Following Blair’s comments, Hamas calls for cancelling condition to recognise Israel

Fatah and Hamas leaders at a recent meeting in Gaza [File photo]

Fatah and Hamas leaders at a recent reconciliation meeting in Gaza

After former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the international community was wrong to do as Israel wanted to isolate Hamas, the movement has called for the condition that it recognise Israel before being included in negotiations to be retracted, the Safa news agency reported.

On Twitter, member of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Mousa Abu-Marzouk also called on the international community to alleviate the inhumane suffering of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s oppressive siege.

In an interview with the British newspaper, the Guardian, Blair said that he, along with world leaders, had committed a mistake when they came under Israeli pressure and did not recognise Hamas’ victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections.

“In retrospect, I think we should have, right at the very beginning, tried to pull [Hamas] into a dialogue and shifted their positions,” the Guardian newspaper reported Blair saying.

Hamas: Everyone has the right to arm themselves to resist the occupation

Blair strongly supported the US driven boycott of Hamas which was immediately put in place after it won the elections in 2006, when Israel imposed a strict siege, which is still in place.

The siege, along with three Israeli offensives, made Gaza “unlivable” according to a UN report said.

(Source / 16.10.2017)

100 years after the signing of the Balfour Declaration… What to do now?

Palestinians protest to mark the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on 1 November 2016

“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.


Arthur James Balfour”

These 67 words, written 100 years ago, put into motion the first steps towards stealing Palestine to serve the Zionist project in the region, in the Balfour Declaration, attributed to the British Foreign Secretary at the time, Arthur James Balfour.

This document, issued on 2 November 1917, decided the fate of a nation and displaced an entire population for the sake of a marginalised people claiming that they had a right to Palestine. It was a promise from those who do not own the land to those who do not deserve it, tokened as “a land without a people for a people without a land”.

Britain has worked to allow the trick to pass by means of secret agreements with all parties in the region. It exchanged letters and guarantees with Hussein Bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca (McMahon–Hussein Correspondence), that confirm that Palestine will be under Arab control after WWI. It also agreed with France and Russia to divide the region by means of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which Russia was a part of, which was exposed after the Bolshevik revolution that later founded the Soviet Union. It then issued the Balfour Declaration, which founded the Zionist entity by force of British weapons.

The birth of this “declaration” was difficult among all the promises made by Britain to the parties. The British Foreign Office attempted to soften the edges in order for it not to come as a shock, especially as the United States did not approve it the first time it was presented.

Read: ‘Britain should work to correct the errors of Balfour’

When US President Wilson agreed, the British Foreign Office proceeded to issue five drafts of the Balfour Declaration. These drafts were examined by diplomats specialising in the region and legal minds who went over the language and its meanings in order to avoid any legal consequences and any previous and parallel political commitments.

Since the agreement was not binding for Britain, it was not to the liking of President of the Zionist Union in Britain Chaim Weizmann, but he believed that any document they receive would be beneficial, even if weak. The main point was the reality and facts on the ground and the means of imposing them.


The contents of the declaration were subsequently included in the Mandate Act of 1922, which was ratified by the five colonial powers of the League of Nations. However, the British High Commissioner Herbert Samuel began implementation when he took over his duties in Palestine in 1920, implementing it over five years.

Read: 100 Years After Balfour we should reflect, not celebrate

It is worth mentioning that the Zionist entity is the result of many colonial plans, which were not put into effect or operation and did not find the right or suitable opportunity like that found by the Balfour Declaration. These plans also did not have the will or soldiers behind them like the Balfour Declaration did.

What to do?

The Palestinians have continuously resisted the Balfour Declaration for 100 years, but the lessons learned from the Zionists’ ability to occupy Palestine by means of relations, fraud and force, have confirmed to us that there is no harm in taking cues from them in some political instances, such as:

  • Building as many political and diplomatic relations as possible in popular lobbies (especially the youth, who have made great progress due to social media).
  • Seeking to fight the occupation and Britain and refusing to remain silent, even if 100 years after the Balfour crime that the British government boasts about and the Israelis consider the midwife that brought the Zionist baby into the world.
  • Constantly reminding the international community of this crime and preventing it from having a content conscience regarding it.
  • Stating the illegality of this declaration and international prosecution.
  • Supporting popular movements and rallying behind international solidarity with the Palestinian cause, especially the British popular solidarity.
  • Joining international campaigns against this Declaration, especially the campaign led by the Palestinians Abroad Conference.
  • Actively participating in social networking sites and contributing to having a worldwide trending hashtag which the Israelis will also seek to do. We want our voices to reach the entire world and not remain only in the area. The current unified hashtag is #Balfour100.

