• Gaza myths and facts: what American Jewish leaders won’t tell you

    Peter Beinart

    July 30, 2014

    If you’ve been anywhere near the American Jewish community over the past few weeks, you’ve heard the following morality tale: Israel left the Gaza Strip in 2005, hoping the newly independent country would become the Singapore of the Middle East. Instead, Hamas seized power, ransacked greenhouses, threw its opponents off rooftops and began launching thousands of rockets at Israel.

    American Jewish leaders use this narrative to justify their skepticism of a Palestinian state in the West Bank. But in crucial ways, it’s wrong. And without understanding why it’s wrong, you can’t understand why this war is wrong too.

    Let’s take the claims in turn.

    Israel Left Gaza

    It’s true that in 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdrew Israel’s more than 8,000 settlers fromGaza. (At America’s urging, he also dismantled four small settlements in the West Bank). But at no point did Gaza become its own country. Had Gaza become its own country, it would have gained control over its borders. It never did. As the Israeli human rights group Gisha has detailed, even before the election of Hamas, Israel controlled whether Gazans could enter or exit the Strip (In conjunction with Egypt, which controlled the Rafah checkpoint in Gaza’s south). Israel controlled the population registry through which Gazans were issued identification cards. Upon evacuating its settlers and soldiers from Gaza, Israel even created a security perimeter inside the Strip from which Gazans were barred from entry. (Unfortunately for Gazans, this perimeter included some of the Strip’s best farmland).
    “Pro-Israel” commentators claim Israel had legitimate security reasons for all this. But that concedes the point. A necessary occupation is still an occupation. That’s why it’s silly to analogize Hamas’ rockets—repugnant as they are—to Mexico or Canada attacking the United States. The United States is not occupying Mexico or Canada. Israel —according to the United States government — has been occupying Gaza without interruption since 1967.

    To grasp the perversity of using Gaza as an explanation for why Israel can’t risk a Palestinian state, it helps to realize that Sharon withdrew Gaza’s settlers in large measure because he didn’t want a Palestinian state. By 2004, when Sharon announced the Gaza withdrawal, the Road Map for Peace that he had signed with Mahmoud Abbas was going nowhere. Into the void came two international proposals for a two state solution. The first was the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, in which every member of the Arab League offered to recognize Israel if it returned to the 1967 lines and found a “just” and “agreed upon” solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees. The second was the 2003 Geneva Initiative, in which former Israeli and Palestinian negotiators publicly agreed upon the details of a two state plan. As the political scientists Jonathan Rynhold and Dov Waxman have detailed, Sharon feared the United States would get behind one or both plans, and pressure Israel to accept a Palestinian state near the 1967 lines. “Only an Israeli initiative,” Sharon argued, “will keep us from being dragged into dangerous initiatives like the Geneva and Saudi initiatives.”

    Sharon saw several advantages to withdrawing settlers from Gaza. First, it would save money, since in Gaza Israel was deploying a disproportionately high number of soldiers to protect a relatively small number of settlers. Second, by (supposedly) ridding Israel of its responsibility for millions of Palestinians, the withdrawal would leave Israel and the West Bank with a larger Jewish majority. Third, the withdrawal would prevent the administration of George W. Bush from embracing the Saudi or Geneva plans, and pushing hard—as Bill Clinton had done—for a Palestinian state. Sharon’s chief of staff, Dov Weisglass, put it bluntly: “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process. And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”

    It’s no surprise, therefore, that the Gaza withdrawal did not meet minimal Palestinian demands. Not even the most moderate Palestinian leader would have accepted a long-term arrangement in which Israel withdrew its settlers from Gaza while maintaining control of the Strip’s borders and deepening Israeli control of the West Bank. (Even in the 2005, the year Sharon withdrew from Gaza, the overall settler population rose, in part because some Gazan settlers relocated to the West Bank).
    In fact, Sharon’s advisors did not expect withdrawing Gaza’s settlers to satisfy the Palestinians. Nor did not they expect it to end Palestinian terrorism. Ehud Olmert, a key figure in the disengagement plan (and someone who himself later embraced Palestinian statehood), acknowledged that “terror will continue” after the removal of Gaza’s settlers. The key word is “continue.” Contrary to the American Jewish narrative, militants in Gaza didn’t start launching rockets at Israel after the settlers left. They began a half-decade earlier, at the start of the second intifada. The Gaza disengagement did not stop this rocket fire. But it did not cause it either.

    Hamas Seized Power

    I can already hear the objections. Even if withdrawing settlers from Gaza didn’t give the Palestinians a state, it might have made Israelis more willing to support one in the future - if only Hamas had not seized power and turned Gaza into a citadel of terror.
    But Hamas didn’t seize power. It won an election. In January 2006, four months after the last settlers left, Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem chose representatives to the Palestinian Authority’s parliament. (The previous year, they had separately elected Abbas to be the Palestinian Authority’s President). Hamas won a plurality of the vote - forty-five percent - but because of the PA’s voting system, and Fatah’s idiotic decision to run more than one candidate in several districts, Hamas garnered 58 percent of the seats in parliament.

    To the extent American Jewish leaders acknowledge that Hamas won an election (as opposed to taking power by force), they usually chalk its victory up to Palestinian enthusiasm for the organization’s 1988 charter, which calls for Israel’s destruction (The president of the New York board of rabbis said recently that anyone who voted for Hamas should be considered a combatant, not a civilian). But that’s almost certainly not the reason Hamas won. For starters, Hamas didn’t make Israel’s destruction a major theme of its election campaign. In its 2006 campaign manifesto, the group actually fudged the question by saying only that it wanted an “independent state whose capital is Jerusalem” plus fulfillment of the right of return.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that by 2006 Hamas had embraced the two state solution. Only that Hamas recognized that running against the two state solution was not the best way to win Palestinian votes. The polling bears this out. According to exit polls conducted by the prominent Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, 75 percent of Palestinian voters—and a remarkable 60 percent of Hamas voters—said they supported a Palestinian unity government dedicated to achieving a two state solution.

    So why did Hamas win? Because, according to Shikaki, only fifteen percent of voters called the peace process their most important issue. A full two-thirds cited either corruption or law and order. It’s vital to remember that 2006 was the first Palestinian election in more than ten years. During the previous decade, Palestinians had grown increasingly frustrated by Fatah’s unaccountable, lawless and incompetent rule. According to exit polls, 85 percent of voters called Fatah corrupt.Hamas, by contrast, because it had never wielded power and because its charitable arm effectively delivered social services, enjoyed a reputation for competence and honesty.
    Hamas won, in other words, for the same reason voters all across the world boot out parties that have grown unresponsive and self-interested after years in power. That’s not just Shikaki’s judgment. It’s also Bill Clinton’s. As Clinton explained in 2009, “a lot of Palestinians were upset that they [Fatah] were not delivering the services. They didn’t think it [Fatah] was an entirely honest operation and a lot of people were going to vote for Hamas not because they wanted terrorist tactics…but because they thought they might get better service, better government…They [also] won because Fatah carelessly and foolishly ran both its slates in too many parliamentary seats.”

    This doesn’t change the fact that Hamas’ election confronted Israel and the United States with a serious problem. After its victory, Hamas called for a national unity government with Fatah “for the purpose of ending the occupation and settlements and achieving a complete withdrawal from the lands occupied [by Israel] in 1967, including Jerusalem, so that the region enjoys calm and stability during this phase.” But those final words—“this phase”—made Israelis understandably skeptical that Hamas had changed its long-term goals. The organization still refused to recognize Israel, and given that Israel had refused to talk to the PLO until it formally accepted Israel’s right to exist in 1993, it’s not surprising that Israel demanded Hamas meet the same standard.
    Still, Israel and the U.S. would have been wiser to follow the counsel of former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, who called for Sharon to try to forge a long-term truce with Hamas. Israel could also have pushed Hamas to pledge that if Abbas—who remained PA president—negotiated a deal with Israel, Hamas would accept the will of the Palestinian people as expressed in a referendum, something the group’s leaders havesubsequently promised to do.

