PFLP celebrates release of Ihab Massoud after 16 years of Zionist imprisonment

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

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A large crowd of leaders and cadres of the Popular Front, the labor movement and the people of Ramallah gathered at the Ofer checkpoint on February 12 to welcome the leader Ihab Massoud upon his release after 16 years in Zionist prisons.

The welcoming group included Comrade Khalida Jarrar, leader of the Popular Front, Comrade Abla Sa’adat, women’s activist and the wife of imprisoned PFLP General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat and Comrade Massoud’s mother and members of his family. Marchers carried Palestinian flags and PFLP banners, cheering and chanting for the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners in Zionist jails.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, its General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat and the Prison Branch congratulated Comrade Massoud on his freedom, praising the comrade who joined the Front at an early age and whose rich experience of struggle has made him one of its leading comrades. Read more »

“Give light and people will find the way”

by Rana Abu Asaker

“Give light and people will find the way” – Ella Baker

Jabalia Camp, Gaza

Jabalia Camp, Gaza

I would like you to imagine for one minute – or a dozen dark years – your life without light. If your imagination leaps to these dark scenes it has arrived in a shadowy oppressed corner of this world called GAZA.

They extinguished the flare of our minds, the glow of our hearts and the light of our houses and streets, then they asked us to live!

Now it’s my turn.

What is the shape of the life you ask us to live? A life without light is not a life, it’s a hell, sir!

We spend a lifetime in search of light and we don’t know it’s inside our hearts – if we see that, we will see our way, and if the path towards justice costs us our lives and souls, so be it.

Let’s revolt against injustice and oppression, revolt against the fear of being dragged behind silence, revolt against marginalization and deficit.

What do you expect from people who live a lifetime in the dark?

You will not be able to mute our voices. You will not be able to subdue our strength or determination.

It’s a time of REVOLUTION.

Three Gazan youth weren’t afraid of the truth, they cried out and demanded their simplest rights. Injustice forced a scream from their throats, a peaceful mass movement from their darkness.

Their revolution needs no factions, just a conscience.

The sound of two hands clapping is louder than one beating the cheek of its own.

Long live the unity of our people, the glory and immortality of our martyrs, the freedom of our prisoners, the healing of our wounded, the greetings of our resistance which continues even though the laggards despise.

Is this the beginning or the end?

I do not know, but I do know that “To realize the value of light, you must walk in the dark.”

Human Rights comfort the afflicted

Mazin Qumsiyeh

A Palestinian woman passes an Israeli checkpoint off Shuhada Street in February 2015 (Photo: Electronic Intifada)

A Palestinian woman passes an Israeli checkpoint off Shuhada Street in February 2015 (Photo: Electronic Intifada)

We in occupied Palestine continue to be guardedly optimistic even after watching the Kafkaesque political “plays” being performed to confuse the public and keep them in the dark, and keep them fighting each other (democrat versus republican, Sunni versus Shiaa, Muslim vs Christian etc) while the RICH GET RICHER AND THE POOR GET POORER.

Remember to follow the money (do so when you see the links below). But what we common people need to do is refuse the baiting, join hands, and think of the environment, sustainability, hope, love, kindness to one another (while yes exposing the myths and challenging the elites).

John Kenneth Galbraith wrote:

“In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.”

This is the dual task we must perform. Thus we continue to tell the truth (and get arrested for it with charges like incitement) AND build models of resistance economy here locally. Read more »

Review: Stealth – the new war machine

Derek Summerfield
Book Review

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I’ve never met a finer man than Hans Husum, nor finer doctor – which is to say, a doctor-citizen for whom it is as much an ethical imperative to contest the social forces which code for distress and disease in whole populations, as it is to treat the individual patient in front of him. He is a trauma surgeon from Tromso University, Norway who operated under bridges or inside trucks in Afghanistan in the late 1970s (“3,800 wounded fighters went through our hands, mortality rates down from 35% to 13%”), and in cellars during the Israeli assault on Beirut in 1982 (“my operating theatre team was gang raped and killed inside our hospital by the Israelis. The murderers cut the breasts and ears off my scrub nurse and my patients were shot dead in their hospital beds”). He has headed up a remarkable Cambodian ngo called Trauma Care Foundation, helping landmine victims with resuscitation, surgery, prostheses and wider rehabilitation. And rather more besides……

