Fraudulent Palestinian claims

The Mismatch Between Europe’s Israel Labeling Demands And Palestinian Legal Arguments

Alex VanNess, Manager of Public Information, Center for Security Policy

Via @dailycaller, Feb. 10, 2016

International bodies such as the European Union (EU), in their infinite wisdom, have decided to call on Israel to “end all settlement activity,” as well as target Israel, economically, through special labeling of Israeli products originating in Judea and Samaria, the “West Bank.” Moreover, U.S. State Department spokesperson, John Kirby has defended Europe’s actions, which is a departure from the Administration’s position from November that said the EU’s labeling guidelines “could be perceived as a step on the way to a boycott.”

The EU claims that goods produced in settlement areas are not “Made in Israel” and that the new labeling guidelines are to ensure accuracy. This decision ignores Israel’s legal right to this land under International Law and reiterated a faulty position that the lands Israel has controlled since the 1967 Middle East war are not part of the internationally recognized borders of Israel.

Palestinians have spent decades pushing the narrative that Israel’s activities in this region; in particular, settlements are “illegal” theft of Palestinian lands. For decades, a public relations campaign has been waged to ensure that any mentioning of Jewish neighborhoods in the West Bank is proceeded by the phrase “illegal settlements” at every possible opportunity.

Are the Israeli settlements as illegal as the international community says they are? The answer to that is no. With regards to their legal argument, Palestinians and their supporters have been pounding a square peg into the round hole for decades. In doing so, they have bastardized long-understood concepts of international law, to the point of being unrecognizable. However, several key aspects of this issue need to be understood.

First, while over a million Arabs live and own land in Israel, the laws on land ownership under the Palestinian Authority (PA) prohibit Arabs from selling land to Jews. Unless I missed something, there are no international laws on the books saying, “No Jews allowed in the West Bank.” In fact, Jews have lived in that area for thousands of years. The only time Jews haven’t lived there was for the few years, prior to Israel’s acquisition of the territory, when the Arab governments in control of the area forcefully removed these Jews from their homes.

Instead of fighting against these gross injustices, the international community has instead been fed a narrative, which is now widely believed, that Israel’s settlements are a violation of international law. Specifically, Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states a power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

However, the Geneva Convention does not apply to this situation. Even if the Convention did apply, Israel’s settler population was neither deported nor transferred to the region; rather, they choose to live in the land because of their deep-rooted connection to it. Continue reading

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Novel solutions needed for Mideast

The Many Mideast Solutions

Let the one-state era begin. It will involve a steady low-grade civil war between Palestinians and Israelis and a growing Israeli isolation in Europe and on college campuses that the next U.S. president will have to navigate.

Thomas L. Friedman, February 10, 2016, NY Times

In December at the Brookings Saban Forum on the Middle East, Atlantic magazine reporter Jeff Goldberg asked the right-wing former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman this provocative question: “Things are shifting radically not only in non-Jewish America but in Jewish America as it concerns Israel and its reputation. My question is: (A) Do you care? (B) What are you going to do about it? And (C) how important is it to you?”

“To speak frankly, I don’t care,” Lieberman responded, adding that Israel lived in a dangerous neighborhood. Give Lieberman credit for honesty: I don’t really care what American Jews or non-Jews think about Israel.

That conversation came back to me as I listened to the Democratic and Republican debates when they briefly veered into foreign policy, with candidates spouting the usual platitudes about standing with our Israeli and Sunni Arab allies. Here’s a news flash: You can retire those platitudes. Whoever becomes the next president will have to deal with a totally different Middle East.

It will be a Middle East shaped by struggle over a one-state solution, a no-state solution, a non-state solution and a rogue-state solution.

That is, a one-state solution in Israel, a no-state solution in Syria, Yemen and Libya, a non-state solution offered by the Islamic caliphate and a rogue-state solution offered by Iran.

Start with Israel. The peace process is dead. It’s over, folks, so please stop sending the New York Times Op-Ed page editor your proposals for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. The next U.S. president will have to deal with an Israel determined to permanently occupy all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including where 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live.

