The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas stated in a press release its stance on the statements made by a member of the Political Bureau of Hamas, Fathi Hamad on Monday
In its statement, Hamas’ leadership rejected the statements made by Political Bureau of Hamas, Fathi Hammad during the mass demonstration of the march of return and breaking the siege on Friday 12/07/2019.
They stressed on the following:
First: These statements do not reflect the official positions of Hamas and its adopted and consistent policies, which stipulate that the Palestinian struggle is with the Israeli occupation that occupies our land and desecrates our sanctities. There is no conflict with Jews around the world or with Judaism as a religion. The movement has always condemned the attacks against safe Jews in their places of worship.
Second: The Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege are popular peaceful rallies aimed at establishing the right of return and breaking the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, and the national consensus on its popularity and peacefulness does not mean allowing the occupation to assault the peaceful demonstrators and target and kill them. We call upon the protestors to abide by the decisions of the National Commission of Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege policies, decisions, and activities.
Third: We reiterate our great appreciation to all mediators, especially the Egyptian brothers, for their efforts in working on breaking the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and helping the Palestinians achieve national unity.
The African Group has called on the United Nations (UN) to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against Palestinians.
The African Group – sometimes known as the Group of African States – is a regional assembly within the UN comprised of 54 member states from the African continent. It represents 28 per cent of all UN members.
The group yesterday addressed the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, one item of which discussed the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).
The group’s representative, Andre da Conceicao Domingos of Angola, called for the international community to act to end Israel’s now 52-year-old occupation and the blockadeit has imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007, as well as to end Israel’s illegal settlement project, imprisonment of Palestinians and policy of collective punishment.
Some members of the African Group also submitted individual statements, with Nigeria’s representative Muhammad Isa stressing the need to avoid double standards in the implementation of international law and human rights. He also demanded accountability from Israel in this regard.
South Africa’s representative Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko also addressed the session, telling the council that “Israel’s occupation is virtually indistinguishable from annexation”. Mxakato-Diseko also condemned Israel’s theft of Palestinian water resources and pointed out that while Israel markets desalination and water technology to the world, it is responsible for water scarcity in the oPt.
African states have long been outspoken supporters of the Palestinian cause. This weekend the grandson of iconic South African leader Nelson Mandela, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, attended London’s Palestine Expo – Europe’s biggest Palestine exhibition which shed light on the plight of Palestinian refugees and those living under Israel’s occupation.
Addressing the conference, Mandela said that “we have a moral duty to support BDS and to support the Palestinian struggle,” referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Mandela congratulated the Palestine Expo for “creating a unique experience which proudly celebrates Palestinian art, history and culture whilst fostering discussion and activism in the UK”, but emphasised to audiences that the event “reminds us of the reality of a nation that has now withstood 71 years of the Nakba,” during which 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes.
Mandela was also critical of an attempt by anti-Palestine group UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) to cancel the Palestine Expo. Last week it emerged that UKLFI had made several attempts to cancel the exhibition, claiming its organisers are “major promoters” of BDS. The group also tried to convince the German owners of London Olympia – where the event took place – to cancel the exhibition in light of a non-binding motion recently passed in Germany claiming that BDS is “anti-Semitic”.
The South African MP slammed these moves, claiming they “reflect the desperation that Apartheid Israel and its lackeys are resorting to in silencing peaceful popular protest”. He stressed: “We say to them and all who seek to deny our basic human rights such as freedom of expression – hands off BDS, hands off Palestine Expo.”
Palestinian journalist Fathi Sabbah has accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) government and its health ministry of not being serious about providing medical treatment for his daughter, Rima, who suffers from blood cancer.
In Facebook remarks, Sabbah said he received pledges from premier Mohamed Shtayyeh over the phone to personally follow up the case of his daughter after he published her story a few days ago.
He added that he was also phoned by Ahmed Abu Houli, member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, who pledged to provide his daughter with appropriate medical treatment in hospitals like any citizen.
