PFLP (@PFLP_ps) leader Sa’adat: Take to the streets on Sunday to demonstrate against negotiations

Statement by Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine |July 26, 2013

Fight Back News Service is circulating this import statement from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

460_0___10000000_0_0_0_0_0_saadat_1Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, urged Palestinians to “break the barriers of silence and bang on the walls of the tank” to defend Palestinian rights under threat from new negotiations between the Palestinian Authority in a letter leaked from prison on July 26, 2013.

He called for wide participation among Palestinians in the Sunday demonstrations called by the PFLP in Ramallah and Gaza against the negotiations, emphasizing that those who claim to represent Palestinians must respect the will of our people.

Sa’adat said that Palestinians in Palestine and in the diaspora must strengthen popular consensus and unity to protect the Palestinian national project and lay the foundations for a new stage of struggle, and resistance in all forms.

Sa’adat earlier told lawyer Buthaina Duqmaq that “the return to negotiations is a violation of the Palestinian national consensus” and “undermine Palestinian reconciliation efforts, and threaten the destruction of the Palestine Liberation Organization.”

He demanded that all Palestinian officials refuse negotiations with the occupation state, saying that negotiating with this criminal state puts the Palestinian cause, and Palestinian internal unity, at significant risk. “It is clear that the negotiating team ignored these conditions, violated national consensus, and instead chose to rely on US guarantees. This has been done previously again and again and never has yielded any results that have compelled the occupying power to respect international law.”

(Source / 27.07.2013)

Islamists fall from grace: Will Tunisia’s Ennahda follow the Brotherhood

Tunisians join the funeral procession of opposition leader Mohammad al-Brahimi after it left his home in the Tunis suburb of Ariana on July 27, 2013.

The assassination of Tunisia’s left-wing opposition leader Mohammad al-Brahimi piled pressures on the Ennahda-led cabinet, with oppositional forces escalating action to make a second post-Arab Spring Islamist government fall.

Ennahda and its ruling troika partners – Congress for the Republic (CPR) and Ettakatol – succeeded in weathering a previous storm created by the assassination of secular opposition leader Chokri Belaid on Feb 6, 2013.

Following Belaid’s killing, former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali resigned and a new cabinet was swiftly formed. This move coupled with assurances to confront Islamist militants restored calm, albeit only for a short period.

But continuous economic problems and the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule in Egypt are helping keep the crisis brewing in Tunisia. The assassination of Brahimi last Thursday revived street momentum against Ennahda.

On Friday, a general strike brought the country to a standstill. Secular parties formed a National Salvation Front, urging civil disobedience and organizing a sit-in outside the national assembly, which they demand should be dissolved together with the government.

“The assassination of Mohammad al-Brahimi created a political earthquake that will not pass peacefully this time,” said Alaya Allani, a Tunisian political analyst.

Allani said the Islamist Ennahda party, which holds 87 seats of the 217-member constituent assembly “made major mistakes and has failed to ensure security following the previous assassination of Belaid.”

Following Belaid’s assassination in February, Ennahda succeeded in absorbing the popular anger with the resignation of the prime minister, said Jomai Gasmi, another political analyst.

“Today Ennahda finds itself in a very embarrassing situation because most of the political forces came together within the National Salvation Front calling for the fall of this government and the national assembly,” he said.

“Now Ennahda has to meet the demands of these political forces and will not happen without an escalation in the street,” Gasmi said. “Right now there is action in the street but it is not enough as to have an effect on Ennahda party.”

Gasmi said the anti-Ennahda movement is growing and will reach its peak in September when students return to school and to political activism.

Brahimi’s funeral on Saturday attracted thousands of people, with many chanting anti-Ennahda slogans, accusing it of failing to control the more hardline Islamist groups using violence against them.

Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou said Brahimi was shot 14 times using the same 9mm semi-automatic gun that was used to kill Belaid in February.

The minister identified Jihadi Salafist Boubakr Hakim, 30, as the main suspect.

Hisham Abboud, editor-in-chief of al-Jarida newspaper, said the scenario of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ouster in Egypt is unlikely to reoccur in Tunisia because Ennahda is not ruling the country alone.

With the secular Congress for the Republic (CPR) and Ettakatol parties, the ruling troika dominates the constituent assembly and enjoys a sweeping public support.

Tunisian sociologist Mohamed Jouili, however, does not rule out Ennahda’s fall from grace. He says its continued existence in the government depends on its ability to make major concessions and bring the assassins of Belaid and Brahimi to justice.

“Major decisions have to be taken in the next 24 hours to 40 in order for Ennahda to reduce the impact of Brahimi’s assassination,” Jouili said.