How did we get there? So many people stuck knives into the peace process it’s hard to know who delivered the mortal blow. Was it the fanatical Jewish settlers determined to keep expanding their footprint in the West Bank and able to sabotage any Israeli politician or army officer who opposed them? Was it right-wing Jewish billionaires, like Sheldon Adelson, who used their influence to blunt any U.S. congressional criticism of Bibi Netanyahu?

Or was it Netanyahu, whose lust to hold onto his seat of power is only surpassed by his lack of imagination to find a secure way to separate from the Palestinians? Bibi won: He’s now a historic figure — the founding father of the one-state solution.

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Palestinians support anti-semitism

The Palestinian’s willing executioners

Ron Jager, January 27, 2016

The writer, a 25-year veteran of the I.D.F., served as a field mental health officer and Commander of the Central Psychiatric Military Clinic for Reserve Soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty, he provides consultancy services to NGO’s implementing Psycho trauma and Psychoeducation programs to communities in the North and South of Israel. Today, Ron is a strategic advisor at the Office of the Chief Foreign Envoy of Judea and Samaria.


As the world commemorates the Holocaust as part of the UN-designated International Remembrance Day; now is the time to consider what makes Palestinian Arabs so barbaric and so hateful of Jews and Israelis that they have no reservations stabbing and murdering infants, children, women and men as they go about their daily chores. These daily terror attacks are for many here in Israel reminiscent of the indiscriminate killing of Jews before and during the Holocaust. The Palestinian Arab terror wave that stalks and seeks out Jews to be murdered for no other reason than their Jewish identity has its roots in Islamic-Nazi ideologies established during the years prior to the Holocaust in Europe. Both Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Arabs are equally involved in the current terror wave afflicting all of Israel.

Rather than exposing the similarities between the Nazi ideology and the current Palestinian Arab incitement to murder Jews, the international media chooses to report on the Palestinian Arab terror wave exclusively through the prism of the so-called “Occupation”, despite the fact that they have been reporting on the century long hatred of Jews in the Middle East preceding the establishment of the State of Israel, and preceding the Six Day War after which Israel regained control of Judea and Samaria. This primal hatred and need to butcher and murder Jews has been around way before the Arabs began calling themselves Palestinian Arabs. Before there was Israel… Arabs still killed Jews. Apparently, the explanation that Jews living in houses, aka "settlements", is the root cause that Arabs kill Jews doesn’t hold water any longer. When there was a "freeze" in housing, Palestinian Arabs still killed Jews. Maybe it’s not the Jewish houses or the so-called “occupation” that are at issue here. Maybe it’s the Jews. Maybe it’s their Palestinian Arab murderers and their primal hatred of Jews, similar to the indiscrimate Nazi hatred of all Jews.

For those Arabs who are citizens of Israel, they enjoy the benefits of living in a free and democratic nation. Arab-Israelis have risen to top posts in politics, the judiciary, sports, medicine and entertainment. But the community has long been viewed by many with suspicion and seen as untrustworthy, yet despite their questionable loyalty, Israel has shown time and time again its willingness to make painful sacrifices for the sake of a genuine and enduring peace with its Arab neighbors. Israeli Arabs have infinitely more human rights in Israel than Jews ever had when they lived in their former Arab countries, or that Arabs have in any Muslim nation in the Middle East today. Not surprisingly these fundamental freedoms bestowed on Israeli Arabs seem to be always overlooked by the very Arabs that enjoy and benefit from their democratic rights in Israel. The hearts and minds of Israeli Arabs continue to be overwhelmingly "occupied" with Jew-hatred. This is the true narrative about the so-called “occupation”.

Once again new generations of Arabs, including Israeli Arabs, are actively participating in the current terror wave, using automatic guns, gasoline bombs, knives, and even cars as weapons in order to kill or injure Jews to further that same futile aim and in the name of this ancient hatred. Though many of Israel’s enemies promote the notion that the violence is caused by Jewish actions, the latest terror campaign, if it continues, will be very much like every other episode in the futile Palestinian Arab’s hundred-year war against Zionism.

