Remembering Comrade Shadia Abu Ghazaleh, struggler for Palestine

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Press Release

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine remembers the passing of the first woman martyr of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Comrade Shadia Abu Ghazaleh, whose life was lost on November 28, 1968, as she prepared a bomb in her home for a military operation against the occupation.

Comrade Abu Ghazaleh was born in Nablus on January 8, 1949. She graduated from the Fatimid School for Girls and then studied sociology for one year at Ein Shams University in Cairo, before deciding to complete her education at An-Najah National University in Nablus in psychology and social sciences. Her family attempted to convince her to stay in Cairo, but she responded, “What good is a university degree if I have no wall to attach it to” in her homeland, and was determined to return to Palestine especially after the 1967 occupation.

She began her political activity as a youth and became involved with the Arab Nationalist Movement, founded by George Habash, in 1964. She was one of the original members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine upon its founding on December 11, 1967.

She organized and led Palestinian women’s military organizations and was one of the first Palestinian women to be involved in military resistance in the post-1967 era. She was also deeply dedicated to education and political struggle as part of one comprehensive struggle with military resistance. Abu Ghazaleh emphasized the integration of struggle and that there is no separation between national and social liberation. She believed strongly in collective and organized work, rather than individualism, and emphasized the role of culture, politics, and strategy in directing armed struggle, adhering firmly to the slogan, “No revolutionary movement without a revolutionary theory.” Read more »

WHO releases latest health access report for the occupied Palestinian territory

Press Release
WHO

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On the occasion of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, marked by the UN since 1977[1], WHO launched a 2-year report on health access today at an event in Gaza to highlight how the Israeli permit system and physical barriers obstruct health access for Palestinian patients, ambulances and health workers. The study “Right to health: crossing barriers to access health in the occupied Palestinian territory, 2014 – 2015,” was based on data provided by Palestinian Authority ministries and non-profit health providers, as well as patient interviews and field studies.

“Access is a fundamental element of the right to health. Every mother and child has the right to be together during a child’s cancer treatment,” said Dr. Gerald Rockenschaub, the WHO head of the office in the West Bank and Gaza.

“Yet the data indicates substantial restrictions for thousands of patients and their companions who are trying to travel to their places of referral.” The 48-page report also presents information on the impact of attacks on health facilities, patients and health personnel, and the health access situation in “Area C” in the West Bank, where Israel retains full security and civil authority. Read more »

Holiday message from Palestine Museum of Natural History

Mazin, Jessie, Elias, Mohammad N, Mohammad A, Zuhair, Manal, Khawla, Reena, Mubarak, and all other volunteers
Palestine Museum of Natural History

The Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) at Bethlehem University wish you a great holiday season and wishing you and yours a wonderful new year. May 2017 be a year of progress towards peace and sustainability for our planet.

Thanks to your partnership and donations, PMNH/PIBS had a tremendous success in 2016 fulfilling our mission to research, educate about, and conserve our natural world, culture and heritage and use knowledge to promote responsible human interactions with our environment. We are now going to a higher level and ask you for your
donations, in-kind support, and volunteerism. Visit this link to donate, and this link to volunteer.

With your support, we did much already:

a) Published two dozen papers in areas ranging from taxonomic studies to biodiversity to environmental pollution to museology
b) Held workshops and other educational events that benefited over 3,000 individuals.
c) Developed a webpage and social media accounts and reached out via the internet to tens of thousands of people
d) Established mobile conservation projects in remote and underprivileged communities.
e) Improved science education at both school and university level benefiting hundreds of students via hands-on workshops and creation of environmental clubs.
f) Developed an environmental impact assessment (EIA) unit and contributed to a management plan for the first OPT protected area.
g) Provided consultancy services to the nascent Palestinian governmental agencies (e.g. Ministry of Health, Environmental Quality Authority, Ministry of Tourism, and Ministry of Agriculture).
h) Transformed a neglected 12 dunum area (part of the Bethlehem University Mar Andrea Campus) into a nascent botanical garden and permaculture facility (including bee-keeping, aquaponics, and aquaculture). This site was used to develop ideas which are now being transferred to farmers and other members of the community (e.g. green walls and composting). Read more »

PFLP mourns and salutes Comrade Fidel Castro, a revolutionary inspiration for the world

PFLP
Press Release

Fidel Castro with George and Hilda Habash

Fidel Castro with George and Hilda Habash

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine extends its condolences to the Cuban people, the Palestinian people and the revolutionary movements of the world upon the loss of the former prime minister and president of Cuba and the historic international revolutionary leader, Comrade Fidel Castro Ruz, on Friday, November 25, 2016.

