Archive for the 'Peace' Category

Leila Khaled: The women of Palestine are stronger than the conspiracy of normalization

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

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“The march of normalization organized by Zionist forces and joined by the so-called ‘Committee on Communication with the Israeli Society’ is in fundamental contradiction with the position and struggle of the Palestinian people and their national rights. This event is intended to distort and mystify the objectives of the Palestinian liberation struggle, and the struggle of Palestinian and Arab women in particular,” said Comrade Leila Khaled, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. “This is another fraudulent and repetitive attempt to hide behind slogans of ‘peace,’ which will not fool the Palestinian and Arab people or the free people of the world,” she said.

The Popular Front “will stand with our people and nation and all the movements and committees for the boycott of occupation around the world to confront all forms of political, cultural and economic normalization with the Zionist state regardless of the banner, slogan or phrase chosen,” she said. “This event in Jericho only reveals the incompetence and inability of these Israeli and Palestinian pro-normalization forced alike to impose the path of concessions on the Palestinian people.” Read more »

Oslo Dead but Still Matters: Abbas’s Village Leagues and Palestinian Silence

Column – Ramzy Baroud

Suppose several armored vehicles belonging to a branch of the Palestinian Authority raided an Israeli border village at the eve of a new round of peace negotiations. One can picture PA President Mahmoud Abbas defending the killings, stating that the attack was made in the cause of protecting the security of the Palestinian public. Would the Israeli delegation return to the talks with handshakes and smiles?

The answer is an obvious no. Yet the Palestinian delegation did return to real recently renewed peace talks after Israeli forces’ raided a refugee camp in north Jerusalem on August 26, killing three. This was not the only lethal Israeli attack to take place during “peace talks”, and it will not likely be the last.  Read more »

Hated in Egypt: How the Palestinian Bogeyman Resurfaced

Hated in Egypt: How the Palestinian Bogeyman Resurfaced Like Never Before

by Ramzy Baroud
July 30, 2013

When I left Gaza for the first time on my own, twenty some years ago, I was warned of a notorious officer who headed Egypt’s State Security Intelligence at the Rafah border. He “hates Palestinians,” I was told.

My friends and neighbors in Gaza warned me not to greet him with ‘Assalamu Alaikum’ – peace be upon you – if that particular officer were to be on duty on that day. Yes, the officer also hated any reference to Islam, even the very greeting.  Read more »

Rizqa Warns of New Palestinian Concessions

Press Release – Palestinian Information Center

GAZA, (PIC)– Dr. Yousef Rizqa, political adviser to Gaza prime minister, warned of offering new Palestinian concessions after the PA decision to resume talks with the Israeli authorities.

He renewed the Gaza government rejection to the PA’s unilateral decision to offer serious concessions to the Israelis amid Palestinian people and factions’ refusal to this step.  Read more »

Broad Popular and Factional Rejection of Talks Resumption

Press Release – Palestinian Information Center

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Palestinian national forces and factions, except Fatah movement, renewed their total rejection of resumption of talks between the PA and the Israeli occupation amid accusations to Fatah movement and PA of practicing dictatorship.

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) has called on Palestinian people to reject Kerry’s initiative to resume talks.  Read more »

Harel: Israeli-PA Security Collaboration Prevents Intifada

Press Release – Palestinian Information Center

NAZARETH, (PIC)– Israeli military expert Amos Harel said the security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian authority precludes the outbreak of a new intifada (uprising) or any resistance activities in the West Bank.

In a TV interview on Monday, Harel stated that the last two years have been the quietest in terms of security in the West since the six-day war in 1967 thanks to the security cooperation between Israel and the PA which prevented the outbreak of popular intifada during the last mid-decade.  Read more »

Netanyahu, Abbas to Resume ‘Peace Process’ That Never Was

Article – Ramzy Baroud

The political peddlers, think-tank experts and media professionals are all back in full force. They want us to believe that US Secretary of State John Kerry has done what others have failed to do. On his sixth trip to the Middle East during his post, and following intense shuttle diplomacy likened to that of Henry Kissinger, Kerry managed to create a modest common space between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA), thus securing their agreement to resume the so-called peace process.

The media is focusing a great deal on how the ‘breakthrough’ happened, not on why or whether or not it was really a ‘breakthrough’ in the first place. It is typical in these ‘breaking news’ dramas that the media inundates itself with excessive superfluous details, while paying little heed to the underlying logic behind the entire story.  Read more »

Hamdan: Resumption of Talks Is Political Suicide

Press Release – Palestinian Information Centre

BEIRUT, (PIC)– The leader in Hamas movement Osama Hamdan considered the PA decision to resume talks with the Israeli authorities as a political suicide at the expense of the Palestinian rights.

