The 4th Geneva Convention (international law) specifically states: ” A militarily occupied people have a ‘duty’ to defend themselves” and this includes by use of force.

Hamas is a national Palestinian movement that works with the rest of the Palestinian people and with all national and Islamic factions and bodies, along with the people of conscience all over the world on resisting the Israeli occupation.

Founded on December 14, 1987 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the group has always striven to liberate the Palestinian land, Jerusalem, and Islamic and Christian holy places and to secure the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland and establish a sovereign Palestinian State.

Hamas is involved in serving the Palestinian people wherever they exist and in every aspect, so that they remain steadfast in their efforts to confront the occupation.

The group has sought to alleviate Palestinian suffering in all possible and effective ways with an ultimate goal to bring an end to the prolonged occupation on historical Palestine.

Hamas is a comprehensive institutional movement taking resistance against the Israeli occupation as its main goal and strategic project.

Hamas is an integral part of the Arab and Islamic nation in identity and affiliation. It is, with the entire Palestinian spectrum and resistance bodies, considered at the forefront in confronting the Israeli occupation which threatens our nation and region.

Hamas is a national liberation movement with a moderate Islamic school of thought that confines its struggle and work in the cause of Palestine, and does not interfere in the affairs of others.

Hamas believes in the unity of its people in all places and the unity of religious, political and intellectual components. It upholds the rights of the Palestinian people and its national constants that Hamas refuses to be waived or compromised.

Hamas limits its struggle against the Israeli occupation only, and has no fight with any party in the world. They do not resist but who attacks the Palestinian people and occupies their motherland. For Hamas, resistance is a mean, not an end.

Hamas does not fight and resist the Israelis because they are Jews, but because they are occupiers. Hamas has no problem with anyone because of their religion, race, sect or idea; its key contradiction, however, is with the occupiers and aggressors.

For Hamas, all types of legitimate resistance are practiced to end the oppression and injustice imposed by Israel, and it is Hamas’s right then to resist with all means, including armed resistance, guaranteed by divine and international laws.

Hamas believes in and practices openness towards everyone, except those who occupied the land and who have been seeking to legitimize occupation and ongoing crimes against the Palestinians.

The movement has always welcomed the communications with all nations and peoples, cultures and civilizations, based on the ground of recognition of the rights of the people of Palestine to liberate their land, and to self-determination.

Hamas exercises democracy inside its institutions, and with its people and partners in Palestine. The movement is committed to the option of free elections and resorting to the polls in constructing the Palestinian political system, and creating all national institutions with the participation of everyone. It also believes in partnership, cooperation with others and coexistence with dissenting views.

A number of the group’s leaders and prominent anti-occupation activists were killed as time has passed by. But that has never prevented Hamas from carrying out its liberation mission in the same enthusiasm, determination, and efficiency the world’s anti-colonization movements have often manifested of.

In September of 2014, Europe removed Hamas from the EU Terror Listdue to Hamas compliance with international law in their resistance against Israeli occupation.

In an interview with Sheikh Ahmed Yassine, founder of Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement), he says:

“We don’t hate Jews, we only want them to give us our rights.”

(Source / 19.12.2015)



Ramallah – 15 Palestinian teachers have been kidnapped in the West Bank and Jerusalem by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) since the outbreak of al-Quds intifada (uprising) in early October, according to an official source from the ministry of education.

During the same period, the IOF detained dozens of teachers and prevented them from reaching their schools, especially in al-Khalil.

40 others also suffered tear gas and bullet injuries in the last two month during IOF campaigns and attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

In a related incident, the IOF at dawn Monday kidnapped principal of Beit al-Maqdes school Haifa Abu Ramila from her house in al-Khalil city.

(Source / 19.12.2015)

Israeli forces kill 3 Palestinians, injure at least 78 others in clashes

Photo published for Israeli forces kill 3 Palestinians, injure at least 78 others in clashes

Soldiers open fire on protesters in West Bank and Gaza using live fire and rubber-coated steel bullets

Israeli forces on Friday shot and killed three Palestinians and wounded at least 78 others in clashes that raged across the occupied Palestinian territories for a second straight day, according to officials and local reports.

Forces killed a Palestinian driver they accused of trying to ram his car into a group of Israeli soldiers. Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the assailant sped toward forces engaged in clashes with protesters in the town of Silwad, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Samri said the Israeli forces took cover behind concrete blocks and fatally shot the driver. She said no Israelis were wounded.

