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Get the facts on Palestinian hunger strikes

PRESS STATEMENT
ADDAMEER

Gazans demand release of Palestinian prisoners

Gazans demand release of Palestinian prisoners

An estimated 1500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers have declared the beginning of an open hunger strike on 17 April 2017. The call for hunger strike came amidst resentment of Israeli’s cruel policies towards political prisoners and detainees. The hunger striking prisoners’ demands include: family visits, proper medical care, an end to Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial in so-called administrative detention and stopping the use of isolation. Here are some facts on Palestinian hunger strikes: Read more »

Statement issued by the Palestinian Prisoners’ National Movement

PRESS STATEMENT
Palestinian Prisoners’ National Movement

In the name of God, the most merciful

“Those to whom hypocrites said, ‘Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.’ But it merely increased them in faith, and they said, ‘God alone is sufficient for us and he is the best disposer of affairs.’” – the Holy Qur’an

Statement issued by the Palestinian Prisoners’ National Movement
Follow-Up Committee for the Hunger Strike

As the battle of empty stomachs (the battle of freedom and dignity) continues in its tenth day, a wide-scale targeting of activists and strugglers on hunger strike is taking place at the hands of the forces of the occupation prison administration, fully supported by the government of the Zionist enemy. Its prime minister and officials daily declare their refusal to deal with the just demands of the prisoners as they raise the ceiling of racist incitement against the prisoners while promising further oppression and abuse. They do not take advantage of the lessons of the past, where the prisoners have turned the tables of the prison officials, the intelligence agencies and the occupation state through their steadfastness, determination and struggle. This is another battle in a series of battles fought by the prisoners’ movement throughout its history. It is a landmark of steadfastness and struggle, emphasizing the course of resistance, unity, liberation and victory.

In this context, we are sending a series of messages through this statement to the striking prisoners and those ready to fight in this battle, to the Palestinian people everywhere, to the national and Islamic forces, and to all forces of freedom in the world, in which we affirm our need for support, solidarity, participation and unity as prisoners to confront the challenges imposed by the government of occupation. In this context, we emphasize the following:

First, to the heroic striking prisoners carrying out the battle of empty stomachs for the tenth consecutive day, we are all with you in support and not only with words. The occupation prison administration will be subject to the free will of the captives. We speak with insistence that we will proceed until the achievement of our goals. We are now at the stage of biting our fingers; we are together as brothers, mujahideen and comrades from the first cry. Support is on the way and the coming days will carry new actions to escalate the pace of the strike and achieve its goals. The message now is first to stand up, first to insist and first to adhere to the demands, all of us, and we will stand united to confront the executioner.

Second, all dialogue will be with the striking prisoners and we will not allow any interference whatsoever. We also warn against rumors circulating about the strike that aim to suppress the morale of the strugglers and attempt to limit the popular support for the strike and create a climate of confusion and hesitation. We call for refusing to circulate the news items that the occupation is attempting to broadcast and promote.

Third, we call upon the masses of the Palestinian people for even more support and solidarity through the daily struggle and clashes with the occupation in all locations. Every serious action and movement shortens the duration of the strike and makes it clear to the occupation that the prisoners are not alone. In occupied Palestine ’48 and in Jerusalem, it is possible to be in front of the prisons, and in the West Bank, in the places of engagement with the occupation forces, and in Gaza, which is steadfast every day, your support is critical, and outside Palestine, you are the call of the campaign and the voice of freedom, so that the Palestinian cause will prevail.

Fourth, we call upon the national and Islamic forces to unite under a comprehensive program for Palestinian, Arab and international support and to exert all efforts to support this strike of freedom.

In conclusion, we affirm that the coming days bear the promise of victory, “and those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned.”

Your brothers, mujahideen and comrades
Palestinian Prisoners’ National Movement
26 April 2017
The tenth day of the strike of freedom and dignity

Hamas statement in solidarity with the hunger strikers

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, affirms its full solidarity with the prisoners in the Israeli occupation prisons who have started a hunger strike as of last week.

Hamas reiterates its support to them in their open strike until they regain their rights and achieve their just demands from the so-called Israeli Prison Service.

Hamas declares its support and solidarity with the heroes behind bars and urges the Palestinian people on all levels and parties to support the prisoners’ cause in all ways possible until they achieve their legal and just demands as guaranteed by humanitarian and international law.

Hamas also calls upon humanitarian, human rights and international institutions to bear their responsibilities, to carry out their duties towards the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli prisons, to end their suffering and to stop the Israeli violations, namely the policy of solitary confinement, medical negligence and other repressive measures taken against the prisoners.

