Outcry After Palestinian School Built With Belgian Aid Renamed for Mass-Murdering Terrorist
The Belgian government is being urged to take action after a Palestinian school that was built with its funding was renamed in honor of a mass-murdering terrorist.
The Beit Awwa Basic Girls School was established in the southern West Bank “through a fund from the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium and through the Belgian Development Agency BTC,” according to a plaque at the school, which was first identified by the monitoring group Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
Now known as the Dalal Mughrabi Elementary Mixed School, it was renamed by the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Ministry of Education in honor of the Palestinian terrorist who took part in the 1978 Coastal Road massacre. Thirty-eight people — including 13 children — were killed and over 70 were wounded in the attack, which turned Mughrabi into a venerated hero among Palestinians.
The school’s logo also features a map of Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, all depicted as a single territory. Its Facebook page has posted pictures glorifying Palestinian attackers, including Adi Hashem al Masalmeh, who was fatally shot after stabbing an Israeli soldier in October 2015.
Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, told The Algemeiner that “the Palestinian Authority under President Abbas has established a culture of incitement that fuels terror and hatred, making it impossible to see how he can ever lead any serious peace negotiations.”
“By naming schools after terrorists, the PA is indoctrinating even little children, apparently determined to ensure this conflict will last well into the next generation,” he continued.
PMW: Faces of arch terrorists adorn Fatah school diary
Cover of free diary distributed by Fatah’s youth movement Shabiba to high school students shows photos of Abu Jihad who was responsible for murder of 125 Israelis and Salah Khalaf, head of Black September and planner of murders of 11 Israeli athletes in Munich Olympics in 1972
Fatah’s youth movement Shabiba in Bethlehem recently distributed a free diary to high school students in which the front cover has a photo of Yasser Arafat, and the back cover displays photos of arch-terrorist Abu Jihad, who was responsible for the murder of 125 Israelis, and Salah Khalaf who was the head of the terror organization Black September, a secret branch of Fatah. Attacks planned by Salah Khalaf included the murder of the 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972 – an attack Fatah still glorifies.
Text on back cover of diary under pictures of the terrorists: “Shabiba is the guarantee of the future and the loyalty to the path of the Martyrs (Shahids)” [Facebook page of the Fatah Movement – Bethlehem Branch, Sept. 17, 2017]
Text on front cover: “Bethlehem branch of the Fatah Movement Shabiba High School Committee Student Diary
When you help Shabiba by belonging to it, you help yourself
as you are helping the Palestinian essence itself
And therefore you are helping the homeland,
and you belong to it and are a sacrifice for it”
[Facebook page of the Dar Salah High School for Girls in the Bethlehem District, Sept., 17. 2017]
Palestinian Media Watch has documented that Fatah’s university student movement -also named Shabiba – sends university students the same message that violence is the proper path. At two Palestinian universities, An-Najah National University in Nablus and Al-Quds Open University, Shabiba’s logos advocate dying for “Palestine”:
Honest Reporting: Abbas “Condemns” a $ 203,000 Murder
The headlines said that Palestinian President Abbas “condemned” the multiple murder of Israelis at Har Adar. They left out the part where he also pays for it. Why won’t the media report the whole story?
Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Another Jordanian knife in Israel’s back
Israelis are at a loss to explain why the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) has turned Israel into its main target. Why is it so blatantly skewed against Israel? The answer, or at least part of it, wad provided on September 28, 2017.
Haaretz’s top headline that day read: “The UN warns companies doing business in the settlements that their names will be put on a blacklist. Some of them announced that they are to leave Israel.” Underneath the headline it wrote: “The human rights representative began sending warnings to close to 150 companies. Israeli official: foreign companies do not differentiate between companies within Israel and those in the West Bank and simply cease their operations in Israel.”