This is a book not quite like other books. It is a dissection of global war, its patterns and direction of travel, and its connection to the ‘deep’ State that in, say, US or UK, has a life of its own and runs on whomever is the President or Prime Minister is at any one time. Read more »

Netanyahu and Trump

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Opinion

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Benjamin Netanyahu just met Donald Trump and they are very friendly. Both are liars. War criminal Netanyahu’s prerequisites for peace are that:
1) Palestinians recognize the colonial state as a Jewish state – which is like South Africa saying the prerequisite for peace is to recognize it as a white state; and
2) the “Jewish state” retain control over the whole area – again, like the white South African government saying that they want to control the whole area.

Trump said that Palestinians are taught to hate and must stop hating Israelis. Netanyahu claimed that just like Chinese come from China, Jews come from Judea and so are not colonizers!

He also claims Iran writes on their missiles in Hebrew that Israel must be destroyed!

These two lies – and many more – are typical of congenital liars like Netanyahu.

Sorry, but “The Jews” (nor “The Christian” or “The Muslims”) do NOT come from our country (Palestine is its geographic name, for those who do not know). The myth that they do is a myth of “Jewish biology” that is actually based on Nazi racist myths, themselves stoked by Zionist myths.

A minority of people from those religions actually originate from Palestine – less than 3% of each adherent of any of these religions come from here, including Netanyahu himself. Read more »

Do Not Let Go of the Green Line: It Is Israel’s Achilles Heel

Nadia Hijab
Al Shabaka

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The poet Dylan Thomas urged his father – and all those approaching death – “Do not go gentle into that good night” but “rage, rage against the dying of the light.” The death of the two-state solution has been foretold for nearly 20 years, after it became clear that Israel had signed on to the Oslo peace process in 1993 with no intention of allowing a sovereign Palestinian state.

And yet the light has refused to die. It has been in every country’s interest, including Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization/Palestine (PLO/Palestine), to maintain flickers of life in the two-state possibility despite Israel’s relentless colonization of the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) that has so far planted some 200 settlements and 600,000 settlers there, acts that constitute war crimes under international law.

For Palestinians living in the gray area of occupation the most basic freedoms of life, liberty, movement, health, and access to water, among others, are violated daily. Palestinian refugees and exiles are largely left to their fate, and the Palestinian citizens of Israel are expected to deal with the Israeli state’s discrimination and dispossession as best they can. Overall, the stagnation of the Palestinian body politic prevents effective, collective Palestinian action. Read more »

Abu Marzook Again Calls for Forming National Unity Government

Hamas

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Mousa Abu Marzook, Vice-president of Hamas Politburo, reiterated the call to expedite procedures needed to form a national unity government comprised of the Palestinian factions agreed on during the National Council meeting.

“We are in unison regarding many texts which call for resisting the Occupation and criminalizing security collaboration between the PNA and the Israeli Occupation,” he said in an interview with Al Araby TV on Monday. Read more »

Israel’s Legalizes Settlement Options as a Prelude to the Netanyahu Visit to Trumpland

Richard Falk

Cartoon: Amos Biderman

Cartoon: Amos Biderman

Responses to four questions posed by Rodrigo Craveiro, a journalist from the Brazilian newspaper Correio Braziliense

1- How do you see the decision of the Knesset taken last night about legalizing settlement outposts and what are the likely consequences of this legislative initiative?