    Instead, the Bush administration—suddenly less enamored of Middle Eastern democracy—pressured Abbas to dissolve the Palestinian parliament and rule by emergency decree. Israel, which also wanted Abbas to defy the election results, withheld the tax and customs revenue it had collected on the Palestinian Authority’s behalf. Knowing Hamas would resist Abbas’ efforts to annul the election, especially in Gaza, where it was strong on the ground, the Bushies also began urging Abbas’ former national security advisor, a Gazan named Mohammed Dahlan, to seize power in the Strip by force. As David Rose later detailed in an extraordinary article in Vanity Fair, Condoleezza Rice pushed Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to buy weapons for Dahlan, and for Israel to allow them to enter Gaza. As General Mark Dayton, US security coordinator for the Palestinians, told Dahlan in November 2006, “We also need you to build up your forces inorder to take on Hamas.”

    Unfortunately for the Bush administration, Dahlan’s forces were weaker than they looked. And when the battle for Gaza began, Hamas won it easily, and brutally. In response, Abbas declared emergency rule in the West Bank.

    So yes, members of Hamas did throw their Fatah opponents off rooftops. Some of that may have been payback because Dahlan was widely believed to have overseen the torture of Hamas members in the 1990s. Regardless, in winning the battle for Gaza, Hamas—which had already shed much Israeli blood - shed Palestinian blood too.

    But to suggest that Hamas “seized power” - as American Jewish leaders often do - ignores the fact that Hamas’ brutal takeover occurred in response to an attempted Fatah coup backed by the United States and Israel. In the words of David Wurmser, who resigned as Dick Cheney’s Middle East advisor a month after Hamas’ takeover, “what happened wasn’t so much a coup by Hamas but an attempted coup by Fatah that was pre-empted before it could happen.”

    The Greenhouses

    Israel responded to Hamas’ election victory by further restricting access in and out of Gaza. As it happens, these restrictions played a key role in explaining why Gaza’s greenhouses did not help it become Singapore. American Jewish leaders usually tell the story this way: When the settlers left, Israel handed over their greenhouses to the Palestinians, hoping they would use them to create jobs. Instead, Palestinians tore them down in an anti-Jewish rage.

    But one person who does not endorse that narrative is the prime mover behind the greenhouse deal, Australian-Jewish businessman James Wolfensohn, who served as the Quartet’s Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement. In his memoir, Wolfensohn notes that “some damage was done to the greenhouses [as the result of post-disengagement looting] but they came through essentially intact” and were subsequently guarded by Palestinian Authority police. What really doomed the greenhouse initiative, Wolfensohn argues, were Israeli restrictions on Gazan exports. “In early December [2005], he writes, “the much-awaited first harvest of quality cash crops—strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and flowers—began. These crops were intended for export via Israel for Europe. But their success relied upon the Karni crossing [between Gaza and Israel], which, beginning in mid-January 2006, was closed more than not. The Palestine Economic Development Corporation, which was managing the greenhouses taken over from the settlers, said that it was experiencing losses in excess of $120,000 per day…It was excruciating. This lost harvest was the most recognizable sign of Gaza’s declining fortunes and the biggest personal disappointment during my mandate.”

    The point of dredging up this history is not to suggest that Israel deserves all the blame for its long and bitter conflict with Hamas. It does not. Hamas bears the blame for every rocket it fires, and those rockets have not only left Israelis scarred and disillusioned. They have also badly undermined the Palestinian cause.

    The point is to show—contrary to the establishment American Jewish narrative—that Israel has repeatedly played into Hamas’ hands by not strengthening those Palestinians willing to pursue statehood through nonviolence and mutual recognition. Israel played into Hamas’ hands when Sharon refused to seriously entertain the Arab and Geneva peace plans. Israel played into Hamas’ hands when it refused to support a Palestinian unity government that could have given Abbas the democratic legitimacy that would have strengthened his ability to cut a two state deal. And Israel played into Hamas’ hands when it responded to the group’s takeover of Gaza with a blockade that—although it has some legitimate security features—has destroyed Gaza’s economy, breeding the hatred and despair on which Hamas thrives.

    In the ten years since Jewish settlers left, Israeli policy toward Gaza has been as militarily resourceful as it has been politically blind. Tragically, that remains the case during this war. Yet tragically, the American Jewish establishment keeps cheering Israel on.

    #gaza #israël

  • Archéologies révolutionnaires. Regards croisés sur la Tunisie et l’Égypte (2011-2013)

    n Égypte, en Tunisie, les révolutions furent immédiatement vécues comme de vastes archéologies collectives : alors que les chapes de plomb des dictatures semblaient se briser, les groupes engagés dans l’action exprimaient de pressants et divers besoins d’histoires qui, cette fois, ne devaient pas être imposées mais sourdre de la nation elle-même. Réactualisant les souvenirs des luttes anticoloniales, les premiers usages du passé témoignent de la façon dont ces révolutions ont été vécues comme de nouvelles révolutions d’indépendance, et cette fois véritables. Permettant à des conceptions concurrentes du temps et de l’histoire longtemps étouffées d’inspirer des slogans, des programmes politiques ou d’alimenter des mobilisations collectives, ces révolutions ont aussi ouvert des boîtes de Pandore, ressuscité d’âpres conflits, suscitant parfois un climat de guerre civile dans lesquelles le passé est réinventé et utilisé comme une arme. Les dynamiques révolutionnaires n’étant pas terminées, ces processus d’appropriations politiques et de revendications identitaires peinent encore à coexister pacifiquement ou à s’accorder autour d’un récit commun. De la résolution des conflits anciens, de la capacité des groupes et des institutions représentatives à forger des versions apaisées de l’histoire dépend en partie, comme ce fut le cas pour bien des révolutions du passé, la cohésion future de sociétés engagées dans de complexes processus de transitions politiques, sociales et culturelles.

    #Egypte #Tunisie #révolution

  • Libye : Probable intervention militaire d’Alger ou du Caire -
    Actualité - El Watan-01-08-2014

    Libye : Probable intervention militaire d’Alger ou du Caire

    le 01.08.14 | 10h00

    L’Algérie et l’Egypte se préparent sérieusement à faire face à toute éventualité de l’apparition de Daach en Libye. Selon des sources sécuritaires, une commission sécuritaire composée de hauts officiers des renseignements des deux pays vient d’être installée. La commission se prépare actuellement à une réunion de coordination qui se tiendra prochainement pour parer à toute menace sécuritaire et de tenter de calmer la situation en Libye qui risque réellement une guerre civile.

    Des officiers algériens de renseignement (DRS) se sont déplacés en Egypte, ajoute notre source. Ces officiers, ajoute la même source, se sont déplacés sur ordre du président Bouteflika pour mettre en place une feuille de route pour une coopération stratégique sécuritaire sur la question libyenne. La feuille de route sera validée prochainement au Caire par des hauts responsables militaires algériens et égyptiens, apprend-on de sources sûres. Toujours selon notre source, les officiers en mission au Caire sont réputés être des experts en identification des djihadistes maghrébins actifs actuellement en Syrie et en Irak, et d’autres experts chargés de suivre les groupes armés actifs dans la contrebande des armes en Libye.

    D’autres officiers sont des experts en question libyenne chargés de mettre en place une stratégie sécuritaire algéro-égyptienne à long terme pour contrecarrer les groupes djihadistes libyens, et surtout pour faire avorter le plan d’installation du califat dans ce pays, ce qui peut engendrer une guerre civile. Notre source évoque aussi des pressions internationales exercées sur Alger et Le Caire pour intervenir militairement en Libye.