Barak Ravid wrote: ‘The UN Human Rights Commissioner, who heads the HRC, Jordanian prince Zaid bin Raid (should be Raad, m.k.) al Hussein began sending warning letters two weeks ago…”
Get it? The UN Human Rights Commissioner, the head of the UN Human Rights Council which has decided to make Israel its chief whipping boy, is a Jordanian and a second cousin of father of the current monarch, the late King Hussein, a central figure in the Hashemite family brought in by Great Britain to rule the country at its formation.. Zaid Ben Raad is very close to the present ruler, King Abdullah II, has served as Jordan’s UN delegate for seven years and was Jordanian ambassador to the US for three. He was an active member of various international organizations and in 2014 was chosen to be UN Commissioner for Human Rights. He is the person behind the unbridled HRC attacks on Israel.
Anyone who understands the significance of serving as delegate to the UN and US ambassador realizes immediately that the person serving in those positions has to be very, very close to the monarch and is certainly his confidant, someone who is in constant touch with the king. The word “close” does not come anywhere near to describing the significance of that relationship and of the prince’s appointment as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The king pushed for that appointment for his cousin. Why? What for? To advance the rights of Jordanian women? To supervise the king’s treatment of Jordan’s Palestinian Arab majority? To check on what happens to the international aid sent for the Syrian refugees in Jordan as it makes its tortuous way to those tent-dwelling unfortunates?
Evelyn Gordon: Humanitarian Crises Can Be Good News for Gaza
There’s a double irony here. The first is that, for once, Abbas really has done something to reduce Palestinian violence. His reputation as a peacemaker was never dented by his serial rejection of peace offers, his vicious anti-Israel incitement or his incentivizing of terror through above-market salaries paid to jailed terrorists. But now, when he’s made another Gaza war less likely by forcing Hamas to divert funds from military to civilian purposes, he has actually suffered (muted) international criticism for causing humanitarian suffering.
The greater irony, however, is that all three Hamas-Israel wars of the past decade might have been averted had the international community not tried so hard to “protect” Gaza’s civilian population. Ten years ago, after Hamas first seized power in Gaza, Israel also tried to exert economic pressure, but they were never severe enough to cause a crisis on the scale of what Gaza has experienced this year. At no point, for instance, did Israel ever threaten Gaza’s power supply.
Consequently, Hamas felt free to invest all its money in the rockets and tunnels that sparked those three wars. And those wars caused greater devastation than anything Gaza has experienced due to Abbas’s funding cuts. Had Israel been allowed ten years ago to do what Abbas did this year, Gaza might ultimately have been better off, because it would have been spared repeated wars.
In short, by trying to “protect” Gaza’s civilians, the international community actually ended up causing them greater harm. Concern for innocent civilians is, of course, laudable. But sometimes, as with Hamas in Gaza, it’s also counterproductive. And that’s a lesson the “international community” badly needs to learn.
Gaza flotilla victim sues Turkey, demands compensation
With the deal, Turkey became the only country that hundreds of victims, excluding the families of those killed, can file complaints against. Turkey thus became the legal adversary in the cases filed against Israel.
The complaint filed by Kaya, who was beaten and allegedly tortured by Israeli soldiers and kept in detention for three days during the raid, presents a first in terms of a victim suing his own country directly in the case.
Israeli soldiers also seized his laptop, cell phone, $ 1,500, 2,000 euros and 2,000 liras, which he never got back.
After the incident, Kaya suffered from severe depression and his lawyer, Abdullah Sığınç, thus filed a complaint demanding 10,000 liras in material and 250,000 liras in spiritual damages.
“I believe you will be just in order to ease the pains of the historic Mavi Marmara incident victims,” the court petition cited Kaya as saying.
Karar reported that victims’ lawyers indicated that Turkey faces the paying of compensation worth more than Israel was due to pay as a result of the agreement making Turkey the addressee for hundreds of victims.
Sick: Leading BDS activist tries to make #LasVegasShooting about Israel
When I woke up this morning and learned of the Las Vegas shooting, I fully expected all sorts of horrible hot takes and political exploitation.
And Twitter has not disappointed in that regard.
But I have to admit, as attuned as I am to anti-Israel activists hijacking causes and events to turn them against Israel, it never entered my mind that the Las Vegas shooting would be exploited in that manner.
