Archive for the 'Frontpage' Category

The Great March of Return

Issam Edwan


For the first time since 1948, the year of the Palestinian Nakbah, a massive march is being staged with the participation of huge crowds, as all Palestinian refugees, inside and outside the Palestinian territories, will take part in this event. Therefore, special preparations will be made for this march, as whole Palestinian families, including children, will attend it.

This march, which came 70 years later, is of great significance, and holding it now constitutes an important move in the Palestinian strategy regarding handling the right of return. The Palestinians have waited long for an international recognition of their right of return, but they are fed up with waiting.

Every nation living under occupation has the right to resist and make every effort to stand up and claim its rights. The March of Return, which will be held inside the Palestinian territories and in the world’s capitals, is an important form of resistance and has a great significance not less than the armed resistance, which is the most efficient way of resistance and the shortest way to liberation and achievement of return to our homeland.

The significance of the March of Return lies in the following: Read more »

On the 12th anniversary of the attack on Jericho prison: Resistance continues until liberation

Campaign to Free Ahmed Sadat


March 14, 2018 marks the 12th anniversary of the infamous Zionist attack on the Jericho prison and the kidnapping of Ahmad Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and his comrades Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Majdi Rimawi, Hamdi Qur’an and Basil al-Asmar, along with Fuad Shoubaki, in a violent attack on the Palestinian Authority prison. The repercussions of this attack are still being felt today, as the kidnapped Palestinian leaders face lengthy sentences inside the prisons of the Zionist colonizer.

The assault on Jericho prison underlined the network of repression and collaboration that had already seen Sa’adat and his comrades imprisoned in a Palestinian Authority jail for over four years before the attack by Israeli occupation forces. Not only was the PA imprisoning Palestinian leaders and strugglers for their role in resistance to Israeli occupation, the prison at Jericho was secured not solely by Palestinian guards but by U.S. and British guards, colonial authorities maintained in place in order to cement their imprisonment. Among the British guards at Jericho prison reportedly were those who had previously served as prison guards against Irish republican prisoners jailed for their struggle against British colonization of Ireland.

Prior to the attack, the U.S. and British guards left their positions in a clear sign of coordination that made clear that their mission to “ensure the security” of the prisoners was always a mere facade; instead, they were present to serve the interests of the occupation, which carried out its assault on Jericho with U.S.-made and U.S.-funded weaponry and armed bulldozers. The imprisonment of Ahmad Sa’adat and his comrades is a direct result of the actions of U.S. and British forces alongside that of the Israeli occupation – not to mention the treachery of the Palestinian Authority. Read more »

Euro-Med: Decline of UNRWA services, consequences will be catastrophic

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor


Geneva- The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor published a report today detailing the series of measures to reduce relief services and staff by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), investigating the resulting catastrophic impact on Palestinian refugees residing in the agency’s five fields of operations.

The reduction of UNRWA services means depriving more than five million and 800,000 Palestinian refugees of basic services such as education and healthcare. It also means causing a closure of 702 UNRWA schools, depriving more than 500,000 refugee students of access to education and the collective layoff of some 30,000 of the Agency’s staff members, furthering the precarious humanitarian and social situation.

Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, promised that his agency will continue to provide its services to Palestinian refugees, despite the fact that the financial crisis facing the agency as a result of huge US funding cuts and the failure of the international community to take concrete steps to support the agency has started to take its toll.

UNRWA has already started taking effective steps reducing its services provided to refugees and downsizing the organization, according to Euro-Med Monitor’s team, a step that is likely to be followed by others leading to the termination of the agency’s work, which Israel has repeatedly called for. Read more »

Ongoing meetings with Egyptian officials in Cairo



On the issue of the ongoing meetings of Hamas’ delegation with the Egyptian officials in Cairo, Member of Hamas Political Bureau Hussam Badran stated the following:

Hamas’ meetings with the Egyptian officials in Cairo are going on positively. As an outcome of the meetings, an Egyptian delegation is to arrive in Gaza on Sunday to follow up the reconciliation.

Hamas’ delegation, headed by Chief of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh, had a positive response regarding the Egyptian efforts to facilitate the life of the people in Gaza Strip, as well as regarding the reconciliation.

Hamas will make the mission of the Egyptian delegation as easy as possible and will take all the needed measures that guarantee a successful follow up of implementing the reconciliation and reinforcing confidence ahead of achieving the prospected national unity; especially amidst the major challenges facing the Palestinian cause and the dangers posed to the Palestinian rights.

