Hamas: Israeli airstrike killed wife, child of Qassam chief

Palestinian rescues try to dig out an injured man blocked under rubble following an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza City on Aug. 19, 2014
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli airstrikes killed the wife and child of Hamas’ military chief in Gaza overnight, exiled leader Mousa Abu Marzouq said early Wednesday.

“The Israeli occupation took rockets fired from Gaza as a pretext to target a senior Hamas personality,” Abu Marzouq wrote on Facebook, referring to Muhammad Deif, the commander of the al-Qassam Brigades.

“The wife of the great leader was martyred with his daughter,” in a strike Tuesday night, he said.

An Israeli strike late Tuesday targeted the al-Dalou home in Sheikh Radwan, killing a woman and a young girl, medics said.

Ma’an reporters in Gaza said the attack killed two children, one of whom was Deif’s son, and Deif’s wife.

Meanwhile, seven Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a home in Deir al-Balah, medics said.

The victims were identified as Raafat al-Louh, his brothers Muhammad and Ahmad, his pregnant wife Nabila, his sons Farah, Maysara, and Mustafa.

Medics were unable to save Nabila’s fetus, though she had been nine months pregnant.

Eight others were injured in the attack and evacuated to al-Aqsa Martyrs’ hospital in in Deir al-Balah.

A 24-hour truce due to last until midnight collapsed late Tuesday afternoon, with each side blaming the other.

The al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement that it fired 34 rockets into Israel throughout Tuesday, hitting Tel Aviv and the southern city of Beersheba.

An Israeli military statement put the number fired at “about 50” but reported no casualties.

“A rocket hit an open area in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area,” it said and confirmed that two rockets landed near Beersheva, which is home to around 200,000 Israelis.

Air raid sirens were also heard in Jerusalem, with Hamas claiming a rocket attack on the city.

Police said it appeared that a rocket fell on empty ground in the occupied West Bank, outside Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a new round of air strikes on Gaza and recalled his negotiators from Egyptian-mediated ceasefire talks in Cairo.

“The rocket fire which broke the ceasefire also destroyed the foundation on which the talks in Cairo were based,” Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev told AFP early Wednesday.

“The Egyptian initiative is based on a total and unconditional cessation of hostilities, which was clearly broken when rockets were fired into Israel.”

‘Ceasefire has broken down’

Palestinian delegation head Azzam al-Ahmad said that his team would leave Cairo on Wednesday.

“We are leaving … but we have not pulled out of negotiations,” he told AFP, adding the Palestinians were waiting for Israel to respond to their truce proposal.

“We will not come back (to Cairo) until Israel responds,” he said.

The fighting shattered nine days of relative quiet in the skies over Gaza.

A senior Hamas official, Ezzat al-Rishq, warned Israel it would “not enjoy security so long as the Palestinian people do not.”

But Israel’s US ally put the blame squarely on the group itself.

“Hamas has security responsibility for Gaza … Rocket fire came from Gaza,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

“As of right now, with today’s developments, we are very concerned and it is our understanding the ceasefire has broken down.”

The renewal of Israeli air strikes spread panic among Gaza residents.

An AFP reporter saw hundreds of Palestinians streaming out of Shujaiyya, an eastern area of Gaza City which has been devastated by more than a month of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants.

More poured out of the Zeitoun and Shaaf areas, alarmed by a series of explosions and heading to shelter in UN schools, local witnesses said.

Bomb shelters opened in Israel

In Israel the army said that it ordered that public bomb shelters within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Gaza border, be opened ready for use.

That includes Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Israel has vowed not to negotiate under rocket fire, and Netanyahu has pledged “a very strong response” to any resumption of rocket attacks.

The Cairo talks center on an Egyptian proposal that meets some Palestinian demands, such as easing Israel’s eight-year blockade on Gaza, but puts off debate on other thorny issues until later.

Amnesty International renewed an appeal for access to Gaza.