If the government does not fall in the next few days it is unlikely to fall in the next month or in September,” he added.

(Source / 27.07.2013)

Resuming the negotiations which never really stopped


Dr Abdul Sattar Qassem‘Israel and America use negotiations to buy more time for Israel to build more facts on the ground.’

The news that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are to be resumed after a publicly announced three year break hasn’t been confirmed by the release of any formal agreement between US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Palestinian Authority. This, of course, may never materialise, but we can consider the fact that negotiations have never actually stopped.

The Palestinian Authority did say that talks were being stopped until Israel put a freeze on its illegal settlement programme but there have been secret discussions in Jerusalem and Amman. However, the PA was not being entirely honest when it described the Amman talks as just “exploratory”.

What’s more important is that the Palestinian Authority announced the stopping of negotiations on one hand while continuing its security and administration coordination with the Israelis on the other. The Israelis care little for talks but care dearly about security, which has been at the core of agreements signed with the Palestinians, whose security agencies act as Israeli proxies in the occupied territories. If a Palestinian throws a stone at illegal Jewish settlers, Palestinian security forces will pursue him; when a Palestinian baby is born, the details and ID number are sent to the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank.

If the Palestinian Authority had been serious about putting pressure on Israel, it would have stopped all security coordination, at which point we would have seen a harsh response from the Israelis. Stopping negotiations doesn’t have any such effect; in fact, the Israelis have continued to build illegal settlements, which the PA condemns but does nothing to try to stop.

Israel and America use negotiations to buy more time for Israel to build more facts on the ground. For more than 20 years the Palestinians have not been given any of their national rights; all they have received is money in exchange for their cooperation. The intention is to turn Palestinians into a group of individuals with their own self-interests rather than a nation in waiting. Within the PA itself, concern for personal advancement and salaries appear to be the main preoccupation.

Negotiations are used as a sedative to appease the Palestinians. If “honest broker” America had been serious about stopping settlements, for example, it would have taken serious measures against Israel, but it doesn’t. It may criticise Israel in public but it continues to supply all kinds of military, security, political, economical and financial support. Palestinians, for whatever reason, like to believe what America says and not what it does.

Why is the pressure on to return to negotiations now? It could have something to do with increasing number of Arab youth starting to question relations with Israel and pushing the importance of severing all links with the “enemy”. Thinking long-term, this could affect America’s own relations with countries in the Middle East. As such, the US uses the Palestinian issue as a means to address and silence young Arabs. By having Palestinians and Israelis around the table, it sends a strong message to the Arab world: if the Palestinians, who have the direct problem, are sipping honey from the Israelis, then why are the Arab youths depriving themselves of such opportunities? America wants to reduce the hostility that Arab youths have towards Israel and affect them psychologically; to have them believe that Arabs have always been associated with defeat, and that victory is for Israel.

America and Israel have usually resorted to little more than bribery in order to keep Palestinian citizens sweet. With each disappointment they try to give something that looks huge in the media to cover up the main issue. Remember when the PLO recognised Israel and covered that agreement by announcing statehood? The people went onto the streets in celebration but woke up to find that they had no state.

Now we see the US promising massive financial and economic aid to make people focus more on consumerism rather than real freedom. The soft spot is that some Palestinians are prepared to trade national interests for money. More work permits will be issued for Palestinians to work on settlements and in Israel. Kerry’s vision for Palestinian economic development ties the Palestinian workforce into the Israeli economy instead of Palestine’s. And some long-term prisoners will be released to, no doubt, a media fanfare. It is ironic that such men who have sacrificed so much for the Palestinian cause will be released as part of a deal which sees the Palestinian cause sacrificed for short-term political gain.

Such steps will be talked about in the media repeatedly in order to cover up the concessions given by the PA. And there will be concessions, of that there is no doubt.

Anyone who thinks that the Palestinian Authority makes its own decisions is mistaken. The PA can take marginal decisions which have no impact on Israeli interests, but if it goes anywhere near anything that the Israelis regard as important it is brought to heel sharply. The principle, if that’s the right word because it is all so unprincipled, is that the Palestinian Authority must not bite the hand that feeds it. The PA is thus rendered completely compliant and subservient to Israel and its interests.

(Source / 27.07.2013)

NGO: Aleppo missile kills 29, mostly children

A strike by regime forces on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo has killed at least 29 people, including 19 children.

A strike by regime forces on the northern Syrian city of Aleppo has killed at least 29 people, including 19 children, a watchdog said on Saturday.

