organization:israeli intelligence

  • Does Being ’Zionist Feminist’ Mean Betraying Women for Israel? - Tikun Olam תיקון עולם
    https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2017/03/16/zionist-feminist-mean-betraying-women-israel


    Rasmea Odeh participates in Detroit Black Lives Matter rally

    March 16, 2017 by Richard Silverstein Leave a Comment

    Yesterday, I wrote a critique of Emily Shire’s diatribe against the Women’s Strike Day USA protest. She especially singled out platform statements supporting Palestinian rights. Shire, a professed Zionist feminist, dismissed the criticisms of Israeli Occupation contained in the event platform as irrelevant to the issue of women’s rights. Then she launched into an attack on one of the conveners of the Strike Day, Rasmea Odeh. Shire alleges that Odeh is a convicted terrorist and former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S. designated terror group.

    A comment Deir Yassin published yesterday here got me to thinking further about this issue. I researched Rasmea’s case and the torture she endured. My view is this is precisely the sort of case and individual any women’s movement should embrace. Here is a summary of the facts of the case. In 1969, a cell of the PFLP planted bombs at a Jerusalem Super-Sol. They exploded, killing two Hebrew University students.
    shin bet torture

    Afterward, security forces arrested Odeh and jailed her without charges or access to counsel. She was tortured, by her account, for 45 days. Here is how she described her treatment in testimony to a UN commission on torture in Geneva:

    …”They beat me with sticks, plastic sticks, and with a metal bar. They beat me on the head and I fainted as a result of these beatings. They woke me up several times by throwing cold water in my face and then started all over again.”

    In addition to this physical torture, Odeh also faced sexual torture. Her father, a U.S. citizen, was also arrested and beaten, “and once they brought in my father and tried to force him under blows to take off his clothes and have sexual relations with me.” Later, interrogators “tore my clothes off me while my hands were still tied behind my back. They threw me to the ground completely naked and the room was full of a dozen or so interrogators and soldiers who looked at me and laughed sarcastically as if they were looking at a comedy or a film. Obviously they started touching my body.” In her father’s presence, interrogators threatened to “violate me” and “tried to introduce a stick to break my maidenhead [hymen].” Shackled naked from the ceiling, interrogators “tied my legs, which were spread-eagled, and they started to beat me with their hands and also with cudgels.”

    Every method described in her account is known from previous descriptions of the treatment of Arab terror suspects. We know, for example, that Doron Zahavi, an IDF AMAN officer, raped Mustafa Dirani in Prison 504. The beatings and positions she describes are also previously described in testimony by the Public Committee to Prevent Torture in Israel. Therefore, it’s not just conceivable that Rasmea endured the treatment she claims, it’s almost a certainty. Especially given that two Israelis were killed in the bombing.

    In summary, the Shin Bet tried to force her father to rape her. The interrogators themselves raped her and further degraded her sexually. And her father was tortured as a means of compelling her to confess. If this isn’t a perfect portrait of a cause that all feminists should embrace, I don’t know what is. So when Shire claims that Palestine is the farthest thing from what Women’s Strike Day’s mission should be, she’s engaging in willful blindness to the plight of another woman. A woman who happens to be Palestinian.

    Rasmea was tried and convicted in an Israeli military court, which features military judges and prosecutors using rules that favor the prosecution and shackle the hands of the defense. It can rule any evidence secret and so prevent the defense from seeing it, let alone rebutting it. Such a conviction could never withstand scrutiny under U.S. criminal procedures or even Israeli civilian courts.

    Further, Shire justifies her denunciation of Odeh by noting that Israel denies torturing Rasmea. So you have an Israeli security apparatus which is well-known for lying when evidence against it is damning. And you have Rasmea’s testimony, supported by scores of accounts by other security prisoners as to their treatment under similar circumstances. It reminds me of the story of the husband who returns home to find his wife in bed with another man. The man jumps out of bed and says: “Hey, this isn’t what this looks like. Nothing happened. I swear it. Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lyin’ eyes?” Emily Shire prefers to believe the agency that lies to her with a straight face. In doing so, she shows that she is a Zionist first and foremost; and a feminist second, if at all.

    As for the citizenship application infractions which the Justice Department is exploiting in order to expel her from the U.S.: she had been tortured once by Israel. Her decision to hide her previous conviction was surely founded on a fear that she might be deported once again back to Israel or Jordan (where Israel had sent her after her release from prison). The Jordanian security apparatus collaborates closely with Israeli intelligence. The former is quite handy with torture itself. Further, the U.S. judge in her first trial prohibited her attorney from raising torture as part of her defense. Her second trial will explicitly permit such testimony. Though I’m not privy to the defense strategy, I hope it will demand that a Shabak officer who participated in her interrogation testify at trial. And if his testimony diverges from the truth, I hope there is means to document this and hold him accountable. It would be one of the first times such an agent would be held accountable legally either inside or outside Israel.

    In the attacks against Rasmea, it’s certainly reasonable to bring up her participation in an act of terrorism: as long as you also examine the entire case against her. She admitted participation in the attack. But she denied placing the bomb in the supermarket. Despite her denial, this was the crime for which she was convicted. Further, Rasmea was released after serving ten years as part of a prisoner exchange. If Israel saw fit to release her, what is the point of using her alleged past crime against her today?

    As for her membership in a terror organization, she has long since left the militant movement. Her civic activism is solely non-violent these days. Further, virtually every leader of Israel for the first few decades of its existence either participated directly in, or ordered acts of terror against either British or Palestinian targets. Why do we grant to Israel what we deny to Palestinians?

    It may be no accident that two days before Shire’s broadside against the U.S. feminist movement (and Rasmea) in the NY Times, the Chicago Tribune published another hit-piece against her. The latter was credited to a retired Chicago professor. Her bio neglected to mention that she is also a Breitbart contributor who is the local coördinator for StandWithUs. This sin of omission attests either to editorial slacking or a deliberate attempt to conceal relevant biographical details which would permit readers to judge the content of the op-ed in proper context.

    The Tribune op-ed denounces Jewish Voice for Peace’s invitation to Rasmea to address its annual conference in Chicago later this month. As I wrote in last night’s post, what truly irks the Israel Lobby is the growing sense of solidarity among feminist, Jewish, Palestinian, Black and LGBT human rights organizations. Its response is to divide by sowing fear, doubt and lies in the media. The two op-eds in the Times and Tribute are stellar examples of the genre and indicate a coordinated campaign against what they deride as intersectionality.

    #Palestine #femmes #résistance #zionisme

  • For Israel’s golden intel boys, it starts with terror and ends with greed Veterans of Israel’s famed signal intelligence corps, already well versed in violence against the helpless, are now indulging in rotten meddling abroad
    Gideon Levy - Feb 16, 2019 10:53 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-for-israel-s-golden-intel-boys-it-starts-with-terror-and-ends-with

    A coincidence brought together two stories in Haaretz last Wednesday. One reported on the sadistic abuse of two Palestinians by soldiers from the Netzah Yehuda Battalion, while the other told of astonishing meddling abroad by Israeli intelligence companies.

    Ostensibly the conduct of the battalion is more sickening. But actually the actions of veterans of the Mossad and the military’s signal intelligence unit, 8200, is much more disturbing.

    The abusive soldiers will be punished to some extent; usually they come from the margins of society. But the veterans of Israel’s top secret cyber-agencies are the new elite, the heroes of our time, beautiful and promising, the proud future of innovation and high-tech. Who doesn’t want their son or daughter to serve in 8200? Who isn’t proud of the Mossad’s work?

    But some of these good people do very bad things, no less infuriating than punching a blindfolded Palestinian in front of his son. At 8200 they don’t kill people or beat them up, but the damage the unit’s veterans do can be no less severe.

    The success stories are many. The name of the game is to start up a company, exit quickly and take the money. In T-shirts, sneakers and jeans they make money hand over fist. During their afternoon breaks they order sushi and play the video games “FIFA 17” and “Mortal Kombat.”

    Most of them come from 8200. Beneath their impressive successes, there is rot. The veterans of the biggest and maybe the most prestigious unit in the army, the new pilots, know everything. Sometimes too much.

    A long, disturbing article by Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker tells about these companies, particularly Psy-Group, made up of Mossad and 8200 veterans. There’s no place in the world they’re not interfering – from Gabon to Romania, from the Netherlands to the U.S. elections.

    There’s also nothing they won’t do; money covers everything. Project Butterfly, the war declared by Israeli cyber-mercenaries on U.S. campuses against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, was particularly disgusting. Psy-Group, with members of the old boys’ club – Ram Ben-Barak, a former deputy head of the Mossad and a Yesh Atid Knesset candidate, and Yaakov Amidror, a general and a former national security adviser – spied on anti-Israel activists on U.S. campuses and collected dirt on them.

    It’s like a war, the hero Ben-Barak told The New Yorker. The private Israeli firm works on U.S. campuses against political activists for $2.5 million a year. This money was contributed by Jews (who were promised they were “investing in Israel’s future”), some of whose children are students on those same campuses.

    Imagine if a foreign company spied on right-wing students in Israel and spread slander about them. But Israel is allowed to do anything. Uzi Arad, a former national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a Mossad veteran, told The New Yorker that he was ashamed of these mercenaries.

    These actions are being carried out by the best of our young people. According to The New Yorker, the Israeli companies control the global disinformation and manipulation market. They have a huge advantage. As Gadi Aviran, founder of the intelligence firm Terrogence, told the magazine: “There was this huge pipeline of talent coming out of the military every year,” and “All a company like mine had to do was stand at the gate and say, ‘You look interesting.’” It always starts with terror, real or imagined, and ends with greed.

    First we have a “huge pipeline of talent” familiar with the alleyways of Jabalya and Jenin in the West Bank, well experienced in violence against the helpless. The training grounds of the Israeli arms industry, unmanned bombers and lethal joysticks have led to lots of prestige and money for the state.

    Now, in the spirit of the times, we have the meddlers from the high-ups of the Mossad and 8200. And when one day somebody asks where the temerity came from to meddle like that, we’ll quote Amidror, who said: “If people are ready to finance it, it is O.K. with me.” Before we keep encouraging young people to join 8200 and take pride in the unit, we should remember that this rot also emerged from it.

  • Israel uses online blackmail to recruit collaborators | The Electronic Intifada
    https://electronicintifada.net/content/israel-uses-online-blackmail-recruit-collaborators/23461

    It was through social media that Ashraf Abu Leila, possibly the most notorious of recently convicted collaborators, is said to have first been recruited by Israeli intelligence. Accused with two other men of the assassination of Mazen al-Fuqaha, a senior Qassam Brigades leader who was killed in March last year, Abu Leila was executed on 25 May 2017 after being found guilty by a revolutionary court.

    Under questioning, Abu Leila is said to have confessed to being recruited through an online messenger app at the beginning of 2004 by a man who claimed to be a member of al-Qaida. And over time, authorities say, Abu Leila proved a deadly assassin.

    A member of Hamas since 2001, Abu Leila reportedly early became close to a Qassam commander, who would unwittingly shield him in the future. During the 2007 fighting in Gaza that led to the ouster of Fatah, Hamas authorities now say he was responsible for the murder of several members of the preventive security forces. He was also accused of another murder, but escaped punishment due to his involvement with Hamas’ military wing.

    He subsequently worked in different ministries until 2013, when he became increasingly radicalized and reportedly got close to Gaza’s Doghmush clan and its Salafi Army of Islam group. Indeed, the assassination of al-Fuqaha was initially thought to have been carried out by Salafis, with whom Hamas has been engaged in conflict on and off for more than a decade.