“Valuable time has already been lost,” it said.

Egypt’s proposal calls for both sides to immediately stop shooting and includes provisions relating to opening the borders to allow for free movement of people, goods and construction materials, as well as a clause on regulating the economic crisis within the impoverished enclave.

But crucially, it postpones discussions on issues such as a port and airport for another month, until “after calm and stability returns,” along with talks over exchanging the remains of two Israeli soldiers for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

(Source / 20.08.2014)

Iran helping Iraqis, Kurds in ISIL fight: Deputy FM

A Peshmerga fighter looks at smoke rising in the horizon on the frontline of fighting against ISIL, 20 kilometers east of Mosul, on August 18, 2014.

A Peshmerga fighter looks at smoke rising in the horizon on the frontline of fighting against ISIL, 20 kilometers east of Mosul, on August 18, 2014

Iran has advised Iraq in its fight against ISIL Takfiri terrorists and has provided the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region with similar help, says a senior Iranian official.

Tehran has not sent any weapons or dispatched any troops to the neighboring country for this purpose, said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Wednesday.

“Iran’s national security is our red line,” he stated, adding that Iranian armed forces will not allow the Takfiris to approach the country’s borders.

“Iranian armed forces will act on any spot they find necessary to protect the country’s sovereignty,” the Iranian deputy foreign minister said.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said Tehran would back “unity, integrity, and sovereignty” in Iraq.

The ISIL terrorists currently control a swathe of eastern Syria and western Iraq.

Iraq has been fighting ISIL Takfiri terrorists since they took control of Mosul on June 10. The takeover was followed by the fall of the city of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital Baghdad. The control of Tikrit was later retaken by the Iraqi army.

The ISIL terrorists have been committing heinous crimes in the captured areas, including the mass execution of civilians and Iraqi security forces.

Soldiers of the Iraqi army have been engaged in heavy fighting with the militants on different fronts and have so far been able to push back militants in several areas.

The United States has also been carrying out airstrikes against the ISIL militants.

(Source / 20.08.2014)

Abu Ubaida Calls Delegation Out of Cairo

Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Ubaida said over television, on Wednesday, that Israel had “failed” in its assault on the Gaza Strip, and called upon the Palestinian negotiating team in Cairo to return home.

Palestinians inspect debris at the site of the killing of Muhammad Deif's wife and child (MaanImages).
Palestinians inspect debris at the site of the killing of Muhammad Deif’s wife and child

The speech came just following a series of Israeli airstrikes which killed at least 22 Palestinians over the course of the day, including the wife and child of Hamas military chief Muhammad Deif, after a temporary ceasefire unraveled late Tuesday.

Israeli media sources said that the army intended to assassinate Deif, and bombarded the home despite the fact it failed to locate Deif, and did not know whether Deif was there in the first place.


Ma’an quoted Abu Ubaida as saying:

“We tell Israel: you have failed. All you can do is kill children and women. You have failed in all your missions…

“Muhammad Deif will enter Jerusalem as the head of the liberating army.”

Abu Ubaida warned international airplanes not to use Ben Gurion Airport, in Tel Aviv, and also warned Israelis against gathering in large numbers, as the al-Qassam Brigades intended to renew rocket fire on Israel.

He additionally warned Israelis living near Gaza not to return to their homes.

During the course of the speech, five rockets were reportedly fired into Israel, Ma’an stated. According to the Israeli military, all were intercepted, including one above Tel Aviv, two above Beersheba, and two above Ashkelon.

Furthermore, Abu Ubeida called upon the negotiating team in Cairo to give up on the ongoing talks with Israel, following repetitive stalling on the part of Israel who has failed to come to reasonable terms with resistance demands.

The demands are in line with the Oslo Accords, agreements which the Israeli regime has continuously violated upon the democratic election of Hamas, who it continues to insist is a terrorist organization.