    Les rapports sécuritaires, restés top secret à ce jour, affirment l’importance et la nécessité d’une intervention militaire algérienne en Libye. Toujours selon ces rapports, l’intervention algérienne n’est qu’une question de temps, en affirmant également que l’Algérie est déjà présente en Libye par ses services de renseignement et sécuritaires qui poursuivent pour le moment les émirs d’Al Qaîda en Libye. Cette situation sécuritaire, qui se dégrade de jour en jour aux frontières est et sud, a coûté 2 milliards de dollars à l’Algérie depuis 2011.

    Selon l’Institut américain de la défense et de la sécurité, ces dépenses ont été déboursées pour le transfert des militaires et des services de sécurité ainsi que l’installation de bases permanentes tout le long de la ligne frontalière est et sud-est. Les rapports de sécurité alertent également sur l’influence du califat et l’introduction des éléments d’Al Qaîda dans de nouveaux pays comme l’Egypte. Selon un autre rapport d’expertise, l’Algérie pourrait, en cas d’urgence, mener des opérations discrètes en utilisant des avions.

    • (pardon pour le format)
      Y’a ça qui parle de ça, aussi.
      LIBYE. El Watan révèle-t-il le "top secret" de l’ANP ?

      Comme on le sait, pour ce qui est des questions militaires et sécuritaires, le quotidien El Watan dispose de "sources" au niveau d’officiers supérieurs "éradicateurs" pro-occidentaux en activité ou à la retraite.

      Il titre aujourd’hui "Libye : Probable intervention militaire d’Alger ou du Caire". On peut lire : "Notre source évoque aussi des pressions internationales exercées sur Alger et Le Caire pour intervenir militairement en Libye. Les rapports sécuritaires, restés top secret à ce jour, affirment l’importance et la nécessité d’une intervention militaire algérienne en Libye".

      Le départ des Occidentaux est monté comme un grand spectacle médiatique, ont le ton fut donné par l’évacuation rocambolesque de l’ambassade américaine de Tripoli. L’apocalypse serait imminent en Libye. Des avions vont être lancés sur Alger, Tunis et Rome par les djihadistes annonce El Watan qui évoque un "11septembre bis" . Il faut frapper les esprits.

      La doctrine algérienne en question face au chaos libyen titrait le quotidien en mai dernier. Sa "source militaire" affirmait alors : "Il est hors de question que se concrétise le projet d’un émirat islamiste en Libye". Le journal écrit : "La politique d’endiguement négative a montré ses limites face aux tensions à nos frontières. La Libye peut marquer une « adaptation » de la doxa de sécurité algérienne".

      Nous notions alors dans le blog : "L’Algérie fait l’objet de pressions intéressées pour qu’elle aide l’Empire à stabiliser la situation créée par sa stratégie du choc, On nous demande de réviser une doctrine patriotique née d’un consensus national profond, pour envoyer l’ANP devenue supplétive "assurer l’ordre" dans les pays voisins (Ce que les Etats-Unis attendent de l’ANP). Trois ans après l’intervention de l’Otan et la destruction des piliers de l’Etat libyen, l’Occident n’a pas réussi à stabiliser les conditions pour le pompage et l’expédition des hydrocarbures de ce pays et la captations des revenus nationaux qui en découlent. La Libye a beau être en situation de quasi-guerre civile, elle continue, grâce au poids des revenus pétroliers, d’être le premier des pays maghrébins, dans le classement du développement humain rendu public le 25 juillet dernier par le Programme des Nations Unies pour le Développement (PNUD). Ces "conditions objectives" permettraient d’asseoir les bases d’un consensus pour la sauvegarde nationale, consensus pour lequel les pays frères voisins pourraient apporter un concours politique décisif .

      Toute guerre est fondée par des buts. Ceux de la guerre déclenchée par l’Occident en Libye en 2011 visait à détruire pour une longue période toute capacité nationale de maîtrise sur les ressources de ce pays. Mais le travail doit être achevé pour que ces ressources puissent être convenablement exploitées. Avant de quitter Alger, Henry S. Ensher, ambassadeur des Etats-Unis avait laissé une consigne, présentée dans une forme complaisante pour la rendre acceptable aux décideurs algériens, sourcilleux mais aimant la flatterie : « Nous sommes confiants quant à la capacité de l’Algérie à se sécuriser et aussi en sa capacité à assumer le rôle de leadership en aidant d’autres pays de la région à se sécuriser eux-mêmes". (Lire : L’ANP invitée à finir le travail de l’OTAN en Libye)

      Pour le maréchal Al Siss, une intervention en Libye serait une "occasion" à saisir en jonction avec son acolyte, le général Khalifa Haftar. L’Armée algérienne va-t-elle s’engager- comme le souhaite et y travaille depuis de longs mois le quotidien pro-otanien d’Alger-, dans une aventure qui risque d’accéler le processus de transformations des conflits en véritable guerre civile et enfermer notre pays dans un véritable piège de longue durée.

  • L’article de Joseph Massad est passionnant : Egypt’s propagandists and the Gaza massacre

    The uncharismatic Sisi, whose oratorical abilities rival those of Yasser Arafat, announced with much pomp in his 23 July speech marking the anniversary of the 1952 overthrow of the monarchy that Egypt had already sacrificed “100,000 Egyptian martyrs” for the Palestinian cause.

    While few people doubt the sacrifices that Egyptian soldiers have made to defend Egypt in the last 67 years, to claim that these sacrifices were made on behalf of Palestine and the Palestinians is the ultimate in hypocrisy.

    It is a line of argument that the ruling class of Egyptian thieves has been propagating in order to claim that Egypt’s terrible economy and state of poverty are not the product of this class’ outright pillage of Egypt with the help of their American and Saudi sponsors since the 1970s, but on account of Egypt’s alleged defense of Palestine and the Palestinians and President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s alleged commitment to liberate the Palestinians from Israel’s colonial occupation.

  • Pan-Arab daily expects tough Saudi measures against Qatar over Gaza stance
    Text of report by London-based Arabic e-newspaper Ra’y al-Yawm on 28 July

    [Unattributed report: Saudi Arabia Is Preparing for Taking Escalatory Measures Against Qatar After the Id, and Prince Al-Faysal’s Attack on Doha and Accusing It of Antagonizing Egypt and Its Role in Supporting HAMAS and the War on Gaza Are a Prelude to an Imminent Conflagration."]

    For the Gulf officials to exchange congratulations on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan and to call one another over the telephone on the occasion of the blessed Id al-Fitr, this is something that is within the framework of the norms and traditions that are usually followed, but for one of them to make a quick tour of the Gulf capitals 48 hours before the advent of Id al-Fitr, this is something unusual and indicates something that is highly important that cannot be delayed.

    We are speaking here about the tour which Prince Muqrin Bin-Abd-al-Aziz, deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia and second deputy prime minister, has made to Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and the Sultanate of Oman and ended without visiting the State of Qatar, which is a Gulf country, something which means that this tour concerns it and the relations with it, and that the message which Prince Muqrin is carrying from the Saudi leaders deals with one of two main issues:

    The First: Is that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and after the meeting which took place between Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin-Hamad Al Thani and the Saudi monarch King Abdallah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz in Jedda last Tuesday, has received guarantees and promises from its Gulf sister that stress the implementation of the Riyadh’s document signed last November and the articles in it that are related to the security and stability of the Gulf countries and not harming them, which subsequently means returning the ambassadors of three countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain) to Doha.

    The second: Is that the Saudi leadership has reached a firm conviction that the State of Qatar has not fulfilled its promises to which it was committed towards the implementation of the Riyadh document, something that requires taking other measures against it, which are greater than the step of the withdrawal of ambassadors, such as closing the airspace or the suspension of Qatar’s membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council.