For the Palestinian Arabs and the Palestinian Authority (an organization funded entirely by the Obama Administration and European nations) premeditated murder has become a tool for redemption. The current terror wave can trace its roots to the link between Nazism and the nascent Palestinian Arab national movement during the years of the Holocaust preceding the establishment of the State of Israel. For example, in a Nazi directive of 1943: "The extermination of Jewry throughout the world is the precondition for an enduring peace". Such a statement is remarkably similar, if not identical, to the Palestinian Arab political and religious leaders then and now who proclaim at every opportunity that the Zionist regime will be wiped out and humanity liberated. The common thread unifying the desire for the total destruction of Jews is shared by both Palestinian Arab terror and Nazism, hence the validity of the term Islamo-Nazism. The Nazi’s spoke of redemptive anti-Semitism, namely a form of anti-Semitism that explains all in the world and offer a form of “redemption” by exterminating the Jews. Palestinian Arab leaders provide the same rational for murdering Jews and Israelis in particular. The Palestinian Arab Authority broadcasts daily programs of incitement to children and adults on TV glorifying terrorists killed as they attempted to murder Jews, hanging their pictures on light posts in major Arab Palestinian cities and promising heaven for those who murder Jews.

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Historians reject BDS

Yet Again: The American Historical Association Rejects a Resolution Denouncing Israel

Jeffrey Herf, Times of Israel, January 14, 2016

On Saturday, January 9th, 2016 members of the American Historical Association meeting in Atlanta at the organization’s Business Meeting voted 111 to 50 to reject a resolution denouncing Israeli policies towards Palestinian universities in Gaza and the West Bank. The resolution was proposed by the “Historians Against the War” (HAW), the same group of leftist historians that had proposed an Israel boycott resolution a year ago. In New York, some grounds for defeat of that resolution lay in HAW’s failure to follow proper procedure.

As other American scholarly associations have passed resolutions calling for a boycott or criticizing Israel, the resounding defeat of such resolutions two years in a row in the AHA is both important and in need of explanation. It is important because it breaks what appeared to be the growing momentum of the BDS campaign. Allegations of Israeli violations of human rights of the Palestinians and rhetoric about Zionism as colonialism and racism that had proven so successful since the 1970s in the United Nations and among NGO’s claiming to stand for human rights met with failure when confronted with the skeptical gaze of historians trained to weigh evidence with care.

This past fall, the HAW group submitted its resolution on time and gathered sufficient member signatures to place it on the agenda. Perhaps in order to gain more votes in its favor, the HAW resolution in 2016 stopped short of a call for a boycott of Israeli universities. Rather it repeated accusations that have become familiar in the international BDS movement about Israel’s alleged mistreatment of Palestinian universities on the West Bank and Gaza. In place of a boycott, it called for the AHA to serve as a monitor to oversee and presumably correct Israeli policies towards Palestinian universities. The resolution alleged that Israel violated the rights of Palestinian faculty and students to “pursue their education and research freely,” restricted “freedom of movement, including denial of entry of foreign nationals,” and engaged in “physical attacks on Palestinian educational institutions.” As a result, it urged that “the AHA commits itself to monitoring Israeli actions restricting the right to education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” The resolution was posted on the website of the AHA in November 2015.

The causes of this second, resounding defeat of the anti-Israeli resolution lay in the shortcomings of the resolution as well as in the effectiveness of the opposition to it.

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Arabs in Jenin want peace

Why the West Bank refugee camps refuse to join the Third Intifada

By Avi Issacharoff, January 15, 2016, Times of Israel

JENIN, West Bank — Beneath a sign showing Saddam Hussein alongside various well-known shahids (martyrs), the residents of Jenin’s refugee camp are engaged in heated debate. At issue is whether to put up a banner commemorating the “shahid” Nashat Milhem, the Israeli Arab terrorist who killed three Israelis in a shooting attack in central Tel Aviv on January 1.

Jenin refugee camp became a violent symbol during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. It was here that the toughest battle against the Israeli army took place: 23 Israeli troops were killed, 13 of them in the single worst incident to take place during the operation, and dozens of Palestinians were killed. The residents of the camp have been seeking new heroes ever since, but not everyone is eager to accept the idea of the monument to Milhem.

A worker in a nearby clothing store says that putting up such a sign will bring Israeli troops and Shin Bet personnel to the camp. “Why do we need that now?” he asks.