(Source / 20.08.2014)

Gaza children unable to go back to school

The new school year will be delayed indefinitely in Gaza, as more than 380,000 Palestinians remain displaced

The United Nations estimates that at least 231 schools have been damaged in Gaza during Israel’s ongoing offensive

Shujayea, Gaza City – Ahmed al-Arqan, 54, sits under the roof of what used to be his family’s home: The three-story house, where he and his five brothers lived with their families in the eastern Shujayea neighbourhood of Gaza City, was almost entirely destroyed by an Israeli missile shot from an F16 warplane.

A math teacher, al-Arqan was meant to return to school in less than a week. But as violence has resumed in Gaza after the breakdown of ceasefire talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Cairo, the school year has been postponed indefinitely in the besieged Palestinian territory.

“Teachers and students need at least three weeks before returning to school,” al-Arqan told Al Jazeera. “The authorities should also remove some parts of the curriculum to make it lighter for the children.”

The Israeli assault on Gaza, which started on July 8, has to date killed over 2,000 Palestinians, including at least 459 children, and injured another 10,300, according to the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians have also been killed.

In Gaza, electricity has been cut off for at least 12 hours each day, the UN reported, after Israeli tank shells hit the strip’s sole power plant on July 29, while damage to local water infrastructure is now estimated to cost about $34m.

Israeli fire also hit three UN-run schools acting as shelters in the northern Gaza Strip and in the southern border town of Rafah during attacks in August, killing at least 46 people.

“I’m psychologically exhausted because the war is not yet over… We did not relax during the summer holiday. Our clothes and belongings remain under the rubble… We escaped with the clothes we were wearing and our ID cards,” al-Arqan explained.

I’m psychologically exhausted because the war is not yet over… We did not relax during the summer holiday. Our clothes and belongings remain under the rubble.

– Ahmed al-Arqan, math teacher

At least 231 schools have been damaged during the Israeli offensive, while approximately 380,000 Palestinians in Gaza are currently seeking shelter at UN or government-run schools, or with host families.

“Teachers need a vacation each year so that they can teach well… This year, our trip was with death and destruction,” said al-Arqan, as he surveyed the debris around his home.

RELATED: The information war over Gaza

The school year was meant to begin on August 24, but with the ongoing violence, the start date has been delayed indefinitely, according to Ziad Thabet, the deputy minister of education in Gaza. Thabet told Al Jazeera that students would be given two weeks from whenever the fighting ends before they are asked to come back to school.

Like all Palestinians in Gaza, young students have struggled under Israeli bombardment. “We did not enjoy our summer holiday… it [did not feel like a holiday],” said Mohammed Abu Shehada, an eighth grader, who has been staying with his family at the Al-Remal preparatory school in Gaza City for more than a month.

Sitting atop a desk placed outside the classroom that his family shares with 30 other people, Shehada added: “We need a day off in exchange for every day we spent living here at the school… I don’t want to leave the school as a displaced person and return next week as a student.”

During the most recent five-day ceasefire, Shehada would go to his neighbourhood of Tofah, in east Gaza City, to console his friend, Ziad, who lost several members of his family in an air strike on their home. “Among them was Ziad’s brother, who I knew,” Shehada said.

Two months after Israel’s last major military offensive in Gaza in November 2012, the United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) found that the PTSD rate rose by 100 percent, and that 42 percent of patients were under the age of nine. UNICEF also reported that 91 percent of children surveyed in Gaza had trouble sleeping, 85 percent couldn’t concentrate, and 82 percent reported feelings of anger and symptoms of mental strain.

According to Fadel Abu Heen, professor of psychology at Al Aqsa University in Gaza, the first week of school will likely be “a week of painful memories and grief for both students and teachers”. Abu Heen explained that qualified psychologists are needed to provide support sessions to “get effective results” for teachers and students. “Otherwise, they will be useless,” he said.