It is one more act of defiance by Israel that is both a repudiation of international law relating to settlements in Occupied Palestine and of the UNSC, which in December passed Resolution 2334 condemning settlement expansion and reaffirming their illegality. Whether Israel experiences adverse consequences depends especially on the reaction of European governments and of civil society. Israel expects that Trump’s presidency will insulate the country from any show of real pressure at the UN or via sanctions, but there are mixed signals as usual emanating from the White House. The Knesset’s provocative move of legalizing the 50 or so settlement ‘outposts’ that were previously illegal even under Israeli law, an internationally controversial move that may in due course be nullified by Israel’s judiciary. Actually, the move was not so radical as the Israel state had long accommodated the outposts by providing them with subsidies and security, and overlooking their formally unlawful status in domestic law.

2– Do you believe Israel is interested in annexing West Bank? Why?
Read more »

PHROC Calls for Immediate Action by International Community on Israel’s “Regularization” Law

PRESS RELEASE
Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council

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The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) strongly condemns the Israeli Knesset’s passage of the “Regularization Law,” which legalizes 4,000 housing units in 55 colonial outposts, built on private Palestinian land. While Israel’s appropriation of Palestinian land has been a cornerstone of government policy since the beginning of the occupation in 1967, the law is another brazen tool for Israel to confiscate privately held and registered Palestinian property for its illegal settlement enterprise. Read more »

Over 250 European organisations call for end of European complicity in occupation of Palestine

PRESS STATEMENT
Justice for Palestine

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Justice for Palestine now – end EUROPEAN complicity!

A call from organizations throughout Europe.

2017 marks:

– 100 years since the « Balfour Declaration » of 1917, through which the British government unilaterally promised the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine;

– 70 years since the partition plan of Palestine, adopted by the UN in 1947, which resulted in the 1948 Nakba, the demolition of more than 530 Palestinian villages and the expulsion of 750 000 Palestinians from their homeland, thus a process of ethnic cleansing;

– 50 years since the beginning of Israel’s occupation in 1967 of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, and an ongoing process of colonization and prolonged occupation by the State of Israel.

The continued dispossession of Palestinians of their land and their livelihood, including house demolition, land confiscation and apartheid wall; the denial of their culture and memory; the ten-year Gaza blockade creating severe inhuman conditions along with the recurrent military attacks on its population; the constant repression, resulting presently in over 7000 prisoners including more than 400 children held in military detention; the disastrous plight of Palestinian refugees further worsened by the war in Syria; and the draconian discriminatory laws in Israel itself: these facts, the fruits of over 100 years of denial of the rights of the Palestinian people, can no longer be accepted.

The anniversaries marked by the year 2017 remind us of the degree to which the colonial mindset, the denial of the rights of the Palestinian people, and the refusal to apply international law and UN resolutions lead to disaster. Read more »

Work for the future

Mazin Qumsiyeh

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First the positive news: Large demonstrations last Monday in front of 10 Downing street for the Theresa May-Benjamin Netanuyahu visit. The demonstration was a mixture of people of all religions, skin colors, and backgrounds.

By contrast, the much smaller group of paid Zionist elites was very homogeneous (Jewish white Ashkenazi). Let us hope for an even larger demonstration for Netanyahu’s visit to Trump on February 15.

Locally, Israel is proceeding with more colonial settlements hoping that if they saturate the landscape, we native Palestinians will leave and they can have their racist Jewish state. But people are not leaving and much of the world now sees that there was never a “two state solution” to a colonial anti-coloniial struggle.

The best scenario forward is like in most postcolonial countries, such as South and Central America and much of SE Asia.

We are working on that with Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and other colleagues here – some of them also hold “Israeli” citizenship.

We are collectively building things on the ground, not leaving, and resisting daily (yes sometimes injured, sometimes killed, sometimes jailed, sometimes arrested…). Read more »

Hamas: Israel fully responsible for latest aggression on Gaza

Hamas

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Press statement issued by Hamas following the continuous Israeli assault on Gaza

The Israeli escalation in Gaza is dangerous and must be stopped.

Israel is attempting to cover up its crimes and violations against Palestinian prisoners and our people in Jerusalem by shifting media attention to Gaza.

Accordingly, we hold the Israeli occupation full responsibility for the continuation of this escalation and warn that the persistence of such an assault will not be left without retaliation.