After all, as far as is currently known, the shooter and the shooting have nothing whatsoever to do with Israel. (There is a claim of responsibility by ISIS, but that is unverified.)
So, I actually was surprised when I saw a tweet from Yair Rosenberg:
“American guns are overwhelmingly produced in America, but there is no atrocity that cannot and will not be blamed on the Jews or their state.”
Rosenberg was referring to this tweet from Yousef Munayyer, responding to a statement from the Israeli Embassy sending their “thoughts and prayers” and “love and solidarity” to the Las Vegas shooting victims:
“Also from Israel, assault rifles into the US market” (h/t MtTB)
Tel Aviv city hall lights up in red, white and blue in solidarity with US
Tel Aviv’s city hall lit up in red, white and blue on Monday, in solidarity with the United States after a gunman killed at least 58 people and injured over 515 more in the worst mass shooting in the country’s history.
The facade of the building displayed an American flag and an Israeli flag, toggling between the two, to show support after the Sunday night shooting in Las Vegas.
The municipality building’s lights are often used to show solidarity with different causes or following terror attacks around the world.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier Monday that Israel stands “shoulder to shoulder” with the US “in mourning and sorrow.”
“On this terrible day, the people of Israel stand shoulder to shoulder with the American people in mourning and sorrow,” Netanyahu, who is also foreign minister, wrote on his Twitter account.
“Our hearts go out to the victims’ families and we wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. We grieve with you.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)
An Israeli trauma expert predicted a Las Vegas attack three years ago
When Dr. Avi Rivkind landed in Las Vegas three years ago to lecture as a trauma care expert, he saw something that troubled him.
The airport, McCarran International, felt too open, almost exposed.
He felt no more comfortable on the city’s Strip while watching crowds flow from hotels to casinos to shops to the street — with little security in sight.
“I felt there was a lack of presence, from the ease of getting around there, from the casinos, from how easy it is to enter all the malls,” he told JTA on Monday. “I felt very uncomfortable.”
Rivkind, who heads the Shock Trauma Unit at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, is a pioneer in treating victims of mass-casualty terror attacks. He gained his experience treating terror victims in Israel, and his techniques were used in 2013 to save the lives of some of the injured in the Boston Marathon bombing.
He came to Las Vegas in the summer of 2014 to speak at a Hadassah conference, but cut his trip short when Israel’s most recent war with Hamas broke out.
Before he left, however, Rivkind delivered a warning to a local TV channel: Get ready for a potential terror attack.
“With all the casinos and people are coming here from all over the world, I think you should take a huge situation,” Rivkind told Channel 8, the local CBS affiliate. “I don’t want to give anybody any ideas. However, you should be well prepared. In my mind, it’s a question of time.”
Official Report: Death of Argentine Prosecutor in 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish Center Bombing Case Was Result of Murder, Not Suicide
A long-awaited official report has concluded that late Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was murdered, contradicting previous government claims that he committed suicide.
Nisman was engaged in a long investigation into the bombing of the 1994 AMIA Jewish community center, which killed 85 people. The prosecutor concluded that the perpetrators were Iranian agents, and issued international warrants for several of them. In 2015, he announced he was bringing charges against then-President Cristina Kirchner and her foreign minister, Hector Timerman, for collaborating with Iran to thwart the investigation.
A day before Nisman was due to testify before the Argentine Congress on his findings, he was found shot to death in his Buenos Aires apartment. His death was originally declared a suicide.
The new report from the Gendarmaría Nacional rejects this, concluding that the evidence shows that Nisman was beaten, drugged, and then shot execution style.
Deradicalization helpline gets just 5 calls in 2 months
ABC News Australia’s James Thomas reports that a multi-million-dollar government helpline established to support those whose family or friends may be entangled in Islamic activism has achieved little.
The “Step Together” helpline was launched in June by the New South Wales Minister for Counter Terrorism, David Elliot, costing $ 3.9 million over three years, part of a $ 47 million program intended to “fight radicalization”.