The alleged attack was the second to take place on Friday. In the earlier attack, which occurred at a West Bank checkpoint, the suspected assailant was wounded and subsequently arrested.

Thumbnail image for Palestinians in occupied territories need protection

Palestinians in occupied territories need protection

The international community must safeguard Palestinians in East Jerusalem

Clashes on Friday between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters occurred in a number of villages and cities across the West Bank, including Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and Bethlehem.

During the clashes, Israeli forces reportedly opened fire on protesters using a combination of live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets. At least 38 Palestinians were shot and injured in the violence, according to local Ma’an News Agency.

Of those injured, one protester who was shot in the chest in the village of Sinjil, near Ramallah, died in the hospital of his wounds. Another protester shot in the head at the Beit Einun junction near Hebron is in critical condition, Ma’an reported.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces on Friday shot and killed a Palestinian protester during clashes in the Gaza Strip and injured at least 40 others, according to the territory’s ministry of health.

Citing a health official, Ma’an reported the deceased as Mahmoud Muhammad Saed al-Agha, 20, of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

The recent surge in violence broke out in early October after Israel imposed restrictions on worshipers at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. After the restrictions were implemented, four Israelis were killed in two attacks blamed on Palestinians. Israeli settlers in the West Bank responded by rioting, assaulting Palestinians and destroying their property. A spate of protests, clashes and retaliatory stabbings have ensued.

Since the beginning of October, at least 129 Palestinians and 19 Israelis have been killed. Thousands of Palestinians have also been injured in clashes with Israeli forces, overwhelming the Red Crescent and local medical facilities.

Palestinian protesters are calling for unrestricted access to worship at Al-Aqsa, a site also revered by Jews as the location of two ancient temples. The protesters also demand an end to Israel’s decades-long military occupation of the Palestinian territories and the cessation of settlement building, both of which are illegal under international law.

(Source / 19.12.2015)

Settlers Beat Farmer and Son near Bethlehem

Israeli settlers, Saturday morning, physically assaulted and briefly detained a Palestinian farmer and his son in Tuqu‘ town, southeast of Bethlehem, said a municipal source.

archive image: Days of Palestine

WAFA correspondence reported head of Tuqu‘ local council, Taysir Abu Mefreh, as saying that ‘Ali Hmaid, 60, and his son, Eyad, in his 30s, were attacked by a number of settlers from Tekoa illegal settlement while they were plowing their land in Rakhma locality.

Settlers reportedly briefly detained Ali and his son, forcing them to lie face down on the ground. They also seized their tractor.

Tuqu‘, a town dating back to 1948, has a population of about 9,000 who originate from ‘Arab al-Ta‘amra. The town includes three other localities: Khirbet Ad Deir, Al Halkoom, and Khirbet Tuqu’.

According to the Tuqu‘ Town Profile published by the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, thirty percent of the town population work in agriculture. Workers in agriculture are classified as one of the vulnerable social groups in the town.

The town population also depend on livestock for their livelihood. They produce and sell dairy products in local market and Bethlehem market.

The town occupies a total area of about 191,262 dunams of which 188,845 dunams are considered arable land, and 590 dunams are residential land. A total of 6,250 dunams (accounting for about 3 percent) are planted with seasonal and permanent crops. A total area of 1,499 dunams has been confiscated from the town population for Israeli settlement construction.

Agricultural production in the town depends mostly on rainwater. The most common crop cultivated within this area is white cabbage. A total rain-fed area of 5,000 dunams are planted with olive trees.

Following Oslo Interim Agreement, 141,682 dunams, accounting for 74.1% of the total area of the town, were classified as area C. A total of 46,589 dunams (accounting for 24.4% of the total area of the town) was classified as nature reserves.

Following Israeli occupation in 1967, Israel confiscated 1,436 dunams belonging to the town for the construction of Tekoa, Mshoki Dargot and Mizpe Shalem settlements and six other settlement outposts.

Tekoa settlement was established in 1977 on a total area of 1,071 dunams confiscated from the town. Settlers have frequently attacked Palestinians shepherds grazing their sheep on their land adjacent to the settlements and torched olive orchards.

