6500 Palestinian prisoners currently held in Israeli jails

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RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Around 500 Palestinians were arrested from different parts of the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem in July, Palestinian Prisoners Society revealed on Sunday.

The society pointed out that the occupation authorities arrested, during the recent military campaign that started in mid last June, 1300 Palestinians.

Most of the arrests were reported in al-Khalil, occupied Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablus and Ramallah. The new arrests raised the number of Palestinian prisoners to 6500 of whom 230 are children, 19 women, and 37 MPs.

Meanwhile, Israeli Megiddo prison administration imposed tough sanctions on Palestinian prisoners for celebrating the capture of an Israeli soldier by the resistance factions in Gaza.

Ahrar center of human rights confirmed in its statement that the administration closed the prison sections and imposed punitive measures against including denying canteen services and banning TV channels. It threatened to step up its sanctions if the Takbir was maintained.

Head of the center Fuad al-Khuffash pointed out that the Israeli prison authorities have deepened the prisoners’ suffering in light of the world’s preoccupation with the war on Gaza, calling for shedding more light on the prisoners’ issue.

(Source / 03.08.2014)

Cairo talks on Gaza truce ‘moving in right direction’: Palestinian negotiator

Egypt and the Palestinians are on the same page says Islamic Jihad’s Ziad Nakhala
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Palestinians inspect the damage to a house in the Jebaliya refugee camp that was hit by an Israeli strike that killed several members of the Abu Wahdan family, in the northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014

A senior figure from Islamic Jihad has said that the unified demands of the Palestinian delegation currently in Cairo for ceasefire talks were received positively by the Egyptian side on Sunday evening.

The demands include the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, opening all border crossings to end the blockade of the territory, the release of all Palestinians detained by Israel in the West Bank since 12 June, and establishing contact between Gaza and the West Bank.

According to Ziad Nakhala, the deputy secretary-general of Islamic Jihad who represented his movement in today’s talks, “things are moving in the right direction and the climate [with the Egyptian side] has been positive.”

The Palestinian delegation, which consists of representatives of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other factions, convened in Cairo on Sunday and presented the Egyptian side with a set of demands for a ceasefire agreement with Israel, despite the latter’s boycott of the talks. An American delegation is currently present in Cairo for the negotiations.

According to Nakhala, the Palestinian delegation will resume its meeting with Egyptian intelligence officer Mohamed Farid El-Tohamy on Monday, but progress has been made already. “We are in the final minutes of the talks,” he told Ahram Online.

This marks a significant shift in the strained relations between Cairo and the Palestinian resistance factions, especially Hamas, which led opposition to Egypt’s proposal for a ceasefire agreement more than two weeks ago. The proposal made the opening of the of Gaza’s border crossings (with Israel and Egypt) conditional upon an improvement in the security situation, while Hamas and Islamic Jihad wanted clearer language guaranteeing effective measures to end the blockade.

The Egyptian initiative was finally rejected after talks with the Palestinians reached a dead end on 19 July, adding further mistrust and antipathy between Cairo and Hamas. As the Israeli assult on Gaza continued, efforts to revive ceasefire talks through mediators close to Hamas such as Turkey and Qatar had little impact on the escalating crisis, but might have drawn concerns in Cairo about its receding regional role.

After a 72-hour ceasefire agreement fell apart on Friday hours after it went into effect, Egypt remained adamant on mediating between the two sides and hosted a Palestinian delegation under the Palestinian Authority’s leadership. Although Israel officially boycotted the talks, it is indirectly conducting negotiations through Egyptian and US officials, according to Israeli daily Haaretz.

With little expected from the Cairo talks in the absence of an Israeli delegation willing to engage in ceasefire negotiations, the Egyptian-Palestinian agreement expressed by Nakhala comes as a surprise, and has yet to be confirmed by Egyptian officials involved in the talks.

“Time means blood and there is realisation from all parties that no one can afford more of it,” said Nakhala.

“We want the guarantee of the Egyptians. If Cairo guarantees our demands [Egypt’s] officials will take it from there the way they see fit and we accept that.”

(Source / 03.08.2014)

Egyptian Mediators Presented with Truce Demands by Gaza Leaders

A Palestinian delegation which includes both PA members and Hamas representatives agreed, on Sunday, to present joint demands to Egyptian mediators, in Cairo, for a truce deal with Israel.

