Posted tagged ‘Palestinian Authority’

10 Reasons Hamas Should Not Be in Any Government

January 19, 2017

10 Reasons Hamas Should Not Be in Any Government, Clarion Project, Elliot Friedland, January 19, 2017

(Similar claims could be made legitimately about Fatah and Islamic Jihad. — DM)

hamasrallyHamas leaders at a rally. (Photo: © Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Fatah and Hamas, which control the West Bank and the Gaza Strip respectively, concluded an agreement to form a national unity government. The Palestinian Authority, which is the official body that rules the Palestinian-controlled areas, as per the Oslo Accords, will now begin the process of forming a new national council. The P.A. president is Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas and Fatah also announced they will hold elections that will include members of the Palestinian diaspora. Elections were last held in 2007.

“We have reached agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government,” Fatah spokesman Azzam al-Ahmad told media.

Here are ten reasons why Hamas is not fit to be part of any government.
Hamas Is A Designated Terrorist Organization

Hamas is a terrorist group and is designated as such by Israel (obviously) but also the United States, the EU, Canada and Japan so this one should come as no surprise.

Hamas Deliberately Targets Civilians

Most recently Hamas praised the string of violent attacks that hit Israel over the past year and half.

In the last Gaza war, Hamas fired thousands of rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilian areas. “Deliberate targeting of civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups defies humanity and is morally and legally reprehensible” Israeli left-wing human rights organization B’Tselem said about the last Gaza war.

They Use Civilians As Human Shields

According to the Geneva Conventions, “The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.”

Hamas does precisely this. In the last Gaza war, in 2014, Hamas ordered civilians to remain in their homes if they were about to be bombed. All the more gallingly, Hamas deliberately manipulates the inevitable civilian casualties that result, using the blood of Palestinians to purchase international sympathy.

Hamas Steals Palestinian Aid For Military Purposes

Hamas receives a lot of aid from around the world for the Gaza strip, which is frequently the subject of international aid campaigns. Yet Hamas steals much of this aid for its own purposes. “From our own investigations we found that out of every 100 sacks of cement that come into the Gaza strip [from Israel], only five or six are transferred to civilians,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold. “A hundred sacks is what is necessary to rebuild a home, the rest are confiscated by Hamas and used for military purposes.”

Hamas uses the cement to construct multi-million dollar tunnels via which it hopes to carry out cross-border raids into Israel to murder Israeli civilians and attack Israeli soldiers.

In August 2016, Israel leveled charges against Mohammed el Halabi the head of World Vision in Gaza for allegedly funneling tens of millions of dollars earmarked for humanitarian purposes to Hamas for its terrorist activities.

Hamas Steals Money From Palestinians to Enrich Their Leaders

Hamas controls the lucrative smuggling tunnels that bring goods into Gaza from Egypt. They tax incoming products for revenue. “Most of the money that went into the pockets of people in the Gaza Strip was obtained through tunnel deals and the creation of a flourishing smuggling market, which it is believed has created several hundred millionaires in the Gaza Strip, although most of the people there don’t live like that,” Col. (res.) Moshe Elad, a lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College who served in a variety of senior military positions told Globes. “The man pulling the strings from Egypt with the tunnels is none other than the number two man in the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat el-Shater. His connection with Hamas was ostensibly for Islamic religious purposes, but they actually built a prosperous business, which earned phenomenal profits.”

Hamas also receives donations, both from wealthy Muslims in America and internationally, but also from state sponsors such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar.

This money has been appropriated by the Hamas leadership who enriched themselves at the expense of Palestinians. The inner circle of Hamas are millionaires.

Hamas Executes Dissenters and Stifles Critique

Hamas routinely carries out extrajudicial killings, abductions and torture of dissidents within the territory it controls. This includes supporters of rival Palestinian factions such as Fatah (with whom Hamas will now be forming a unity government) as well as those accused of collaborating with Israel.

Hamas is not believed to conduct fair trials.

In 2014 during the last Gaza war, Hamas carried out a campaign of targeted killings and abductions detailed in the Amnesty International Report entitled “‘Strangling Necks’ Abductions, Torture And Summary Killings Of Palestinians By Hamas Forces During The 2014 Gaza/Israel Conflict.”

“In the chaos of the conflict, the de facto Hamas administration granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses including against people in its custody,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International, then Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. These spine-chilling actions, some of which amount to war crimes, were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across the Gaza Strip.”

Nor did this stop after the war. “Palestinian governments in both Gaza and the West Bank are arresting and even physically abusing activists and journalists who express criticism on important public issues,” Human Rights Watch said as recently as August 2016.

Hamas Wants a Theocratic State and Murders LGBT People

Hamas is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is pledged to establish an Islamic State as a final goal. It terms itself “The Islamic Resistance Movement” and article one of its founding charter reads “The Movement’s programme is Islam.”

Although Hamas is continually on a war-footing and has therefore been less focused on establishing a sharia-based system of governance than other Islamist groups, it still takes the time to implement sharia governance where it can.

In this vein Hamas has imprisoned women for sex outside marriage.