(Source / 19.12.2015)

Italy contributes over $2 million to Palestinian refugees in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Italian government contributed 2.18 million euro ($ 2,390,351) to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in order to provide food assistance to refugees living in the besieged Gaza Strip, the agency said.UNRWA said in a statement that the donation came as the number of Palestinian refugees in need of food assistance in the coastal enclave has increased tenfold over the last 15 years, and is expected to increase up to 1 million in 2016.The agency highlighted that the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014 as well as the ongoing blockade — which entered its ninth year in June — have devastated the local economy and contribute to one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.UNRWA has struggled to meet the needs of over five million Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, who are the descendants of around 750,000 Palestinians who were displaced during the establishment of Israel in 1948.

(Source / 19.12.2015)

A small step toward recognizing the Nakba

Palestinians put a sign marking the destroyed village of Lajjun in northern Israel, Nakba Day, May 15, 2015. (Photo by Omar Sameer/Activestills.org)

Palestinians put a sign marking the destroyed village of Lajjun in northern Israel, Nakba Day, May 15, 2015

About two weeks ago, far from the public eye, something with potentially far-reaching and serious consequences occurred in Israel: An inspector on a local planning committee recommended that a sign be placed at a site slated for development in the city of Ashkelon, mentioning the Palestinian town of Hamama that stood there until 1948.

The inspector’s recommendation came in response to an objection to the development submitted by De-Colonizer, a research and art laboratory for social change based in Israel, as part of a public campaign that has been joined by hundreds of people in Israel and around the world.

In his recommendation the inspector wrote: “A museum will, if it is built, note the site’s Canaanite, Philistine, Phoenician, Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine, Arab and Crusader heritage, and/or a sign will be put up mentioning the town of Hamama next to the vegetation from that time: cactuses, and so on.”

This is a significant leap forward. Until now not a single member of Israel’s planning establishment has ever officially suggested commemorating a Palestinian town destroyed by Israel during the Nakba. Proposals to put up such signs come from outside the establishment, generally as a way to criticize the powers that be.

Such suggestions and activities are generally viewed as provocation. Hundreds of unofficial signs put up by groups such as Zochrot, which seeks to bring awareness of the Nakba and Palestinian refugees to the Israeli public, were taken down a short time after appearing.

The idea of putting up signs in recognition of Nakba villages and towns was originally developed by Zochrot, along with a small group of Israelis who met in Tel Aviv in December 2001 to discuss the topic.

That discussion revolved around a text I had written, which included the following point: “Mentioning destroyed Palestinian villages through erecting signs marks another effort to bring civil and national equality in Israel. Physical signage of the villages and a public discussion about the Palestinian Nakba will encourage a more moral dialogue, in which the suffering of victims and the desecration caused will be recognized.

“This public recognition is an expression of a genuine desire for reconciliation. The visibility of the destroyed villages could move the Jewish public into a liberating process of confronting [this topic].”

The dialogue around the Nakba has indeed developed significantly since then, following diverse and intensive activities on the subject. But the the idea of putting up simple signs in order to note the former presence of these villages still arouses panic and automatic opposition in Israel.

It is interesting and saddening that despite the progress in the discussions surrounding the Nakba, one can still see with a naked eye the violence and racism that prevails in public discourse, the end of which is nowhere in sight.

The committee did not accept the full recommendation of the inspector. It removed the suggestion to put up a sign, just as regular Israelis do when these signs actually appear on the landscape.

The committee’s decision stated: “Should a museum be established, the committee recommends that it include the periods presented, documenting and referencing the village.”

Putting up signs such as these is essentially a colonial act that is a given for the sovereign power alone. Therefore, even signs referencing Israel’s Palestinian history remain incredibly challenging.

Following that same small meeting in 2001, Zochrot held its first tour on Land Day in 2002. The visit was to the village of Miska, and included putting up several memorial and informational signs. Since then dozens of such tours have taken place, in which thousands of Israelis have participated, including two just the last week to Abu Kabir and Hamama.

Even if these signs do not stay up for long, it is becoming clear that there are open ears within planning committees that are changing their language. The insistence on continuing to write in this de-colonized language seems like a frivolous dream given the current difficult reality. But without that dream we will have to put up with living by the sword. That, in itself, must rouse every human being.