Three Israeli Merkava tanks drive back from the Gaza Strip to an Israeli base at the Israeli-Gaza border during the sunset on Aug. 3, 2014 (AFP Thomas Coex)
Three Israeli Merkava tanks drive back from the Gaza Strip to an Israeli base at the Israeli-Gaza border during the sunset on Aug. 3, 2014 (AFP Thomas Coex)

Ma’an reports that the delegation was to meet with the Egyptian mediators, later on Sunday.

Cairo will relay the demands to Israel, who scoffed at the idea of sending negotiators while continuing to insist that Hamas breached a recently failed 72-hour truce, just moments after it began on Friday.

See: Timeline Does Not Fit the Claim that Hamas Broke Friday’s Ceasefire

Palestinian factions met earlier on Sunday to agree upon a joint position which includes “a ceasefire; Israeli troop withdrawal from Gaza; the end of the siege of Gaza and opening its border crossings,” according to delegation member Maher al-Taher.

Demands also include fishing rights for up to 12 nautical miles off Gaza’s coast and the release of Palestinian prisoners, said Taher, who is a senior official with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

A Hamas official confirmed the agreement, saying: “These are the main points, but they must be discussed with the Egyptians. We hope things go smoothly.”

(Source / 03.08.2014)

2,400 Palestinian refugees killed in Syria

DAMASCUS, (PIC)– Around 2,400 Palestinian refugees were killed in Syria since the outbreak of Syrian revolution till late July, the Action Group for Palestinian refugees in Syria revealed.

According to the group, 2,365 Palestinian refugees were killed in Syria, of them 1,627 were killed inside Palestinian refugee camps and 693 others were killed outside the camps.

Meanwhile, 37 Palestinian refugees were killed outside Syria including 35 while trying to reach Europe fleeing from the bloody events there, while two refugees were killed during Israeli aggression on Gaza, where they have been seeking refuge.

(Source / 03.08.2014)

Saudi Grand Mufti Issues Fatwa against Solidarity Marches with Gaza

Saudi Grand Mufti Issues Fatwa against Solidarity Marches with Gaza

Fez- A fatwa has been issued against pro-Gaza marches by a Saudi cleric who says that demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians “are just useless demagogic actions.”

The fatwa was issued by Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti and General President for Scientific Researches and Fatwa, Abdul Aziz Al Ash-Sheikh.

This comes at a time after which several demonstrations have been organized in Arab and non-Arabs countries alike in solidarity with the Gaza Strip. These demonstrations have taken place since the Zionist aggression on Palestinians starting, July 8.

According to Al Ghadeer TV, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti said that the pro-Gaza demonstrations “are just useless demagogic actions, that won’t help Palestinians.” “Demagoguery does not work. It is just an exaggeration,” he added.

The Saudi Grand Mufti called upon Saudi Arabia’s citizens to donate money as humanitarian aid to Palestinians, rather than mobilizing in solidarity marches. The Grand Mufti hailed the Saudi Arabian King’s donation to the victims of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, and urged Saudi citizens to do the same.

After a long silence on the Israeli aerial, naval and ground attacks on Gaza since July 8, last week King Abdullah issued a directive to donate SR100 million ($53.3 million) to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Abdul Aziz Al Ash-Sheikh is not the only Saudi Mufti to say solidarity demonstrations with Gaza is “haram”. Earlier this week, another prominent Saudi Arabian cleric, Saleh Al-Luhaidan described the pro-Palestine marches as “demagogic denouncements.” Sheikh Saleh Al-Luhaidan who is a Member of the Council of Senior Scholars said that these marches lead to “acts of chaos and sabotage.”

Al-Luhaidan said that even if these marches don’t lead to chaos and sabotage; they keep people away from being close to God. Instead, Sheikh Saleh Al-Luhaidan urged Saudi citizens to pray for Palestinians in Gaza Strip.

(Source / 03.08.2014)

#GazaUnderAttack | Mishaal: No ceasefire with Israeli presence in Gaza

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DOHA, (PIC)– Head of Hamas’s political bureau Khaled Mishaal said that his movement did not and will never accept a ceasefire that includes Israeli presence in Gaza. “We’ve refused their offer, and relayed the message to Kerry through the Qatari foreign minister,” Mishaal explained.

