Israel’s Likud hopes to complete the ethnic cleansing of Jaffa

Thrown into the sea: Palestinians flee from Jaffa in April 1948 (PLO archives/Institute for Palestine Studies).

In 1948, Zionist gangs perpetrated the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian coastal city of Jaffa.

Their violent tactics included a massive car bomb on 4 January that year, set off by the Irgun terrorist group, destroying the saraya, the city’s municipal headquarters, killing and injuring dozens.

Once a major cosmpolitan center of trade and citrus-growing, and the cultural capital of Palestine, poorly-defended Jaffa, beset by hunger and chaos, lay at the mercy of the besieging Zionist invaders.

In April 1948, Jaffa fell to the invading forces, led by the Haganah.

Thrown into the sea

With no escape by land, tens of thousands of residents of Jaffa and neighboring villages fled by sea – scores drowning – leaving just 4,000 of the city’s original people behind.

After the occupation, Israel confiscated most Palestinian property, corralled the remaining Palestinian residents into the Ajami neighborhood and annexed Jaffa into the “Tel Aviv-Jaffa” municipality.

Since then, the Palestinians remaining in Jaffa have struggled to maintain their presence, as well as the historic character of their city despite racist attacks and harassment andgentrification calculated to drive them out for the benefit of wealthy Jewish transplants.

The 18,000 Palestinians currently in Jaffa are politically powerless within this large municipality in which Palestinians form just three percent of the population.

A Likud party poster promises to “silence” the Muslim call to prayer in Jaffa.

Today, the local branch of Israel’s rulingLikud party, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hopes to finish the job started by the Haganah, Irgun and other terrorist groups in 1948 – albeit by “democratic” means.

Israel’s municipal and local authority elections are scheduled for 22 October.

The local Likud electoral list is headed by Arnon Giladi, currently deputy mayor. Likud legislators have also spearheadedincitement campaigns against African asylum-seekers and migrants in Tel Aviv.

In an 8 October posting on its official blog, the Tel Aviv Likud branch promises voters that it will “Silence the muezzin and stop the spread of Islamic movements in Jaffa.” Themuezzin is the person who makes the call to prayer from a mosque.

The subheading on the post quotes deputy mayor Arnon Giladi saying: “it is not possible that only a few kilometers from the center of town there will be a Palestinian nationalist autonomy that alienates itself from the values of the State of Israel.”

The poster above, from the official Likud website, carries the caption: “Silence the Muezzin in Jaffa? Only the Likud can get it done.”

The lower right-hand corner displays a municipal ballot, which bears the logo and the name of the party, and the words “led by Arnon Giladi.”

Since Israel’s general election earlier this year, Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu have run joint candidates lists under the name “Likud Beiteinu.”

“Jewish character”

In the blog post, the Likud explains that it has put the poster up throughout Jaffa as part of a set of demands: “Silence the muezzin, bring quiet back to Jaffa, enforce noise nuisance laws at the mosques, and stop the expansion of Islamic movements in the area.”

It is clear that the call to prayer is only a pretext. The post asserts:

Political elements from the radical left and Islamist movements have, in recent years, taken over public discourse in Jaffa. Likud Beiteinu has decided to bring the issue into public awareness because during the recent Yom Kippur and throughout the Tishrei month of holidays, complaints were lodged by Jewish residents about having violated the sanctity of the holidays in an organized manner, solely in order to rile up the atmosphere and violate the life of Jews living in Jaffa.

Deputy Mayor Giladi adds: “In recent years Jaffa has been occupied by Islamist movements and radical left movements which try, through activity masked as religion and education, to separate Jaffa from Israel and detach it from Tel Aviv. We will act to correct this situation and crystallize a national plan that will guarantee that Jaffa will remain a part of the State of Israel and also have a Jewish character.

Unsurprisingly, the Likud does not point out that it was Jaffa, a Palestinian city, predominantly Muslim and Christian, that was invaded, ethnically cleansed and forced to submit to the rule of the “Jewish state.”