    Les #réseaux_sociaux comme instrument de recrutement pour des informateurs locaux par les Israéliens. #israël #palestine #tic_arabes

  • Private Israeli Spies Proposed Attack On #BDS Advocates – The Forward
    https://forward.com/news/national/411798/israeli-spy-firm-that-approached-trump-first-proposed-dirty-tricks-against

    In late 2015, the Israeli private intelligence firm #Psy-Group approached an ad hoc group of Jewish donors with a proposal to covertly undermine the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. According to a summary of the proposal reviewed by the Forward, Psy-Group said it would seek to damage specific individuals and organizations associated with the BDS movement by disrupting their activities, or leading them to be investigated by the authorities. It also said it would run a media influence campaign.

    Psy-Group, whose employees were veterans of the Israeli intelligence apparatus, emphasized that it would work in utmost secrecy, covering up any financial or technological links to its activities. It said that none of the actions would be traceable to Jews or Israelis.

  • » Palestinian Beaten to Death by Israeli Soldiers
    IMEMC News - September 18, 2018 11:10 AM
    http://imemc.org/article/israeli-soldiers-kill-a-palestinian-after-abducting-and-assaulting-him

    The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) has reported that Israeli soldiers killed, on Tuesday at dawn, a young Palestinian man after abducting him from his home, and repeatedly assaulting him.

    The PPS said undercover Israeli soldiers abducted Mohammad Zaghloul al-Khatib , 24, from his home in Beit Rima town, northwest of Ramallah, in central West Bank.

    It quoted his brother stating that nearly 30 Israeli soldiers invaded the family home to abduct Mohammad, before continuously and repeatedly assaulting him in his home until he fell unconscious.

    He added that the soldiers then took him brother to an unknown destination, and the family was later contacted by an Israeli intelligence officer, asking them whether Mohammad had any “preexisting conditions,” and they assured the officer that their son was completely healthy.

    His mother said that the soldiers beat him on the head, then smashed his head several times against the wall until he fell down, unconscious. They handcuffed his prone body, then left the scene, leaving him unconscious and handcuffed with no medical attention.

    On Tuesday morning, the Palestinian District Coordination Office was contacted by its Israeli counterpart, informing them that Mohammad was dead, without setting a date for transferring his corpse back to his family.

    The family said the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force against Mohammad, continuously beating him up while abducting him, and accused the military of executing their son.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • U.S. Ambassador Dean Ambushed in Lebanon, Escapes Attack Unhurt - The Washington Post
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1980/08/28/us-ambassador-dean-ambushed-in-lebanon-escapes-attack-unhurt/218130c3-6d7e-438f-8b0c-a42fc0e5eb57

      1980

      U.S. Ambassador John Gunther Dean escaped unharmed tonight after gunmen in a speeding Mercedes attacked his bulletproof limousine as he was leaving his Hazmieh residence in a convoy.

      The ensuing battle between the ambasador’s bodyguards and the gunmen left the embassy car demolished on the passenger side, with window glass shattered and tires flat, embassy sources said.

      Later this evening, Dean appeared at the gate of the embassy and waved to bystanders but refused to make a statement on the incident. He showed no signs of injury. [The Associate Press, quoting security sources, said Dean’s wife Martine and daughter Catherine also were unharmed.]

      It was the first attempt on an American ambassador’s life in Lebanon since June 16, 1976, when ambassador Francis E. Eloy, economic counselor Robert O. Waring and their chauffeur were kidnaped and killed on their way from West Beirut to East Beirut during the civil war.

      [Several hours after the attack on Dean, gunmen with automatic rifles dragged the Spanish ambassador and his wife from their car and drove away in the embasy vehicle. Ambassador Luis Jordana Pozas told the Associated Press. Jordana said five men pushed them from the car in mostly Moslem West Beirut. There was no indication whether the theft of Jordana’s car was related to the attack on the American diplomat.]

      Today’s attack came just hours after Dean said the United States was working with Israel and the United Nations to end the violence among Christian militiamen and Palestinian guerrillas in southern Lebanon. It was his first public statement since Aug. 21, when he created an uproar by condemning an Israeli raid on Palestinian guerilla strongholds in the area. The U.S. State Department later disavowed the statement.

      There were conflicting reports about the kind of explosive that was aimed at the ambassador’s car. Some local radio stations said it was a rocket, while others said it was a rifle grenade. None of the reports could be confirmed.

      The shooting took place as Dean was driving to Beirut. Excited security guards outside the U.S. Embassy told reporters that a spurt of machine-gun fire followed the explosion.

      The attackers, who abandoned their car, fled into the woods on the side of the highway, Beirut’s official radio said.

      Lebanese Army troops and internal security forces were quickly moved to the ambush site and an all-night search was begun to track down the would-be killers. Reliable police sources said two Lebanese suspected of being linked to the assassination attermpt were taken in for questioning.

      Following a meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister Fuad Butros today, Dean stressed that "American policy includes opposition to all acts of violence which ignore or violate the internationally recognized border between Lebanon and Israel.

    • The remarkable disappearing act of Israel’s car-bombing campaign in Lebanon or : What we (do not) talk about when we talk about ’terrorism’
      Rémi Brulin, MondoWeiss, le 7 mai 2018
      https://seenthis.net/messages/692409

      La remarquable occultation de la campagne israélienne d’attentats à la voiture piégée au Liban ou : Ce dont nous (ne) parlons (pas) quand nous parlons de terrorisme
      Rémi Brulin, MondoWeiss, le 7 mai 2018
      https://seenthis.net/messages/695020

    • Inside Intel / Assassination by proxy - Haaretz - Israel News | Haaretz.com
      https://www.haaretz.com/1.5060443

      Haaretz 2009,

      Did Israel try to kill the U.S. ambassador in Lebanon in the early 1980s?Haggai Hadas’ experience is not necessarily an advantage in the talks over Gilad Shalit’s release The Israeli intelligence community has committed quite a number of crimes against the United States during its 60-year lifetime. In the early 1950s it recruited agents from among Arab officers serving in Washington (with the help of military attache Chaim Herzog). In the 1960s it stole uranium through Rafi Eitan and the Scientific Liaison Bureau in what came to be known as the Apollo Affair, when uranium was smuggled to Israel from Dr. Zalman Shapira’s Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation - in Apollo, Pennsylvania). In the 1980s it operated spies (Jonathan Pollard and Ben-Ami Kadish), and used businessmen (such as Arnon Milchan) to steal secrets, technology and equipment for its nuclear program and other purposes.

      Now the Israeli government is being accused of attempted murder. John Gunther Dean, a former U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, claims in a memoir released last week that Israeli intelligence agents attempted to assassinate him. Dean was born in 1926 in Breslau, Germany (today Wroclaw, Poland), as John Gunther Dienstfertig. His father was a Jewish lawyer who described himself as a German citizen of the Jewish religion who is not a Zionist. The family immigrated to the U.S. before World War II. As an adult Dean joined the State Department and served as a diplomat in Vietnam, Afghanistan and India, among other states.

    • Remi Brulin on Twitter: "Shlomo Ilya was, in the early 1980s, the head of the IDF liaison unit in Lebanon. He is also (in)famous for declaring, at the time, that he only weapon against terrorism is terrorism, and that Israel had options for “speaking the language the terrorists understand.” https://t.co/TKx02n2SpA"
      https://mobile.twitter.com/RBrulin/status/1001904259410071552

  • Russia says only Syrian army should be on country’s southern border with Israel

    Israel believes Russia may agree to withdrawing Iranian forces and allied Shi’ite militias from Israel-Syria border

    Noa Landau and Reuters May 28, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/russia-says-only-syrian-army-should-be-on-country-s-southern-border-1.61198

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that only Syrian government troops should have a presence on the country’s southern border which is close to Jordan and Israel, the RIA news agency reported.
    Lavrov was cited as making the comments at a joint news conference in Moscow with Jose Condungua Pacheco, his counterpart from Mozambique.
    Meanwhile, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will leave on Wednesday for a short visit to Russia. He is scheduled to meet with his counterpart, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shvigo, the ministry said in a statement on Monday. Lieberman is expected to discuss with his hosts the recent events in the Middle East, primarily the tension between Israel and Iran over the Iranian military presence in Syria.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the Knesset Monday, saying that “there is no room for any Iranian military presence in any part of Syria.”
    Lieberman said that “these things, of course, reflect not only our position, I can safely say that they reflect the positions of others in the Middle East and beyond the Middle East.”
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    On Sunday, Haaretz reported that Israeli political and military officials believe Russia is willing to discuss a significant distancing of Iranian forces and allied Shi’ite militias from the Israel-Syria border, according to Israeli officials.
    The change in Russia’s position has become clearer since Israel’s May 10 military clash with Iran in Syria and amid Moscow’s concerns that further Israeli moves would threaten the stability of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.
    Russia recently renewed efforts to try to get the United States involved in agreements that would stabilize Syria. The Russians might be willing to remove the Iranians from the Israeli border, though not necessarily remove the forces linked to them from the whole country.
    Last November, Russia and the United States, in coordination with Jordan, forged an agreement to decrease the possibility of friction in southern Syria, after the Assad regime defeated rebel groups in the center of the country. Israel sought to keep the Iranians and Shi’ite militias at least 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Israeli border in the Golan Heights, east of the Damascus-Daraa road (or, according to another version, east of the Damascus-Suwayda road, about 70 kilometers from the border).

    FILE – Iran’s Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, left, in Aleppo, Syria, in photo provided October 20, 2017/AP
    According to Israeli intelligence, in Syria there are now around 2,000 Iranian officers and advisers, members of the Revolutionary Guards, around 9,000 Shi’ite militiamen from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, and around 7,000 Hezbollah fighters. Israel believes that the Americans are now in a good position to reach a more effective arrangement in Syria in coordination with the Russians under the slogan “Without Iran and without ISIS.”
    The United States warned Syria on Friday it would take “firm and appropriate measures” in response to ceasefire violations, saying it was concerned about reports of an impending military operation in a de-escalation zone in the country’s southwest.
    Washington also cautioned Assad against broadening the conflict.
    “As a guarantor of this de-escalation area with Russia and Jordan, the United States will take firm and appropriate measures in response to Assad regime violations,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement late on Friday.
    A war monitor, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported on Wednesday that Syrian government forces fresh from their victory this week against an Islamic State pocket in south Damascus were moving into the southern province of Deraa.
    Syrian state-run media have reported that government aircraft have dropped leaflets on rebel-held areas in Deraa urging fighters to disarm.
    The U.S. warning comes weeks after a similar attack on a de-escalation zone in northeastern Syria held by U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. U.S. ground and air forces repelled the more than four-hour attack, killing perhaps as many as 300 pro-Assad militia members, many of them Russian mercenaries.
    Backed by Russian warplanes, ground forces from Iran and allied militia, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah, have helped Assad drive rebels from Syria’s biggest cities, putting him in an unassailable military position.

  • Who hacked the US election?
    https://hackernoon.com/who-hacked-the-us-election-5902ea02fc68?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3---4

    Who hacked the US election?Who has benefited most from US government policy since the election?Not Russia.Cambridge Analytica in association with British and Israeli intelligence operatives, associated with MI5, MI6 and, Mossad have been exposed as actively hacking democracies and psychologically abusing citizens around the world.When we say hacked in this context, we do not necessarily mean hacking a computer, rather we are looking at the end user experience, so we are talking about hacking public consciousness.Watch the Cambridge Analytica video expose then let’s start to examine the threads that this reveals.https://medium.com/media/181c3861d993a75dff4234a97a9fb69d/hrefGiven this insider admission at the highest levels that the governments of the US and Britain both worked closely with a (...)

    #cambridge-analytica #trump #syria #israel #russian-hacking

  • Putin’s Syrian dilemma: Back Israel or Iran?