Abdul Latif Al-Qanoa

Spokesman for the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas”

23rd of April ,2017

Latest meeting between Hamas and Fateh leadership

Press Release
Hamas

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The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, held Tuesday 18th of April, 2017 a meeting with the leadership of Fateh.

The meeting comes as a part of a series of meetings held with Fateh and Islamic and national factions and civil institutions to update them of Hamas’s stance on various Palestinian issues and the crises which Gaza Strip is suffering from including the electricity crisis.

The meeting also discussed the role of every party to put an end to those crises and to end the division.

We called upon Fateh to justify the reasons behind salary cuts of PA employees, to solve the electricity problem, to exempt the power plant from taxes, and to urge the PA government, headed by Alhamdallah, to carry out its duties towards the people of Gaza.

In return, Fateh has not responded to any of the demands.

We urge Fateh Movement to deal seriously with the exerted efforts aiming to end the crises of Gaza and to unite the Palestinian parties.

Fawzi Barhoum

Spokesperson of the Islamic Resistance Movement “ Hamas”

23rd of April, 2017

Hunger-striking Palestinian Prisoners’ Demands

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Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli occupation jails began an open-ended hunger strike on Palestinian Prisoners Day, April 17, 2017.

To date 1,600 prisoners have refused food, and the strike is expected to spread.

Their demands:

1. Install a public landline for all of the prisoners in all [Israeli] prisons and sections so that they can communicate with family members.

2. Family visits

A. End the International Committee of the Red Cross’ reduction of family visits to once a month. Resume offering family visits twice a month.
B. Establish the opportunity for family visits twice a month as irrevocable.
C. Allow all first-degree and second-degree relatives of prisoners to visit them.
D. Increase the length of family visits from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.
E. Allow the prisoners to have a photograph with their families every three months.
F. Build facilities for the comfort of visitors and families at the prisons’ gates.
G. Allow children and grandchildren under the age of 16 to visit detainees.

3. Medical file

A. Close the so-called Ramle prison hospital, because it lacks basic medical equipment and medication.
B. End medical negligence.
C. Allow regular medical check ups.
D. Allow surgery as needed.
E. Allow specialist doctors to check prisoners.
F. Release sick detainees, especially those with special needs and chronic illnesses.
G. Exempt prisoners from paying for their medication.

4. Respond to the demands and rights of Palestinian female prisoners, especially in regards to transfer conditions and physical barriers between detainees and family members during visits.

5. Transfer van (Bosta)

A. Treat prisoners in a humane manner while transferring them in the Bosta.
B. Return prisoners visiting clinics and courts to prisons; do not to hold them at crossings.
C. Prepare crossing for human use, and to provide meals for prisoners.

6. Add TV channels that suit the needs of prisoners.

7. Install air conditioners in prisons, especially in Megiddo and Gilboa prisons.

8. Re-install kitchens at prisons and place them under the supervision of Palestinian detainees.

9. Allow prisoners access to books, newspapers, clothes, foods, and special items for family visits.

10. End solitary confinement policy.

11. End administrative detention policy.

12. Re-start the education program at the Hebrew Open University.

13. Allow Palestinian prisoners sit for Tawjihi [high school] matriculation exams in an official manner.

Jail cannot imprison the spirit

Tamam Abusalama
Source: We Are Not Numbers

Tamam's father, Ismael, and her mother

Tamam’s father, Ismael, and her mother

When I was young, I shared my bed with my grandmother, my father’s mother. She used to spend the nights telling me and my sisters and brothers about her life, her homeland and her sons and daughters. She was the one who first told me about my dad’s many years in Israeli prison. But over the years, my dad slowly started opening up himself.

“I was a normal boy who grew up witnessing the oppression and persecution of the Israeli occupation. This is what motivated me to do my duty as a Palestinian to defend my country in all possible ways.” That’s how my father summed up his boyhood years growing up in Jabalya, Gaza’s largest refugee camp. “Do my duty,” to a Palestinian, means resisting the oppression of the Israeli regime that pushed my ancestors from their homes in 1948 and that continues until this day. For my dad, the consequence was a total of 15 years in prison. Read more »

Hunger Strike for Freedom and Dignity

Palestine Liberation Organization
PRESS RELEASE

Prisoners' families outside the ICRC, Gaza City 2014 (Julie Webb-Pullman)

Prisoners’ families outside the ICRC, Gaza City 2014 (Julie Webb-Pullman)

The Palestinian Prisoners Movement in Brief

The struggle of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails has, for several decades, been a major element of the Palestinian national struggle against the brutality of the Israeli military occupation. Since Israel occupied the Palestinian territory in 1967, a staggering 800,000 Palestinians have been arrested and incarcerated (and a total of 1 million since 1948).

