organization:islamic jihad

  • The Future Is Here, and It Features Hackers Getting Bombed – Foreign Policy

    Smoke billows from a targeted neighborhood in Gaza City during an Israeli airstrike on the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave on May 5.

    Israeli armed forces responded to a Hamas cyberattack by bombing the group’s hacking headquarters.

    With an airstrike on Sunday, the Israeli military provided a glimpse of the future of warfare.

    After blocking a cyberattack that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said was launched by operatives working on behalf of the militant group Hamas, the IDF carried out an airstrike in Gaza targeting the building in which the hackers worked, partially destroying it. The strike appears to be the first time that a nation’s military has responded in real time to a cyberattack with physical force.

    In a tweet, the IDF declared victory, saying: “We thwarted an attempted Hamas cyber offensive against Israeli targets. Following our successful cyber defensive operation, we targeted a building where the Hamas cyber operatives work.

    HamasCyberHQ.exe has been removed,” the tweet added, in what appears to have been a macabre attempt at a joke using an invented file name.

    For years, countries have used policy documents and strategy white papers to warn that they reserved the right to choose the method by which they respond to cyberattacks, either in kind through cyberspace or with physical force, said Catherine Lotrionte, an expert on international law and a professor at Georgetown University. Now, Israel has made those warnings concrete.

    You’ve got a physical operation against a building that was in response to an ongoing cyberattack or at least a cyberattack that Hamas was planning—that’s the interesting part,” Lotrionte said.

    Key questions remain about the Israeli operation, and IDF officials declined to answer questions from Foreign Policy about the nature of the attack launched by Hamas against Israel.

    In a press statement, the IDF said Hamas “attempted to establish offensive cyber capabilities within the Gaza Strip and to try and harm the Israeli cyber realm.” These “efforts were discovered in advance and thwarted,” and following the operation to thwart the cyberattack, “the IDF attacked a building from which the members of Hamas’ cyber array operated.

    The decision to bomb a Hamas hacking unit comes as armed forces are increasingly integrating cyberoperations into their militaries, and the Israeli decision to target such a unit was completely unsurprising to scholars and practitioners of cyberwarfare.

    It’s no surprise that in a digital age marked by heightened risk of cyberwarfare a nation-state engaged in a noninternational armed conflict would regard the cyber-capabilities of its adversary as valid military targets under international law,” said David Simon, a lawyer at the law firm Mayer Brown who worked on cybersecurity policy and operations as a special counsel at the U.S. Defense Department.

    And even if the notion of bombing hackers appears surprising on its face, Israel was likely on solid legal footing when it did so, provided that the hackers were in fact carrying out an offensive operation on behalf of a militant group engaged in armed conflict with Israel.

    Legal experts emphasized that the context of Sunday’s strike was key in understanding Israel’s calculus to carry it out. The strike came amid a renewed period of fighting that saw Palestinian militants fire hundreds of rockets into Israeli territory, with Israel responding with an intense artillery and aerial barrage of Gaza.

    Militaries around the world have recognized cyberspace as a domain of military operations, and that leaves hackers participating in an armed conflict in a highly exposed position. “Hackers who are engaged in military attacks are legitimate targets,” said Gary Brown, a cyberlaw professor at the National Defense University.

    Militant groups such as Hamas have invested heavily in their online operations in recent years, using them as a way to poke at far more powerful, better resourced opponents. Cyberspace serves as a key way to distribute propaganda and gain intelligence about adversaries.

    In one notorious example, a hacker working on behalf of the militant group Islamic Jihad pleaded guilty in 2017 to charges of hacking into the video feeds of IDF drones carrying out surveillance over Gaza.

    Sunday’s bombing is not the first time hackers have been targeted in airstrikes—though it is believed to be the first time hackers engaged in an ongoing operation have been hit. In 2015, a U.S. airstrike in Syria killed the Islamic State hacker Junaid Hussain, who had become a prolific propagandist and recruiter for the group.

    Hussain hacked into the personal accounts of hundreds of U.S. service members and posted their personal information online and helped recruit the men who opened fire in 2015 on a cartoon exhibition in Garland, Texas. As he ascended the ranks of the Islamic State’s leadership, he was singled out to be killed.

    Hussain’s killing arguably laid the groundwork for Sunday’s strike, which experts argue sends a message to hackers engaged in offensive activity.

    It’s kind of a wake-up call for people who thought they were going to be able to engage in cyberactivity with impunity,” Brown said. “It now looks like states are willing to reach behind the lines and strike hackers.

    • Si je lis bien le communiqué des Forces de défense israéliennes, il ne s’agit pas du tout d’une riposte comme cela est repris partout, mais bien d’une attaque préemptive, pour parler comme un précédent président états-unien.

      CLEARED FOR RELEASE: We thwarted an attempted Hamas cyber offensive against Israeli targets. Following our successful cyber defensive operation, we targeted a building where the Hamas cyber operatives work.

      HamasCyberHQ.exe has been removed.

      Je ne trouve pas le communiqué de presse du porte-parolat de l’armée israélienne. Mais celui-ci semble sans ambiguïté.

      IDF : Hamas cyber attack against Israel foiled - Israel National News

      Over the course of the weekend, a joint IDF and Israel Security Agency (ISA) operation thwarted an attempted cyber attack by Hamas targeting Israeli sites, according to a press release by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit on Sunday.

      The Hamas terrorist organization attempted to establish offensive cyber capabilities within the Gaza Strip and to try and harm Israeli cyber targets.

      All of Hamas’ efforts were discovered in advance and thwarted. Hamas’ cyber efforts, which included an attempt in recent days, failed to achieve its goals.

      Following Israel’s technological activities to stop Hamas’s cyber efforts, the IDF attacked a building from which the members of Hamas’ cyber array operated.

      Israel’s cyber efforts and defensive capabilities have led Hamas’ cyber attempts to fail time and time again," a senior ISA official said.

    • On se demande vraiment comment David Israël, associé à David etats-unis, david Union européenne, david Canada, david Australie, david Nouvelle-Zélande, sans oublier les divers arabes modérés de la région, on se demande donc comment ces David et modérés réussissent à faire en sorte que les « cyber-efforts et les capacités défensives d’Israël » conduisent les « cyber-tentatives du [GOLIATHISSIME] Hamas à échouer à plusieurs reprises. »

  •  » Army Kills Two Palestinians In Gaza, One Israeli Killed By Palestinian Shell
    May 5, 2019 9:48 AM - IMEMC News

    The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has reported that the soldiers killed Mahmoud Sobhi Issa , 26, and Fawzi Abdul-Halim Bawadi , 24, in the al-Boreij refugee camp. Both are members of the al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad.

    Mahmoud Sobhi Issa
    Fawzi Abdul-Halim Bawadi

    The army also fired missiles at a home, owned by members of Zo’rob family, in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and leveled it.

    Media sources in Gaza said the Israeli army carried out more than 150 air strikes, in addition to firing dozens of artillery shells against 220 civilian structures in the Gaza Strip, including residential buildings, mosques, stores, educational facilities, media agencies and workshops.

    The number of apartment buildings that were targeted by Israeli missiles has arrived to seven, in several parts of the Gaza Strip, in addition to the al-Mustafa Mosque in the Shati’ refugee camp.

    The soldiers also fired missiles targeting 22 agricultural lands and hothouses, near the al-Azhar University and the Islamic University, and caused serious damage to several schools.

    Furthermore, the army fired a missile at a motorcycle in the al-Falouja area, in northern Gaza, wounding two Palestinians, including one who suffered a life-threatening injury.

    At least two Palestinians were also injured after the army fired missiles into an area east of Gaza City. (...)


  • Le mouvement Hamas doit prendre garde !
    Abdel Bari Atwan - 9 mars 2019 – Raï al-Yaoum – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine – Lotfallah

    Il existe effectivement un projet visant à déstabiliser Gaza, mais ce n’est pas une excuse pour frapper les manifestants.

    Il ne fait aucun doute que le mouvement Hamas a commis des erreurs à Gaza. Il a dirigé la bande de Gaza de manière partisane et sectaire, en faisant appel à ses loyalistes et en s’aliénant ses opposants, voire même ceux qui étaient neutres. Il s’est ainsi donné une longue ligne d’adversaires : cela commence à l’intérieur de Gaza avec les opposants locaux qui appartiennent au mouvement Fatah et certains groupes islamistes radicaux opposés au maintien du calme ; puis cela passe par Ramallah où l’Autorité palestinienne (AP) veut reprendre la mains sur la bande de Gaza à ses propres conditions, la principale étant de désarmer la résistance ; et cela se termine à Tel-Aviv, où l’État israélien d’occupation est de plus en plus inquiet de la résistance armée de Gaza, des missiles et des manifestations de masse.

    Malgré tous ces défis, rien ne peut justifier la façon très laide, insultante et brutale avec laquelle la police du Hamas a traité les manifestants alors que ceux-ci cherchaient à exprimer leur colère face à la dégradation des conditions de vie dans le territoire sous blocus. Ces manifestants utilisaient des moyens purement pacifiques pour protester contre les impôts et les taxes qui pèsent sur eux, l’inflation qui rendre la vie impossible et, plus important encore, le taux de chômage des jeunes de 60% ou plus qui les incite à prendre la mer et à risquer leur vie pour tenter de migrer.

    Le Hamas a raison de dire qu’il est confronté à un complot aux multiples facettes visant à remettre en cause son pouvoir à Gaza en déstabilisant le territoire et en le faisant exploser de l’intérieur. Le chef de l’Autorité palestinienne, Mahmoud Abbas, et ses assistants ne cachent pas leur intention d’atteindre cet objectif en multipliant les pressions sur les habitants de la bande de Gaza. C’est la raison pour laquelle ils ont largement rogné sur les salaires des fonctionnaires – y compris les partisans du Fatah -, forcé des milliers de personnes à prendre une retraite anticipée et cessé de payer la facture de carburant de la seule centrale électrique de la bande côtière. Israël – confronté à des missiles de plus en plus efficaces, des ballons et des cerfs-volants incendiaires, des Marches du retour et des dommages croissants à sa réputation internationale – est naturellement le principal comploteur.

    Chaque fois que j’appelais des parents ou des amis dans la bande de Gaza, quelle que soit leur conviction politique, ils se plaignaient de moments difficiles et de la difficulté à joindre les deux bouts. Mais tous, même les partisans du Fatah, étaient d’accord sur un point : le Hamas avait instauré la sécurité et mis fin à l’anarchie qui régnait avant sa prise du pouvoir par son célèbre coup de force de 2007. (...)

    • Hamas Crushes Protests at Cost to Its Popularity

      Even if demonstrators don’t dare protest again, the Hamas government has inflicted upon itself a powerful blow

      Amira Hass | Mar 19, 2019 12:08 PM

      For now it seems that the intimidation has done its job. The Hamas regime in Gaza succeeded in putting down the protests. But the immediate and cruel repression has managed to shock even those people who tend to take Hamas’ side in the conflict between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, or who see the Ramallah leadership as primarily responsible – after Israel, of course – for the Gaza residents’ enormous distress.