“At least 29 people, including 19 children and four women, were killed in Aleppo’s Bab Nairab neighborhood in a surface-to-surface missile strike by regime forces” on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Earlier, the Britain-based NGO, which relies on medics and activists on the ground, had given a toll of 18 dead, including three children. It said that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were aiming at rebel bases, one of which belongs to the Jihadist Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), in Bab Nairab in Aleppo.

“But the missile fell dozens of metres (yards) away,” the Observatory said.

“My whole family was wiped out, my whole family,” a boy near the rubble of his home, in a video posted by the Observatory.

The militant Syrian Revolution General Commission said in a statement that the death toll could rise as rescuers were still trying to pull people from under the rubble.

(Source / 27.07.2013)

Libyan PM to reshuffle cabinet to face ‘urgent situation’ after protests

Men hold up a picture of slain prominent Libyan political activist Abdelsalam al-Mosmary, during his funeral in Benghazi July 27, 2013.

Libyan Premier Ali Zeidan said he would reshuffle the cabinet after people took to the streets to denounce the killing of a well-known critic of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“We are about to make a cabinet reshuffle and decrease the number of ministries to ensure a better performance to face the urgent situation,” Zeidan said during a news conference.

The announcement comes after protesters stormed the offices of the Brotherhood. Hundreds of Libyan rallied to denounce the killing of political activist Abdelsalam al-Mosmaryin Benghazi on Friday. The protests turned violent.

(Source / 27.07.2013)

Tenth Commemoration of the Political Persecution of Professor Sami Al-Arian

Dr. Al-Arian still Awaiting Dismissal of Unjust Case

Washington, DC – February 20, 2013

On this day ten years ago Dr. Sami Al-Arian was snatched from his family and community by the U.S. authorities in a pre-dawn raid that the professor described in a poem. Thus, today marks the beginning of a second decade of the incessant persecution of a voice of conscience for freedom in Palestine, and equal justice for all in America. This injustice against Dr. Al-Arian and his family has lasted now more than the entire tragic Iraqi war, launched one month after the arrest of Dr. Al-Arian.

Throughout his ordeal, Dr. Al-Arian spent over 5 ½ years in prison (3 ½ years in solitary confinement), and an additional 4½ years under house arrest.

Despite a trial, an acquittal, and a subsequent plea agreement, the government continues to pursue Dr. Al-Arian in an effort to punish him and once again jail him, due to his political and religious beliefs in a country that prides itself on the bill of rights that purportedly guarantees freedom of beliefs, opinions, and associations.

Tragically many American Muslim families have suffered since the dreadful events of September 11, 2001 in the name of the so-called war on terror. It has claimed many innocent casualties, as the government pursued many individuals, such as Dr. Al-Arian, based on their thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and associations. In many cases the government targeted individuals by manufacturing charges against them as the government authorities planned, financed, and executed the fake crimes.

Whether it was thought crimes like Dr. Al-Arian’s,manufactured charges, or entrapment the government employed a tactic called “preemptive persecutions,” in which the government reversed the system of justice: first select the targets then match them with a crime to secure convictions. Although this tactic failed with Dr. Al-Arian, far too many individuals and families have fallen victims to this blatantly unjust practice that makes mockery out of the constitution.

Today Americans of good conscience must show concern by questioning these underhanded tactics used by the government. They must reject the practice of targeting individuals like Dr. Al-Arian as well as many other hundreds, because of their religious or political beliefs.

On this day all Americans must renew their utmost commitment to the constitutional promise of the bill of rights and its protections of due process, equal rights, civil liberties, and political freedoms. Our pledge of “Justice and Liberty for all” is not a cliché but the principle under which our country was founded, and our system of justice has endured. We must live up to it for the sake of the future of our Republic.

For more information and updates

(Source / 27.07.2013)

Egypt: scores killed as army launches offensive against Muslim Brotherhood

Over 100 supporters claimed dead as soldiers are accused of shoot-to-kill policy to clear protest urging Morsi’s release×9.mp4
Egyptian security forces and armed men in plain clothes killed scores of Muslim Brotherhood protesters on Saturday as the brutal and organised crackdown on the Islamist party and its supporters appeared to be gathering pace.

In what may turn out to be one of the worst single mass killings in Egypt since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak two-and-a-half years ago, it was claimed that more than 100 Brotherhood supporters were shot and killed on the fringes of a sit-in at a Cairo mosque demanding the return of former president Mohamed Morsi, who was deposed on 3 July. Government officials claim that the number who died was 65.

The deaths came as men in helmets and black police fatigues fired on crowds gathered before dawn on the fringes of a round-the-clock sit-in near a mosque in north-east Cairo, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement said.

“They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill,” said Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad. “The bullet wounds are in the head and chest.”