    The deadline of six months Saudi Arabia has given to the State of Qatar was due to end late in the month of Ramadan and by the end of Id-al-Fitr’s holiday, and perhaps this is the reason that made Prince Muqrin choose the timing of his Gulf tour carefully just two days before the Id.

    Both possibilities are likely since the news that have been leaked about Prince Muqrin’s Gulf tour are very slight and the tour was carried out amid full secrecy, and all that has been said by the official news agencies was that “discussions dealt with the bilateral relations and the situation in the Gulf and the region.” However, it is clear that the second possibility, which is to take tougher measures against the State of Qatar, is probably the most likely one, and there are several indications in this respect:

    First: Muqrin’s tour has excluded Doha, which indicates that Doha is targeted. Had the first possibility been likely, which is returning the ambassadors to it, it would not have been excluded, and every Gulf step from this or that side is intentional and indicates a message from this or that side, whether the way he was received, the team accompanying him, the identity of the prince who is receiving him at the airport and his job and hierarchical order in the family, or even the colour of cloak in some cases.

    Second: The Saudi-Qatari relations are witnessing great tension these days against the backdrop of the disagreement between the two countries on the current regime in Egypt, the support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and the current war in Gaza. While the State of Qatar strongly supports HAMAS in this war and launches an initiative in parallel with the Egyptian initiative and makes great political and media efforts to stop the war, Saudi Arabia strongly supports the Egyptian initiative and accuses HAMAS of igniting this war with Qatari and Turkish support to implicate the ruling Egyptian regime and embarrass it on the Arab and international levels. An article by Prince Turki al-Faysal in the Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat on Saturday pointed out this fact when he “held HAMAS responsible for the repercussions of the massacres that are going on in Gaza as a result of its arrogance and the repetition of the past mistakes,” pointing out that “Qatar and Turkey are ! concerned with depriving Egypt of its leadership role more than preventing Israel from destroying Gaza.” He accused HAMAS and not Israel of being responsible for the war, which reminds of a similar Saudi charge to Hizballah during the Israeli aggression against Lebanon in 2006.

    Third: The State of Qatar has not altered its supportive stand for the Muslim Brotherhood for even one millimeter, and continued its “unfriendly” stands towards the Egyptian regime. This has clearly been reflected in the coverage by Al-Jazeera of the developments of the situation in Egypt and the intensification of the charges of failure and betrayal by the Egyptian regime towards the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip and of closing the Rafah crossing in face of the wounded and the relief teams even if such charges have been made by guests, experts, commentators, or Palestinian officials from HAMAS.

    Fourth: The relations between Qatar and Iran, which are developing quickly, and the signing of defence agreements by the two countries, and the occurrence of a “change” in the Qatari stand towards the Syrian crisis, as well as the hegemony of the Saudi wing in the Syrian opposition and the Opposition Coalition in particular, and excluding those who are loyal to Qatar from the Political Body, the latest of whom is Prime Minister Ahmad Tu’mah during the leadership elections held in Istanbul one week ago.

    Fifth: The gradual restoration of relations between the Lebanese Hizballah and the State of Qatar on a noteworthy pace. The observers have seriously noted that Al-Jazeera has broadcast the full speech which [Hizballah Secretary General] Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah delivered on Friday on the occasion of the International Jerusalem Day.

    Therefore, we should expect surprise and important developments on the level of the Qatari relations with the Saudi, UAE, and Bahraini triangle by the end of Id al-Fitr holiday, which began in the Gulf states yesterday, and the only interpretation of Prince Muqrin’s tour, who has not made any similar tour since he was appointed in his post nearly one year ago, is that he wanted to inform all the Gulf leaders with whom he met of the details of the expected Saudi decisions.

    It is clear that Saudi Arabia, and the same as has been said in the article of Prince Turki al-Faysal, has decided to launch a media war as a prelude to a political war against the State of Qatar, since Prince Al-Faysal cannot write an article that includes these serious charges to the State of Qatar without consulting on them with his leadership, and within the framework of a greater estrangement between the two countries that is going to happen.

    Source: Ra’y al-Yawm, London, in Arabic 0000 gmt 28 Jul 14

    BBC Mon ME1 MEEauprt 300714 mj

  • In response to David Hearst - Al Arabiya News

    Via Al-Arabiya, la réponse, très british offusquée et du coup presque drôle, de l’ambass saoudien en UK à l’article de David Hearst ( évoquant la main de la Saoudie dans l’attaque israélienne de Gaza.

    • Et la réponse à la réponse : Saudi Crocodile Tears Over Gaza | David Hearst

      Hardly was the ink dry on this official news release, when Prince Turki al-Faisal, Bin Nawaf’s predecessor as UK ambassador, former intelligence chief and the brother of the current foreign minister wrote in al-Sharq al-Awast that Hamas was to blame for firing rockets and for refusing to accept Egypt’s ceasefire plan (which would have disarmed them). This is Israel’s and Egypt’s view too.

      So which is it? Does the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia support Palestinians in their resistance to the occupation? Or does it support the siege manned by Israel and Egypt, until Gaza is demilitarized? These are two clear policies — support for the Palestinian resistance to the occupation and ending the siege of Gaza, or keeping the siege in place until all factions in Gaza are disarmed. Either Israel is engaging in genocide (strong words, Mr. Ambassador) or the resisters are terrorists who must be disarmed. Decide what it is you want the Kingdom to say. You can’t say both. You can’t swear allegiance to the Palestinians and give a nod and a wink to their killers.

  • #Sinai Peninsula: Where #Egypt’s ’war on terror’ targets civilians

    Egyptians carry the coffin of a person who was killed in El-Arish, capital of north Sinai, on July 14, 2014, after militants fired mortar shells last night at a military base. (Photo: AFP-STR) Egyptians carry the coffin of a person who was killed in El-Arish, capital of north Sinai, on July 14, 2014, after militants fired mortar shells last night at a military base. (Photo: AFP-STR)

    After each attack in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, everybody starts talking about the need to impose security but the warnings go unheeded and the attacks continue. Palestinians were accused of perpetrating the latest attack in the city of #al-Arish that led to dozens of victims among civilians, the army and the police force but no culprits were (...)

    #Mideast_&_North_Africa #Abdel_Fatah_al-Sisi #al-Shlak #Articles #Egyptian_army #Rafah #Sheikh_Zuweid

    • Photo 9

      Heavy rainfall resulting in flooding washes away a section of the Egyptian-Israeli border fence. This image indicates that there are problems that might inhibit passage across borders and illuminates difficulties of developing strong infrastructure and the impact that the environment can have on whether a border opens or closes.
      Image tweeted by @MKreports on November 18, 2013.

      M’est avis que c’est bien réparé depuis.

  • Saudi, Egypt and Israel work together in Gaza attack

    The war on Gaza is planned and orchestrated by Israel, Saudi and Egypt, a report by DEBKA-Net-Weekly said yesterday.

    “Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, Egyptian President Fatah Al-Sisi and Netanyahu... [are] in constant communication on the war’s progress and confers on its next steps. Our sources reveal daily conferences, and sometimes more, between King Abdullah and President Sisi over a secure phone line,” the newsletter said.

    DEBKA, thought to have close ties with Israeli intelligence agencies, said the world leaders go to great lengths to ensure their alliance remains undiscovered “given the political and religious sensitivities of their relationship”. Fearful of having even their secure lines intercepted, they prefer to send secret missions to visit each other and discuss the ongoing conflict.

    “Israel keeps a special plane parked at Cairo’s military airport ready to lift off whenever top-secret messages between Sisi and Netanyahu need to be delivered by hand. The distance between Cairo and Tel Aviv is covered in less than an hour and a half,” DEBKA explained.