“A truce is a truce, but the presence of the Israeli forces inside Gaza and destroying the tunnels are considered an aggression,” Mishaal told CNN in an exclusive interview from Doha.

“The Palestinian resistance has the right to self-defense and the right to deal with the invading Israeli forces who are inside our Gaza territories,” he continued.

“We did not deceive Kerry or the Israelis. We told everyone up front that this is our stance, so the Israelis and the Americans must bear the responsibility for the developments.”

Along the same line, Hamas Movement said in a statement issued on Saturday that the Israeli war on Gaza provided enough proof and suitable atmosphere for bringing Israeli leaders to trial as war criminals.

(Source / 03.08.2014)

19 Palestinian medics killed in Israel’s Gaza onslaught: Official

“Israeli army has attacked more than 35 ambulances, 17 hospitals and 102 medics, of which 19 were killed,” ministry undersecretary Youssef Abul Reish told a press conference late Saturday.

GAZA CITY 

At least 19 Palestinian medics have been killed in ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, according to a Health Ministry official.

“Israeli army has attacked more than 35 ambulances, 17 hospitals and 102 medics, of which 19 were killed,” ministry undersecretary Youssef Abul Reish told a press conference late Saturday.

He said that 10 hospitals in the Gaza Strip have been forced to shut down because of the Israeli bombardment.

“The ongoing Israeli attacks have led to the closure of scores of health facilities in the strip,” he added.

Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip – home to 1.8 million people – for the almost past four weeks with the stated aim of halting rocket fire.

As many as 1712 Palestinians – mostly civilians – have been killed and more than 9000 injured in unrelenting Israeli attacks since July 7, according to Palestinian health officials.

Israel, for its part, has confirmed the killing of 63 troops in battles with Palestinian fighters and three civilians in rocket attacks.

The Israeli offensive – codenamed “Operation Protective Edge,” is the self-proclaimed Jewish state’s third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.

(Source / 03.08.2014)

Venezuela: We will shelter injured and orphaned Palestinian children

Palestinian chil peering out through shelter

Venezuela has setup orphanages to shelter Palestinian children who have been injured or lost their parents in the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, President Nicolás Maduro announced yesterday.

In a fiery speech delivered on the occasion of the end of the General Assembly of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, Maduro pointed out that contact has already been made with Palestinian families who children would be adopted.

Maduro said he decided to establish a shelter under the name of the late president Hugo Chavez to host Palestinian children injured in the war, and boys and girls have become orphans. “We will bring them to Venezuela,” he told a cheering audience.

“We will welcome them with love, and in coordination with the Palestinian government. We will find these little girls and boys Venezuelan parents,” he said.

Maduro called for an end to the Israeli “genocide” against Palestinians.

(Source / 03.08.2014)

MOWING THE GRASS

By Jafar M Ramini                Jafar Ramini

Today is Sunday and in the West it is a day of leisure.  A popular activity is tending well-manicured gardens, enjoying the peace and quiet and mowing the grass.
 
Mowing the grass in Israeli military speak has a different connotation altogether. ‘Mowing the grass’ is a recognized Israeli military strategy as defined by Professor Efraim Inbar and Dr Eitan Shamir, both of the Begin-Sadat Center of Strategic Studies at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University.
 
The grass they have in mind, particularly in Gaza, is every living thing and every standing structure. 
Professor Inbar and Dr Shamir are not bashful about this strategy. They say: ‘Against an implacable, well-entrenched, non-state enemy like the Hamas, Israel simply needs to “mow the grass” once in a while in order to degrade enemy capabilities.’
Have I got your attention? Then I shall begin.
Just conjure up the image of a gardening nursery stocked to the brim with many plants, from tiny saplings to mature, not to say elderly, trees. Now change the plants to human beings. Because, horrifying as it may look or sound, this is exactly what has been happening in, around and over Gaza for the last four weeks.
This is not a new policy. It has nothing to do with accusing Hamas of capturing the three Israelis squatters without a shred of evidence.  It has nothing to do with ineffective rockets fired from Gaza.  It is an unwavering Israeli military policy of land theft and resources and genocide in Palestine.
 According to the Oxford Dictionary Genocide is:
 ‘The deliberate extermination of a people or nation’.
 