Hamas Persecutes the LGBT Community

In January 2016, Hamas executed one of its senior commanders after allegations of gay sex emerged. John Calvin (not his real name) is from one of Hamas’ most important families and fought for and gained asylum in the United States because if he returned to Nablus he would be murdered.

These are rarely mentioned by those in the “Queers for Palestine” movement.

Israel Withdrew From Gaza And Hamas Turned it Into A Terrorist State

In 2005 Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip. In 2007 Hamas took over and turned the enclave into their own personal fiefdom.

Governmental errors in the Israeli withdrawal notwithstanding , Hamas demonstrated its lack of commitment to its own people and to the path of peace by choosing rejectionism and violence instead.

Hamas Perpetrates Child Abuse

Hamas trains young children in its military training camps to indoctrinate them with the group’s Islamist and jihadist ideology and train them for hatred and warfare.

This is backed up by Hamas media outlets which produce children’s programs that inculcate the next generation with the Hamas ideology.

Palestinian Factions Reaffirm Agreement on Need to Form National Unity Government

January 18, 2017

Palestinian Factions Reaffirm Agreement on Need to Form National Unity Government, Jerusalem PostAdam Rasgon, January 18, 2017

(According to an unsourced article at the Latin American Herald Tribune,

MOSCOW – Palestinian factions, including the nationalist movement Fatah and the Islamist Hamas, agreed on Tuesday to give Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas 48 hours to form a government of national unity.

Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the delegation of Fatah, said at a press conference that factions agreed in Moscow to grant Abbas a period of 48 hours to start consultations to form the national unity government that precedes the formation of the Palestinian National Council.

The Fatah representative, who participated in the reconciliation talks in Moscow between the different Palestinian parties, stressed that in the last ten years of confrontation between Fatah and Hamas there have never been better conditions than now.

This may suggest that the possibility of a unity government is more substantial than suggested by the Jerusalem Post article. — DM)

palunitygovtMustafa Barghouti.. (photo credit:Wikimedia Commons)

The Palestinian factions have reached numerous reconciliation agreements previously that ultimately have gone unimplemented. In May 2014, the factions agreed to form a national unity government and hold elections by December 2015. While a government of technocrats and independents was formed with limited autonomy over resources in the Gaza Strip, elections never took place.

***************************

Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian factions on Tuesday in Moscow reaffirmed an agreement they reached in Beirut a week ago, which said that they should form a new Palestinian National Council and a unity government, a top PLO official said.

“The agreement in Moscow is a confirmation of what we agreed on in Beirut,” Mustafa Barghouti, a PLO Executive Committee member, told The Jerusalem Post, upon the conclusion of a series of reconciliation talks in Moscow.

All the Palestinian factions including Hamas and Islamic Jihad participated in a meeting last week in Beirut to begin discussions on the possibility of convening the Palestinian National Council, the PLO’s parliament.

The Beirut meeting concluded with a statement, expressing “the necessity of holding a meeting of the Palestinian National Council which includes all Palestinian factions” and “the necessity of implementing reconciliation agreements and understandings beginning with the formation of a national unity government,” without setting specific timeframes for such measures to come to fruition.

Barghouti, who is also the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, said there was only one difference in the conclusions of the meeting in Moscow compared to that of Beirut.

“There was one addition to the Beirut meeting, which is that there will be a recourse to the president to act as fast as possible to initiate discussions regarding the formation of a national unity government,” Barghouti stated, adding that, “The idea of the government would be to start bridging the division between Gaza and the West Bank and prepare for national elections in six months.”

A national unity government would include ministers from the different Palestinian factions with representation in the Palestinian Legislative Council, the PA’s parliament, including Hamas and Fatah.

The Palestinian factions have reached numerous reconciliation agreements previously that ultimately have gone unimplemented. In May 2014, the factions agreed to form a national unity government and hold elections by December 2015. While a government of technocrats and independents was formed with limited autonomy over resources in the Gaza Strip, elections never took place.

Trump, the Pistol and Holy Branch

January 17, 2017

Trump, the Pistol and Holy Branch, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, January 17, 2017

donald_trump

Sunday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the Paris conference as a “futile” relic of a period that is about to end.

Netanyahu said that the conference’s goal of boxing Israel into an untenable framework for dealing the Palestinians was nothing more than the “final palpitations of a yesterday’s world.”

“Tomorrow,” he intoned, “will look a lot different. And tomorrow is very close.”

Trump will take office on Friday. Since he was elected, he has given every reason to believe that Abbas and his deputies and their European and American enablers will have to either put up or shut up.

***********************************

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

With a gun on his hip, on November 13, 1974, PLO chief Yasser Arafat stood before the UN General Assembly and made the West an offer that it didn’t refuse.

At the end of a long speech in which he rewrote history to erase all connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel and criminalized the very notion of Jewish freedom, Arafat declared, “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. I repeat: Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”

Arafat’s offer has served since that time as the foundation of European relations with the Palestinians and the wider Islamic world. It has also been the basis of US-PLO relations for the better part of the past four decades.

His trade was simple and clear.

If you stand with the PLO in its war to annihilate Israel and deny Jewish freedom, then PLO terrorists and our Arab state supporters will leave you alone.

If you refuse to join our war against the Jewish state, we will kill you.