Gazans take shelter in UN-run schools

Al-Arqan, who lost a nephew in the Israeli attacks, was also struggling psychologically, as he recalled seeing a badly injured man carrying his dead daughter between his arms and bleeding on the ground on the night of July 20, when he and thousands of others fled from Shujayea.

“His face was unrecognisable… I ask myself: ‘What if he was someone I know? What If I was in his position?'” said al-Arqan, explaining that he could not stop to evacuate the man “because we were running and shells were falling behind us”.

RELATED: Gaza under attack

Thabet, the deputy minister of education, told Al Jazeera that the ministry planned to institute sessions with psychologists to support local teachers during their first week back to school, and that it intended to institute similar programmes for children.

He said that the ministry would be facing hard choices concerning the evacuees who have lost their homes and currently live in shelters at these schools. “Frankly, we can’t drive out any family that lost its home, but at the same time we have to start the new year,” Thabet said.

The ministry, Thabet added, can allocate two schools in each city for displaced families to live in for two or three months as a partial solution. “It’s the government’s job to find a more lasting solution.”

Meanwhile, for teacher al-Arqan, seeing the schools transformed into shelters is painful. “Schools are known for education. They are the cornerstone of the society,” he said. “But turning them into shelters with insufficient water supplies and a lack of privacy humiliates people.”

(Source / 20.08.2014)

Hamas: Israel violated truce after false claim 3 rockets were fired

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Hamas spokesman on Wednesday accused Israel of having violated the temporary ceasefire on Tuesday, saying that Israel had failed to offer a serious partner for peace in ongoing negotiations in Cairo.

Hamas spokesman Moussa Abu Marzouq told Ma’an via telephone on Wednesday that Israel “ended the truce and claimed that three rockets hit Israel, which Hamas had no information about.”

Abu Marzouq added that “all options” are on the table now, saying that the group was ready for peace but was not afraid of continuing to defend itself if Israel continued to choose war.

“All options are open now: a new truce, keeping the war going, or signing an agreement,” he added.

He said that Egypt is currently making efforts with both sides as part of ongoing attempts to reach a lasting agreement to bring to an end a six-week Israeli assault that has left more than 2,040 Palestinians dead.

“We presented a new proposal (that offered) the least of our rights to the Egyptian side, who gave it to the Israelis yesterday. Instead of responding, they were ordered to leave,” Abu Marzouq he said.

Abu Marzouq said that Israel had failed in negotiations and that on Wednesday they attempted to assassinate the military leader of Hamas’ military wing, Muhammad Deif, but had failed.

Indirect negotiations between Palestinians and Israel have failed to achieve results, with Hamas accusing Israel repeatedly of “stalling” and refusing to make any concessions.

Palestinians have demanded that Israel end its eight-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has crippled the tiny coastal enclave’s economy and led to widespread suffering.

Israel, however, has demanded Gaza demilitarize, a demand that Palestinian resistance groups have scoffed at.

(Source / 20.08.2014)

Analysis: Breaking the Gaza stalemate

A Palestinian medic stands in front of a destroyed building in Gaza’s eastern Shujaiyya district, on July 20, 2014
After the breakdown in the six-day “pause” to permit negotiations on a long-term Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire and the resumption of Israel’s onslaught against the caged people of Gaza, concerned people everywhere are wondering how the conflicting demands of the two sides can possibly be reconciled.

Each side feels a compelling need to achieve some gain to justify its sacrifices — on the Palestinian side, over 2,000 dead, over 10,000 wounded and massive destruction of homes and infrastructure and, on the Israeli side, 64 dead soldiers and two dead civilians — and not to agree to anything that its own people could view as accepting failure or defeat.

Considering the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the respective demands may assist any foreign governments which are genuinely interested in ending the infernal cycle of violence and making progress toward a durable peace with some measure of justice to decide which side they should be seeking to convince or compel to be reasonable.

