Chief Jewish rabbi: ‘Non-Jews have no place in Palestine’

The rabbi said if non-Jews are to stay in occupied Palestine, they had to stay for only one purpose –serving Jews

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Youssef said on Saturday that “non-Jews have no right to live in occupied Palestine.”

He says: “If non-Jews are to stay in Israel (occupied Palestine), they had to stay for only one purpose –serving Jews.”

Days of Palestine, Jerusalem -Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Youssef said on Saturday that “non-Jews have no right to live in occupied Palestine.”

In his weekly preach, Youssef said: “Based on the Judaism, non-Jews have not right to live in Israel, occupied Palestine.”

He added: “If the non-Jews do not commit to Noah’s heavenly law, we had to deport them to Saudi Arabia… This is what we are demanded to do.”

The only reason that Jews have not yet deported non-Jews from ‘Israel,’ he said, is the “we are not persistent, noting “if we had enough power to do this, we would have done it.”

Youssef reiterated that when the Messiah comes, Jews would be able to deport non-Jews form occupied Palestine. “Therefore, we have to wait until the arrival of the Messiah,” he said.

Regarding the role of the non-Jews, who should remain in occupied Palestine, he said: “They must commit to the Noah’s heavenly laws, including the performance of their well-known roles –serving the Jews.”

Early this month, Youssef said that killing Palestinians is recommended by the Torah, the Israeli holy book. It has been common that Israeli soldiers and settlers kill Palestinians even if they do not pose any danger on them.

(Source / 28.03.2016)

Samidoun’s Charlotte Kates Discusses The PA’s Complicity In The Death Of Omar Nayef Zayed

The true “embassies” of the Palestinian people are the community centers and grassroots institutions built by Palestinians in exile and diaspora everywhere in the world, that support Palestinian refugees, prisoners and strugglers and defend the Palestinian cause.’


Well-known Palestinian political prisoner Omar Nayef Zayed was found dead inside the Palestinian Authority’s embassy (

SOFIA, Bulgaria — The brutal death of a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine at the Palestinian Authority’s embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, serves as a grim reminder of the interminable cycle of the PA’s collaboration with, and dependence upon, Israel.

Omar Nayef Zayed, originally from the West Bank city of Jenin, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1986 for the murder of an Israeli student in occupied East Jerusalem. Just four years into his sentence, he managed to flee after being transferred to a hospital following a 40-day hunger strike. In 1994, he settled in Bulgaria, where he was granted residency in 2012. The married father of three ran a vegetable shop in the country’s capital.

On Dec. 15, 2015, Israeli judicial authorities sought Zayed’s extradition through correspondence directed to the Bulgarian justice ministry, in which Zayed was deemed “a fugitive from justice.” Zayed’s home was raided two days later, prompting him to seek refuge at the PA’s embassy.

The details surrounding his death remain unclear. However, several incidents and statements shed light upon the high probability of collaboration and complicity between the PA, Israel and Bulgarian authorities.

Embassy staff discovered Zayed’s blood-soaked body in the embassy’s garden on the morning of Feb. 26. He died en route to a hospital, just hours after Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov returned from meetingsheld in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, where Zayed’s extradition was among the issues discussed.

According to Zayed’s wife, Rania, PA personnel at the embassy pressured him to leave the embassy, telling him, “Israel has all the keys.” She was quoted as saying that embassy staff told Zayed, “Although you’re in the embassy, we can’t protect you. They used to threaten him to leave the embassy.”

Statements regarding his death were also contradictory. Initially, both Zayed’s family and Palestinian staff at the embassy spoke of evidence of inflicted violence upon his body. However, The Associated Press reported that Belgian authorities “said they had yet to determine whether he fell, jumped or was pushed from the building.” Further, the AP reported, “PFLP initially said Zayed had been shot, but Palestinian Ambassador Ahmed al-Madbuh did not repeat those claims and Bulgarian officials insisted there were no gunshot wounds.”