Finally, the most important point deserves to stand alone, apart from the aforementioned points:

Resistance; anything taken by force can only be regained by force. Any right backed by resistance cannot be lost. To those who cannot resist with weapons, I say there are many other forms of resistance such as protests, sit-ins and social networking sites through which the voice of all of Palestine, from the Sea to the River, can be heard by the entire world. Our voice will be delivered so the whole world will know about our rights that were lost under the weight of unrightful power. May our rights have power and may we be the soldiers of this power.

This article was first published in Arabic in the Palestinian Information Centre on 15 October 2017

(Source / 16.10.2017)

Army Abducts Three Palestinians, Serve Demolition Orders Targeting Five Homes, In Jerusalem

16 OCT
10:21 AM

Israeli soldiers carried out, overnight until early morning hours Sunday, frequent invasions into the al-‘Isawiya Hizma towns, in occupied East Jerusalem, and abducted three young Palestinian men, in addition to attacking a father and his daughter. The soldiers also invaded al-‘Ezariyya town, and delivered demolition orders against five homes.

Media sources in Jerusalem said the soldiers imposed a strict siege on al-‘Isawiya town, and installed a roadblock on its main road, preventing the Palestinians from entering or leaving it without a thorough search of them and their vehicles.

They added that the soldiers have been carrying out frequent invasions and provocative acts in many neighborhoods in al-‘Isawiya, including on Sunday evening and at dawn Monday, an issue that led to clashes between the army and local youngsters, who hurled stones at the military jeeps.

Raed Abu Ryala, a member of the Follow-Up Committee in al-‘Isawiya, said the soldiers attacked a celebration, welcoming two political prisoners, identified as Nimir Nasser Mahmoud and Ata Mohammad Dirbas, who were released from Israeli prisons.

The soldiers removed Palestinian flags and posters of the two released detainees, in addition to invading a wedding hall at the main entrance of the town, before attacking a man, identified as Yousef Moheisin, and his daughter, causing various cuts and bruises that landed them at a medical center for treatment.

Furthermore, the soldiers handed demolition orders targeting five homes in Jabal al-Baba area, in the al-‘Ezariyya town, southeast of Jerusalem.

The WAFA Palestinian News Agency said Israel is trying to displace the Palestinians from that area, to prepare for a large colonialist project, which would isolate occupied Jerusalem city from all its surrounding Palestinian communities and towns.

In addition, the soldiers invaded homes in Hizma town, northeast of Jerusalem, and abducted a young man, identified as Ishaq Ahmad Jabr.

In related news, the soldiers abducted, on Sunday evening, a young man, identified as Mahmoud Abu Jom’a, from the at-Tour neighborhood, overlooking Jerusalem’s Old City, reportedly for involvement in hurling Molotov cocktails at military jeeps.

It is worth mentioning that the Israeli army said its soldiers have arrested twelve Palestinians, overnight, in different parts of the West bank, and allegedly located an M16 rifle, near Ramallah, and two pistols near Bethlehem.

The army added that three of the Palestinians are teenagers from Kobar village, near Ramallah, who reportedly hurled stones at military jeeps and colonists’ cars.

|Israeli Soldiers Abduct Six Palestinians In Jenin, Invade Farmlands In Gaza|

|Many Palestinians Suffer The Effects Of Teargas Inhalation Near Jenin|

(Source / 16.10.2017)

Extremists Attempt to Burn Hebron Mosque

16 OCT
7:47 AM

Israeli settlers tried, on Sunday at dawn, to set fie to Eltona Mosque in Moshafer Yatta, south of Hebron governorate, occupied West Bank.

Local sources reported, according to Al Ray, that residents of nearby Ma’on settlement stormed,  at dawn, the village mosque and tried to burn it before Palestinian residents discovered them.

They added that Israeli forces interfered and protected the setters by throwing gas, and sound bombs towards the residents.

(Source / 16.10.2017)

Detained Jerusalem Teen Released After Being Tortured

16 OCT
11:12 AM

The Israeli police released, on Sunday evening, a Palestinian teenager from the al-‘Isawiya town, in occupied East Jerusalem, after he was interrogated and tortured, under suspicion of throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at army jeeps.