At this moment in time, there are approximately 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, including 57 women, 300 minors (under the age of 18), and 500 administrative detainees. (Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on “secret information” without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.) These numbers also include 13 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, three of whom -Samira Halaykah, Mohammad Al-Til and Ibrahim Dahbour- were arrested as recently as March 2017.

Hunger Strike for Justice

The open hunger strike is one of the only forms of passive resistance and peaceful protest available to Palestinian prisoners against the injustice and oppression of the Israeli military regime. Inspired by the righteousness of their cause, Palestinian prisoners continue to fight for their human rights and the realization of their just demands, which are enshrined in international legislation and conventions, (and listed below).

Since 1967, Palestinians have held 23 coordinated mass hunger strikes, the latest of which took place in 2014 and lasted 63 days. In addition, dozens of hunger strikes have been held by individual prisoners, including Fouad Bisharat, Ra’ed Mteir, Mohammad Al-Qeeq, Jamal Abu Leil, among others. Palestinian prisoners launch hunger strikes as a means to exercise their legal right to protest the punitive measures of the Israeli military authorities and draconian policies of prison administrations.

This open hunger strike is but one step on the long road towards freedom and human dignity. It is a significant and effective means to confront discriminatory laws enacted by the Israeli parliament (Knesset) and the collusion of the unjust Israeli judiciary and military courts that function as arms of the Israeli military authorities.

The open hunger strike of 2017 is being led and engineered by Marwan Al-Barghouti (an imprisoned Member of the Fatah Central Committee), and joined by hundreds of Palestinian detainees, including Kareem Younis and Diya Al-Agha (two of the most prominent leaders of the Palestinian Prisoners’ movement). Read more »

Meshal : We hold all the cards and every piece of information has its price

HAMAS

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The head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, Khalid Meshal, revealed a number of mediations offered to Hamas to negotiate indirectly on the issue of prisoner exchange. He stressed that Hamas refused to initiate any negotiations before releasing the prisoners of the Wafa al-Ahrar exchange deal.

During the opening of the longest radio talk show in the world entitled “A million years in prison” Meshal said Saturday that Hamas holds all the cards regarding the issue of the Israeli soldiers captured by the resistance in Gaza Strip, and it will force the leaders of the occupation to deal seriously with the demands of the resistance.

He stated that any piece of information in the “black box” owned by Hamas regarding the captured Israeli soldiers will not be given without a price, and it must be a part of a negotiation process. Read more »

PHROC Calls for International Protection of Palestinian Political Prisoners

PRESS RELEASE
ADDAMEER

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On the occasion of Palestinians Prisoners’ Day, 2017, the year that marks 50 years since the establishment of the military courts which routinely charge and trial Palestinian civilians, including children as young as 12 years old, the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) calls for international protection of Palestinian political prisoners, an end to ongoing collective punishment by Israeli occupation forces, administrative detention, continued denial of fair trial, and illegal transfer and deportation of detainees. Since the occupation of 1967, an estimated 800,000 Palestinians, roughly 20% of the population, have been imprisoned by the occupying authorities. On this year’s Prisoners’ Day, Israel holds approximately 6300 Palestinian political prisoners, 300 children and approximately 56 females (including 13 female children) as well as an estimated 500 Palestinians in administrative detention (including 2 children), held for indefinite periods without charge or trial. Read more »

Commissioner-General of UNRWA meets Palestinian Prime Minister in Ramallah

PRESS RELEASE
UNRWA

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Jerusalem, 17 April, 2017

The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Pierre Krähenbühl, met today in Ramallah with the Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, H.E. Dr. Rami Hamdallah.

The meeting addressed the rights and critical needs of Palestine Refugees in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. The Commissioner-General updated the Prime Minister on his recent visit to Aleppo, Syria and the situation of Palestine Refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. Read more »

Palestine Museum of Natural History officially opens in Bethlehem

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Opening talk by Professor Qumsiyeh

On behalf of Bethlehem University’s Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability and Palestine Museum of Natural History and Botanical Garden, our staff and volunteers I welcome you. Thank you Brother Peter for the introduction. Welcome to our distinguished guests representatives of the university Brother Peter Bray and other officials, Honorary Minister Adalah Ateereh and other representatives of the Environmental Quality Authority, agriculture and education ministry representatives, Mr. Munib Masri, representatives of civil society organizations, our colleagues, donors, and friends.