Mideast Israel Obit Ariel Sharon

FILE – In this Wednesday, June 4, 2003 file photo, continuing his Middle East peace pursuits, U.S. President George W. Bush, center, with Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, left, and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, right finalize the road map to peace at Beit al Bahar Palace in the Jordanian Red Sea resort of Aqaba. Sharon, the hard-charging Israeli general and prime minister who was admired and hated for his battlefield exploits and ambitions to reshape the Middle East, died Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. The 85-year-old Sharon had been in a coma since a debilitating stroke eight years ago

Speaking to MintPress News, Charlotte Kates, coordinator of : Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, a network of activists working for the realization of the rights of Palestinian political prisoners, explains the intricacies of this latest assault on Palestinian autonomy and resistance.

For Palestinians, efforts to keep Zayed’s legacy alive are intertwined with the wider anti-colonial struggle. Zayed’s mysterious death at the embassy is an extension of the PA’s security coordination agreement with Israel — an agreement which has been used to mete out as collective punishment against Palestinians in the West Bank.

The political context of colonial violence is constantly producing new victims; however, Zayed’s murder should serve as an eye-opener regarding the absolute degradation of the Palestinian people by the internationally-recognized government and its representatives abroad.

MintPress News (MPN): What is the best way to shift discourse from the “failure to protect” to a complete willingness to collaborate in this assassination?

Charlotte Kates (CK): When we look at the role of the Palestinian Authority in the death of Omar Nayef Zayed, what we see is that it is fully responsible as part of the triangle of responsibility that killed Omar: the Israeli secret services and extradition attempt; the Bulgarian government and security services that sought to deliver Omar to the Israeli state; and the Palestinian Authority, that was charged with protecting Omar within the embassy, but instead subjected him to constant pressure to leave the embassy rather than protect him or provide him with the security that he required and deserved.

We do not yet have all the facts about what happened to Omar, or about how he was killed, or who exactly carried out these actions. There have been many reports, and a great deal of them have been contradictory and based on rumors. What we do know is that there are several simultaneous investigations being carried out, including independent investigations by Omar’s own comrades, that are fully trustworthy.

But what we also know is the political context for the killing of Omar, which includes the fact of PA security coordination with the Israeli occupation on a daily basis, at the expense of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance. We see that, from the imprisonment of Palestinians for political reasons in PA jails today, to the imprisonment of Ahmad Sa’adat and his comrades in Jericho prison under U.S. and British guards in PA jails, and then their kidnapping in an armed attack by Israeli occupation forces, to the death of Omar Nayef Zayed, the Palestinian Authority, as a creation of Oslo, has acted as a full partner in the suppression of the Palestinian liberation movement rather than a protector of the Palestinian people.

Furthermore, what we also know — factually — is that Palestinian embassy staff, including the ambassador, Ahmed al-Madbuh, constantly pressured Omar to leave the embassy. They denied him visits with lawyers, solidarity delegations and Palestinian community activists. They regularly threatened to bar his wife from visiting him. Rather than acting as Omar’s defenders and protectors, they escalated the already massive levels of pressure and stress on Omar the entire time he was in the embassy.

MPN: What are the options for pursuing truth or justice, given the complicity of the PA in this crime?

CK: There are several investigations being carried out — the official Palestinian and Bulgarian investigations, and also independent investigations being carried out by Omar’s own comrades to determine the facts regarding the killing of Omar. There are various means for pursuing truth and justice, including pursuing accountability through the legal system as well as through the Palestinian liberation movement and the struggle of the Palestinian people.

Furthermore, it is also critical to keep Omar’s legacy, name, and struggle alive — holding ongoing events and protests at Palestinian and Bulgarian embassies, supporting the organizing of Palestinian communities in Bulgaria, in Europe, and throughout the shatat [the Palestinian diaspora] in institutions and community centers that reflect Omar’s values of struggle for liberation rather than coordination with the occupier — ensuring that Omar’s lifetime of struggle remains one that grows and deepens.

MPN: Have there been any other developments with regard to this case?

CK: There are ongoing developments in regard to the case. Investigations and legal actions are being pursued, and the campaign further developed. It is worth noting that the week before Omar was killed, he was visited by an international lawyer and contracted with a new Bulgarian lawyer to pursue his case; in that same week, his case was raised in parliamentary questions by several members of the European Parliament. At the time when Omar was killed, there were increasing protests on his behalf inside and outside Palestine, as well as impending and critically important legal and political developments in his struggle to prevent extradition.