    All of the Russian president’s achievements in Syria could come crashing down unless he answers this one fundamental question

    Anshel Pfeffer Feb 19, 2018

    Russian President Vladimir Putin thought he could succeed where the U.S.’s then-President Barack Obama failed. Pacify Syria, rescue the regime of his client, President Bashar Assad, and balance the conflicting interests of Iran and Israel in the war-torn country. All this he did with a relatively small investment: the deployment of a couple of dozen aircraft and 2,000 men. As foreign campaigns go, it was power projection on the cheap. The United States on a similar mission would have used a force 10 times the size – aircraft carrier groups and hundreds of fighter jets, aerial tankers and electronic warfare planes. Not to mention boots on the ground.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    But Russia could pull it off thanks to the cannon fodder supplied by Iran. Tens of thousands of Shi’ite mercenaries, mainly refugees from Afghanistan, propped up Assad’s failing battalions. Hezbollah fighters came from Lebanon to carry out the more difficult operations. Russia made do with small teams of special-force troops and, where more muscle was needed, its own mercenaries.
    It was a relatively small investment with few casualties and not, as some predicted two years ago, a rerun of the Soviet Union’s disastrous occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

    President Vladimir Putin addressing Russian troops at Hemeimeem air base during a surprise visit to Damascus, December 12, 2017.Mikhail Klimentyev/AP
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    >> Iran and the Assad regime are drawing a line in Syria’s skies | Analysis <<

    With perfect timing, and taking advantage of the vacuum left by Obama’s decision not to get involved in Syria, Putin had put Russia back on the geopolitical map. He made a surprise visit to Damascus in December to declare: Mission accomplished. He should have learned from former U.S. President George W. Bush never to say that – because now everything is starting to fall apart for the Russians.

    A serviceman holds a portrait of Russian air force pilot Roman Fillipov, who was killed after his aircraft was shot down over rebel-held territory in Syria, February 8, 2018.\ HANDOUT/ REUTERS
    There was last month’s Sochi conference, where attempts to agree a political process for Syria’s future under Assad, with the usual farce of elections, failed even before the delegates arrived. Turkey has launched a large-scale incursion into northwestern Syria, in an attempt to prevent Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) forces from establishing a military presence on its border. Meanwhile, the Turks are clashing with the Iranians as well, and as of Monday with regime forces too.
    Much more worrying for Russia is that in the east of the country, another Kurdish force – the Syrian Democratic Forces, which also includes Arab, Turkmen, Assyrian and Armenian forces – is widening its control of areas once held by the Islamic State. The SDF is now the only player in Syria with U.S. military support: During a clash 10 days ago between the SDF and regime forces working together with Russian mercenaries, the United States launched a devastating airstrike. The Kremlin still won’t acknowledge any casualties, but unofficial reports from Russia claim that as many as 200 Russian mercenaries died.
    And then last week there was the first direct confrontation between Israel and Iran.
    The Turkish front is less concerning for Putin, since it doesn’t directly threaten Russia’s main interests. The clashes in the northeast are a much larger problem as they are sending coffins back home to Russia – the last thing Putin needs before the presidential election in mid-March.
    For now at least, the Israeli-Iranian front may not directly put Russian personnel in the line of fire. But it is a much greater threat to the Assad regime itself. Damascus is close to the Israeli border and Assad, with Iranian encouragement, is trying to assert himself by firing anti-aircraft missiles at Israel Air Force planes.
    >> Delve deeper into the week’s news: Sign up to Chemi Shalev’s weekly roundup
    For the past two and a half years, the deal between Jerusalem and Moscow was simple: Israel allowed Russia to resupply Assad’s army and help the regime – through aerial bombardments of rebel-held areas, indiscriminately killing thousands of civilians – to retake large swaths of territory. Russia, meanwhile, turned a blind eye as Israel continued its periodic attacks on convoys and depots of Iranian-supplied weapons destined for Hezbollah. Russia collaborated with Iran in reviving the regime, while not intervening when Israel struck at Iran’s proxies.
    When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that Russia prevent Iran’s forces from building permanent bases on Syrian soil, Putin tried to strike a compromise. Iran continued entrenching its Shi’ite militias, but at the same time didn’t come too close to the Israeli border or begin building large bases.

    Israeli soldiers in the northern Golan Heights after an Iranian drone penetrated Israeli airspace and was shot done, February 10, 2018.Gil Eliahu
    That balance can no longer hold. The decision by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to send a drone into Israeli airspace in the early hours of Saturday February 10, followed by Israel’s retaliation against the Iranian command unit that launched the drone and the ensuing air battle between Israeli fighter jets and Syrian air defense batteries, was proof that Russia can no longer contain the interests of all the different sides within Syria.
    Putin has utilized “hybrid warfare” – a combination of military power, deniable proxies and cyberattacks – to destabilize neighboring countries like Georgia and Ukraine, which tried to get too close to the West. Relatively small investments for major gain.
    But just like Russian interference with the U.S. presidential election, where the Kremlin wanted only to undermine America’s democratic process but never actually believed it could help get Donald Trump elected, he may have gone too deep. What was supposed to be an exercise in troublemaking is, despite Trump’s reluctance, now a full-blown confrontation with the U.S. intelligence services.
    Managing a multitrack Middle East policy and engaging simultaneously with all of the regional players takes time, resources and, especially, experience. Until recently, the United States had the combination of seasoned diplomats, military and intelligence officers – with extensive contacts and time spent in the region – to maintain such a complex operation.
    Under President Trump, many of these professionals have left the administration, and there is no clear sense of direction from the White House for those remaining. But the lack of any real U.S. presence or policy doesn’t mean someone else can just come along and take over its traditional role.
    It’s not just that the Kremlin doesn’t have anything resembling this kind of network. Putin’s centralized way of doing business means that every decision goes through him in Moscow. This isn’t helping Russia keep a handle on evolving events on the ground, but it is an advantage for Netanyahu – who is currently the regional player with the best personal relationship with Putin.
    There are currently two schools of thought within the Israeli intelligence community. The skeptics believe Putin will not give up on his Shi’ite boots on the ground and will ultimately limit Israel’s freedom to operate in the skies above Syria – pushing Israel to make a difficult choice between sitting on the sidelines while Iran and Hezbollah build up their outposts or confronting Russia as well. The optimists believe Putin knows Israel has the power to jeopardize its achievements and threaten the Assad regime, and will therefore rein in the Iranians.
    Netanyahu’s team has been working closely with the Russian president for years, and the two leaders speak regularly on the phone and meet every few months. When they’re on their own, with just fellow Likud lawmaker Zeev Elkin to interpret, does Netanyahu openly threaten to destabilize the Assad regime? Probably not. The implied threat is enough.
    Putin will have to make the call on Israel or Iran soon – or risk losing all he has invested in Syria.

  • After a dozen Gaza rockets in a week, Israel is being backed into a corner -

    Frequent rocket fire from Gaza would disturb the feeling of security and would put pressure on Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman to act more resolutely

    Amos Harel Dec 13, 2017
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.828581

    Since the evening of December 6, when U.S. President Donald Trump announced American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, eight rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into the Negev region. At least three other rockets were fired from Gaza but fell inside Palestinian territory. This is the largest number of rockets fired at Israel since the end of Operation Protective Edge, the war that Israel fought with Hamas and its allies during the summer of 2014.
    To really understand the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Israeli intelligence agencies attribute most of the rocket fire, if not all of it, to extremist Salafi factions that operate beyond Hamas’ direction. Israel has also identified preliminary steps taken by Hamas over the past few days to rein in the rocket fire, including the arrest of members of these organizations. In the past, the Hamas government in Gaza has known how to make the rules of the game that it has established with Israel clear to these smaller groups – and has adopted a harsh enforcement policy when it has understood that the rocket fire was endangering the stability of its rule in Gaza.
    This time, either the message was not received or was not properly understood. It appears that in Gaza Trump’s declaration was seen as an opportunity to let off steam and attack Israeli civilian population centers. The stage of the large demonstrations by Palestinians protesting Trump’s declaration is slowly coming to an end, without leaving much of an impression on the international community, or on Trump either.
    >> Three reasons we aren’t seeing a third intifada | Analysis
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    Now there is a shift to a different approach involving firing rockets from the Gaza Strip, a period during which one “lone wolf” terrorist attack also occurred, involving the stabbing by a Palestinian at the Jerusalem central bus station of a security guard, who was seriously wounded.

    The site in the Israeli border town of Sderot where a rocket fired from Gaza fell on Dec. 8, 2017.Eliyahu Hershovitz
    The Israeli response to the rocket fire from Gaza has been rather restrained so far. As has been its custom in the past, Israel has said that it views Hamas as the party responsible for violence coming from its territory – and has exacted a price from it by bombing Hamas positions and command headquarters. But the Israeli attacks have generally been carried out when the targets were empty, and the attacks have been planned in such a way as to limit the damage. In one case, last Friday, a member of the Hamas military wing was killed, and the Hamas leadership felt Israel had gone too far. For now, it seems that the Israeli leadership does not want to rock the boat to too great an extent in Gaza.
    The Israeli government’s problem is that it does not fully control of the situation. Continued rocket fire and “red alert” rocket sirens will exact a psychological price from the Israeli residents in the region near the Gaza border, who have enjoyed a relatively long period of quiet and a major influx of new residents, as a result of a building boom and government tax breaks for the region following Operation Protective Edge. The traumatic experiences of Protective Edge and other previous periods, during military operations in Gaza and between them, are still remembered quite well in Sderot, Ashkelon and the nearby collective moshavim and kibbutzim communities.
    Iron Dome anti-missile batteries intercepted two of the rockets fired over the past few days – and missed one rocket, which fell in a populated area in Sderot but did not cause any injuries. The Israel army made a change recently in how it calculates the area where the rockets are projected to fall (known as the “polygon”), thereby only requiring that alarms sound in a very small and more focused area, and limiting the disruption to local routines in border communities near Gaza. Nevertheless, rocket fire every day, or every other day, would disturb the feeling of security that had been restored with difficulty and would create pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to act more resolutely. The distance could be short from that to another round of violence.
    The latest tensions are occurring against the backdrop of the Israeli army’s announcement Sunday that it had successfully destroyed another attack tunnel dug well inside Israeli territory that was discovered along the border with Gaza, the second in less than two months. It appears, however, that Hamas’ actions are influenced first and foremost by another factor, its reconciliation agreement with the Palestinian Authority. So far the commitments included in the agreement have not been carried out. That’s the case when it comes to the opening of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt and the resumption of funding for Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
    As far as Hamas is concerned, the bad news is coming from almost all directions: Trump’s announcement, the Israeli army’s success in locating attack tunnels and the difficulties with Palestinian reconciliation. If Hamas cannot deliver the goods to Gaza’s residents, who have been waiting with bated breath for a measure of improvement in their economic situation and freedom of movement, Hamas could well find itself dragged once again into an escalation with Israel – as it has acted in the past.
    This is the main worry keeping Israel’s senior defense officials and political leadership busy at the moment, and it explains the relatively restrained Israeli response – restraint that could end if the frequent rocket fire continues, and certainly if the rockets inflict casualties.

  • #Israel demanded 60km buffer but Russia let Iranian forces in Syria approach the border - Syria - Haaretz.com
    http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/1.812328

    No such Iranian presence has been identified over the past few months, but Israeli intelligence expects the Iranians to infiltrate the border area gradually, and that over the long term the Iranians intend on building a military and intelligence presence along the border with Israel. The Iranians intend on using the Syrian Golan Heights as a secondary front against Israel in the case of another war breaking out between Israel and #Hezbollah, experts say.