“Losing Jaffa”

Israel’s Ynet reports that hundreds of posters have been put up in Jaffa with these slogans:

  • “In recent years, Tel Aviv – Jaffa has been losing Jaffa”
  • “Jaffa is becoming increasingly different from Israel in its values and image”
  • “Only a strong Likud will attach Jaffa to Israel”
  • “Only a strong national camp will not allow extremist and anti-Zionist elements take over Jaffa”

These slogans reveal the Likud campaign as a thinly-disguised call to continue and complete the process started in 1948, leaving no place in Jaffa for the city’s native population, culture or religious diversity and coexistence.

“Playing with fire”

Wahel Mahmid, chairperson of the Southern Section of the Islamic Movement, condemned the campaign’s extremist and described it as “playing with fire,” according to Ynet.

Muhammad Abu Nizzam, chairperson of the Northern Section of the Islamic Movement, noted that “The muezzins in Jaffa’s mosques were there before the state was established.” The poster campaign would do nothing to help coexistence, he said, and charged that it “violates freedom of religion.”

Ahmed Mashrawi, a city council representative for the left Zionist Meretz party, said that “The best response is to see Arnon Giladi disappear off the municipal map.”

Sami Abu Shahada, a council member representing the Jaffa List, warned that “Giladi is playing with fire which, if it catches, will burn Jaffa and hurt everyone.”

No distancing

According to Israel expert Dena Shunra, funding for the posters, websites and additional infrastructure in municipal elections tends to come from the national party apparatus, although the exact distribution of funds is not clear.

Shunra said she found no evidence that central Likud figures had distanced themselves from Giladi or denounced the Tel Aviv Likud branch’s poster campaign.

Widespread racism

The anti-Arab and anti-Muslim electoral campaign in Jaffa does not appear to be a one-off for the Likud. The Carmiel branch of Likud, in the north of present-day Israel, has promised in its local campaign to prevent anyone from building a mosque and to “to keep the city Jewish.”

“Carmiel is a city that was established with the goal of Judaizing the Galilee, and no one can deny that,” Carmiel’s Likud leader, Koren Neumark, told Haaretz.

This kind of mainstream and officially-endorsed racism is increasingly the norm in Israel.

Shimon Gapso, the mayor of Upper Nazareth – a settlement also established to “Judaize” the Galilee and to prevent the growth of predominantly Palestinian Nazareth – has vowed never to allow the construction of a school for his city’s Arab children.

And municipalities have not only targeted Muslims.

Gapso has banned Christmas trees in his city for several years, calling them a “provocation.”

(Source / 09.10.2013)

PA, Syria agree to protect refugee camps

Abbas Zaki and Bashar Assad met to discuss Palestinian refugees in Syria.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian and Syrian leaders will cooperate to protect Palestinian refugees remaining in Syria, Fatah leader Abbas Zaki told Ma’an on Wednesday.

Zaki, a member of Fatah’s central committee, met with Syrian President Bashar Assad last week.

The two leaders discussed possible solutions to Syria’s two-and-a-half-year-old crisis along with issues such as refugee camps and Palestinian prisoners in Syria, Zaki said in a telephone interview.

“We agreed to create safe passages to refugee camps,” Zaki said.

He added that Palestine’s policy of non-intervention in internal Syrian affairs had protected Palestinian refugee camps within Syria from attacks by government forces.

Although Syrian rebels have entered camps in the past, Zaki said, the Syrian army has not.

“The circumstances of refugees in Syria are very difficult,” Zaki said, pointing to Yarmouk camp, the largest Palestinian refugee camp of the 14 in Syria, as an example.

“Of its population of 250,000, only 18,000 remain.”

He said that he and Assad agreed “to preserve these refugee camps as a witness to Israel’s historic crime.”

Over 700,000 refugees emerged from Palestine in the aftermath of the Arab-Israeli war and the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

According to UNRWA, there are over 5 million registered Palestinian refugees.

(Source / 09.10.2013)

Jerusalem woman sentenced to 7 months in jail

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli court on Wednesday sentenced a woman from Jerusalem to 7 and a half months in prison, and handed her a suspended sentence of five months.

Palestinian Prisoners’ Society lawyer Mufeed al-Hajj said that his client, Inam Qalimbo, was convicted of participating in an illegal demonstration in Jerusalem, obstruction of justice, and attempting to assault a police officer.