After the tough and tumultuous years that the camp endured, today, even as the “intifada of knives” rages elsewhere, local residents are enjoying one of the calmest periods they have experienced over the past decade. And many don’t want it to end.

Nashat Milhem, the Arab Israeli man who carried out the shooting attack in Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016. (Israel Police)

Nashat Milhem, the Arab Israeli man who carried out the shooting attack in Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016. (Israel Police)

“There have been no Jews here for months, and the Palestinian Authority has not come in either,” says M., a former wanted man who served a four-year sentence in a PA jail and was an inmate in an Israeli prison before that.

“So you see: Everybody here is calmer.”

M., a father of three, knows all the Israeli reporters on Palestinian affairs by name. During the Second Intifada, he accompanied Zakaria Zubeidi, the commander of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, around the camp. Zubeidi has lived in Beitunia (Ramallah) ever since the PA forced him to move there so that it could keep a close eye on him.

M. and a few of his friends are waiting for passengers in the camp’s downtown section, near the Sheikh Khalifa Mosque. The Jenin Refugee Camp Barbershop is near us, and the group of men in their 20s and 30s run a Jenin-style gypsy cab service in which passengers travel from one place to another in the camp — for money, of course.

The Jenin checkpoint where a Palestinian teenager tried to stab Israeli security personnel before being shot and killed on October 24, 2015. (Israeli Ministry of Defense)

The Jenin checkpoint where a Palestinian teenager tried to stab Israeli security personnel before being shot and killed on October 24, 2015. (Israeli Ministry of Defense)

“How do you explain the fact that no resident of the camp took part in the ‘intifada of knives’ over the past three months?” I ask him.

“It’s not an intifada. It’s a fad,” he says. “Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm, Jericho — nothing is happening in any one of those places. Things have calmed down even in Hebron. True, people were killed there, but it’s a passing phase. The ones that created this intifada were the media and Facebook.


“And let’s be honest,” he continues. “What did we gain from the Second Intifada? What did we get? Those of us who live here in the camp paid the heaviest price. And what did that do for us? Did we get representation on the Revolutionary Council [one of the leadership groups] or on the Central Committee [Fatah’s supreme leadership group]? So why should we take part in this? What will we get out of sending a kid to stab somebody with a knife? Just yesterday [Monday], some teenager tried to stab a person near Hermesh. Did that get anybody upset?

“Still,” he notes, “I can tell you one thing: As long as there is an occupation, these ‘fads’ will keep on coming back, again and again. It will never be over.”

Is the ‘stabbing intifada’ about to fade away?

This overall assessment by M., who spent his best years in Israeli and Palestinian prisons for terrorist activity, is not unique among the residents here or in other refugee camps.

Many people in Jenin and in the other large refugee camps in the West Bank do not believe that the violent outbreak of recent months will last, or that it will lead to change. This is true of both Jenin and of Balata, near Nablus — both camps that played a leading role in the terror attacks and conflicts during the first two intifadas.

All this may have to do with deeper processes that are going on in Palestinian society, including the “defamiliarization” that the inhabitants of the refugee camps feel toward the Palestinian Authority and the people who live in the cities.

The lack of participation by the residents of the large refugee camps in the West Bank is one of the main reasons why this intifada has not become a mass uprising three and a half months after it began, and is even showing the first signs of fading.

Realizing this, Hamas is trying to escalate the conflict by engaging in shooting and suicide attacks. But the number of stabbing and ramming attacks is declining, as is the number of those taking part in demonstrations.

Sabr, a friend of M.’s and also a former wanted man, tries to explain.

Palestinian security officers slide down a building next to a banner of President Mahmoud Abbas with Yasser Arafat, in the West Bank town of Jenin on Wednesday. Arabic on the left reads "our hero prisoners, the covenant is the covenant and the section is the section, your liberty will stay our first priority," and right, "all your people (are) with you."(photo credit: AP/Mohammed Ballas)

Palestinian security officers rappel down a building next to a banner of PA President Mahmoud Abbas with Yasser Arafat, in the West Bank town of Jenin in 2012. The Arabic on the left reads ‘Our hero prisoners, the covenant is the covenant and the section is the section, your liberty will stay our first priority.’ The Arabic on the right banner reads ‘All your people (are) with you.’ (AP/Mohammed Ballas)

“Here in the camp, we’re a different country,” Sabr says. “There is no PA or Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) here. Every home here has a shahid or someone in prison. I was shot in the leg. And everybody — those who were killed, the prisoners, and the wounded — was left behind, forgotten. We fought and paid a price, and we were forgotten.