Mahmoud Abbas’s experiences with negotiations were all at the expense of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people’s rights and constants, he added.  Read more »

UN Urges Sustained Efforts Towards Israeli-Palestinian Talks

Press Release – UN News

A senior United Nations official today briefed the Security Council on the Middle East peace process saying that amid a “deepening humanitarian catastrophe” in Syria and political unrest in Egypt, “time is of the essence” in the effort to renew serious dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

“This is the moment to translate our collective call for action into a shared sense of urgency in supporting leaders on both sides as they must realize that this is an opening they cannot afford to lose,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry said, briefing the 15-member Council in the wake of the announcement last week by US Secretary of State John Kerry that the basis has been established to resume talks between Israelis and Palestinians.  Read more »

John Kerry: Negotiations Welcomed

Press Release – US State Department

Press Availability

John Kerry
Secretary of State

Amman, Jordan

July 19, 2013

SECRETARY KERRY: Good evening, everybody, thank you very much for your patience. I apologize for the delay. I’m just going to make a statement, and I’m not going to take any questions at this point in time.

On behalf of President Obama, I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. This is a significant and welcome step forward.  Read more »

Between The Death of My Nephew and My Visit to Jerusalem

By Fidaa Abuassi

My life story in its great detail is so unfathomable and forever surprising I can no longer make sense to myself, let alone to others. Life is so unpredictable and ever changing my heart is never prepared for its unsteady rhythms. Between overwhelming happiness and extreme sadness, I am ripped apart. “Where am I? Where am I?,” I was found trembling and whimpering while asleep two nights ago. Nothing but the warmth of my mom’s hug could assure me I was home, safe. While I was still holding her tight, sobbing on her shoulder, my mom, too, broke into tears. “No no no,… mom please don’t…,” I pleaded, still in tears. Awakened by our sobs, my sister in the other room managed to drag herself out of bed and walk towards us. “Why are you two crying! Isn’t he in Heaven? Didn’t you both tell me not to cry over him,” we were taken by surprise when we saw her staggering into the room, not yet strong enough to stand on her feet. We ran to her aid “no no, habibti, we aren’t crying.” Unsurprisingly, she burst into tears, again. My bad!
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PFLP Official: Hold Abbas Accountable

Press Release – Palestinian Information Centre

GAZA, (PIC)– Senior official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Rabah Muhanna called on the Palestinian central council to convene urgently to hold president Mahmoud Abbas accountable for violating the conditions it had set for the resumption of the peace talks.

In a televised statement, Muhanna urged the Palestinian people in the occupied lands and the Gaza Strip to take to the streets to protest the “peace negotiations” with the Israeli occupation.  Read more »

Resheq: The Peace Talks Will Lead to More Loss of Rights

Press Release – Palestinian Information Centre

BEIRUT, (PIC)– Member of Hamas’s political bureau Ezzat Al-Resheq reiterated his Movement’s rejection of the Palestinian Authority’s decision to restart new rounds of useless negotiations with the Israeli occupation.

In a press release on Sunday, Resheq said that the peace talks with Israel had already proved its failure to achieve the Palestinian people’s aspirations, warning that these negotiations would lead to further settlement and Judaization activities and further loss of the Palestinian rights.  Read more »

New Efforts to Resume Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

Press Release – UN News

New York, Jul 19 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today commended the efforts of United States Secretary of State John Kerry to resume negotiations in the Middle East peace process.

“The Secretary-General welcomes the announcement by US Secretary of State Kerry today in Amman, Jordan, that the basis has been established to resume talks between Israelis and Palestinians,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statementRead more »

McCully welcomes US announcement on Middle East process

Press Release – New Zealand Government

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has welcomed the announcement by US Secretary of State John Kerry that agreement has been reached on a basis for direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

“New Zealand strongly supports the efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry to move the peace process forward through direct negotiations on a two-state solution,” Mr McCully says.  Read more »

UN Urges Israel to Lift Crippling Restrictions on Gaza

UN Humanitarian Official Urges Israel to Lift Crippling Restrictions on Gaza

New York, Jul 3 2013 – A senior United Nations humanitarian official today urged the Israeli Government to lift restrictions on the free movement of people and goods in the Gaza Strip, as he met with Palestinian farmers and fishermen whose livelihoods have been ruined by the measures.