Qalimbo was arrested on April 2. She was severely beaten and her headwear was stripped off during the arrest.

(Source / 09.10.2013)

Soldiers Invade Jenin, One Palestinian Injured

[Wednesday at dawn, October 9, 2013] Dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded the northern West Bank city of Jenin, shot and injured one Palestinian; clashes have been reported. Soldiers also installed roadblocks in the area, and invaded various communities.

Image - Maan News Agency
Medical sources said that Mohammad Ashour Zakarna, 20, was shot by a gas bomb in the leg during clashes that took place in the city.

He was moved to the Jenin Governmental Hospital suffering moderate injuries.

Dozens of Israeli military vehicles also invaded areas south of Jenin city, leading to clashes with local youths who hurled stones and empty bottles at them.

The army fired several gas bombs and concussion grenades causing dozens of injuries.

Furthermore, soldiers closed the Dotan military roadblock, near Ya’bod town, and blocked all Palestinian traffic, while military units invaded various nearby Palestinian communities.

Dozens of military jeeps also invaded the villages of Jilqamous and Deir Abu Da’if, east of Jenin.

In related news, Israeli Navy ships fired a number of shells at Palestinian fishing boats docked at the Gaza coast in the besieged coastal region.

Eyewitnesses said that the shelling led to no injuries as the shore was relatively vacant because the fishermen have no fuel left due to the ongoing illegal Israeli siege and restrictions.

(Source / 09.10.2013)

Gazans rally for jailed Palestinians

Gazans rally for jailed Palestinians

Gazans rally for jailed Palestinians
Gazans held a demonstration outside the Red Cross bureau in Gaza City for jailed Palestinians who are in hunger strike due to improper health conditions and Israel’s escalated crackdown on prisoners.

Gazans held a demonstration outside the Red Cross bureau in Gaza City for jailed Palestinians who are in hunger strike due to improper health conditions and Israel’s escalated crackdown on prisoners.

Protestors made an appeal to international organizations to mobilize their service for jailed Palestinians. Halid Abu Hilal, the Secretary-General of the Al Ahrar Movement, said “Prisoners are the common problem for Palestinians, they deserve utmost attention.” Adding that serious steps should be taken for release of the jailed Palestinians, he said “Pressure should be applied on Israel so that it can stop rights violations.”

Cemal Fervane, the Chairman of the Solidarity with Jailed Palestinians, told an Anadolu Agency correspondent that there are more than 1,000 Palestinians that have medical problems in Israeli prisons. “Many prisoners are in hunger strike for the improvement in jail conditions,” Fervane noted, and added that it requires a serious pressure over Israel so that it can mobilize for jailed Palestinians. He also stated 30 Palestinians have cancer.

Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s Al-Ramleh Prison started a hunger strike in protest at their health conditions. They also complained for Israel’s escalated crackdown on prisoners.

(Source / 09.10.2013)

Hezbollah, Iraqi militia capture Damascus suburb: opposition

Iraqi and Lebanese Shi’ite militia backed by Syrian army firepower overran a southern suburb of Damascus on Wednesday, opposition activists said, in a blow to Sunni Muslim rebels trying to hold onto strategic outskirts of the capital.

At least 20 rebels were killed when Hezbollah guerrillas and Iraqi militiamen captured the town of Sheikh Omar under cover of Syrian army artillery and tank fire and aerial bombardment, the activists said, with tens of Shi’ite fighters killed or wounded.

Sheikh Omar sits between two highways leading south of Damascus that are crucial to supplying President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the provinces of Deraa and Sweida on the border with Jordan.

Syria’s 2-1/2 year war has killed more than 120,000 people and forced millions from their homes into sprawling refugee camps in neighboring countries.

It began with peaceful demonstrations against four decades of iron rule by the Assad family. With regional powers backing opposing sides in the conflict and Russia blocking Western efforts to force Assad aside, there is little sign of an end to the bloodshed.

Regional security officials say up to 60,000 fighters from IraqIran and Yemen and Hezbollah are present in Syria supporting Assad, whose Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

The country has also seen the influx of 30,000 Sunni Muslim fighters to support the rebels, including foreign jihadists and Syrian expatriates.