The Palestinian, Mohammad Abdul-Raouf Mahmoud, 18, told the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) that the officers and interrogators tortured him in al-Maskobiyya prison.

He added that the soldiers also placed him in a waiting cell, after a court hearing this past Friday, before one of them entered it, and started kicking and punching him on several parts of his body, including his face and head, until he lost consciousness.

The soldiers then poured water on him, but he remained unconscious, and was later transferred to Hadassah Ein Karem hospital, in Jerusalem.

The child was abducted by the soldiers, on Thursday evening, while he was walking in a neighborhood in his town, and was sent to court, Friday, facing allegations of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at army jeeps, but a court ordered his immediate release, Sunday.

|Soldiers Abduct Five Palestinians In Ya’bad, Near Jenin|

|Army Abducts Three Palestinians, Serve Demolition Orders Targeting Five Homes, In Jerusalem|

|Israeli Soldiers Abduct Six Palestinians In Jenin, Invade Farmlands In Gaza|

|Many Palestinians Suffer The Effects Of Teargas Inhalation Near Jenin|

(Source / 16.10.2017)

Israeli tech companies start contracting in Gaza


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestinians are increasingly joining the programming and information technology (IT) sector, one of the fastest-growing business sectors in the Palestinian economy. Statistics issued by PalTrade in 2016 showed that the annual growth rate of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector is 25% with a market share estimated at $500 million in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, a Sept. 20 report by the Times of Israel cited the French news agency AFP as saying that Israeli tech giant Mellanox — which makes technology that connects computers, databases and servers — employs 10 workers in a Gazan programming company. AFP chose not to name the company for security reasons. Those 10 people work for both companies.

This is the first time Palestinian companies from Gaza have signed contracts with Israeli tech companies following Hamas’ takeover of Gaza in 2007 and its refusal to conclude contracts with Israeli companies for fear that the Israeli Mossad would recruit spies.

Hamas fears that the Israeli intelligence service would exploit the Palestinians’ need for work and lure them into collaboration through fraud, extortion and intimidation.

A number of programming companies in the West Bank, most notably ASAL Technologies, which is based in Rawabi, have been working with the Israeli side in the field of IT since 2012. According to Reuters, about 70 engineers from the West Bank are working with Israeli companies.

Yasser al-Bayouk, an electronic expert and the representative of Alfa Net wireless internet service provider in southern Gaza, told Al-Monitor, “The Israeli companies’ contracting of programmers from Gaza comes as part of Israel’s efforts to take advantage of the Gazan human and IT resources. The Gaza Strip is home to a distinguished elite of the most important programming and IT engineers across the country. These engineers have a high level of expertise. The Israeli blockade of Gaza in mid-2007 somehow led many students to major in programming and digital technology, implement individual projects and make individual achievements that earned awards from international institutions.”

Meanwhile, an official source in the Hamas government in Gaza told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “The competent authorities in the government do not know about this business between the Israeli programming companies and Palestinian companies from Gaza.”

The source stressed, “The Israeli side is trying to promote such reports to put the Hamas government in Gaza in a weak position given that it prohibits any commercial activity between Palestinian companies from Gaza and Israeli companies. This would make it seem like Israel achieved a breakthrough in creating a working environment between Gazan and Israeli companies.”

Hassan al-Madhoun, the managing director of the Engineers Syndicate in Gaza, told Al-Monitor, “There are more than 12,000 engineers in the Gaza Strip, including 5,000 ICT engineers, while about 800 telecommunications engineers graduate yearly from four universities in Gaza.”

He added, “There are about 250 IT companies operating in Palestine, about 130 of which are located in the Gaza Strip and employ about 2,800 software engineers. However, the unemployment rate in the Department of Telecommunications Engineering is about 44%.”

Bahaeddine al-Aawaj, the manager of the programming department at Fusion Co., told Al-Monitor, “The opening of the Israeli market to Palestinian companies in Gaza is important for the IT and programming sector in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli IT sector ranked second in the world, and workers in this sector earn high wages at a time when there are thousands of unemployed Gazans in this field. In other words, such contracts will reduce the unemployment rate and increase the engineering experience in this field regardless of the Israeli political position.”

Aawaj added, “It does not make sense for Israeli companies to look for software engineers in India and South Korea at a time when there are a lot of engineers in Gaza who are fully prepared to work in this field in the event that political conditions improve. Therefore, such contracts would play out in favor of the Gazan economy in the medium term.”

