “face the Israeli occupation.”

What a surprise.

Welcome to the Palestinian Authority unity government deal, the “Cha-Cha’ of the Middle East.

After a dozen or so leading-up announcements of how the PA unity government was “about to be completed,” Palestine Liberation Organization chief – and Fatah faction leader – Mahmoud Abbas apparently simply finally lost his patience and just set the wedding date.

Abbas heads what remains of the gutted Palestinian Authority from its Judea and Samaria capital in Ramallah, as well as the PA’s leading Fatah faction, and its umbrella organization, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In giving international media the heads-up that he would inaugurate the unity government one way or the other, he told reporters that Israel had already warned him it would shun such a government and that he would go ahead with the plan anyway.

Hamas, meanwhile, was threatening to renege on its commitment to the deal even after the swearing-in ceremony was being carried live on Hamas ‘al-Aqsa’ television.

This time the excuse was the intent by Abbas to dissolve the PA Ministry of Prisoner Affairs, which Hamas called a “stab in the back” to terrorist prisoners. That wrinkle got worked out with the disputed Prisoners’ Ministry being given to Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya had already told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, “We made concessions on all stages … but some sides misunderstood our lenience and flexibility.” Without that ministry, he said, Hamas would definitely not join the unity government.

It would have been the umpteenth time that Hamas has backed out of a reconciliation deal at the ninth hour since it seized control of Gaza in 2007. Nothing new.

Abbas himself had no plans to turn his back on the bloodthirsty murderers who stole Israeli lives, and who he generously supports with monthly salaries from government coffers. Instead he was planning to form a prisoners’ affairs administration under the PLO.

Officially listed as a terrorist organization in the United States as well as in Israel, this new government with Hamas gives America considerable pause: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Abbas in a phone call over the weekend that it is not being taken lightly by the American government.

According to State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, Abbas assured Kerry on Sunday the new “unity government” would be “committed to non-violence and recognize Israel.” Kerry’s reply was that the U.S. would “judge the body by its composition, policies and actions.”

FM Liberman Reminds US, Europe: ‘We Know How to Investigate’

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman rebuked the U.S. and Europe after their calls for a “thorough” investigation of the deaths of two Palestinian Authority Arabs in Nakba Day riots last week.

The two Arab teens were killed on May 15, allegedly by IDF soldiers, during violence outside the Ofer Prison, located next to the PA capital of Ramallah in Samaria.

“”We don’t need an American request to investigate the subject,” Liberman told reporters Wednesday while visiting Samaria’s Ariel University. “I reject any request and the hypocrisy we see worldwide.”

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki called for a “prompt and transparent” investigation in response to a reporter’s question during a briefing on Capitol Hill.

European Union missions in the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah and in Jerusalem made similar statements. “We reiterate the need for security forces, whether Israeli or Palestinian, to refrain from the use of lethal force, except in cases where there is a real and imminent threat to life,” they said.

In response, Liberman pointed out that the Israeli army is the “most moral” military force in the world.

“I am saddened these demands don’t come up in other cases,” he commented. “In Syria around 170,000 people have been killed and I didn’t see any act or request from the international community to investigate those murders. Hamas executed two men in Gaza after accusing them of spying for Israel, both without a lawyer or fair trial. I didn’t see any request to investigate that [either],” he added.

As Liberman has pointed out, the video footage that has made the rounds was posted after several days and may have been edited, as such videos often are. Leftists groups with an agenda hoping to incriminate Israel often show only part of an incident, or judiciously edit the footage to falsify the information altogether, as in the Al Dura case.

At the end of the day, regardless of the outcome, one must ask the question:

Why were these two young men there in the first place, during a violent Nakba Day riot at Ofer Prison?

Abbas Snubs Kerry, PA Ends Peace Option with Israel

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas finally took off the mask and formally refused Tuesday to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz broke the news to the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in an evening speech.

Earlier this week, the State Department confirmed that Kerry and Abbas were set to meet in London. Apparently the Secretary became desperate enough to come back to Israel for another attempt at reviving the dead-on-arrival “framework talks.”

He even offered to travel to the PA capital of Ramallah. But Abbas rejected the offer, leaving Kerry to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

“Abbas rejected Kerry’s framework and refused to meet him .. Kerry flew back the next morning without any meeting,” Steinitz told his audience.

“No one should tell us that we need peace in order to survive, exist and flourish,” he said. “We will survive. Israel will survive as a democratic Jewish state whether our neighbors will finally agree to accept it and make peace with us or not.”

He added that Abbas had always said he would never recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state – just as the Hamas terrorist organization that controls Gaza has as well. Last month Abbas signed a deal with Hamas to create a new Palestinian Authority unity government.

Inasmuch as Hamas is formally committed to Israel’s destruction and is backed and funded by Iran, the move effectively ends any option for peace with the PA at this time.

IDF forces have beefed up their lines along the roads in Judea and Samaria, particularly along Highway 60, where the number of road terror attacks on Israeli motorists has increased dramatically over the past year.

PM Netanyahu Debunks Peace Deal Claim: ‘Peres Had No Deal With PA’

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

The Prime Minister’s Office came out swinging in an overnight Independence Day statement Yom HaAtzma’ut, bluntly denying that President Shimon Peres ever reached a final status deal with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The statement, reported overnight by Voice of Israel government radio, denied a claim by the president reported earlier in the day that he had reached an agreement with the Ramallah-based PA chairman three years ago.