Castro’s internationalist revolutionary commitment to fighting imperialism and capitalism – manifest in the revolutionary victory against US imperialism and its puppet Batista regime in the 1959 Cuban revolution – consistently stood with the oppressed peoples of the world in their confrontation of imperialism, Zionism, racism and capitalism. Throughout his life, Fidel was a supporter and an example of revolutionary struggle in Latin America, in Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, El Salvador and throughout the continent. From Angola to South Africa, Palestine to Mozambique, Bolivia to El Salvador, Castro’s legacy of international revolutionary solidarity and struggle continues to serve as an example in practice that transcends borders toward revolution, democracy and socialism. Read more »

Fidel: Heart of Gold

By Julie Webb-Pullman

Fidel at José Martí Memorial, May Day 2006

Fidel at José Martí Memorial, May Day 2006

The passing of Fidel Castro is of a baton, not just a life. The values he represented and the ideals he struggled for and in many areas achieved, will not die with him but continue to advance, not only in Cuba, but everywhere.

Fidel was not driven by money or power but by an insatiable quest for social justice and human dignity. He realised that human essence itself was at the centre of any revolutionary struggle, like José Martí before him.

Martí, the father of Cuban independence, and a guiding light of the Cuban revolutionary process, said in 1882:

Contemptible times, these: when the only art that prevails is that of piling one’s own granaries high, sitting on a seat of gold and living all in gold, without perceiving that human nature will never vary, and the only result of digging up external gold is to live without gold inside!

Fidel’s principled practice of power rested on according primacy to the human, rather than materialistic.

US intelligence reported that Castro:

…places particular importance on maintaining a ‘principled’ foreign policy . . . [and] on questions of basic importance such as Cuba’s right and duty to support nationalist revolutionary movements and friendly governments in the Third World, Castro permits no compromise of principle for the sake of economic or political expediency.

Fidel realized that we are only human insofar as we recognize and support the humanity of others, and that there are no borders to humanity – we are all interconnected, and must recognize and act from our common humanity not only in our own country, but with other people everywhere.

Converting a Russian naval base into a medical school that trained hundreds of doctors from scores of countries around the world, and supporting freedom struggles in the Congo, Palestine and Angola confirm this utterly principled approach.

Like Gaza under the Israeli siege, Fidel Castro did not choose the US blockade of Cuba, which caused such immeasurable hardship to the Cuban people and immeasurable damage to their economy.

Despite this blockade, rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world as successive United Nations votes demonstrate, Fidel Castro led his country through almost 50 years of social and political progress that has in some way benefited every single Cuban citizen bar none, as well as the illiterate, the sick and the disaster-affected in numerous other countries.

Also, against all odds, Fidel Castro led his country and his people through a ‘special period’ few expected Cuba to survive, conditions far worse than those that have brought down many lesser regimes.

The reason Fidel Castro survived as President, that he and his country got through such unprecedented hardship, is that he had the support of the vast majority of Cubans. Why?

It was not just that he always stood firm against imperialism whatever the cost, at times being the only world leader to do so. It was also because of the humanity of the man, his empathy for the vulnerable, the poor, and the suffering, and his commitment to fight for the dignity of all.

Some simple but little-known examples from daily life: Fidel made one of his first actions the creation of icecream parlours in the middle of the major cities, with subsidized prices, so every family could afford to take their children there for a treat.

Another was to guarantee a birthday cake from the state for every child until age six – a magnificent confection covered in icing that one sees almost daily in Havana being delivered by bicycle, motorbike or on foot.

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To those very personal touches can be added the numerous population-based advances in education, health care and other areas that will undoubtedly be covered by others.

But to me it is Fidel’s humanity, his recognition that the essence of the fight against injustice is true awareness of ourselves and others, that is his greatest legacy.

“We are winning the battle for ideas… They discovered ‘smart weapons’ but we discovered something more powerful, namely, the idea that humans think and feel,” Fidel said in Caracas in 1999.

This is the ‘gold inside’ that Fidel devoted his life to discovering, and passing on.

Although Fidel’s death is undoubtedly a major loss to Cuba and to the world, this baton is being carried by those everywhere who believe that a better world for all is possible.