Omar’s case was always important not only for Omar but for all Palestinians in Europe, especially former prisoners and veterans of the struggle, as the Israeli state wishes to pursue these people freely around the world. And Omar’s case remains critically important not only for him as an individual, but for his role as a Palestinian freed prisoner who struggled relentlessly for his own freedom and that of his people.

MPN: Is something being done internationally to [press] for justice in this case? I mean, not merely protests, but a coordinated effort to spread awareness and uncover the truth.

CK: In cities around Palestine — especially in Omar’s hometown of Jenin, where fellow former prisoners Khader Adnan and Mohammed Allan joined the protest — and outside Palestine, in Brussels, London, New York, Rome and elsewhere, people marched and protested for Omar and met with ambassadors. Leila Khaled [a member of the PFLP] went to the European Parliament with members of Samidoun and advocated for Omar. In the meantime, a legal strategy was being pursued to defend Omar and ensure his freedom, with a legal team working hard on his case.

Now that Omar’s life was taken, the campaign continues and in a new form, but still seeking justice for Omar Nayef Zayed. Like the campaign against Omar’s extradition, it is taking place on multiple levels of struggle, including legal work, investigations, and the Palestinian political side. Omar’s case is also one that is clearly very dear to the Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian liberation movement broadly inside Palestine.

On an international public level, the protests and advocacy that are happening alongside the legal, political and investigative work are actually quite critical to ensuring that Omar’s legacy lives on and grows. We want to make sure that Omar’s name is not forgotten, inside or outside Palestine. There are a number of Palestinian leaders who were assassinated in the 1960s and 1970s in Europe — Mahmoud Hamshari, Naim Khader, Wael Zuaiter, and numerous others. Omar Nayef Zayed is one of a long line of Palestinian martyrs, everywhere in exile and diaspora, and protests and struggle for his case, for the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners, and for the freedom of Palestine, are critical to carrying on that legacy and his own work.

MPN: Do you think this case will have any particular impact upon the PA’s image at an international level?

CK: It definitely has had an impact on the Palestinian level. Of course, Palestinians were already very aware of the corruption of the PA, its basis in the Oslo accords that have dramatically undermined the Palestinian liberation movement, and its constant security coordination that is a direct betrayal of the Palestinian resistance. But this case has underlined that the Palestinian Authority institutions outside, including the embassies, are not functioning on behalf of the Palestinian people. And this is having a real impact on Palestinian communities in diaspora around the world.

Far too many international governments that support the Palestinian Authority, like the U.S. government, do so explicitly as a security bulwark against the Palestinian resistance or to prevent or undermine the Palestinianintifada [popular uprising]. But for the international solidarity movement with Palestine, it reminds us that our reference is the Palestinian people and the liberation movement, the strugglers like Omar — who escaped Israeli prison after a 40-day hunger strike, who continued to organize the Palestinian community in Bulgaria 25 years later, who brought his daughter to lead chants against the Israeli war on Gaza and European complicity — and the Palestinian youth in the streets, the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, the Palestinian refugees struggling to return home after 70 years of displacement, the Palestinian workers and popular classes, who are our reference, who lead the Palestinian liberation movement, not the Palestinian Authority.

MPN: How does Omar’s assassination and the role of the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria reflect upon other Palestinian embassies with regard to offering refuge to Palestinians?

CK: Palestinian embassies should serve as a home for the Palestinian people, an arm of the liberation movement. Some of the Palestinians killed in Europe by the Mossad in the 70s were murdered precisely because of their work in establishing PLO liaison offices in Europe, building with the solidarity movement and the Palestinian communities. The Palestinian Authority’s system of embassies, unfortunately, is a product of the Oslo Accords; it does not fulfill this responsibility to the Palestinian people. And Omar’s case underlines that the Palestinian embassies are not places of safety or refuge for the Palestinian people. In order to change that perception, it is necessary to entirely change, to revolutionize, the reality of the function of the Palestinian embassies to serve the people instead of the narrow interests of the authority. The true “embassies” of the Palestinian people are the community centers and grassroots institutions built by Palestinians in exile and diaspora everywhere in the world, that support Palestinian refugees, prisoners and strugglers and defend the Palestinian cause.

