person:mahmoud abbas

  • Bahrain debacle marks crash of Trump team’s campaign to diss Palestinians into submission

    Kushner’s Peace for Prosperity includes Utopian projects funded by non-existent money as part of peace deal that won’t happen
    Chemi Shalev
    Jun 25, 2019 9:12 AM

    The unveiling of the U.S. administration’s long-awaited production of Peace for Prosperity, premiering in Bahrain on Tuesday, garnered mixed reviews, to say the least. Barak Ravid of Axios and Israel’s Channel 13 described it as “impressive, detailed and ambitious – perhaps overly ambitious.” Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Egypt Dan Kurtzer offered a slightly different take: “I would give this so-called plan a C- from an undergraduate student. The authors of the plan clearly understand nothing,” he said.

    The plan, released in a colorful pamphlet on the eve of the Bahrain economic summit, is being portrayed by the White House as a vision of the bountiful “fruits of peace” that Palestinians might reap once they reach a peace agreement with Israel. Critics describe it as an amateurish pie-in-the-sky, shoot-for-the-moon, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink hodgepodge that promises projects that cannot be implemented, funded by money that does not exist and contingent on a peace deal that will never happen.

    But the main problem with Peace for Prosperity isn’t its outlandishly unrealistic proposals – such as the $5 billion superhighway between the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel will never agree to; or its occasional condescending and Orientalist attitude towards Palestinian society - their great hummus could attract millions of tourists; or even its offer to manage and foster Palestinian institutions and civil society in a way that can be viewed either as implicit state-building or as imposing foreign control on a future Palestinian government.

    >> Read more: ’There is no purely economic solution to the Palestinian economy’s problems’ ■ Trump’s Bahrain conference - not what you imagined ■ Kushner’s deal holds some surprises, but it’s more vision than blueprint ■ The billion-dollar question in Trump’s peace plan

    The Palestinians would have been suspicious in any case, even if Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama were President. They have always been wary of the term “economic peace”, especially when detached from the real nitty-gritty of resolving their dispute with Israel. Nonetheless, if the President was anyone other than Trump, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas would have more or less emulated Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaction: Somber nodding of the head, then a non-committal reaction to Peace for Prosperity, followed by effusive but general praise for our lord and savior Donald Trump. Israelis and Palestinians would have attended the Bahrain conference, while doing their best to suppress their inner guffaws.

    If it was anyone by Trump and his peace team - which often doubles as Netanyahu’s cheerleading squad – the Palestinians might have allowed themselves to believe that A. A comprehensive peace plan isn’t just a mirage and is indeed forthcoming. B. The deal won’t be tilted so far in favor of Israel that it will be declared stillborn on arrival and C. That it isn’t a ruse meant to cast Palestinians as congenital rejectionists and to pave the way for an Israeli annexation of “parts of the West Bank”, as Ambassador David Friedman put it when he pronounced Trump’s imperial edict conceding territory to Israel, which even Palestinian minimalists claim as their own, in advance of any actual talks.

    But because the plan bears Trump’s signature, it was received in most world capitals with shrugs, as yet another manifestation of the U.S. administration’s preposterous handling of foreign policy – see North Korea, Europe, Mexico, Venezuela et al. Israel, of course, didn’t miss the opportunity to regurgitate the cliché about the Palestinians “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity”.
    A Palestinian man steps on a painting depicting U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest against U.S.-led Bahrain workshop in Gaza City, June 24, 2019.
    A Palestinian man steps on a painting depicting U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest against U.S.-led Bahrain workshop in Gaza City, June 24, 2019. \ MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS
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    For Palestinians and their supporters, however, Kushner’s bid was but the latest in the Trump team’s never-ending stream of slights, slanders and slaps in their collective faces. In Palestinian eyes, the economic bonanza isn’t a CBM – confidence building measure – but a con job and insult rolled into one. It dangles dollars in front of Palestinian noses, implying they can be bought, and it sets up a chain of events at the end of which Jason Greenblatt will inevitably accuse them on Twitter of being hysterical and dishonest while praising Netanyahu’s bold leadership and pioneering vision. They’ve been there, and done that.

    This has been the Trump approach from the outset: Uncontained admiration for Israel and its leader coupled with unhidden disdain for Palestinian leaders and contempt for their “unrealistic” dreams. Trump’s peace team swears by Israel’s security needs as if they were part of the bible or U.S. Constitution; the ongoing 52-year military occupation of millions of Palestinians, on the other hand, seems to have escaped their attention.

    For the first ten months of Trump’s tenure, the Palestinians put up with his administration’s unequivocal pledges of allegiance to Israel as well as the White House’s departure from past custom and continuing refusal to criticize any of its actions – not to mention the appointment of a peace team comprised exclusively of right-wing Netanyahu groupies, which Palestinians initially thought was surely a practical joke.

    Trump’s announcement in December 2017 that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. embassy there was both game-changer and deal-breaker as far as the Palestinians were concerned. While Netanyahu and most of Israel were celebrating Donald the Daring and the long-awaited recognition of their eternal capital, Palestinians realized they were facing a President radically different from any of his predecessors - one willing to break the rules in Israel’s favor and to grant his bestie Bibi tangible victories, before, during and after elections - without asking for anything in return.

    The Palestinians have boycotted the Trump administration ever since, embarrassing Friedman, Greenblatt, Kushner and ultimately Trump in the process. They, in response, have increasingly vented their anger and frustrations at the Palestinians, and not just in words and Tweets alone: The administration shut down the PLO’s office in Washington, declared Jerusalem “off the table” and indicated that the refugee issue should follow it, cut aid to UNRWA and is endeavoring to dismantle it altogether and slashed assistance to Palestinian humanitarian organizations.

    In March 2018, in a move strongly supported by Israel and vigorously endorsed by Evangelicals and other right wing supporters, Trump signed the Congressionally approved Taylor Force Act that prohibits U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as it continued to pay monthly stipends to the families of what the Act describes as “terrorists”. Palestinians, who, to many people’s regret, regard such terrorists as heroes and martyrs, noted that the passage of the Taylor Force Act embarrassed Israel and spurred it to legislate its own way to withholding Palestinian tax money for the very same reason.

    Throughout the process, Trump and his peace team have lectured the Palestinians as a teacher reprimands an obstinate child. The Palestinians need to face reality, to lower their expectations, to land back on earth, Kushner and colleagues insist. Not only will they never realize their dreams and aspirations, they should also forget their core demand for an independent state free of outside control and not confide inside Israeli-controlled gates. Israelis are worthy of such independence, the Palestinians are told, but you are not.

    Trump approach is a product, first and foremost, of his own inexperience, arrogance and unwillingness to learn anything from a past in which he wasn’t in charge. It is fed by anti-Palestinian prejudices prevalent in his peace team as well as his advisers and most of his political supporters. Trump and his underlings basically adhere to the arguably racist tenet encapsulated in the Israeli saying “The Arabs understand only force.” The more you pressure them, the greater the chance they will succumb.
    Women protest against the U.S.-led workshop in Bahrain in the Moroccan capital Rabat, June 23, 2019.
    Women protest against the U.S.-led workshop in Bahrain in the Moroccan capital Rabat, June 23, 2019.AFP

    At this point at least, it hasn’t worked out that way. Bahrain, by any measure, is a humiliating bust. As Trump and his aides contemplate the reasons for their abject failure they are likely to blame stubborn Palestinians who don’t know what’s good for them, along with radical Muslims, perfidious Europeans, idiot liberals and all the other usual suspects.

    In a better world, they would take a hard look at themselves in the mirror and possibly have an epiphany. They can make an immediate adjustment that will cost them nothing but possibly achieve dramatic results. Instead of incessantly rebuking, reproaching, reprimanding, threatening and intimidating the Palestinians in a way that garners cheers from Christian messianics and Jewish zealots, they could try and treat them, as Aretha Franklin sang, with just a little respect. And perhaps, if it isn’t asking too much, take down their fawning for Netanyahu a notch or two.

