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

DSC03740 (400 x 300)

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 »

ConSiences of Humanity

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

John Kerry is delusional if he thinks he can temporarily curb the appetite of those who believe in an ideology of conquest, subjugation and exceptionalism (“chosen people”) to save “Zionism”.

His claim that Shimon Peres told him that 78% of Palestine is enough, and that they should let the Palestinians have the other 22%, is simply not believable. Shimon Peres never changed his views from his youth as a disciple of Ben Gurion (Rabin and the two of them masterminded the ethnic cleansing and destruction of 500 towns and villages between 1948 and 1950).

To his last breath Peres was a racist, a bigot, and an unrepentant war criminal – not to mention his build-up of Israel’s arsenal of WMD. He always believed Jews are smarter, chosen, and are entitled to rule over greater Israel and like his mentor, he thought a two-state support is mostly for propaganda. Read more »

UNSC Vote – Palestine’s options

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh

Will Mahmoud Abbas turn success into failure (again) or will he finally show backbone to use the UNSC resolution to save what remains of Palestine?

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DEDICATION

This post is dedicated to Mohammad Al-Ghaz and all similar suffering children of Gaza. Mohammad was interviewed a year ago while selling newspapers in the streets. He was asked what he wishes for the new year 2016 and he impulsively answered “like die.” He went on to explain that his life is so miserable and he cannot go to school and has to work hard to find food for his family. Mohammad got his wish this Christmas season as he slipped on the roof of a four story building as he was trying to get some wood (video in Arabic here). The UN says Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. The two million people of Gaza including 1 million children are threatened with massive deaths (genocide). Please remember these one million children who are losing hope in humanity and do something to end Israeli apartheid. And of course the over 400 million children in the world who go to sleep hungry like those Palestinians in Gaza. Read more »

UNRWA condemns armed violence in Ein El-Hilweh

Press Statement
Christopher Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson

UNRWA condemns armed violence in Ein El-Hilweh which has again prevented children from attending school and vital health services from operating

Ain Al HIlweh camp, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Ain Al HIlweh camp, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Jerusalem 22 December 2016: UNRWA strongly condemns the armed violence that took place in the Ein El Hilweh Palestine Refugee camp in Lebanon today and yesterday and calls for restraint.

Due to armed violence and increased risks to civilian lives, UNRWA has suspended all its operations in the camp and will continue to do so until further notice.

Violent incidents in Ein el-Hilweh continue to shock and frighten camp residents. They prevent children going to school and patients going to clinics; and they threaten the safety and security of civilians and their ability to access a range of services. Read more »

The failed mass deportation of 1992

Hamas

2

On the 17th of December 1992, under the cover of darkness, the Israeli occupation forces raided the houses of hundreds of Palestinian leaders and activists from the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Academics, doctors and social figures were among 415 Palestinians whom the Israelis kidnapped, handcuffed, blindfolded and placed in trucks and buses that headed to a destination unknown to them or their families.

The raids, which mainly targeted members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, followed failed Israeli attempts to rescue Nissim Toledano, an Israeli Sergeant who was captured earlier by al-Qassam Brigades in a bid to release Hamas leader and founder Shiekh Ahmed Yassin.

Contrary to the expectations of the detainees, the 60-hour-long trip did not end up at one of Israel’s notorious prisons. They were instead being exiled to south Lebanon in an unprecedented mass deportation that was executed without a hearing or even prior notification. Read more »

Al Qassam Brigades mourn Tunisian Commander Zawari

Press Release
Al Qassam Brigades

zawari-400-x-191

Al Qassam Brigades mourned, in a military communiqué, the Qassam commander Mohammed Zawari to the Arab and Muslim nations.

The brigades said that the treacherous hands of Zionists have assassinated the Qassam leader on December 15th, 2016, in the city of Sfax in Tunisia.

The Qassam Brigades revealed that commander Zawari was one of the commanders who oversaw the project of Ababil drones.

It noted that Zawari had joined the Palestinian resistance and the Qassam Brigades ten years ago, and served in the Brigades, just like many Arabs and Muslims do, who defended Palestine on behalf of the entire nation. Read more »

UN rights experts: Human rights defenders under growing legal pressure in the OPT

PRESS STATEMENT
UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Photo: Electronic Intifada

Photo: Electronic Intifada

GENEVA (16 December 2016) – Human rights activists working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory face daily violations of some of the most fundamental protections afforded by international human rights and humanitarian laws, two United Nations independent experts said today.

“We have received a worrying number of complaints in recent months regarding human rights defenders who are arrested and, in many cases, arbitrarily detained, often apparently as a direct result of their important work in their communities,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the OPT, Michael Lynk, and the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Michel Forst.

“Human rights work is critical to creating a just society and maintaining peace and security. These are the goals all parties ultimately share,” the experts stressed. “However, it appears that rights defenders are facing ever greater challenges in the OPT.”