However, he affirmed that the medical referral to Hadassah Hospital in Israel only included a medical checkup without covering the expenses of medication.
The Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip have condemned the assassination of Mahmoud al-Adham from al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas as a “Zionist crime” and “foolishness,” holding the Israeli occupation state fully responsible for the consequences.
In a joint press release on Thursday, the resistance factions warned that the occupation state of testing their patience, adding it would pay dearly for its crimes in Gaza.
They affirmed that the resistance in Gaza would not allow the occupation to change the rules of engagement and impose new faits accomplis on the ground to serve its interests.
The Israeli occupation forces on Thursday morning carried out two shooting attacks on resistance observation posts in Gaza, killing one Qassam Brigades fighter.
The Hamas Movement has applauded the car-ramming operation that took place near Hizma town in Occupied Jerusalem and led to the injury of five Israeli soldiers, describing it as “a natural response to Israel’s crimes.”
In a statement, Hamas said the operation was a response to Israel’s persistence in committing crimes against the Palestinian people, especially its recent practices in Jerusalem neighborhood and Issawiya district.
“The Judaization activities in Jerusalem and the ongoing break-ins at the Aqsa Mosque will provoke more Palestinian anger, which will turn into an explosion in the face of the occupation,” Hamas added.
“Through their resistance, the Palestinians assert their adherence to their land and their full readiness to sacrifice themselves to defend it,” the Movement said.
Jordanian delegation leaves OSCE conference because of Israel
A Jordanian parliamentary delegation on Wednesday withdrew from the annual five-day conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is being held in Luxembourg.
The Jordanian delegation, led by assistant speaker of the house of representatives MP Ibrahim Al-Qar’an, withdrew from the first day of the conference to protest against the seating of its delegation site next to lawmakers from the Israeli occupation state.
It is not clear if the Jordanian delegation will attend the remaining days of the conference or not.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is meeting for its 28th annual session in Luxembourg on 4-8 July 2019, which is held under the theme “Advancing Sustainable Development to Promote Security.”
Al-Qar’an said the Jordanian delegation withdrew after he was surprised that the seat allocated to him was at the same table prepared for the Israeli delegation.
The Jordanians made several attempts to convince the organizers of the conference to change the seat of their delegation or to remove the Israeli delegation, but their request was declined.
Al-Qar’an said that despite the delegation’s keenness on attending the conference, the principle of not sitting next to Israelis “came from our principles, morals and our religion that does not allow us to sit with people from the Zionist entity that has usurped our holy places.”
Gaza: Fishermen protest Israel’s acts of piracy – Photo File
Hundreds of Palestinian fishermen on Thursday staged a sit-in at the port of Gaza City in protest at Israel’s measures and aggressive practices against them.
The Israeli occupation authority has recently escalated its restrictions on fishing activity in Gaza waters, where it kept attacking fishermen, arresting them, confiscating their boats and equipment, closing the Gaza sea and manipulating the permitted fishing area.
The fishermen demand an end to Israel’s repeated sea closures and its daily attacks on them.
They have called on the international community and its concerned organizations to urgently intervene to provide protection for the fishermen and curb Israel’s acts of piracy against them.
The Israeli occupation army on Monday morning launched a limited incursion into southern Gaza.
Local sources said that five military bulldozers in the early morning hours rolled a few hundred meters into Abasan town, east of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis, and leveled Palestinian lands.
In the neighboring city of Rafah, the Israeli occupation forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers working in their border lands. No injuries were reported.
Meanwhile, the Israeli navy heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing off the shore of northern Gaza.
German authorities barred Palestinian-Canadian journalist Khaled Barakat from speaking at a Palestine solidarity event in Berlin, claiming his “anti-Semitic” speeches posed a threat to public order and could undermine relations between the country and Israel.
The activist has been prohibited from attending future political events and threatened with up to one year in prison, marking another success in the Israel lobby’s bid to clamp down on criticism abroad.