    It might not be enough to reconcile irreconcilable differences or to make peace, but it will signal that Trump is finally getting serious about his claim to be the peacemaker the world has been waiting for. Alternatively, the Palestinians will continue to frustrate his designs and pray to Allah for his quick departure.

  • Élections israéliennes : ce qu’en dit Charles Enderlin sur FB

    Charles Enderlin
    22 h ·

    bon.. Mes amies et amis.. On va vers la poursuite de la politique mise en place par Sharon de maintenir la division entre Gaza et la Cisjordanie pour empêcher la création d’un état palestinien. Donc, Netanyahu va conclure le deal qu’il envisage avec le Hamas. Il faut rappeler que le principal adversaire actuel du Hamas ce n’est pas Israël mais l’Autorité palestinienne de Mahmoud Abbas avec qui la droite israélienne refuse de négocier. L’intérêt du Hamas c’est de maintenir son contrôle sur la population de Gaza, donc, obtenir d’Israël un allégement de la situation humanitaire. Ce qui est train d’être négocié. Pour en arriver là, le Hamas a maintenu la pression pendant un an. Manifs sur la frontière, tirs de roquette.. A la veille des élections Netanyahu veut le calme et est prêt à payer pour cela, si le Hamas promet le calme pendant quelques années. Pas question de le forcer à accepter un retour de l’Autorité palestinienne à Gaza, cela signifierait remettre l’idée de négociations sur le tapis.. Des concessions territoriales en Cisjordanie, la droite n’en veut pas .. Le deal avec le Hamas va donc permettre la poursuite de la colonisation.. Ce dont les islamistes se fichent.. Le Hamas est totalement opposé à un accord entre l’autorité palestinienne.. Mais soutient l’idée d’un cessez le feu de longue durée avec Israël. La droite israélienne est tout à fait sur cette même ligne

    #israël #éléctions

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Hamas Crushes Protests at Cost to Its Popularity

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

      Amira Hass | Mar 19, 2019 12:08 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • « Mafieuse » : les Palestiniens en ont assez de la corruption de l’Autorité palestinienne
    Middle East Eye édition française - By Megan Giovannetti
    in RAMALLAH, Territoires palestiniens occupés (Cisjordanie)
    Date de publication : Lundi 18 février 2019

    Les forces de sécurité palestiniennes forment un bouclier humain alors que les manifestants protestent contre le projet de loi sur la sécurité sociale de l’AP (AFP)

    Ali est incrédule. « Vous appelez ça un gouvernement ?! Moi, j’appelle ça la mafia. »

    Pour ce Palestinien de 22 ans habitant à Hébron, dans le sud de la Cisjordanie occupée, l’Autorité palestinienne (AP), dirigée par le président Mahmoud Abbas, est une institution corrompue qui ne profite qu’à une élite restreinte.

    « Les enfants d’Abou Mazen [le surnom d’Abbas] fréquentent les meilleures écoles, les meilleurs hôpitaux, ils voyagent dans le monde entier. Ils ne se soucient pas des gens en Palestine. »

    Ali est loin d’être le seul à penser ainsi. Selon un récent sondage d’opinion publié par l’ONG palestinienne Aman, 91 % des Palestiniens interrogés déclarent ne pas faire confiance à l’AP.

    Ghassan, un membre du Conseil législatif palestinien (CLP) aujourd’hui dissout et du parti au pouvoir, le Fatah, qui a demandé à rester anonyme, travaille au sein de l’AP depuis plus de vingt ans.

    Pour lui, les malversations politiques et financières du gouvernement, telles que le transfert de fonds pour la construction de nouvelles ambassades à l’étranger plutôt que la construction de projets en Palestine, ont sérieusement érodé la confiance de la population dans l’instance dirigeante.

    « Nous négligeons le peuple palestinien », estime-t-il. « Voilà pourquoi le peuple palestinien a perdu confiance, parce qu’au cours des dix dernières années, nous n’avons constaté aucun développement sur le terrain. »

    La démission du Premier ministre Rami Hamdallah il y a deux semaines à la suite de la dissolution du CLP en décembre n’a fait que confirmer ce point de vue chez de nombreux Palestiniens. Ces dernières décisions sont largement considérées comme un moyen de consolider davantage le pouvoir entre les mains du Fatah et du président. (...)

  • Gaza : l’Autorité palestinienne se retire du poste-frontière avec l’Egypte

    L’Autorité palestinienne a annoncé dimanche 6 janvier avoir ordonné à ses fonctionnaires de se retirer du poste-frontière de Rafah, ce qui va entraîner la fermeture du seul point de passage entre l’enclave palestinienne et l’Egypte. Elle entend dénoncer les agissements du Hamas, son grand rival.

    Cette décision qui fait suite à l’arrestation d’employés de l’Autorité palestinienne par le Hamas au pouvoir dans la bande de Gaza, « a été prise à la suite de récents développements et des pratiques brutales dignes de gangs », a déclaré l’agence officielle de l’Autorité palestinienne Wafa. « Depuis que nous avons pris le contrôle du point de passage de Rafah, le Hamas s’est livré à des obstructions dans le travail de notre équipe. Nous sommes parvenus à la conclusion que cela ne sert à rien de maintenir notre présence », a-t-elle expliqué dans un communiqué.
    L’Autorité palestinienne présidée par Mahmoud Abbas gérait le poste de Rafah depuis qu’une médiation égyptienne avait permis la réouverture de la frontière en 2017.

    Le poste de Rafah ne pourra rouvrir qu’avec l’accord de l’Egypte, qui n’a pas encore dit si elle accepterait que le Hamas en gère les opérations.
    Le porte-parole du Hamas, Faouzi Barhoum, a déclaré à Reuters que la fermeture de la frontière constituait une « sanction supplémentaire d’Abbas contre le peuple de Gaza ».

  • Pushing for an Israeli victory is the only way to end the conflict with the Palestinians

    Il faut lire ce point de vue d’un néoconservateur américain car il reflète une partie de la pensée de la droite pro-israélienne

    Lieberman and Bennett failed to impose a new paradigm on how to deal with Hamas, but more and more people in Israel are recognizing that compromises and concessions have only led to more violence

    Daniel Pipes SendSend me email alerts
    Dec 02, 2018 4:04 PM

    From a practical political point of view, Avigdor Lieberman, Naftali Bennett, and their idea to take a tougher stand toward Hamas just went down to defeat, if not humiliation. 
    That’s because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again showed his political skills; the first is now ex-defense minister, the second failed to become defense minister.
    >> ‘Get used to the rockets’: What Netanyahu should tell Israelis living near Gaza | Opinion
    From a longer-term point of view, however, the duo raised an issue that for decades had not been part of the Israeli political discourse but, due to their efforts, promises to be an important factor in the future: that would be the concept of victory, of an Israeli victory over Hamas and, by extension, over the Palestinian Authority and Palestinians in general.
    Victory – defined as imposing one’s will on the enemy so he gives up his war goals - has been the war goal of philosophers, strategists, and generals through human history. Aristotle wrote that “Victory is the end of generalship.” Karl von Clausewitz, the Prussian theorist, concurred: “The aim of war should be the defeat of the enemy.” Gen. James Mattis, the U.S. secretary of defense, finds that “No war is over until the enemy says it’s over.” 
    Palestinians routinely speak of achieving victory over Israel, even when this is fantastical: to cite one example, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas called his Hamas counterpart, Ismail Haniyeh, after eight days of violence with Israel that left Gaza badly battered in November 2012 to “congratulate him on the victory and extend condolences to the families of martyrs.”

