Archive for the 'Diplomacy' Category

Decoding the Pipes/Trump/Kushner ‘Deal of the Century”

Opinion
Richard Falk

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You didn’t have to be a ‘never Trump’ loyalist to have qualms about proposing to bring peace to Palestinians and Jews by creating conditions that would produce ‘The Deal of the Century.’ And let’s be fair, if the game of nations is now played according to the rules of Madison Avenue, the phrase was a winner despite being a loser if evaluated from a problem-solving perspective. Even in the present degraded political atmosphere, to bet on an advertising slogan as a substitute for healing ideas may be a good formula for ensuring a large audience for a reality TV episode, but it is a cruel evasion when it comes to addressing the daily ordeal of the Palestinian people consigned to the victimization associated with living under the Israeli apartheid state. Read more »

On the deteriorating human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

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Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to the UN Human Rights Council Special Session of the Human Rights Council

On the deteriorating human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

Geneva, 18 May 2018

Mr. President,
Appalling recent events in Gaza have called this Council into Special Session. Since the protests began on 30 March, 87 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli security forces in the context of the demonstrations, including 12 children; 29 others, including three children, were killed in other circumstances. And over 12,000 people have been injured, more than 3,500 of them by live ammunition.

The violence reached a peak on Monday 14 May, when 43 demonstrators were killed by Israeli forces – and the number sadly continues to climb, as some of the 1,360 demonstrators injured with live ammunition that day succumb to their wounds. These people, many of whom were completely unarmed, were shot in the back, in the chest, in the head and limbs with live ammunition, as well as rubber-coated steel bullets and tear-gas canisters. Israeli forces also killed a further 17 Palestinians outside the context of the five demonstration hot spots. Together, this figure of 60 is the highest one-day death toll in Gaza since the 2014 hostilities. Read more »

560 Palestinian victims of Israeli gunshots are contacting the International Criminal Court

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PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release – 18th May 2018

ENGLISH VERSION – LA VERSION FRANCAISE SUIT

Israeli crimes committed in Gaza
560 Palestinian victims of Israeli gunshots
are contacting the International Criminal Court

On 17 May 2018, a group of 560 Palestinian victims of Israeli live fire during Gaza demonstrations sent Mrs Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, a complaint denouncing these war crimes and requesting that she refer it to the Court’s judges in order to obtain authorisation to open an inquiry.

1. A joint organised task from Palestine

The complaint was announced from Gaza, directly from the victims or a close relative.

It is the result of work carried out by the Independent Palestinian Commission for the Pursuit of Zionist Crimes against the Palestinians (TAWTHEQ) – a public entity created by the Palestinian Legislative Council on 29 October 2010 – together with some 40 lawyers working in Gaza in co-operation with renowned French lawyer Gilles Devers and lawyer Khaled Al-Shouli. The complaint has also been signed by 30 lawyers registering their involvement and solidarity.

This complaint is a continuation of an ongoing effort initiated nearly 10 years ago, the first complaint to the International Criminal Court having been made in January 2009 concerning the Israeli “Cast Lead” military attack. Read more »

Al-Sisi’s Band Aid: Egypt extends Rafah Crossing opening through Thursday.

SOURCE: alnafiza.net

Informed sources said that the Egyptian authorities decided to open the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip permanently due to the large number of wounded and injured who are scheduled to leave for Egypt to receive treatment, and also within the Egyptian facilities to come to the sector.

The sources confirmed that the crossing from the moment will remain permanently open without closing it completely, pointing out that the Egyptian leadership gave instructions to the competent authorities to keep the Rafah crossing open continuously.

She pointed out that the Egyptian authorities have given instructions to all concerned authorities to start receiving the wounded of the march of return and the millions of people who broke the siege, whose cases require treatment in Egyptian hospitals.

The Egyptian authorities decided to open the Rafah crossing for four days from Saturday to Tuesday evening, but announced the extension of the crossing until Thursday evening.

It is noteworthy that the Rafah crossing is considered the lifeline of the citizens of Gaza, since it connects the sector in Egypt, where the closure of the latter almost completely, since July 2013, and open it at intervals: for the travel of humanitarian cases, students and dependents only.

ENDS

Editorial: Picking Up The Pieces After The Gaza Fence Massacre

By Alastair Thompson
(Co-founder and former editor – Scoop.co.nz)

This video puts the Palestinian Border Protests in full context. And it provides those who haven’t been following recent history closely the background needed to understand why the Gaza Fence Massacre yesterday is so important historically.