James W. Rawley, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, learned first-hand the impact of the restrictions on Palestinian livelihoods as he led a visit of humanitarian agencies to Gaza.  Read more »

John Kerry: Press Availability in Tel Aviv

Press Availability in Tel Aviv

John Kerry
Secretary of State

Tel Aviv, Israel

June 30, 2013

SECRETARY KERRY: I apologize for keeping everybody waiting, but I am pleased to tell you that we have made real progress on this trip, and I believe that with a little more work, the start of final status negotiations could be within reach. We started out with very wide gaps and we have narrowed those considerably. We have some specific details and work to pursue, but I am absolutely confident that we are on the right track and that all of the parties are working in very good faith in order to get to the right place. The most important thing is that I believe the parties – it’s not my perception, but I think what the parties themselves believe is possible here, in the end, the choices here are really up to them.  Read more »

Palestine: Popular Discontent Could Result In Violence

Occupied Territories: “Popular Discontent Could Result In Another Round of Violence” – UN Special Committee On Israeli Practices

CAIRO (27 June 2013) – The United Nations Special Committee* to investigate Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories today warned that popular discontent could result in another round of violence in the occupied territories.

At the end of its latest fact-finding visit to Amman and Cairo (22-27 June 2013), the Committee also expressed serious concern at the wide range of Israeli practices that violate its obligations as the Occupying Power of the Palestinian and other Arab territories. It was concerned.  Read more »

Unattainable peace…

Unattainable peace…

by Jamal Kanj
June 27, 2013

But for the chap from Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza who emerged earlier this week as the winner of the “Arab Idol,” the news from Palestine is grim.

The newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister resigned and Israel still insists it should be able to negotiate over dividing the pie while it continues to eat it.

By the end of April, US Secretary of State John Kerry succeeded in tailoring another peace plan to entice Israel. Arab ministers supposedly agreed to amend a decade-old peace plan to satisfy Israeli demand for legalising major illegal Jewish colonies in the West Bank.  Read more »

All Must Help Reverse Negative Dynamic in Middle East

All Parties Must Help Reverse ‘Negative Dynamic’ At Play in Middle East – UN Official

New York, Jun 25 2013 – With the Middle East once again suffering through “dangerous and tragic days,” a senior United Nations political official today urged the Security Council and the wider international community to maintain steadfast in support of peace and help reverse “negative dynamics” that have seen the crisis in Syria deepen and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process come to a standstill.

“The scourge of war is, once again, destroying lives and burying hopes,” said Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco in his briefing to the Council on the situation in the Middle East, where he said the current raft of challenges is putting the principles and values of the UN Charter “to a hard test.”

“But however difficult the task, this Council and the United Nations at large cannot give up and cannot let a sense of collective impotence erode our sense of responsibility,” he declared.

Mr. Taranco noted that the settlement restraint in the West Bank “has seen signs of unravelling,” with Israel releasing data that during the first quarter of 2013 there was a 176 per cent increase in the start of housing units in settlements, which violates international law and undermines the two-State solution.

In addition, violence between Palestinians and settlers continue in the West Bank, rocket attacks from Gaza to Israel, clashes during Palestinian protests in the occupied West Bank, and the encroachment of human operations in Gaza, all have contributed to mounting tensions in the region, Mr. Taranco said.

He also drew attention to a joint UN survey that says food security affects some 1.6 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and has increased to include 24 per cent of households in 2012.

“The only possible way forward is the full implementation of the ceasefire understanding reached on 21 November under Egyptian auspices,” he said, adding that the international community must work on a substantive framework to bring the parties back to the table.

“There is also a need for a conducive environment on the ground, including confidence building steps. However, while substantive progress is urgently needed, rushing the parties back to the table without having the necessary framework in place and buy-in from both sides would be counterproductive,” Mr. Taranco said, calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to “recognize a partner on each other and finally negotiate and achieve the two-State solution.”

Regarding Syria, Mr. Taranco warned the situation continues to deteriorate due to violent military confrontation. He expressed concern over the direct involvement of Hizbollah fighters inside of Syria, and underlined that increased military support to both sides only promises further escalation of the conflict.

“The Secretary-General has repeatedly stressed his opposition to the transfer of arms and fighters to either side inside Syria,” he said. “Only a political solution can bring the violence and the suffering of the Syrian people to an end.”

Since the conflict began in 2011, more than 93,000 people have been killed, some 1.7 million displaced, and more than 6.8 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 3 million children.

Mr. Taranco noted that the negative impact of the conflict on neighbouring Lebanon has been more sharply evident in recent weeks, and reiterated the importance of Lebanon adhering to the Baabda Declaration – which seeks to keep Lebanon neutral from regional developments – and the commitment of Lebanese leaders to prevent a dangerous spillover of the conflict.

Addressing these pressing challenges will require courageous and mutual compromises at a national, regional and international level, Mr. Taranco told the Security Council, emphasizing that it should be done through peaceful means and not violence.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

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