    Contrarily, in Israel, the notion of victory has been sidelined since at least the Oslo Accords of 1993, after which its leaders instead focused on such concepts as compromise, conciliation, confidence-building, flexibility, goodwill, mediation, and restraint. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert immemorially articulated this attitude in 2007 when he stated that "Peace is achieved through concessions.”
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    >> Israel is incomparably stronger than Hamas – but it will never win: Interview with Hamas leader in Gaza
    his perverse understanding of how wars end led Israel to make extraordinary blunders in the 15 years after Oslo, for which it was punished by unremitting campaigns of delegitimization and violence, symbolized, respectively, by the Durban conference of 2001 and the Passover Massacre of 2002. 
    Such nonsense ended during Netanyahu’s near-decade-long term as prime minister, but it has not yet been replaced by a sturdy vision of victory. Rather, Netanyahu has put out brush fires as they arose in Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, Syria, and Lebanon. While agreeing with the concept of an Israeli victory when personally briefed, he has not spoken publicly about it.
    Meanwhile, other leading figures in Israel have adopted this outlook. Former deputy chief of staff Uzi Dayan called on the army “to return the path of victory.” Former education and interior minister Gideon Sa’ar has stated that “The ‘victory paradigm,’ like Jabotinsky’s ‘Iron Wall’ concept, assumes that an agreement may be possible in the future, but only after a clear and decisive Israeli victory ... The transition to the ‘victory paradigm’ is contingent upon abandoning the Oslo concept.”
    In this context, the statements by Lieberman and Bennett point to a change in thinking. Lieberman quit his position as defense minister out of frustration that a barrage by Hamas of 460 rockets and missiles against Israel was met with a ceasefire; he called instead for “a state of despair” to be imposed on the enemies of Israel. Complaining that “Israel stopped winning,” Bennett demanded that the IDF “start winning again,” and added that “When Israel wants to win, we can win.” On rescinding his demand for the defense portfolio, Bennett emphasized that he stands by Netanyahu “in the monumental task of ensuring that Israel is victorious again.”
    >> Netanyahu’s vision for the Middle East has come true | Analysis
    Opponents of this paradigm then amusingly testified to the power of this idea of victory. Ma’ariv columnist Revital Amiran wrote that the victory the Israeli public most wants lies in such arenas as larger allocations for the elderly and unbearable traffic jams. Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg, replied to Bennett that for her, a victorious Israel means winning Emmy and Oscar nominations, guaranteeing equal health services, and spending more on education.
    That victory and defeat have newly become a topic for debate in Israel constitutes a major development. Thus does the push for an Israeli victory move forward.
    Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum think tank, which promotes Israel Victory, a project to steer U.S. policy toward backing an Israeli victory to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians. Follow him on Twitter @DanielPipes

  • Réfugiés : un retour à Yarmouk sera-t-il bientôt possible ?
    23 novembre 2018 – Al-Monitor – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine

    Ahmad Melhem – Lors d’une réunion tenue le 12 novembre, le gouvernement syrien a chargé le conseil provincial de Damas de réhabiliter l’infrastructure du camp de réfugiés de Yarmouk au sud de Damas et de rétablir les services en vue du retour des personnes déplacées.

    Cette déclaration fait suite à une décision officielle syrienne autorisant les réfugiés à retourner dans le camp de Yarmouk. Le 6 novembre, le vice-ministre syrien des Affaires étrangères, Faisal al-Miqdad, a informé les organisations palestiniennes en Syrie de cette décision.

    Bien que les autorités syriennes n’aient encore donné aucun détail concernant le processus de retour, cette décision a donné de l’espoir aux réfugiés palestiniens qui ont été déplacés du camp ces dernières années. Des opérations de déblaiement des décombres sont en cours dans le camp depuis le 15 septembre, après que le président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas se soit engagé à en assumer le coût.

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

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

    Muhammad Shehada
    Nov 22, 2018 7:04 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Muhammad Shehada

  • Le sang des Palestiniens va-t-il permettre à Liberman de succéder à Netanyahou ? Dans Al-Quds Al-Arabi - Actuarabe

    Ce nouveau désaccord entre Liberman et Netanyahou, qui pourrait renverser le gouvernement israélien, ne doit pas faire oublier que les deux hommes sont de la même nature. Liberman était directeur du cabinet de Netanyahou durant son premier mandat (1996-1999) et on peut le qualifier de fils politique de Netanyahou. Les deux hommes ont aussi en commun les accusations permanentes de corruption dont ils font l’objet. Liberman, qui a émigré en Israël en 1978 en provenance de l’ancienne république soviétique de Moldavie, s’appuie sur une « assise populaire » de juifs provenant comme lui des anciennes républiques soviétiques. Sa personnalité porte d’ailleurs les traces de la période soviétique avec ses idéologies colonialistes racistes et violentes dirigées contre les habitants originels. C’est pourquoi le Président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas l’a qualifié de « terroriste diplomatique ». Liberman a entre autres mené une campagne de haine contre les Palestiniens israéliens ne prêtant pas allégeance à l’Etat en déclarant qu’ils méritaient « qu’on leur coupe la tête avec des haches ».

  • L’UE face au défi du plan de paix israélo-palestinien de Trump - Mediapart - 31 octobre 2018 Par Agence Reuters


    Sur le papier, l’UE est pourtant en position de force pour peser sur l’issue du conflit, puisqu’elle est à la fois le premier partenaire commercial d’Israël (34,3 milliards d’euros d’échanges en 2016 et un tiers des exportations israéliennes absorbées par les Vingt-Huit) et la première contributrice à l’aide aux Palestiniens, un rôle encore plus crucial depuis que les Etats-Unis ont cessé de financer l’UNRWA.

    Dans les arcanes de la diplomatie européenne, certains rêvent de voir Bruxelles hausser le ton, surtout si l’éventuel plan de paix de Donald Trump devait, comme il y a tout lieu de le craindre, remettre en cause la création, ou la viabilité, d’un Etat palestinien.

    « Une réponse potentiellement efficace serait d’annoncer que l’UE va reconnaître l’Etat palestinien », suggère un diplomate en poste à Paris.

    Plusieurs Etats membres ont récemment fait cette démarche à titre individuel (Portugal en 2012, Suède en 2014) et d’autres avant leur adhésion à l’UE et le lancement du processus de paix d’Oslo, lors de la proclamation unilatérale d’indépendance du Conseil national palestinien en 1988 (Malte, Chypre et les pays de l’ex-bloc de l’Est).

    Mais une reconnaissance collective aurait plus de poids et elle éloignerait le spectre d’un enterrement de première classe de la solution à deux Etats, veut croire le diplomate.

    « Cela permettrait à l’UE de faire pression sur l’Autorité palestinienne pour qu’elle respecte sa part du marché, notamment le processus de réconciliation dans la bande de Gaza bloqué par (le président palestinien) Mahmoud Abbas pour des raisons de tactique politicienne intérieure, tout en faisant comprendre à Israël que la politique du fait accompli ne fonctionnera pas », argumente-t-il.

    Encore faudrait-il que l’UE accepte de se concevoir en tant que grande puissance, un enjeu qui dépasse de loin le cadre du processus de paix au Proche-Orient. (...)


  • Le Conseil central de l’OLP soutient la suspension de la reconnaissance de l’Etat d’Israël
    AFP - 29 oct 2018 - Mise à jour 30.10.2018 à 00:00

    Les membres du Conseil central palestinien, un organe clé de l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine (OLP), se sont prononcés lundi en faveur de la suspension de la reconnaissance de l’Etat d’Israël et de l’arrêt de la coopération sécuritaire en Cisjordanie avec l’Etat hébreu.

    Les membres du Conseil central ont émis le souhait que cette suspension se prolonge jusqu’à la reconnaissance de l’Etat palestinien par Israël, à l’issue de deux jours de réunion à Ramallah en Cisjordanie occupée.

    Le Conseil central palestinien autorise l’OLP, l’entité reconnue internationalement comme représentant les Palestiniens des Territoires et de la diaspora, et l’Autorité Palestinienne à « mettre fin à leurs obligations (...) concernant les accords avec les autorités d’occupation », selon un communiqué.

    Il s’agit de suspendre l’historique reconnaissance d’Israël remontant à 1988, jusqu’à ce que l’Etat hébreu reconnaisse l’Etat palestinien, avec Jérusalem comme capitale, ainsi que de cesser toute coopération dans le domaine sécuritaire.

