Archive for December, 2016

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 »

McCully and Ban Ki-moon do nothing about anti-Israel bias

Press Release – Shalom.Kiwi

Murray McCully and Ban Ki-moon acknowledge but do nothing about UN anti-Israel bias Shalom.Kiwi The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has used his final speech at the UN Security Council to admit that the organisation he heads is … Read more »

NZ welcomes UN resolution on Middle East Peace Process

Press Release – New Zealand Government

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today welcomed the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 regarding the Middle East Peace Process. The resolution passed with 14 votes in favour and an abstention from the US. New Zealand voted for and co-sponsored … 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 »

Christmas memo to Theresa May: Stop worshiping Israel

Article – Redress Information

Stuart Littlewood writes: Prime Minister, This is still a Christian country, as your colleague David Cameron reminded us not so long ago. But you wouldnt think so when non-Christian creeds are given exceptional protection and privileges to smooth … Read more »

Fatah’s Seventh General Congress and the Reelection of Abbas

Article – INSS Insight

Buttressed by his election at the Fatah Seventh General Congress to another five-year term as leader of the organization, Mahmoud Abbas immediately renewed diplomatic activity to block an American veto of a UN Security Council resolution against the … Read more »

The failed mass deportation of 1992

Hamas

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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

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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 »

Human rights defenders under growing legal pressure

Press Release – UNHCHR

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 … Read more »

West Bank tourism drive makes Palestinians invisible

Article – Redress Information

At first glance, it looked like a generous promotional stunt by Israel to aid the Palestinians struggling tourism industry. The Israeli military authorities published this month a video on social media publicising Palestinian attractions in the West … 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.

no-u-turn

“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

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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

R2H (293 x 400)

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 »