      Hamas proved last week the extent to which it fears popular criticism, which at first wasn’t necessarily ideological or political. There is a tendency to believe that the Hamas leadership is more attentive to the public than the Fatah leadership. The former was given a chance to confirm this belief and score some points even among those who are not their ideological supporters. That opportunity was squandered.

      In response to the suppression of the demonstrations and the detention of journalists (23 of whom were arrested, with three still detained as of Monday), journalists received a message this week to boycott the March of Return demonstrations this Friday and not to report on them. “This will be a test of the youth movement,” a Gazan woman told Haaretz. “If they don’t attend the demonstrations and leave them just to the Hamas people, it will be another way to show their strength and the strength of the protest.”

      Despite the high price they’ve exacted in lives and in the health of Gazan residents and the functioning of the Strip’s health system, the March of Return demonstrations were seen as an act that gave meaning to the residents cooped up in the Strip, and as a political achievement for Hamas, which had organized a protest that reached the ears of the entire world. Therefore the readiness – even if it’s only talk – to boycott them as an act of protest indicates that Hamas cannot count forever on its monopoly as the leading force of resistance against the occupation.

      Hamas has proven that it clings to its status as the ruling party in Gaza, just as Fatah is clinging to its status as the ruling party in the West Bank enclaves. Just as the PA organized artificial demonstrations of support for Mahmoud Abbas, so did Hamas fashion rallies for itself over the past few days in Gaza, while blocking the authentic demonstrations. On Sunday it exploited the shooting and knifing attack at the Ariel junction to bring its supporters out into the streets. What it denies its opponents, it permits its supporters.

      The youth movement that initiated the demonstrations promised on Sunday to revive them, but it didn’t happen. Nevertheless, those I spoke with gave the impression that there’s no fear of speaking openly about what’s happening and to share the reports with others. The way Hamas security personnel beat demonstrators could be seen from the few video clips that were distributed, despite the confiscation of journalists’ and others’ cell phones. They are reminiscent of the videos taken at demonstrations in Iran – with telephones that were half hidden under clothing or handbags, or from behind screens.

      The total number of people arrested and those freed is not known and it’s doubtful if anyone will manage to calculate it. Nor is it known how many people are still being detained in police stations now. The talk of torture in detention was very scary. There were reports that some regular participants in the Friday demonstrations were among those detained and tortured. These reports are yet to be verified.

      When journalists are not free and don’t dare investigate events properly, the Palestinian human rights organizations operating in Gaza become even more important, particularly the Independent Palestinian Human Rights Commission, (which acts as the ombudsman of the PA and of the de facto government in Gaza), the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights. These are organizations that criticize the PA regime when necessary, and continuously document the Israeli violations of international law and human rights.

      During the wars and Israeli military attacks, their field investigators took risks to gather testimony and document the harshest of incidents. Shortly after the violent dispersal of the demonstrations in Gaza on Thursday, these organizations issued reports and condemnations – in Arabic and English – provided their counterpart organizations in Ramallah with regular information, and repeatedly sent out their people to take testimony.

      Here too the Hamas security apparatuses revealed their fear of the facts coming out; policemen attacked two senior officials of the Independent Palestinian Commission – Jamil Sarhan, director of the Gaza branch, and attorney Baker Turkmani. On Friday, in the context of their work, both of them were in the home of a journalist in the Dir al-Balah refugee camp, where the boldest demonstrations took place. Hamas policemen confiscated their cell phones and removed them from the house. When they were outside, in police custody, although their identities were known, other policemen beat them until they bled. Sarhan still suffers from a head wound.

      It didn’t stop there. Four researchers from three human rights organizations (the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Al-Mezan and Al-Dameer) were arrested Saturday while collecting testimony and were taken for questioning. When the lawyer of the Palestinian Center went to the police to find out the reason for the arrests, he was also arrested. But the five were released a few hours later. These organizations and their people have proven in the past that they cannot be intimidated. So from Hamas’ perspective, the attempt to frighten them was foolish.

      It seems that the suppression of the demonstrations restored, if only for a short while, the emotional and ideological barrier that in the 1980s had separated the nationalist PLO groups and the Islamic organizations in the pre-Hamas era. The National and Islamic Forces, an umbrella body, convened Friday and called on Hamas to apologize to the public and release all the detainees.

      Hamas and Fatah have long refused to sit together at these meetings, at least at most of them, so this is an organization without teeth. But its importance as an umbrella body is that during times of crisis it brings together senior officials of various parties and movements, albeit not all of them, and provides some sort of platform for exchanging views and calming the situation when necessary.

      At this meeting, all the national organizations were present except for Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The absence of the latter is interesting; during past periods of tension between Hamas and Fatah, this small organization remained neutral and was a partner to the external efforts to reconcile between them. This time one could interpret their absence from the meeting as expressing support for Hamas’ repression – or as dependence on the large religious organization.

      Those who signed the meeting’s call for Hamas to apologize included the Popular Front, which is very close to Hamas when it comes to their criticism of the Oslo Accords and the PA. Although it has shrunk and no longer has prominent leaders or activists as in the past, it still benefits from its past glory, and its clear stance has symbolic value. Even if the demonstrators fear to return to protest for a lengthy period, the Hamas government has inflicted upon itself a powerful blow.

  • » Israeli Missiles Injure Four, Including A Husband And His Wife, In Gaza
    March 15, 2019 - IMEMC News

    The Israeli army has announced it fired missiles against 100 targets in several parts of the Gaza Strip, in a serious violation that led to excessive property damage, and despite military claims of “targeting Hamas sites,” a husband and his wife were among four Palestinians injured.

    The Al-Quds brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, declared a state of readiness among all its fighters, and vowed “fierce retaliation.”

    “It seems that the enemy has mistaken our silence for idleness,” the brigades said in a statement, “This enemy needs to get the message straight; we will not be silent while it targets our people and continues its aggression, escalation.”

    On its part, the Popular Resistance Committees said that the resistance will not allow Israel to turn Gaza into the battle field as part of its corruption and election campaign. Israel is scheduled to hold general elections on April 9th.

    “We will defend our people, and we will not remain silent,” it added.

    According to a statement by the Israeli army, four projectiles were reportedly fired from the Gaza Strip into Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council of Settlements, while the Iron Dome interception system managed to strike three of them.


    • 4 Palestinians injured in 100 Israeli airstrikes across Gaza
      March 15, 2019 11:56 A.M. (Updated: March 15, 2019 2:59 P.M.)

      (...) The Israeli army announced that 100 sites were targeted across the Gaza Strip, in response to missiles reportedly fired from Gaza.

      Palestinian factions denied responsibility for any missiles fired from Gaza.

      Additionally, the Palestinian Ministry of Interior and Security in Gaza said in a statement that the fired missiles were against national and factional consensus.

      The ministry said that necessary measures will be taken against those responsible.

    • Israël bombarde Gaza après des tirs de roquettes
      15 mars 2019 Par Agence Reuters
      L’aviation israélienne a bombardé une centaine d’objectifs dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi dans la bande de Gaza après le tir de deux roquettes en direction de Tel Aviv à partir de la petite enclave palestinienne, une première depuis la guerre de 2014.

      GAZA (Reuters) - L’aviation israélienne a bombardé une centaine d’objectifs dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi dans la bande de Gaza après le tir de deux roquettes en direction de Tel Aviv à partir de la petite enclave palestinienne, une première depuis la guerre de 2014.

      L’armée israélienne a précisé avoir visé des « objectifs militaires » appartenant au Mouvement de la résistance islamique Hamas qui contrôle la bande de Gaza depuis juin 2007.

      Il s’agit notamment d’un site de fabrication de missiles, d’un dépôt d’armes et d’un quartier général du Hamas, a ajouté l’armée.

      Le ministère de la Santé à Gaza a fait état de quatre blessés dans ces raids israéliens menés par des avions et par des hélicoptères.

      Jeudi soir, vers 21h00 locales, les sirènes ont retenti à Tel Aviv et des habitants ont entendu des explosions.

      L’armée israélienne a déclaré que deux roquettes avaient été tirées de la bande de Gaza mais n’avaient fait ni victime ni dégâts.

      Un responsable du Hamas a nié toute responsabilité de son mouvement dans le tir des ces deux roquettes.

      Le Djihad islamique et les Comités de résistance populaire, deux autres groupes armés de l’enclave palestinienne, ont également démenti toute implication.

      La presse israélienne, notamment le journal Ha’aretz et TV7, a évoqué une possible méprise, les deux roquettes ayant peut-être été tirées « par erreur ». (...)

    • Le Hamas a tiré des roquettes sur la région de Tel Aviv « par erreur » (Tsahal)
      Mis à jour le 15/03/2019 13:46:01 Écrit par i24NEWS

      L’armée israélienne estime que les deux roquettes qui ont visé la région de Tel Aviv jeudi soir ont été tirées depuis la bande de Gaza « par erreur », a confié vendredi matin un militaire à la presse.

      Une source d’i24NEWS a affirmé que le tir était l’œuvre d’une nouvelle recrue du Hamas qui n’avait pas achevé sa « formation ».

      L’une des roquettes « est apparemment tombée dans la mer, l’autre s’est écrasée quelque part, mais pas à Tel-Aviv », avait déclaré à une chaîne de télévision jeudi soir Ron Huldai, le maire de la ville côtière.

      Les mouvements terroristes du Hamas et du Djihad islamique ont démenti être à l’origine des tirs en direction de Tel-Aviv. Cependant, Israël a réaffirmé tenir le Hamas pour responsable de ce qui se passe dans la bande de Gaza.

    • Gaza postpones 51st ’Great March of Return’ protest
      March 15, 2019 2:58 P.M. (Updated: March 16, 2019 11:51 A.M.)

      GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The National Committee for Breaking the Siege decided to exceptionally suspend “The Great March of Return” on its 51st Friday alongside the eastern border fence of the besieged Gaza Strip.

      The committee said in a short statement that protests for the 51st Friday were postponed in order to save the lives of protesters amid Israeli escalation against the Gaza Strip, and in preparation for Land Day protests on March 30th, as it would mark one year of “The Great March of Return” protests.

      This is the first time the committee suspends “The Great March of Return” protests since its beginning on March 30th, 2018.

      Four Palestinians were injured, on predawn Friday, as Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting several sites across the besieged Gaza Strip hours after missiles were reportedly fired from Gaza, on predawn Friday.

  • How Hamas sold out Gaza for cash from Qatar and collaboration with Israel

    Israel’s botched military incursion saved Hamas from the nightmare of being branded as ’sell-outs’. Now feted as resistance heroes, it won’t be long before Hamas’ betrayal of the Palestinian national movement is exposed again

    Muhammad Shehada
    Nov 22, 2018 7:04 PM

    Earlier this month, Hamas was confronted by one of its worst nightmares. The Palestinian mainstream began to brand Hamas with the same slurs that Hamas itself uses to delegitimize the Palestinian Authority. 
    "They sold us out!” Gazans began to whisper, after Hamas reached a limited set of understandings with Israel in early November. Its conditions required Hamas to distance Gazan protesters hundreds of meters away from the separation fence with Israel and actively prevent the weekly tire-burning and incendiary kite-flying associated with what have become weekly protests.
    In return for this calm, Israel allowed a restoration of the status quo ante – an inherently unstable and destabilizing situation that had led to the outbreak of popular rage in the first place. 