Note the use of the word ‘extermination’ and please be reminded of how a former Prime Minister of Israel and a former Israeli Chief of Staff described the Palestinian nation.
 
 “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Occupation Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.
 
“The Palestinians” would be crushed like grasshoppers … heads smashed against the boulders and walls.” Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in a speech to Jewish squatters New York Times April 1, 1988.
 
If ‘Mowing the Grass’ is repugnant to you, then another military maneuvre, known as the ‘Dahiya Doctrine’, also devised by the Israeli army, is remarkably similar.  Used in the 2006 invasion of Lebanon, Israel Invasion Forces Northern Commander, Gadi Eisenkot recommended and got approval for the application of a military strategy that would target and destroy an entire civilian area rather than fight to overtake fortified positions one by one.
The strategy calls for the deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure in order to induce suffering and severe distress throughout the targeted population. The idea is to either make the indigenous population either flee or surrender or blame their own people.
 
Does this sound familiar? Does it bring the current genocide in Gaza to mind? In my opinion there is no doubt, especially when you know that Commander Gabi Eisenkot, who masterminded the invasion in Lebanon is now Deputy Chief of General Staff.
 
The Israelis have ‘mowed the lawn’ of Palestine since before the creation of their illegitimate entity. 
 
They kill, kill and kill again. And you know what? They blame the victims.  This is what another infamous Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir had to say after another massacre in Palestine.
“We cannot forgive the Arabs for forcing us to kill their children…”
 
So when they kill our children it’s our fault. Fast forward to the current genocide in Gaza.  This is what the incumbent Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu had the nerve to say on CNN two weeks ago:
“They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can because somebody said, and I mean, it’s gruesome, but they use telegenically-dead Palestinians for their cause. They want– the more dead the better.”
 
This is the same Mr. Netanyahu who wrote a book about terrorism in 1986: ‘How The West Can Win’ in which he wrote:
“Terrorism is the deliberate and systematic murder, maiming and menacing of the innocent to inspire fear for political ends.”
 
Isn’t this exactly what he is inflicting on Gaza right now?
Isn’t this what ‘mowing the grass’ and the Dahiya Doctrine both prescribe?
 
On Friday last ‘The Times Of Israel’ published an article entitled ‘When Genocide Is Permissible’. A few hours later the article was removed but not before the Internet got hold of it. Written by Yochanan Gordon, who defended the move on his Twitter page, the article called for committing of genocide against the Palestinian civilians in Gaza
He said: (Israel’s) “hands are being tied by world leaders who over the past six years have insisted they are such good friends with the regime” He then added that “nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate” (in the fight against Gazans.)
 
Abhorrent, I know. But for this madness to stop it is incumbent on the American people to call upon their government to stop supplying Israel with state-of-the-art armory, blanket political and diplomatic cover and huge amounts of money. No matter what.
 
Another infamous defence minister, Moshe Dayan once said of the American people. “Our American friends give us money, give us arms and give us advice.  We take the money, we take the arms and we decline the advice.”
 
On Friday last, both Mr. Obama, the President of The United States and Mr. Kerry, the US Secretary of State blamed the Palestinians (unjustly) for the breakdown of the cease fire in Gaza while somehow condoning the fact that Israel was still continuing its ground offensive, ceasefire or no ceasefire.  Both Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry demanded that the Palestinians release the ‘captured’ Israeli soldier, Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin. Since then he has been found to have been killed in action and not captured at all.  Does this indicate to you that your ‘fair minded’ government only has ears for Israeli propaganda and takes it on board as gospel?
 
There was no mention at the time by Mr. Obama or Mr. Kerry of the 1700 plus murdered Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children and the elderly.  On the contrary, Congress on Friday hurriedly passed new legislation to reward Israel for its genocidal activities with more money. $225 million to be exact. Which replenished the $429 million a couple of weeks ago. Not to mention the annual gift of between $3 – $4 billion.
 
In contrast, UN Human Rights Commissioner, Christopher Gunness who saw the situation for himself and in trying to describe the devastation broke down sobbing, “The world stands in shame for the universal carnage in Gaza” he said. Whereas Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry were only concerned about an Israeli soldier, whose job description included the possibility of being captured or even killed.
 