Hezbollah has acknowledged fighting openly in support of Assad, its main patron together with Shi’ite Iran, but the group does not comment on the specifics of its operations in the country.

The deployment of the Iraqi and Lebanese militia has been vital in preventing all southern approaches to Damascus from falling into rebel hands, according to opposition sources and the regional security officials.

The foreign Shi’ite fighters together with soldiers and local paramilitaries loyal to Assad have been laying siege to rebel-held southern suburbs of the capital near the Shi’ite shrine of Saida Zainab for the past six months, residents say.

The siege has squeezed rebels in areas further to the center of the city and caused acute shortages of food and medicine that have hit the civilian population.


Wardan Abu Hassan, a doctor at a makeshift hospital in southern Damascus, said the facility and another nearby received 70 wounded people, both fighters and civilians, since 4.00 a.m.

The wounded came from Sheikh Omar and the nearby suburbs of al-Thiabiya and al-Boueida, where the rebels were trying to hold off the Shi’ite militia advance, he said.

“Most of the casualties are from air strikes, and fire from tanks and multiple rocket launchers,” the physician told Reuters.

An opposition group, the Damascus Revolution Leadership Council, said a baby girl died on Wednesday in the southern district of Hajar al-Asswad from malnutrition caused by the siege. The report could not be independently confirmed.

Rami al-Sayyed from the opposition Syrian Media Centre mentoring group said rebel fighters were trying to hold off the Hezbollah and Iraqi fighters in al-Thiabiya and al-Boueida.

“It is tough because the regime is providing Hezbollah and the Iraqis with heavy artillery and rocket cover from high ground,” he said.

Sayyed said much of the fire was coming from the 56th army brigade in the hilly region of Sahya. That area was evacuated after the threat of U.S. strikes following a nerve gas attack in August on other rebellious Damascus suburbs that killed hundreds.

The area became operational again after the threat receded following a deal to destroy Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal, Sayyed said.

Buoyed by the receding prospect of U.S. intervention, Assad has been seeking to tighten his grip on the center of the country, the coast, areas along the country’s main north-south highway as well as the capital and its environs.

Large areas of southern Damascus, including the areas of Hajar al-Assad and the Yarmouk refugee camp, are inhabited by poor refugees from the Israeli occupied Golan Heights, who have been at the forefront of the revolt against Assad, as well as Palestinian refugees.

(Source / 09.10.2013)

Breaking unjust siege on Gaza is duty: Convoys’ Coordinator

Gaza, ALRAY – The General Coordinator of the aid convoys “Miles of Smiles” Dr. Issam Mustafa, said that breaking the unjust siege on Gaza is a duty, stressing the need to use all possible ways to reach Gaza.

Yousuf said in an interview with Al-Quds TV on Tuesday evening, “ we will exert our efforts to reach Gaza. We will not stop supporting projects there even  if the convoys were denied access,”

He called for more campaigns to shore up Gaza by the relief projects to break the air, land, and naval siege imposed on Gaza since 2006 by the Israeli occupation. He affirmed the continuation of sending medical convoys to Gaza.

Regarding the regional developments, Yousuf said that the situation in Sinai is very serious, “even if  the circumstances in Egypt have changed, the Egyptian people will stand with the Palestinians and continue to support their cause.”

He called on Egyptian Authorities to understand the message which the convoy tries to send, hoping that they will be able to resume the projects aimed to lift the Gaza siege.

He denied that Egyptian authorities refused to allow the entry of “Miles of smiles” convoy “we still contacting with Egypt; we did not receive any rejection but our demand was postponed.”

He confirmed that Gaza did not have a role in the Egyptian turmoil, pointing out that the occupation is the only one who benefits from that.

Yusuf appealed to the Egyptian authorities not to involve Gaza in the Egyptian conflict, adding that “Egypt will remain supporting Gaza regardless of the current events.”

(Source / 09.10.2013)

Fatah repeats that it does not recognise Israel as a Jewish state


FatahFatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf refuses to recognise Israel as a Jewish homeland, ‘This is the language of acquiescence and we won’t recognise Israel as a Jewish state’

The Sharjah-based Al Khaleej newspaper reported on Tuesday that Fatah has rejected the position of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who linked the possibility of making peace to Fatah’s recognition of Israel as a state for the Jewish people. Fatah repeated that it refuses to recognise Israel as a Jewish homeland.