    Other “benefits” of the agreement included a meaningless expansion of the fishing zone for few months, restoring the heavily-restricted entry of relief aid and commercial merchandise to Gaza, instead of the full-on closure of previous months, and a tentative six-month supply of Qatari fuel and money to pay Hamas’ government employees. Basically, a return to square one. 
    skip - Qatari ambassador has stones thrown at him in Gaza
    Qatari ambassador has stones thrown at him in Gaza - דלג

    The disaffected whispers quickly became a popular current, which took overt form when the Qatari ambassador visited Gaza. He was met with angry cries of “collaborator,” as young Gazans threw stones at his vehicle after the ambassador was seen instructing a senior Hamas leader with the words: “We want calm today...we want calm.”
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    Hamas leaders didn’t dare show their faces to the people for several days following, and the movement’s popular base had a very hard time arguing that the agreement with Israel - which offered no fundamental improvement of condition – and sweetened by Qatari cash wasn’t a complete sell-out by Hamas. 
    Inside Hamas, there was evident anxiety about public outrage, not least in the form of social media activism, using Arabic hashtags equivalents to #sell-outs. One typical message reads: “[Suddenly] burning tires have became ‘unhealthy’ and [approaching] the electronic fence is suicide! #sell-outs.”

    Social media is clearly less easy to police than street protests. Even so, there was a small protest by young Gazans in Khan Younis where this “sell-out” hashtag became a shouted slogan; the demonstrators accused Hamas of betrayal.
    But relief for Hamas was at hand – and it was Israel who handed the movement an easy victory on a gold plate last week. That was the botched operation by Israel thwarted by Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam brigade, which cost the life of a lieutenant colonel from an IDF elite unit.
    The ensuing retaliation for Israel’s incursion, led by the Islamic Jihad (prodded into action by Iran), who launched 400 improvised rockets into Israel, was intended to draw a bold red line of deterrence, signaling that the Israeli army cannot do as it pleases in Gaza. 
    For days after this last escalation, Hamas leaders rejoiced: that exhibition of muscle power proved their moral superiority over the “collaborationist” Palestinian Authority. Boasting about its heroic engagement in the last escalation, Hamas easily managed to silence its critics by showing that the “armed resistance” is still working actively to keep Gaza safe and victorious. Those are of course mostly nominal “victories.”

    But their campaign was effective in terms of changing the political atmosphere. Now that the apparatus of the Muqawama had “restored our dignity,” further criticism of Hamas’ political and administrative conduct in Gaza was delegitimized again. Criticism of Hamas became equivalent to undermining the overall Palestinian national struggle for liberation.

    Unsurprisingly that silenced the popular outrage about Hamas’ initial agreement of trading Gaza’s sacrifices over the last seven months for a meager supply of aid and money. The few who continued to accuse Hamas of selling out were promptly showered by footage of the resistance’s attacks on Israel, or reports about Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation, for which Hamas claimed credit, coming as it did a day after a Hamas leader demanded he resigned. 
    Mission accomplished, a piece of cake. Now it was time for Hamas to return to business, strengthened by a renewed shield of resistance-immunity that branded criticism as betrayal.
    Although Hamas leaders have admitted the reality: no more fundamental cease-fire is being negotiated, and so no fundamental improvements for Gaza can be expected - it continues to sell Gazans the delusion that their decade of endurance is finally bearing fruit and soon, more prosperity, employment and hope will trickle down to the masses.
    What has actually trickled down so far are temporary and symbolic painkillers, not an actual end to Gaza’s pain.

    Hamas agreed to give a small share of the Qatari spoils to 50,000 poor Gazan families; $100 for each household. They agreed to creating temporary employment programs for 5,000 young university graduates with the aspirational title of Tomoh ("Ambition"). They promised to keep up the fight until Gaza is no longer unlivable, and Hamas leaders pledged with their honor to continue the Gaza Great Return March until the protests’ main goal - lifting the blockade - was achieved.
    But does that really mean anything when the protests are kept at hundreds of meters’ distance from the fence, essentially providing the “Gazan silence” Netanyahu wants? When no pressure is applied anymore on the Israeli government to create a sense of urgency for action to end the disastrous situation in Gaza? And when Hamas continues to avoid any compromises about administering the Gaza Strip to the PA in order to conclude a decade of Palestinian division, and consecutive failures?
    That Hamas is desperately avoiding war is indeed both notable and worthy, as well as its keenness to prevent further causalities amongst protesters, having already suffered 200 deaths and more than 20,000 wounded by the IDF. That genuine motivation though is mixed with more cynical ones – the protests are now politically more inconvenient for Hamas, and the casualty rate is becoming too expensive to sustain.
    Yet one must think, at what price is Hamas doing this? And for what purpose? If the price of Gaza’s sacrifices is solely to maintain Hamas’ rule, and the motive of working to alleviate pressure on Gaza is to consolidate its authority, then every Gazan has been sold out, and in broad daylight.

    Only if Hamas resumes the process of Palestinian reconciliation and a democratic process in Gaza would those actions be meaningful. Otherwise, demanding that the world accepts Hamas’ rule over Gaza as a fait accompli – while what a Hamas-controlled Gaza cannot achieve, most critically lifting the blockade, is a blunt betrayal of Palestinian martyrdom.
    It means compromising Palestinian statehood in return for creating an autonomous non-sovereign enclave in which Hamas could freely exercise its autocratic rule indefinitely over an immiserated and starving population.
    Which, according to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, is what Hamas has always wanted since rising to power in 2009: an interim Palestinian state in Gaza under permanent Hamas rule, not solving the wider conflict but rather obliterating in practice the prospect of a two state solution.
    It remains to be seen if the calls of “sell-outs” will return to Gaza’s social networks and streets, not least if Hamas’ obduracy and appetite for power end up selling out any prospect of a formally recognized State of Palestine.
    Muhammad Shehada is a writer and civil society activist from the Gaza Strip and a student of Development Studies at Lund University, Sweden. He was the PR officer for the Gaza office of the Euro-Med Monitor for Human Rights. Twitter: @muhammadshehad2

    Muhammad Shehada

  • » Long-time Palestinian Hunger Striker Khader Adnan Released from Prison
    IMEMC News - November 15, 2018 12:30 AM

    After a 58-day hunger strike which included several days of refusing water as well as food, Khader Adnan has been freed from Israeli prison.

    This was Adnan’s third such hunger strike – in 2011 he engaged in a 66-day long hunger strike, and in 2014 he again undertook a ‘hunger strike to the death’ of 55 days. He became a symbol of Palestinian hunger-striking prisoners and their steadfast resistance to the horrific conditions and brutality of Israeli detention facilities.

    Adnan has been repeatedly imprisoned by Israeli authorities, who accuse him of being a member of a ‘banned organization’, Islamic Jihad. But he has never been accused of engaging in any violent action or taking part in armed resistance, simply of being considered a ‘security risk’, which has landed him in prison for months and even years at a time without specified charges. He has spent a total of eight years in Israeli prisons.

    This most recent imprisonment lasted eleven months, with no charges filed against him. He is one of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held without charges under so-called ‘administrative detention’, in which Israeli authorities imprison Palestinians indefinitely with no charges or access to a legal system of trials and appeals. (...)


  • Violence escalates: 6 Palestinians killed, 20 injured in Israeli airstrikes
    Nov. 13, 2018 11:36 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 13, 2018 12:48 P.M.)

    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Six Palestinians were killed and at least 20 others were injured during a campaign of Israeli airstrikes from overnight Monday until predawn Tuesday across the northern besieged Gaza Strip.

    Medical sources in Gaza reported that six Palestinians were killed and 20 others were injured during continuous Israeli airstrikes over various parts of Gaza.

    The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza identified the six killed as Muhammad Zacharia al-Tatri, 27, Muhammad Zahdi Awda, 22, Mousa Iyad Ali Abed al-Aal, 22, Hamed Muhammad al-Nahal, 22, and Khaled Riad Ahmad Sultan, 26, and Musaab Hawas, 20.

    In addition, Mahmoud Abu Usba, 40, was killed after a residential building was hit by a rocket fired from Gaza towards the Ashkelon Regional Council, in southern Israel, on late Monday.

    Abu Usba was a Palestinian resident of Halhoul City, north of the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, and was a worker in Israel.

    Hebrew-language news outlets reported that two Israeli women, who were present in the same residential building were reported to be in critical conditions, due to the hit.

    The sites additionally confirmed that some 550 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards the Israeli communities surrounding Gaza, which led to 70 Israelis injured and the destruction of several buildings in the communities.

    Israeli warplanes targeted and fired at over a hundred Hamas movement and Islamic Jihad movement sites, including an intelligence compound, which is located in the center of Gaza City near a school, a mosque and other diplomatic facilities, an Israeli army spokesperson confirmed.

    The entire complex itself includes a kindergarten and a warehouse, however, the Israeli army claimed that it is used for intelligence gathering, research and development.

    A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli warplanes had targeted and demolished three residential buildings, which were home to three Palestinian families, and another five commercial buildings, including a hotel, in Gaza City.

    Following the violent escalation overnight, Hamas’ military wing spokesperson said in a statement that Beer Sheva and Ashdod would be targeted next if “Israel persisted in its aggression.”

    The Jihad reiterated the statement by Hamas, saying Gaza factions have the capacity to continue their offensive.

    It is noteworthy that Israel is currently not working with the United Nations nor Egypt to reduce tensions.


    • Flambée des tensions à Gaza suite à une opération mortelle des forces israéliennes dans l’enclave
      MEE - 13 novembre 2018

      Des dizaines de frappes aériennes israéliennes sur la bande de Gaza ont tué six Palestiniens, tandis que des tirs de roquettes du Hamas ont tué un Palestinien en Israël

      Quatre Palestiniens ont été tués ce lundi, et deux autres sont décédés aujourd’hui, alors que l’armée israélienne a lancé des dizaines de frappes aériennes sur la bande de Gaza, tandis que plusieurs centaines de roquettes ont été tirées depuis l’enclave assiégée.

      Le ministère gazaoui de la Santé a identifié les six Palestiniens tués : Mohammed Zakariya al-Tatari (27 ans), Mohammed Zuhdi Odeh (22 ans), Hamad Mohammed al-Nahal (23 ans), Moussa Iyad Abd al-Aal (22 ans), Khaled Riyadh al-Sultan (26 ans) et Musaab Hoss (20 ans) . Vingt-cinq autres Palestiniens ont été blessés depuis lundi après-midi.

      Un Palestinien a également été tué après qu’une roquette tirée depuis Gaza a touché sa maison dans la ville israélienne d’Ashkelon, a rapporté Haaretz, qui a ajouté que la roquette avait gravement blessé deux femmes qui se trouvaient dans la maison.