 
 Is this fair? Is this what has become of America under Zionist pressure?
Is this what you pay your tax dollars for?
 
Finally, let me remind you of what the former Minister of Defence of Israel, Moshe Dayan said back in the sixties.
“Israel must be like a mad dog.  Too dangerous to bother.”
 
Isn’t it time this rabid, dangerous dog is muzzled and quarantined?
 
Finally, this is a speech by an American Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Christopher Hedges. It was made after ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in 2010. He is not muzzled by Zionism, Congress or the corporate media.  He calls it as it is.  Please listen.
 

Major Israeli news outlet apologizes for blog that justified genocide of Palestinians

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On August 1 the Times of Israel published a blog entry (reproduced in full below) by one Yochanan Gordon that essentially justified and all but called for the extermination of Palestinians.

The blog ultimately asked to following question of readers:

If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?

It immediately sparked outrage on social media and was promptly withdrawn by the Times of Israel who called it a “damnable and ignorant” breach of trust regarding their open blogging editorial policy. They also reportedthat the author issued a public apology as well.

MV Editor’s note: Below is the entire original “Times of Israel” blog entry, ’When Genocide Is Permissible’ that was published on August 1 then retracted.

When Genocide Is Permissible

By: Yochanan Gordon

Source: Times of Israel via https://archive.today

Judging by the numbers of casualties on both sides in this almost one-month old war one would be led to the conclusion that Israel has resorted to disproportionate means in fighting a far less- capable enemy. That is as far as what meets the eye. But, it’s now obvious that the US and the UN are completely out of touch with the nature of this foe and are therefore not qualified to dictate or enforce the rules of this war – because when it comes to terror there is much more than meets the eye.

I wasn’t aware of this, but it seems that the nature of warfare has undergone a major shift over the years. Where wars were usually waged to defeat the opposing side, today it seems – and judging by the number of foul calls it would indicate – that today’s wars are fought to a draw. I mean, whoever heard of a timeout in war? An NBA Basketball game allows six timeouts for each team during the course of a game, but last I checked this is a war! We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people. Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to live.

The sad reality is that Israel gets it, but its hands are being tied by world leaders who over the past six years have insisted they are such good friends with the Jewish state, that they know more regarding its interests than even they do. But there’s going to have to come a time where Israel feels threatened enough where it has no other choice but to defy international warnings – because this is life or death.

Most of the reports coming from Gazan officials and leaders since the start of this operation have been either largely exaggerated or patently false. The truth is, it’s not their fault, falsehood and deceit is part of the very fabric of who they are and that will never change. Still however, despite their propensity to lie, when your enemy tells you that they are bent on your destruction you believe them.

Similarly, when Khaled Meshal declares that no physical damage to Gaza will dampen their morale or weaken their resolve – they have to be believed. Our sage Gedalia the son of Achikam was given intelligence that Yishmael Ben Nesanyah was plotting to kill him.

However, in his piety or rather naiveté Gedalia dismissed the report as a random act of gossip and paid no attention to it. To this day, the day following Rosh Hashana is commemorated as a fast day in the memory of Gedalia who was killed in cold blood on the second day of Rosh Hashana during the meal. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over. History is there to teach us lessons and the lesson here is that when your enemy swears to destroy you – you take him seriously.

Hamas has stated forthrightly that it idealizes death as much as Israel celebrates life. What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?

News anchors such as those from CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera have not missed an opportunity to point out the majority of innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of this war. But anyone who lives with rocket launchers installed or terror tunnels burrowed in or around the vicinity of their home cannot be considered an innocent civilian. If you’ll counter, that Hamas has been seen abusing civilians who have attempted to leave their homes in response to Israeli warnings to leave – well then, your beginning to come to terms with the nature of this enemy which should automatically cause the rules of standard warfare to be suspended.

Everyone agrees that Israel has the right to defend itself as well as the right to exercise that right. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has declared it, Obama and Kerry have clearly stated that no one could be expected to sit idle as thousands of rockets rain down on the heads of its citizens, placing them in clear and present danger. It seems then that the only point of contention is regarding the measure of punishment meted out in this situation.

I will conclude with a question for all the humanitarians out there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?

(Source / 03.08.2014)