    #Syrie #Iran #Israël #Russie

  • Europe must not buy what Israel is selling to combat terror
    Israel has managed to turn 50 years of Palestinian resistance to occupation into a cottage industry, and is now selling the concept of a police state to the world

    Jeff Halper Aug 20, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.807941

    Whenever a terrorist attack happens such as the one last week in Barcelona, Israel politicians and security “experts” get on TV to criticize European naïvité. If only they understood terrorism as we do and took the preventive measures we do, they say, they would suffer far less attacks. Most infamous in this regard were the remarks of Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz after the Brussels bombing in March 2016, in which 34 people died.
    Rather than convey his condolences in the name of the Israeli government, he scolded the Belgians in the most patronizing way possible. “If in Belgium they continue to eat chocolate, enjoy life and parade as great liberals and democrats while not taking account of the fact that some of the Muslims who are there are organizing acts of terror,” he pronounced, “they will not be able to fight against them.”
    The Belgians reacted angrily, and asserted the position of most European governments: While we will continue to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions, we are not going to forsake our freedoms and political openness to become copies of Israel. For they understand that Netanyahu’s government is peddling something far more insidious than mere precautions – even more than the weapons, surveillance and security systems and models of population control that is the bread-and-butter of Israeli exports. What Israel is urging onto the Europeans – and Americans, Canadians, Indians, Mexicans, Australians and anyone else who will listen – is nothing less than an entirely new concept of a state, the Security State. 
    What is a Security State? Essentially, it is a state that places security above all else, certainly above democracy, due process of law and human rights, all of which it considers “liberal luxuries” in a world awash in terrorism. Israel presents itself, no less, than the model for countries of the future. You Europeans and others should not be criticizing us, say Katz and Netanyahu, you should be imitating us. For look at what we have done. We have created a vibrant democracy from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River that provides its citizens with a flourishing economy and personal security – even though half the population of that country are terrorists (i.e., non-citizen Palestinians living in isolated enclaves of the country). If we can achieve that, imagine what we can offer those of you threatened by terrorist attacks?
    In a brilliant shift in imaging, Israel has managed to turn 50 years of Palestinian resistance to occupation into a cottage industry. By labeling it “terrorism,” it has not only delegitimized the Palestinian struggle but has transformed the occupied territories in a laboratory of counterinsurgency and population control, the cutting edges of both foreign wars and domestic repression. It has transformed tactics of control and their accompanying weapons of surveillance systems into marketable products. No wonder, as Netanyahu constantly reminds us, “the world” loves Israel. From China to Saudi Arabia, from India to Mexico, from Eritrea to Kazakhstan, Israel supplies the means by which repressive regimes control their restless peoples.

    #Europe #Israel #terror

  • Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador - The Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-revealed-highly-classified-information-to-russian-foreign-minister-and-ambassador/2017/05/15/530c172a-3960-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html?tid=a_breakingnews

    President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.

    The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.

    The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.

    This is code-word information,” said a U.S. official familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.

    • Foreign Policy - Situation Report
      http://link.foreignpolicy.com/view/52543e66c16bcfa46f6ced165qajs.2583/74c45049

      Top administration is denying the reports. Or at least is denying something. National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster delivered a quick statement Monday saying, “I was in the room — it didn’t happen.” He added, “at no time — at no time — were intelligence sources or methods discussed, and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a similar statement. Problem is, none of the stories claimed that sources and methods were exposed.

      And then on Tuesday morning, Trump dive-bombed McMaster’s statement that “it didn’t happen,” when he took to Twitter to confirm that in fact he did share classified information with the Russians via Twitter. Trump said he has the “absolute right” to share with top Russian officials information about an Islamic State threat. McMaster is slated to brief the press in the White House Briefing Room this afternoon.

      As the New York Times said, “according to the officials, Mr. Trump discussed the contents of the intelligence, not the sources and methods used to collect it. The concern is that knowledge of the information about the Islamic State plot could allow the Russians to figure out the sources and methods.” One current administration official told the paper that Trump “shared granular details of the intelligence with the Russians. Among the details the president shared was the city in Syria where the ally picked up information about the plot, though Mr. Trump is not believed to have disclosed that the intelligence came from a Middle Eastern ally or precisely how it was gathered.

    • Après la crise, le chaos
      http://theconversation.com/apres-la-crise-le-chaos-77839

      L’atmosphère était devenue irrespirable quand Donald Trump a sifflé la fin de la récré par deux tweets, comme il en a le secret : à la surprise générale, il a tout revendiqué et absolument tout assumé :

      « Oui, comme Président j’ai partagé des informations avec la Russie, ce que j’ai absolument le droit de faire, pour des questions touchant au terrorisme et à la sécurité aérienne. C’était nécessaire pour des raisons humanitaires et pour permettre une plus grande coopération avec les Russes dans la lutte contre Daech. »

    • U.S. officials: Israel provided secret intelligence that Trump leaked to Russia - U.S. News - Haaretz.com
      http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.789647

      The New York Times report said Israeli officials refused to confirm that Israel was the source of the information. But BuzzFeed News quoted two Israeli intelligence officials as saying that Israel had shared information with the United States on an Islamic State plan to sneak explosive-laden laptops onto planes. The New York Times’ report that the U.S. president had shared Israeli intelligence with Russia was Israel’s “worst fears confirmed,” one of the officers was quoted as saying.

    • The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب: So the ally is #Israel (about the ISIS plot)
      http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2017/05/so-ally-is-israel-about-isis-plot.html

      Is there any dirty scheme in which Israel is not involved? So the sources of intelligence about ISIS is now Israel? The country which enjoys excellent relations with both ISIS and Al-Qa`idah in Syria? Let me guess: it also is the source of information on all matters Syrian for the US government.

  • Palestinian activist ’executed’ by Israeli forces after 2-hour shoot-out
    March 6, 2017 10:51 A.M. (Updated: March 6, 2017 5:20 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=775810

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian activist early Monday morning, culminating a two-hour-long gun battle in the Ramallah area of the central occupied West Bank, after Israeli forces had been pursuing the man since he was released from Palestinian prison last September.

    The raid sparked clashes, which left two Palestinians shot and injured by Israeli forces. No Israelis were injured in the incident.

    Israeli police identified the slain man as Basel al-Araj , who was wanted for “planning terror attacks against Israelis.”

    Al-Araj was detained without charges or explanation by Palestinian security forces in April last year along with Haitham Siyaj and Muhammad Harb. The controversial case made headlines when the three men joined three other detainees in a hunger strike in Palestinian prison, amid reports of torture and mistreatment.

    After being released in September, Palestinian activists had feared that Israeli forces would immediately detain the six men, as the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been widely criticized for its security coordination with Israel through what critics have called a “revolving door policy" of funneling Palestinians from PA jails into Israeli prisons.

    Muhammad Harb and Haitham Siyaj, along with two of the other hunger striking detainees Muhammad al-Salamin and Seif al-Idrissi, were eventually detained by Israeli forces and ordered to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, while a video was released by Israeli media showing Israeli forces beating Siyaj in custody.

    However, Israeli forces were unable to immediately apprehend al-Araj, and the months-long manhunt continued until the Monday morning raid, when forces from the Israeli army, Israeli border police, Israeli intelligence, and Israel’s counter-terrorism unit surrounded a house in the outskirts of the refugee camp of Qaddura, where al-Araj was allegedly staying.

    Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said that “once Israeli forces arrived at the place, the Palestinian terrorist opened fire at Israeli forces, causing an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian terrorist, leading to his death.”

    Al-Samri noted that no Israeli soldiers were injured in the shootout.

    Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that gunfire was exchanged between Israeli forces and a Palestinian man for around two hours until he ran out of ammunition, after which Israeli forces raided the house and “executed” him by shooting him at close range with several bullets.

    Israeli forces also fired an Energa anti-tank rifle grenade into the building, causing the destruction of parts of the house, witnesses said.

    Witnesses said they saw Israeli forces dragging a man’s body by his feet outside of the house.

    Meanwhile the Palestinian Ministry of Health has reportedly confirmed al-Araj’s death, according to online media reports, while his body was taken by Israeli forces to an unknown destination.(...)

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Basil al-Araj assassinated by Israeli occupation forces after PA imprisonment and months in hiding
      March 6, 2017
      http://samidoun.net/2017/03/basil-al-araj-executed-by-israeli-occupation-forces-after-pa-imprisonment-

      In a pre-dawn raid attacking a home in el-Bireh, Basil al-Araj , 31, Palestinian youth activist and writer pursued by Israel for nearly a year, was assassinated by invading Israeli occupation forces this morning.

      Al-Araj, from the village of Walaja near Bethlehem, fought back and resisted the invading forces for two hours before the attacking occupation soldiers broke into the home where he was staying and executed him at close range. They then seized his body and took it to an unknown location.

      The attack on the home included rocket fire as well as al-Araj’s extrajudicial execution in a hail of bullets. Al-Araj’s family home in al-Walaja had been repeatedly raided by occupation forces for months.

      Al-Araj, a writer and activist involved in a wide array of Palestinian grassroots struggles for liberation, was among the Palestinian youth dedicated to reviving the Palestinian national liberation movement. One of six Palestinian youth released from Palestinian Authority prisons after nearly six months of detention when they launched a hunger strike, Al-Araj and other youth had been seized in April in what was touted as a victory for security coordination between the PA and Israel. While they were imprisoned by the PA, they were subject to torture and ill-treatment by PA security forces.

      After their hunger strike and widespread attention to their case, including protests after reports of their torture, secured their release, four of the youth – Mohammed al-Salameen, Seif al-Idrissi, Haitham Siyaj, and Mohammed Harb – have been seized by Israeli occupation forces. All four have been ordered to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.(...)

    • In final letter, slain Palestinian activist Basel al-Araj ponders looming death
      March 6, 2017 8:05 P.M. (Updated: March 6, 2017 8:08 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=775829

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — In a final letter written before he was killed by Israeli forces in a two-hour shootout, Palestinian activist and writer Basel al-Araj revealed his thoughts over his seemingly ineluctable end.

      Al-Araj, a 31-year-old activist and resident of the village of al-Walaja in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem, had been on the run from Israeli authorities since September, when he was released from Palestinian prison after being detained without charges or explanation for five months, during which he joined a hunger strike amid reports of torture and mistreatment.

      Israeli police had accused al-Araj of being the “head of a terrorist cell that planned attacks against Israelis and security forces.”

      After a months-long manhunt, Israeli forces surrounded a house in the outskirts of the Qaddura refugee camp, where al-Araj was staying, early on Monday, prompting an exchange of fire between al-Araj and the armed forces, in which the Palestinian was killed after running out of ammunition.

      “Greetings of Arab nationalism, homeland, and liberation,” the letter, shared on social media by al-Araj’s family, read. “If you are reading this, it means I have died and my soul has ascended to its creator. I pray to God that I will meet him with a guiltless heart, willingly, and never reluctantly, and free of any whit of hypocrisy.”

      Al-Araj went on to ponder the initial difficulty of writing a last testament, like many other Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces.

      “How hard it is to write your own will. For years I have been contemplating testaments written by martyrs, and those wills have always bewildered me. They were short, quick, without much eloquence. They did not quench our thirst to find answers about martyrdom,” he wrote.

      “Now I am walking to my fated death satisfied that I found my answers. How stupid I am! Is there anything which is more eloquent and clearer than a martyr’s deed? I should have written this several months ago, but what kept me was that this question is for you, living people, and why should I answer on your behalf? Look for the answers yourself, and for us the inhabitants of the graves, all we seek is God’s mercy.”

    • Palestine occupée : Le FPLP dénonce l’assassinat du jeune Palestinien combattant et dirigeant Basil al-Araj
      Par FPLP | 6 mars 2017 | Traduction : André Comte
      http://www.ism-france.org/communiques/Le-FPLP-denonce-l-assassinat-du-jeune-Palestinien-combattant-et-dirigean

      Le Front Populaire pour la Libération de la Palestine se joint aux masses de notre peuple résistant qui pleurent l’un des plus éminents jeunes palestiniens en lutte, Basil al-Araj, qui a été assassiné aujourd’hui par le lâche occupant sioniste.

      Le martyr a mené une bataille héroïque après plusieurs mois de poursuite. Le Front a appelé à des actions de résistance pour le rassemblement dans l’unité et la coordination pour répondre à ce crime et intensifier les opérations contre l’occupation sioniste.