Member of Political Bureau of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas

Hussam Badran

UN expert alarmed at Israeli Supreme Court’s “license to torture” ruling

United Nations Human Rights Special Procedures

Demontsration of the "banana posture" used by the Shin Bet (Photo: AP)

Demontsration of the “banana posture” used by the Shin Bet (Photo: AP)

GENEVA (20 February 2018) – The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, expressed his utmost concern after a December 2017 ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court exempting security agents from criminal investigation despite their undisputed use of coercive “pressure techniques” against a Palestinian detainee.

“This ruling sets a dangerous precedent, gravely undermining the universal prohibition of torture,” the expert said. “By exempting alleged perpetrators from criminal investigation and prosecution, the Supreme Court has essentially provided them with a judicially sanctioned ‘license to torture’.

“I urgently appeal to all branches of Israel’s Government to carefully consider not only its own international obligations, but also the consolidated legal and moral views of the international community, before whitewashing methods of interrogation that are more closely associated with barbarism than with civilization.”

In 2007, Assad Abu Ghosh, a Hamas affiliate from Nablus in the West Bank, was arrested and interrogated by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) about laboratories producing explosives for Hamas, and about possible plans for terrorist attacks. Read more »

Israeli troops arrest Palestinian journalist in West Bank

Committee to Protect Journalists – MENA


Beirut, February 16, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the arrest of Palestinian journalist Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh. Israeli security forces arrested Shalaldeh, a reporter for the Hamas-affiliated Quds News Network, at his home in the southern West Bank town of Sa’ir, on February 15, according to news reports, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, and Shalaldeh’s brother, Loay.

Loay Shalaldeh and Nabhan Khraishi, the communication officer of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, told CPJ that Israeli troops seized three phones–two of which belonged to Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh –and a laptop, in a dawn raid on the journalist’s house.

Loay Shalaldeh added that the family has not been told where his brother is being held or the reason for his arrest.

The Israeli Defense Forces did not immediately reply to CPJ’s email requesting comment.

“Israeli security forces should either bring charges against Palestinian journalist Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh so that he can defend himself, or release him immediately and cease interfering with his ability to do his job,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour from Washington, D.C. Read more »

The Great Return March (GRM) – First statement

The Coordinating Committee- The Great Return March (GRM)

In the Name Of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful

“Return is the people’s choice”


With firm faith in Allah and trust in Him, and with belief in the sacred right of the Palestinian refugees to return, we announce the dawn of return to our homeland; a rally that has just been launched and will develop to weave the strands of return from the hopes of our homeless people, the sacrifices of our prisoners and wounded, and the struggles of our people.

It is a continuation of our long struggle that includes the 2011 March of Return and the 2012 Global March to Jerusalem.

The war of 1948 ended 70 years ago and there is absolutely no justification for the refugees to be prevented from returning to their homes.

International resolutions were adopted, notably Resolution 194 calling for the return of the refugees. Now, the decision is in their hands for they have determined to exercise their inalienable right of return peacefully, at a time of their choice.
The Palestinian refugees have never been far removed from their homes; many live just a few hundred meters away, or simply separated from their original homes by barbed-wire fences. The time to return has come. Read more »

Euro-Med warns of distressing humanitarian situation of Palestinians trapped at Gaza-Egypt crossing



Geneva- the distressing situation of Palestinians stuck on both sides of the Rafah border crossing and inside Cairo airport following the Egyptian authorities’ decision to close the crossing for passengers traveling in and out of Gaza, constitutes a tragedy to many of stranded patients and students, warns the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.

“security personnel at the airport were holding about 100 people, , in one room, without providing them with food, drink or sleeping blankets

The Egyptian authorities have allowed the opening of the Rafah border crossing to secure the travel and return of Palestinian citizens out and to the Gaza Strip after a complete closure that lasted about 50 days. The Palestinian citizens were surprised by the Egyptian authorities’ sudden decision to shut it down, only two days after it was opened. This decision coincided with Egypt’s launch of a military campaign in the Sinai Desert, which led to holding hundreds of passengers returning to the Gaza Strip at Cairo airport, as well as on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing.

The Egyptian authorities allowed only 650 stranded passengers to head to the Gaza Strip to cross during the opening of the border crossing. Hundreds of other Palestinian citizens are still stranded and held on the Egyptian side of the crossing. Further, the Egyptian authorities have ordered the return of more than 44 vehicles loaded with Palestinians to Cairo Airport again, and refused to let them in. Read more »

Hamas’ military wing raises level of alert to defend Palestinians



Hamas’ military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, announced on Saturday evening rising level of alert to defend the Palestinian people from any Israeli aggression.

On his twitter account, Al-Qassam Spokesman, Abu-Obeida, said: “The Brigades have raised the level of alert to protect our people and respond to any Zionist aggression in the light of the ongoing events taking place in northern occupied Palestine.”