It has already arrived in Standing Rock. Fidel, presente.

Proposed Israel law “gives green light to theft of Palestinian land” – UN expert

Press Release
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Amona outpost. (Picture: Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)

Amona outpost. (Picture: Noam Moskowitz/Flash90)

GENEVA (21 November 2016) – A proposed Israeli law enabling the confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land would deal another severe blow to hopes of a lasting peace, a United Nations human rights expert has warned.

Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk said he was deeply concerned at the proposal to legalize more than 100 illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank, which passed its first reading in the Knesset on 16 November.

“Unauthorized outposts, most of which have been established on private Palestinian land and are located deep within the occupied West Bank are considered illegal under Israeli domestic law. Their retroactive ‘legalization’ will be another nail in the coffin for the two-state solution,” said Mr. Lynk.

“These outposts undermine the Palestinian right to self-determination, violate their rights to property, freedom of movement and development, and continue to confine the Palestinians into smaller and smaller cantons of non-contiguous lands within their own territory.” Read more »

The Balfour and Cambon Declarations

Mazin Qumsiyeh
From: Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle (2004)

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The events leading up to the support of Britain and France for Zionist aspirations have received little historical discussion. In examining historical documents of powerful nations like France and Britain, we find these nations issuing declarations to support the Zionist aspirations. This came in France first with a letter sent from Jules Cambon, Secretary General of the French Foreign Ministry to Nahum Sokolow (at the time head of the political wing of the World Zionist Organization based in London) dated June 4, 1917: Read more »

Palestine-Israel: Obama’s Final Days

Tareq Baconi
Al-Shabaka Policy Briefing

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American presidents have more than once used their final days in office to make crucial decisions regarding Israel/Palestine. Ronald Reagan recognized the PLO in 1988. Bill Clinton issued the Clinton Parameters in 2000.

If President Barack Obama intends to salvage some of his legacy as power transitions from the Democrats to the Republicans, he has a number of options.

The simplest, most powerful, and least destructive measure would be an explicit reaffirmation of the illegality of any form of Israeli sovereignty beyond the 1967 line, including East Jerusalem. Read more »

President-Elect Donald Trump must ensure continued efforts toward a Palestinian state

American Muslims for Palestine
Press Release

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(WASHINGTON DC 11/10/2016) – The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education organization advocating for Palestinian human rights, expresses deep concern over President-Elect Trump’s potential plans for U.S. policy in the Middle East. Though it is still unclear what Mr. Trump will do as president, AMP’s concerns stem from comments and promises he made during his campaign.

Specifically, AMP asserts the status of Jerusalem has not been resolved and supports Palestinians’ rights to Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. AMP rejects the promises Mr. Trump made to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in September to declare Jerusalem as the “undivided capital of Israel.” AMP strongly opposes moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and also is deeply troubled by comments suggesting a Trump administration would forgo the idea of a Palestinian state. Read more »

Meshaal: no stability in the area without Palestinians getting their rights

Hamas

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Chairman of Hamas political bureau Khaled Meshaal has urged the president-elect of the United States Donald Trump to revise his country’s foreign policy and bring U.S. support of the Israeli occupation to an end.

“The Palestinian people have been wronged by the biased U.S. policies that favor Israel,” Meshaal said in a speech he delivered during the 11th Youth for Jerusalem Conference in Istanbul on Thursday, stressing that there will not be stability in the area without the Palestinians getting their rights.

He asserted the Palestinians’ total adherence to the liberation of Jerusalem and the entire land of Palestine.

“Jerusalem is the icon and heart of Palestine’s struggle and we will not cede an inch of it,” he said.

“Jerusalem is the key to war and peace in the region,” he added, calling on Arab states to assume their roles towards protecting the holy city from Israel’s schemes.

The Infamy of the Palestinian Elites: An Imminent Split within Fatah?

Ramzy Baroud
Source: Counterpunch

Picture: Press TV

Picture: Press TV

The Fatah movement is involved in a massive tug-of-war that will ultimately define its future. Though the conflict is between current Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, and once Gaza strongman, Mohammed Dahlan, is in no way motivated by ending the Israeli Occupation, their war will likely determine the future political landscape of Palestine.