Today the Gaza border has been quiet after orders were given to withdraw from the border. Gaza has also been concentrating on burying its dead and treating the thousands of wounded.

The people of Gaza have experienced yet another great trauma, on top of a mountain of traumas experienced in their open air prison – and live fire military technology proving ground. And they have done so with great dignity. The fact that this protest did not turn into yet another missile barrage shows that there is a new understanding in the Gaza Strip – among its leaders i.e. Hamas – that a military confrontation with Israel will never deliver them justice and freedom.

Israel did exactly what they said they would do. Impose significant casualties on the protesters with the clear intention of provoking a military response which they would then be able to use in their communications with the rest of the world – condemning the millions of Gazans as terrorists, wild animals who cannot be trusted and who have no other reflex other than to attack.

This kind of restraint is extraordinary – and it is a turning point for Gaza – even if it takes some time for it to become a turning point in the wider jihad for freedom and justice.

But to pick themselves up from this latest horror, whilst facing further bombing, further provocation, with no means to escape, limited water and electricity, living in ruins and mourning their loved ones will be very hard.

My hope is that the people of Gaza will know that they have in this moment of sacrifice made themselves 100s of millions of friends an sympathisers around the world. And that Israel failed in its diabolical and evil attempt to provoke them into lashing back.

The #GreatReturnMarch may feel like a failure or an exercise in futility on the ground for so many brave souls. But it is not. It is a wonderful victory of peace over violence, and it provides a foundation for a new era in Palestinian/Israeli peace negotiations where the Israeli’s no longer hold all the cards.

ENDS

Abu Marzouk: Disarming Resistance not discussed in Cairo talks

HAMAS

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Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk said in an interview with CNN Arabic that the resistance arms has not been discussed with Fatah movement during the recent talks in Cairo, noting that resisting the Israeli Occupation is an unalienable right for the Palestinian people.

He also added that Hamas has chosen to end the internal split, and the Palestinian Authority is required to achieve the interests of the Palestinian people.

Abu Marzouk said that Hamas totally rejects the Israeli impositions which attempt to foil the Palestinian reconciliation, underlying the importance of the Egyptian role to neutralize these Israeli attempts. Read more »

Hamas delegation to Tehran meets with Iranian officials

HAMAS

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The delegation of Hamas headed by the deputy of the head of the Political Bureau , Saleh Al Arouri met with a number of Iranian officials in Tehran on Sunday

The delegation met with the Iranian Parliament Speaker, Ali Larijani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Admiral Ali Shamkhani and Advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ali Akbar Velayati.

Al Arouri assured that the visit to Tehran practically expresses rejection of the Israeli conditions to cut off relations with Iran. Read more »

Haniyeh: We exerted tremendous efforts to ease Gaza’s blockade

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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The head of the political bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniya, said in a press conference held on Tuesday after his visit to Egypt, that Hamas has exerted all efforts to ease the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip. This included travelling to Egypt and achieving the internal unity in an attempt to break the siege.

Commenting on his latest visit to Egypt, Haniyeh said that the visit as fruitful and successful.

He added that the first visit for Hamas’s newly elected leadership was to Egypt is most expected since it is the most influential Arab country In the region. He noted that the visit aimed to foster relation between both the Palestinian people and Hamas on one side, and with Egypt on the other side to achieve a breakthrough in all issues, particularly the Palestinian reconciliation. Read more »

Hamas on Trump’s speech in Jerusalem

Press Statement
HAMAS

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The spokesperson of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, Fawzi Barhoum has stated the following:

The American president’s speech in Jerusalem is racist par excellence, and aims to lay the foundations for a new Israeli Apartheid regime and to promote hatred against the Palestinian people. Trump’s speech about alleged historical ties between Jews and Jerusalem is a lie and contradicts the UNESCO and ISCWA’s resolutions that both confirmed Palestinians right in Jerusalem and denied any relation between Jews and the holy city.

This biased American policy encourages the Israeli Occupation to further commit crimes and violations against the Palestinian people and its holy shrines, and constitutes danger for our people’s national rights.

This should be confronted by unity around a national strategy in which everyone can defend Palestinians’ rights. It should be crystal clear that relying on the American administration to achieve justice for Palestinian people is a delusional decision.

If the international community is willing, Hamas’ declaration can mark a turning point

Opinion
Dr Ahmed Yousef

Dr Ahmed Yousef, Director of the House of Wisdom Institute for Conflict Resolution and Governance

Dr Ahmed Yousef, Director of the House of Wisdom Institute for Conflict Resolution and Governance

Three years ago, I wrote an opinion piece for The Guardian in which I sought to correct the inaccurate, though prevalent, perception of Hamas as a movement whose resistance against Israel is driven by religion, in general, and a hatred of Judaism, in particular.