The Israeli occupation army announced early Saturday morning that two Israeli pilots were injured –one of them seriously – after their F-16 fighter jet was shot down by Syrian forces in Galilee.

Commenting on the incident of the Israeli fighter, Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said: “This is a natural response to the continuous Israeli aggression on the Syrian lands.”

He added: “It is the right for all nations to defend their lands and their own security and stability in case they were targeted by any occupation.”

UN rights office issues report on business and human rights in settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights


GENEVA (31 January 2018) – The UN Human Rights Office on Wednesday issued a report detailing its work on producing a database of business enterprises engaged in certain, specific activities in the occupied Palestinian territory that are either explicitly linked to Israeli settlements or form part of processes that “enable and support the establishment, expansion and maintenance of Israeli residential communities beyond the Green Line.”

The UN Human Rights Council mandated the Office in March 2016 to produce a database of all business enterprises engaged in specific activities related to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, in consultation with the Working Group on business and human rights, recalling the illegality of the settlements under international law.*

The Human Rights Council resolution followed the report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem which, in 2013, found that business enterprises had “directly and indirectly, enabled, facilitated and profited from the construction and growth of the settlements.” The Fact-Finding Mission’s report provided a list of 10 activities that are either explicitly linked to the settlements or enable and support their establishment, expansion and maintenance. Read more »

UNRWA denies strike in Gaza today



Contrary to some reports, there was no strike in Gaza today and UNRWA installations across Gaza were not closed because of industrial action.

There was a memorable and peaceful solidarity walk by thousands of UNRWA employees from our office in Gaza City to the UNSCO office to hand over a letter to the President of the General Assembly, expressing concern about funding reductions and their potential impact.

While people stayed away from work for a few hours, UNRWA had a prior deal with the Staff Union that essential services like food distribution would not be disrupted.

Haniyeh calls for new national Palestinian strategy



The head of Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh called for setting up a national strategy to confront the American and Israeli plans that deliberately target the just Palestinian cause. This came in a speech he delivered on Tuesday in Gaza city.

National Strategy

Haniyeh said that the national strategy should foster Palestinian unity and expedite efforts to achieve reconciliation, noting that adopting resistance as a core pillar for this strategy is very important particularly in light of the utter failure of negotiations.

He added as well that the Palestinian decision should be taken made through national consensus and this entails reconstructing the PLO. Haniyeh hailed the unique Palestinian steadfastness and the Arab and Muslims nations’ reaction in supporting Jerusalem. Read more »

Mixed bag of news and actions this week

Mazin Qumsiyeh


“We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And still we dare to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did and trying to undo some of the evil we committed we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them.” Nathan Chofshi, 9 February 1959

REFLECTIONS: US Vice President Pence finally came to our region after some delays because no one would receive him accept his Zionist paymasters. It took four weeks of pressure for him to get the meetings with the Egyptian dictator Sisi and the Jordanian king Abdullah.

Egypt was easier than Jordan.

Jordan had essentially expelled the Israeli ambassador after an Israeli guard murdered two Jordanians.

The compromise made with Zionist pressure (Zionist Kushner and Zionist Greenblatt) was a half-hearted “regret” from the Israeli government and some compensation money. This after Netanyahu still considers the Israeli murders of Jordanians as a heroic action and there will be no penalty for the murderer (mark my words).

Anyways like many things, the Zionists carry big sticks and Pence finally came to dictate the will of his masters.

Some people attribute his slavishness to his Christian Zionist up-bringing. But like Harry Truman who claimed in public that he supported Zionism (against advise of all people around him) for religious reason and to help the “poor Jews”, in private he articulated exactly why he did this: Zionists had money and power over US media to help him win election.

Same for Pence and Netanyahu (or Obama for that matter).

These politicians have no morals and they work for Rothschild more than for their own public.

My wish is that Arab leaders would learn that standing up to Zionists (and by extension to Washington which is also Zionist occupied territory) is not only possible, but is an existential necessity!!

We should learn from Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Lebanon, Yemen, and China the meaning of dignity!

Working on these big existential problems can be done by thinking globally and acting locally, as we are doing here at the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home

Alan Hart’s last recommendation to us Palestinians

Mazin Qumsiyeh


A giant intellectual and kind human being and friend Alan Hart wrote his first book about Yasser Arafat and since then many other books on Zionism and more. Alan passed away January 15 at age 75.

The last message I received from Alan was 27 October 2017 and it has the two most succinct recommendations for us Palestinians which are timely today: Read more »

Statement of the UNRWA Commissioner-General



Not for the first time in its proud history, UNRWA faces a formidable challenge in upholding its mandate – an expression of the will of the international community – and preserving key services like education and health care for Palestine Refugees.

