Hamas Receives Invitation to Visit Cairo

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Hamas has received an invitation from Cairo to meet Egyptian officials, Head of the Hamas International Relations Department Osama Hamdan said.

Hamdan denied that there would be a new round of talks regarding the national reconciliation and the ceasefire agreement with the Israeli Occupation.

“The ceasefire talks, which are brokered by Egypt and UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, are making little progress as the Palestinian Authority is trying to hinder such a move,” he explained.

Regarding the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza, Hamdan reiterated Hamas’ determination to end the Israeli-imposed siege on the Gaza Strip and reach a ceasefire with the Israeli Occupation within a joint national framework.

He noted that all the Palestinian factions, other than Fatah, are exerting tremendous efforts to achieve the Palestinian people’s demands, adding that no side shall veto such a move.

The Hamas leader confirmed that the movement will not stand still while the humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate and will work with Egypt to end the Palestinians’ suffering in the coastal enclave.

Regarding the efforts made to break the siege on Gaza, Hamdan said, “we have a clear vision for improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza, but Fatah is hindering such a move.”

“Since it believes in national partnership, Hamas is determined to allow all Palestinian factions to have a say on any proposal to end the Palestinians’ suffering in Gaza,” Hamdan noted.

Notably, Hamas delegation is scheduled to arrive in Egypt at the end of this week or early next week to hold meetings with Egyptian officials and the Palestinian factions in an attempt to find solutions for the current crises.

Egyptian officials have met with two delegations from the “popular” and “democratic” fronts and will receive a delegations from Jihad Movement and another from Hamas.

Last month, Egypt suspended the truce talks sponsored by the Palestinian factions and Israel after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ threats that he would not allow a truce agreement to take place in Gaza Strip as it contributes to the separation of the Strip from the West Bank and the entrance to force to what is known as the “Deal of the Century.”

Abbas rejected Fatah’s participation in the talks and threatened to carry out measures if Hamas reaches an agreement with Israel, including the cut of funding for the Strip by $96 million per month.

(Source / 16.09.2018)

Israel ignites war over Abbas’ successor

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas participates in the Palestinian Central Council meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s National Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas participates in the Palestinian Central Council meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s National Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah

On Thursday morning, two Israeli websites, Yedioth Ahronoth and Kan, reported almost the same news about Fatah leaders storing arms and recruiting “armed gangs” in preparation for a battle for the succession of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Yedioth Ahronoth stated that, recently, the leaders of the Fatah movement began recruiting armed groups in the West Bank. These leaders consider themselves as potential candidates to be Abbas’ successors in one of the three positions, namely: the President of the Palestinian Authority, the President of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the President of the Fatah movement.

The report clarified that those leaders are the head of the Palestinian Football Association and former head of the Palestinian Preventive Security Force, Maj. Gen. Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service Maj. Gen. Majed Faraj, the deputy head of the Fatah movement Mahmoud Al-Aloul and the head of Palestinian Intelligence in the West Bank during the second intifada, Tawfiq Al-Tirawi.

Read: Hamas and PLO condemn Trump’s statements about Jerusalem

The two websites focused on identifying possible locations for weapons storage and the centres of influence for each of the leaders within the West Bank.

The websites did not mention the source of this news, and did not specify whether he is an Israeli or Palestinian, civilian or military, especially that these are sensitive security information which need intelligence sources.

Howevercommenting on the report published by Kan, Channel 10 political analyst, Barak Ravid, posted on his Twitter account that it sounds like a briefing by Israeli security officials. The author of the report and the analyst of Palestinian affairs in Kan, Gal Berger, did not deny this while commenting on Ravid’s statement.

As for the scenarios of the succession of Abbas, they ranged between an agreement on sharing power between Fatah leaders, or a struggle between the leaders of Fatah that will amount to violent clashes and chaos in the streets.

The report stresses that the only beneficiary of these clashes is Hamas, “which will reinforce its position in the West Bank and gather it forces while Fatah leaders are fighting.”

(Source / 24.08.2018)

President Mustafa: Assad Regime & Allies Cannot Attack Idlib

President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa warned that any attack on Idlib by the Assad regime and its allies would lead to catastrophic consequences as the province is home to more than two million civilians, most of whom were forcibly displaced from other parts of Syria. He stressed the need for the United Nations to prevent any such attack.

Speaking to Turkish media at the headquarters of the Syrian Coalition in Istanbul, Mustafa said that the Coalition “takes these threats seriously.” He noted that “there are two million Syrians in Idlib. They have no other place for to go.”

He pointed out that Turkey’s support for the Syrian revolution, the enormous aid it provides for the refugees and displaced persons, and the support it provided for the Free Syrian Army to defeat terrorist groups “make us optimistic that Idlib will not see such scenario.”