Barakat had been invited to speak at an Arab community event in Berlin on 22 June to discuss Palestinian liberation and its implications for other Arab communities, as well as US President Donald Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century.
But he was accosted by police on arrival.
“As soon as we left the U-Bahn station nearest the venue my wife and I noticed heavy police presence in the area, including multiple vans full of police,” Barakat told The Electronic Intifada.
“I was approached by a group of police and one officer spoke to me. He said: ‘You have an event here tonight and you are the speaker … you cannot speak.’”
The police took Barakat and his wife to a police station where government officials handed him an eight-page document prohibiting him from political activity.
The document, issued by the Berlin Foreigners Registration Office and seen by The Electronic Intifada, states in German that Barakat faces a ban on participating in specific events and a general “limit on your political activity until you leave the Federal Republic of Germany.”
“They [representatives of the foreigners office] told me that I am banned from speaking at any public event in Berlin and even attending meetings and gatherings,” Barakat said.
He said was also ordered to avoid social events of “more than 10 people,” or face a one-year prison sentence.
Barakat’s wife is also a Palestinian rights activist, but not Palestinian and she was not banned.
“After I was told to acknowledge that I had received the document we were released from the police station. We also noticed significant police presence on the way home,” Barakat added.
German-Israeli relations trump free speech
Barakat’s case mirrors that of Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh who was smeared in the German media before being banned from speaking at an event in Berlin for International Women’s Day earlier this year.
The official document states that Barakat’s political activities “pose a threat to public safety,” that his talk would “impair and endanger the peaceful coexistence of Germans and foreigners” and that Germany’s relationship to Israel could be “considerably endangered” if he were allowed to speak.
The document also states that it believes Barakat might be working for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – PFLP – which the document notes is listed as a “terrorist” organization by the US, Israel and the European Union.
However it acknowledges that the group is “not prohibited” in Germany. Israel considers virtually all Palestinian political parties and organizations that militarily resist occupation to be “terrorist” groups.
“If you look at the campaigns being carried out by Israel and the Ministry of Strategic Affairs against BDS organizations around the world, or Students for Justice in Palestine in the US, they are trying their best to criminalize all movements for Palestine or even human rights organizations by using so-called connections to Hamas and the PFLP,” Barakat said.
BDS stands for boycott, divestment and sanctions – a global campaign for Palestinian rights modeled on the one that helped end apartheid in South Africa during the 1980s.
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies is a Washington-based neoconservative think tank and agent of Israel’s strategic affairs ministry.
The document goes on to list a number of speeches given by Barakat in Germany, but fails to cite any examples of anti-Semitism.
Barakat believes this is because the authorities need to “exaggerate in order to justify their repressive measures.”
Despite offering no examples of anti-Jewish bigotry on Barakat’s part, the government order insists the draconian ban on his political activities is justified because “the public should be protected from your expected anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements.”
Fear of a united front
Barakat strongly refutes the claim that his speech would have caused tensions between Jewish and Arab communities in Berlin and asserts, rather, that authorities are trying to prevent a united front from emerging.
“The same forces advocating for and issuing this political ban against me are involved in repressing Jewish voices that criticize Zionism, Israeli policy and German policy on Israel,” he said.
Barakat noted that under Israel lobby pressure, the director of the Jewish Museum Berlin was recently forced to resign.
In recent years, German music festivals have also been banninginternational artists who refuse to denounce the nonviolent BDS campaign for Palestinian rights.
These facts, as well as the German parliament’s recent resolution smearing the BDS movement as anti-Semitic make it increasingly difficult for activists to advocate for Palestinian human rights.
The people who face the brunt of these attacks are Palestinians themselves.
The racism, political bans and growing repression aside, Barakat remains undeterred: “I firmly believe that the vast majority of people in Germany support justice for the Palestinian people and reject Israeli war crimes and apartheid, but they live in fear and I understand.”