Is it unreasonable to demand, as Palestine does, that residents of Gaza be permitted to leave their cage; to build a proper port; to rebuild their airport (destroyed by Israel in 2002); to farm their fields, even within three kilometers of their border with Israel; to fish their waters more than three nautical miles offshore; to export their produce and to import basic necessities?

Additionally, is it unreasonable to demand that the 61 Palestinians released in the Shalit prison swap and effectively kidnapped by Israel soon after the kidnapping in the West Bank of three young settlers be re-released?

This is all that Palestine has been demanding. To what other people could such modest demands be denied, as they have been throughout seven years of siege and blockade?

On the other hand, is it reasonable to demand, as Israel does, that, prior to any definitive agreement ending the occupation, Gaza be completely “demilitarized,” thereby stripping its people of any means of resisting their 47-year-long occupation (a right of resistance to foreign occupation being recognized by international law) or even of reminding a world which has preferred to ignore them of their miserable existence.

A high degree of “demilitarization” of the State of Palestine might well be agreed to in a definitive agreement ending the occupation, since Palestinians would not wish to give Israel any future excuse to re-invade and re-occupy Palestine, but what is needed now is not acquiescence in the occupation but the end of the occupation.

For the Israeli government, the best result that it can now realistically hope for is to maintain the status quo ante (including the siege of Gaza) and to again get away with murder, and, with Western powers exerting enormous pressures on Palestine not to join the International Criminal Court or otherwise seek recourse to international law to protect the Palestinian people, Israel should be able to achieve this simply by not agreeing to anything with the Palestinians.

Such a result would clearly be unjust and unsatisfactory for Palestine and ensure yet another round of death and destruction in the near future.

Only serious and principled outside pressure on Israel to accede to most of the reasonable Palestinian demands, accompanied by credible threats of meaningful adverse consequences for Israeli obstinacy, would offer any hope achieving a win-win result which could make yet another replay of this latest onslaught unlikely.

Unfortunately, with the United States, the major European states and Egypt all firmly aligned on Israel’s side, any such serious and principled pressure is difficult to imagine in the absence of some game-changing Palestinian initiative.

With a view to saving Israeli face while ending the siege of Gaza (and subsequently the occupation of the entire State of Palestine), the Palestinian leadership should publicly request the deployment of UN, US or NATO troops to both Gaza and the West Bank to protect both Israelis and Palestinians from further violence pending a full Israeli withdrawal from the occupied State of Palestine.

Neither Israelis nor Palestinians will have peace or security until the occupation ends on either a decent two-state or a democratic one-state basis, and the current round of Gaza massacres may have produced a moment when even Western governments, notwithstanding their knee-jerk pro-Israel public pronouncements, are conscious of this reality and could, if given a significant prod and incentive to act on this consciousness, actually do so.

(Source / 20.08.2014)

Israel Refuses To Lift Blockade, Resumes Shelling

Israeli forces launch attacks, injuring two Palestinian children, in retaliation for rocket fire from Gaza


Palestinians search the rubble to collect what they can from their family destroyed houses, hit by Israeli strikes in Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014

Peace talks in Cairo collapsed on Tuesday morning after Israeli delegates refused to lift the blockade on Gaza, a key demand of Palestinian negotiators. Meanwhile, Israeli forces have resumed shelling the besieged strip, indicating that the tentative truce is now over.

As air strikes resumed, AFP reports that thousands of Palestinian civilians in Gaza City fled their homes “carrying bags of clothes, pillows and mattresses,” streaming towards United Nations-designated shelters at local schools. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (URWA)reported strikes in “North Gaza, Middle and Khan Younis.”

According to reports, the Israeli warplanes were launched in retaliation for three rockets fired from Gaza, which Israeli officials said broke the extended ceasefire agreement. Two Palestinian boys aged six and nine were wounded when the bombs struck the southern city of Rafah, the Palestinian emergency services spokesman said.