“The Assad regime and its allies sought to displace Syrian civilians to Idlib province. Turkey is seeking through political and diplomatic means to prevent an attack on Idlib as it is a guarantor of the ‘de-escalation zone’ in Idlib. Turkey is also the only country that is still on side of the Syrian people,” Mustafa added.

“With Iranian support, the Assad regime continues to pursue the policy of mass forced displacement, including most recently in Dara’a province. This took place after the United States discharged its obligations as a guarantor in the south. Idlib is now in the crosshairs of Assad’s policy of mass forced displacement. We hope that the same threat will not recur.”

Mustafa underscored that the Coalition supports any political solution that is likely to put an end to the bloodshed in Syria and fulfills the aspirations of the Syrian people. “We have participated in various conferences but we want the solution to be under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva talks in which we have participated since 2014. The Assad regime and its allies have not engaged seriously in these talks.”

Mustafa pointed out that Assad regime’s recapture of more areas does not mean that it is winning. “When the revolution broke out, there was no territory under the control of Syrian rebels. The Syrian people continue to make immense sacrifices. The solution is political rather than military.”

The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and the continued crimes against civilians are due to the failure of the international community to honor its duties. “We have reached this situation because the international community has failed to punish the criminal.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 30.07.2018)

National Kurdish Council Calls for Commemoration of Qamishli Bombings

The Kurdish National Council called for the commemoration of the second anniversary of the bloody terrorist bombings that targeted the town of Qamishli on July 27, 2017. The Council called upon its supporters and residents of the town to gather at the site of the bombing on Friday evening.

In a statement, the Council called for the commemoration of the bloody attack, calling on residents of the town to gather in the western side of the town, at Amouda road.

Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Abdel Basset Hamo said that the bloody terrorist bombings that targeted Qamishli and its people were intended to instill fear and terrorism in the town. “The circumstances of the crime have not been disclosed yet, especially the way the truck carrying explosives reached the center of the town through checkpoints.” He hinted the responsibility of the Assad regime for the attack, along with ISIS.

The Qamishli bombings killed dozens of people, including women and children as a result of a truck bomb explosion which also led to massive destruction to residential buildings.

Hamo pointed out that he was surprised by the sudden emergence of ISIS militants in the center of the town after travelling long distances. He noted that the attack was accompanied by threats by the Assad regime against residents of the town, which he considered as a systematic policy to force the local population to surrender.

Three terrorist bombings rocked Swaida on Wednesday and were followed by a criminal attack on villages and towns near the city. The attacks killed about 300 people.

Hamo stressed that what happened in Swaida is similar to the one that took place in Qamishli two years ago. He strongly condemned the terrorist attacks, which he said were aimed at creating chaos and terrorizing the population.

Member of the Coalition’s political committee Hawass Saadoun stressed the need to strengthen the spirit of solidarity amongst components of the Syrian people and to stand against all terrorist operations taking place in Syria.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the families of the victims in Qamishli, Swaida and all other cities and towns where such explosions took place,” Saadoun said. He expressed hope that the root cause of chaos and terrorism in Syria, namely the Assad regime, will be defeated.

Saadoun pointed out that all such bombings took place at particularly sensitive times and, adding that “it is clear that they have political and military objectives.”

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 27.07.2018)

Freedom Flotilla Heading Towards Gaza On Final Mission

24 JUL
10:48 PM

Freedom Flotilla ships are now at their last leg of the journey, heading toward the Gaza Strip, after they set off from multiple Italian ports, most prominent of which is the ship of Al-Awda, Arabic for “The Return”, which was launched from Palermo port.

 

The flotilla, which has been organized by the international Freedom Flotilla Coalition under the slogan of “Right to a Just Future for Palestine”, includes some 45 activists and public figures on board.

Zaher Birawi, chairman of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege of Gaza, said that all the participants on board of the flotilla are very high-spirited people and they hope to reach Gaza to deliver a message of peace, love and prospect to its people.

Birawi stressed, according to Al Ray, that the participants expect the worst scenario of assaulting the flotilla, pirating it, and detaining those on its board by the Israeli occupation.

He added that the Freedom Flotilla Coalition organized courses and sessions for all participants, regarding non-violent resistance and how to deal with such a scenario.

Ensuring their safety and their return to their homelands, Birawi pointed out that both the committee of participants and the legal committee have prepared all the documents and procedures which may be needed in case the Israeli occupation detains the activists on board the flotilla.

In addition, the International Committee for Breaking Gaza Siege has organized, in cooperation with the Palestinian community and solidarity societies, multiple maritime solidarity activities in a number of European ports, in support of ships breaking the Gaza siege, most notably from Swedish cities of Malmö and Utoburi.