Today, Arafat’s successor, Mahmoud Abbas, is reiterating Arafat’s offer.

Speaking Saturday at the Vatican after the Holy See decided to recognize “Palestine,” Abbas said that if US President-elect Donald Trump goes ahead with his plan to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, it will “fuel extremism in our region, as well as worldwide.”

Abbas’s spokesman was more explicit. Saturday night, Osama Qawasmeh, spokesman for Abbas’s Fatah PLO faction and member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, said that if the US moves its embassy to Israel’s capital city, “The gates of hell will be opened in the region and the world.”

Abbas and Qawasmeh also said that the PLO expects that members of the international community will make Trump see the light and abandon his plan.

French President Francois Hollande’s “peace conference” on Sunday was the international community’s way of fulfilling Abbas’s demand.

As multiple commentators have noted, the conference’s purpose wasn’t to promote the prospects for peace. It was to constrain Trump’s policy options for handling the Palestinian war against Israel.

By bringing together representatives of some 70 countries to insist that Israeli homeowners are the moral equivalent of Palestinian terrorists, Hollande and his comrades hoped to box Trump into their PLO-compliant policy.

Spelling out the demand Trump is required to accept, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc-Ayrault parroted the Palestinian threats.

Asked by the French media Sunday if moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem would provoke the Palestinians, Ayrault said, “Of course.”

He then demeaned Trump’s plan to move the embassy as nothing but the regular bluster of American politicians.

In his words, “I think he [Trump] would not be able to do it. It would have extremely serious consequences and it’s not the first time that it’s on the agenda of a US president, but none has let himself make that decision.”

Ayrault is correct about Trump’s predecessors.

To one degree or another, since the early 1970s, successive US administrations have joined the Europeans in selling Israel down the river to prevent Arafat’s minions from pointing their guns at the American people.

Like the Europeans, the Americans have upheld their side of this bargain even when the PLO failed to uphold its end. For instance, in 1973 Arafat ordered his terrorists to storm the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum and take US ambassador Cleo Noel, his deputy, George Curtis Moore, and Belgian diplomat Guy Eid hostage. Arafat then ordered his henchmen to murder the diplomats after then president Richard Nixon rejected his demand to release Robert F. Kennedy’s Palestinian murderer, Sirhan Sirhan, from prison.

Instead of responding to the execution of US diplomats by siding with Israel against the PLO, the US covered up and denied the PLO’s responsibility for the attack for the next 33 years.

The US is still covering up for the PLO’s murder of US embassy personnel in Gaza in 2003. At the same time, it is providing the PLO with nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in direct and indirect annual aid, including the training and provision of its security forces.

The Europeans for their part have egged the US along throughout the years. France has generally led European efforts to convince the Americans to side with Palestinian as well as Hezbollah terrorists in their war against Israel in the name of “peace.”

Sunday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the Paris conference as a “futile” relic of a period that is about to end.

Netanyahu said that the conference’s goal of boxing Israel into an untenable framework for dealing the Palestinians was nothing more than the “final palpitations of a yesterday’s world.”

“Tomorrow,” he intoned, “will look a lot different. And tomorrow is very close.”

Trump will take office on Friday. Since he was elected, he has given every reason to believe that Abbas and his deputies and their European and American enablers will have to either put up or shut up.

Speaking of the president-elect, Henry Kissinger said that Trump is the first man in recent memory who doesn’t owe anybody anything for his victory.

The only people he is answerable to are the voters who elected him.

Trump’s electoral victory owes to his success in tapping into the deep reservoir of popular disaffection with the elitist culture and policies that have governed post-Cold War West. He has used the mandate he received from American voters to revisit the basic assumptions that have driven US policies for the past generation.

His skepticism at NATO and the EU are examples of his refusal to simply accept the received wisdom of his predecessors. Just this weekend he told Germany’s Bild magazine that he continues to question the purpose of NATO, which is a drag on US taxpayers and doesn’t fight terrorism.

He similarly restated his ambivalence toward the EU and that its open border policy has been a “catastrophic failure,” and he expects more countries to follow Britain’s lead and exit the EU.

Trump’s position on the PLO and the Palestinian war on Israel is of a piece with his wider rejection of the common wisdom of Western elites. Just as he didn’t hesitate to say that the EU mainly serves as an instrument for Germany to dominate the European market, so he has made no mystery of his rejection of the moral equivalence between Israel and Palestinian terrorists which forms the basis of the twostate formula.

Not only won’t Trump join the Obama administration and the French in criminalizing Israeli homeowners, Trump is celebrating them. He has invited the leaders of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria – that is, the so-called “settlements” – to attend his inauguration.

And he appears dead serious about moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Under these circumstances, Israel has the opportunity and the obligation to end the PLO’s ability to threaten the US, not to mention itself. It is Israel’s duty to ensure that the next time the PLO tries to exact a price in blood for America’s refusal to abide by the terms of Arafat’s blackmail, his terrorist group is finally destroyed.

Similarly, Israel is now obliged to take the lead and abandon the PLO-friendly two-state policy, which blames Israel for Palestinian terrorism, and adopt a strategy that works in its place.