      Le Front a souligné que la Palestine aujourd’hui a perdu un des meilleurs jeunes lutteurs de la Palestine, qui a payé de sa vie ses principes et ses valeurs. Il s’était engagé à rejeter toutes les solutions de capitulation, il avait une vision claire de la libération, et il a travaillé pour relater l’histoire de la Palestine et faire face à toutes les tentatives pour liquider la cause palestinienne.

      Le martyr Basil Al-Araj était un combattant de la liberté, intellectuel et théoricien de l’insurrection de la jeunesse palestinienne. Il se consacrait à un chemin de résistance, à l’intifada, à l’unité, au retour et à la libération de toute la terre de la Palestine. C’était un intellectuel révolutionnaire qui mettait toutes ses énergies culturelles et intellectuelles au service de la résistance ainsi que de ses propres actions sur le terrain, luttant contre la coordination de la sécurité et la collaboration.

      L’assassinat du combattant martyr Basil al-Araj est le fruit affreux de la continuation de la coordination sécuritaire. Basil al-Araj et ses camarades ont été pris en chasse par l’appareil de sécurité de l’Autorité Palestinienne et ont été emprisonnés pendant plusieurs mois, et cette détention a été directement suivie par la traque menée par l’occupation contre lui jusqu’à sa mort.(...)

  • Hunger striker Muhammad al-Qiq held in ’grave-like’ prison cell, lawyer says
    Feb. 19, 2017 5:22 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 19, 2017 5:26 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=775549

    HEBRON (Ma’an) — Imprisoned Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq, who has been on hunger strike for two weeks, has been held by Israel in a “grave-like” prison cell, his lawyer said on Sunday.

    Al-Qiq, who lives in Ramallah and is originally from Dura in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, was released from prison in May last year after having gone without food for a grueling 94 days — to protest his administrative detention at the time.

    However, al-Qiq was redetained in mid-January after he participated in a protest in the West Bank city of Bethlehem demanding the release of bodies of slain Palestinians held in Israeli custody, and once again placed under administrative detention — internment without trial or charges.

    Al-Qiq’s lawyer, Khalid Zabarqa, told Ma’an that he was finally allowed to visit al-Qiq on Sunday, after awaiting a response from Israeli intelligence for ten days to grant him access to the detainee at the Kishon detention center in northern Israel.

    “Al-Qiq is held in a small cell measuring barely four square meters and lacking the minimum basic living requirements,” Zabarqa said, adding that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) had “refused to provide al-Qiq with winter clothes and sheets, leaving him unable to sleep due to low temperatures.”

    He added that al-Qiq was also suffering from dizziness, loss of balance, and back pain.

  • Israeli forces kill Palestinian man during predawn raid in al-Faraa
    Jan. 10, 2017 9:42 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 10, 2017 11:18 A.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=774838

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces during an overnight raid in the al-Faraa refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tubas on Tuesday, Israeli and Palestinian sources reported, although they widely diverged over the circumstances of the man’s death.

    A member of the politburo of the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), Khalid Mansour, told Ma’an that an Israeli intelligence officer “executed” Muhammad al-Salihi, 32, during a raid in his home.

    Al-Salihi and his mother were surprised when Israeli forces entered and ransacked their homes, Mansour said.

    “Muhammad started to shout at them because he thought they were thieves, and the soldiers immediately showered him with bullets at point-blank range, before the very eyes of his elderly mother,” Mansour recounted.

    According to the PPP official, medical sources at the Turkish hospital in Tubas said al-Salihi had been shot at least six times, including in the upper body.

    An Israeli army spokesperson, meanwhile, told Ma’an that a Palestinian advanced towards Israeli troops holding a knife during an army detention raid in al-Faraa. She said that al-Salihi did not heed calls by the soldiers asking him to halt, leading the soldiers to shoot and kill him.

    The deadly altercation did not take place inside a home, the spokesperson said, contradicting Palestinian accounts.

    The army added that no Israelis were injured in the incident.

    Al-Salihi’s funeral was set to be held after midday prayer on Tuesday.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Israeli Forces Execute Palestinian Civilian at Point-Blank Range in al-Far’ah Refugee Camp
      January 10, 2017
      http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=8684

      In an extra-judicial execution crime, on Tuesday dawn, 10 January 2017, Israeli forces shot dead in cold blood a Palestinian civilian in al-Far’ah refugee camp, south of Tubas, in front of his mother. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) stresses that this crime was committed after the Israeli political and military leaders gave the Israeli soldiers the green light to shed the Palestinian blood and tolerated the soldiers for their crimes against Palestinian civilians.

      According to PCHR’s investigations and the mother’s testimony, Fawziyah Mahmoud Khamis Salhi (67) said to PCHR’s fieldworker that at approximately 02:00 on the abovementioned day, Israeli forces moved into al-Far’ah refugee camp, south of Tubas. They surrounded the family house of Mohammed Subhi Ahmed Khamis Salhi (33) near an UNRWA School for Girls and the camp sports club, seemingly in order to arrest him. A number of Israeli soldiers jumped from the outer wall of the 1-storey house. Mohammed and his mother then heard noise in the corridor and went out of their bedroom. When his mother saw the soldiers, she stood between them and her son. An Israeli soldier then ordered her to sit on a plastic chair there, but when she refused, the soldier forcefully seated her. She then twice stood between the soldiers and her son. However in the third time she stood, the soldier forcefully pushed her and seated her on the chair. The soldier then pulled out a gun with a silencer and directly fired 5 bullets at Mohammed at point-blank range. As a result, the bullets penetrated his neck, chest, hand, armpit, pelvis and thigh from the left side of his body and killed him in front of his elderly mother. The mother said that she did not hear any sound of shooting, but saw sparkles coming from the gun. After that, her son swayed and fell on the ground. His body was put on a litter and then taken by an ambulance belonging to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to Tubas Turkish Governmental Hospital in Tubas, where medical sources announced him dead. It should be mentioned that the Mohammed previously served a 3-year sentence in the Israeli prisons.

    • L’armée israélienne abat un Palestinien qui a tenté de poignarder des soldats
      AFP / 10 janvier 2017 17h01
      http://www.romandie.com/news/Larmee-israelienne-abat-un-Palestinien-qui-a-tente-de-poignarder-des-soldats/767429.rom

      Jérusalem - Des soldats israéliens ont abattu dans la nuit de lundi à mardi en Cisjordanie occupée un Palestinien qui, selon l’armée, avait tenté de les attaquer avec un couteau, une source palestinienne donnant une autre version des faits.

      Mohammed al-Salhi , âgé de 32 ans, essayait d’empêcher les soldats d’entrer dans sa maison quand il a été abattu de six projectiles, a déclaré Khaled Mansour, un responsable du camp de réfugiés palestiniens d’al-Fara, au nord de la ville de Naplouse (Cisjordanie), où les faits se sont produits.

      Selon l’armée israélienne, « un agresseur armé d’un couteau a tenté de poignarder des soldats en opération pour arrêter des suspects ». « Les soldats ont demandé à l’homme de s’arrêter, mais alors qu’il continuait à avancer, ils lui ont tiré dessus, le tuant », a-t-elle affirmé dans un communiqué.

      Les soldats ont essuyé des jets d’engins incendiaires et des tirs d’autres habitants du camp au cours de l’opération, a ajouté l’armée.

      Aucun soldat n’a été blessé, a-t-elle dit.

      L’organisation Centre palestinien des droits de l’Homme (PCHR) a accusé l’armée israélienne dans un communiqué d’avoir « exécuté » Mohammed al-Salhi à bout portant chez lui en présence de sa mère, dont l’organisation cite le témoignage.

      Interrogée par l’AFP, l’armée israélienne n’a pas commenté ces informations. Elle s’est contentée de dire que le Palestinien n’avait pas été tué chez lui.

  • Un long et très intéressant article sur le blog de Joshua Landis pour démonter la thèse «Assad a fabriqué ISIS»: Is Assad the Author of ISIS? Did Iran Blow Up Assef Shawkat? And Other Tall Tales
    http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/assad-author-isis-iran-blow-assef-sawkat-tall-tales-ehsani2

    As the events in Daraa unfolded, the President invited key figures from the town to see what can be done to calm the demonstrations. One such figure was cleric Sayasneh. One of the consistent demands of such meetings was the release of prisoners. It was no different when Douma joined the uprising. Foreign Embassies were also pushing the Syrian State to release what it called political prisoners. People like Zahran Alloush were sentenced to seven years in prison when he was arrested with a group of 40 people on the charge of promoting Wahhabi ideology and gun possession. They had not killed anyone or even fired a shot. Yet, they were sent to prisons like Sednaya and kept there beyond the end of their sentence on the whim of one of the security agencies. It was in this context when the residents of Douma demanded the release of prisoners from their districts. The Syrian leadership was under intense pressure to calm the crisis. The people of Douma promised to do their job at calming their own streets if some of those prisoners were released. Zahran and many others like him were released under this rationale. This is not too dissimilar to the way the American prisons in Iraq worked. Zarqawi, Baghdadi and Golani were all released from those prisons either when their terms ended or when the local populations demanded their release. Just like in Syrian prisons, the prisoners in American jails were also indoctrinated with jihadist ideology. Syria erred by releasing Alloush and Abboud who would go on to form Jeish al Islam and Ahrar just like the U.S. erred when it released Baghdadi who would go on to form ISIS.

    • Angry Arab revient lui aussi sur cette théorie, mais en réponse à un billet de Qifa Nabki : Elias Muhanna ("Qifanabki") on ISIS and the Syrian regime
      http://angryarab.blogspot.fr/2016/12/elias-muhanna-qifanabki-on-isis-and.html

      So Elias commented on the lousy (really trashy, journalistically speaking) series about ISIS and the Syrian regime in Daily Beast.
      https://qifanabki.com/2016/12/07/assad-and-isis
      This is not about politics but about methodology, journalistic standards and about the dominant political paradigm about Syria and beyond. Basically, in this piece, Eias reveals himself as fully March 14, while he used to be more careful in his analysis before. This piece reads like the talking points of March 14 really. But away from generalizations let us talk specifics (my responses to his words are in red):

      1) His opening sentence set the stage: "Gutman’s articles have been championed by opposition supporters and critiqued by regime loyalists." So here he tells readers that anyone who is critical of the piece is a regime supporters. Look at this demagogic method. So end of story. Let us go home. If you dare disagree with the non-expert Gutman (who research basically constituted spending long hours in cafes in Istanbul). There is really no need to continue when he says that, but I will continue.

      2) He then informs the readers this: "The most astute observers of the conflict have long recognized the alignment of certain interests between the regime and the most radical elements in the Islamist opposition." Here, you are to believe that if you are astute you have to agree with the premise of Gutman and Western media and government, otherwise you are not astute. No evidence is necessary.

      3) Look at this line (and notice that Elias, like all other cheerleaders of the armed Jihadi groups in Syria) still insist that there was this really secular/feminist/democratic spectrum of secular armed groups, and then the regime came and produced those Islamists and then, voila, the secular armed groups suddenly disappeared in order for Bashshar to claim that his enemies are not the real Voltaire Battalions but the various Islamist Jihadi battalions: "The rise of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra has been disastrous for the secular political opposition".

      4) Elias then proceeds to yet again complains that the fact that Gutman piece is short on data and research (unless sitting in cafes in Istanbul counts as solid research) is bad not from a journalistic standpoint but because it helps the opponents of his beloved Syrian rebels (former Voltaire battalions who were transformed by trickery by the regime to Jihadi battalions): "That’s unfortunate, because they have given regime apologists more ammunition for the claim that the Syrian uprising is nothing but a foreign conspiracy fueled by fake news and Gulf-funded think tanks." But I am not sure what he means by the side reference to Gulf-funded think tanks? Does he mean that those are valuable academic assets who should not be criticized or does he mean that their punditry should be respected and not maligned and ridiculed. Not sure here but he seems defensive about them.