The helpline is staffed by professional counsellors seven days a week from 7:00am to 9:00pm, and advertises advice and counseling.
The Counter Terrorism Minister confirmed to ABC that the helpline received “around five phone calls” in the two months since its launch.
One anonymous ABC source said: “It costs millions, but only a few people have called it. One call was a wrong number, the other was a parent worried their kid was dating a Muslim.”
The 80th Anniversary of the Two-State Solution
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the 1937 British Peel Commission Report, which first proposed a “two-state solution” for Palestine.
The Palestinian Arabs rejected both the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which formally declared British support for “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, and the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, even after Britain in 1923 severed the larger portion of Palestine, east of the Jordan River, and recognized Emir Abdullah of Transjordan as its new ruler.
In 1936, the Arabs sabotaged trains, roads, and telephone lines, engaged in widespread violence against Jews, and conducted guerrilla attacks against British Mandate authorities. In response, the British established the Peel Commission to “ascertain the underlying causes of the disturbances” and make recommendations for the future.
On July 7, 1937, the British Cabinet released the Peel Commission Report. It traced the 3,000-year Jewish connection to Palestine; found that building the Jewish national home had been advantageous to the Arabs; noted the very large increases of the Arab population in Jewish urban areas; and observed that Jewish hospitals and clinics served both Arabs and Jews.
The report concluded that the underlying cause of the Arab revolt was the implacable Arab opposition to the Jewish presence in Palestine. The report stated that the “ugliest element in the picture” was attacks by Arabs on Arabs who were suspected of insufficient adherence to the views of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem.
The commission found that Arab nationalism in Palestine, rather than arising from “positive national feeling,” was “inextricably interwoven with antagonism to the Jews.” Thus, even if the Jewish national home were “far smaller…the Arab attitude would be the same.” Nor could Arab “moderates” facilitate a peaceful settlement, since on major issues they invariably ended up siding with the extremists.
Eighty years after the first proposal for a two-state solution, even “moderate” Palestinian Arab leaders still reject its basic premise. They want a Palestinian state, but not if the price is recognition of a Jewish state.
Trump Envoy Calls on Palestinians to Recognize Israel, Adopt Non-Violence
The Trump administration’s international negotiations representative, Jason Greenblatt, called on Monday on the Palestinians to recognize Israel and commit to non-violence, amid the latest round of renewed US-led peace efforts in the region.
“The United States stresses that any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties, and peaceful negotiations,” read a statement posted on Greenblatt’s official Twitter page.
Greenblatt also praised the Palestinian Authority (PA) for sending a delegation to Hamas-ruled Gaza on Monday, as part of efforts to form a Palestinian unity government with the terror group. The PA is seeking to negotiate its custodianship of the coastal territory, which would remove control from Hamas.
“The United States welcomes efforts to create the conditions for the Palestinian Authority to fully assume its responsibilities in Gaza,” stated Greenblatt.
David Singer: Trump Won’t Swallow Erekat’s PLO-Palestine Poison Pill
Why then has Erekat chosen to follow the UN and delete Jordan from the map of former Palestine?
It has everything to do with the negotiations between Israel and the PLO – conducted with little success since 1993 and having been stalled since April 2014 – and the current concerted effort by President Trump to resolve this long-running conflict that has defied so many other American presidents.
Jordan can help resolve that conflict – precisely because Jordan is historically, geographically and demographically 78 per cent of Palestine.
Jordan remains the key to Trump ending the conflict between Jews and Arabs in former “Palestine”.
Whilst Jordan was part of the Mandate for Palestine between 1922 and 1946 – the League of Nations had under article 25 restricted the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home within just 22 per cent of Palestine located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
Following Jordan’s independence in the remaining 78 per cent of Palestine in 1946, Jordan rejected international overtures under the 1978 Camp David Accords and the 1982 Reagan Plan to enter into negotiations with Israel.