It’s worth mentioning that the Freedom Flotilla ships were set off to challenge the brutal Israeli blockade against the Gaza Strip, which is now in its 12th year, and to raise international awareness of its mission, to pressure governments around the world to put an end to to the crippling siege.

Flotilla Interview 07/24/18: Palestinians Will Not Be Free Until They Can Return to Their Homeland

(Source / 25.07.2018)

Newspaper: Egyptian regime tortures Morsi to intimidate opposition

Since Morsi’s overthrow, Egyptian authorities have launched a relentless crackdown on dissent, killing hundreds of his supporters and sending thousands behind bars for inciting violence

Spanish newspaper El País has published a report on former Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi. He is “being avenged by the current Egyptian regime, tortured in prison and used as an example to intimidate the opposition.”

In its report translated by Arab21, the newspaper said Morsi is living in harsh conditions in prison. He does not have a mattress in his cell, forced to sleep on the cold floor. Besides his isolation from the world, Morsi has been prevented from reading books and even newspapers. Under these conditions, the former president cannot meet his relatives or even other prisoners.

Besides these sanctions, Morsi is also prevented from receiving a doctor’s visit or the treatment for his chronic diseases. Many organisations have described Morsi’s situation as a “severe and harsh assault” and is a form of “torture”.

The newspaper quoted the former president’s younger son, Abdullah Morsi: “the family of the former president has only visited him twice since his imprisonment and the visits lasted only half an hour.” He added that “Morsi’s psychological condition was normal during the last visit (in 2017)… but, his physical condition was not well, and he has lost a lot of weight.”

READ: Egypt postpones Morsi’s trial

The newspaper explained that Morsi is imprisoned in the branch of Scorpion Prison, within Tora Prison, which is known for its abuses against political prisoners. There are other Muslim Brotherhood prisoners in this prison.

Sisi Era - Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

According to Egyptian NGOs, including the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the former president’s health could be at risk if he does not receive treatment for chronic diabetes. At sixty-six, Morsi suffered from rheumatism in his spine after sleeping on the ground for four years.

According to the Director of Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Mohamed Zaree: “preventing a prisoner from receiving medical treatment is torture, as confirmed by international human rights agreements.”

Zaree went on: “The tough conditions in which Morsi and other political prisoners are living are in line with the wish of the Egyptian regime, which wants to intimidate to the opposition”

Morsi’s son, Abdullah, does not hesitate to describe the violations against his father as “revenge.” He stressed that “his father and family will never accept this regime.” According to them, “Morsi is still the country’s legitimate president, and El-Sisi has no legitimacy to rule Egypt,” and they consider him a “coup leader… the Egyptian regime punishes Morsi for upholding his position.”

Abdullah does not know if any negotiations between Morsi and the current regime. Yet, Abdullah said that there were negotiations between the two parties during the first months of Morsi’s imprisonment. He confirmed that “Morsi received an offer from the Egyptian army and an Arab king, who provided a plane to carry him along with his whole family to safe exile for giving up his position.”

(Source / 24.07.2018)

President Mustafa Sends Letter to Lebanon’s PM Calling for Release of Syrian Detainees in Lebanon

President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa sent a letter to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to draw attention to the increasing violations by the Hezbollah militia against civilians in Syria and Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The letter also raised the issue of the issuance of unfair death sentences and life imprisonments against Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Mustafa called on the Lebanese prime minister to force the Hezbollah militia to withdraw from all Syrian territory and stop its blatant interference in the country.

Mustafa also called for the protection of Syrian refugees from the ongoing violations by the Hezbollah militia. He also called for the retrial of the detainees and ensuring that they are subjected to fair trial. He stressed the need to provide the detainees with legal and psychological support. He also called for the immediate release of all those who are detained under false accusations, adding that they were detained only because of their opposition to the Assad regime.

The intervention of Hezbollah militia in Syria on the side of the Assad regime as well as its involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Syrian people are the primary cause of the displacement of Syrians from their homes to Lebanon and other countries. Syrians fled their country in search of safety and to preserve their lives and the lives of their families, he added.

Attached to Mustafa’s letter were letters written by Syrian detainees in the Roumieh prison in Lebanon. The letters, which were obtained by the Coalition’s legal committee after contacts with the detainees, included appeals to human rights organizations for their release following the issuance of unfair sentences of death, life imprisonments and 12-15 years imprisonments. The sentences were based on trumped-up charges of belonging to terrorist groups.