Hamas condemns UNSG Guterres’ statement about Jewish temple

Hamas

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Hamas spokesman, Faouzi Barhoum, issued the following statement:

Hamas considers the statement of UN Secretary General António Guterres regarding a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem a claim that fabricates history, misleads public opinion, and a contravention of UNESCO’s resolution which stipulate that Al-Aqsa Mosque is a Muslim holy site that Jews have no right in.

Guterres’ statement endorses Israel’s radical, racist policies, and legitimizes the Judaization of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Secretary General of the International organization should work to protect Palestinian rights and support our just cause. Guterres should not be biased towards the Israelis nor should he encourage them towards more violations and extremism at the expense of Palestinians and Muslims.

Hamas condemns and rejects Guterres’ irresponsible statements, and calls upon all Palestinian people and parties for more steadfastness in the defence of their rights and just cause. Hamas also calls upon Muslims and Arabs to support Palestinian resistance, rights, just cause, defence of their holy places, and confronting any schemes against Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

UNRWA Commissioner-General to Tell Helsinki Conference: “Don’t Forget Over Half a Million Palestinians from Syria”

Press Statement
UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness

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Helsinki, 24 January 2017: The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency Pierre Krähenbühl, will tell an international conference later today in Helsinki that “the world should not forget some 560,000 Palestine refugees from whose lives have been impacted by the deepening conflict in Syria”. The conference has been called to launch the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) in response to the Syria crisis.

Mr Krähenbühl, who will be speaking on a high level panel on education in emergencies and the protection of rights, will update delegates and explain that “today 430,000 Palestine refugees – 95 per cent of those Palestine refugees remaining in Syria – are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. Overall, 280,000 are internally displaced and around 43,000 are trapped in hard-to-reach or besieged areas. In addition to this, there are more than 30,000 Palestine refugees from Syria who have fled to Lebanon and nearly 17,000 who have fled to Jordan, where they face a marginalised and precarious existence.” Read more »

UNRWA condemns outbreak of armed violence in Ein El-Hilweh which injured civilians, UNRWA staff member

Press Statement
Christopher Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson

Ain Al HIlweh camp, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Ain Al HIlweh camp, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Jerusalem, 17 January 2016: UNRWA strongly condemns the armed violence that took place in the Ein El Hilweh Palestine Refugee camp in Lebanon, on the evening of 15 January 2016.

Recurrent armed violence continues to impact the civilian population in the Camp, including children. Last night’s shooting caused injuries to six people, including one child as well as shocking and frightening camp inhabitants.

UNRWA remains deeply concerned about the recurrent violence in Ein El Hilweh and its impact on the civilian population and our staff. Sadly we can confirm that on 15th January, near his home in Ein el Hilweh, an UNRWA staff member was severely injured. While there was reportedly shooting in the area when our staff member was wounded, current information indicates that he was not deliberately targeted. Read more »

2017: Palestine’s Three Dark Commemorations

Richard Falk

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Increasingly, Palestinians seem doomed to become subjects, or at best second-class citizens, in their homeland. Israeli expansionism, United States unconditional support, and UN impotence. These factors are combining to create dismal prospects for Palestinian self-determination and for a negotiated peace that is sensitive to the rights and grievances of both Palestinians and Jews.

Recalling three notable commemorations to be observed in 2017 may help us understand better how this distressing Palestinian narrative unfolded over the course of the past hundred years. Perhaps, such remembrances might even encourage the rectification of past failures, and encourage flagging national and international efforts to find a way forward even at this belated hour. The most promising initiatives are now associated with a growing global solidarity movement dedicated to achieving a just peace for both peoples. For now, neither the United Nations nor traditional diplomacy seem to have much leverage over the play of social and political forces that lies at the core of the Palestinian struggle. Only the nonviolent resistance of Palestinians to their prolonged ordeal of occupation and transnational civil society militancy seem to have any capacity to exert positive leverage over the status quo and to sustain hope. Read more »

Israeli delegation of Intellectuals, former Ambassadors submit “Petition of 1200,” Call To Recognize Palestine Now

Press Release
Policy Working Group
Peace NGO Forum

On Thursday January 12, 2017 a delegation of Israeli intellectuals and former ambassadors will meet with Helene Le Gal, Ambassador of France to Israel, in order to present a petition of support for the French initiative to organize a Peace Conference in Paris on Sunday January 15.