      La mort du quadragénaire, un Palestinien originaire de la ville de Hébron en Cisjordanie, est le premier décès confirmé causé par le déluge de roquettes tirées de Gaza depuis lundi après-midi ; cette flambée des tensions a fait suite à une opération mortelle menée par les forces spéciales israéliennes dans l’enclave.

      L’armée israélienne a touché au moins 70 cibles à Gaza, tandis que 300 roquettes ont été tirées du territoire palestinien vers Israël tout au long de la journée de lundi, ont rapporté les médias israéliens.

      Une nouvelle frappe israélienne a également tué un Palestinien ce mardi, a annoncé le ministère de la Santé de Gaza, faisant s’élever le bilan à cinq morts dans l’enclave en moins de 24 heures.

      Un témoin oculaire à Gaza a déclaré à Middle East Eye que l’armée israélienne avait bombardé lundi le bâtiment qui abrite Al-Aqsa TV à Gaza, une chaîne de télévision liée au Hamas.

      Des médias locaux et internationaux ont rapporté que le bâtiment avait été complètement détruit lors de l’attaque et que des édifices voisins avaient également été endommagés. (...)

  • Islamic Jihad’s challenge to Hamas in Gaza

    While Hamas has become synonymous with the Gaza Strip in the years since its 2006 election victory and subsequent routing of rival Fatah from the coastal enclave in internecine fighting a year later, one of Hamas’ lesser-known peers has largely escaped notice amid clashes between Hamas and Israel.

    Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or PIJ, shares with Hamas the fundamental objective of fighting Israel. PIJ, however, has felt freer to launch attacks responding to Israel’s ongoing blockade because, unlike Hamas, PIJ has no role in governing Gaza or rebuilding it in the event of the all-but-guaranteed Israeli counterattacks.

    As tensions between Hamas and Israel increase, PIJ may prove the wildcard that triggers yet another war in Gaza.

    At first glance, PIJ would appear a sideshow to Hamas. PIJ has only a few thousand fighters, compared with the tens of thousands in the Hamas ranks, and much of PIJ’s arsenal comprises cheap, simple rockets. Even so, these limitations have rarely prevented PIJ from striking Israel over the past two decades. In 2002, a PIJ car bomb in the Israeli city of Afula killed seventeen and injured thirty-eight. In 2012, PIJ rockets reached as far as Tel Aviv, Israel’s second-largest city and the heart of its economy.

    In fact, PIJ’s smaller size may allow it to act without attracting the public scrutiny that greets Hamas attacks on Israel.

    “Since Hamas is the primary ’culprit’ - in the eyes of Israel - there is less attention, media and otherwise, on PIJ and PIJ might feel more free to initiate a conflict,” Mia Swart, a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, told The New Arab.

  • » Administrative Detention of Sheikh Adnan Extended for 24th Time
    IMEMC News | July 26, 2018 8:16 PM

    The military occupation court in Salem camp, west of Jenin, in the northern occupied West Bank, on Wednesday, extended the detention of Islamic Jihad leader Sheikh Khader Adnan for the 24th time in a row.

    Al Ray sources reported that the court extended his detention without charge or trial until the 8th of next month, on the pretext of completing interrogation, during which he was detained in Megiddo prison and then transferred, suddenly, to the detention center of Raymond Sahrawi.

    Sheikh Khader was taken into custody in 2017, after a raid on his house by Israeli occupation forces; he is married and has six children; previously detained in the prisons of the occupation under eleven arrests, and spent eight years in administrative detention.

    He is one of the pioneers behind the staging of individual hunger strikes against administrative detention; he was on strike for 66 consecutive days, and another for 55 days, before he was released.


  • #Israel deliberately provoked the latest #violence in #Gaza, but you won’t learn that in the ’NY Times’

    You can turn to Haaretz, the distinguished Israeli newspaper, to see how the #New_York_Times slanted today’s article about the increase in violence inside Gaza and across the border in Israel. Haaretz quotes Jamal Zahalka, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, who blames Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for the escalation:

    The Israeli government is being pushed into a corner by the non-violent demonstrations in Gaza and is initiating a military confrontation to stop them.

    The timeline proves that Israeli is provoking the latest violence. On Sunday, Israeli tanks killed 3 members of the small Islamic Jihad group who were inside Gaza. (The Israeli military said it killed the 3 because a bomb had been planted overnight near the border; it offered no proof the dead had anything to do with the alleged bomb.)

  •  » Israeli Army Kills Two Palestinians, Seriously Injure One, In Southern Gaza
    IMEMC News | May 27, 2018 11:16 AM /

    Israeli soldiers fired, on Sunday morning, several shells into a structure and Palestinian lands, between Rafah and Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, killing two Palestinians and seriously wounding one.

    Hussein Samir al-‘Amour
    Media sources in Gaza said the soldiers fired at least two artillery shells near Sofa Crossing, between Rafah and Khan Younis, directly striking a structure, killing Hussein Samir al-‘Amour, 25, and Abdul-Halim Abdul-Karim an-Naqa , 28.
    Abdul-Halim an-Naqa

    It is worth mentioning that the Israeli army claimed it struck a “Hamas observation post near Khan Younis,” killing two Palestinians.

    Meanwhile, the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, issued an official statement saying the two slain Palestinians were members of the group.

    Update : Israeli Strikes Raise Death Toll to Three
    May 27, 2018 8:04 PM / May 27, 2018 11:55 PM

    A Palestinian who was critically injured on Sunday, during a predawn Israeli strike on several locations to the south of the Gaza Strip died of his serious wounds, bringing the total number of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli army, today, to three.

    Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that the Palestinian, Naseem Marwan al-‘Amour , 20, from Rafah, has died from his serious wounds.

    He added that the young man suffered very serious wounds, and was rushed to surgery at the European Hospital in Gaza, but later succumbed to his wounds at the Intensive Care Unit.

    Israeli forces stationed along the barbed-wire fence that separates between Gaza and Israel fired at least two missiles targeting a location between the cities of Rafah and Khan Younis, killing two Palestinians in their 20s. The site was completely destroyed.

    The Israeli army further shelled, with at least two missiles, a location to the east of Deit al-Balah city, in central Gaza, causing heavy damage to the site. No injuries were reported among Palestinians living near the targeted site.


  • Israel convicts Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour of incitement to violence, supporting terror
    Tatour, 36, was arrested in October 2015 for three social media publications
    Noa Shpigel May 03, 2018 11:41 AM

    The Nazareth Magistrate’s Court convicted Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour of incitement to violence and supporting a terror organization Thursday because of three publications on social media.

    Tatour, 36, a resident of the Galilee village of Reineh near Nazareth, was arrested in October 2015 after publishing, among others, a poem titled “Resist, my people, resist them." The indictment against her includes a translation of the poem, which includes the lines: “I will not succumb to the ’peaceful solution’ / Never lower my flags / Until I evict them from my land.”

    She was charged in November 2015 with incitement to violence and support for a terror organization. According to the indictment, one video shows masked men throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces. In the background, Tatour is heard reading a poem she wrote, whose English title is “Resist, my people, resist them.”

    The day after uploading the video, she wrote in a post: “The Islamic Jihad movement hereby declares the continuation of the intifada throughout the West Bank. ... Continuation means expansion ... which means all of Palestine. ... And we must begin within the Green Line ...for the victory of Al-Aqsa, and we shall declare a general intifada. #Resist.”

    The State Prosecutor’s Office interpreted this text as support for Islamic Jihad and a new intifada.

    The third, allegedly criminal, post was uploaded five days later. It was a photograph of Asra’a Abed, a 30-year-old Israeli Arab woman who was shot and wounded by police after waving a knife at officers in the bus station in Afula in October 2015. Tatour captioned the image, “I am the next shahid,” or martyr.

    The police arrested Tatour at her home two days later.

    In January 2016 Tatour was released, after being fitted with an ankle monitor, to house arrest at the home of her brother in Kiryat Ono.

    At the time of her house arrest, more than 150 literary figures, including nine Pulitzer Prize winners, called for Israel to free Tatour.

  • » Four Palestinian Fighters Killed East of Rafah
    IMEMC News | April 14, 2018 7:43 PM

    Four people were killed and several others injured, on Saturday, in what initially appeared to be an Israeli artillery attack targeting a group of Palestinians who were riding a three-wheeled “tuk tuk” motorcycle (rickshaw) east of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. Other accounts indicated that the four died in a training accident.

    The four were identified as Amjad Qartous, 18, Ayed Hamaydeh , 23, Hesham Kallab, 18, and Hesham Abdul-Al , 22. All four were from from the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

    Islamic Jihad claimed the four young men as fighters in their armed wing, and published a photo of the four wearing the uniform of Islamic Jihad.

    Initial reports from the PNN stated that Israeli artillery shelled the eastern border of Rafah, targeting a group of young men who were moving rubber tires near the eastern border of the city.

    But a later report indicted that the four men may have been killed by an explosive that went off in a training accident.

    The four deaths follow a day of protests at various places along the Israel-Gaza border, in which one Palestinian was killed and 969 Palestinians were wounded .

  • Israeli army warns: Danger of violence escalating into war is growing -

    With eye on recent events, military intel warn of potential war ■ Abbas may have backed himself into a corner ■ Gaza threat looms over Israelis

    Amos Harel 13.01.2018
    read more:

    The odds of a neighboring country, or one of the terrorist organizations operating inside of it, launching a war against Israel this year are almost nonexistent, according to the Israeli army’s intelligence assessment for 2018.
    Sounding remarkably similar to the 2017 assessment provided to the defense minister, the military noted there is not much left of the Arab armies, and Israel’s neighbors are mostly preoccupied with themselves, while internal problems are distracting Hezbollah and Hamas.
    Is there any difference from 2017? Well, the danger of deterioration – perhaps even to the point of war – has grown significantly, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot stated. The intelligence branch and the chief of staff, who is beginning his fourth and final year at the helm of the army, are concerned about two possible scenarios. 
    The first would be the result of a reaction by one of Israel’s enemies to an Israeli show of force. The second would stem from a flare-up on the Palestinian front. When the terrorism genie gets out of the Palestinian bottle, it takes many months or even years to put it back.
    The first scenario, which the army terms “the campaign between the wars,” might happen when Israel tries to prevent rivals from obtaining advance weaponry they might want to use during a future war, according to Eisenkot.

    Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, center, being briefed by Col. Gilad Amit, commander of the Samaria Brigade, following the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, January 18, 2018.IDF Spokesperson’s Unit
    Most of these operations occur under the radar, far from Israel’s borders. Usually, such operations draw little media attention and Israel invariably dodges the question of responsibility. The previous Israel Air Force commander, Gen. Amir Eshel, told Haaretz last August there were nearly 100 such attacks under his five-year command, mostly on Syrian and Hezbollah arms convoys on the northern front.

    However, the more Israel carries out such attacks, and the more it does so on increasingly sophisticated systems (according to foreign media reports), the higher the chances of a confrontation with other countries and organizations, increasing the danger of a significant retaliation.
    A similar thing is happening on the Gaza border. Work on the defense barrier against cross-border attack tunnels is advancing, while Israel is simultaneously developing and implementing more sophisticated methods to locate these tunnels.
    At least three tunnels were seemingly located and destroyed near the Gaza border in recent months. However, this success could exact a price if Hamas or Islamic Jihad decide to try and use the remaining attack tunnels before they are completely destroyed or redundant.

    Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, accompanied by Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot during a visit to a military exercise in the Golan Heights in 2017.Ministry of Defense
    It is usually accepted practice to call out intelligence officials over mistaken forecasts. But we received a small example of all these trends on various fronts over the past two weeks. The cabinet convened for a long meeting about the northern front last Sunday. Arab media reported early Tuesday morning about an Israeli attack on Syrian army weapons depots near Damascus. A base in the same area, which Iran had reportedly built for one of the Shi’ite militia groups, was bombed from the air in early December. In most of the recent attacks, the Syrians fired at the reportedly Israeli aircraft. The Syrians also claimed recently that the attacks have become more sophisticated, made in multiple waves and even included surface-to-surface missiles.
    A few days beforehand, there was a report about an Israeli aerial attack – apparently on a cross-border attack tunnel – next to the Gaza border. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the demonstrations to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital were dying down, out of a seeming lack of public interest. Then, on Tuesday evening, Rabbi Raziel Shevach, from the illegal outpost of Havat Gilad, was killed in a drive-by shooting attack near Nablus. The army responded by surrounding villages and erecting roadblocks around Nablus, for the first time in two years. The IDF moves were acts of collective punishment the chief of staff would normally rather avoid, but they were approved on a limited basis due to the murder of an Israeli.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that the Shin Bet security service is close to solving the murder, but at the time of writing it was still unclear who did it. Hamas and Islamic Jihad released statements praising the deed, while, in a rare move, Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – which has been virtually inactive for a decade – took responsibility for the attack.
    Its statement, which was posted on several Facebook pages, attributed the attack to the “Raed Karmi cell,” marking the anniversary of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades leader’s death. Israel assassinated Karmi – the military leader in Tul Karm responsible for the killing of many Israeli civilians and soldiers during the second intifada – on January 14, 2002.

    U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at a more amicable time, May 3, 2017Carlos Barria, Reuters
    Woe to Abbas
    The Palestinian Authority, whose leadership has avoided condemning the murder of an Israeli citizen, is making an effort nonetheless to capture terrorists in designated areas in Nablus under its jurisdiction. The Israeli moves in the area added to the humiliation of the PA, which looks like it has navigated itself into a dead end. 
    President Mahmoud Abbas is in trouble. The Trump declaration on Jerusalem provided him with a temporary escape. Last November the Palestinians received worrisome information that the Trump administration’s brewing peace plan was leaning in Israel’s favor. Trump’s so-called deal of the century would likely include leaving settlements in the West Bank in place, and declaring Abu Dis the Palestinian Jerusalem, capital of a prospective state.
    These planks are unacceptable to Abbas. However, the Trump declaration allowed the PA leader to accuse the Americans of giving up any pretense to being an honest broker. He found refuge in the embrace of attendees at the Islamic Conference in Turkey, and in halting all discussion of renewing negotiations.
    Abbas soon discovered that rejecting a reopening of talks with Israel didn’t stop the drumbeat of bad news coming his way. UNRWA was facing a severe financial crisis well before the Trump administration threatened to freeze the U.S. share of funding for the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugee assistance. The crisis, incidentally, also worries Jordan, which hosts at least 3 million Palestinian refugees and descendants. The flow of funds from the donor nations to the territories is dissipating, at a time that the reconciliation process between the PA and Hamas has ground to a halt, with Abbas saying he doesn’t see any benefit that can come of it.
    Meanwhile, Fatah members from activists in the field to the aging leadership are despairing of the chance of realizing the two-state solution. Israel protests the statements of senior Fatah officials about the right to wage armed struggle. It recently arrested a retired Palestinian general on the charge that he had organized protests in East Jerusalem. Fatah plans a council meeting next week, in which participants are expected to adopt a militant line.
    Abbas, who turns 83 in March, is increasingly feeling his years. His health has deteriorated and so has his patience and fitness to work, although it seems his love for travel has not faded. Claims of widespread corruption, some of which allegedly involve his family, are increasing. Other forces in the West Bank are aware of his weakened physical and political condition. Hamas is vigorously encouraging attacks against Israel, probably in expectation of humiliating the PA. Last week the Shin Bet asserted that for the first time, an Iranian agent was operating a Palestinian terror cell in Hebron.
    Meanwhile, a multiparty effort is being made to halt the violence and prevent a sliding into a military confrontation. Under the shadow of rockets by Salafi groups in Gaza, Israel and the PA announced the transfer of additional funds from the PA to pay for increasing the electricity supply from Israel to the Strip. There has not been a single rocket fired this week, but the situation remains fragile. The army increased security around communities close to the border and has stepped up exercises that simulate terrorists using tunnels to infiltrate under the border to kidnap and kill Israelis. The chief of staff watched the elite Shaldag unit going into action in such a scenario this week.

    Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants take part in the funeral of their comrade in the central Gaza Strip October 31, 2017. SUHAIB SALEM/REUTERS
    The army has to stay alert because Islamic Jihad has yet to avenge the killing of its people together with Hamas operatives in a tunnel explosion on the border last October. In November, Jihad militants fired over 20 mortar shells in a four-minute span at an army outpost near Sderot (no one was injured).
    Shells were fired a month after that, probably by Islamic Jihad, at Kibbutz Kfar Aza during a memorial ceremony for Oron Shaul, who was killed in the 2014 Operation Protective Edge and whose body is being held in Gaza. Army officials expect more attempts.
    The large number of gliders the Palestinians have launched near the border recently likely attests to intelligence gathering ahead of attacks. Israeli officials are also kept awake by recent reports from Syria of a mysterious glider attack against a Russian air force base in the country’s north. Organizations in Gaza are in arm’s reach of this technology.

    An opposition fighter fires a gun from a village near al-Tamanah during ongoing battles with government forces in Syria’s Idlib province on January 11, 2018.OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP
    Syria war still isn’t over 
    The civil war in Syria, which enters its eighth year in March, has not completely died out. The Assad regime, which has restored its rule over most of the country’s population, is still clashing with rebels in the Idlib enclave in northern Syria and is preparing for an eventual attack to chase the rebels out of the border area with Israel, along the Golan. The two attacks on the Russian base in Khmeimim (artillery shelling, which damaged a number of planes and helicopters, preceded the glider attack) indicate that some of the groups are determined to keep fighting Assad and his allies.
    The war in Syria started with a protest by residents of Daraa, a town in the south, against a backdrop of economic difficulties for farmers whose incomes were suffering from desertification. The regime’s brutal methods of oppression led to the spread of protest, and things quickly descended into civil war, in which several countries have meddled until today. The war often has consequences on nature. There has been a rise in the number of rabies cases in Israel in recent months, mainly in the north. One of the possible explanations involves the migration of rabies-infested jackals from Jordan and Syria. During the war Syria has suffered a total collapse of civilian authority, and certainly of veterinary services. When there are no regular vaccinations, neighboring countries suffer as well.
    The Middle Eastern country suffering the second bloodiest civil war, Yemen, gets only a tenth as much attention as Syria. The war in Yemen has raged for three years. Some 3 million residents out of a total of 28 million have fled the country as refugees. Over half of those remaining suffer from food insecurity. The UN recently estimated that about a million residents have contracted cholera from contaminated water or food.
    Such outbreaks can erupt easily, even closer to home. The European Union is expected to hold an emergency session in Brussels about the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The Israeli defense establishment has confirmed the frequent reports by humanitarian organizations of the continued collapse of civilian infrastructure, mainly water and sanitation, in Gaza. Wastewater from Gaza, flowing straight into the sea, is reaching the beaches of Ashkelon and Ashdod. I recently asked a senior Israeli official if he doesn’t fear an outbreak of an epidemic like cholera in Gaza.
    “Every morning, I am surprised anew that it still hasn’t happened,” he replied.

    Amos Harel

  • Iran’s Soleimani sends message of defiance in calls to Hamas

    Also on Dec. 11, the Beirut-based pan-Arab Al-Mayadeen News reported that in the telephone call, Soleimani stated that all the Arab resistance movements, such as Hezbollah and other groups that emerged during the Syrian war, are prepared to defend Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque. He expressed Iran’s full support for the Palestinian resistance forces.

    The call came a few hours before a speech by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah urging the axis of resistance to develop a unified strategy to confront Israel. Meanwhile, Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh also called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss Trump’s decision. In a statement by Hamas, Haniyeh described the US decision as an act of aggression against the Palestinian people and the Islamic world.

    Commenting on these phone conversations to Al-Monitor, Hamas’ representative in Iran, Khaled al-Qaddumi, emphasized the ties between the resistance factions and the Iranian Republic. He explained that Soleimani’s phone call to military leaders in Gaza comes in the context of an ongoing partnership against the common enemy, Israel.

    Qaddumi further asserted that the Iranian people, represented by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Rouhani, reject Trump’s decision. Emphasizing Jerusalem’s Arab and Muslim identity, he said Iran fears the move will further inflame the Middle East region.

    In turn, Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza Khader Habib denied news reported by some Israeli media outlets that Soleimani ordered the Palestinian factions to escalate militarily against Israel. “Iran never ordered resistance activities or interfered in the resistance’s field activities,” he told Al-Monitor. Notably, the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip targeting the Gaza envelope settlements increased in the wake of the decision.

    Habib noted that t

    Read more:

  • 2 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza Strip
    Dec. 12, 2017 2:51 P.M.

    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike targeting a motorcycle in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday afternoon.

    Local and medical sources confirmed that two Palestinians were killed in the airstrike in the Umm al-Nasr village in the Beit Lahiya district of northern Gaza.

    Sources from the Islamic Jihad movement identified the two as Hussein Ghazi Hussein Nasrallah and Mustafa al-Sultan , members of the engineering unit of the al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the movement.

    Sources added that their bodies were taken to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabaliya.


  • The chained jailers of Gaza -

    Israelis refuse to comprehend that Gaza is a huge prison, and that we are the wardens

    Amira Hass Nov 07, 2017
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    I have seen happy Gazans. A reporter for Kan, the Israeli public broadcasting corporation, went to the Erez checkpoint a few days ago, shoved a microphone and a camera at people leaving the Gaza Strip and invited their sighs of relief. Great! The Hamas inspection point on the Gazan side has been removed and the bearded security people didn’t interrogate us.
    The impression left by the news item and by an earlier report in Haaretz is that the only stumbling block faced by those who wish to leave Gaza is Hamas, but here are some of the questions that the Gazans at the border were not asked, along with the answers that would have been forthcoming:
    Q: Now, following the removal of Hamas checkpoints, can anyone who wishes to do so leave Gaza? A: Are you kidding? Since 1991, we leave only if Israel approves.
    Q: How long is the waiting period for an Israeli exit permit? A: About 50 days. Sometimes only legal intervention by an Israeli organization such as the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement or Physicians for Human Rights can result in a permit.
    Q: What is involved in the inspection at the Israeli checkpoint? A: A revolving scanner, instructions shouted from loudspeakers, sometimes a strip search.