    • Territoires palestiniens : l’OLP menace de ne plus reconnaître Israël
      Par RFI Publié le 30-10-2018 - Avec notre correspondant à Jérusalem,Guilhem Delteil

      C’est un organe clé de la vie politique palestinienne qui s’est réuni dimanche 28 et lundi 29 octobre à Ramallah. Le conseil central de l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine devait définir une nouvelle stratégie, alors qu’elle se trouve dans une situation délicate. La réconciliation avec le Hamas qui contrôle la bande de Gaza n’avance pas et les Etats-Unis ont cessé l’essentiel de leur aide aux Palestiniens. Dans ce contexte, le conseil central recommande une mesure assez radicale : le retrait de la reconnaissance par l’OLP de l’Etat d’Israël.

      Son communiqué final marque l’agacement croissant de l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine. Depuis la signature des accords d’Oslo il y a 25 ans, elle attend la création d’un Etat palestinien. Et le texte publié ce lundi soir dénonce les « atteintes continues aux accords signés de la part d’Israël ».

      Vers un arrêt de la coopération sécuritaire ?

      Face à l’absence d’avancées et aux pressions exercées par l’administration Trump, le conseil central de l’OLP recommande donc de retirer la reconnaissance d’Israël jusqu’à ce que le pays reconnaisse à son tour la Palestine comme un Etat, dans les frontières de 1967 avec Jérusalem-Est comme capitale.

      Cette reconnaissance d’Israël date de 1988 et avait été un prélude aux accords d’Oslo. Son retrait, accompagné de l’arrêt de la coopération sécuritaire, pourrait marquer la fin de ce processus engagé au début des années 90.

      Mais cette menace palestinienne n’est pas récente. Elle avait déjà été formulée en janvier dernier ainsi qu’en 2015. Pour l’instant, elle n’a jamais été mise en oeuvre par le président de l’Autorité palestinienne, Mahmoud Abbas. Mais cette fois-ci, un comité a été créé pour étudier les moyens d’appliquer cette recommandation. Et le ministre israélien de l’Economie accuse l’OLP de « torpiller le processus de paix ».

  • Le discours de Mahmoud Abbas à l’ONU : une mascarade ! Par Abdelbari Atwan - Actuarabe

    La communauté internationale ne remerciera pas le Président Abbas pour son engagement à rejeter la violence et à ne pas retourner au « terrorisme », c’est-à-dire à la résistance légitime à l’occupant. Comment pourrait-elle le remercier alors que 170 Etats membres ont eux-mêmes obtenu leur liberté et leur indépendance en luttant et non en quémandant et en faisant semblant de s’apitoyer sur les droits bafoués depuis les pupitres des organisations internationales.

    Cela fait pratiquement dix ans que le Président Abbas parle de résistance populaire pacifique comme unique choix, mais où est cette résistance ? Pourquoi les services de sécurité de l’Autorité palestinienne mettent tous les activistes en prison et transmettent leurs dossiers aux autorités d’occupation ? Arrêtez donc de mentir et de raconter n’importe quoi. Respectez votre grand peuple, vos martyrs et vos prisonniers.

  • A l’ONU, l’UNRWA collecte des fonds pour les réfugiés palestiniens - moyen orient
    RFI - Publié le 27-09-2018 - Avec notre envoyé spécial à New York, Nicolas Falez

    Le conflit israélo-palestinien doit être évoqué ce jeudi 27 septembre à l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies, avec une réunion de collecte de fonds de l’UNRWA, et les discours attendus de Mahmoud Abbas et Benyamin Netanyahu.

    L’Agence des Nations unies pour les réfugiés palestiniens (UNRWA) espère bien compenser les pertes colossales liées à la réduction puis au retrait du financement des Etats-Unis. D’où cette réunion de récolte de fonds qui intervient le jour même où le président de l’Autorité palestinienne, Mahmoud Abbas, et le Premier ministre israélien, Benyamin Netanyahu, doivent s’exprimer à la tribune de l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies.

  • UNRWA’s teaspoon of fish oil and glass of milk: The protective framework that millions of Palestinians remember
    Even if the United States and Israel manage to scuttle the refugee agency’s efforts, this assault strengthens the ties that bind Palestinians – despite their weakening political leadership
    Amira Hass Sep 08, 2018 12:40 PM

    Gazans in their 50s still remember, with a smile and a bit of disgust, the glass of milk and the spoonful of fish oil they had to drink at UNRWA schools every morning. As adults, they’re able to appreciate the supportive framework the UN Works and Relief Agency for Palestinian refugees gave them, and which that daily dose reflected.

    A resident of the Gaza Strip’s Al-Shati refugee camp, who studied math at Birzeit University in the West Bank in the 1980s, said half the students in his class were from Gaza, and most were refugees. “It’s thanks to the omega-3 in the oil they got from UNRWA,” he joked.

    The children of Gaza’s old-time residents, who aren’t refugees, envied the refugee children because UNRWA schools were considered better than government ones and even provided free notebooks and writing implements including crayons. But the difference also apparently stems from the refugees’ aspirational mantra. After the immediate trauma of losing their land and property, they educated their children in that mantra’s spirit: Study, because now education is your land.

    Good early education (compared to their surroundings, as one graduate of the UNRWA system stressed) was the basic service UNRWA gave and still gives Palestinian refugees, alongside health care. Most UNRWA employees, some 30,000 people in several different countries, work in these two departments. When residents of refugee camps have more employment opportunities, they have less need of services like food packages. And when UNRWA has to invest in emergency services, this weakens its essential education and health services.

    Even though the United States stopped its financial support for UNRWA, the new school year opened on schedule last week in the agency’s 711 elementary schools located in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. Every day, 526,000 Palestinian students leave there homes in these diverse lands’ almost 60 refugee camps and attend schools with uniform characteristics – doors and windowsills painted turquoise, the UN flag, a few trees in the schoolyard with whitewashed trunks, photographs of the tent camps of 1949 on the walls.

    These uniform characteristics have been maintained for almost seven decades. Millions of Palestinian children became acquainted with the UN flag before that of their host country, or even that of Palestine, and before they encountered the Star of David that they learned to hate so deeply as a symbol of daily military violence. They saw the characteristic turquoise whenever they went to the refugee camp’s clinic or ate lunch in the dining hall reserved for children of unemployed parents.

    The spontaneous architectural process that these camps underwent is also similar – from rows of tents with taps and toilets at the outskirts; less organized rows of a few rooms around an interior courtyard, which stole a few centimeters from the alleys and made them even narrower; the multistory buildings that arose in the 1990s to house grown-up children. The savings of family members who found jobs made this possible (in Gaza, the West Bank and pre-civil war Syria much more than in Lebanon).

    Beyond the clan

    The refugee camps initially maintained geographic divisions among the original villages from which residents were expelled, and even subdivisions among extended families. But with time, and marriages between people from different villages, these divisions blurred.

    In a society that to this day retains both ties of loyalty and material ties to the extended family, the refugee camps created more modern communities because they expanded the bounds of foundational social loyalties beyond the ties of blood – that is, the family and the clan – to a large group of people who were living through the same difficult experience and had to make do with living spaces several times smaller than what they or their parents had before. The social and national consciousness of a shared fate that goes beyond the shared fate of family members and village members was bolstered there, beyond any doubt.

    This happened even before the Palestinian political organizations became established. Until the Palestinian Authority was created, these organizations weren’t just a vehicle for resistance to Israel and the occupation, but also a kind of super-clans that created their own internal loyalties and developed networks of mutual aid and protection.

    The Palestinian dialect was also preserved in the camps, and people from different villages or regions even preserved their own unique accents. Over time, the Palestinian accent in every host country has absorbed some of the country’s unique variety of Arabic, but it’s still easy to tell a Palestinian in these countries by his accent.

    Some refugee camps underwent a similar sociological process of absorbing poor people who weren’t refugees. That happened in the Yarmouk camp in Damascus, before the civil war destroyed it, in several camps in Lebanon and in the Shoafat camp in Jerusalem. But at the same time, anyone who could left the camps.