The Special Rapporteurs drew special attention to the cases against Issa Amro, founder of the Hebron-based group Youth Against Settlements, and Farid al-Atrash, a lawyer from Hebron, who were arrested due to their participation in a peaceful protest in February of this year. Mr. Amro is currently facing trial in an Israeli military court on 18 charges dating back to 2010, including participation in a rally without a permit. Read more »

Gaza goes green: Hamas celebrates 29th anniversary

Photo Essay
Julie Webb-Pullman

Gaza goes green!

Gaza goes green!

Thousands of Gazans today braved the bitter cold in Gaza City to celebrate the 29th anniversary of the founding of Islamic resistance movement Hamas and reaffirm their commitment to their legitimate right to armed struggle against occupation.

Men thronged one side of the street

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man-in-kefiyeh

and women the other,

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while kids found a place wherever they could.

Kids got the best view

Kids got the best view

Hamas leaders stood in a line beneath enormous posters of resistance fighters.

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Khalil al-Hayya gave an impassioned speech saying Gazans should enjoy freedom of movement, job opportunities, access to clean water and a constant electricity supply. Others also spoke,

speeches

or listened.

remembering

As Mahmoud Zahar said on Sunday, there will be no U-turns.

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“Resistance, no matter the means, is our legitimate right and we shall never ever give it up. Hamas will forever defend Occupied Jerusalem and the holy al-Aqsa Mosque against Israel’s Judaization schemes.”

Defending Jerusalem

Defending Jerusalem

“Our guns will be held to Israel’s head only.”

Kia kaha, Qassam

Kia kaha, Qassam

Statement of the PFLP on the 49th anniversary of its founding

PRESS STATEMENT
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

pflp-400-x-400

Today, we mark the 49th anniversary of the founding of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, founded on December 11, 1967 out of the impact of the defeat of June 5. The founding of the Front was an injection of a new hope out of the rubble of defeat, on an intellectual, political, and struggling level, to carry forward and raise the banner of the revolution, struggle, and national liberation movement against the Zionist project. On this path, tens of thousands of martyrs, prisoners, wounded, and strugglers, among the martyrs, the prisoners, and the wounded and strugglers of the Palestinian people, the Arab nation, and the international movements, have come forward. We salute them today with the highest regard and pride in them and their legendary sacrifices and heroism that have formed a historic and distinguished legacy and history of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Palestinian national movement overall. Read more »

Shabaka Roundtable: Palestinian Democracy Denied

Mouin Rabbani, Basem Ezbidi, Tariq Dana, Amal Ahmad

APA Images

APA Images

Overview

The potential of Palestinian democracy has been greatly weakened by Israel and its military occupation, Palestinian actors such as Fatah and Hamas, and key members of the donor community. Such a situation sustains the dysfunctional nature of the Palestinian political system and the unelected, unrepresentative status of the political actors who dominate the lives of the Palestinian people. The recent, heavily politicized failure of the attempt to conduct elections for local councils in the occupied West Bank and Gaza and the just concluded Fatah conference, which largely reaffirmed a moribund status quo, are cases in point.

In this roundtable, Al-Shabaka analysts examine the notion of democracy under occupation so as to understand what it entails and how it can be expressed. All agree that democracy is severely curtailed under the present circumstances. Mouin Rabbani argues that Palestinian elections since Oslo have contributed to the fragmentation of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian political system, shoring up a status quo in which Israel retains indefinite control. Basem Ezbidi, through the lens of the 1996, 2005, and 2006 elections, explores this detrimental fragmentation. Tariq Dana writes of the problem of divisions within the Palestinian National Movement, while Amal Ahmad highlights constraints on democracy caused by the economic conditions of occupation. Al-Shabaka Program Director Alaa Tartir facilitated the roundtable. Read more »

UNRWA condemns armed violence in Ein El Hilweh which forced children to flee amid live firing

Press Statement
Christopher Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson

Ain Al HIlweh camp, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Ain Al HIlweh camp, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Jerusalem 7 December 2016: UNRWA strongly condemns the armed violence that took place in the Ein El Hilweh Palestine Refugee camp in Lebanon, on 5 December 2016.

Armed violence, including the use of firearms, shocked and frightened Palestine refugees in the Bostan Al Qudes area in the proximity of four UNRWA schools – Faloujah, Hitten, Marj Ben Amer and Qibya schools – putting at considerable risk the lives of students receiving education from UNRWA. One armed person entered UNRWA schools without authorization, contrary to the inviolability and neutrality of UN premises and instructed children to leave the schools. The school buildings were clearly marked with a UN flag. Read more »

Remembering Comrade Shadia Abu Ghazaleh, struggler for Palestine

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Press Release

shadia (367 x 400)

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 »