    L’article (#paywall) chez Debka:

    À rapprocher de l’article de David Hearst, Attack on Gaza by Saudi Royal Appointment

    Et celui du Akhbar: Saudi Arabia behind effort to disarm the Palestinian Resistance

    • Saudi crocodile tears over Gaza | David Hearst

      La réponse de David Hearst

      Decide what it is you want the Kingdom to say. You can’t say both. You can’t swear allegiance to the Palestinians and give a nod and a wink to their killers.

      And are the kingdom’s dealings with Israel really “limited to bring about a plan for peace”? You are privy to the cables, Mr Ambassador. Tell us what passed between Prince Bandar and the Mossad director Tamir Pardo at that hotel in Aqaba in November last year. The Jordanians leaked it to an Israeli newspaper in Eilat. Were Bandar and Pardo: 1. soaking up the winter sun 2. talking about the Arab Peace Initiative or 3. plotting how to bomb Iran?

      And why are your new friends the Israelis being so loquacious? Why, to take the latest example, did Dan Gillerman, Israeli ambassador to the UN 2003-08, say at the weekend that “representatives from the Gulf states told us to finish the job in Gaza time and again”. Finish the job? Killing over 1000 Palestinians, most of them civilian. Is that you meant when you said “we will never do anything to harm them”?

      The carnage in Gaza at least gives the world clear sight of the protagonists. The wonder of it is that all are American allies, three have US bases on their soil and a fourth is a member of Nato. America’s problems in the Middle East are more to do with their sworn allies than their sworn enemies.

      On one side, stands Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Jordan. They consider themselves the voice of reason and moderation, but their methods are violent - the military coup in Egypt and the attack on Gaza have all happened in the space of 12 months. On the other, stands Turkey, Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood and its affliate Hamas.

      We should ,however, talk of governments rather people, because one reason why the government of Saudi Arabia has such an extreme position on Hamas and the Brotherhood in general, is that it knows full well that its own people don’t share their view.

      Saudi Arabia’s leading pollster Rakeen found that 95% out of a representative sample of 2000 Saudis supported the continuation of the Palestinian resistance factions. Only three per cent did not. 82% supported the firing of rockets into Israel and 14 % opposed it. The kingdom’s hatred of Islamism stems not from the fact that it presents a rival interpretation of Islam. It is that it presents to a believer, a democratic alternative. That is what really scares the monarchy.

      The proof of all those secret Saudi-Israeli meetings is to be seen in the behaviour of Egypt. It is impossible to believe that its new president Abdel Fattah al Sisi could act towards Hamas in Gaza independently of his paymasters in Riyadh. He who pays the piper - $5bn after the coup, $20bn now - calls the tune.


      Saudi Arabia is treading a fine line. According to my sources, Netanyahu’s rejection of Kerry’s peace initiative over the weekend was due in part to the full support of its Arab allies. Saudi Arabia’s active support is keeping this brutal war going .

  • Interview with Former Israeli Security Chief Yuval Diskin - SPIEGEL ONLINE

    Ex-Israeli Security Chief Diskin: ’All the Conditions Are There for an Explosion’

    Interview Conducted by Julia Amalia Heyer

    In an interview with SPIEGEL, Yuval Diskin, former director of Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet, speaks of the current clash between Israel and the Palestinians, what must be done to achieve peace and the lack of leadership in the Middle East.

    SPIEGEL: Mr. Diskin, following 10 days of airstrikes, the Israeli army launched a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip last week. Why now? And what is the goal of the operation?

    Diskin: Israel didn’t have any other choice than to increase the pressure, which explains the deployment of ground troops. All attempts at negotiation have failed thus far. The army is now trying to destroy the tunnels between Israel and the Gaza Strip with a kind of mini-invasion, also so that the government can show that it is doing something. Its voters have been increasingly vehement in demanding an invasion. The army hopes the invasion will finally force Hamas into a cease-fire. It is in equal parts action for the sake of action and aggressive posturing. They are saying: We aren’t operating in residential areas; we are just destroying the tunnel entrances. But that won’t, of course, change much in the disastrous situation. Rockets are stored in residential areas and shot from there as well.
    SPIEGEL: You are saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pressured to act by the right?

    Diskin: The good news for Israel is the fact that Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz are not very adventurous. None of them really wanted to go in. None of them is really enthusiastic about reoccupying the Gaza Strip. Israel didn’t plan this operation at all. Israel was dragged into this crisis. We can only hope that it doesn’t go beyond this limited invasion and we won’t be forced to expand into the populated areas.

    SPIEGEL: So what happens next?

    Diskin: Israel is now an instrument in the hands of Hamas, not the opposite. Hamas doesn’t care if its population suffers under the attacks or not, because the population is suffering anyway. Hamas doesn’t really care about their own casualties either. They want to achieve something that will change the situation in Gaza. This is a really complicated situation for Israel. It would take one to two years to take over the Gaza Strip and get rid of the tunnels, the weapons depots and the ammunition stashes step-by-step. It would take time, but from the military point of view, it is possible. But then we would have 2 million people, most of them refugees, under our control and would be faced with criticism from the international community.

    SPIEGEL: How strong is Hamas? How long can it continue to fire rockets?

    Diskin: Unfortunately, we have failed in the past to deliver a debilitating blow against Hamas. During Operation Cast Led, in the winter of 2008-2009, we were close. In the last days of the operation, Hamas was very close to collapsing; many of them were shaving their faces. Now, the situation has changed to the benefit of the Islamists. They deepened the tunnels; they are more complex and tens of kilometers long. They succeeded in hiding the rockets and the people who launch the rockets. They can launch rockets almost any time that they want, as you can see.

    SPIEGEL: Is Israel not essentially driving Palestinians into the arms of Hamas?

    Diskin: It looks that way, yes. The people in the Gaza Strip have nothing to lose right now, just like Hamas. And this is the problem. As long as Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was in power in Egypt, things were going great for Hamas. But then the Egyptian army took over and within just a few days, the new regime destroyed the tunnel economy between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, which was crucial for Hamas. Since then, Hamas has been under immense pressure; it can’t even pay the salaries of its public officials.

    SPIEGEL: All mediation attempts have failed. Who can stop this war?

    Diskin: We saw with the most recent attempt at a cease-fire that Egypt, which is the natural mediator in the Gaza Strip, is not the same Egypt as before. On the contrary, the Egyptians are using their importance as a negotiator to humiliate Hamas. You can’t tell Hamas right now: “Look, first you need to full-stop everything and then we will talk in another 48 hours.”

    SPIEGEL: What about Israel talking directly with Hamas?

    Diskin: That won’t be possible. Really, only the Egyptians can credibly mediate. But they have to put a more generous offer on the table: the opening of the border crossing from Rafah into Egypt, for example. Israel must also make concessions and allow more freedom of movement.

    SPIEGEL: Are those the reasons why Hamas provoked the current escalation?

    Diskin: Hamas didn’t want this war at first either. But as things often are in the Middle East, things happened differently. It began with the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. From what I read and from what I know about how Hamas operates, I think that the Hamas political bureau was taken by surprise. It seems as though it was not coordinated or directed by them.

    SPIEGEL: Netanyahu, though, claimed that it was and used it as a justification for the harsh measures against Hamas in the West Bank, measures that also targeted the joint Hamas-Fatah government.

    Diskin: Following the kidnapping of the teenagers, Hamas immediately understood that they had a problem. As the army operation in the West Bank expanded, radicals in the Gaza Strip started launching rockets into Israel and the air force flew raids into Gaza. Hamas didn’t try to stop the rockets as they had in the past. Then there was the kidnapping and murder of the Palestinian boy in Jerusalem and this gave them more legitimacy to attack Israel themselves.

    SPIEGEL: How should the government have reacted instead?