(Source / 28.03.2016)

Israeli police round up Palestinian workers in Negev slaughterhouse

NEGEV (Ma’an) — Israeli police raided a chicken slaughterhouse in the Bedouin town of Shaqib al-Salam in the southern Israel region of Negev at dawn on Monday and rounded up scores of Palestinians from the West Bank who were working there without permits.One of the workers told Ma’an that around 100 Israeli police officers stormed the Oof Ooz slaughterhouse and rounded up more than 100 workers.The workers were then taken in buses to an Israeli police station before being sent back to the occupied West Bank.”Police officers had very precise information about the place and they inspected every corner where workers could be,” the worker said, implying that the raid was made based on information received by sources within the slaughterhouse.Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri confirmed that Israeli police and border police entered a poultry factory in Shaqib al-Salam and detained 41 Palestinian workers without official work permits. The workers included minors aged 15 or older.An executive at the the slaughterhouse was also taken in for questioning, al-Samri said.In a separate incident, al-Samri said Israeli police detained 13 Palestinian workers without permits and a contractor on a construction site in Beit Shemesh west of Jerusalem on Monday afternoon.Earlier this month, Israeli security forces began a massive crackdown on undocumented workers, detaining at least 250 Palestinians without work permits on March 10 alone.Large-scale raids against undocumented workers have occurred in the wake of attacks against Israelis committed by Palestinians working in Israel illegally.Al-Samri added that Israeli police were continuing “intensive campaigns” to end the “phenomenon of hiring workers without legal permits.” The police campaign has included legal procedures against employers, as well as those who transport workers without permits and provide them with housing.Palestinians who seek to work in Israel need a special work permit usually granted by the Israeli Civil Administration in coordination with the Israeli Ministry of Labor, but such permits are difficult to obtain.The Bank of Israel reported in March that the number of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank working in Israel — legally and illegally — doubled in the past four years.Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel as the growth of an independent Palestinian economy has been stifled in the West Bank under the ongoing Israeli military occupation, according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.

(Source / 28.03.2016)

Israeli forces return to dehumanizing number system in wake of Hebron killings

After completely closing Shuhada checkpoint to Palestinians in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron) on Thursday, 24thMarch 2016, Israeli forces have now returned to the practice of ‘numbering’ Palestinian residents in order to restrict access to the adjacent neighborhoods. Soldiers are now barring all Palestinians without numbers, and sometimes even those already registered as residents, from entry into the closed military zone.

The neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida and the tiny strip of Shuhada Street that remains accessible for Palestinians after the closure of the rest of the street following the 1994 Ibrahimi Mosque massacre have been declared a closed military zone since November 1st, 2015. Palestinian residents – in contrast to the Zionist extremist settlers living in the illegal settlements nearby – were forced to register with the Israeli forces as residents, and each given a number used to identify them. The closed military zone was designed deliberately to include the Palestinian neighbourhoods while excluding illegal settlements, thus facilitating settler movement on roads that connect the settlements inside the city center of al-Khalil with the Kiryat Arba illegal settlement on the outskirts of the city, roads that only settlers and Israeli forces are allowed to drive on.

Israeli forces completely closed the checkpoint on March 24th, barring any Palestinian from entering, after soldiers gunned down and killed Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif and Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, both 21 years old, summarily executing al-Sharif with a shot to the head after he was already lying incapacitated (warning: graphic footage including execution in video captured by Palestinian B’Tselem volunteer). Throughout the day, Palestinians trying to go back to their homes were denied passage through the checkpoint and Israeli forces at times forced people to wait for more than twenty minutes only to tell them that they would not be allowed in – even though they were officially registered, numbered residents. An elderly woman was repeatedly told by Israeli forces to ‘wait’ when trying to walk to her home through the checkpoint; only after waiting for more than twenty minutes was she finally told that no-one would be allowed to pass that day. She had to turn around and leave after standing outside the checkpoint for close to half an hour. Watch this video taken by the local activist group Youth Against Settlements of the old lady denied access.