“The only one Abbas has reached an agreement with is with [the Gaza-based terrorist organization] Hamas,” commented the PMO.

President Peres had told Israel’s Channel 2 TV in an interview over the holiday that three years ago he reached a deal in principle after four meetings abroad with Mahmoud Abbas. However, he said it was scotched by Prime Minister Netanyahu, who nixed the agreement just prior to what was to be a fifth and final meeting in Amman.

The president said Mr. Netanyahu told him to wait because Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair, a former UK prime minister also involved in talks with the PA, might bring to the table a better offer. “But the days passed and that deal never materialized,” Mr. Peres lamented.

Israel’s president – whose position is primarily ceremonial and traditionally not intended to be functionary – said his own discussions had been about land swaps and total land mass rather than boundary lines. Maps had not yet been drawn, the president said, reported the Independent Media Review and Analysis, IMRA.

Cancelling the fifth meeting, he allegedly told the PA Chairman in August 2011, “I’m sorry, but the government doesn’t accept what we have negotiated and there’s nothing more I can do.”

The “secret” talks were never secret, however, and there is some question over how far the president’s diplomatic authorization supposedly reached.

President Peres, who was the architect of the failed Oslo Accords, is expected to retire next month as he reaches the age of 90 after a political career of seven decades.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is meeting today with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee as lawmakers review the current security situation.

On the agenda are all recent events, including those of the ‘price tag’ incidents, ‘David the Nahlawi’ and the attacks in Judea and Samaria that followed the cessation of final status talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

PA Unity Gov’t to Leave Missiles with Terrorists?

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Will a Palestinian Authority unity government leave thousands of missiles in the hands of terror groups in Gaza? So it would seem.

In the event the Fatah faction led by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas actually manages to create a unity government with the Hamas terror organization, the two entities will need to integrate their security establishments.

In Ramallah, the PA paramilitary police force is armed with AK-47 assault weapons, among other things.

But not missiles.

In Gaza, Hamas has Qassam rockets that can be launched to explode at ranges from 10 to 30 kilometers, Grad Katyusha missiles that can reach up to 40 kilometers, and M75 missiles that can reach ranges of up to 75 to 80 kilometers (40 miles) away – as far from Gaza as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

More than 12,000 rockets, mortars and missiles have rained down on southern Israel from Gaza in the past decade. Thousands more remain.

But it is not clear what will happen to those missiles when the unity government is formed.

Dr. Aaron Lerner of the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA) watchdog agency asked a Reuters Bureau Chief whether the news outlet had put the question to Hamas.

“When I asked a spokesman for [PA chief negotiator Saeb] Erekat if ‘honoring commitments’ included the interim agreement commitment that bars weapons such as rockets and missiles he refused to reply – only repeating that would ‘honor commitments,’ “ Lerner wrote to the bureau chief in an email.

In response, Reuters responded, “Mahmoud Al-Zahar did not specifically mention missiles or rockets, but was adamant that whatever happened, the militant forces would remain independent. Given that, I imagine that the missiles would also remain in the hands of Hamas or Islamic Jihad.”

It is clear that regardless of which side answers the question, neither is willing to make a commitment to laying down their arms. Both are committed to ensuring that the missiles remain in terrorist hands – where they can be aimed at Israeli civilians.

A unity government means a death sentence to peace, precisely as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned the U.S.

Let’s hope America heeds the warning!

America Joins Israel in Canceling Talks with PA

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

The U.S. has finally tossed in the towel on trying to force the Palestinian Authority to come to the table to talk with Israel.

After months of shuttle diplomacy and countless attempts by U.S. leaders to shepherd the “peace process” along, the entire effort proved a waste of time and money.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) officials announced they had cut a deal for Fatah faction leader and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas – who heads all three entities — to form a new unity government with the Hamas terror organization that rules Gaza.

Hamas has never recognized the State of Israel, and has stated that it never intends to. It is committed to the destruction of the Jewish State, in fact.

“It’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist,” pointed out State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki in a briefing Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is convening the inner diplomacy security cabinet this morning (Thursday) to discuss the current situation and decide whether to continue any contact whatsoever with the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Netanyahu told Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephone call Wednesday evening that the PA-Hamas deal “shows the Palestinians are back to repeating their familiar pattern of running away from decisions.”

The pattern is indeed not new: Chairman Abbas has done this before – and the last time he reached a “reconciliation” with Hamas, he managed to sucker in not only the United States, but also the European Union and Israel. All three rushed in a panicky jumble to bribe him back to the “peaceful path” by promising him millions of dollars in funding, if only he would vow not to hook up with Hamas.

In the end, the unity government fell through because Hamas backed out – the Ramallah-based PA government won their millions – and everyone was that much richer, except for the Israelis who lost their lives at the hands of the terrorists who were freed in “good will gestures” forced on them by their U.S. friends.

The PA government in Ramallah used the money to quietly raise the salaries of terrorist prisoners sitting in Israeli jails and funnel more money to civil service employees working in Hamas-ruled Gaza offices.

The PA also won an extra bonus – it received considerable military equipment, weapons and training from the United States, Jordan and the EU — with which a number of its “police officers” have since murdered Israeli citizens in terror attacks.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/america-joins-israel-in-canceling-talks-with-pa/2014/04/24/

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