Today, the US government has announced a contribution of $60 M, in support of our efforts to keep our schools open, health clinics running, and emergency food and cash distribution systems functioning for some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees. While important, this funding is dramatically below past levels. The total US contribution in 2017 was above $350 M. Read more »

Hamas will not take part in NPC meeting



Press release issued by the member at Hamas political bureau, Hussam Badran

Hamas has received an invitation to attend the next meeting of the National Palestinian Council with positivity and appreciation and addressed the matter seriously based on the notion of backing all efforts to unify the Palestinian people in the face of all current thorny challenges.

Hamas sees that the upcoming NPC meeting should be held outside the occupied Palestinian territories to escape from the Israeli pressure and to make way for a real chance for all Palestinian powers to meet and take part in this historical and important phase.

The meeting should be proceeded by a preparatory meeting in which all sides agree upon all the important points to be discussed at the central meeting.

All sides are to participate at the preparatory meeting in order to ensure that the central meeting will take unprecedented decisions that would r rise to the occasion of this historical phase and a firm to stand against the American and Israeli attacks against our Palestinian people.

Devoting its principle of supporting all efforts aimed at unifying the Palestinian people, Hamas held a series of meetings to look into the invitation of the NPC and came up with a result that the current conditions will not pave the way for the NPC to take serious and historical decisions, or to achieve a genuine political review. Therefore, Hamas will not take part in the upcoming meeting.

We will share our thoughts of what is needed from the NPC regarding the current stage in a document that we will be sending later.

In addition, we call upon sides who will take part in the meeting to take decisions that would rise to the occasion.

Hamas rejects Mladenov’s description of Palestinian resistance as terrorism



The Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” rejects the statement that the peace envoy in the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov made and in which he described the Palestinian resistance as being “terrorist”. Mladenov knows precisely that under international law, the real terrorist is the Israeli occupation who kills children, violates sanctities and commits massacres. Hamas also asserts that Mladenov is well-aware that resistance is a legitimate right for any people who live under occupation and the Palestinian resistance came to be because of the occupation, and that its primary role is to restore the stolen rights of the Palestinian people.

The Islamic Resistance Movement “ Hamas”

10th of January ,2017

Al Arouri: Likud’s decision is as dangerous as Trump’s



The deputy head of the Politburo of Hamas, Saleh Al Arouri warned of Likud’s decision to annex the West Bank and Jerusalem to the occupied lands. “It is just as dangerous as Trump’s decision,” he added.

During an interview with Al Jazeera Channel, Arouri stated, “We, along with our people, will not succumb to the American decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of the occupation.”

He pointed out that Likud’s decision unleashes settlement construction in the West Bank relentlessly which means eliminating any opportunity for the so-called negotiations based on the international laws to resolve the Palestinian cause.

Al Arouri praised all regional and international efforts rejecting Trump’s decision assuring that any way of resistance will have an impact.

He added: “We expected more effective and practical measures from the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation( OIC) meeting.” Read more »


The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)


The decision of the Trump administration to declare that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that the US will move its embassy to Jerusalem is a violation of the rights of the Palestinian people, of international law and a number of United Nations resolutions. It is a bipartisan action which is supported by most Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by past presidents from both parties. It once again affirms Washington’s support for the brutal Zionist regime in Israel and its genocidal policies towards the Palestinian people. Read more »

UN rights chief denounces Israeli forces’ shooting of man in wheelchair

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Photo: Irish Friends of Gaza

Photo: Irish Friends of Gaza

GENEVA (19 December 2017) — The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Tuesday he was “truly shocked” at the killing of a wheelchair-bound amputee by Israeli Security Forces close to the fence between Gaza and Israel last Friday.

Ibrahim Nayef Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, a 29-year-old man from Gaza who reportedly had both legs amputated after an Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008, was among hundreds of Palestinians who were marching across farmland towards the fence following Friday prayers on 15 December to protest against the United States’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He appears to have been killed by a bullet to the head when he was approximately 20 meters from the fence.

“The facts gathered so far by my staff in Gaza strongly suggest that the force used against Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh was excessive,” Zeid said. “International human rights law strictly regulates the use of force in the context of protests and demonstrations. The lethal use of firearms should only be employed as the last resort, when strictly unavoidable, in order to protect life. However, as far as we can see, there is nothing whatsoever to suggest that Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh was posing an imminent threat of death or serious injury when he was killed. Given his severe disability, which must have been clearly visible to those who shot him, his killing is incomprehensible – a truly shocking and wanton act.” Read more »

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