Netanyahu has refused to consider any alternative until after Barack Obama is out of office.

Consultations must be scheduled for Saturday night.

Abbas threatens to cancel PA recognition of Israel… but the PA has never really recognized Israel

January 16, 2017

Abbas threatens to cancel  PA recognition of Israel… but the PA has never really recognized Israel, Palestinian Media Watch, Itamar Marcus, January 16, 2017

fatah-fb-mapPA and Fatah map: PA flag over all of Israel. Text: “The revolution continues”

Fatah Central Committee member: 

As North Vietnam took South Vietnam, a Palestinian state in West Bank will surely expand and take all of Israel
[Official PA TV, State of Politics, Dec. 26, 2016]
PA’s Mufti, Muhammad Hussein:
“Jerusalem and all of Palestine is Islamic land.”
[Official PA TV, Dec. 10, 2016]

 

Abbas’ advisor on Islamic Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash:  

“The entire land of Palestine is [Islamic] Waqf ... It is prohibited to sell, bestow ownership or facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter of it.” 
[Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 22, 2014]

 

On the occasion of yesterday’s peace conference with representatives from 72 countries in Paris, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas stated that if the US moves its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem it might lead the Palestinians to “cancel” their “recognition of Israel:”

“President Abbas said that he wrote to Trump and warned him of the consequences of the transfer of the embassy, and noted that this ‘will not only negate any legitimacy of the US to fill a role in settling the conflict, but will also annihilate the two-state solution.’ He added that the Palestinians will discuss several options for a response, after consultations are held with Arab states, and said: ‘Cancelling our recognition of Israel will be one of them.'”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 15, 2017]

However, the clear fact is that the Palestinian Authority and Fatah have never really recognized the State of Israel.

For 20 years, Palestinian Media Watch has been exposing that, despite peace negotiations, agreements, and declarations, the Palestinians have never recognized Israel’s right to exist – in any borders. In speeches, at events, and visually, the PA, Fatah, and their leaders have continued to present “Palestine” as including all of Israel and have expressed that the final goal is that all Israel’s land will be in one state: “Palestine.”

Expressing non-recognition in all maps<

One recent example is Fatah’s map above which was posted with the text: “The revolution continues.” It shows all of Israel and the PA areas together as one entity with the Palestinian flag symbolizing political sovereignty over Israel. [Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 29, 2016]

Expressing non-recognition: PA goal is elimination of Israel in stages

Palestinian leaders openly say among themselves that a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines is merely the first stage of replacing all of Israel with “Palestine.” Fatah Central Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmad recently told PA TV that he is not concerned that land he claims for his family is in the “1948” lands, i.e., in Israel, because he is “certain” that a Palestinian state in the West Bank will lead to “Palestine” erasing Israel – just like North Vietnam took South Vietnam: [Please see video. — DM]

“We agree to a state on territory that is 22%, and perhaps less, of the land of historical Palestine. By the way, I personally – all of our [family’s] lands, thousands of acres in the Jezreel Valley (i.e., Israel) – none are in the 1967 lands (i.e., West Bank), but rather in the 1948 [lands] (i.e., in Israel).  Despite this, I am certain that a Palestinian state on the borders of June 4, 1967 will return my historical rights to me in full. I am certain of it. Therefore, I am certain that we need to start. The historical examples of this are many. North Vietnam. There was a North and a South [Vietnam]. What is its name now? Vietnam! Isn’t it?”

[Official PA TV, State of Politics, Dec. 26, 2016]

Click to view

Another Fatah Central Committee member, Abbas Zaki, said the same thing to Al-Jazeera already years ago. The goal of PA policy including that of Abbas, he said, is to eliminate all of Israel in stages and it will be achieved by first bringing Israel to the 1967 lines, because then “Israel will come to an end.” He then added:  “If I say that I want to remove it from existence, this will be great, great, [but] it is hard. This is not a [stated] policy. You can’t say it to the world. You can say it to yourself.”  [Al-Jazeera TV, Sept. 23, 2011]

Expressing non-recognition through terminology

The PA leaders’ use of the euphemism “1948 lands” (see above)instead of saying “Israel,” is another glaring example of their non-recognition of Israel’s right to exist. At other times Israel is referred to as “occupied Palestine.” Palestinian Media Watch has documented hundreds of examples of the use of these terms.

Expressing non-recognition as Islamic law

In recent years, the PA and Fatah leaders have added an Islamic prohibition against recognition of Israel to their political refusal to recognize Israel, by which the PA is echoing Hamas ideology. PA and Fatah religious leaders are now teaching that it violates Islamic law to recognize Israel because all of Israel is said to be on “Islamic land” – “Waqf.” Allah demands Palestinians to liberate it and “not give up a single grain” of it.

In December 2016, the PA’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein reiterated that Islam prohibits recognition of Israel in any borders while speaking in front of the top PA leadership: Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Minister of Religious Affairs Sheikh Yusuf Ida’is, and Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Abbas’ advisor on Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash. The Mufti said that “All of Palestine is Islamic land” and encouraged Palestinians to continue religious conflict:

mufti-1

“We will establish the Palestinian state despite the doubts of the doubters, because the Palestinian people has the solid will, the Jihadi and combative will. This people of Ribat (i.e., religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic)… Allah willing, it will continue to carry out Ribat at the gates of the Al-Aqsa [Mosque] and at the gates of Jerusalem. The call of Monotheism, the call to prayer, will remain loud and heard in the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza, Jerusalem, and all of Palestine, because all of Palestine is Islamic land.”