Erekat’s outburst signals concerns within the PLO that Trump may be looking to bring Jordan into negotiations with Israel to resolve competing Jewish and Arab claims in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) – whose last internationally recognised occupying power was Great Britain in 1948.
Trump won’t be swallowing Erekat’s poison pill.
Abbas admits: No Palestinian state in the near future
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas discussed PA aspirations for statehood during an interview with Egypt’s CBC, acknowledging that despite plans by the Trump administration to reboot negotiations for a final status agreement between Israel and the PA, no Palestinian state would be established in the near future.
“The time will come for a Palestinian state,” Abbas said Monday, “but it’s not going to happen anytime soon.”
A long-time member of the Fatah movement within the PLO who once helped fund the 1972 Munich Massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes, Abbas claimed the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority was focusing on laying the groundwork for a future Palestinian state to be established sometime in the distant future.
“We’re building the Palestinian state brick by brick, and it will take time.”
For the time being, Abbas continued, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government appears to have effectively blocked the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Despite his own insistence that the PA continue to fund Arab terrorists and their families, Abbas blamed the Netanyahu government for the lack of progress towards a final status agreement with Israel.
Revealed: ICC prosecutor Luis Morteno Ocampo’s link to friend of the Gadaffis
“A huge leak of documents has revealed that Luis Moreno Ocampo, the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), passed sensitive information to a possible war crimes suspect who was secretly paying him for advice.
Moreno Ocampo had agreed a contract worth $ 3m over three years to ‘protect’ and advise an influential Libyan billionaire who had close links with the murderous regime of the late Colonel Muammar Gadaffi. Yet Moreno Ocampo had indicted Gadaffi and his son Saif al-Islam for war crimes in 2011 before leaving his job at the ICC to embark on a lucrative career in private practice.
The revelations come from a cache of 40,000 documents obtained by the French investigative website Mediapart and seen by The Sunday Times and members of the European Investigative Collaborations.
Moreno Ocampo had tipped off Hassan Tatanaki – his billionaire client who was educated at King’s College London – that he was being carefully watched by war crimes investigators after receiving the information from a former colleague at the ICC…”
UN Allows Iran, the Leading State Sponsor of Terrorism, to Open UN’s Annual Debate to “Eliminate” Terrorism
The topic of “Measures to eliminate international terrorism” was opened at the UN General Assembly today by the leading state sponsor of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran. And Iran didn’t speak alone. The 119 UN states that are members of the so-called “non-aligned movement” (NAM) gave Iran the power to speak as their voice.
The spectacle of the UN majority embracing a global terrorist took place in the UN’s Legal Committee, a committee of the whole comprised of all 193 UN member states.
Iran’s statement was delivered by Iranian Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo on October 2, 2017 at the UN’s New York headquarters. His remarks read as a terrorist manifesto. He claimed his brand of death and destruction was just a “legitimate struggle” and America’s fight against terrorism was “psychological and political terrorism.” (He was referring to the U.S. practice of listing countries – like Iran – as “terrorism sponsoring States.”)
The UN still has no definition of terrorism – precisely because terrorists and their enablers define today’s UN.
UN special envoy says Israel ignoring demand to halt settlements
Israel is not complying with a UN Security Council resolution demanding a halt to all settlement activity and instead is continuing to expand settlements, making a two-state solution “increasingly unattainable,” the United Nations envoy for the Mideast said Monday.
Nickolay Mladenov told the council that in the three months since June 20 Israel’s settlement activity “continued at a high rate, a consistent pattern over the course of this year.”
He said activity was concentrated primarily in East Jerusalem where plans were advanced for over 2,300 housing units in July, “30 percent more than for the whole of 2016.”
Mladenov stressed that the United Nations considers settlement activities illegal under international law.
Alan Dershowitz: The Case for Kurdish Independence
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tried to extort Israel to withdraw its support, and threatened to end the process of normalization unless it does so. It is worth noting that Turkey strongly supports statehood for the Palestinians but not for their own Kurdish population. Hypocrisy abounds in the international community, but that should surprise no one.