As of Monday, over 238,000 internally displaced Palestinians are being sheltered in 81 UNRWA schools, the agency reports. And, anticipating the end of the ceasefire, many more fled to shelters overnight. According to the UN’s toll, since Israeli forces launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8th, there have been 1,976 verified Palestinian deaths with 1,417 believed to be civilians, including 459 children and 239 women.

(Source / 20.08.2014)

Report: ISIS Recruited 6,300 New Fighters In July

Recruitment Efforts Soaring, Syrians Flock to Islamist Faction.


Fighters of the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) parade in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq

The surge of fighters into Iraq has the Islamic State of Iraq and Syrian (ISIS) recruitment effort picking up dramatic pace, with rebel mouthpiece the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reporting they signed up 6,300 new fighters in July alone.

That’s a huge addition, and also a shift in the overall makeup of ISIS, as some 5,000 of the new recruits were believed to be Syrians. ISIS is overwhelmingly made up of foreign fighters.

The influx of Syrian recruits finally gives ISIS a meaningful membership which is local to their new “caliphate,” as opposed to simply foreign invaders who are carving out a religious state in territory they ousted Syria and Iraq from.

The recruitment surge is likely not a one-off deal, either, with the group picking up its efforts even more this month, following the US launching an air war in Iraq. The US war is expected to have a big impact on recruitment of westerners, as well as locals still angry at the last US occupation.

(Source / 20.08.2014)


Gaza reminds us of Zionism’s original sin

Palestinians recover belongings from the Khuzaa neighborhood of Khan Younis, southern Gaza, on 3 August following bombardment by Israeli forces

The morning after Lailat al-Qadr, the death toll in Gaza was approaching its first thousand.

Al-Qadr — the night before the last Friday in the holy month of Ramadan — is believed to be the night when the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. I spent this special night with friends in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah after participating in the “48K March” for Gaza.

The march began in Ramallah and went to Qalandiya checkpoint. What began as a peaceful event with families bringing their children and even babies in strollers, ended with young Palestinians with gunshot wounds being rushed in ambulances to the local hospital.

Qalandiya crossing was fortified and air-tight, and the Israeli soldiers stationed on top were shooting live ammunition at the crowd.

As the ambulances were speeding through the crowd, I couldn’t help but wonder why there is no hospital between Qalandiya and Ramallah, a good distance which includes the municipalities of Jerusalem, al-Bireh and Ramallah.

The following night I was scheduled to leave Palestine to return to the United States. But Israeli forces sealed all the roads from Ramallah to Jerusalem for the night, and they were likely to be sealed the following day as well.

At the crack of dawn, when things had quietened down, my friend Samer drove me to a checkpoint that he suspected would be open. It was open, albeit for Israelis only, and from there I made my way back to Jerusalem.

That evening, as I was preparing to leave for Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, people around me were trying to calm me down. “Don’t aggravate them, cooperate and they will be nice,” they said. “Why go through all this unnecessary inconvenience?”

They were talking about the “Smiling Gestapo,” Israeli security officers at Tel Aviv airport that go by the squeaky clean name of the Airport Security Division.

Non-cooperation and resistance

Listening to this, I was reminded of Jewish communities under the Nazi regime who believed that if they cooperated and showed they were good citizens then all would be well. But the road from cooperation to the concentration camps and then the gas chambers was a direct one.

The policies of racist discrimination and humiliation at Ben Gurion airport, and the policies of ethnic cleansing and murder of Palestinians in Gaza, emanate from the same Zionist ideology.

As we have seen over the past seven decades, cooperation and laying low do not make things ok.

Cooperation with the Israeli authorities might lead to short-term relief but it also validates Israel’s “right” to terrorize and humiliate Palestinians with our consent, “we” being all people of conscience. Whether we are Palestinian or not, the call of the hour is non-cooperation and resistance against injustice.

Today, Israel and its supporters lay the blame for the violence in Gaza on Hamas. But Israel did not start its assaults on the Gaza Strip when Hamas was established in the late 1980s. Israel began attacking Gaza when the Strip was populated with the first generation refugees in the early 1950s.

Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, are not faced with an option to resist and be killed or live in peace. They are presented with the options of being killed standing up and fighting or being killed sleeping in their beds.

“Sea of hatred”

Gaza is being punished because Gaza is a constant reminder to Israel and the world of the original sin of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the creation of a so-called Jewish state. Even though Palestinian resistance has never presented a military threat to Israel, it has always been portrayed as an existential threat to the state.

Moshe Dayan, the famed Israeli general with the eyepatch, described this in a speech in April 1956. He spoke in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, an Israeli settlement on the boundary of the Gaza Strip where Israeli tanks park each time there is a ground invasion of Gaza.

“Beyond the furrow of this border, there surges a sea of hatred and revenge,” Dayan saidthen. Ironically, when six months later Israel had occupied Gaza and my father was appointed its military governor, he said that he saw “no hatred or desire for vengeance but a people eager to live and work together for a better future.”

Still, today, Israeli commanders and politicians say pretty much the same: Israel is destined to live by the sword and must strike Gaza whenever possible. Never mind the fact that Palestinians have never posed a military challenge, much less a threat to Israel.

After all, Palestinians have never possessed as much as a tank, a warship or a fighter jet, not to say a regular army.

So why the fear? Why the constant, six-decade-long campaign against Gaza? Because Palestinians in Gaza, more so than anywhere else, pose a threat to Israel’s legitimacy.

Israel is an illegitimate creation brought about by a union between racism and colonialism. The refugees who make up the majority of the population in the Gaza Strip are a constant reminder of this.

They are a reminder of the crime of ethnic cleansing upon which Israel was established. The poverty, lack of resources and lack of freedom stand in stark contrast to the abundance, freedom and power that exist in Israel and that rightfully belongs to Palestinians.

Generous offer

Back at Ben Gurion airport that night, I was told that if I cooperate and plead with the shift supervisor it would make the security screening go faster. When I declined this generous offer, I was told they “did not like my attitude.”

They proceeded to paste a sticker with the same bar code on my luggage and give me the same treatment Palestinians receive.

As I write these words, the number of Palestinians murdered by Israel in Gaza has exceeded two thousand. Ending the insufferable, brutal and racist regime that was created by the Zionists in Palestine is the call of our time.

Criticizing Palestinian resistance is unconscionable. Israel must be subjected to boycott, divestment and sanctions. Israeli diplomats must be sent home in shame. Israeli leaders, and Israeli commanders traveling abroad, must fear prosecution.

And these measures are to be combined with disobedience, non-cooperation and uncompromising resistance. This and only this will show mothers, fathers and children in Gaza that the world cares and that “never again” is more than an empty promise.

(Source / 20.08.2014)

1000s of Yemen’s Houthis protest in Sana’a

Houthi Shias gather in tents in Hamdan near the capital Sana’a on August 20, 2014.

Houthi Shias gather in tents in Hamdan near the capital Sana’a on August 20, 2014


Thousands of Houthi Shias have strengthened their positions in the capital Yemen in their efforts to press the Yemeni government to resign.

On Wednesdays, the Housthis rejected a joint statement by Arab states behind a Saudi-backed initiative to complete the political transition process.

The Houthis told the ten country’s ambassadors to stick to the Yemeni nation.

The Shia protesters said they wanted the government to cancel a decision to increase gas and diesel prices and take measures to fight corruption.

Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi called for dialogue in an attempt to ease the tensions and invited the Houthi representatives to join a “unity government.”

Yemen’s Shia Houthi movement draws its name from the tribe of its founding leader Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi.

The Houthi movement played a key role in the popular revolution that forced former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

Saleh, who ruled Yemen for 33 years, stepped down in February 2012 under a US-backed power transfer deal in return for immunity, after a year of mass street demonstrations demanding his ouster.

(Source / 20.08.2014)