      5) Here he produces his theory (same as Gutman theory and same as the various theories about the Jihadi rebels from DAY ONE): "When the Assad regime released many of its Islamist prisoners from Sednaya Prison in 2011 — including individuals like Zahran Alloush, Yahia al-Hamawi, Hassan Abboud, and others who would go on to positions of leadership in Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, and ISIS — it did so in full knowledge that the Islamists spelled trouble for the nascent uprising." So the evidence marshaled by Elias is that since the regime released them from jail, it means it controls them and even controls them when they bomb the regime sites and when they kill regime supporters, etc. But here is what curious: if this is the evidence in itself, how come Elias never wrote that US is responsible for the Jihadi in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan as the US release scores of Jihadi fighters INCLUDING BAGHDADI HIMSELF? And does this argument not apply to Jordan, Saudi, Pakistani, Afghani, and Moroccan regime? The Jordanian regime is most culpable among them all as it started to manipulate Jihadis long before any of those regimes. So if the evidence is the release from jail, then it can’t be true in the case of Syrian regime and not true in the case of all those other regimes including the US government and its occupation authorities in the region.

      6) Then Elias produces another conspiracy theory more fascinating than the first one: "The intelligence services guessed correctly that the peaceful secular demonstrations would be overrun by violent former inmates". Here, what does overrun mean? I mean, if the rebels were mostly secular, why would the release of Jihadi “overrun” them? What would that happen if the majority are active in the Voltaire Battalions? Why did not the more popular (according to Elias and all other mainstream journalists) secular forces overrun the others?

      7) Then Elias proceeds to make a Lebanon analogy: "That group was widely seen as a tool of Syrian intelligence". Widely seen? It was only “widely seen” by the Hariri family and the rest of the Saudi-run March 14 Movement. There was never any evidence presented about that. The only evidence is that its leader once spent time in Syrian regime jail, just as Baghdadi once spent time in US military jails in Iraq. And many of those Jihadi groups are openly and blatantly opposed to the Syrian regime on sectarian grounds and in fact the regime fought against them in Lebanon during the Syrian political domination of Lebanon. But it gets worse:

      8) Elias then says: "Longtime Syria-watchers will recall that Hizbullah was adamantly opposed to the Lebanese Army’s assault on the camp". I consider myself “a long time Syria-watcher” — and an occasional bird-watcher — and I dont recall that. This is absolutely and totally untrue, and even Elias friends in March 14 would not mischaracterize the stance of Hizbullah as such. Hizbullah was NOT opposed to the assault on the camp: Nasrallah specifically said that entry into the camp “is the red line”. He meant that the civilian population of the camp should be spared and that the assault on Fath Al-Islam should have sparred the lives of civilians But unfortunatley, once the Lebanese Amy began the assault on the camp, Hizbullah never complained AS IT SHOULD HAVE. More than 45 Palestinian civilians were massacred by the Lebanese Army assault. I was and still am of the position that the Lebanese Army should not have assaulted the camp (I call on Elias to visit what is left of the camp to see for himself) in order to get rid of a small armed gang, especially that negotiations were going on. In fact, the lousy Syrian regime Army supported and helped and the lousy Lebanese regime Army in the assault of the camp. And unfortunately Hizbullhah provided intelligence and military support for the Army during the assault. So if my position against Army assault make me an accomplice with Fath Al-Islam, be my guest. But it was really incredible how Elias—desperate to find evidence of any kind—decided to distort the position of Hizbullah.

      9) Finally, Elias concludes with his last evidence, that the Syrian regime had “infiltrated” those groups: "given the regime’s successful infiltration of these groups". Wait. Infiltration of groups means control and creation of those groups? Do you remember after Sep. 11 when George Tenet testified before US Congress that CIA had infiltrated Al-Qa`idah? Syrian, Jordanian, Saudi, and other Arab and Western and Israeli intelligence services had all infiltrated those groups, but why do you go from here to decide that only the Syrian regime is guilty of infiltration? Are you that desperate to validate a lousy piece of journalism by Roy Gutman? Finally, here is what I find interesting: Gutman built up his case on coffee shop chatter by Syrians in Istanbul, but usually Westerners mock unsubstanitated conspiracy theories by Middle Easterners. Yet, only in the case of Syria are those conspiracy theories believed and peddled and only because they serve the propaganda interests of of Western governments.

      PS Do you notice that when people cite the lousy piece by Roy Gutman they always say: the award-winning Roy Gutman. I remember when people cited Judith Miller about WMDs of Iraq before 2003, they also always said: award-winning journalist, Judith Miller.

      PPS Elias Responds here.
      https://qifanabki.com/2016/12/07/assad-and-isis/comment-page-1/#comment-127286

    • Sinon, c’est la même #théorie_du_complot, explicitée cette fois par Michel Touma de l’Orient-Le Jour, reprise de manière extrêmement fainéante par Courrier international :
      http://www.courrierinternational.com/article/lettre-ouverte-du-liban-pourquoi-francois-fillon-tout-faux-su

      (alors qu’il y aurait beaucoup à dire sur le fait de baser une politique étrangère française sur la prétendue et forcément catastrophique « protection des Chrétiens d’Orient »)

  • Court drops charges against Israeli security guards over killing of Palestinian siblings
    Oct. 27, 2016 2:54 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 27, 2016 3:07 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=773744

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli court dropped charges on Wednesday against two Israeli security guards who shot and killed two Palestinian siblings at a checkpoint in April, ruling that there was not sufficient evidence that they had acted improperly.

    A private security contractor shot and killed Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail, 23, and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim Salih Hassan Taha on April 27 at the Qalandiya checkpoint between the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, after Israeli forces said Abu Ismail, who was five months pregnant, threw a knife in the direction of Israeli forces while she was some 20 meters away from them.

    According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the prosecutors in the case said that Abu Ismail threw a knife at Israeli forces but missed, while her brother tried to pull her away.

    The prosecution further claimed that Taha had one hand in his pocket while approaching the checkpoint, arousing “reasonable suspicion” that he was attempting to commit an attack. Israeli forces also allegedly found a knife on Taha’s body after he was killed, although at no point prior to being shot did he attempt to use it.

    However, witnesses said at the time that the two siblings posed no threat when they were killed, as they mistakenly entered the wrong part of the checkpoint and did not understand Israeli soldiers speaking to them in Hebrew.

    One witness further said that Israeli forces planted knifes on the scene.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/483882#message483897

    ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
    Court charges Palestinian citizen of Israel with planning attack
    Oct. 27, 2016 5:31 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 27, 2016 6:18 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=773757

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian citizen of Israel was indicted on Thursday over suspicions of planning an attack against Israelis, Israeli police said.

    Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Mahmoud Moussa Abbasi, a 25-year old resident of East Jerusalem, was detained three weeks earlier by Israeli police in conjunction with Israeli intelligence agency the Shin Bet.

    During interrogations, Israeli forces police reportedly learned that Abbasi was researching how to manufacture pipe bombs to and planning a shooting attack on Israeli security forces and civilians in East Jerusalem.

  • Israeli intelligence informs father of slain Palestinian his son was ’killed by mistake’
    Sept. 6, 2016 11:02 P.M. (Updated : Sept. 6, 2016 11:08 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=773033

    JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli intelligence on Tuesday informed the family of Mustafa Nimir , who was shot dead by Israeli forces on Monday during a military raid on the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, that the 27-year-old was “killed by mistake.”

    Mustafa’s father, Talal, told Ma’an that Israeli intelligence summoned him and his wife on Tuesday to the Nabl Yaqoub police station in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina and informed the family that the police had launched an investigation into the incident, adding that Mustafa and his brother-in-law, 25-year-old Ali Tayser Nimir who was injured at the time, were not attempting to carry out an attack.

    Israeli forces shot Mustafa dead and injured Ali when the two came under live fire while driving near clashes that erupted between local youth and Israeli soldiers during a military raid in Shufat refugee camp. The two were returning home after picking up food for their family.

    Ali’s condition was initially reported as moderate and he was evacuated by Israeli ambulances to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

    Israeli authorities claimed at the time that the driver of the vehicle attempted to run over Israeli police and border guard officers before they fired at the car — a claim which family members and eye witnesses rejected.

    “Their sorry will not bring back Mustafa,” Talal told Ma’an after speaking with the Israeli police. “Israeli soldiers do not value human souls and they kill for many reasons and have different excuses, as if they are hunting birds.”

    “There are no justifications for killing our children,” the bereaved father continued. “Even if soldiers really did order them to stop the vehicle, why would they immediately start shooting at them?”

    Talal added that he would now work to punish the soldiers who killed his son, and focus on protecting other Palestinian youths from such incidents. He also urged international local human rights groups to follow up with the case.

    ≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈
    https://seenthis.net/messages/521609

  • Israeli Intelligence chief: We do not want ISIS defeat in Syria
    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/israeli-intelligence-chief-not-want-isis-defeat-syria | Al-Masdar News

    In a speech delivered at “Herzliya” conference yesterday , Halevy explicitly said “Israel” does not want the situation in Syria to end with the defeat of ISIS “, the Israeli NRG site reported.

    “Withdrawal of the super powers from the region and letting Israel alone in front of Hezbollah and Iran that possess good abilities Will make “Israel” in a hard position” . Therefore, we’ve to do all we can so as not finding ourselves in such situation”, the Israeli chief intelligence added.

  • Hamas elections will mark end of Meshaal era
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/06/khaled-meshaal-hamas-political-bureau-ismail-haniyeh-shura.html

    Meshaal understands his position well. All signs suggest that the era of former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh will soon begin. Anyone familiar with the political intrigues and power struggles within the movement knows Haniyeh is Meshaal’s natural successor. He has come a long way since the days when he was Yassin’s right-hand man. His opponents, among them Fatah party officials and senior Israeli intelligence officers, used to belittle Haniyeh and call him the “washer of Ahmed Yassin’s bedpans.”

    Haniyeh is indeed not blessed with a particularly strong backbone, but is endowed with two important traits: charisma and pragmatism. His fiery speeches and relatively moderate political approach — which attracted supporters from outside Hamas, too — led him to the top of the Hamas ballot in the 2006 elections. Nonetheless, over the years Haniyeh learned that moderate and pragmatic stands would not take him far in a movement whose powerful military wing has the final say. He thus became increasingly aggressive and militant until fully aligning himself with the most radical of Hamas leaders.

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/06/khaled-meshaal-hamas-political-bureau-ismail-haniyeh-shura.html#ixzz4Bt0

  • Inside Israel’s Mossad: Efraim Halevy on UpFront
    We speak to the ex-Mossad chief about the prospect of a two-state solution, Israeli politics and his time in the Mossad.
    28 May 2016
    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upfront/2016/05/israel-mossad-efraim-halevy-upfront-160527134610649.html

    Former Mossad director Efraim Halevy has been an outspoken critic of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and once said that Jewish extremism was a bigger threat to Israel than nuclear Iran.

    In this week’s Headliner, Mehdi Hasan asks Halevy about the country’s shift to the right, his time in the Mossad, and the prospect of peace in the region.

    On Lieberman’s appointment, Halevy says that “the events of the last few days ... heralds the beginning of a countdown of the end of the administration of Mr Netanyahu”.

    The former Israeli intelligence chief says he believes there will be “no two-state solution in the foreseeable future”, adding that he doubts such a solution will take place under Prime Minister Netanyahu’s leadership.

    Halevy also reiterates that Israel should open dialogue with Hamas, revealing that some of Israel’s top generals believe having Hamas in Gaza “is the best situation for Israel”.

    • Israel indicts Palestinian astrophysicist despite Thursday decision to free him
      May 29, 2016 8:39 P.M. (Updated: May 29, 2016 9:03 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=771674

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian professor and astrophysicist Imad Barghouthi is facing charges of “incitement” by Israeli authorities, despite a decision Thursday by the Israeli military appeals court to release him from custody due to lack of sufficient evidence, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

      In a statement released by PPS on Sunday, the group said Israeli military prosecution submitted the indictment to the military court accusing Barghouthi of incitement against Israel on Facebook.