“Does the PA care about us?” he asks bitterly. “The brothers of the people who were killed back then, during the Second Intifada — do you think that they are going to go out to get killed, to fight? For what purpose? What will we gain from it? The stabbing intifada is a lie. One hundred fifty people were killed, 145 of them for nothing. Soldiers panicked and shot at people. This is the intifada of nothing.” (News agencies put the Palestinian death toll at some 140; Israel has identified more than 90 of them as attackers — killed in the act of trying to kill Israelis. More than 20 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian terrorists since the fall.)

More and more of the residents gather around us, nodding their heads in agreement. Says Hatem, 25, “Unlike the kids with the knives, we have rifles. And we don’t use anything else.”

M. quotes an ancient saying about war, giving us the Palestinian version. “The intifada: The intellectuals plan it, the poor lead it, and the cowards steal it. And that is what happened to us. The Second Intifada was stolen from us.”

‘If the Palestinians were to be offered the opportunity to live in a single state with the Jews, 95 percent would say yes and sign on it

So what do they want?

“Let us live in peace and quiet,” M. says. “We don’t want anything. We want to live together with the Israelis. We have no problem with that. They are our cousins. We will live with them in peace.”

But what about the Palestinian state? After all, the PA promises that it will win recognition for the State of Palestine.

“The Palestinian state is nonsense,” Sabr says. “Talks have been going on here for 20 years without results. We’re still under occupation. So let them open the border crossings for us, let us live normal lives, and that’s it. As far as I’m concerned, the Jews can live with me in the same building. That’s how we’ll be able to live in Haifa and in Tel Aviv. I’ll tell you more than that. If the Palestinians were to be offered the opportunity to live in a single state with the Jews, 95 percent would say yes and sign on it. 95 percent. To be done with it already. Enough.”

Muntaser, one of the men listening to the conversation, wants to have his say. “My family’s home used to be where Haifa’s Hadar neighborhood is today. If my family hadn’t fled in 1948, I’d be from Haifa today. I have no problem living with Jews. I have no problem with them. If they didn’t come into the camp, there would be no problems here either. Look — they haven’t come in for two months now, and there’s no disturbance. I have no doubt that these knife attacks are a mistake. You become a shahid for nothing. We’re fighting against a state, after all, so are a few kids with knives going to bother them?”

What about the Palestinian Authority?

Sabr goes on the offensive. “We have no hope or trust in the PA. We’re sick and tired of them. We have problems with them all the time, not just with the Jews.”

Sabr’s friend Yassin interrupts as soon as curses against the PA start to be heard. “I’ll explain it to you,” he says. “Those whom Israel arrested and released — the PA arrests them. And those whom the PA releases, Israel arrests. Do you get how it works between them?”

In Balata, waiting for the Islamic State

A drenching rain was falling on the day we visited Balata, 10 days ago.

Located on the outskirts of Nablus, Balata is the most densely populated refugee camp in the West Bank. It is where the First Intifada began and where the first cells of Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades were set up during the Second Intifada.

Groups of young men congregate at building entrances to warm themselves at the barrels in which wood is burning. In the absence of heaters or central heating, this too is a kind of solution.

One burning barrel is placed at the entrance to an improvised billiards club, a tiny room with a pool table around which a few young men are gathered. The tiny room is full of smoke. Nasser, 16, says that the young men from the camp are not taking part in the stabbing attacks because “there are no Jews here. There are no roadblocks either.” But that sounds a bit like an excuse.

Fifteen-year-old Mohammed speaks more bluntly. “There aren’t any men anymore. The real men have been killed, or they’re in prison. The only ones left are spies from the PA or from Israel. So the residents are afraid to take part in terror attacks.”