(Source / 19.12.2015)

Scores killed as Yemen peace talks come to a close

At least 68 people were killed near the northern town of Haradh

The United Nations confirmed that Sunday would mark the final day of talks

Fierce fighting between coalition-backed government forces and Houthi rebels in Yemen produced heavy casualties on Saturday amid UN alarm at ceasefire violations ahead of a final day of peace talks in Switzerland.

At least 68 people were killed near the northern town of Haradh, which was overrun by loyalists on Thursday, military and tribal sources said.

The casualties were 28 troops and 40 Shiite Houthi rebels, with another 50 Houthi and 40 loyalists wounded.

The United Nations confirmed that Sunday would mark the final day of talks.

UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed plans to hold a news conference later on Sunday in Bern “on the conclusion of the Yemen peace talks held this week in Switzerland”, a statement said.

Meanwhile, loyalist forces had advanced within 40m of rebel-held capital Sanaa as they pressed their advance against the insurgents, military sources said, in disregard of the UN-brokered ceasefire.

Pro-government forces supported by a Saudi-led coalition had kept up pressure in Sanaa province’s Nihm district after significant gains in Marib province east of the capital.

The forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, and allied tribes in the area, have laid siege to Nihm’s Fardha military base northeast of the capital.

Despite the proximity, the roughly 40km separating Nihm from Sanaa is mostly rugged mountainous terrain.

Government forces advance

On Friday, loyalists seized Hazm, capital of Jawf province, to the northeast of Sanaa.

By Saturday, they had extended their gains in Jawf, capturing Al-Ghayl and Al-Maton districts, according to sources in the pro-Hadi Popular Resistance militia.

The two areas fell after clashes between advancing forces and rebels and renegade troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, said Ameen al-Ukaymi, a tribal chief of the Popular Resistance.

Government forces are now heading west towards the contiguous rebel strongholds of Amran and Saada provinces, immediately north of the capital, Ukaymi said.

Military sources said coalition-backed pro-Hadi forces reinforced Hazm Saturday, including with tanks and other armoured vehicles.

The operations took place despite the ceasefire that has been repeatedly violated since it came into force as the UN-sponsored talks opened Tuesday in Switzerland.

The UN envoy, Ould Cheikh Ahmed, expressed, “deep concern at the numerous reports of violations of the cessation of hostilities”, his office said late Friday.

His comments came after the pro-government forces seized two northern towns and the rebels fired two ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia.

He “urges all parties to respect this agreement and allow unhindered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most affected districts of Yemen,” the statement said.

It was issued after a fourth day of rocky peace talks, during which the special envoy “held several sessions with the participants”, the statement added.

The discussions “focused mostly on security issues in Yemen, in light of the alarming developments on the ground”, it said, stressing that both sides had “renewed their commitment for a ceasefire”.

“A coordination and de-escalation committee was created to strengthen adherence to the cessation of hostilities,” the statement said.

The UN announced a first breakthrough in the talks on Thursday, saying the sides had agreed to “allow for a full and immediate resumption of humanitarian assistance” in the flashpoint Yemeni city of Taez.

But a local group, the Humanitarian Relief Coalition, said no UN aid had reached the city, and accused rebels of blocking aid deliveries to areas where Hadi loyalists are holed up.

Yemen’s conflict began in September 2014, when the Huthis advanced from their northern strongholds to occupy the capital Sanaa.

It has escalated dramatically since Saudi-led air strikes against the rebels began in March, with more than 5,800 people killed and more than 27,000 wounded since then, according to UN figures.

(Source / 19.12.2015)

Israeli forces shoot at Palestinian fishermen off Gaza

Palestinian fishermen check their nets on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea near the border between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, November 6, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Palestinian fishermen check their nets on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea near the border between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, November 6, 2015

Palestinian officials say Israeli naval forces have opened fire on seven Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Security authorities, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israeli forces targeted Palestinian boats near the shores of Beit Lahia on Saturday morning, the Arabic-language Palestine Al’an news agency reported.

There were no immediate reports on casualties and the extent of damage inflicted on the Palestinian boats.

Around 4,000 fishermen work in Gaza, with more than half of them living below the poverty line.

Israel had imposed limits of three nautical miles on fishing in waters off the Gaza shore until last August.

Under a ceasefire agreement following a deadly 50-day Israeli war on Gaza in August 2014, Tel Aviv agreed to immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles off the shore.

The agreement also stipulated that Israel expand the area gradually up to 12 miles.