    Residents of the West Bank’s Deheisheh camp built an offshoot of their camp on the other side of the road, and today it’s a large, separate community called Doha (named for the capital of Qatar, which helped finance the purchase of the land from Beit Jala residents). The Shabura and Jabalya camps in Gaza also have offshoots that are slightly more spacious. But the ties to and affection for the camp – no less than for the village of origin – remain.

    The uniform framework UNRWA has provided for millions of Palestinian in the camps over the last 70 years has undoubtedly helped them retain these affinities. But had it not been for UNRWA, would they have assimilated completely into their different environments (especially outside Palestine) and forgotten that they are Palestinians, as anti-UNRWA propagandists hope or claim?

    There are hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in South America who aren’t refugees (they mostly emigrated voluntarily) and never lived in refugee camps. But they haven’t abandoned their Palestinian identity. It has even strengthened among the second and third generations, along with their political consciousness. And if they don’t speak Arabic, they’re trying to learn it now.

    Collapse of traditional political system

    Without UNRWA, would the Palestinian refugees not have maintained their emotional ties to their towns and villages of origin? Would they not have made this the basis of their political demand for a right of return?

    Anyone who thinks so is confusing the framework with the content. Even if the United States and Israel manage to destroy the framework, UNRWA, this political and material assault is merely strengthening the ties that bind Palestinians to one another. This is happening despite, and in parallel with, the collapse of the traditional political system of the past 60 years that united Palestinians wherever they lived, inside and outside the refugee camps.

    The parties that comprised the PLO are either nonexistent or weak, divided and strife-ridden. The PLO itself has lost its virtue of being an organization that nurtured Palestinian identity and culture and tried to create a system of social and economic solidarity. It has become a thin shell of gray, anonymous bureaucrats and is completely dependent on the Palestinian Authority.

    The PA, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas admitted, fulfills its purpose of coordinating with Israel on security issues. It’s a provider of jobs pretending to be a political leadership. It’s also feuding with its rival, Hamas, and that group’s government in Gaza.

    Hamas is even weaker financially. And it maintains its image as a resistance movement mainly in the eyes of those who haven’t experienced the results of its military adventures and delusions on their own skin – that is, people who don’t live in Gaza but in the West Bank or the diaspora.

    In this situation, the framework that U.S. President Donald Trump and former Labor MK Einat Wilf want to destroy remains what it has been for 70 years – an economic and, to some extent, social stabilizer.

    UNRWA’s budget totals $1.2 billion. Its regular budget is $567 million, of which $450 million goes for education, and another $400 million is an emergency budget, of which 90 percent goes to Gaza. That enormous sum reflects the state of this tiny coastal enclave and the ruinous impact of Israel’s assaults and, even more, its restrictions on movement and trade that have left half the workforce unemployed. The rest of UNRWA’s budget is earmarked for various projects (for instance, in Lebanon’s Nahr al-Bared camp, or what remains of Gaza’s reconstruction).

    Eight months ago, when the United States first slashed its contribution by $300 million, UNRWA’s budget deficit was almost $500 million. With great effort, and with countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates contributing $50 million each for the first time, the deficit has shrunk to $270 million.

    UNRWA had to immediately cut its emergency services, of which one of the most important is the Cash for Work program that provides temporary jobs for unemployed Gazans. Other emergency projects were also suspended: psychological treatment for people traumatized by Israeli attacks; help for the Bedouin in Area C, the part of the West Bank under full Israeli control; help for farmers whose lands and income are imprisoned on the other side of the separation barrier; mobile clinics. What is still being funded is the distribution of food and sanitary products such as diapers to 1 million Gazans once every three months.

    Because of the cuts, UNRWA couldn’t renew the contracts of 160 temporary workers in Gaza. It also reduced the salaries of several hundred people employed on its emergency projects.

    The big question is what will happen to its 2019 budget, and whether UNRWA will have to cut or even close its education and health services.

  • Mahmoud Abbas... Cessez d’exploiter Ahed Tamimi à des fins personnelles !
    8 août 2018 – – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine – Dominique Muselet

    (...) La vérité est que les Palestiniens de Cisjordanie, et pas seulement de Gaza, détestent Mahmoud Abbas. Ils veulent se débarrasser de lui et de son appareil d’état corrompu et violent. Mais Abbas s’accroche, et a recours aux moyens les plus déshonorants pour assurer sa domination sur ses adversaires, comme de travailler avec Israël.

    Cependant, Abbas essaie toujours de faire croire aux Palestiniens qu’il fait de la résistance, pas le type de « résistance inutile » affichée par les Gazaouis, mais ce qu’il appelle la « résistance civile pacifique » des villages palestiniens de Cisjordanie.

    Il a encore insisté là-dessus ces derniers jours

    Quand Ahed Tamimi, une jeune manifestante palestinienne, a été libérée d’une prison israélienne où elle avait passé huit mois pour avoir giflé un soldat israélien, Abbas l’a accueillie, elle et sa famille.

    Des images où on le voit prendre dans ses bras et embrasser les membres de la famille Tamimi ont été diffusées dans toute la Palestine et à travers le monde. Son appareil médiatique officiel s’est efforcé de le placer au centre de l’attention tout au long des jours qui ont suivi la libération d’Ahed.

    Abbas a ensuite, une fois de plus, longuement parlé de la « résistance civile pacifique », omettant, bien sûr, de souligner que des milliers d’enfants de Gaza, qui ont été blessés près de la clôture de Gaza ces derniers mois, résistaient tout aussi « pacifiquement ».

    Certes, Ahed est un symbole pour une jeune génération palestinienne rebelle qui en a assez de n’avoir aucun droit et aucune liberté, mais la tentative éhontée d’Abbas d’utiliser ce symbole pour améliorer sa propre image est de l’exploitation pure et simple. (...)

    La mère d’Ahed, Nariman qui a également passé 8 mois dans une prison israélienne, n’a pas craint d’aborder cette question. Nariman a affirmé courageusement que la popularité d’Ahed dans les médias occidentaux s’expliquait par un racisme sous-jacent.

    « A vrai dire, c’est probablement l’apparence d’Ahed qui a suscité cette solidarité mondiale et ça, c’est du racisme, parce que beaucoup d’enfants palestiniens sont dans la situation d’Ahed mais ils n’ont pas bénéficié du même traitement médiatique », a-t-elle dit. (...)

  • EXCLUSIF : Israël propose d’accorder un passage maritime au Hamas si les attaques cessent
    Correspondant de MEE - 17 août 2018

    Israël a proposé d’ouvrir tous les postes frontaliers vers la bande de Gaza et d’accorder au Hamas l’accès à un passage maritime vers Chypre en échange de l’arrêt de toutes formes d’attaques depuis l’enclave, indique un haut responsable du Hamas à Middle East Eye.

    Dans le même temps, depuis Ramallah, dont le chef des services de renseignement égyptiens Abbas Kamel est parti ce jeudi sans avoir rencontré le président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas, qui aurait eu d’autres obligations, le responsable du Fatah chargé de la réconciliation intrapalestinienne a indiqué que le Hamas se livrait à un « stratagème hostile » qui briserait l’unité palestinienne.

    « En négociant avec Israël un cessez-le-feu et une trêve à Gaza ainsi que des arrangements séparés pour Gaza, le Hamas s’engage dans le stratagème hostile qui vise à séparer Gaza de l’État de Palestine internationalement reconnu selon la ligne de 1967 », a déclaré Azzam al-Ahmad, responsable du Fatah chargé de la réconciliation, ce jeudi à MEE.

    « Nous avons accepté que ce passage soit sous le contrôle [de l’Autorité palestinienne], comme le poste frontalier de Rafah, et sous surveillance internationale »

    - Source du Hamas

    La découverte des détails de l’accord intervient alors que la source a précisé que le Hamas et Israël avaient réalisé « des progrès significatifs » vers une trêve à long terme autour de la situation à Gaza, tandis que les négociations engagées avec la médiation de l’Égypte, largement considérées comme faisant partie de l’« accord du siècle » américain, se poursuivent.