    Q: What are you allowed to take? A: You’re not allowed a laptop, sandwiches, a suitcase on wheels or deodorant.
    Q: Other than Islamic Jihad and Hamas, who isn’t allowed to leave? A: Most people aren’t allowed. The daughter of a neighbor of mine has been receiving medical treatment in Jerusalem for the past nine months, and he has yet to receive a permit to visit her. The same is true of three friends who have been in need of a follow-up medical exam for the past year. Young people who would like to study in the West Bank cannot do so because Israel won’t permit it. About 300 students who were accepted to study abroad are waiting for a permit, and their visa is at risk.

    Q: Were you interrogated by the Israeli Shin Bet security service? A: Not today. But sometimes we arrive at the checkpoint and they take us aside, sit us down on a chair for an entire day, and in the end ask a few questions about the neighbors, for 10 minutes, or send us home even without asking questions. That’s how we miss a hospital appointment or a work meeting.
    Israelis refuse to comprehend that Gaza is a huge prison, and that we are the wardens. That’s why they are chained by their own voluntary ignorance. Reporting on the situation is easily turned into propaganda for use by policymakers. On the other hand, the omissions and distortions in articles written by officials who carry out the policy are natural. Such as the article written by the coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, and two of his colleagues, which appeared last week on the Institute for National Security Studies website.
    The omissions and distortions are aimed at the general public. For example the article states: “Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip by force.” On the contrary, Israel, the Middle East Quartet (the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union) and Fatah worked in various aggressive ways to overturn the results of the democratic election to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006, which Hamas had won.
    “Hamas has become the sovereign,” Mordechai and his colleagues wrote. The sovereign? Even when Israel controls the borders, the air and maritime space and the Palestinian population registry? “Hamas’ rule is losing strength due to its responsibility for the scope of the poverty and unemployment.” Readers who reach this point in the article may have already forgotten an earlier assertion: “The situation of the citizen in Gaza has deteriorated greatly since 2007, mainly due to the restrictions imposed on the strip by Israel (in terms of movement to and from the area and in terms of economic activity).”
    The writers from the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories are chained by their very position. COGAT scrupulously imposes these restrictions and has even made them more restrictive. The authors’ warn in their article of the prospect of a worsening of the situation there, both economically and psychologically, but that is not followed by a courageous call to policymakers to remove the prohibitions against the movement of people, raw materials and local produce.
    The writers do issue a hint to the government that it would be preferable to allow the process of internal Palestinian reconciliation to move forward. And they courageously invite the Gentiles to finance the reconstruction of what Israel has destroyed and is destroying. After all, that’s what the Gentiles have been doing since 1993 – pouring in funds to prevent an even worse deterioration and to maintain a status quo that is convenient for Israel. The time has come for the Gentiles to use those funds as political leverage that will force Israel to restore freedom of movement to the Palestinians in Gaza.

  • Bombardement israélien sur un tunnel près de Gaza : Le bilan s’alourdit à 7 morts
    AA/Al-Quds /Moamen Ghorab | 30.10.2017

    Le ministère de la Santé dans la Bande de Gaza a annoncé, lundi, que 7 palestiniens ont été tués et 11 autres blessés à la suite du bombardement israélien ayant ciblé un tunnel près de la frontière.

    Le porte-parole du ministère, Dr. Ashraf al-Qodra, a déclaré, brièvement à Anadolu, que « les équipes de secours ont récupéré les corps de six jeunes palestiniens du tunnel qui se trouve à l’est de contre l’est de (la ville) de Deir Balah ».

    Les Martyrs identifiés sont : Ahmed Khalil abu Ormana (25 ans) et Omar Nassar al-Falit (27 ans), Misbah Shobeir (30 ans), Mohamed Marwan al-Agha (22 ans), Arafat abu Morshid, Hasan abu Hassanin et Jihad Abdullah al-Samiri.

    Al-Qassam a annoncé que Misbah Fayeq Shobeir fait partie de ses membres.

    Il a indiqué dans un communiqué : « Le Chef Misbah Fayeq Shobeir de Khan Younès est tombé en Martyr à la suite de l’opération effectuée par les Moujahids d’al-Qassam au profit de leurs frères de brigades d’al-Quds (l’aile armée Jihad islamique palestinien (JIP), qui étaient détenus dans le tunnel ciblé à l’est de Khan Younes ».

    Malgré l’annonce antérieure des Brigades d’al-Qassam, les Brigades d’al-Quds n’ont rien annoncé concernant le tunnel détruit par l’armée israélienne, et par rapport au lien avec les morts et les blessés.

    Le porte-parole du JIP, Daoud Chihab, a déclaré à Anadolu « la vérification de l’appartenance des martyrs et des blessés au mouvement est en cours ».

    30 octobre 2017, 23h21

    • Publish Date: 2017/10/30
      At least seven Palestinians killed in Israeli strike at tunnel in Gaza

      GAZA, October 30, 2017 (WAFA) – Initial count of casualties from an Israeli strike at a tunnel in Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Monday showed that at least seven Palestinians were killed and 14 injured, many in critical condition, according to the Ministry of Health.

      It said the number could rise significantly due to the large number of people still missing in the tunnel that was turned into rubble.

      Reports said Israel fired five missiles at the tunnel that was being dug east of Khan Younis and which Israel claims was leading to its territory,

      Medical reports in Gaza said most of those killed died after Israel fired missiles at the tunnel as rescuers were attempting to dig out those trapped inside. Some apparently died from inhaling poisonous gas reportedly fired by the Israeli air force at the tunnel.

      The attack came as Hamas, which controls Gaza since 2007, was getting ready to turn over power of the coastal enclave to the Palestinian government under Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.


    • 7 Palestinians killed, 12 wounded in Israeli bombing of Gaza tunnel
      Oct. 31, 2017 7:34 A.M. (Updated : Oct. 31, 2017 7:34 A.M.)

      GAZA (Ma’an) — At least seven Palestinians were killed, and 12 others were wounded after Israeli forces blew up an underground tunnel between the southern Gaza Strip and Israel on Monday, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.

      The Palestinian Ministry of Health officially declared the death of seven Palestinians, all fighters in the armed wings of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements in Gaza.

      The killed fighters were identified as Hussam Abdullah al-Sumairi, 32, Muhammad Marwan Al-Agha, 22, Ahmad Khalil Abu Armaneh, 25, Omar Nassar al-Falit, 27, Hassan Aaba Hassanein, Mesbah Fayek Shbeir, and Arafat Abu Morshed.

      The Palestinian Civil Defense forces told Ma’an that rescue teams had saved a number of fighters who were trapped in the tunnel after the explosion, while the ministry of health said at the time that the number of wounded was around 12.

      Following the explosion, Israeli media reported that the Israeli army staged a “controlled detonation” in the area around the Gaza Strip, saying the activity was pre-planned.

      Despite killing seven and wounding more than a dozen others, the Israeli army spokesperson reportedly said that the army had “no intention of escalating matters," and that the tunnel had yet to become operational when forces blew it up, according to Ynet news.

      Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that the tunnel “was a blatant violation of (Israeli) sovereignty and all acceptable rules between societies, countries and organizations that respect themselves.” He added that the recently built tunnel “proves that despite the Palestinian reconciliation, the Gaza Strip remains a kingdom of terrorism. As far as we’re concerned, the responsibility (for the tunnel) is without a doubt that of Hamas, which rules Gaza.”

      Meanwhile, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, released a statement following the attack, saying that “the blood of the martyrs would not be wasted, and that the Israeli occupation bears responsibility for the consequences of this aggressive escalation.”

      traduction en français de l’article ci-dessus
      Gaza : Israël veut déclencher un nouveau massacre
      31 octobre 2017 – Ma’an News – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine

    • Gaza : trois Palestiniens tués dans le bombardement israélien d’un tunnel
      Publié le : Lundi 30 Octobre 2017 - 16:44
      Mise à jour : Lundi 30 Octobre 2017 - 22:00
      [ une mise à jour dans l’article, mais pas pour le titre ]

      Sept Palestiniens ont été tués et 12 blessés lundi dans la destruction à l’explosif par Israël d’un tunnel reliant la bande de Gaza à son territoire, a indiqué un porte-parole du ministère de la Santé du Hamas, qui contrôle l’enclave.

    • Sept Palestiniens tués dans l’explosion d’un tunnel à la lisière de Gaza
      Par Cyrille Louis Publié le 30/10/2017 à 22:39

      Au total, l’explosion provoquée par Israël a fait neuf morts. Trois Palestiniens restent portés disparus

      06:50 - 31 oct. 2017

    • Gaza : des combattants de la résistance palestinienne tués dans la destruction d’un tunnel par Israël
      Par Maureen Clare Murphy rédactrice à The Electronic Intifada | 30 octobre 2017 – The Electronic Intifada – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine

      (...) Martyrs de la résistance

      Arafat Abu Murshid , le commandant du Jihad islamique tué lors de la frappe de lundi, est le frère de Muhammad Abu Murshid, également commandant du groupe, qui a été assassiné par Israël en 2007.

      Une photo d’Abu Murshid a circulé sur les médias sociaux après sa mort lundi.

      Hasan Abu Hassanein , un commandant adjoint du Jihad islamique, avait survécu à plusieurs tentatives d’assassinat israéliennes avant sa mort lundi, et il aurait tiré la première roquette sur Tel Aviv durant les combats de l’été 2014.

      Une photo d’Abu Hassanein a circulé sur les médias sociaux après sa mort lundi.

      Le combattant du Jihad islamique, Ahmad Abu Aramana , âgé de 25 ans, aurait été tué deux heures avant que son épouse ne mette au monde son enfant dans le même hôpital où le corps d’Aramana a été déposé lundi. Le garçon nouveau-né a été nommé du même nom que son père.

      Misbah Shubeir, un commando naval dans la branche armée du Hamas, les Brigades al-Qassam, qui est décédé lundi, devait se marier le mois prochain.

      Un second commando naval des Brigades al-Qassam, Muhammad Marwan al-Agha , a également été tué.

      Ainsi que Omar Nassar al-Faleet , qui était un combattant dans la branche armée du Jihad islamique.

      Husam Jihad al-Samiri , un combattant du Jihad islamique, est également mort.

      Israël a-t-il gazé les combattants de la résistance ?

      Le ministère de la Santé à Gaza a déclaré que ceux qui avaient été tués et blessés dans l’explosion du tunnel avaient inhalé du gaz toxique et il appelé les autorités concernées à révéler les armes utilisées dans l’explosion.

      Benjamin Netanyahu, Premier ministre israélien, a déclaré qu’une « technologie révolutionnaire » avait contribué à la découverte du tunnel.

      Israël a construit un mur souterrain le long de sa frontière avec Gaza, au coût de 1,1 milliard de dollars. Les États-Unis ont financé les projets d’Israël pour développer des technologies de détection des tunnels, utilisant Gaza comme laboratoire, dans l’espoir que ces technologies puissent être exploitées plus tard le long de la frontière américano-mexicaine.

      D’autres parties de Gaza sont menacées

      Entre-temps, Israël a menacé des habitants de Beit Lahiya, une ville du nord de Gaza, affirmant avoir découvert deux tunnels et des infrastructures connexes sous une mosquée et un immeuble d’appartements.