“This is the language of acquiescence and we won’t recognise Israel as a Jewish state,” said Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf. “Let Israel go to the United Nations and demand changing its name into the Jewish state.” If the objective behind Netanyahu’s speech is to ask the Palestinians to give up their rights, he added, “then we all refuse to give up our rights.”

On Monday, Quds Press quoted Fatah official Dr Yahya Rabbah as saying that Netanyahu’s remarks are part of the normal “Israeli intransigence” to give his government more time to construct illegal settlements. “The negotiations have not moved forward and negotiators have not even agreed on an agenda,” he said, “so Netanyahu wants to give his government some cover to justify its stubborn approach.” Hence, he concluded, the insistence on recognition of a “Jewish state”.

(Source / 09.10.2013)


By Peter Clifford     ©           (

Early this morning, Wednesday, Opposition fighters captured the Hajana Military Post in southern Deraa province after several days of fighting.

The Opposition fighters had surrounded the base several days ago and the regime was attempting to deliver supplies via helicopter, HERE:

Remains of Homs City Centre

However, this proved unsuccessful as the supplies parachuted into Opposition hands, HERE:  and now the post is completely under their control.

In this footage they take away rockets and ammunition discovered in a BMP armoured vehicle, HERE:   and give a guided tour of the empty base, HERE: 

There are also unconfirmed reports that the Opposition shot down another Assad warplane yesterday in Deraa province, but that

also a huge military convoy, with as many as 190 tanks and armoured vehicles, plus cars and trucks, is moving to the region from Damascus.

In Idlib province on Monday, 12 Opposition groups combined to announce the start of “Operation Earthquake”, an attempt to seize the 2 Government bases of Wadi Deif and Hamidiyeh which they have had under siege for almost a year.

Wadi Deif is to the east of Ma’arat Al-Numan and Hamidiyeh just to the south.  In the initial assault 10 regime soldiers were reported killed with opposition mortar fire and 3 tanks destroyed.

Wadi Deif is reputed to contain large stocks of ammunition. Activists additionally reported the capture of Brigadier General Nasser Salah al-Din, who appeared in a dishevelled state in a picture on Facebook with a blooded face and a bandage around his head

The Government side retaliated by dropping barrel bombs on nearby Opposition held villages and attacking Ma’arat Al-Numan with jet rocket fire. The president of the local council at nearby Saraqeb was killed after an air strike on the council offices.


In Aleppo province there were at least 10 airstrikes on villages south of Safira as the regime tries to reopen the strategically important route from Hama to Aleppo, HERE: 

Having re-taken the town of Khannaser on Sunday, the Government is moving a large military convoy northwards in an attempt to break through into Aleppo and to re-supply their troops and supporters in Syria’s largest city. Opposition fighters continue to harass and strike at army units and convoys where they can.

FSA Fighters Pictured Last July Praying in Saleddine

In Aleppo city itself this morning, Opposition fighters are reported to have captured the Hamdania Stadium and the Bilal Mosque in the Saledinne neighbourhood and in Aleppo province, the Jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) continues to cause trouble, arresting 3 people who took part in protests 2 days ago against their presence in Azaz and being accused of firing rockets into Kurdish militia controlled Efrin, killing a man and a child and injuring 4 others.

In the eastern part of Homs province, Opposition fighters are reported to have captured the Alhajanah police headquarters in Hamad Atanaf near the border with Iraq.  A number of pro-regime personnel were arrested.

In Damascus Opposition fighters shot down a reconnaissance aircraft over the suburb of Erbeen,HERE:  and destroyed an armoured vehicle in Barzeh, HERE:

However, Government forces have intensely shelled the suburbs of Dariya, Douma and particularly  Moadamiyeh, which has not only suffered an earlier chemical weapons attack but many of its citizens are now subject to starvation and also lack of water after the regime bombed the Moadamiyeh water supply.