The issue cannot be taken lightly, nor can it be dismissed as an internal Fatah conflict. The latter is one of the two largest Palestinian factions, the largest within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and has single-handedly pushed Palestinians into the abyss of the ‘peace process’ and the great Oslo Accords gamble, which has come at great cost and no benefits. Read more »

Joint Report Estimates that 554 Palestinians Arrested in October 2016

Addameer
Press Release

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Palestinian prisoners’ affairs institutions (the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission, Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association) issued the following monthly joint report, reviewing the situation of Palestinian prisoners in October 2016.

The prisoners’ affairs institutions stated that 554 Palestinians were arrested in October 2016 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including 130 children and 11 women, including one minor girl. Read more »

Hamas: Balfour declaration is void, criminal

Hamas
Press Release

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The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas on Wednesday pledged to stay committed to the right of return and liberating all of Palestine.

“Our right to the land of Palestine is sacred and cannot be erased by a void promise from one criminal to another,” Hamas said in a press statement on the 99th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, confirming that the Movement will not give up a single inch of Palestinian lands.

Hamas asserted that the right of return remains an inalienable individual and collective Palestinian right that does not fall under statutes of limitations.

“We will not permit any attempt to tamper with Palestinian rights or give up the right of return,” the statement underlined, confirming that Hamas will never recognize the Israeli occupation or the accords that give legitimacy to its colonial land theft.

The Movement reaffirmed its position from resistance, including armed resistance, as the chosen path to deter the occupation and restore Palestinian rights.

Hamas stressed that Palestinian unity remains an essential necessity in the fight against Israel’s occupation, urging all Muslims to regard that the struggle to liberate Palestine as the top priority that unites all Muslims and ends the schisms dividing the Muslim Ummah.

Massacres, BDS, and more

Mazin Qumsiyeh
Opinion

Photo: http://justsayin.online/tag/massacre/

Photo: http://justsayin.online/tag/massacre/

I just returned to Palestine from the Basque Country, a European country that is partly under French and partly under Spanish rule (sort of like the Kurdish region). It was great to see the mountains and to see open roads without checkpoints (it was not always like this as the fight for Basque independence meant much similar conditions just a few years ago before political agreements were reached).

I return willingly to a jailed community under an apartheid system and daily assaults (home demolitions, displacement, judaization). It is exactly where we find ourselves most needed and most alive. The staff and volunteers at the Palestine Museum of Natural History – Bethlehem University have done an excellent job in my absence of one week. My luggage hopefully will catch up with me and it has many books I acquired for the museum. Please join us and help (donating time and/or money would be good).

Now for some collected items related to human rights:

Today is the anniversary of Duwaima massacre (29 Octber 1948), one of over 40 massacres committed by the Zionist colonial forces to drive native Palestinians out of our country. Read more »

Abbas, Hamas leadership meet in Doha

Hamas
Press Release

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Chairman of Hamas’s political bureau Khaled Meshaal and deputy chairman Ismail Haniya convened on Thursday evening with the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting in Doha hosted by Qatar’s foreign minister Mohamed Al Thani.

The meeting discussed the dangers threatening the Palestinian cause and national priorities during the current critical phase as well as ways to achieve reconciliation and end the Palestinian rift.

The need to implement the previous reconciliation agreements signed in Cairo, Doha and Gaza’s Beach refugee camp was underlined by Hamas leaders who also stress the importance of national partnership and urged for holding the elections and forming a unity government.

They also called for formulating a program to confront the Israeli colonial occupation and its transgressions as a united front.

Hamas also hailed Qatari efforts to support the Palestinian people and break the siege imposed on Gaza, and expressed appreciation for Qatari endeavors to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.

PFLP responds positively to initiative by Islamic Jihad for national unity

PFLP
Press Release

Islamic Jihad rally in Gaza City, October 2016

Islamic Jihad rally in Gaza City, October 2016

In response to the 10-point initiative presented by the General Secretary of the Islamic Jihad Movement, Ramadan Shallah, at the anniversary event of the movement, Comrade Kayed al-Ghoul, of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, said that the initiative intersects to a large degree with the positions of the Front and several initiatives brought forward.

Al-Ghoul expressed his support for the initiative of the Islamic Jihad Movement in an effort to rebuild Palestinian unity on the basis of a national liberation strategy suitable to the phase in which we live, emphasizing that the Palestinian people are engaged in a comprehensive conflict with the Zionist enemy at all levels and that there is a necessity for the full rehabilitation of all Palestinian national rights through cutting the path of Oslo and all related agreements, while supporting the steadfastness of the Palestinian masses.