 [Speech in front of PA top officials, PA ceremony marking birthday
 of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, Official PA TV, Dec. 10, 2016]

Click to view

This Islamic prohibition to recognize Israel in any borders was stated explicitly by a close advisor to Mahmoud Abbas and the PA’s Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash:

“The entire land of Palestine is Waqf (an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) and is blessed land… It is prohibited to sell, bestow ownership or facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter of it.”

[Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 22, 2014
sabri-saidam-map

Expressing non-recognition through education

These messages that all of Israel is “Palestine” are a central part of the Palestinian Authority education as well. When the PA Ministry of Education recently launched its First Palestinian School Counseling Committee, it chose a logo displaying the PA map of “Palestine” that includes all of Israel, covered with the PA flag. One member of the committee was Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Sabri Saidam (seated third from the left).

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 22, 2016]

Palestinian non-recognition of Israel in any borders is one of the fundamental components of Palestinian Authority ideology that are repeated incessantly to the Palestinian population while PA leaders are careful to hide it from the international community. Abbas’ threat to “cancel recognition” is therefore meaningless for the Palestinian population, as it is well aware that “Palestine” in PA ideology already encompasses all of Israel.

A poll by the Washington Institute for Near East Studies found that for Palestinians a peace treaty with Israel, therefore, would not mean the end of the conflict. Rather, Palestinians would then want to continue working “toward reclaiming all of historic Palestine.” The poll showed that Palestinians understand that this is the PA leaders’ policy as well:

A clear majority (60% overall, including 55% in the West Bank and 68% in Gaza) say that the five-year goal ‘should be to work toward reclaiming all of historic Palestine, from the river to the sea.’

This pattern is confirmed by other questions in the survey. For example, just one-third said that a two-state solution ‘should be the end of the conflict.’ Nearly two-thirds said ‘resistance should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated.’ And only a third said that ‘it might be necessary to give up some of our claims so that our people and our children can have a better life.’

Similarly, only a third said that a two-state solution would be their leadership’s final goal. Instead, almost two-thirds said it would be ‘part of a “program of stages,” to liberate all of historic Palestine later.’ This remarkable finding helps explain how a plurality or more of Palestinians can support President Mahmoud Abbas and reject a two-state solution at the same time.”

 [The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, June 25, 2014]

The international community’s failure to realize that the Palestinian Authority does not recognize Israel and has taught its people and especially its children to reject Israel in all borders, is one of the great failures of international diplomacy, and remains one of the fundamental impediments to peace.

The following is Abbas’ statement about the Palestinian cancellation of their “recognition” of Israel if the US moves its embassy to Jerusalem:

Headline: “The [PA] president [Abbas] calls on participants in the Paris Conference to take tangible steps to implement the international decisions – transferring the American embassy will hinder the peace process, and canceling our recognition of Israel will be one of our options”

“[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday [Jan. 14, 2017] inaugurated the Palestinian embassy at the Vatican. He met with Pope Francis, and again warned against the plan of US President-elect Donald Trump to transfer the American embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem. During the inauguration of the embassy… the president again emphasized his opposition to the possibility that the American embassy will be transferred to Jerusalem, and said: ‘The Palestinians are waiting to see what will happen. We hope that this is not true, because it will thwart the peace process.’

President Abbas emphasized that he ‘extends his hand to President-elect Trump for cooperation in order to reach peace on the basis of international law.’ He added that ‘any attempt to give legal validity to the illegal annexation of Jerusalem by Israel will eliminate the prospects of the political process, dispel the hopes of a solution based on two states, and encourage the extremism in our region and in the world.’ …

In an interview that was published yesterday in the French paper Le Figaro, President Abbas said that he wrote to Trump and warned him of the consequences of the transfer of the embassy, and noted that this ‘will not only negate any legitimacy of the US to fill a role in settling the conflict, but will also annihilate the two-state solution.’

He added that the Palestinians will discuss several options for a response, after consultations are held with Arab states, and said: ‘Cancelling our recognition of Israel will be one of them, but we hope that we will not reach that, and that instead we will be able to work with the next American administration.'”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 15, 2017; official PA TV News, Jan. 14, 2017

Hamas headquarters uncovered north of Jerusalem

January 16, 2017

Hamas headquarters uncovered north of Jerusalem, Israel National News,Uzi Baruch, January 16, 2017

hamasguysIllustration Flash90

Thirteen Hamas terrorists, including a member of the Palestinian Authority’s Legislative Council, were arrested overnight in a joint operation by the IDF and Shin Bet internal security agency.

The operation comes on the heels of the discovery of a regional headquarters of the Hamas terror group in the Ramallah district, north of Jerusalem.

The base is believed to have served as the center of operations for dozens of Hamas terrorists in Samaria, and may be part of a broader effort by Hamas to expand its influence in the Ramallah area. Payments to jailed terrorists and their families, outreach efforts to local Palestinian Authority residents, public demonstrations, and the operation of a Hamas student group were all managed from the headquarters.