“Hamas draws inspiration from faith; yet religion has little to do with our struggle,” I wrote at the time. I attempted to explain the journey and evolution that Hamas has undergone since its foundation it the 1980s.

Unfortunately, to date there is little evidence that this message has yet been universally understood amongst the international community. Rather, it seems that at times there has been an active unwillingness, and especially amongst Western societies, to hear the repeated efforts of senior members of Hamas to clarify the movement’s position regarding Israel and the conflict.

Despite this failure to acknowledge earlier efforts to explain its motives, Hamas has released a document this week attempting again to convey the movement’s current thinking on several key issues. Read more »

Hamas launches its new Political Document

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, launched its Political Document “General Principles and Policies” on Monday at a press conference in the Qatari capital of Doha.

The document was announced at a press conference held by Hamas politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, with a number of leaders of the movement, in the presence of elite writers, media outlets and researchers.

The 42 article document carries the essence of the Movement’s thought and political legacy for 30 years now.

Hamas said in its document that it is an Islamic Palestinian national liberation movement aimed at liberating Palestine and confronting the Zionist project, indicating that Islam is a reference in its principles, objectives and means.

The movement renewed its rejection of all projects aimed at settling the refugee issue, stressing that the right of return for Palestinian refugees is a natural right.

It also stressed that not an inch of Palestinian land will be handed over, indicating that the establishment of a state on the lines of 1967 does not mean the recognition of the Zionist entity.

English PDF file of the official Hamas Political Document is here

Arabic PDF file of the official Hamas Political Document is here

Hamas: A Document of General Principles and Policies

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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In the Name of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful

The Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas”

A Document of General Principles and Policies

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad, the Master of Messengers and the Leader of the mujahidin, and upon his household and all his companions.

Preamble:

Palestine is the land of the Arab Palestinian people, from it they originate, to it they adhere and belong, and about it they reach out and communicate.

Palestine is a land whose status has been elevated by Islam, a faith that holds it in high esteem, that breathes through it its spirit and just values and that lays the foundation for the doctrine of defending and protecting it.

Palestine is the cause of a people who have been let down by a world that fails to secure their rights and restore to them what has been usurped from them, a people whose land continues to suffer one of the worst types of occupation in this world.

Palestine is a land that was seized by a racist, anti-human and colonial Zionist project that was founded on a false promise (the Balfour Declaration), on recognition of a usurping entity and on imposing a fait accompli by force.

Palestine symbolizes the resistance that shall continue until liberation is accomplished, until the return is fulfilled and until a fully sovereign state is established with Jerusalem as its capital.

Palestine is the true partnership among Palestinians of all affiliations for the sublime objective of liberation.

Palestine is the spirit of the Ummah and its central cause; it is the soul of humanity and its living conscience.

This document is the product of deep deliberations that led us to a strong consensus. As a movement, we agree about both the theory and the practice of the vision that is outlined in the pages that follow. It is a vision that stands on solid grounds and on well-established principles. This document unveils the goals, the milestones and the way in which national unity can be enforced. It also establishes our common understanding of the Palestinian cause, the working principles which we use to further it, and the limits of flexibility used to interpret it. 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 »

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 »

Cuba still pursuing Security Council over Palestine

Prensa Latina

Cuba has once again denounced the UN Security Council’s failure to act in response to Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people, despite global support for the occupied Arab nation’s cause, reported Prensa Latina.

Photo: Telesur

Photo: Telesur

In an open debate on the situation in the Middle East, Cuba’s permanent representative, Ana Silvia Rodríguez, denounced the Security Council’s failure to adopt a single resolution demanding Israel end its aggressive policies and colonial practices against the Palestinian people.

“The council’s failure to take action in the face of such acts is alarming. It is unacceptable that the Security Council should continue be held hostage by the veto, or the threat of veto, by the United States, preventing the organisation from fulfilling its responsibility and protecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,” she stated.

The ambassador reiterated Cuba’s call for the organisation to fulfill the responsibility afforded it by the UN Charter to maintain peace and international security, highlighting that it must adopt decisions demanding that Israel immediately cease its occupation of the West Bank, including West Jerusalem, and the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Read more »

Cuba reiterates solidarity with Palestine and calls for peace

Granma

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Cuba has called in Geneva for a definitive, just and lasting peace for all peoples of the Middle East, noting that in this context the Palestinian cause cannot continue to be ignored.