The latest violence came amid the continuing sharp polarisation within Egyptian society that has made the country increasingly ungovernable. Elsewhere on Friday, eight people were reported killed in clashes in Alexandria.

The latest violence was condemned by members of the international community. The head of European Union foreign policy, Baroness Ashton, said she “deeply deplored” the latest deaths, while Britain’s foreign secretary William Hague said: “Now is the time for dialogue, not confrontation. It is the responsibility of leaders on all sides to take steps to reduce tensions.”

The dead and injured were ferried into a makeshift field hospital near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, where the floor was slick with blood.

In a bizarre episode, most western journalists in the country were invited on a helicopter ride over Cairo’s Tahrir Square an hour before the massacre began. After the killings, the ministry of the interior denied it had used live ammunition on demonstrators, despite eyewitness accounts from journalists, including BBC correspondents, who were present during the killings.

“There must have been an injury every minute,” said Mosa’ab Elshamy, a photojournalist unaffiliated with the Brotherhood, who photographed the attack for half an hour at around 4am.

“I did not see any Morsi supporters with [firearms] at this point,” he added. “I hid behind a tree, and all I saw were Morsi supporters throwing stones, or fireworks, or throwing teargas canisters.”

The shootings occurred as the interior minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, said that Morsi – who has been held incommunicado at an army base for the last three weeks – was being moved to Torah prison, where Mubarak is also being held.

He added, chillingly, that the pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo would be “God willing, soon … dealt with. With regards to the timing to disperse the protesters, there is complete co-ordination between us and the armed forces.”

On Friday, civilian prosecutors announced they had launched an investigation into Morsi on charges of murder and conspiring with the Palestinian militant group Hamas. At the heart of the case are allegations that Morsi and the Brotherhood worked with Hamas to carry out an attack on a prison that succeeded in breaking Morsi and around 30 other members of the group out of detention during the 2011 uprising against Mubarak. The attack killed 14 inmates.

During the three weeks Morsi has spent in secret detention, he has been extensively interrogated by military intelligence officials about the inner workings of his presidency and of the Brotherhood.

They have been seeking to prove that he committed crimes, including handing state secrets to the Islamist group. According to the Associated Press, briefed by unidentified military officials, Morsi has been moved three times under heavy guard and is currently in a facility outside Cairo.

The lethal assault on the Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters came after national demonstrations called by the chief of the army, General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, to give him backing to confront “violence” and “terrorism” – understood by many to be a thinly veiled code for a crackdown on the Brotherhood.

Although there is bitter dispute over how the violence began, and whether some of the Brotherhood supporters had weapons, most independent witnesses reported that most of the gunfire was being directed at those associated with the sit-in.

A leading figure in the Brotherhood, Mohamed el-Beltagy, has blamed the violence on Sisi’s call for demonstrations on Friday.

“This is the mandate Sisi took last night to commit massacres and bloodshed against peaceful protesters denouncing the military coup,” el-Beltagy said in a statement on his Facebook page.

On Saturday afternoon police released helicopter footage purporting to show Muslim Brotherhood members firing sporadically on police.

The clashes began after hundreds of Morsi supporters moved out of their encampment outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque late on Friday and towards a bridge in central Cairo.

One group began to set up tents on an adjoining boulevard, where they were planning to stay for at least three days, said Mahmoud Zaqzouq, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman.

(Source / 27.07.2013)

Health condition of hunger striker Batran worsening


AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– The health condition of hunger striker Emad Al-Batran has rapidly deteriorated in Israeli custody.

The Palestinian prisoner’s society said in a statement on Saturday that Batran, from Edhna village in Al-Khalil, is suffering from low blood pressure, slow heart rate, and severe pain in his body.

Batran, now held in Assaf Harofeh hospital, has entered his 81st day of hunger strike protesting his re-arrest.

(Source / 27.07.2013)

DT&V probeert hongerstaker in stilte te deporteren

M.N. is al meer dan vier weken in hongerstaking, waarvan hij ook nog eens een periode niet gedronken heeft. Zijn advocaat bezocht hem in de afgelopen dagen en schrok toen hij zag hoeveel M.N. was afgevallen en verzwakt. M.N. protesteert tegen het asielbeleid, maar juist de beleidsmakers en -uitvoerders tonen zich volkomen onverschillig: ondanks zijn toestand wordt M.N. morgen naar Afghanistan gedeporteerd. Sinds in mei Ghafuri – ook in honger- en dorststaking – werd gedeporteerd naar Afghanistan, terwijl hij dringend medische begeleiding nodig had, hebben we niets meer van hem vernomen. We zijn dan ook bang dat M.N. hetzelfde lot gaat treffen.