Iraqi Kurds were a key partner for the U.S. coalition that toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime and has staved off further sectarian tensions in that country. One thing is clear: if the United States continues to neglect its “friends” and allies in the region — those on the front line in the fight against ISIS — the damage to its credibility will only increase.
Nor are there any limits to the hypocrisy of those university students and faculty who demonstrate so loudly for Palestinian statehood, but ignore or oppose the Kurds. When is the last time you read about a demonstration in favor of the Kurds on a university campus? The answer is never.
No one who supports statehood for the Palestinians can morally oppose Kurdish independence. But they do, because it is double-standard hypocrisy, and not morality, that frames the debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Why Israel supports an independent Iraqi Kurdistan
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement ahead of the referendum saying Israel “supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own.”
At a conference on counter-terrorism last month, Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked added her support, saying, “A free Kurdistan should be established, at least in Iraq. It is in the United States’ and Israel’s interest for this to happen. It is time for the US to support the process.”
Relations with Iraqi Kurds can be traced back to the early years of the state of Israel, in the 1940s and 50s. Many Kurdish Jews who left Iraq to move to the new state kept in contact with their families back home. That turned into Israeli support for the Kurdish resistance in Iraq, beginning in the 1960s.
And while Israel has gone on to establish peace with Egypt and Jordan, Seth Frantzman, a research associate at the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs in Herzliya who has traveled to northern Iraq, sees Israel’s relationship with the Kurds as different.
“Israel’s peace with Egypt and Jordan isn’t a warm peace. The average Egyptian on the street hates Israel and/or the Jews. In Jordan the feeling is [only] slightly less,” says Frantzman. “With the Kurds, there is warmth on the street level, and if they got independence it would be another country that has good relations with Israel.”
Frantzman sees that good relationship translating into tangible benefits with the creation of a Kurdish state.
“Israel would welcome another state in the region that shares its concerns about the rising power of Iran, including the threat of Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq,” says Frantzman. “Reports have also indicated that oil from Kurdistan is purchased by Israel.”
Iraqi citizens’ sentiment may be softening toward Israel
Some Iraqis are calling for closer relations with Israel, feeling a common bond of past persecution and a desire for peace and stability. Many people might find two factors cited in this change quite surprising: Iraqis’ guilt, and some resentment of Palestinians.
“There is a dramatic shift that has changed [Iraqi] public opinion [toward Israel] as a result of the Palestinians’ involvement in supporting the [late Iraqi] dictator Saddam Hussein and thus getting involved in terrorist operations,” writer and political analyst Ali Mared al-Asadi told Al-Monitor recently by phone.
“Most Shiites in Iraq have a sense of guilt because they did not support the peaceful Jewish community with whom they lived for hundreds of years in peace and harmony in one homeland, but who were persecuted and displaced during the monarchy [1958-1963] and the Baathist regime [1968-2003] eras.”
Much of the fanaticism and hostility toward Israel appears to have declined in central and southern Baghdad, where the majority of people are Shiite.
On Sept. 9, Asadi wrote, “It is not in the interest of Shiites to antagonize Israel. Shiites and Jews ought to reach understandings based on common humanitarian grounds that guarantee peaceful coexistence in the Middle East.”
Israel to impose 11-day closure on West Bank, Gaza for Sukkot holiday
In a rare move, Israel announced on Tuesday that it will be closing off the West Bank and Gaza Strip for 11 days for the Sukkot holiday and the following weekend, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday.
Closures for Jewish and Israeli holidays are a routine procedure. However, in the past, Israel has shut down the crossings surrounding the West Bank and Gaza only at the start and end of week-long festivals like Sukkot, rather than for the entire holiday.
As the holiday ends on the evening of October 12 — a Thursday — the closure is scheduled to last through the weekend, until midnight on October 14, for a total of 11 days.
The closure was approved by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman earlier this week, but its implementation was still dependent upon a final situational assessment.
During the closure, the military will allow the passage of Palestinians in “humanitarian, medical and exceptional cases, with the approval of the [Defense Ministry’s] Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories,” according to an army statement.