During the raid of the facility overnight, IDF soldiers and Shin Bet agents confiscated cash, vehicles, and propaganda material used by Hamas for recruitment purposes.

“The discovery of this [terror] infrastructure reveals Hamas’ continuing strategic intentions to operate and establish bases in the area, as part of an effort to weaken the [Palestinian] Authority; all while attempting to commit serious acts of terror,” a Shin Bet spokesperson said.

“The Shin Bet security agency and the IDF will continue to operate with determination to disrupt these [terror] infrastructures in advance [of possible attacks].”

Palestinian journalists frustrated with inability to cover PA corruption

January 13, 2017

Palestinian journalists frustrated with inability to cover PA corruption, al-Monitor

"PalestinianPalestinian journalists take part in a protest in front of the Reuters office, Gaza City, Gaza, Apr. 22, 2008. (photo by REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah)

Palestinian journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are closely following the unfolding case of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly receiving favors or gifts. Their interest is not prompted only by glee at the possible downfall of the Israeli leader they despise, but also by appreciation and envy of Israeli democracy and press freedom that enable the questioning of the prime minister under caution and the investigative reporting against him by the media.

No journalists in Gaza — no matter how senior — would even think of criticizing the leaders of Hamas, and in the Palestinian Authority (PA), criticism of any kind against President Mahmoud Abbas, or exposure of corruption in the PA, could result in the journalist’s arrest.

“We all known there’s terrible corruption in the PA,” a senior veteran journalist from Ramallah, the seat of the PA in the West Bank, told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “We know hundreds of stories about senior PA officials and about Abbas’ sons, but we can’t publish them or even talk openly about them.”

According to various reports, the PA has for years been plagued by corruption. The governmental structure put in place by the late Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat did not include control and supervision mechanisms. Every Palestinian in the West Bank and Gaza knows full well that those closest to the seat of power often enjoy a lifestyle incompatible with the salary of a PA official.

“We saw PLO activists who arrived [in the West Bank and Gaza] from Libya and Tunisia [in the 1990s] with only the clothes on their backs, and a few months after the PA was established they were already driving around in Mercedes cars, wearing Italian suits and building ostentatious villas,” the journalist claimed. “To this day they are all rich, taken care of and no one can say a word or even ask where such wealth came from.”

European Union states that donate hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the PA have tried to establish supervisory mechanisms over the funds they provide, but according to Palestinian journalists who spoke with Al-Monitor, the top PA levels were more devious than all the oversight mechanisms, and they found loopholes through which to funnel some of the money into their own pockets.

The criticism discussed behind closed doors does not relate only to past malfeasance. A senior journalist who works for an Arabic language media outlet notes in a conversation with Al-Monitor that the sons of the Palestinian president are also mentioned among those making a fortune out of their family connection to Abbas.

Tareq Abbas, for example, is the director of a company that in the past employed Mohammed Rashid, a close confidant of Arafat and his moneyman, who was subsequently convicted by a Ramallah court of stealing millions of dollars from a Palestinian investment fund and from the PLO coffers, and transferring the money to bank accounts in various places around the world. Since the “cleaning of the stables” after Arafat’s death in 2004, Abbas’s son Tareq has been serving as a director in the Palestinian investment fund that manages hundreds of millions of dollars, so that his father has almost complete control over the fund without anyone in the PA being allowed to express opposition or question its management. In 2012, Foreign Policy ran a story about the fortunes of Abbas’ sons in which the investigative reporters wondered whether there was any connection between the wealth they were accumulating and their family connection.

“We know the answer,” a Palestinian journalist told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “Everyone knows that Tareq and Yasser Abbas immediately win every bid they put in, whether directly or through straw men.”

The journalist said that reporters have learned not to ask “unnecessary” questions, lest they lose their jobs, at best, or are sent to jail in a worst-case scenario. The media learned the limits of what was permissible and what was not in the affair of Mahmad Hadifa, an independent journalist who published a series of investigative reports about the goings on in the Palestinian Ministry of Economy in Ramallah. Hadifa was arrested by Palestinian security forces after the stories ran and was threatened, even though no one claimed his reports were false. On the contrary, he touched on issues troubling Palestinians in the West Bank and exposed irregularities in the most important economic office in the PA.

“Sometimes you can see criticism against Abbas’ sons or senior PA officials on social media,” another journalist told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “But never in a way that might disclose the identity of the writer. Usually the critics are cautious and they ask rhetorical questions, but everyone knows what they mean.”

Only few such investigative reports were published — for instance investigative stories about corruption in the PA were published by Reuters and The Associated Press. The Palestinian researchers and reporters who helped to compile these stories were not named. In 2009, Reuters reported that firms run by Abbas’ sons won US government aid contracts to repair roads in the Palestinian territories, and AP published leaked documents in 2015 allegedly exposing corruption by senior PA officials.

None of the people mentioned in the reporting were questioned or lost their jobs; coverage of the reported affairs in the Palestinian media was limited on orders from high up.