This is a dream come true to arrive at this stage, a culmination of countless hours and countless volunteers. It reflects the ten pillars of transformation from the Buddhist philosophy: generosity, ethics, renunciation, wisdom, effort, patience, truthfulness, determination, kindness, and equanimity. We started preparing and working here in Mar Andrea in August 2014. We had a strategy to officially open the museum after five years but here we are with an opening ceremony in about half the time. We consider this a Palestinian national accomplishment. You received a brochure that highlights our mission and goals in research, education and conservation. I want here to quickly highlight our accomplishments (because you will see them on the ground) and highlight our vision going forward and
seek your further support without which we could not do any of this. Read more »

Hamas rejects threats directed at Gaza by PA President

PRESS STATEMENT
HAMAS

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Hamas spokesperson, Fawzi Barhoum, stated the following:

The threats of Mahmoud Abbas directed at Gaza are unacceptable and are further proof of his direct role in fabricating and tightening the crisis in Gaza.

These crises contriving from a political and not a financial decision, aim to keep the internal division between the Palestinian people which serves in the best interests of the occupation’s plan to isolate Gaza from the rest of Palestine. It also aims to exhaust the steadfastness, resistance and courage of our Palestinian people. Abass’s recent actions are a sign of a good-will gesture before his meeting with the U.S President, Donald Trump, in Washington to impose “surrender projects” that aim to disband the Palestinian cause.

Therefore, we call upon our Palestinian people and factions to accelerate the creation of a unified national committee to confront and expose this dangerous scheme. We also need to further support the development of armed resistance in order to ensure the protection of our people and to defend their rights.

FawziBarhoum

Spokesperson for the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas”

Thursday, 16 Rajab / 1438 AH

13 April 2017

Why the United States’ Use of Force Against Syria Violates International Law

Curtis FJ Doebbler
OPINION

Source: COUNTERPUNCH

Photo: Tjeerd Royaards

Cartoon: Tjeerd Royaards

The United States’ use of force against the sovereign state of Syria is a prima facie violation of international law. It is an act of aggression against an UN Member State in violation of the Charter of the United Nations. It therefore gives Syria the right to react in self-defense or a legal justification for the use of force. It also gives any other UN Member State the right to act in collective self-defense and to support Syrian action against the US. This is the basic understanding of the international legal consequences of the United States’ use of force against Syria.

An analysis of the US use of force must review the known facts and the applicable international law. The position of US law, while relevant to Americans, has little to do with the evaluation of international law. National law can never be a justification for a violation of international law. Similarly, national emotions, even the emotional concerns of a US President, cannot justify the actions of the US government that are inconsistent with international law. Read more »

NYPD attacks and detains Palestine activists

SAMIDOUN

Photo: David Moriya

Photo: David Moriya

Palestinian and solidarity activists in New York City, including organizers with Samidoun, New York City Students for Justice in Palestine, the ANSWER Coalition, Workers World Party, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Peoples Power Assembly and SPARC, were arrested on Friday, 7 April by the NYPD as their demonstration against U.S. bombing of Syria was attacked by police. Nine activists were arrested and two more were detained – one seriously attacked physically by police – before being released. The nine arrestees are now all released after several hours of jail support and advocacy by fellow organizers.

The activists were seized by police after about thirty minutes of marching, near 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue. They had marched north after gathering in Union Square. The anti-war rally, with a large contingent of youth, had grown to number in the high hundreds before taking the streets. Read more »

Hamas responds to inclusion of Ahmed Ghandour on US terror list

PRESS STATEMENT
Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas”

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In the name of Allah the most Merciful

The designation of Hamas and Al-Qassam leader, Ahmed Ghandour, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US State Department is an immoral move that repudiates international law.

Palestinians have been given the right to defend themselves and resist the occupation by UN resolutions, but such a move by the US Department of State paves the way for more Israeli terrorism and oppression against our Palestinian people.

Nonetheless, this step is worthless and will not prevent us from exercising our right to resist the occupation and to continue protecting our people till the liberation of Palestine.

The Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas”

06/04/2017

Four basic facts of geopolitics

Opinion
Mazin Qumsiyeh

The majority of victims of the US missile strike on the Syrian airbase were local villagers, including women and children.

The majority of victims of the US missile strike on the Syrian airbase were local villagers, including women and children.

The attack on Syria by the United States, while illegal per international law, ie not sanctioned by the UN Security Council and opposed by Russia and China, comes to remind as all of four basic facts of geopolitics:

1) US Presidents, no matter how “unconventional,” must always obey the rules set for them. Trump came to office opposing intervention in Syria and is now directly siding with the “rebels” and has accepted the 1990s neocon
strategy of regime changes across Western Asia that are supposed to benefit “Israel”.