    Diskin: It was a mistake by Netanyahu to attack the unity government between Hamas and Fatah under the leadership of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Israel should have been more sophisticated in the way it reacted. We should have supported the Palestinians because we want to make peace with everybody, not with just two-thirds or half of the Palestinians. An agreement with the unity government would have been more sophisticated than saying Abbas is a terrorist. But this unity government must accept all the conditions of the Middle East Quartet. They have to recognize Israel, renounce terrorism and recognize all earlier agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.

    SPIEGEL: The possibility of a third Intifada has been mentioned repeatedly in recent days, triggered by the ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip.

    Diskin: Nobody can predict an Intifada because they aren’t something that is planned. But I would warn against believing that the Palestinians are peaceful due to exhaustion from the occupation. They will never accept the status quo of the Israeli occupation. When people lose hope for an improvement of their situation, they radicalize. That is the nature of human beings. The Gaza Strip is the best example of that. All the conditions are there for an explosion. So many times in my life I was at these junctions that I can feel it almost in my fingertips.

    SPIEGEL: Three of your sons are currently serving in the Israeli army. Are you worried about them?

    Diskin: And a fourth is in the reserves! I am a very worried father, but that is part of it. I defended my country and they will have to do so too. But because real security can only be achieved through peace, Israel, despite its military strength, has to do everything it can in order to reach peace with its neighbors.

    SPIEGEL: Not long ago, the most recent negotiations failed — once again.

    Diskin: Yes, and it’s no wonder. We have a problem today that we didn’t have back in 1993 when the first Oslo Agreement was negotiated. At that time we had real leaders, and we don’t right now. Yitzhak Rabin was one of them. He knew that he would pay a price, but he still decided to move forward with negotiations with the Palestinians. We also had a leader on the Palestinian side in Yasser Arafat. It will be very hard to make peace with Abbas, but not because he doesn’t want it.

    SPIEGEL: Why?

    Diskin: Abbas, who I know well, is not a real leader, and neither is Netanyahu. Abbas is a good person in many respects; he is against terror and is brave enough to say so. Still, two non-leaders cannot make peace. Plus, the two don’t like each other; there is no trust between them.

    SPIEGEL: US Secretary of State John Kerry sought to mediate between the two.

    Diskin: Yes, but from the beginning, the so-called Kerry initiative was a joke. The only way to solve this conflict is a regional solution with the participation of Israel, the Palestinians, Jordan and Egypt. Support from countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and maybe Turkey would also be necessary. That is the only way to consider all the demands and solve all problems. And we need more time, at least five years — and more to implement it step-by-step.

    SPIEGEL: Why isn’t Netanyahu working toward such a compromise, preferring instead to focus on the dangers presented by an Iranian nuclear bomb?

    Diskin: I have always claimed that Iran is not Israel’s real problem. It is this conflict with the Palestinians, which has lasted way too long and which has just intensified yet again. The conflict is, in combination with the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the biggest security risk for the state of Israel. But Netanyahu has made the invocation of an existential threat from Iran into his mantra, it is almost messianic. And of course he has derived political profit from it. It is much easier to create consensus about the Iranian existential threat than about an agreement with the Palestinians. Because there, Netanyahu has a problem with his electorate.

    SPIEGEL: You have warned that the settlements in the West Bank may soon become irreversible and that it will make the two-state solution impossible.

    Diskin: We are currently very near this point of no return. The number of settlers is increasing and already a solution to this problem is almost impossible, from a purely logistical standpoint, even if the political will were there. And this government is building more than any government has built in the past.

    SPIEGEL: Is a solution to the conflict even possible anymore?

    Diskin: We have to go step-by-step; we need many small successes. We need commitment on the Palestinian side and the acceptance of the Middle East Quartet conditions. And Israel must freeze at once any settlement activity outside the big blocks of settlements. Otherwise, the only possibility is a single, shared state. And that is a very bad alternative.

    SPIEGEL: Mohammed Abu Chidair, the teenager murdered by Israeli right-wing extremists, was recognized as being a victim of terror. Why hasn’t Israel’s security service Shin Bet been as forceful in addressing Israeli terror as it has with Arab terror?

    Diskin: We invested lots of capabilities and means in order to take care of this issue, but we didn’t have much success. We don’t have the same tools for fighting Jewish extremism or even terrorists as we have when we are, for example, facing Palestinian extremists. For Palestinians in the occupied territories, military rule is applied whereas civilian law applies to settlers. The biggest problem, though, is bringing these people to trial and putting them in jail. Israeli courts are very strict with Shin Bet when the defendants are Jewish. Something really dramatic has to happen before officials are going to take on Jewish terror.

    SPIEGEL: A lawmaker from the pro-settler party Jewish Home wrote that Israel’s enemy is “every single Palestinian.”

    Diskin: The hate and this incitement were apparent even before this terrible murder. But then, the fact that it really happened, is unbelievable. It may sound like a paradox, but even in killing there are differences. You can shoot someone and hide his body under rocks, like the murderer of the three Jewish teenagers did. Or you can pour oil into the lungs and light him on fire, alive, as happened to Mohammed Abu Chidair.... I cannot even think of what these guys did. People like Naftali Bennett have created this atmosphere together with other extremist politicians and rabbis. They are acting irresponsibly; they are thinking only about their electorate and not in terms of the long-term effects on Israeli society — on the state as a whole.

    SPIEGEL: Do you believe there is a danger of Israel becoming isolated?

    Diskin: I am sorry to say it, but yes. I will never support sanctions on my country, but I think the government may bring this problem onto the country. We are losing legitimacy and the room to operate is no longer great, not even when danger looms.
    SPIEGEL: Do you sometimes feel isolated with your view on the situation?

    Diskin: There are plenty of people within Shin Bet, Mossad and the army who think like I do. But in another five years, we will be very lonely people. Because the number of religious Zionists in positions of political power and in the military is continually growing.

    About Yuval Diskin

    Yuval Diskin was the director of Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet between 2005 and 2011. In recent years, he has become an outspoken critic of the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    • Extraits ...

      The army is now trying to destroy the tunnels between Israel and the Gaza Strip with a kind of mini-invasion, also so that the government can show that it is doing something. Its voters have been increasingly vehement in demanding an invasion.

      Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz are not very adventurous. None of them really wanted to go in. None of them is really enthusiastic about reoccupying the Gaza Strip.

      It would take one to two years to take over the Gaza Strip and get rid of the tunnels, the weapons depots and the ammunition stashes step-by-step. It would take time, but from the military point of view, it is possible. But then we would have 2 million people, most of them refugees, under our control and would be faced with criticism from the international community.

      the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. From what I know about how Hamas operates, It seems as though it was not coordinated or directed by them.

  • Gaza : Absolument nulle part où aller pour se protéger et protéger ses enfants

    Pour mieux comprendre le problème que pose l’évacuation, il faut avoir en mémoire la carte dressée par UN Ocha OpT

    La zone rouge, c’est l’espace dans lequel les autorités israéliennes ont demandé l’évacuation complète et dans lequel elles demandent de ne pas circuler...

    Mais les autorités israélienne bombardent aussi dans la zone blanche, et vu que la frontière avec l’Egypte est fermée, on se demande pourquoi Israël n’a pas demandé aux palestiniens de se jeter à l’eau. Ah non, ils n’ont pas le droit non plus.

  • Laurent Fabius au Caire : une escale qui rapporte le plus gros contrat militaire signé par des industriels français depuis 20 ans

    France signs first military deal with Egypt in 20 years
    Reuters, Saturday 19 Jul 2014

    France has secured its first major military contract in Egypt in about 20 years with a 1 billion euros ($1.35 billion) deal to sell four naval frigates, a French diplomatic source said on Saturday.
    Paris and Cairo have enjoyed close economic ties in the past but turmoil in the north African state since former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted has left Western governments wary of signing contracts, especially in the defence sector.