    « Nous avons accepté que ce passage soit sous le contrôle [de l’Autorité palestinienne], comme le poste frontalier de Rafah, et sous surveillance internationale », a indiqué la source.

    Selon la source, Israël a abandonné ses revendications historiques, notamment le désarmement du Hamas, l’arrêt du creusement de tunnels et la libération d’Israéliens captifs ou disparus à Gaza. Dans le même temps, le Hamas a fait pression en faveur du déploiement de projets humanitaires à Gaza, portant notamment sur l’eau, l’électricité et les eaux usées.

    Toutefois, jusqu’à présent, le plus grand obstacle rencontré au cours des négociations s’est avéré être le choix du moment où le Hamas aurait accès au passage qui relierait Gaza au port chypriote de Spyros. (...)

  • French President Macron cancels Israel visit
    Itamar Eichner|Published: 08.08.18 , 10:54,7340,L-5324813,00.html

    After initially planning to arrive in the spring and then postponing to the fall, Macron cancels planned November visit; Paris doesn’t provide reason for cancellation, but it is likely tied to crisis the French president faces at home after his bodyguard was filmed assaulting protesters.

    (...) But some Israeli officials argued there was a different reason, claiming the French premier decided not to come to Israel because of the deadly protests on the Gaza border, and the way the trip might be perceived by the French public. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s bad health also played a factor.

    President Reuven Rivlin also cancelled his trip to France this year, but it is expected to be rescheduled for next year.

    The only one not to cancel his visit was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who traveled to Paris in June to meet with Macron.

  • The real Oslo criminals

    We should adopt the conceit of the right: the Oslo criminals. The pejorative should be attached, of course, to Benjamin Netanyahu and the savage incitement that he and the settlers perpetrate; but the heroes of the peace, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, are also worthy of the title. Their missed opportunity, rooted chiefly in their cowardice, is unforgivable.

    A new documentary shows this quite well. “The Oslo Diaries,” directed by Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan, which was screened at the Jerusalem Film Festival, is a moving and important film that many Israelis will see.

    When it was over, a woman sitting in front of me got up and tried in vain to hold back her tears. It was the chairwoman of Meretz, MK Tamar Zandberg. It was touching to see a politician crying over a missed opportunity, but a similar discomfort, to heavy to bear, filled the entire hall. The film proves how, despite all the wariness toward the Oslo Accords, they still represented an opportunity — and this is what Rabin and Peres missed. This missed opportunity was not only fateful, it was also irreparable.

    “The Oslo Diaries” reflects the spirit of the times. Netanyahu, still with his unkempt hair, looks like a crazy man at the right-wing rallies, his eyes spinning round, different from his relatively level-headed image of today, and the fascist and violent atmosphere of the street as never seen before in Israel. But the film deals with the peacemakers, and the picture that arises from them too is worrying. They are the explanation for the failure, most of which can be placed on their shoulders.

    Faltering from the beginning: Yair Hirschfeld preaches morality with characteristic haughtiness and threatens Ahmed Qureia for daring to mention the Nazi occupation of Norway and to compare it to the Israeli occupation, which has lasted 10 times longer and exacted many more victims. A few of the other members of the Israeli delegation are tainted by the same arrogance toward the Palestinians — particularly legal adviser Joel Singer, who is exposed in the film as an especially repulsive and arrogant individual.

    Standing out from them is the innocent and benevolent figure of Ron Pundak, and above all of them shines Yossi Beilin, one of a rare breed of diplomats who can set his ego aside, always behind the scenes and focused on the goal rather than on getting credit. Beilin has never received his due honor: Oslo is Beilin, Beilin is Oslo. The missed opportunity belongs to those above him, Rabin and Peres. They are the heroes of Oslo, and its criminals.

    They began the negotiations with the intention of manipulating the Palestinians as far as possible. There is not a moment of equality or fairness in the negotiations. When agreement is reached on an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank in the second stage, they insisted on only 2 percent. Only they had “misgivings” about sitting with the PLO. They, who never shed a drop of blood, found it so difficult to speak with the bloodthirsty terrorists from Tunis. They, who did not exile hundreds of thousands in 1948 and did not establish the occupation enterprise in 1967, suffered so much from speaking with terrorists.

    The theatrical feeling of disgust they showed, and Rabin in particular, from shaking hands with Yasser Arafat demonstrated their true attitude toward the Palestinians. Rabin of the expulsion of Ramle and the massacre in Lod, Rabin of “break their bones,” recoiled so much from defiling his pure hands with Arafat’s bloody hands. And he took the trouble to show it, too. This is not how you make peace. If anyone should have recoiled it was Arafat, who was forced to shake the hand of someone who occupied and disinherited him. Arafat wanted to start a new chapter more than Rabin did.

    But the main guilt is in the missed opportunity. There were at least two, one for Rabin and one for Peres. Rabin, who gave Beilin the impression that he was about to remove the Jewish community of Hebron after the Baruch Goldstein massacre, became frightened and did not keep his word, and in doing so determined the future of the relations, possibly forever.

    At the end of the 40 days of mourning, the suicide bombing attacks began. It is not difficult to imagine what would have happened had Rabin removed the obstacle of the settlement in Hebron. Peres, who in the movie is seen giving one of his peace speeches, one of the most courageous and hair-raising ever heard here, rejected as prime minister the draft of the permanent agreement reached by Beilin and Mahmoud Abbas, out of fear of the coming elections. This was the second moment of missed opportunity. Everyone knows what happened next, and it makes one despair.

  • As U.S. pushes for Mideast peace, Saudi king reassures allies |

    RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has reassured Arab allies it will not endorse any Middle East peace plan that fails to address Jerusalem’s status or refugees’ right of return, easing their concerns that the kingdom might back a nascent U.S. deal which aligns with Israel on key issues.

    King Salman’s private guarantees to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his public defense of long-standing Arab positions in recent months have helped reverse perceptions that Saudi Arabia’s stance was changing under his powerful young son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, diplomats and analysts said.

    This in turn has called into question whether Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam and site of its holiest shrines, can rally Arab support for a new push to end the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, with an eye to closing ranks against mutual enemy Iran.

    “In Saudi Arabia, the king is the one who decides on this issue now, not the crown prince,” said a senior Arab diplomat in Riyadh. “The U.S. mistake was they thought one country could pressure the rest to give in, but it’s not about pressure. No Arab leader can concede on Jerusalem or Palestine.”


    Palestinian officials told Reuters in December that Prince Mohammed, known as MbS, had pressed Abbas to support the U.S. plan despite concerns it offered the Palestinians limited self-government inside disconnected patches of the occupied West Bank, with no right of return for refugees displaced by the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967.

    Such a plan would diverge from the Arab Peace Initiative drawn up by Saudi Arabia in 2002 in which Arab nations offered Israel normal ties in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians and full Israeli withdrawal from territory captured in 1967.

    Saudi officials have denied any difference between King Salman, who has vocally supported that initiative, and MbS, who has shaken up long-held policies on many issues and told a U.S. magazine in April that Israelis are entitled to live peacefully on their own land - a rare statement for an Arab leader.

    The Palestinian ambassador to Riyadh, Basem Al-Agha, told Reuters that King Salman had expressed support for Palestinians in a recent meeting with Abbas, saying: “We will not abandon you ... We accept what you accept and we reject what you reject.”

    He said that King Salman naming the 2018 Arab League conference “The Jerusalem Summit” and announcing $200 million in aid for Palestinians were messages that Jerusalem and refugees were back on the table.

    FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud attends Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
    The Saudi authorities did not respond to a request for comment on the current status of diplomatic efforts.


    Diplomats in the region say Washington’s current thinking, conveyed during a tour last month by top White House officials, does not include Arab East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, a right of return for refugees or a freeze of Israeli settlements in lands claimed by the Palestinians.