He urged the movement to continue its efforts to follow up with all forces for a comprehensive national dialogue for this initiative.

Ramadan Shallah announced the 10-point initiative for an escape from the Palestinian predicament, which includes the following: Read more »

UNRWA Condemns Killing of Four Palestine Refugees, calls for Full Humanitarian Access to Khan Eshieh Refugee Camp in Syria

Press Statement
UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness

Khan Eshieh Camp, June 2016 (UN File Photo)

Khan Eshieh Camp, June 2016 (UN File Photo)

Four Palestine refugees were killed on the night of 18 October as they attempted to leave the Khan Eshieh Palestine refugee camp, south of the Syrian capital, Damascus, to which access has been highly restricted. Nofeh Mohammed Jarad, who was in her 60’s, her daughter Ibaa Saeed al-Nader, 22, their driver and a one-year old baby were all killed when their vehicle was shelled around 10 p.m. The mother of the baby, a Syrian citizen, also died in the incident.

UNRWA condemns this attack and the killing and wounding of all civilians including Palestine refugees. It calls on those responsible to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law and demands that the parties to the conflict do their utmost to protect civilian life in accordance with international law. Read more »

PFLP condemns occupation piracy of Women’s Boat to Gaza

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Press Release

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine expressed its strongest condemnation of the Zionist occupation forces for their attack on the Women’s Boat to Gaza, the Zaytouna, blocking it from reaching the Gaza Strip on a journey of solidarity and to break the siege of occupation.

The Front denounced this Zionist piracy, reaffirming the Zionist regime’s disregard for international conventions and treaties, relying instead on tyranny, terror and the support and protection provided by US imperialism and its allies in international forums.

The Front expressed its salutes and appreciation to the women on board the hijacked ship, saluting their determination to break the siege on the Gaza Strip despite the risk, noting that this mission enjoys the strong support of the Palestinian people and is yet more motivation to continue to work to expand international solidarity campaigns and boycott the Zionist state.

PFLP: Jerusalem operation is a natural response to the occupation, reflects continuing intifada

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Press Release

Musbah AubSbeih

Musbah AubSbeih

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said that Sunday’s resistance operation in occupied Jerusalem comes in the context of the ongoing intifada, and is a natural response to the occupation and the attacks of the settlers, and confirms once more the Palestinian position and identity of Jerusalem against the schemes of the occupier to erase Palestinian existence with Judaization plans. The Front expressed its salutes to the martyr Musbah Abu Sbeih, shot by occupation forces during his operation.

The operation expresses that there remains an open conflict between the Palestinian people and the Zionist occupier throughout the land of Palestine, and that all of the collective punishment, mass arrests and brutal attacks will not stop the continuing Palestinian resistance.

The Front emphasizes the importance of sustaining and supporting the ongoing intifada through Palestinian national unity around a program of resistance and strengthening popular organization and struggle toward achieving liberation for the Palestinian people.

Israeli women betray their sisters, intercept Women’s Boat to Gaza

Julie Webb-Pullman

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Israeli women soldiers led the attack in international waters on the Women’s Boat to Gaza, Zaytouna-Oliva, on Wednesday evening Gaza time, and kidnapped the 13 international women on board.

The 13 freedom sailors included New Zealand Member of Parliament Marama Davidson, 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire from Ireland, and retired US army colonel Ann Wright.

There has been no communication from the women since their capture, but the Israeli media reported the following statement from the Israeli occupation forces:

“In accordance with government directives and after exhausting all diplomatic channels, the Israeli Navy redirected the vessel in order to prevent breach of the lawful maritime blockade.”

Two hours ago the Israeli Times said the Zaytouna-Oliva was intercepted 65 kilometres from the Gaza Coast, and was now heading slowly toward Ashdod.

In the Interim Oslo Agreement, signed by Israel and the PLO, boats from Gaza are permitted to go twenty nautical miles (about thirty-seven kilometers) from the coastline, meaning the Zaytoun-Oliva was clearly still in international waters when it was pirated.

Prior to this latest breach of international law by Israel on the high seas, Israeli airstrikes and tank fire pounded the Gaza Strip, from a training ground in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza to naval police headquarters in Beit Lahiya in the north, and several Gaza City suburbs in between.

It is precisely this sort of wanton destruction and the humanitarian catastrophe of an illegal siege that the women’s boat was seeking to highlight, and break.

Women around the world are watching and waiting to see whether the women are safe.