In recent days, some 1200 Israeli citizens signed that petition in support of the French Initiative. The conference aims to provide a broad international base of support for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The conference will convene on Sunday, 15 January 2017. Foreign ministers from approximately 70 countries are expected to attend. The conference will signal that the world expects to see an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on two states for two peoples – Israel and Palestine – that will maintain mutual relations based on peace and security. Read more »

Gaza press conference urges action, support for prisoners’ struggle

PFLP

The Zionist action to impose sanctions on the prisoners and single out the prisoners of Hamas will not be accepted, as the prisoners will not allow the application of policies meant to divide and discriminate.

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the Gaza Strip held a press conference on January 4, reviewing the latest developments inside Israeli jails and condemning the new sanctions imposed on prisoners and the isolation of imprisoned PFLP leader, Comrade Kamil Abu Hanish.

Comrade Allam Kaabi, member of the Central Committee of the PFLP and leader of the prisoners’ committee in Gaza, said that these escalating Zionist attacks are an attempt to prevent prisoners’ planned steps of escalating protest in 2017, pointing out that Abu Hanish is one of the main leaders inside the prison responsible for dialogue throughout the prisoners’ movement on future protests and coordinated action and strategic plans. Read more »

Condemning Israeli Settlement Expansion: UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and Secretary Kerry’s Speech

Richard Falk

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

On December 23, 2016 the UN Security Council by a vote of 14-0 adopted Resolution 2334, notably with the United States abstaining, condemning Israeli settlement expansion. It was treated as big news in the West because the Obama presidency had finally in its last weeks in office refused to use its veto to protect Israel from UN censure. Especially in the United States, the media focused on the meaning of this diplomatic move, wondering aloud whether it was motivated by Obama’s lingering anger over Netanyahu’s effort to torpedo his efforts to reach agreement with Iran in 2014 on its nuclear program or meant to challenge the incoming Trump leadership to deal responsibly with the unresolved Israel/Palestine conflict and also by indirection to mount criticism of Trump’s reckless pledge to move the American embassy to Jerusalem and his apparent readiness to side openly with extremist Israeli leadership while in the White House.

The likely lasting importance of the resolution is the evidence of a strong international consensus embodied in the 14-0 vote, with only the US abstention preventing unanimity. To bring together China, Russia, France, and the UK on an initiative tabled by Senegal, Malaysia, and Venezuela, is sending Israel and Washington a clear message that despite the adverse developments of recent years in the Middle East the world will not forget the Palestinians, or their struggle. It is also significant that the resolution calls upon the new UN Secretary General to report back to the SC every three months on progress implementing the resolution and explicitly keeps the Council seized of the issue. Such provisions reinforce the impression that the unresolved Israel/Palestine conflict will remain on the UN policy agenda in the months ahead, which by itself is extremely irritating to Israel. Read more »

PFLP Prison Branch: We will confront sanctions and isolation with unity and collective struggle

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Prison Branch

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The resolution of the government of the Zionist occupation with respect to the imposition of new sanctions on Palestinian prisoners comes in the context of the overall attack being waged against the Palestinian people, from the continuation of settlements, the Judaization of Jerusalem, the imprisonment of the bodies of the martyrs, to the daily attacks against our people and attempts to crush their ongoing resistance. The decision taken against the prisoners is an escalatory step as we have seen in the Nafha prison yesterday, with the isolation of a group of leaders, including the leader Comrade Kamil Abu Hanish. This action means that the year 2017 will be a year of confrontation inside the prisons. These sanctions will not pass! We will not accept these policies that attempt to divide among the prisoners and engage in micro-targeting. We will face them united, and the prison sections will remain a square of confrontation and struggle. Read more »