Vanochtend nam M.N. contact met ons op en vertelde hem dat de DT&V hem morgen, zondag 28 juli, met vlucht KL 871 via Delhi naar Kabul wil deporteren. M.N. zou vanwege zijn verzwakte toestand helemaal niet aan boord van het vliegtuig toegelaten mogen worden, maar we kunnen er op wachten dat de DT&V, zoals voorheen al verschillende keren gebeurde, een arts inhuurt om M.N. fit to fly te verklaren. Een zogenaamd ‘onafhankelijke arts’ (maar die komen van private bedrijven die detentieartsen leveren) die ‘na onderzoek’ (maar zonder medische dossiers in te zien) verklaringen afleveren. Het is corruptie pur sang, maar dan in een bedrijfs- en overheidsmatig jasje gestoken.

Niet alleen de marechaussee probeert om tijdens een uitzetting zo onzichtbaar mogelijk te werk te gaan – zoals eerder bleek tijdens de documentaireserie ‘Uitgezet‘ van de VARA, ook de overheid is gebaat bij stilte. Stilte over de gevolgen van dit asielbeleid, stilte over de hongerstakers, stilte over de deportaties.

We schrijven vrijwel iedere keer dat er een vluchteling naar Afghanistan wordt gedeporteerd over de veiligheidssituatie in Afghanistan, waar totaal geen sprake is van veiligheid. Een korte zoektocht levert al het volgende op:

23 juli: bomaanslag, 4 slachtoffers.

19 juli: bomaanslag, 4 kinderen en 1 vrouw vinden de dood.

18 juli: 8 mensen gekidnapt en daarna vermoord.

7 juli: 78 slachtoffers in straatgevechten.

2 juli: 10 doden bij een zelfmoordaanslag.

25 juni: militanten vallen het presidentiële paleis aan, explosies in de hele omgeving.

Hoe kan de Nederlandse Staat in vredesnaam volhouden dat Afghanistan veilig genoeg is om vluchtelingen naar uit te zetten, als er wekelijks dusdanig veel slachtoffers vallen dat ze het internationale nieuws halen? Op Kabulblog zien we hoeveel Afghaanse gedeporteerde vluchtelingen er dagelijks stranden in Kabul, volkomen verstoken van primaire zorg en in een levensgevaarlijke situatie.

‘Een rechtvaardig en humaan asielbeleid’? Nooit was er een grotere leugen dan deze!

Het staatshoofd bij een eerder bezoek in Afghanistan. Volgens de RVD was de situatie nu dusdanig veilig dat “er een wandeling door de hoofdstraat van een kleine stad kon worden gemaakt”. Maar dan wel met een kogelvrij vest…

*gepubliceerd met uitdrukkelijke toestemming van M.N.*

(Source / 27.07.2013)

Egyptian military builds case against Morsi

CAIRO — Egypt’s criminal investigation against the ousted president, announced Friday, is likely just the start of wider legal moves against Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood — ominous prospects for a country seething with violent divisions.

A protester stands next to a mural depicting former president Mohammed Morsi, left, former military council ruler Hussein Tantawi.

A protester stands next to a mural depicting former president Mohammed Morsi, left, former military council ruler Hussein Tantawi.

During Morsi’s three weeks in secret detention, military intelligence agents have extensively questioned him on the inner workings of his presidency and of the Brotherhood, seeking to prove he committed crimes including handing state secrets to the Islamist group, military officials told The Associated Press.

Military intelligence has had sole access to him and has questioned him at least once a day, sometimes for up to five hours, the officials said.

He has been moved at least three times between Defense Ministry facilities in armored vehicles under heavy guard. He is currently in a facility outside Cairo, they said, without elaborating.

The charges

Since army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi removed Morsi on July 3, Egypt’s first freely elected president has been held incommunicado by the military. Six well placed military and security officials, including two in military intelligence, spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the closed-door questioning.

On Friday, civilian prosecutors announced they had launched an investigation into Morsi on charges of murder and conspiring with the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

At the heart of the case are allegations that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood worked with Hamas to carry out an attack on a prison that broke Morsi and around 30 other members of the group out of detention during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak. The attack killed 14 inmates.

The investigation is the first step toward an indictment and possible trial on the charges, which are punishable by death.

Prosecutors ordered Morsi detained for 15 days pending the completion of the investigation and security officials late Friday said he was likely to be moved shortly to a civilian, high-security prison south of Cairo.

The Brotherhood and Hamas deny the charges, calling them politically motivated. Morsi and the Brotherhood figures freed with him have said local residents attacked the Wadi el-Natroun prison to free their own relatives and that they escaped amid the chaos.

(Source / 27.07.2013)