As of Saturday, 25th March, Israeli forces entirely returned to the practice of ‘numbering’ Palestinians, checking the numbers of anyone attempting to cross the checkpoint against a list of numbers of residents that have previously been registered. Many Palestinians were forced to wait for hours outside the checkpoint, only to be denied to go to their homes – even though they had registered and thus did appear as a number on the soldiers’ lists. The soldiers were extremely aggressive, yelling at Palestinians in the closed-off ‘room’ inside the checkpoint loudly enough to be clearly audible to anyone waiting outside. When Palestinians tried to seek shelter from the pouring rain in the vicinity of the checkpoint, soldiers exited the checkpoint, yelling and screaming at them to move back. All of the soldiers had removed the orange pin that acts as a safety on their Israeli-government-issued assault rifles – a practice that seems to have become common policy throughout occupied al-Khalil.

Shuhada checkpoint gate

When a woman and her four children tried to pass Shuhada checkpoint, the three smallest children were initially allowed through. When Israeli soldiers delayed the mother and older daughter inside the checkpoint, continuously yelling at them, the young girl on the other side of the checkpoint started crying as she was waiting in the rain for her mother to be allowed to go home with them. After an ordeal of more than ten minutes, soldiers arbitrarily decided that the mother would not be allowed to pass – even though she is registered and numbered – and yelled at her till she finally left. Her children that had been allowed to pass earlier came back to be with their mother, the girl still crying. With many extremist settlers gathering and walking freely on Shuhada Street, the children were too terrified to go home without their mother.

ID with # circled red

This practice of assigning numbers to Palestinians clearly demonstrates the intent to dehumanize them, to make them solely into ‘numbers’ as if they were not human beings. For the Israeli forces – and thus the government supporting and commanding them – this is precisely the case: Palestinians are not considered as human beings, but rather solely as ‘terrorists’ and potential threats. How this influences the behaviour of the Israeli forces was clearly demonstrated when on March 24th soldiers gunned down two Palestinian youths in Tel Rumeida and then executed one of them with a shot to the head at point blank range. A shot in the head of an unarmed man, struggling for his life and being denied any medical assistance, did not cause so much as a twitch from the soldiers looking on.

This practice of ‘numbering’ Palestinians in Tel Rumeida and Shuhada street, and of dehumanizing the entire Palestinian population, is a government policy that intends to force Palestinians out of the area declared a ‘closed military zone’ in particular and ultimately the whole of the occupied West Bank. These policies pave the way for the brutal actions must recently exemplified by the killings in Tel Rumeida, practices falling under the internationally recognized definition of ethnic cleansing which the Final Report of the Commission of Experts established pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 780 defines as “a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.”

(Source / 28.03.2016)

Israeli white phosphorus bomb found in Gaza

GAZA, (PIC)– Palestinian police in Gaza were able on Sunday to deal safely with a white phosphorous bomb of the remnants of Israeli aggression on Gaza in 2008 – 2009. The general administration of explosives engineering of the police department in Gaza revealed that a Palestinian man found the bomb in his land in al-Nusairat refugee camp. Israeli forces used white phosphorus, which is internationally prohibited, in its aggression on Gaza in years 2008 and 2009. Over 1,440 Palestinians were killed and many thousands of others were injured as a result.

(Source / 28.03.2016)

Israeli Knesset to sack MKs not recognising ‘Jewish state’

The law is aimed at Arab MKs who defend Palestinians’ rights and criticise Israeli violations

Israeli Knesset approved on Monday night first reading of law enabling it to sack any MKs who do not recognise Israeli occupation a “Jewish state.”

Leader of the Joint Arab list Ayman Odeh seen during the vote on the bill that would allow MKs to suspend lawmakers from the Knesset

Days of Palestine, Jerusalem -Israeli Knesset approved on Monday night first reading of law enabling it to sack any MKs who do not recognise Israeli occupation a “Jewish state.”

The law would allow 90 MKs to vote to sack lawmakers if they “negate the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” incite racism, or express support for a terror group or state in its war against the occupation.

According to the Israeli occupation, taking part in anti-occupation demonstration or and peaceful activity is considered inciting racism and expressing sadness to Palestinians killed by the Israeli occupation is considered support of terrorists.