    Senior adviser Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, has not provided concrete details of the U.S. strategy more than 18 months after he was tasked with forging peace.

    A diplomat in Riyadh briefed on Kushner’s latest visit to the kingdom said King Salman and MbS had seen him together: “MbS did the talking while the king was in the background.”

    Independent analyst Neil Partrick said King Salman appears to have reined in MbS’ “politically reckless approach” because of Jerusalem’s importance to Muslims.

    “So MbS won’t oppose Kushner’s ‘deal’, but neither will he, any longer, do much to encourage its one-sided political simplicities,” said Partrick, lead contributor and editor of “Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy: Conflict and Cooperation”.

     Kushner and fellow negotiator Jason Greenblatt have not presented a comprehensive proposal but rather disjointed elements, which one diplomat said “crossed too many red lines”.

    Instead, they heavily focused on the idea of setting up an economic zone in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula with the adjacent Gaza Strip possibly coming under the control of Cairo, which Arab diplomats described as unacceptable.

    In Qatar, Kushner asked Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to pressure the Islamist group Hamas to cede control of Gaza in return for development aid, the diplomats said.

    One diplomat briefed on the meeting said Sheikh Tamim just nodded silently. It was unclear if that signaled an agreement or whether Qatar was offered anything in return.

    “The problem is there is no cohesive plan presented to all countries,” said the senior Arab diplomat in Riyadh. “Nobody sees what everyone else is being offered.”

    Kushner, a 37-year-old real estate developer with little experience of international diplomacy or political negotiation, visited Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and Israel in June. He did not meet Abbas, who has refused to see Trump’s team after the U.S. embassy was moved to Jerusalem.

    In an interview at the end of his trip, Kushner said Washington would announce its Middle East peace plan soon, and press on with or without Abbas. Yet there has been little to suggest any significant progress towards ending the decades-old conflict, which Trump has said would be “the ultimate deal”.

    “There is no new push. Nothing Kushner presented is acceptable to any of the Arab countries,” the Arab diplomat said. “He thinks he is ‘I Dream of Genie’ with a magic wand to make a new solution to the problem.”

    A White House official told reporters last week that Trump’s envoys were working on the most detailed set of proposals to date for the long-awaited peace proposal, which would include what the administration is calling a robust economic plan, though there is thus far no release date.

    Editing by Giles Elgood
    Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

    • In Saudi Arabia, the king is the one who decides on this issue now, not the crown prince,
      A diplomat in Riyadh briefed on Kushner’s latest visit [in June] to the kingdom said King Salman and MbS had seen him together: “MbS did the talking while the king was in the background.

      Euh, question bête : c’est dans la même aile de l’hôpital la gériatrie de king S et la rééducation (il est probablement sorti des soins intensifs, depuis le temps) de Kronprinz bS ?

      Ce serait quand même plus commode pour Mr Son in law

  • Sissi détient la clé du programme envisagé par Trump dans le Sinaï pour tuer l’État palestinien | Middle East Eye

    Il est important de comprendre que le programme pour le Sinaï n’est pas simplement la preuve du caractère chimérique des idées d’une administration Trump inexpérimentée ou induite en erreur. Tout indique qu’il bénéficie d’un soutien prolongé et vigoureux de la part de l’establishment politique américain depuis plus d’une décennie.

    En réalité, il y a quatre ans, alors que Barack Obama était solidement installé à la Maison-Blanche, Middle East Eye avait dressé la liste des tentatives de coercition d’Israël et des États-Unis, qui souhaitent pousser toute une série de dirigeants égyptiens à ouvrir le Sinaï aux Palestiniens de Gaza. 

    Il s’agit là d’une des principales ambitions d’Israël depuis qu’il a évacué plusieurs milliers de colons de Gaza lors du dénommé « désengagement » de 2005 et déclaré – trompeusement – que l’occupation de l’enclave était terminée.

    Washington aurait adhéré à cette initiative depuis 2007, date à laquelle la faction islamiste du Hamas a pris le contrôle de Gaza, évinçant le Fatah du président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas. C’est à ce moment qu’Israël, soutenu par les États-Unis, a intensifié son blocus strict qui a détruit l’économie de Gaza et empêché l’entrée de marchandises essentielles.

  • » Israel Denies Entry To Swedish Peace Activist Who Walked To Palestine
    IMEMC - July 6, 2018 11:55 AM

    The Israeli Border Authority denied entry to a Swedish peace activist, who started walking to Palestine eleven months ago to raise awareness about the Israeli occupation, and the suffering of the Palestinian people.

    The peace activist Benjamin Ladra started his walk on August 8th, 2017, with the aim of informing the world about the situation in Palestine and spread awareness about the Israeli military occupation.

    His walk also marked the centennial of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which Britain pledged a Jewish homeland in Palestine during the British mandate and occupation of the country.

    After being denied entry, he said the officers at the Israeli-controlled crossing with the West Bank interrogated him for six hours, and told him that they believe “he was lying during interrogation,” and that “he would be participating in the protests in Nabi Saleh village,” near Ramallah.

    #Expulsion #Aéroport #BDS #Douane #Frontière #expulsions_frontières (d’israel) #Suède

    • Update: Palestinian Nationality Granted to Swedish Activist
      July 7, 2018 10:13 PM IMEMC News & Agencies

      Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has granted Palestinian nationality to Swedish activist Benjamin Ladraa, aged 25, and bestowed the Medal of Merit on him, in appreciation of his efforts and support of the Palestinian people.

      Ladraa had walked 4,800 kilometers, through 15 countries and for a period of 11 months, carrying a Palestinian flag on his back to raise awareness about the plight of the Palestinian people under the Israeli military occupation.

      Israeli authorities banned Ladraa entry to Palestine when he arrived predawn, Friday, at the Allenby Bridge (the Jordanian-Palestinian borders), in the last leg of his walk.

      Ladraa was also held for 6 hours of interrogations by Israeli authorities, at the border.

    • Benjamin Ladraa: ’You don’t have to be Palestinian to care about the injustice in Palestine’
      Aug. 16, 2018 3:52 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 16, 2018 4:19 P.M.)
      By: Jennifer Janineh

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Benjamin Ladraa is a Swedish human rights activist, who walked 4,800 km through 13 countries over a span of 11 months to raise awareness about the Palestinian cause.

      Ma’an News Agency interviewed Ladraa after Israeli authorities banned him from entering Palestine upon his arrival at the Allenby Bridge, the Jordanian-Palestinian borders, in July.

      During the interview, Ladraa said that “they (Israeli authorities) treated me not too bad, I mean, it’s not comparable to what Palestinians are going through when they are arrested in the middle of the night from their homes and tortured.”

      Watch the full interview below:

  • Le « troc » du siècle : la Palestine en échange de la Syrie ?
    par Abdel Bari Atwan - 30 juin 2018 – Raï al-Yaoum – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine

    L’administration Trump cherche-t-elle un compromis avec Poutine : la Palestine contre la Syrie ? interroge Abdel Bari Atwan.

    Il est loin d’être certain que le « président » palestinien Mahmoud Abbas soit en mesure de répondre à l’invitation de son homologue russe Vladimir Poutine d’assister à la finale de la Coupe du monde à Moscou à la mi-juillet. Les nouvelles venant de Ramallah au sujet de sa santé ne sont pas rassurantes.

    Les cercles proches d’Abbas sont très réticents à donner des informations sur son état de santé. Ils sont soumis à des instructions strictes des agences de sécurité, du président lui-même et de ses fils. Des sources fiables disent qu’ils sont à ses côtés, contrôlent son agenda et ses mouvements, et déterminent qui peut lui rendre visite et pendant combien de temps. (...)