2) As Henry Kissinger said: “all foreign policy is domestic policy.” With a strong Zionist lobby in the US, and in the absence of any counter lobby that watches over US (let alone world) interests, we are seeing a push for wars designed to help apartheid Israel – whether in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, or Syria.

3) Modern warfare kills far more civilians than military – the ratio now is >10 to 1. War is immoral, illogical, and criminal, and has no “good side” or “bad side.” The only positive thing now is that countries that use wars as their main tools (Israel, US being the key ones) will lose because wars have also become also illogical in terms of achievement of policy. Just take as examples in the past 20 years: the US attack on Iraq and Israel’s attack on Gaza and Lebanon. This is now almost a given, like the Newtonian laws of physics.

4) People still have the power to change things. Governments regularly lie to their own people – all governments. But their biggest tools are to a) create fear, b) create apathy (powerlessness). Getting people to be good consumers of propaganda and products is key to government “success” – short term as it may be – and to enrich politicians and their backers. Key to human rights success is for people to be good, involved and informed citizens.

The conflict between the two – governments and people – is the real consequential conflict we face.

It is between short term greed and long term planetary interests.

It is an existential conflict for humanity.

Stay Human

Mazin Qumsiyeh

A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine

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United Nations Secretary General Urges Member States to Make UNRWA funds “Sustainable”

PRESS RELEASE
UNRWA

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New York 6 April 2017

In a landmark report presented today, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, urges all member states actively to support and make the funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) “sustainable, predictable and sufficient”.

Mr Guterres underscores that member states “widely value the indispensable role” UNRWA plays in the provision of essential services to the Palestine Refugees and the “impact it has had in the context of the unresolved Arab-Israeli conflict”. The Secretary-General further notes the deep recognition among UN members of UNRWA’s contribution to preserving the rights and dignity of Palestine Refugees. His report says “the agency was described by member states as “unique” and “special”, and its contribution to political stability in a region experiencing significant volatility was highlighted by a broad cross section of member states.” UNRWA’s role in the “mitigation of extremism, its stabilizing influence and its contribution to peace and security” is also highlighted. Read more »

PFLP Prison Branch clarifies position, won’t join Fateh prisoners’ hunger strike beginning April 17

PRESS RELEASE
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Prison Branch

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine prison branch called for accuracy and caution in the Palestinian media in relation to the statements of imprisoned General Secretary, Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, especially with regard to the position of the Front in relation to steps of struggle inside Israeli jails.

The General Secretary and the PFLP prison branch did not announce a position in relation to the declaration of an upcoming hunger strike by Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi. The position of the PFLP prison branch and comrade Sa’adat is that any collective step of struggle should first be based on a national consensus strategy of the prisoners’ movement, strengthening its unity and involving all factions.

In this context, the PFLP prison branch, despite its appreciation and high regard for the declaration of the brother, struggler and Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi and a group of Fateh prisoners to launch a strike on April 17, they did not build on these efforts to make a unified announcement of a strike with the participation of all factions. The official position of the PFLP prison branch is therefore not to participate in this step, with support for comrades who live in joint sections with the Fateh movement prisoners to participate in the strike that was announced by the Fateh prisoners.

The PFLP prison branch renewed its emphasis that any collective prisoners’ step of struggle should be national, unified and with the participation of all.

April 3, 2017

PFLP demands immediate reversal of Gaza Strip public employees’ salary cuts

PRESS RELEASE
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called on the PA’s “government of national reconciliation” to immediately retract its decision to impose salary cuts on public workers in the Gaza Strip, describing this action as dangerous and a real crime against the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip that threatens a disaster of economic instability in the Strip and will exacerbate the suffering of the people. Read more »

EQB: Occupation is solely responsible for Fukaha assassination

Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades
PRESS RELEASE

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Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades on Sunday renewed the charge that Israel bears full responsibility for the assassination of al-Qassam commander Mazen Fuqaha in Gaza on March 24.

Al Qassam slammed Israeli war minister Avigdor Lieberman, who denied Israel’s involvement in the assassination, and accused him of trying to disavow the consequences of the crime.

“Lieberman’s statement demonstrates the extent of fear and pressure experienced by Israeli leaders,” Al Qassam spokesperson Abu Obeida said in a brief statement on Sunday evening.

“We affirm that no one is responsible for the crime apart from the Zionist enemy, and it will not succeed in any of its declared or hidden attempts to disclaim or to shuffle the cards,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier on Sunday afternoon, Lieberman said that Israel played no role in the assassination of Fuqaha.

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