Speaking at a UN international conference in support of Palestinian-Israeli peace, Anayansi Rodríguez, Cuba’s permanent representative at the UN in this city, noted that the island recognized efforts undertaken to date toward resolving the situation.

She highlighted the need for a genuinely viable and sustainable solution, which must include an end to Israeli occupation, promote peaceful co-existence between two independent states, on the basis of the establishment of Palestine as a sovereign state according to its pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as well as a just solution to the issue of Palestine refugees.

‘We express our full support for Palestine’s right to become a member of the United Nations and we deplore the fact that this continues to be blocked by allies of Israel which, through their silence and compliant attitude, ensure the impunity of the former and continuation of the status quo, which is unacceptable,’ she stated. Read more »

Israel-Turkey’s “diplomatic victory” leads to incremental genocide: Pepe Escobar

Khamenei.ir
Interview

Whatever deal has been struck still leaves Palestine under a horrendous, medieval siege. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe was not far off the mark when he qualified it as “incremental genocide.” It’s like this was a post-modern normalization of relations with apartheid South Africa.”

Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar

In an exclusive interview with the English section of Khamenei.ir, independent geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar sheds light on Turkey-Israel relations and the issue of Palestine.

The following is the full text of the interview:

What’s behind the new deal between Turkey and Israel?

P.E. – It’s all about gas, gas, gas. Netanyahu himself said on the record that the deal with Turkey is essential to unblock further, immensely profitable eastern Mediterranean gas deals. And here we get to the heart of the matter – the “secret” of the Israeli maritime blockade on Gaza. Palestinians are not allowed to access their own territorial waters because Israeli drilling platforms and export pipelines must be “protected” – even by Iron Dome missile interceptors (protected from what? Palestinian fishermen with “dangerous” fishing nets?)

Palestinians cannot even develop their own gas fields in Gaza’s territorial waters. Land grab meets water grab. Read more »

Mishaal: Regional plots target both Ramallah, Gaza

Hamas

meshaal (400 x 205)

Chairman of Hamas’s political bureau Khaled Mishaal stated that there are plots targeting both Gaza and Ramallah in an attempt to impose a Palestinian leadership that serves a regional agenda, not Palestinian interests.

Speaking at a media meeting in Doha on Wednesday, Mishaal stressed that Hamas will not allow outsiders to meddle in Palestinian affairs.

“Hamas and Fatah have their differences, but they also share common ground that we can build upon through dialogue,” he underlined.

He confirmed that lifting the siege on Gaza remains a Turkish condition for normalizing relations with Israel, noting that Turkish officials have assured the movement in this regard.

“Our top priorities are ending the internal division, supporting resistance and the ongoing uprising, and protecting Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said.

“Ending the Gaza siege is one of our top priorities,” he said, at the same time stressing that Hamas seeks to spare the Gaza Strip a new Israeli war.

Why It’s Dangerous to Conflate Hamas and Daesh

Belal Shobaki
Al Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network

AlShabaka (400 x 267)

Overview

While Israel’s efforts to link Palestinian resistance to its military occupation to global terrorism are not new, it has expanded its propaganda to address Arab as well as Western audiences. By so doing, it is clearly seeking to exploit the global aversion to movements that have drifted towards extremism and terrorism while claiming to represent Islam. “Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared at the United Nations in 2014. Yet better than anyone else, Netanyahu and the Israeli political establishment know that Hamas and Daesh are not related, as do those Arab regimes that also tar all Islamic movements with the same brush to serve their own ends. 1

Not only are Hamas and Daesh unrelated, they are bitter enemies, and Daesh has denounced Hamas as an apostate movement. Al-Shabaka Policy Analyst Belal Shobaki discusses the major ways in which Hamas differs from Daesh including its approach to jurisprudence; the position vis-a-vis the nature of the state; and relations with other religions. He makes the case that it is especially important for the Palestinian national movement to rebut the attempts to conflate Hamas with Daesh and points out the dangers of not doing so. Read more »

Realigning EU Policy in Palestine: Towards a Viable State Economy and Restored Dignity

Sami Abdel-Shafi
Source: Chatham House

While EU policy towards Palestinian economic development has long been subordinate to a stalled and dysfunctional peace process, this paper argues that the EU should rethink its policy and decouple economic development from the political process.

A Palestinian boy carries strawberries in a strawberry field in Beit Lahia, Gaza, December 2014. Photo: Getty Images.

A Palestinian boy carries strawberries in a strawberry field in Beit Lahia, Gaza, December 2014. Photo: Getty Images.

Executive Summary

(The full REPORT can be read HERE) Read more »

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