Palestinian fishermen, however, say the Israeli navy opens fire on them before they reach the agreed limit.

Over the past two years, Israeli forces have carried out about 150 attacks on Palestinian boats, arresting nearly two dozen fishermen and confiscating nine boats.

The Gaza Strip has been under Israel’s blockade since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

Israel started its latest war on the Gaza Strip in early July last year. The offensive ended on August 26, 2014, with a truce that took effect after indirect negotiations in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children, were killed in Israel’s 50-day onslaught. Over 11,100 others – including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people – were also injured.

(Source / 19.12.2015)

After 2 years behind bars, ‘Hares boys’ sentenced to 15 years

SALFIT (Ma’an) — After over two years behind bars, five Palestinian teens from the village of Hares were sentenced to 15 years in prison and given fines of 30,000 shekels ($7700) for throwing stones, according to relatives.The five, aged 16 to 17 at the time of their arrest, were each facing 20 charges of attempted murder and potential life imprisonment for allegedly throwing rocks.An Israeli court issued the sentence against Muhammad Mahdi Suleiman,Tamer Ayyad Ahmad Souf, Ammar Abd al-Nayif Souf, Ali Yassin Ali Shamlawi and Muhammad Jumaa Muhammad Kleib, Suleiman’s mother told Ma’an on Saturday.The families of the five youths called upon local, Arab, and international institutions to take action towards reducing the sentences, and asked national institutions for aid in paying the fines.The ruling marks a poor end to the long battle waged by the teens’ families as well as rights groups who said the youth were being held without evidence, and unjustly prosecuted in a military court system that convicts over 99 percent of Palestinians.Their arrests on Mar. 15, 2013 followed the hospitalization of a three-year-old Israeli girl, Adele Biton, who suffered severe head injuries when her mother’s car collided with a truck near the Israeli mega-settlement of Ariel.The toddler died two years later from a complications following pneumonia, according to Israeli media.The Israeli vehicle reportedly lost control after being hit by a stone, and the five teens were later accused of throwing stones that day at vehicles driving on Route 5, a highway leading to several nearby Israeli settlements.Twenty Israeli drivers afterwards filed insurance claims stating that stones hit their cars, but the incidents lacked eyewitness testimony and the police received no calls at the time the teens were throwing stones.All five denied the allegations, but later signed confessions “after being repeatedly abused in prison and during interrogations,” according to “Hares Boys,” an activist blog dedicated to raising awareness of their case.One of the five, Ali Shamlawi, was reportedly told upon his arrest to “kiss and hug your mother goodbye. You may never see her again.”The Hares Boys blog wrote in their defense in 2013: “If the boys are convicted, this case would set a legal precedent which would allow the Israeli military to convict any Palestinian child or youngster for attempted murder in cases of stone-throwing.”Israeli Prime Minister in September declared a “war on stone throwing,” establishing a minimum prison sentence for adults who throw stones as well as allowing Israeli forces to use sniper fire against stone throwers in circumstances that pose mortal danger.The PM at the time said that there would be “significant fines” for minors who commit such offences, as well as for their parents.The Knesset had already passed a law in July making penalties for stone-throwing more severe. The new law allowed for stone-throwers to receive a 20-year prison sentence where intent to harm could be proven, and 10 years where it could not.At the time the bill was passed, Palestinian MK Jamal Zahalka said: “Who will the judge send to prison? He who demolished the home, seized the land, killed the brother, or the boy who threw a stone?”

(Source / 19.12.2015)

Lieberman: Israel will not end Gaza siege to restore ties with Turkey

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Former Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has ruled out that Turkey will give up its request to end the blockade on Gaza as a condition for reviving its relations with Israel.

Lieberman, the chief of the right-wing party Yisrael Beiteinu, slammed in press remarks on Friday the Israeli government’s intention to normalize relations with Ankara, describing president Recep Erdogan as a leader of an extremist Islamist regime.

He warned that Israel would damage its relations with Greece, Cyprus and Egypt if it decided to normalize its relations with Turkey, expressing his belief that Israel would not respond to Turkey’s insistence on lifting the blockade on Gaza.

In this regard, an official source in Tel Aviv told a Hebrew radio that the Israeli government would never accept ending the siege on Gaza, affirming that if Turkey insisted on this matter, there would be no political agreement with it.

(Source / 19.12.2015)