    “We have good bilateral relations,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in Cairo after meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El Sisi. “We discussed economic aspects and ... contracts, including in the defence sector.”

    The DCNS company, in which the French state has a majority stake, won the contract to provide four corvette frigates to the Egyptian navy.

    “The contract is worth about 1 billion euros and was finalised last month,” a French diplomatic source said. “It’s the first big deal since we sold Mirage fighters (warplanes) about 20 years ago.”

    Egypt is concerned about the threat of Islamist militants launching attacks within the country and the worsening security situation in neighbouring Libya.

    Once a top recipient of U.S. military aid, Egypt lost most of its $1.3 billion a year package after the 2011 popular uprising that toppled Mubarak.

    However, the U.S. government relaxed its position this year and said it would provide $650 million in military financing.

    The talks between Fabius and Sisi included the threat of Islamist militancy in Egypt.

    “What we spoke about the most is the general terrorist threat. The Egyptians are convinced of the links of all these groups between each other and the risks they present,” Fabius said.

  • Twenty one Egyptian soldiers killed in attack on border checkpoint

    Egypt’s military said militants firing machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades attacked a border checkpoint Saturday, killing 21 soldiers in one of the biggest assaults on security forces in years. The attack in a desert area 630 kilometers (390 miles) west of Cairo also left four soldiers wounded, the military said in a statement, blaming “terrorists.” It said a rocket propelled grenade fired by the militants set off an explosion in an ammunition depot at the El-Farafrah post, killing the soldiers. read more


  • Le Hamas remet les conditions d’une trêve

    Après une journée sanglante à Gaza, le Hamas a remis les conditions d’une trêve avec Israël à l’Egypte, au Qatar, à la Turquie, à la Ligue arabe et au président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas, a indiqué samedi le mouvement islamiste.

    « Le Hamas a donné les revendications de la Résistance (palestinienne) à toutes les parties intéressées, y compris le Qatar, la Turquie, la Ligue arabe ainsi que Mahmoud Abbas », a déclaré à l’AFP un porte-parole du Hamas à Gaza, Fawzi Barhoum, précisant que l’Egypte, précédemment médiatrice entre Israël et le Hamas, avait été aussi informée.

    Abbas enterrine les demande du Hamas

    C’est la première fois que le président Abbas, chef de l’Autorité palestinienne qui administre les zones autonomes de Cisjordanie, est publiquement cité comme partie prenante du processus par le Hamas, de facto au pouvoir à Gaza.

    A Ramallah, Yasser Abed Rabbo, le secrétaire général de l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine (OLP), dirigée par M. Abbas, a entériné les demandes du Hamas au nom du programme national palestinien pour aboutir à un Etat souverain. « Les demandes de la Résistance sont aussi nos demandes », a dit M. Abed Rabbo dans une interview à la télévision palestinienne. « Si Gaza est brisée, tous les Palestiniens seront brisés », a-t-il ajouté.

    7 conditions pour un cessez-le-feu

    Un haut responsable palestinien à Gaza a rappelé samedi les conditions nécessaires à un cessez-le-feu :

    – « La fin de l’agression contre le peuple palestinien ».
    – La levée complète du blocus de Gaza, en place depuis 2006.
    – L’ouverture du poste-frontalier de Rafah avec l’Egypte.
    – La liberté de mouvement pour les habitants de Gaza dans la zone frontalière avec Israël.
    – La suppression de la « zone tampon », interdite aux habitants de Gaza, à la frontière.
    – L’autorisation de pêcher jusqu’à 12 milles marins des côtes de Gaza.
    – La libération des prisonniers arrêtés de nouveau avoir été relâchés dans le cadre de l’accord d’échange avec le soldat israélien Gilad Shalit en 2011.

    Par ailleurs, le président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas doit rencontrer dimanche le chef en exil du Hamas Khaled Mechaal à Doha pour parler d’une trêve à Gaza.

    L’Egypte a présenté cette semaine une initiative de cessez-le-feu, acceptée par Israël mais rejetée par le Hamas, exigeant une levée du blocus de Gaza, l’ouverture de la frontière avec l’Egypte et la libération de dizaines de détenus. Le Hamas a affirmé ne pas avoir été mis au courant de cette proposition et l’avoir apprise par les médias, ce qui l’a rendu furieux. Le mouvement islamiste veut impliquer ses alliés turc et qatariote dans toute initiative de trêve.

    #israël #gaza_massacré

  • La France décroche un gros contrat militaire en Egypte - Yahoo Actualités Franceécroche-un-gros-contrat-militaire-en-144536166.html

    La France a décroché son premier gros contrat militaire en Egypte depuis une vingtaine d’années, portant sur la vente de quatre frégates, pour un total d’un milliard d’euros, a-t-on déclaré samedi de source diplomatique française.


  • #Egypt adds insult to injury by sending #Gaza expired aid packages

    Egyptian security forces stand guard as an ambulance, carrying a Palestinian who was wounded in an Israeli air strike, crosses the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip on July 12, 2014 in Rafah. (Photo: AFP-Said Khatib) Egyptian security forces stand guard as an ambulance, carrying a Palestinian who was wounded in an Israeli air strike, crosses the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip on July 12, 2014 in Rafah. (Photo: AFP-Said Khatib)

    “Grudges subside in times of adversity.” However, this old Arab saying does not seem to apply to the relationship between Gaza and Cairo. It is true that Egypt already made its position clear about the war in Gaza by the kind of truce it proposed and (...)

    #Culture_&_Society #Articles #Euro-Mediterranean_Human_Rights_Center #Hamas #Israel #Muslim_Brotherhood #Ramallah #UN

  • #Egypt blocks aid convoy from entering #Gaza

    Egyptian soldiers in north Sinai prevented an aid convoy of activists from reaching the Rafah border crossing with the embattled Palestinian Gaza Strip on Saturday, an AFP correspondent said. An army officer at the Balloza checkpoint, one of many along the desert highway to Rafah, told an AFP correspondent that the security situation in the restive peninsula was too unstable to allow the convoy of 11 buses and 500 activists to pass. There was a brief scuffle between some activists and soldiers but no arrests were made. read more


  • #Egypt says it has “no plans” to modify #Gaza truce proposal

    Egypt has no plans to revise its #ceasefire proposal to end fighting in Gaza, Cairo’s foreign minister said on Saturday. “It provides the needs of all sides and we will continue offering it and we hope to get their support as soon as possible,” said Sameh Shukri at a news conference with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius. The comments were made after Fabius held talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the Gaza crisis. (Reuters)

    #Israel #Palestinian

  • Turkey PM slams Egypt’s ’illegitimate tyrant’ Sisi | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

    ANKARA: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday slammed Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as an illegitimate tyrant, saying Cairo could not be relied upon to negotiate a truce with Israel.

    • ’Israel is not the enemy,’ says Egyptian secularist

      Mohamed Zaki El-Sheimy, member of the culture committee at the Free Egyptians Party, said that “Israel is not the enemy”, and called for eliminating the Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

      In an article published by the pro-regime website “Dot Misr”, Sheimy said: “Our foreign enemy now is not Israel, but rather the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Qatar and Turkey. Israel is not the enemy; at least it’s not the biggest threat to us... Hamas is the enemy... Any weakening of Hamas serves Egypt’s interests.”

      The Free Egyptians Party, founded by Egyptian secular billionaire Naguib Sawiris, supported the army’s overthrow of freely elected president Mohamed Morsi last summer.