The measure has to pass two more readings in order to take effect on the ground.

Speaking before the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the bill would help the Israeli occupation fight against terror.

“I expect all those who say they are in favour of the bill to vote in support and to not give an advantage or profit to those who support terror,” he said.

Backed by Netanyahu, the bill was proposed after three Arab MKs made a condolence visit to the families of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces, and the three observed a moment of silence, which some explained as showing support for terror.

Monitors said that the bill is mainly targeting Arab MPs, who always defend the right of Palestinians to resist the Israeli occupation and do not recognise Israeli occupation as a “Jewish state.”

Recognising the Israeli occupation as a Jewish state means that any non-Jew would not be entitled for a citizenship and about 500,000 Arab Palestinians would be “legally” deported from their homes in occupied Palestine (Israel).

(Source / 28.03.2016)

“He’s Not Dead, Shoot Him In The Head”: Quote from Israeli Medic

After Thursday’s execution of a wounded young Palestinian man and his friend (who bled to death), was captured on tape, many details started emerging, including the involvement of an Israeli military medic in the crime.


In one of the videos that captured this extrajudicial assassination of the already seriously wounded, completely incapacitated Palestinian, the sound of an Israeli colonialist settler, who is also a medic and a cameraman, could be heard saying, “He is not dead… shoot him in the head.”

The second video shows an Israeli soldier executing the wounded Palestinian, Abdul-Fattah Sharif, with a gunshot to the head, after conspiring with an Israeli colonialist settler to drive his van forward to block surveillance cameras and prevent onlookers from documenting the crime. The soldiers and settler did not see the Palestinian who was filming from an upstairs window.

The Israeli medics did not attempt any first aid on the two Palestinians, leaving one of them to bleed to death and executing the other.

Issa Amro, the coordinator of the Youth against Settlements Coalition, said what happened “is clear proof that the Israeli soldiers and the medics conspire and cooperate in executing the Palestinians.”

“The fanatic Israeli colonialist settler medic, Ofer Yohanna, appeared in many videos prior to this incident, constantly delaying any medical help to wounded Palestinians,” Amro added, “This is what also happened in the cases of Hadeel Hashlamoun and the Sa’id al-Atrash, who were both killed, and Yasmeen az-Zaro, who was injured.”

He added that the Palestinians are now also suspecting that Israeli medics have killed wounded Palestinians, while transporting them in ambulances, including the case of Tareq Natsha, who did not suffer a serious injury, but died in an Israeli ambulance.”

“Such incidents show the mutual roles between the soldiers, medics, police and the settlers,” Amro said, “They seem to be implementing orders from higher up in the government and leadership, to assassinate wounded Palestinians.”

He added that the investigations conducted by the Israeli army are inaccurate and cannot be fair, because the military should not be allowed to investigate itself. He says this is especially true in this case, where the investigators and the culprit soldiers are colleagues, often serving together.

“They protect each other; these investigations are not fair, and are not transparent, while the outcome of such investigation cannot be trusted,” Amro added, “One of these cases in Hadeel al-Hashlamoun. The army admitted that the soldiers could have arrested her, instead of killing her, as she did not pose any direct threat, yet, she was shot with more than 15 live rounds.” No soldier was charged with any misconduct in the case.

Amro called on the international community to hold Israel accountable for its crimes, since there have been many extra-judicial executions over the past five months, and urged Palestinians to continue to document all conducts of the army, especially since those videos have been proven to be very effective in exposing Israeli crimes.

It is worth mentioning that dozens of extremist Israeli colonialist settlers marched, on Sunday at night, calling on the Israeli government to release the soldier who executed Abdul-Fattah Sharif last Thursday in Hebron.

They gathered in Tal Romeida neighborhood, in the center of Hebron city, while chanting racist slogans, including “Death to Arabs”. They demanded the unconditional release of the soldier.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted on Sunday to the shooting of a wounded Palestinian at point-blank range in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron earlier this week, stating that any questioning of the Israeli army’s moral integrity was “outrageous and unacceptable.”