Opposition mortar fire is reported to have hit the Syrian Central Bank this morning, Wednesday, in the heart of the capital, though no injuries have so far been recorded.


In another deludedly over-optimistic statement, Syria’s Prime Minister,  Wael al-Halqi, called on investors and industrialists who have fled their homeland to return to Syria to take part in the “reconstruction”.  The cycle of national economy is still evolving and food and medical security is consolidated thanks to the unity of the army and the people,” he is reported as saying.

In Quneitra province near the Israeli border, continued heavy fighting is reported between Khan Arnaba and Ofaniya, with a number of villages coming under regime bombardment but no reports of casualties so far.

On the chemical weapons front, the Assad regime appears to be cooperating with the UN appointed disarmament team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) which commenced destroying Syrian facilities for their manufacture on Sunday.

The UN, plus Russia and the US have “complimented” the Syrian Government for their rapid compliance, though removing the threat of an air strike has given the regime carte blanche to continuing killing tens of thousands with conventional weapons, and nobody makes a comment at all.

The Syrian Government has released a short video of the disarmament inspectors at work labelling and sealing machinery:

Regretably, these two young poppets are no more, reputedly murdered in a vicious attack by pro-Assad Shabiha on their family:

Reputedly Murdered by Assad Loyalists


Murder trial of Egypt’s Morsi to start Nov. 4

Egypt President Mohamed Morsi speaks during a press conference in Rome on September 14, 2012
CAIRO (AFP) — An Egyptian court on Wednesday set Nov. 4 as the opening date for the trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi on charges of inciting the murder of protesters, state media reported.

Morsi will stand trial with 14 other defendants over the killings of protesters outside his palace in December 2012, almost seven months before his ouster in a military coup, the official MENA news agency reported.

Trying Morsi, in detention since he was deposed on July 3, will likely inflame a protest movement by his Islamist backers, who clashed on Sunday with security forces leaving 57 people dead.

Prosecutors have charged Morsi with “inciting his supporters to commit premeditated murder” during the Dec. 5 clashes outside his presidential palace.

He will stand trial before a Cairo district court, MENA reported.

At least seven people were killed in violence between the Islamist’s loyalists and opponents that erupted after he passed a temporary decree placing his decisions beyond judicial review.

Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood claimed that most of those killed were Islamists, an assertion disputed by his opponents. One journalist who opposed Morsi was killed in the violence.

The clashes broke out when Brotherhood supporters dispersed a sit-in outside the palace by Morsi’s secular leaning opponents.

Morsi’s co-defendants will include several of his aides and Brotherhood leaders.

The military has detained Morsi at a secret location since his overthrow. The other defendants have been jailed since then or are on the run.

Following Morsi’s ouster, security forces launched an extensive crackdown on his backers that has killed over 1,000 people, while strangling the Muslim Brotherhood with mass arrests and a ban on the organization.

Hundreds of the Islamists’ loyalists were killed on Aug. 14 when security forces violently dispersed two protest camps set up by his supporters in Cairo.

Much of the Brotherhood’s leadership, including Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, are standing trial on other charges.

Morsi’s trial is likely to further cement a stalemate between his embattled supporters who demand his release and the country’s new military-installed authorities.

Western mediators including EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton had demanded Morsi’s release as a good will gesture, but were rebuffed by the government which accuses the Brotherhood of “terrorism”.

Following the dispersal of pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo, Islamists attacked dozens of Christian properties across the country, accusing the minority of backing the coup.

More than three months after his overthrow and ensuing crackdown, the Brotherhood now appears intent of continuing sometimes violent protests in a bid to destabilize the new government.

The movement has called for more marches on Friday to head to Tahrir Square in central Cairo, in a repeat of Sunday’s protests that turned deadly.

Although the Brotherhood publicly demands Morsi’s reinstatement, its leaders privately say they would settle for their leaders’ release and that officials responsible for the killings of protesters be held to account.

Morsi, who ruled for one extremely divisive year before his popularly backed ouster, will be the second Egyptian president standing trial over the killings of protesters.

His predecessor Hosni Mubarak, overthrown in early 2011, is on trial for complicity in the deaths of protesters during the 18-day uprising that forced him to resign.

(Source / 09.10.2013)