Many Palestinians who have been exposed to Israeli reporting about the investigations into Netanyahu’s alleged wrongdoing — which play prominently in the Palestinian media — are asking whether receiving gifts such as cigars and champagne constitute sufficient cause for his indictment, conviction and resignation. Some of the journalists with whom I spoke claim that receiving gifts is standard practice in the PA and is not considered a criminal offense.

“If we were able to talk about each and every present, and this were to result in an investigation and conviction,” said a senior journalist in the PA on condition of anonymity, “we wouldn’t have a functioning Palestinian Authority because everyone would already be in jail.”

 

Palestinians: Glorifying Mass Murderers

January 10, 2017

Palestinians: Glorifying Mass Murderers, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, January 10, 2017

For anyone who treasures freedom – including many Arabs and Muslims who do not want to live under terrorist Islamic dictatorships but are strong-armed from speaking out – the United Nations is now poisonous place. It has been taken over by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — 56 Islamic countries plus Palestine. It is now the seat of the universal caliphate. In this, it is assisted by dictators, despots and the many dhimmi-European leaders who together command a permanent voting majority and have been lately been busy rewriting historical facts. Nothing good can come from it. Freedom-loving countries should run.

The murderous legacy and personality of Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings, are being glorified not only by his Hamas supporters, but also by the “moderate” Western-funded Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

Ayyash won his reputation on the murdering and maiming of hundreds of Israelis, most of them innocent civilians. Had he fought for peace and coexistence, Ayyash would have been condemned as a “traitor” and gone down in history as a “defeatist” and “surrenderist.”

“The mosque that produced the mujahed [warrior] Ayyash is continuing to produce heroes.” – Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is in these mosques that Ayyash was taught that Islam permits people like him to build bombs and dispatch suicide bombers to blow up buses. It is also in these mosques where he was taught that devout Muslims are best engaged in spilling Jewish blood.

Children and youths who attend prayers at these mosques are being fed the same hate-speech rhetoric that their hero Ayyash was exposed to in his childhood. Hence it is no surprise that the mosques in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to this day to churn out new terrorists, many of whom aspire to become like Ayyash – mass murderers.

Thus, despite Fatah’s double-talk about a two-state solution and “peace” with Israel, mass murderers still take top billing in its hall of fame. Fatah is also making it known that its former leader, Yasser Arafat, approved of such terrorism against Israel.

The voices of the Palestinians who reject this education for wholesale slaughter are being marginalized by the European leaders doing business with the still-wealthy members of the Arab elite who fund these imams and these mosques.

These European leaders wrongly image that if they get rid of Israel, it will be only Israel. They fail see that Israel is just the first course. They imagine that if they accede to Muslims’ wishes, they will be safe. What they fail to see, as in France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and Britain, is that they will be next.

Palestinian youths are being urged to follow in the footsteps of Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings that killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis. Ayyash’s expertise in manufacturing explosive devices earned him the nickname “The Engineer” and turned him into a hero in the eyes of many Palestinians. The bomb-maker was killed by Israeli security forces on January 5, 1996, thereby ending one of the bloodiest chapters of Palestinian terrorism against Israel.

Two decades later, this arch-terrorist is still being revered as a hero and martyr. His murderous legacy and personality are being glorified not only by his Hamas supporters, but also by the “moderate” Western-funded Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

A few years ago, the PA decided to honor Ayyash by naming a street in Ramallah after him. The street sign was posted in Ramallah, the headquarters of the PA where Abbas lives and works, and reads:

“Yahya Ayyash, 1966-1996, born in Nablus, studied electrical engineering in Bir Zeit University. Was a member of the (Hamas military wing) Iz ad-Din al-Qassam, and was linked by Israel to a number of bombings. He was assassinated by Israel in his Beit Lahia (Gaza Strip) home on January 5, 1996.”

This week, Palestinians took to social media to glorify the arch-terrorist further, depicting him as a role model and urging youths to follow in his footsteps.

On Twitter, for instance, they launched a hashtag entitled, “Be Like Ayyash.” The campaign encourages Palestinian youths to admire the bomb-maker and endorse his “jihad” (holy war) against Israel. Activists posted video clips, songs, poems and portraits praising and lionizing Ayyash and his terrorism. The campaign, according to the sponsors, is also designed to acquaint Palestinians with the “humane and leadership qualities” of Ayyash and remind them of his “heroic actions.”

Unsurprisingly, the social media campaign has attracted the attention of thousands of Palestinians and Arabs, who heaped praise on the Hamas bomb-maker-turned-icon. Ayyash won his reputation on the murdering and maiming of hundreds of Israelis, most of them innocent civilians. Had he fought for peace and coexistence, Ayyash would have been condemned as a “traitor” and gone down in history as a “defeatist” and “surrenderist.”

This Palestinian “engineer” is not being glorified because he used his expertise to help improve the lives of Palestinians. He is being lauded because he used the education he received to build bombs and dispatch suicide bombers to kill Israelis.

One activist hailed Ayyash as “The Master of Men and the Moon of Palestine.” He added: “We are proud of you, Hawk of Iz ad-Din al-Qassam!”