      Earlier on Sunday, the statement added, Israeli intelligence questioned Barghouthi at Ofer prison, where he is being held under Israel’s notorious policy of administrative detention — commonly used as a means of internment without charges or trial based on undisclosed evidence.

      PPS senior lawyer Jawad Boulous described the decision to keep Barghouthi in custody as “extremely absurd,” taking into account that the Israeli military prosecutor announced at Thursday’s court hearing that there was not enough evidence to indict him.

      The appeal presented to the Israeli court was signed by hundreds of scientists and academics from all over the world demanding Barghouthi’s release. A similar petition signed by academics was submitted to Israeli courts during the imprisoned professor’s court hearing earlier in May.

  • Édifiant. Quand un nazi devient un tueur du Mossad

    The Strange Case of a Nazi Who Became an Israeli Hitman
    Otto Skorzeny, one of the Mossad’s most valuable assets, was a former lieutenant colonel in Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS and one of Adolf Hitler’s favorites.

    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.711115

    On September 11, 1962, a German scientist vanished. The basic facts were simple: Heinz Krug had been at his office, and he never came home.

    The only other salient detail known to police in Munich was that Krug commuted to Cairo frequently. He was one of dozens of Nazi rocket experts who had been hired by Egypt to develop advanced weapons for that country.

    HaBoker, a now defunct Israeli newspaper, surprisingly claimed to have the explanation: The Egyptians kidnapped Krug to prevent him from doing business with Israel.

    But that somewhat clumsy leak was an attempt by Israel to divert investigators from digging too deeply into the case — not that they ever would have found the 49-year-old scientist.

    We can now report — based on interviews with former Mossad officers and with Israelis who have access to the Mossad’s archived secrets from half a century ago — that Krug was murdered as part of an Israeli espionage plot to intimidate the German scientists working for Egypt.
    Moreover, the most astounding revelation is the Mossad agent who fired the fatal gunshots: Otto Skorzeny, one of the Israeli spy agency’s most valuable assets, was a former lieutenant colonel in Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS and one of Adolf Hitler’s personal favorites among the party’s commando leaders. The Führer, in fact, awarded Skorzeny the army’s most prestigious medal, the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, for leading the rescue operation that plucked his friend Benito Mussolini out from the hands of his captors.
    But that was then. By 1962, according to our sources — who spoke only on the promise that they not be identified — Skorzeny had a different employer. The story of how that came to be is one of the most important untold tales in the archives of the Mossad, the agency whose full name, translated from Hebrew, is “The Institute for Intelligence and Special Missions.”
    Key to understanding the story is that the Mossad had made stopping German scientists then working on Egypt’s rocket program one of its top priorities. For several months before his death, in fact, Krug, along with other Germans who were working in Egypt’s rocket-building industry, had received threatening messages. When in Germany, they got phone calls in the middle of the night, telling them to quit the Egyptian program. When in Egypt, some were sent letter bombs — and several people were injured by the explosions.

    Krug, as it happens, was near the top of the Mossad’s target list.

    During the war that ended 17 years earlier, Krug was part of a team of superstars at Peenemünde, the military test range on the coast of the Baltic Sea, where top German scientists toiled in the service of Hitler and the Third Reich. The team, led by Wernher von Braun, was proud to have engineered the rockets for the Blitz that nearly defeated England. Its wider ambitions included missiles that could fly a lot farther, with greater accuracy and more destructive power.

    According to Mossad research, a decade after the war ended, von Braun invited Krug and other former colleagues to join him in America. Von Braun, his war record practically expunged, was leading a missile development program for the United States. He even became one of the fathers of the NASA space exploration program. Krug opted for another, seemingly more lucrative option: joining other scientists from the Peenemünde group — led by the German professor Wolfgang Pilz, whom he greatly admired — in Egypt. They would set up a secret strategic missile program for that Arab country.

    In the Israelis’ view, Krug had to know that Israel, the country where so many Holocaust survivors had found refuge, was the intended target of his new masters’ military capabilities. A committed Nazi would see this as an opportunity to continue the ghastly mission of exterminating the Jewish people.

    The threatening notes and phone calls, however, were driving Krug crazy. He and his colleagues knew that the threats were from Israelis. It was obvious. In 1960, Israeli agents had kidnapped Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief administrators of the Holocaust, in far-off Argentina. The Israelis astonishingly smuggled the Nazi to Jerusalem, where he was put on trial. Eichmann was hanged on May 31, 1962.

    It was reasonable for Krug to feel that a Mossad noose might be tightening around his neck, too. That was why he summoned help: a Nazi hero who was considered the best of the best in Hitler’s heyday.
    On the day he vanished, according to our new information from reliable sources, Krug left his office to meet Skorzeny, the man he felt would be his savior.

    Skorzeny, then 54 years old, was quite simply a legend. A dashing, innovative military man who grew up in Austria — famous for a long scar on the left side of his face, the result of his overly exuberant swordplay while fencing as a youth— he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS. Thanks to Skorzeny’s exploits as a guerrilla commander, Hitler recognized that he had a man who would go above and beyond, and stop at nothing, to complete a mission.

    The colonel’s feats during the war inspired Germans and the grudging respect of Germany’s enemies. American and British military intelligence labeled Skorzeny “the most dangerous man in Europe.”

    Krug contacted Skorzeny in the hope that the great hero — then living in Spain — could create a strategy to keep the scientists safe.

    The two men were in Krug’s white Mercedes, driving north out of Munich, and Skorzeny said that as a first step he had arranged for three bodyguards. He said they were in a car directly behind and would accompany them to a safe place in a forest for a chat. Krug was murdered, then and there, without so much as a formal indictment or death sentence. The man who pulled the trigger was none other than the famous Nazi war hero. Israel’s espionage agency had managed to turn Otto Skorzeny into a secret agent for the Jewish state.

    After Krug was shot, the three Israelis poured acid on his body, waited awhile and then buried what was left in a hole they had dug beforehand. They covered the makeshift grave with lime, so that search dogs — and wild animals — would never pick up the scent of human remains.

    The troika that coordinated this extrajudicial execution was led by a future prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Shamir, who was then head of the Mossad’s special operations unit. One of the others was Zvi “Peter” Malkin, who had tackled Eichmann in Argentina and in later life would enter the art world as a New York-based painter. Supervising from a distance was Yosef “Joe” Raanan, who was the secret agency’s senior officer in Germany. All three had lost large numbers of family members among the 6 million Jews murdered by the cruel, continent-wide genocide that Eichmann had managed.
    Israel’s motivation in working with a man such as Skorzeny was clear: to get as close as possible to Nazis who were helping Egypt plot a new Holocaust.

    The Mossad’s playbook for protecting Israel and the Jewish people has no preordained rules or limits. The agency’s spies have evaded the legal systems in a host of countries for the purpose of liquidating Israel’s enemies: Palestinian terrorists, Iranian scientists, and even a Canadian arms inventor named Gerald Bull, who worked for Saddam Hussein until bullets ended his career in Brussels in 1990. Mossad agents in Lillehammer, Norway, even killed a Moroccan waiter in the mistaken belief that he was the mastermind behind the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre of 11 Israeli athletes by the terrorist group known as Black September. Ahmed Bouchikhi was shot down in 1973 as he left a movie theatre with his pregnant wife. The Israeli government later paid compensation to her without officially admitting wrongdoing. The botched mission delayed further Mossad assassinations, but it did not end them.

    To get to unexpected places on these improbable missions, the Mossad has sometimes found itself working with unsavory partners. When short-term alliances could help, the Israelis were willing to dance with the proverbial devil, if that is what seemed necessary.

    But why did Skorzeny work with the Mossad?

    He was born in Vienna in June 1908, to a middle-class family proud of its military service for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From an early age he seemed fearless, bold and talented at weaving false, complex tales that deceived people in myriad ways. These were essential requirements for a commando officer at war, and certainly valuable qualities for the Mossad.

    He joined Austria’s branch of the Nazi Party in 1931, when he was 23, served in its armed militia, the SA, and enthusiastically worshipped Hitler. The führer was elected chancellor of Germany in 1933 and then seized Austria in 1938. When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and World War II broke out, Skorzeny left his construction firm and volunteered — not for the regular army, the Wehrmacht, but for the Leibstandarte SS Panzer division that served as Hitler’s personal bodyguard force.

    Skorzeny, in a memoir written after the war was over, told of his years of SS service as though they were almost bloodless travels in occupied Poland, Holland and France. His activities could not have been as innocuous as his book made them seem. He took part in battles in Russia and Poland, and certainly the Israelis believed it was very likely that he was involved in exterminating Jews. The Waffen-SS, after all, was not the regular army; it was the military arm of the Nazi Party and its genocidal plan.
    His most famous and daring mission was in September 1943: leading commandos who flew engineless gliders to reach an Italian mountaintop resort to rescue Hitler’s friend and ally, the recently ousted Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and spirit him away under harrowing conditions.

    This was the escapade that earned Skorzeny his promotion to lieutenant colonel — and operational control of Hitler’s SS Special Forces. Hitler also rewarded him with several hours of face-to-face conversation, along with the coveted Knight’s Cross. But it was far from his only coup.

    In September 1944, when Hungary’s dictator, Admiral Miklos Horthy, a Nazi ally, was on the verge of suing for peace with Russia as Axis fortunes plunged, Skorzeny led a contingent of Special Forces into Budapest to kidnap Horthy and replace his government with the more hard-line Fascist Arrow Cross regime. That regime, in turn, went on to kill or to deport to concentration camps tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews who had managed to survive the war up to that point.

    Also in 1944, Skorzeny handpicked 150 soldiers, including some who spoke fair to excellent English in a bold plan to fend off the Allies after they landed in Normandy on D-Day in June. With the Allies advancing through France, Skorzeny dressed his men in captured U.S. uniforms, and procured captured American tanks for them to use in attacking and confusing Allied troops from behind their own lines.

    The bold deception — including the act of stealing U.S. soldiers’ property — plunged Skorzeny into two years of interrogation, imprisonment and trial after the war ended. Eventually, Allied military judges acquitted him in 1947. Once again, the world’s newspapers headlined him as Europe’s most dangerous man. He enjoyed the fame, and published his memoirs in various editions and many languages, including the 1957 book “Skorzeny’s Special Missions: The Autobiography of Hitler’s Commando Ace,” published by Greenhill Books. He spun some tall-tale hyperbole in the books, and definitely downplayed his contacts with the most bloodthirsty Nazi leaders. When telling of his many conversations with Hitler, he described the dictator as a caring and attentive military strategist.

    There was much that Skorzeny did not reveal, including how he escaped from the American military authorities who held him for a third year after his acquittal. Prosecutors were considering more charges against him in the Nuremberg tribunals, but during one transfer he was able to escape — reputedly with the help of former SS soldiers wearing American military police uniforms.

    Skorzeny’s escape was also rumored to have been assisted by the CIA’s predecessor agency, the Office of Special Services, for which he did some work after the war. It is certainly notable that he was allowed to settle in Spain — a paradise for Nazi war veterans, with protection from the pro-Western Fascist, Generalissimo Francisco Franco. In the years that followed he did some advisory work for President Juan Peron in Argentina and for Egypt’s government. It was during this period that Skorzeny became friendly with the Egyptian officers who were running the missile program and employing German experts.
    In Israel, a Mossad planning team started to work on where it could be best to find and kill Skorzeny. But the head of the agency, Isser Harel, had a bolder plan: Instead of killing him, snare him.

    Mossad officials had known for some time that to target the German scientists, they needed an inside man in the target group. In effect, the Mossad needed a Nazi.

    The Israelis would never find a Nazi they could trust, but they saw a Nazi they could count on: someone thorough and determined, with a record of success in executing innovative plans, and skilled at keeping secrets. The seemingly bizarre decision to recruit Skorzeny came with some personal pain, because the task was entrusted to Raanan, who was also born in Vienna and had barely escaped the Holocaust. As an Austrian Jew, his name was originally Kurt Weisman. After the Nazis took over in 1938, he was sent — at age 16 — to British-ruled Palestine. His mother and younger brother stayed in Europe and perished.