      L’armée a fait un post sur Facebook en disant que la vie des civils vivant dans et autour de la zone étaient en danger à cause d’une frappe israélienne potentielle.

      Eyal Zamir, un commandant militaire de l’armée d’occupation, a averti que l’immeuble pouvait être considéré comme une cible légitime.

      Selon les groupes de défense des droits palestiniens Adalah et Al-Mezan, « Vingt et une personnes vivent dans le bâtiment, dont quatre femmes et douze enfants ».

      Les groupes de défense des droits humains ont déclaré : « Les affirmations israéliennes sur les tunnels ne justifient pas les menaces d’attaquer des civils et de détruire leurs maisons. »

      Adalah et Al-Mezan ont déclaré que certains des résidents du bâtiment menacé ont fui mais que d’autres sont restés parce qu’ils n’ont pas les moyens de se procurer un autre logement.

      Les groupes de défense ont déclaré que les menaces israéliennes contre les familles et leurs foyers, comme les attaques contre les civils en général « constituent des violations flagrantes du droit international ».

      Par ailleurs, l’UNRWA, l’agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés de Palestine, a rapporté samedi avoir découvert un tunnel sous l’une de ses écoles de Gaza le 15 octobre.

      L’agence a fermé le tunnel et les activités scolaires ont repris 10 jours plus tard, a déclaré l’UNRWA.

      « La présence d’un tunnel sous une installation de l’UNRWA, qui jouit de l’inviolabilité en vertu du droit international, est inacceptable », a déclaré l’agence.

      « Cela met en danger les enfants et le personnel des agences. »

    • Bodies of 5 Palestinian fighters found in Gaza tunnel, bringing death toll to 12
      Nov. 3, 2017 2:37 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 3, 2017 2:37 P.M.)

      GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, released a statement on Friday declaring that five missing fighters belonging to the group in Gaza were dead.

      The five fighters had gone missing inside tunnels between southern Gaza and Israeli territory, after Israeli forces conducted explosions on the tunnels.

      After the first explosion, which buried the five Islamic Jihad fighters, several other fighters from the Islamic Jihad and Hamas movements entered the tunnels on a rescue mission. A second explosion then killed seven of the rescue fighters, and injured at least twelve more.

      In the statement on Friday, the Islamic Jihad movement said they had recovered the bodies, and identified the five slain fighters who had been missing since the first explosion as Badr Kamal Musbeh, Ahmad Hasan al-Sabakhi, Shadi Sami al-Hemri, Muhammad Kheir al-Din al-Buheisi and Alaa Sami Abu Ghrab.

  • 700 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel declare mass hunger strike -

    Thousands of Palestinian prisoners have threatened hunger strike over past several weeks in campaign spearheaded by imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti

    Yaniv Kubovich and Jack Khoury Apr 16, 2017 1
    read more:

    700 Palestinian prisoners currently held in Israel announced the start of a indefinite hunger strike in prisons on Sunday, according to a statement released by Israel’s Prison Service. Imprisoned Fatah official Marwan Barghouti spearheaded the campaign, though Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners held at Hadarim prison will join the campaign largely associated with Fatah.
    The hunger strike is expected to expand Monday morning, with over 2,000 prisoners participating. Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah announced his support of the strike, as did leaders of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
    Nearly 2,900 Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel and affiliated with Fatah have threatened to launch a hunger strike over the past several weeks. Barghouti, the campaign’s organizer, has often been floated as a possible successor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
    The fate of more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel, whose number has grown considerably in the past 18 months due to the wave of stabbing and car-ramming attacks (the “lone-wolf intifada”), affects nearly every family in the territories. A hunger strike, if it is widely observed and well managed, could immediately turn up the heat in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. If down the road a threat to the strikers’ lives develops, it could lead to another wave of violence.
    The April 17 date was originally chosen with an eye on the start of Ramadan, which is toward the end of May. A full hunger strike during Ramadan, when Palestinians fast by day and break their fasts at night, could be religiously problematic. Setting a potential strike period of a little over a month will allow the struggle against Israel to escalate, but also limits it in time so as to prevent a total loss of control. It also marks the annual Palestinian prisoners day anniversary.

    #Palestine #Prisonniers #Israël

  • Israel assassinates Shalit-deal prisoner in Gaza, Hamas says
    March 25, 2017 10:33 A.M.

    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Hamas movement announced Friday night that former prisoner 35-year-old Mazen Fuqahaa was assassinated by unidentified assailants in southern Gaza City, accusing Israel of carrying out the targeted killing.

    Unknown assailants opened fire at Fuqahaa at the entrance to a residence in the Tal al-Hawa neighborhood in southwestern Gaza City, shooting four bullets into the man’s head before they fled the area, witnesses said.

    The assassination was carried out with a gun equipped with a silencer, according to member of Hamas’s politburo Izzat al-Rishq.

    Fuqahaa, from the northern occupied West Bank district of Tubas, was released from serving a life sentence in Israeli custody in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoners exchange deal, and then exiled to the besieged Gaza Strip.

    According to Israeli media, Fuqahaa was a senior member of the al-Qassam Brigades, and had been sentenced to life in prison for planning a suicide bombing in northern Israel in 2002 that left nine people dead and tens of others wounded.

    In a statement, the brigades said that it was “clear and obvious that this crime was arranged by the Zionist enemy,” referring to the state of Israel.

    They went on to warn that “this enemy will be the ones who suffer the consequences and take responsibility for this crime,” and that Israel would “regret the day” they began carrying out stealth assassinations against “resistance fighters in Gaza.”

    The Hamas movement called the assassination “a cowardly attack by the occupation,” promising that Israel would “pay for its crimes.”

    The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the military wing of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine also denounced the assassination, saying the killing “must be met with a harsh response by all resistance factions.”

    The Islamic Jihad movement said Fuqahaa’s assassination marked the start of “a new offensive” by Israel against Palestinian resistance, and that the resistance had the right to respond and defend themselves.

    Spokesperson for Gaza’s Ministry of Interior Iyad al-Buzm said security services had opened an investigation into the details of the incident.


    • Le Hamas ferme le point de passage entre Gaza et Israël
      AFP | 26/03/2017

      Le Hamas a fermé dimanche le point de passage entre la bande de Gaza qu’il dirige et Israël après l’assassinat d’un de ses responsables, que le mouvement islamiste palestinien a imputé aux services israéliens de renseignement.

      Dans un communiqué, le ministère de l’Intérieur à Gaza précise avoir fermé le point de passage d’Erez pour une durée indéterminée le temps que se déroule l’enquête sur le meurtre de Mazen Faqha, 38 ans, tué par balles vendredi par des inconnus dans l’enclave palestinienne.
      Israël n’a fait aucun commentaire sur la fermeture du point de passage côté gazaoui ni sur le meurtre de ce responsable palestinien.

      Selon des médias israéliens, Mazen Faqha dirigeait des cellules de la branche armée du Hamas en Cisjordanie, territoire palestinien occupé depuis 50 ans par Israël et séparé géographiquement de la bande de Gaza par l’Etat hébreu.
      Faqha avait été arrêté et condamné à de la prison pour des attaques suicide qui avait tué des Israéliens durant la deuxième intifada entre 2000 et 2005.
      Il faisait partie du millier de prisonniers palestiniens libérés en 2011 en échange du soldat israélien Gilad Shalit, que le Hamas détenait depuis cinq ans. M. Faqha avait été transféré vers Gaza.

      Erez, dans le nord de la bande de Gaza, est la seule porte d’entrée et de sortie pour les personnes entre l’enclave palestinienne et Israël. Un autre point de passage, Kerem Shalom, est réservé au passage des marchandises.

      La bande de Gaza est soumise depuis dix ans à un blocus de la part d’Israël et les deux parties se sont livré trois guerres depuis 2008.

  • Israeli forces continue airstrikes in Gaza, 2 Palestinians injured
    Feb. 6, 2017 9:33 P.M. (Updated : Feb. 6, 2017 9:33 P.M.)

    GAZA CITY (Ma’an) —Israeli forces resumed attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip Monday evening, injuring two Palestinians, after injuring two Palestinians earlier Monday in a series of Israeli army airstrikes in northern Gaza, in response to a rocket that landed in an open area in the Ashkelon region of southern Israel Monday morning.

    Witnesses told Ma’an that at least eight Israeli missiles were fired at several locations across the besieged coastal enclave.

    One airstrike hit agricultural land in the center of Khan Younis city in the southern Gaza Strip. A spokesman of the Gaza ministry of health Ashraf al-Qidra confirmed that two people were injured in Khan Younis.

    According to locals, the airstrikes hit a “resistance” military post as well as an agricultural area east of Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip, in addition to the al-Shujaiyya neighborhood in Gaza City, causing damages to several residential buildings.

    The air strikes also hit agricultural lands east of al-Maghazi and al-Bureij refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip.

    Palestinian factions released statements warning of the consequences of the ongoing Israeli attacks on the coastal enclave.

    A spokesman of Hamas movement Hazim Qasim said the current escalation represented “a new chain in the series of ongoing Israeli occupation’s assaults against the Palestinian people and the Gaza Strip.”

    The Islamic Jihad movement said in a statement that “Palestinian resistance holds the Israeli occupation responsible for the ongoing and future attacks on the Gaza Strip.”


  • Hamas blames Abbas in stalemate over PLO reform

    Among the PLO’s decisions that have yet to be implemented is the 2015 Central Committee decision to end the security coordination with Israel, which it accused of ignoring agreements signed with the PA such as the 1994 Paris Protocol. However, this decision was never put into effect.

    For his part, political analyst Hassan Abdo confirmed that the reform of the PLO is not a demand by Hamas alone, but shared by most Palestinian political forces such as the Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine. This, he said, is because the PLO does not reflect the real policies and ambitions of the political forces.

    Abdo told Al-Monitor, “The reform of the PLO means turning it from an institution of individual decisions into an institution that is based on political partnership. This explains why Abbas refuses to activate the PLO’s Temporary Leadership Framework that paves the way for a reform process.”

    Mudallal agrees with Abdo on this point, saying, “Abbas fears that Hamas will pull the rug from under his feet within the organization and thus threaten his monopoly over Palestinian political decisions.”

    He added, “Abbas is also concerned about Hamas’ presence inside the PLO, which would allow it to participate in the elections of the PNC — which is in charge of drafting the policies and programs of the PLO — and to reverse some of the PLO’s policies, mainly ending its recognition of the State of Israel.”

    However, Abu Youssef ruled out the possibility that Hamas will reverse the PLO’s policies even if it obtains seats within the PNC. He explained, “No faction alone can rule the PLO since it is an organization that includes representatives of all factions that are part of it. The decisions of the PLO are subject to the vote of the representatives of these factions, and are not made by one faction alone.”

    Read more:

  • What is Harakat al-Sabireen and why is Hamas trying to block their expansion? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

    Al-Sabireen Movement, which was established on May 25, 2014, came under the spotlight on Feb. 19 when Gazans woke up to the news of a bombing by an explosive device in the vicinity of the house of the secretary-general of Harakat Al-Sabireen, Hisham Salem, who survived the explosion.