Another activist posted: “Oh history take note – the engineer of Palestine used to divert the path of Zionist buses towards hell!” (a reference to the suicide bombings that targeted Israeli buses).

Here is what another Palestinian had to say about the mass-murderer: “Yahya Ayyash is an idea, and ideas do not die. Although the resistance in the Gaza Strip has developed its weapons, the bombing of a bus has a special flavor!”

2200An image recently posted to Twitter glorifying Yahya Ayyash, a Hamas mass murderer who masterminded a wave of suicide bombings that killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis. The image shows Ayyash’s face superimposed over an Israeli bus that was blown up by a Palestinian suicide bomber in the 1990’s.

Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi, Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, joined the chorus of terror glorifiers by offering his own post commemorating the anniversary of the death of Ayyash. “Yahya Ayyash did not die,” wrote the leading Islamic scholar, considered the spiritual father of Muslim Brotherhood. “He is alive in the conscience of all Palestine. The mosque that produced the mujahed (warrior) Ayyash is continuing to produce heroes.”

Sheikh al-Qaradawi is right in two important ways. The first of these is that Ayyash was indeed “produced” by a mosque. Those close to Ayyash describe him as a devout Muslim who used to spend much of his time in mosques, where he was undoubtedly exposed to anti-Semitic hate-speech and indoctrination at the hands of preachers and imams.

It is in these mosques that Ayyash was taught that Islam permits people like him to build bombs and dispatch suicide bombers to blow up buses. It is also in these mosques where he was taught that devout Muslims are best engaged in spilling Jewish blood.

Al-Qaradawi is also right when he says that the mosques are continuing to produce “heroes.” This is true because incitement and anti-Semitism remains a main theme of the Friday prayer sermons. Children and youths who attend prayers at these mosques are being fed the same hate-speech rhetoric that their hero Ayyash was exposed to in his childhood. Hence it is no surprise that the mosques in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to this day to churn out new terrorists, many of whom aspire to become like Ayyash – mass murderers.

“Ayyash was only 29 years old, but he became a legend that instilled fear in the hearts of the Zionists,” remarked another social media activist. “He was transformed into an exemplary engineer inspiring new generations.”

Hamas leaders, for their part, chose to celebrate the anniversary of the death of their terrorist by voicing hope that Palestinian youths would look at him as their role model and follow in his footsteps. “The students of Yahya Ayyash are the hope of the Palestinians,” said Hamas spokesman Hussam Badran. He said that Ayyash continues to serve as an inspiration for youths who wish to join the jihad against Israel.

That Ayyash was a Hamas member has not prevented the rival Fatah faction headed by Mahmoud Abbas from joining the campaign of glorification.

True, Hamas and Fatah are rivals and they despise each other. But when it comes to murdering Israelis, they wholeheartedly agree. In truth, Fatah would have preferred if Ayyash had been one of its own. Had that been so Fatah would have been able to boast (instead of Hamas) of the “heroic” attacks engineered by the beloved terrorist.

Still, in the eyes of Fatah, this Hamas arch-terrorist is a hero because he killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis. On one of its Facebook pages, Fatah had these words to say about Ayyash: “The revolutionaries never die; Fatah pledges to remain committed to the martyrs and the path of Yasser Arafat.”

Thus, despite Fatah’s double-talk about a two-state solution and “peace” with Israel, mass murderers still take top billing in its hall of fame. Fatah is also making it known that its former leader, Yasser Arafat, approved of such terrorism against Israel. This Fatah stance should not come as a surprise to those who have been following its leaders’ and activists’ statements and actions. The glorification of terrorists has always been an integral part of Fatah ideology. Most recently, Fatah celebrated its 52nd anniversary in a series of Facebook posts glorifying Palestinian terrorists.

Some would argue that the absence of education for peace with Israel on the Palestinian side is largely responsible for the failure of the peace process. However, this assessment falls short of the full truth. That truth is that the same Palestinian children who are not educated toward peace with Israel are educated toward killing Israeli civilians, as many as possible. The continued glorification of terrorists and the encouragement of youths to join the jihad against Israel and Jews, as well as the celebrations marking the death of Ayyash, demonstrate this truth. Where, the international community might ask, are the voices of the Palestinians who reject this education for wholesale slaughter?

Their voices are being marginalized by many European leaders comfortably doing business with the still-wealthy members of the Arab and Muslim elite who fund those imams and mosques. These European leaders wrongly image that if they get rid of Israel, it will be only Israel. They fail see that Israel is just the first course. They imagine that if they accede to Muslims’ wishes, they will be safe. What they fail to see, as in France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and Britain, is that they will be next, and that what they have been seeing is just the start. That is how the Muslims in a few hundred years took over Persia, Turkey, southern Spain, all of North Africa, and most of Eastern Europe.

For anyone who treasures freedom – including many Arabs and Muslims who do not want to live under terrorist Islamic dictatorships but are strong-armed from speaking out – the United Nations is now poisonous place. It has been taken over by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — 56 Islamic countries plus Palestine. It is now the seat of the universal caliphate. In this, it is assisted by dictators, despots and the many dhimmi-European leaders who together command a permanent voting majority and have been lately been busy rewriting historical facts. Nothing good can come from it. Freedom-loving countries should run.