(Source / 28.03.2016)

Riyadh-based MB leader arrested at Cairo airport with $96K to fund ‘sabotage’

Riyadh-based MB leader arrested at Cairo airport with $96K to fund ‘sabotage’

Cairo International Airport

CAIRO: A Muslim Brotherhood leader has been arrested at Cairo Airport for allegedly funding sabotage acts in Egypt, a security source told Youm7 Sunday.

Egyptian Agricultural Engineer Islam S., based in Riyadh, was arrested in possession of $96,860, the source said, adding that he is a prominent Brotherhood leader and a member of the group’s “mobile committees.”

A maximum of $10,000 in cash or the equivalent of the amount in any other currency may be carried by a passenger at Cairo International Airport.

He is also a member of the Egyptians’ Care Fund in Riyadh, whose activities have been banned since 2013 because it is “controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood,” according to the source, who claimed the fund’s money was used to support violence in Egypt.

Many charities have been dissolved since 2013 over allegations that they are run by the Islamist group to spread their ideology and that the donations are used to fund anti-state operations. Other charities have been taken over by the Ministry of Solidarity.

Acts of violence against the police and attacks on state-owned facilities such as pylons went rampant in 2013, 2014 and 2015 after the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. Dozens of policemen were killed, and Attorney-General Hesham Barakat was assassinated in June 2015.

The attacks have largely subsided in recent months across Egypt, yet North Sinai remains a spot of turmoil.

(Source / 28.03.2016)

Syrian Coalition Calls on Dara’a FSA Groups to Unite against ISIS

Member of the Syrian Coalition Khatib Badlah called upon the Free Syrian Army groups in Dara’a province to stand united against the Assad regime and ISIS, urging them to relieve FSA groups currently battling ISIS in western rural Dara’a and the Yarmouk Basin.

ISIS-affiliated militants have recently stepped up attacks on the towns of Heit, Tseil and Sahm al-Joulan in western rural Dara’a. A dozen civilians were killed and many more were injured in artillery and rocket shelling by ISIS on the area. Thousands of residents of these villages were also forced flee to the nearby valleys.

Badlah called upon Dara’a young men not to be misled by slogans adopted by ISIS-affiliated militants in western rural Dara’a, calling on those militants to dissociate themselves from ISIS and its extremist ideology.

Badlah renewed confidence in the revolution forces and groups that defend civilians, abide by the principles of the revolution and respect international laws, reaffirming the Syrian Coalition’s commitment to the principles of the revolution and to overthrowing the Assad regime.

From the outset, the Free Syrian Army has stood firmly against extremism in all its forms, Badlah added, stressing that Assad has always been the main sponsor of terrorism as he allowed ISIS to flourish and expand.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 28.03.2016)

Why is a popular uprising yet to take off?

Palestinian youth throw stones towards Israeli security forces during clashes in the West Bank town of Hebron on October 4, 2015