  • Egyptian media wages incitement campaign against Palestinians as #Gaza burns

    Palestinians wait next to their luggage, hoping to be given the permission to cross into #Egypt at the #Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip on July 12, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Said Khatib) Palestinians wait next to their luggage, hoping to be given the permission to cross into Egypt at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip on July 12, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Said Khatib)

    Right across Egypt’s Rafah border crossing, civilians in Gaza are facing yet another heinous Israeli military offensive that started on July 8 and has so far claimed the lives of over 265 Palestinians and left a further 2,000 injured. While the hostile political and military stance against #Hamas in Egypt is of no surprise, (...)

    #Mideast_&_North_Africa #Abdel_Fattah_al-Sisi #Articles #Israel #Mohammad_Moris #Muslim_Brotherhood #Palestinian #Revolutionary_Socialists

  • Gaza: Netanyahu’s real goal, by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

    On the pretext that Hamas has rejected Egypt’s proposed ceasefire, Israel is escalating Operation Protective Edge with plans for intensified airstrikes. Now IT has launched its much-vaunted ground invasion, likely designed to collapse Gaza’s civilian infrastructure — on Tuesday, the IDF called on residents of eastern and northern #Gaza — some 100,000 people — to evacuate their homes.

    The only conceivable objective of this total war on Gazan society is the forced displacement and expulsion of the Palestinian people from their homes.

  • Wounded Palestinians scorned in #Egypt’s #al-Arish General Hospital

    A Palestinian young boy, who was wounded in an Israeli air strike, lays on a stretcher in an ambulance before being given the permission to cross into Egypt at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern #Gaza Strip on July 12, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Said Khatib) A Palestinian young boy, who was wounded in an Israeli air strike, lays on a stretcher in an ambulance before being given the permission to cross into Egypt at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip on July 12, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Said Khatib)

    Another episode of Palestinian suffering plays out again and political differences cast their bitter shadow over people’s lives. This is what is happening between Palestinians and Egyptians after Cairo (...)

    #Culture_&_Society #al-Arish_General_Hospital #al-Quds_University #Articles #Israel #Sinai

  • How the West Chose War in Gaza
    #Gaza and #Israel: The Road to War, Paved by the West
    JULY 17, 2014

    Israel immediately sought to undermine the reconciliation agreement by preventing Hamas leaders and Gaza residents from obtaining the two most essential benefits of the deal: the payment of salaries to 43,000 civil servants who worked for the Hamas government and continue to administer Gaza under the new one, and the easing of the suffocating border closures imposed by Israel and Egypt that bar most Gazans’ passage to the outside world.


    The new government’s ostensible supporters, especially the United States and Europe, could have pushed Egypt to ease border restrictions, thereby demonstrating to Gazans that Hamas rule had been the cause of their isolation and impoverishment. But they did not.

    Instead, after Hamas transferred authority to a government of pro-Western technocrats, life in Gaza became worse.

    Qatar had offered to pay Gaza’s 43,000 civil servants, and America and Europe could have helped facilitate that. But Washington warned that American law prohibited any entity delivering payment to even one of those employees — many thousands of whom are not members of Hamas but all of whom are considered by American law to have received material support from a terrorist organization.

    When a United Nations envoy offered to resolve this crisis by delivering the salaries through the United Nations, so as to exclude all parties from legal liability, the Obama administration did not assist. Instead, it stood by as Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called for the envoy’s expulsion on the grounds that he was “trying to funnel money” to Hamas.

    #complicité #Etats-Unis #UE

  • Donc #el-Sissi est le “nouveau Nasser”,

    Egypt: Hamas ’could have saved dozens of lives’ with truce | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

    CAIRO: Egypt’s foreign minister said Thursday that Hamas could have saved dozens of lives if it had accepted a Cairo-mediated truce earlier this week in its conflict with Israel.

    “Had Hamas accepted the Egyptian proposal, it could have saved the lives of at least 40 Palestinians,” Sameh Shoukri said, quoted by state news agency MENA.

    • Israeli journalist: ’ Egypt’s ceasefire proposal grants Israel international legitimacy to bomb Gaza

      The Sisi regime in Cairo is a crucial ally to Israel in its efforts to crush Palestinian resistance, Israeli commentator Ron Ben-Yishai said on Tuesday.

      In his column for Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Ben-Yishai said that the Egyptian regime, led by President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi, is working jointly with Israel to slowly undermine Gaza’s military capabilities by its destruction of tunnels and its closure of the Rafah border crossing.

      He also hailed the Egyptian regime for the ceasefire proposal, considering it “a very calculated move, optimal for both Egypt and Israel”.

      Ben-Yishai added that the Egyptian proposal “has granted Israel international legitimacy to continue to crush Hamas from the air. It has also received the Egyptians as a partner for the arduous negotiations with Hamas, and Al-Sisi’s goodwill in preventing the strengthening of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the future.”

      He went on to say that Egypt will remain an Israeli ally so long as Al-Sisi remains in power, because of his efforts to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza.

      “That Egypt remains the broker also works to Israel’s advantage. The Egyptians are now committed to restoring the calm and preventing the smuggling of weapons into Gaza, and will probably remain so as long as Al-Sisi is in power,” he said.

    • Gaza : la trêve ’aurait pu sauver des vies’

      Le ministre égyptien des Affaires étrangères a vivement critiqué le Hamas aujourd’hui, estimant que le mouvement islamiste aurait pu sauver des dizaines de vies s’il avait accepté un cessez-le-feu, proposé cette semaine par Le Caire, et qui avait été accepté par Israël.

      #complicité #crimes_de_guerre

    • When and how will it end?

      The terms of the ceasefire offered through Egypt’s offices amounted virtually to a surrender by Hamas. “It was a trap,” says a European diplomat who still meets Hamas. “Hamas knows that Sisi wants to strangle the movement even more than Israel does.” Since Egypt’s generals overthrew Mr Sisi’s predecessor, Muhammad Morsi, last year, they have closed most of the tunnels under the border with Gaza which served as a lifeline, carrying basic goods as well as arms into the strip. Mr Sisi seems content to see Hamas thrashed.

    • The Last Great Myth About Egypt
      Cairo has never been a mediator between Israel and Palestine — and today’s regime actually benefits from the Gaza invasion.

      In an entirely cynical way, what could be better from where Sisi sits? The Israelis are battering Hamas at little or no cost to Egypt. In the midst of the maelstrom, the new president, statesman-like, proposed a cease-fire. If the combatants accept it, he wins. If they reject it, as Hamas did — it offered them very little — Sisi also wins.

      Rather than making Sisi look impotent, Hamas’s rejection of his July 14 cease-fire has only reinforced the Egyptian, Israeli, and American narrative about the organization’s intransigence. The Egyptians appear to be calculating, rightly or wrongly, that aligning with Israel will serve their broader goals by bringing Hamas to heel, improving security in the Sinai, and diminishing the role of other regional actors. In other words, Sisi is seeking to accomplish without a cease-fire what Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi accomplished with a cessation of hostilities.

      Sisi’s strategy, of course, could backfire. Mubarak tried something similar during the 2006 Israeli incursion into Lebanon — supporting the operation with the belief that the mighty IDF would deal a blow to Hezbollah, only to be exposed politically when the Israelis underperformed and killed a large number of Lebanese civilians in the process. Confronted with an increasingly hostile press and inflamed public opinion — posters lauding Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became common around Cairo — Mubarak was forced to dispatch his son, Gamal, and a planeload of regime courtiers to Beirut in a lame effort to demonstrate Egypt’s support for the Lebanese people.

      A similar dynamic might alter Sisi’s calculations on Gaza. Egyptian officials may have whipped up anti-Hamas sentiment in their effort to discredit the Muslim Brotherhood, but this does not diminish the solidarity many Egyptians feel for the Palestinians.

      It may be that Egyptians have come to loathe the Brotherhood, but they hate Israel more. As Operation Protective Edge widens and more civilians are killed, Sisi’s collusion with Israel may become politically untenable.