Mustafa stressed that those trials were politically motivated, adding that none of the detainees were able to appoint a lawyer.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 21.07.2018)

President Mustafa Visits Rural Aleppo; Says Coalition Will Open Offices in All Liberated Areas

A delegation of the Syrian Coalition headed by President Abdurrahman Mustafa toured northern rural Aleppo on Tuesday, visiting the towns of Al-Raie and Al-Bab. In addition to President Mustafa, the delegation included Vice-president Badr Jamous, Secretary General Nazir al-Hakim, Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission Nasr al-Hariri, and Head of the Syrian Interim Government Jawad Abu Hatab.

The delegation met with representatives of the local councils in the area, officials in the chambers of commerce and industry, the police force and the Free Syrian Army groups. The delegation was briefed on the reality of the service institutions in the liberated areas.

President Mustafa thanked all officials for the services they are providing for civilians in the liberated areas. He stressed that the Coalition is seeking to strengthen the relationship with everyone in these areas, which comes as part of the presidential plan for the next phase.

President Mustafa pointed out that work is underway to open offices of the Coalition in all liberated areas, with the first of these offices to be opened in the town of Al-Raie.

Moreover, President Mustafa stressed the need to strengthen the relationship and permanent communication between the Syrian Coalition and all institutions operating in the liberated areas. He pointed out that this will contribute to the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve the objectives of the Syrian revolution, namely freedom and dignity and the toppling of the regime.

Nasr Al-Hariri gave on overview of the latest developments in the political process. He stressed that the political solution is the only option to achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people through the implementation of the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.

Hariri also underscored the need to pay attention to the situation inside Syria, particularly at level of the Syrian revolution in order to reorganize the ranks and prepare well to meet the challenges ahead.

Secretary-General Nazir al-Hakim talked about the role of local councils and other institutions in the administration of the liberated areas. He said that these councils presented a successful model of governance and exposed the incompetence of the Assad regime’s institutions and the extent to which it uses them to serve its autocratic goals.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 17.07.2018)

Gaza youth dies of wounds sustained in Great Return March

Sari al-Shobaki

A Palestinian youth on Tuesday has died of wounds he sustained during the March of Return on the borders of Gaza on 14 May, one day ahead of the Palestinian 70th Nakba (catastrophe) day, and the US embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The youth was identified as Sari Al-Shobaki,  and his family announced on Facebook that  Sari sustained severe injuries two months ago during the protests.

The family said that their son was shot in the neck, which lead his to suffer quadriplegia. He was taken to a hospital in Jerusalem for treatment, but was announced dead on Tuesday morning.

Since the start of the Return march on 30 March, over 140 people in Gaza have been killed, and over 20,000 wounded.

(Source / 17.07.2018)

Activists circulate new details about arrest of Saudi imam

Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali [file]

Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali

Details about Saudi Arabia’s arrest of the prominent Islamic scholar Safar Al-Hawali and three of his sons have been revealed by activists on social networking sites. Al-Hawali was detained on Thursday, just a few days after the publication of his book, Muslims and Western Culture, in which he attacks the policies of the current Saudi government, especially its rapprochement with the United States, the UAE and the Egyptian regime of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

The Twitter account operated by “Prisoners of Conscience” explained that the officers who arrested Al-Hawali at dawn on Thursday arrived at his home in the village of Hawala with an ambulance. This proves, they insisted, that the authorities were well aware of his critical health condition — he suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2005 and still suffers from its effects — but still took him to prison.

At the same time, the Saudis also arrested Al-Hawali’s brother, Shaikh Saadallah, in what was described as a “barbaric” manner, which frightened his family. He was taken by masked officers to an unknown destination; nothing has been heard about him since.

Quoting unspecified sources, the account on Twitter claimed that the authorities separated Shaikh Safar Al-Hawali from his sons in prison. He was transferred to Riyadh, while his sons were taken to Jeddah.

In his book, the 68-year-old scholar discussed the internal differences between the members of the ruling Al-Saud family, which are in the public domain and, he argued, pose a threat to the Kingdom. He also criticised the Saudi participation in the siege of Qatar.

Publication of the book sparked widespread controversy on social networks. While his son attributed the book to his father, others who know Al-Hawali well are sceptical about the claim, not least because of the words attributed to him.

Safar Al-Hawali came to prominence as a member of the Sahwah movement, which is close to the Muslim Brotherhood. During the 1991 Gulf War he surprised everyone with his courage and unconventional political rhetoric. He publically opposed the intervention of US forces and their presence on Saudi soil. Having disagreed with the government of the then monarch, King Fahd, and the religious institutions led by Shaikh Abd Al-Aziz Bin Baz, he was imprisoned for many years.

For almost a year, the Saudi authorities have arrested clerics, academics and others who were, they allege, working “for the benefit of external parties against the security and interests of the kingdom.” Critics suggest that the only “crime” of those arrested is that they did not back the Saudi government in its campaign against the State of Qatar.

(Source / 15.07.2018)