By: Ramzy Baroud

Whether history moves in a straight or cyclical line, it matters little. The uncontested fact is that it is in constant motion. Thus, the current situation in Palestine is particularly frustrating to a generation that has grown up after the Oslo Peace Accord because they have been brought up within a strange historical phenomenon: where the earth below their feet keeps shrinking and when time stands still.The nature of the current uprising in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is a testament to that claim. Previous uprisings were massive in their mobilization, clear in their message and decisive in their delivery. Their success or failure is not the point of this discussion, but the fact is that they were willed by the people and, within days, they imprinted themselves on the collective consciousness of Palestinians everywhere.The current uprising is different; so different, in fact, that many are still hesitating to call it an ‘intifada’; as if intifadas are the outcome of some clear-cut science, an exact formula of blood and popular participation that must be fully satisfied before a eureka moment is announced by some political commentator.It is different, nonetheless, for there is yet to be a clear sense of direction, a leadership, a political platform, demands, expectations and short and long term strategies. At least that is how the 1987-93 Intifada played out and, to a lesser extent, the 2000-05 al-Aqsa Intifada as well. But is it not possible that the outcomes of these previous intifadas is what is making the current uprising different?The first Intifada metamorphosed into a worthless peace process which eventually led to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. A year later, the Palestinian leadership of the PLO was reproduced into the emasculated form of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Since then, the latter has served largely as a conduit for the Israeli Occupation.The second Intifada had less success than the first. It quickly turned into an armed rebellion, thus marginalizing the popular component of the revolt which is required to cement the collective identity of Palestinians, forcing them to overcome their division and unify behind a single flag and a distinct chant.This Intifada was crushed by a brutal Israeli army; hundreds were assassinated and thousands were killed in protests and clashes with Israeli soldiers. It was a watershed moment in the relationship between the Israeli government and the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, and between the Palestinian factions themselves.The late PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, was held hostage by the Israeli army in his Ramallah headquarters. The soldiers taunted him in his office, while blocking his movement for years. Finally, he was slowly poisoned and died in 2004.Israel then went through the painstaking effort of revamping the PA leadership, flushing out the nonconformists – through murder and imprisonment – and allowing the so-called moderates to operate but, even then, under very strict conditions.Mahmoud Abbas was elected President of the PA in 2005. His greatest achievements include the cracking down on civil society organizations, ensuring total loyalty towards him: personally, and towards his branch within the Fatah faction. Under Abbas, there has been no revolutionary model for change, no ‘national project’; in fact, no clear definition of nationhood, to begin with.The Palestinian nation became whatever Abbas wanted it to be. It consisted, largely, of West Bank Palestinians, living mostly in Area A, loyal to Fatah and hungry for international handouts. The more the Abbas nation agreed to play along, the more money they were allowed to rake in.In 2006, this fragmentation became absolute. Many will recall that period of discord when Hamas was allocated majority of the seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC); but the conflict, which resulted in the violent summer of 2007, had little to do with democracy. The paradigm – of endless ‘peace talks’, generous donors’ money, growing illegal Jewish settlements, etc. – suited both Abbas and the Israelis very well. No one, Hamas especially, were to be allowed to impose a paradigm shift.Israel immediately besieged Gaza, launched successive wars, and committed numerous war crimes with little criticism emanating from Gaza’s brethren in Ramallah. Bolivia and Venezuela seemed more furious by Israel’s war crimes in Gaza than Mahmoud Abbas’ West Bank clique.Until October of last year, when the current uprising slowly began building momentum, the situation on the ground seemed at a standstill. In the West Bank, Occupation was slowly normalized in accordance to the formula: occupation and illegal settlements in exchange for money and silence.Gaza, on the other hand, stood as a model for barbarity, regularly meted out by Israel as a reminder to those in the West Bank that the price of revolt is besiegement, hunger, destruction and death.It is against this backdrop of misery, humiliation, fear, oppression and corruption that Palestinians arose. They were mostly young people born after Oslo, became politically conscious after the Fatah-Hamas clash, raised in the conflicting worlds of their own leadership co-existing with the Occupation, on one hand, and clashing with other Palestinians on the other.These youth, however, never perceived Occupation to be normal; never came to terms with the fact that the earth beneath their feet kept shrinking while illegal, massive Jewish cities kept on being erected upon their land; true, they learned to navigate their way across the checkpoints, but never assented to the superiority of their occupier. They abhorred disunity; rejected identity politics and factionalism; never understood why Gaza was being disowned and slowly slaughtered.This is a generation that is the most educated, yet; most politically savvy and, thanks to the huge leaps in digital media technology, is the most connected and informed of the world around it. The ambitions of these youth are huge, but their opportunities are so limited; their earth has shrunk to the size of a single-file queue before an Israeli military checkpoint, where they are corralled on their way to school, to work and back home. And, like the Israelis who shot at anyone who dared to protest, Abbas imprisons those who attempted to do so.It is a generation that simply cannot breathe.The current Intifada is an expression of that dichotomy, of a generation that is so eager to break free, to define itself, to liberate its land, yet resisted by an Old Guard unremittingly holding on so tight to the few perks and dollars they receive in the form of allotments every month.History must remain in constant motion, and the last six months have been the attempt of an entire generation to move the wheels of history forward, despite a hundred obstacles and a thousand checkpoints.This might be the most difficult Intifada yet; for never before did Palestinians find themselves so leaderless, yet so ready to break free. The outcome of this tension, will not only define this whole generation, as it defined my generation of the 1987 Intifada, but it will define the future of Palestine altogether.

(Source / 28.03.2016)