    Like many Jews in Palestine, Kurt Weisman joined the British military looking for a chance to strike back at Germany. He served in the Royal Air Force. After the creation of Israel in 1948, he followed the trend of taking on a Hebrew name, and as Joe Raanan he was among the first pilots in the new nation’s tiny air force. The young man rapidly became an airbase commander and later the air force’s intelligence chief.

    Raanan’s unique résumé, including some work he did for the RAF in psychological warfare, attracted the attention of Harel, who signed him up for the Mossad in 1957. A few years later, Raanan was sent to Germany to direct the secret agency’s operations there — with a special focus on the German scientists in Egypt. Thus it was Raanan who had to devise and command an operation to establish contact with Skorzeny, the famous Nazi commando.

    The Israeli spy found it difficult to get over his reluctance, but when ordered, he assembled a team that traveled to Spain for “pre-action intelligence.” Its members observed Skorzeny, his home, his workplace and his daily routines. The team included a German woman in her late 20s who was not a trained, full-time Mossad agent but a “helper.” Known by the Hebrew label “saayanit” (or “saayan” if a male), this team member was like an extra in a grandly theatrical movie, playing whatever role might be required. A saayanit would often pose as the girlfriend of an undercover Mossad combatant.

    Internal Mossad reports later gave her name as Anke and described her as pretty, vivacious and truly flirtatious. That would be perfect for the job at hand — a couples game.

    One evening in the early months of 1962, the affluent and ruggedly handsome — though scarred — Skorzeny was in a luxurious bar in Madrid with his significantly younger wife, Ilse von Finckenstein. Her own Nazi credentials were impeccable; she was the niece of Hjalmar Schacht, Hitler’s talented finance minister.

    They had a few cocktails and were relaxing, when the bartender introduced them to a German-speaking couple he had been serving. The woman was pretty and in her late 20s, and her escort was a well-dressed man of around 40. They were German tourists, they said, but they also told a distressing story: that they had just survived a harrowing street robbery.

    They spoke perfect German, of course, the man with a bit of an Austrian accent, like Skorzeny’s. They gave their false names, but in reality they were, respectively, a Mossad agent whose name must still be kept secret and his “helper,” Anke.

    There were more drinks, then somewhat flamboyant flirting, and soon Skorzeny’s wife invited the young couple, who had lost everything — money, passports and luggage — to stay the night at their sumptuous villa. There was just something irresistible about the newcomers. A sense of sexual intimacy between the two couples was in the air. After the four entered the house, however, at a crucial moment when the playful flirting reached the point where it seemed time to pair off, Skorzeny — the charming host — pulled a gun on the young couple and declared: “I know who you are, and I know why you’re here. You are Mossad, and you’ve come to kill me.”

    The young couple did not even flinch. The man said: “You are half-right. We are from Mossad, but if we had come to kill you, you would have been dead weeks ago.”

    “Or maybe,” Skorzeny said, “I would rather just kill you.”

    Anke spoke up. “If you kill us, the ones who come next won’t bother to have a drink with you, You won’t even see their faces before they blow out your brains. Our offer to you is just for you to help us.”

    After a long minute that felt like an hour, Skorzeny did not lower his gun, but he asked: “What kind of help? You need something done?” The Mossad officer — who even now is not being named by colleagues — told Skorzeny that Israel needed information and would pay him handsomely.

    Hitler’s favorite commando paused for a few moments to think, and then surprised the Israeli by saying: “Money doesn’t interest me. I have enough.”

    The Mossad man was further surprised to hear Skorzeny name something that he did want: “I need for Wiesenthal to remove my name from his list.” Simon Wiesenthal, the famous Vienna-based Nazi-hunter, had Skorzeny listed as a war criminal, but now the accused was insisting he had not committed any crimes.

    The Israeli did not believe any senior Nazi officer’s claim of innocence, but recruiting an agent for an espionage mission calls for well-timed lies and deception. “Okay,” he said, “that will be done. We’ll take care of that.”

    Skorzeny finally lowered his weapon, and the two men shook hands. The Mossad man concealed his disgust.

    “I knew that the whole story about you being robbed was bogus,” Skorzeny said, with the boastful smile of a fellow intelligence professional. “Just a cover story.”

    The next step to draw him in was to bring him to Israel. His Mossad handler, Raanan, secretly arranged a flight to Tel Aviv, where Skorzeny was introduced to Harel. The Nazi was questioned and also received more specific instructions and guidelines. During this visit, Skorzeny was taken to Yad Vashem, the museum in Jerusalem dedicated to the memory of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The Nazi was silent and seemed respectful. There was a strange moment there when a war survivor pointed to Skorzeny and singled him out by name as “a war criminal.”

    Raanan, as skilled an actor as any spy must be, smiled at the Jewish man and softly said: “No, you’re mistaken. He’s a relative of mine and himself is a Holocaust survivor.”

    Naturally, many in Israeli intelligence wondered if the famous soldier for Germany had genuinely — and so easily — been recruited. Did he really care so much about his image that he demanded to be removed from a list of war criminals? Skorzeny indicated that being on the list meant he was a target for assassination. By cooperating with the Mossad, he was buying life insurance.

    The new agent seemed to prove his full reliability. As requested by the Israelis, he flew to Egypt and compiled a detailed list of German scientists and their addresses.

    Skorzeny also provided the names of many front companies in Europe that were procuring and shipping components for Egypt’s military projects. These included Heinz Krug’s company, Intra, in Munich.

    Raanan continued to be the project manager of the whole operation aimed against the German scientists. But he assigned the task of staying in contact with Skorzeny to two of his most effective operatives: Rafi Eitan and Avraham Ahituv.

    Eitan was one of the most amazing characters in Israeli intelligence. He earned the nickname “Mr. Kidnap” for his role in abducting Eichmann and other men wanted by Israeli security agencies. Eitan also helped Israel acquire materials for its secret nuclear program. He would go on to earn infamy in the 1980s by running Jonathan Pollard as an American Jewish spy in the United States government.

    Surprisingly flamboyant after a life in the shadows, in 2006, at age 79, Eitan became a Member of Parliament as head of a political party representing senior citizens.

    “Yes, I met and ran Skorzeny,” Eitan confirmed to us recently. Like other Mossad veterans, he refused to go on the record with more details.

    Ahituv, who was born in Germany in 1930, was similarly involved in a wide array of Israeli clandestine operations all around the globe. From 1974 to 1980 he was head of the domestic security service, Shin Bet, which also guarded many secrets and often conducted joint projects with the Mossad.

    The Mossad agents did try to persuade Wiesenthal to remove Skorzeny from his list of war criminals, but the Nazi hunter refused. The Mossad, with typical chutzpah, instead forged a letter — supposedly to Skorzeny from Wiesenthal— declaring that his name had been cleared.

    Skorzeny continued to surprise the Israelis with his level of cooperation. During a trip to Egypt, he even mailed exploding packages; one Israeli-made bomb killed five Egyptians in the military rocket site Factory 333, where German scientists worked.

    The campaign of intimidation was largely successful, with most of the Germans leaving Egypt. Israel stopped the violence and threats, however, when one team was arrested in Switzerland while putting verbal pressure on a scientist’s family. A Mossad man and an Austrian scientist who was working for Israel were put on trial. Luckily, the Swiss judge sympathized with Israel’s fear of Egypt’s rocket program. The two men were convicted of making threats, but they were immediately set free.

    Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, however, concluded that all of this being out in public was disastrous to Israel’s image — and specifically could upset a deal he had arranged with West Germany to sell weapons to Israel.

    Harel submitted a letter of resignation, and to his shock, Ben-Gurion accepted it. The new Mossad director, commander of military intelligence Gen. Meir Amit, moved the agency away from chasing or intimidating Nazis.

    Amit did activate Skorzeny at least once more, however. The spymaster wanted to explore the possibility of secret peace negotiations, so he asked Israel’s on-the-payroll Nazi to arrange a meeting with a senior Egyptian official. Nothing ever came of it.

    Skorzeny never explained his precise reasons for helping Israel. His autobiography does not contain the word “Israel,” or even “Jew.” It is true that he sought and got the life insurance. The Mossad did not assassinate him.

    He also had a very strong streak of adventurism, and the notion of doing secret work with fascinating spies — even if they were Jewish — must have been a magnet for the man whose innovative escapades had earned him the Iron Cross medal from Hitler. Skorzeny was the kind of man who would feel most youthful and alive through killing and fear.

    It is possible that regret and atonement also played a role. The Mossad’s psychological analysts doubted it, but Skorzeny may have genuinely felt sorry for his actions during World War II.

    He may have been motivated by a combination of all these factors, and perhaps even others. But Otto Skorzeny took this secret to his grave. He died of cancer, at age 67, in Madrid in July 1975.

    He had two funerals, one in a chapel in Spain’s capital and the other to bury his cremated remains in the Skorzeny family plot in Vienna. Both services were attended by dozens of German military veterans and wives, who did not hesitate to give the one-armed Nazi salute and sing some of Hitler’s favorite songs. Fourteen of Skorzeny’s medals, many featuring a boldly black swastika, were prominently paraded in the funeral processions.

    There was one man at the service in Madrid who was known to no one in the crowd, but out of habit he still made sure to hide his face as much as he could. That was Joe Raanan, who by then had become a successful businessman in Israel.

    The Mossad did not send Raanan to Skorzeny’s funeral; he decided to attend on his own, and at his own expense. This was a personal tribute from one Austrian-born warrior to another, and from an old spy handler to the best, but most loathsome, agent he ever ran.

    Dan Raviv, a CBS News correspondent based in Washington, and Israeli journalist Yossi Melman are co-authors of five books about Israel’s espionage and security agencies, including “Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars” (Levant Books, 2014). Contact them at feedback@forward.com

    For more stories, go to www.forward.com. Sign up for the Forward’s daily newsletter at http://forward.com/newsletter/signup

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    #Israel #Mossad #Nazi #Egypte #Histoire #Allemagne #Hitman

  • Palestinian buried after body withheld by Israeli authorities for 65 days
    Feb. 29, 2016 10:43 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 29, 2016 11:08 A.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=770483

    JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli intelligence handed over the body of Musab Mahmoud al-Ghazali to the Palestinian on Sunday night, 65 days after he was killed by Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem, for him to be buried.

    Al-Ghazali, a 26-year-old Palestinian from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, was shot dead on Dec. 26 after Israeli police say he pulled a knife on an officer in Allenby Square in Jerusalem.

    However, a witness on the scene said that al-Ghazali had not been holding a knife when he was killed.

    Al-Ghazali’s family said at the time that the young man suffered from mental disabilities, and denied that he would have carried out an attack. They accused Israeli forces of “executing him in cold blood.”

    Al-Ghazali’s body was returned to its family entirely covered in ice due to being kept refrigerated in Israeli custody.

    “The family committed to the conditions but Israel did not,” al-Ghazali’s uncle, Majd al-Ghazali, told Ma’an. “The family asked for them to take the body out of the morgue 24 to 48 hours before handing over the body so the ice would melt, but we were shocked that the ice was still on Musab’s body.”

    A lawyer for prisoners rights organization Addameer said only 30 people were allowed to attend al-Ghazali’s funeral, which was held with Israeli police and army forces deployed in the area.

    Al-Ghazali’s sister, 22-year-old Rawan, was prevented from attending the funeral, as her name was allegedly not mentioned in the list of people allowed to be at the funeral.

    “Israel is using the chaos as an excuse that is why they handed him over after midnight, with a list with only 30 attending,” al-Ghazali’s uncle said.

    Israeli authorities also prevented any video recording or photography of the body, and seized the cell phones of people attending the funeral, the lawyer added.

    #corps_congelé