JPost Editorial: Hamas’s failure
The resounding failure of the Hamas leadership to run day-to-day aspects of life in Gaza is the backdrop for the most recent attempt at a Palestinian unity deal.
But Hamas insists on a Hezbollah-like arrangement that will let it monopolize military might in Gaza while the Palestinian Authority takes over responsibility for the civilian population.
The international community must reject any deal that keeps Hamas’s military arm intact, unless of course Hamas agrees to renounce terrorism, honors past agreements between Israel and Fatah and supports peaceful negotiations with Israel as the only road to Palestinian political self-determination.
After a decade of trying to implement their version of a modern-day Islamic caliphate in the Gaza Strip, Hamas has given up. Its reactionary Islamist ideology has put it at odds with Egypt’s leadership. In parallel, Saudi Arabia is leading a campaign against Qatar, the patron of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s mother organization. Islamists who came to power with the slogan “Islam is the answer” have realized after a decade that even running a tiny coastal enclave is impossible while cleaving to a Muslim theology that leaves no room for compromise and pragmatism.
Unable to dialogue with Egypt, Hamas faces an unremitting blockade on its southern border. Its military clashes with Israel have left Gaza in ruins. Hamas cannot even settle its differences with the Palestinian leadership on the West Bank.
The results of Hamas’s intransigence are tragically evident.
Netanyahu: Faux Palestinian reconciliation risks ‘our existence’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday rejected ongoing reconciliation efforts between the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza-based Hamas terror group, saying any future Palestinian government must disband the terror organization’s armed wing and sever all ties with Iran.
“We expect anyone talking about a peace process to recognize Israel and, of course, recognize a Jewish state, and we won’t accept faux reconciliations in which the Palestinian side reconciles at the expense of our existence,” Netanyahu said during a special Likud faction meeting in the West Bank city of Ma’ale Adumim.
“We have a very straightforward attitude toward anyone who wants to effect such a reconciliation: Recognize the State of Israel, dismantle Hamas’s military wing, sever the relationship with Iran, which calls for our destruction,” he added.
The current Palestinian developments began in earnest on Monday, when a 300-person Palestinian Authority delegation entered Gaza in order to begin taking back administrative control of the Strip.
Fatah, the faction that controls the PA, and the Hamas terror group have been at loggerheads since Hamas violently took control of the Strip in 2007, with the two groups operating separate administrations. The factions have unsuccessfully attempted to reconcile a number of times in the past.
Hamas said a week ago it had agreed to steps toward resolving the longstanding split with Abbas’s Fatah, announcing it would dissolve a body seen as a rival government — known as the administrative committee — and was ready to hold elections.
Pinhas Inbari: Hamas-Fatah Reconciliation? Much Ado but Little Results
A Palestinian Authority (PA) delegation led by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah traveled from Ramallah to Gaza today, October 2, 2017. At the same time, a delegation from Egyptian intelligence is scheduled to arrive in Gaza – the first official Egyptian entry into Gaza in decades. There is a definite push for a PA-Hamas “reconciliation” to go forward, and seemingly, chances are greater than in the past that the Ramallah government will return to rule Gaza.
A realistic appraisal, however, indicates that despite the encouraging words there still is no agreement about anything. Hamas and Fatah have no plans to meet face to face, and Egypt is still transmitting messages between the two parties. This method is similar to how messages were transmitted in the past between Israel and Arab actors that did not recognize it.
Hamas and Fatah disagree on almost every issue. These are the main causes of contention between them:
- Fatah demands that Hamas’ military wing, Izzadin Al-Qassam, be subordinate to Ramallah.
- There is uncertainty about the administration of Gaza: who will run it? Will it be Hamas-appointed officials, officials Mahmoud Abbas fired, or those who handled the administration of Gaza before Hamas took over the Strip?
- Who will compensate the Fatah and Hamas families who were harmed and family members killed during Hamas’ revolt? This very important matter could enable a rapprochement and prevent a blood feud in Gaza.