    Although no one claimed responsibility for the bombing, the movement accused Israel in a statement issued on that same day.

    Al-Monitor tried to communicate with Salem, who is also the movement’s official media spokesperson, to no avail. Al-Monitor then met with one of the movement’s activists in the city of Rafah, named Mohammad Harb, 40. He was one of the fighters in the ranks of the Islamic Jihad movement alongside Salem, before the latter defected with two other of his comrades to establish Al-Sabireen Movement in the Gaza Strip.

    Read more:

  • Un email de Jared Cohen (juillet 2012), ancien du département d’État, expliquant que « son équipe » chez Google va lancer un outil, en coopération avec al-Aljazeera (qui récoltera et « vérifiera » les données » – oui c’est assez amusant), pour encourager les défections en Syrie :

    Deputy Secretary Burns, Jake, Alec,

    Please keep close hold, but my team is planning to launch a tool on Sunday that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from. Our logic behind this is that while many people are tracking the atrocities, nobody is visually representing and mapping the defections, which we believe are important in encouraging more to defect and giving confidence to the opposition. Given how hard it is to get information into Syria right now, we are partnering with Al-Jazeera who will take primary ownership over the tool we have built, track the data, verify it, and broadcast it back into Syria. I’ve attached a few visuals that show what the tool will look like. Please keep this very close hold and let me know if there is anything eke you think we need to account for or think about before we launch. We believe this can have an important impact.

    Thanks, Jared

    • Et celui-ci est pas mal aussi, datant de 2012 :

      The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.
      Back to Syria. It is the strategic relationship between Iran and the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria that makes it possible for Iran to undermine Israel’s security — not through a direct attack, which in the thirty years of hostility between Iran and Israel has never occurred, but through its proxies in Lebanon, like Hezbollah, that are sustained, armed and trained by Iran via Syria. The end of the Assad regime would end this dangerous alliance. Israel’s leadership understands well why defeating Assad is now in its interests. Speaking on CNN’s Amanpour show last week, Defense Minister Ehud Barak argued that “the toppling down of Assad will be a major blow to the radical axis, major blow to Iran.... It’s the only kind of outpost of the Iranian influence in the Arab world...and it will weaken dramatically both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.”

      La conclusion :

      For Israel, the rationale for a bolt from the blue attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be eased. And a new Syrian regime might well be open to early action on the frozen peace talks with Israel. Hezbollah in Lebanon would be cut off from its Iranian sponsor since Syria would no longer be a transit point for Iranian training, assistance and missiles. All these strategic benefits and the prospect of saving thousands of civilians from murder at the hands of the Assad regime (10,000 have already been killed in this first year of civil war). With the veil of fear lifted from the Syrian people, they seem determine to fight for their freedom. America can and should help them — and by doing so help Israel and help reduce the risk of a wider war.

      L’AVIS DU DR SOURIYAM (diplômé d’Etat en psychiatrie idéologique) :
      si vous avez le front dire que les intérêts israéliens et la question palestinienne pourraient ne pas être totalement étrangers à la guerre en Syrie vous souffrez d’une obsession anti-israélienne, premier symptôme de l’antisémitisme.
      Si vous voyez dans ce mail la confirmation que l’appareil d’Etat américain mène des opérations de changement de régime, comportant des actions clandestines, qui n’ont rien à voir avec la question de la démocratie et de la dictature, mais tout avec de la géostratégie, alors vous êtes un conspirationniste - ou un « conspi » - ce qui est aussi le 1er symptôme de l’antisémitisme.

  • What Drove a Popular Palestinian Girl to Attempt a Stabbing Attack? -
    Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Nov 28, 2015 4:30 AM
    A Palestinian teen who tried to stab an Israeli woman in the West Bank was run over and shot to death. Her father, imam of the refugee camp where she grew up, says his daughter was ’responding to the occupation.’

    A memorial poster of Ashrakat Qattanani on the wall of the Askar refugee camp. ’If the Israelis want to live in peace and security, our children too must live in peace and security.’ Credit : Alex Levac

    One can, of course, label a 16-year-old girl a “terrorist” and also justify, with unbelievable, knee-jerk insensitivity, the wild car-ramming and then the confirmation-of-kill that occurred immediately after her attack – the two bullets fired by a settler, and the two others by a soldier, into the body of the girl who was run over and lying injured on the road.

    No one is questioning the fact that this past Sunday morning, the teenager Ashrakat Qattanani, wielding a knife, chased an Israeli woman at the Hawara junction, near Nablus, attempting to stab her. But we must ask what motivated the daughter of the imam from the Askar refugee camp to tell her father that she was going to school – where she was a good student and a popular girl – and then instead to go to the junction and try to stab an Israeli woman.

    The next day, memorial posters were pasted in the narrow alleys of Askar, a crowded, desperately poor refugee camp on the southern outskirts of Nablus. But Qattanani’s funeral has not yet been held, because Israel hasn’t yet returned her body. (“That is something that takes time,” a Shin Bet security service officer told her father on the day of her death.)

    On Monday traffic in the camp was slow and totally chaotic; only one car at a time can travel through the crowded streets here. Groups of young people huddled on street corners. Even this battle-weary camp hasn’t yet come to terms with the idea of a 16-year-old shahida (martyr).

    Taha Qattanani, the girl’s father and the local imam, is an impressive man in a traditional robe and with a well-groomed beard. Speaking softly, he doesn’t try to conceal the fact that his daughter set out to stab Jews.

    “Ashrakat responded to the occupation,” he says with self-control, hiding his emotions. Those are the emotions of a newly bereaved father who must face the loss of his daughter alone, because Israel continues to deny Ashrakat’s mother entry into the West Bank, even during the mourning period.

    Such was the reality in which Ashrakat grew up and in which she went to her death. Her mother, Abala, 46, a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian, had been living with her family in the West Bank without a proper entry permit. In 2006, when Ashrakat was 4, Abala went to Jordan to visit her parents. Taha was being detained by Israel at the time for being active in Islamic Jihad.

    Taha explains now that his wife went to Jordan in the wake of psychological pressure and a campaign of intimidation conducted against her by the Shin Bet in an effort to extract information about him. Her plan was to stay in Jordan until Taha was released from prison. That happened on the last day of 2007, but since then, Israel has refused to allow Abala to return home to her husband and what were, until Ashrakat’s death, their three children, even for a short visit.

    Nine years without a mother. That is the lot of those who live in their own country, defying the law, the law of the occupation, and then are banned from returning after they’ve left it.

    Until her father’s release, then, Ashrakat and her siblings were without either parent and resided with the family of her uncle, Yassin, her father’s brother.

    Every summer the children went to Jordan to be with their mother. This past summer they were accompanied by their uncle Hassan, Taha’s brother, who speaks fluent Hebrew and is familiar with almost every residential building in the affluent Tel Aviv neighborhood of Ramat Aviv, some of which he renovated. He spent two months in Jordan with the Qattanani children.

    This year Ashrakat was in the 11th grade in the Cordoba School in the old section of Askar, not far from the new camp, where her family lives. She’d already begun preparing for the first high-school matriculation exams. Her father shows us her photo on his cell phone, taken a few days before her death. She’s giving a sermon to the girls in the schoolyard, a white kerchief on her head, a sheet of paper in her hand, wearing the striped school uniform and using a microphone to be heard.

    What happened to the 16-year-old on Sunday morning? She got up around 5 o’clock for the morning prayers, fed her cat and added water to the birdcage. She asked her father how he was doing; he had felt sick during the night. She left home after a quick breakfast, at about 7:30. She said nothing to him about her plans. Nor did anything in her behavior indicate what was about to happen, he says.

    At around 9 o’clock, news spread in the camp that there had been a stabbing attempt at the Hawara junction by a local girl and that she had been run over by a settler and shot to death. Shortly afterward, a Shin Bet agent who called himself “Zechariah” phoned Taha Qattanani and instructed him to come to the army base at Harawa. The caller promised that he would not be arrested. Taha went with Hassan; he already understood that he was being summoned about his daughter. Zechariah told the two brothers what had happened and asked them to try and calm tensions in the refugee camp and not call for revenge. “We have to move on from these things,” the agent said.

    The stunned father left immediately. Hassan stayed on to speak to the Shin Bet man. He says that the agent expressed regret over the incident. “He related that the girl had come to the junction that morning and tried to stab someone, and then the settler ran over her. She was knocked to the ground but got up and then was shot by settlers and soldiers,” Hassan says.

    The settler who hit the teenager with his car was Gershon Mesika, the former head of the Samaria Regional Council, who was forced to resign from that post earlier this year after being suspected of corruption offenses involving the Yisrael Beiteinu party and turned state’s witness in the police investigation of the affair. This is not the first time Mesika, recipient of a 2012 national award from the Education Ministry on behalf of his regional council, has run over a Palestinian. In 2001, he hit a 90-year-old pedestrian but was acquitted of causing death by negligence.

    In the meantime, Ashrakat’s mother, in Jordan, was given the news by phone. Here’s the last text message between mother and daughter – Taha reads it out from his cell phone: “What were you cooking?” Ashrakat asked. “We woke up in the morning from the noise of the army coming into the camp. The intifada is starting. I hope we get through this year safely,” she wrote her mother. Ashrakat concluded the correspondence with the parting words, “Salamu alaykum” – peace be upon you. That was on the eve of her death. As her father reads out his daughter’s last words to her mother, tears well up in his eyes for the first time. He quickly wipes them away.

    In the past month, he tells us, Ashrakat spoke a great deal about her dream of praying at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. “The occupation prevented her from living with her mother, and the occupation also prevented her from praying at the holiest place for her in her country,” he says. She often watched television reports of the recent acts of stabbing and the killing of the assailants, he says.

    “I will not beg the Israelis: If they want to live in peace and security, our children too must live in peace and security,” he says. Pointing to a soft-drink bottle on the table, he adds, “This bottle has a price.” The import of that comment is that the occupation, too, has a price.

    Ashrakat’s uncle, Hassan, adds, “Since the Dawabsheh family in Duma was burned to death, all our children see on television what is going on – the terrorist behavior of the settlers and the army that supports them. No respect for women or the aged. The humiliation is so deep in the soul of every Palestinian. The way our women are pushed around at Al-Aqsa. Everyone starts to light a bonfire in his head, and that is not good for the Jews or for the Arabs. It’s one big bonfire.”

    “You are deepening the hatred,” Khaled Abu Hashi, who lives in Askar, tells us. His son, Nur a-Din, stabbed a soldier to death in an attack at a Tel Aviv train station a year ago. He has not been allowed to visit him in prison even once, and is waiting for Israeli forces to demolish his home.

    “I don’t care about the house, I care about the children who are growing up with all this,” he says. “As a father, I know what effect all these photographs have on our children. How will we live together with all this hatred?” Abu Hashi relates that he built and renovated “all of Ra’anana, from Kfar Sava to Kiryat Sharett,” and that, like most of the older people in the camp, he misses the old, beautiful days of friendship with the Jews.