  • Top U.S. officials to Haaretz: Peace plan will be basis for talks, not ’take it or leave it’ document

    Senior officials say the plan will be revealed soon and stress that Trump sees Palestinian President Abbas as the only ’relevant address’

    Amir Tibon
    Jun 13, 2018

    WASHINGTON – The Trump administration’s plan for peace in the Middle East won’t be a “take it or leave it” proposal, but rather a basis for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, administration officials told Haaretz this week. They said the plan will be revealed soon, and that the White House hopes to share it not only with the leaders in the region, but also with the general public.
    The officials said previous reports that the plan would be released immediately at the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan were incorrect. “We hope to release it in the near future, but not immediately after Ramadan,” one official explained. “Our top priority is to put it out at the right moment, so that the various spoilers who don’t want us to succeed have less of a chance to cause damage.” 
    >> Palestinians to U.S.: No ’Deal of the Century’ if Jerusalem Not Addressed ■ U.S. Hopes to Unveil Breakthrough in Gaza Cease-fire Alongside Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan
    While there have been some reports asserting that the plan will be a blueprint for a final peace agreement that the two sides will have to either accept or reject, the officials who spoke with Haaretz said those reports, too, were inaccurate.
    “We have said all along that we don’t want to impose an agreement. So presenting the plan as a ‘take it or leave it’ kind of document would be inconsistent with that,” one official explained. “We are a facilitator. It would be arrogant to assume we know better than anyone else,” said a second official. “At the end of the day, the two sides need to negotiate and reach an agreement. We want to help them reach that point, but we can’t structure the agreement for them.”
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    The officials criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for refusing to engage with the administration, a position he has held to ever since Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last December. “We assume there will be fair and substantial criticism of the plan, but we are astonished that Abbas won’t even see it,” one official said. “It would be a shame for the Palestinian people if the Palestinian leadership refuses to engage with this plan.”
    At the same time, the officials stressed that the Trump administration is not looking for a way to bypass Abbas, and is not speaking to any other Palestinian political figures. “We are not trying to engage with any Palestinian politicians except President Abbas. He is the relevant address, and he is the one we hope to work with,” one official said. 
    >> Trump Mideast envoy: The Palestinians deserve so much more than Saeb Erekat ■ Erekat fires back: Trump administration is killing the peace process, not me
    Last month Haaretz reported that the only recent contact between high-ranking Palestinian and American officials was a meeting between Abbas’ security chief, Majid Faraj, and Mike Pompeo, who is now Secretary of State and headed the CIA at the time of the meeting. Palestinian officials explained that the meeting focused only on security and intelligence issues, which are not included in the Palestinian Authority’s political and diplomatic boycott of the administration.

    The administration officials emphasized that they are encouraged by signs that Arab countries are getting closer to Israel, but added that they have no illusions about the Arab world “abandoning” the Palestinians as part of an alliance with Israel. “It’s not realistic to expect that the Arabs would abandon the Palestinians. That’s not going to happen,” one of the officials stated. The Arab states, in the administration’s view, can help encourage the two sides to move forward with negotiations – but aren’t expected to force anything on either side.
    Under previous administrations, there were different approaches with regard to public exposure of detailed plans for Middle East peace. The George W. Bush administration released its “Road Map for Peace” in a speech by the president. The peace plan of former Secretary of State John Kerry, by contrast, was never made public (although drafts of it were published by Haaretz last June.)
    The current administration is considering making its peace plan available to the public, but only after its final version is shared with the leaders in the region. “We want the public to know what is in it, at the right time, because the public needs to support it, not just the leaders,” said one official. “At the end of the day, the public is part of the process. The leaders need to have public support for going forward with this.” 
    The officials who spoke with Haaretz could not share specific details about the plan, which they said is close to being finalized. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will travel to the region next week with Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East peace process, to discuss the plan with leaders in Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and possibly also other countries.
    The Trump administration’s main foreign policy focus this week, of course, was the summit in Singapore in which Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The officials who spoke with Haaretz said the summit proves that Trump’s unusual approach to foreign policy is working, adding that “this event should give hope to people in the Middle East that things can get better.”
    One official contended that “this event shows how suddenly and unexpectedly things can change, and how intractable positions can potentially be softened and modified. The members of our peace team have a lot of experience as negotiators. We know that positions can change. We know that views can be morphed.”
    The officials said a Middle East peace deal is still a top priority for Trump. “The president has the same level of dedication on this issue as he does on the Korean issue,” they maintained. 
    When asked if it is possible that following his summit with Kim, Trump will lose interest in an Israeli-Palestinian deal since he no longer needs a foreign policy achievement to present to the American public, one official used a metaphor from Trump’s real estate career to explain why he’s convinced that that’s not going to happen.
    “The president built Trump Tower, and then what did he do after that? He went and he built another five Trump Towers,” the official said.
    “He didn’t just stop with one.”

  • Journalists beaten, cameras destroyed: Palestinian police break up anti-Abbas protest in Ramallah

    Dozens beaten and arrested, including foreign journalists, in breakup of demonstration against Abbas’s economic sanctions on Gaza

    Amira Hass and Jack Khoury Jun 14, 2018

    Palestinian Authority riot police forcefully broke up a demonstration in Ramallah Wednesday evening, enforcing a ban on protests citing the Id al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the Ramadan month of fasting.
    The police arrested journalist and dozens of protesters, busted cameras and beat many of the demonstrators.
    The protesters called for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to remove sanctions he has imposed against Hamas and residents of the Gaza Strip, for Hamas’s failure to follow through on a power share deal.
    Palestinian security forces fired tear gas, stun grenades and shot bullets into the air. They confiscated cameras and smartphones, breaking a few of them and ordered journalists not to interview demonstrators. The police arrested foreign and Palestinian journalists and beat a large number of protesters. A number of Israeli citizens participated in the protest, too.
    In spite of the violent repression of the protest, a small group of demonstrators managed to evade the police and gathered on side streets, chanting slogans such as: “Woe to the disgrace and woe to the shame,” and “With spirit and blood we will redeem you, Gaza.”

  • Ce que révèle la « marche du retour » de Gaza
    Orient XXI > Asma Alghoul > 23 mai 2018,2474

    Les massacres du 14 mai commis par l’armée israélienne ont marqué le point culminant et dramatique de la « marche du retour » à Gaza. Les mobilisations ont confirmé la prise de distance des Palestiniens à l’égard de leurs directions, et notamment à l’égard de Mahmoud Abbas. Selon la journaliste palestinienne, ils posent les bases d’une nouvelle étape de la lutte nationale.

    • @sinehebdo

      In the West Bank, on 23 May 2018, medical sources at al-Najah University Hospital in Nablus declared the death of ‘Oday Abu Khalil (15) from ‘Ein Siniya village, north of Ramallah, succumbing to his wounds. According to PCHR’s investigations, on 15 May 2018, the abovementioned child was wounded during his participation in a peaceful protest at the northern entrance to al-Bireh in commemoration of Palestinian Nakbah Day, against the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip.

      Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (10 – 16 May 2018)

      (...) In addition to the abovementioned injuries, During the reporting period, 51 other civilians, including 4 children, 2 women and 2 journalists, were wounded after the Israeli forces opened fire at them and fired tear gas canisters directly during peaceful protests and stone-throwing at the Israeli soldiers stationed at the entrances to the Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Those demonstrations came in the light of demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians in protest at Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Israeli forces’ ongoing settlement crimes, confiscation of Palestinian lands, and Israeli forces’ crimes against the peaceful demonstrations organized by the Palestinians along the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip.


    • Merci, je cite cet extrait de l’article du Monde :

      « Nous vivons une nouvelle Nakba ! Ce déménagement de l’ambassade américaine à Jérusalem et tous les “martyrs” de Gaza auraient dû nous réveiller. On aurait dû être bien plus nombreux aujourd’hui », regrette un homme de 37 ans, venu faire acte de présence. Employé dans l’administration de l’autorité palestinienne, il souhaite conserver l’anonymat : « Depuis la mort d’Arafat, nous n’avons pas de chef capable de nous réunir autour de lui pour lutter. Nous n’avons plus confiance dans notre leadership. Maintenant, c’est chacun pour soi. »

      La colère rentrée des Palestiniens de Cisjordanie
      Allan Kaval, Le Monde, le 17 mai 2018