Ending the internal division between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would allow talks about a political settlement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, which stopped in 2014, to continue.

Maher Tabbaa, the director of media and public relations at the Gaza Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the executive manager of the Palestinian Smart Soft company, told Al-Monitor, “Programming and IT engineering in Gaza is one of the economic sectors that have been marginalized the most by government agencies since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1993. This is due to the Palestinian government’s focus on traditional activities such as the agricultural and industrial sectors out of its belief that such sectors keep the wheel of the Gazan economy moving.

Tabbaa added, “Both the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Gaza governorate and representatives of the private sector have been calling on government agencies since 1993 to develop programs aimed at financing digital infrastructure projects in Gaza so that programmers and engineers could work in an appropriate environment without being forced to work with Israeli programming companies that would seek to exploit their need for work in order to make financial gains worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually.”

It is still too early to gauge the economic gains that Israeli companies would make out of contracting Gazan programmers and whether the Hamas government would allow such contracts to develop in the future.

(Source / 16.10.2017)

30 civilians to go homeless as Israelis order home demolitions

Jabal al-Baba

The Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday threatened the impending demolition of five Palestinian homes east of Occupied Jerusalem.

A representative of the Bedouin Jabal al-Baba community, Atallah Muzar’a, said Israeli civil administration crews and army troops stormed the area at noontime on Sunday and handed over demolition writs to civilians.

According to Muzar’a, at least 30 Palestinians, including women and children, will go homeless if the notified demolitions materialize on the ground.

The Israeli authorities ordered the families to evacuate their homes in less than a week’s time.

Home demolition is among the tactics used by the Israeli occupation authorities as part of the so-called E1 project aiming to hold sway over 12,000 dunums of Palestinian lands in Occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank in favor of the internationally-condemned illegal settlement expansion.

(Source / 16.10.2017)

1,600 Israeli housing units to be built on Jerusalem land

In violation of int’l law

Givat Hamatos

The Israeli occupation authorities have started the construction of hundreds of new housing units in Givat Hamatos illegal settlement, built on Palestinian land in Occupied Jerusalem.

According to Israel’s Channel 10, heavy machinery and construction activity were noted in the area, where some 1,600 new apartments are set to be built in the settlement. The construction plans were approved sometime earlier.

The 10-month-old administration of US President Donald Trump has proven much more tolerant of Israeli settlement plans in the occupied Palestinian territories, observers said, adding that the move could cut Occupied Jerusalem off from neighboring West Bank provinces.

(Source / 16.10.2017)

Arrests, injuries reported in predawn sweep by Israeli forces

Arrests daybreak WB

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak on Monday kidnapped several Palestinians in abduction sweeps launched across the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The arrestees were dragged to Israeli detention centers pending intensive questioning.

The Israeli army claimed responsibility for the abduction of three Palestinian youths from Ramallah’s village of Kober, in the central occupied West Bank, on allegations of hurling stones at Israeli settlers a couple of months ago.

Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinians, including three women choked on teargas after the occupation soldiers stormed the town of Rummaneh, to the west of Jenin province. The injured women were transferred to Jenin’s public hospital for urgent treatment.

Violent clashes flared up in the area, where the Israeli forces cracked down on Palestinian civilians and protesters.

At the same time, the occupation soldiers revealed the identity of a Palestinian youth—Abdulrahman Abu al-Heija,17—whom they said was arrested in Salem military camp, west of Jenin, for carrying a home-made explosive device.

Another Palestinian young man was kidnapped by the IOF from his home in Bethlehem. Four others were summoned to questioning at Etzion camp, south of Bethlehem.

The Israeli army further arrested two Palestinians in Ramallah province.

The campaign culminated in the abduction of three Palestinians from Occupied Jerusalem. The arrestees were transferred to an investigation center in Salah al-Deen Street, near Bab al-Sahira.

Clashes burst out in al-Issawiya town, where Israeli policemen attacked Palestinian protesters with teargas canisters.

(Source / 16.10.2017)

International team starts removing landmines south of Jenin

Landmines Jenin

An international team started Sunday removing old landmines in Araba town to the south of the northern West Bank province of Jenin.

The landmines date back to 1967 war. The same area is also plagued with remnants of an Israeli army base that was located near the town.

The international team has recently succeeded in removing landmines in Deir Abu Dheif town, east of the city.

(Source / 16.10.2017)