- Hamas says there must be a quid pro quo: Ramallah’s entry into Gaza in return for allowing Hamas to operate in the West Bank.
Abbas says PA must control everything in Gaza including security
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday said he would not accept a scenario in the Gaza Strip in which Hamas’s armed wing would be able to hold onto its weapons.
Abbas’s comments came several hours after PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Hamas Politburo Chairman Ismail Haniyeh met in Gaza in a bid to start work on ending the decade-long territorial division between the West Bank and Gaza.
Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007 when it ousted the Fatah-dominated PA.
“Everything needs to be in the hands of the Palestinian Authority,” Abbas told Egypt’s CBC, a popular Arabic television station, in an interview. “I’ll be even more clear—I will not accept reproducing the Hezbollah experience… We are one state, one system, one law and one weapon.”
Hezbollah maintains control of a number of militias in Lebanon, over which the Lebanese state does not have control.
Abbas’s remarks highlighted the sharp difference of opinion between him and Hamas’s leadership on the future of Gaza’s security.
Last week, both Hamas Deputy Chief in Gaza Khalil al-Hayya and Hamas Politburo member Musa Abu Marzouk said that the weapons of Hamas’s armed wing are not up for discussion. “No bartering or touching the weapons of the resistance,” Hayya said in an interview with al-Jazeera last Wednesday evening. “We will fight the occupation with all means of resistance until [it] is wiped away.”
Hamas Deal to Cede Gaza Control Sets Up Showdown Over Guns
As the Palestinian Authority attempts to reassert control over the Gaza Strip this week, Hamas’s refusal to give up its guns is feeding doubts that a unity deal can take root.
The authority’s prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, led a parade of senior officials from the West Bank on Monday to take over ministries that have been operated by Hamas since 2007, when the militant Islamic group violently seized control of Gaza. He is scheduled to hold a formal cabinet meeting in Gaza City on Tuesday, with a bevy of Egyptian generals and United Nations diplomats on hand to demonstrate support for the reunification effort.
“We are certain that the only road that can bring us to our national goal is the road of unity and turning the page on division,” Hamdallah said at a news conference after entering Gaza. “We are here to tell the whole world from the heart of Gaza that the Palestinian state won’t be established without the unity of Gaza and the West Bank.”
By leaving security issues for later, the two sides managed to agree last month on reviving a joint government that crumbled 10 years ago. But they also paved the way for a bitter showdown over international demands that Hamas surrender its weapons and recognize Israel’s right to exist as part of any peace agreement.
“Unless it’s real disarmament it’s not viable, it’s not sustainable and it won’t be acceptable to Israelis or Americans,” said Daniel Shapiro, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel.
ISIS reportedly threatens Jewish NY museum
Police increased security at a Jewish museum here after the Islamic State reportedly suggested it as a target for attack for hosting an event about Kurds fighting the terrorist group.
The threats against the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust are unsubstantiated, but security was increased Sunday and Monday as a precautionary measure, NBC reported.
NBC said the recordings had suggested targeting the museum because of a “Kurdish exhibit opening Monday.”
The museum is not hosting a Kurdish-themed exhibition, Lisa Safier, the museum’s communications director, told JTA. It is, however, screening a movie Monday evening about Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State. Safier declined to comment on the report of the threats.
The film’s director, Bernard-Henri Levy, a prominent French-Jewish public intellectual, will be present at the screening of “Peshmerga,” for which he traveled to Iraq to meet with the fighters.
Chess player banned by Iran over hijab switches over to US
A young woman banned from the Iranian national chess team, allegedly for attending an international competition without wearing an Islamic headscarf, has joined the US team, an Iranian news agency reported Monday.
The semi-official ISNA reported that Dorsa Derakhshani refused to wear the headscarf, known as the hijab, during a February competition in Gibraltar, and joined the US national team.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has required women to wear the hijab in public places.
However, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported Monday that the president of Iran’s chess federation, Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh, said that Dorsa had in fact changed her national federation to the United States, which was not unusual among chess players.
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