The body of Ashraqet Qatnani, 16, lies near a bus stop in the northern West Bank, where she was killed, allegedly while attempting to stab Israelis (Samaria Region Council)

The body of Ashraqet Qatnani, 16, lies near a bus stop in the northern West Bank, where she was killed while attempting to stab Israelis. (Samaria Region Council)

Izz, 21, says that Balata is out of the game because its residents had enough with the Second Intifada. “Each person cares about his job, about money. It’s not like it was then. The people who live here have given up, so they’re thinking about a better future someplace else.”

The neighborhood community center, named the Yaffa (Jaffa) Center, is located close by. There we meet Tayseer Nasrallah, a well-known Fatah official in the Nablus region. Just a little while ago he returned from the funeral of Ashraqet Qatnani, who was run over by former settler leader Gershon Mesika when she attempted a stabbing attack near the Hawara checkpoint in November of last year.

“We are not at the stage of an intifada,” Nasrallah says. “We haven’t reached that point yet, though we have reached the point of a popular outburst. The Palestinian people is not taking part here. There are limited events with limited participation. But it could definitely lead to an intifada. Israel’s actions lead to escalation — whether the actions are committed by settlers, such as the murder of the Dawabsha family (in Duma last July), or the daily attacks on civilians. But it’s also the actions of the army — the arrests, the shooting, the killing. Everything.”

Why isn’t this camp part of the “lone-wolf” intifada?

“Palestinian society is split in half. One part is in favor of this phenomenon (of knife attacks) while the other is against it. Those who are in favor base their position mainly on the fact that there is no partner on the Israeli side. There is no peace camp anymore. Shulamit Aloni, Yossi Sarid, Rabin — they’re all dead. There’s no peace camp left in Israel. That’s why they think they have to act.

“On the other hand,” Nasrallah continues, “I thought and still think that there’s no need to go into a new intifada as long as we don’t understand where we’re going and what our goal is. In other words, we want a better life for our children instead of them just getting killed. I’m not saying that it’s a mistake, but I do think that we need to focus on popular resistance.”

So where are the refugee camps headed, then?

The suspects accused of belonging to an Islamic State terror cell in the West Bank: Ahmmad Shehadah (left), Qusai Meswadeh (center) and Muhammad Zerrue (right). (photo credit: Shin Bet press release)

Suspects accused in January 2016 of belonging to an Islamic State terror cell in the West Bank: Ahmad Shehadah (left), Qusai Meswadeh (center) and Muhammad Zerrue (right). (Shin Bet press release)

“Look — there are clashes and attacks in places like Qalandiya and Shuafat, which are located near roadblocks. At first, we held demonstrations here in Hawara (nearby). But we realized that we shouldn’t invest too much in that.

“Honestly, there’s a feeling in the camp that we’re in a situation of ongoing neglect by the Palestinian Authority and that we never received anything from the PA that was worth the sacrifices that this camp made. That’s why the large camps, which suffered so much during the Second Intifada, are now saying, ‘Wait and see.’ Let’s see what the PA wants. It’s not just the people who live in the camps. People who live in other places are also waiting to see what happens. So far, this outbreak has not made much change in global or Israeli public opinion.”

How will it be resolved?

“I’m not sure,” Nasrallah acknowledges. “The talks with Israel were fruitless, and if the Palestinians go back to peace talks with Israel, that will be a mistake. We aren’t getting close to a Palestinian state, and the two-state solution has been completely destroyed.”

Tayseer Nasrallah’s friend, Abu Khalaf, sits nearby and listens. A former wanted man, he was shot 11 times by Israeli troops. After he was wounded and captured, he served a 10-year prison sentence in Israel. “The two-state solution has been dead for some time,” he tells us. “When the time comes, there will be one state here.”

“Israel doesn’t understand,” Nasrallah says. “There is extremism on the Palestinian side, and because all hope has been lost, the Islamic State will get to us, too, in the end. Abu Mazen believed in a two-state solution more than anyone, and his statements made even the Palestinian people angry. The PA is in an interim situation now. It keeps working in order to handle day-to-day issues, but it has no power to influence events. It becomes weaker with every passing day. I think that Israel does not really want the PA to survive; it wants the PA to cease to exist.”

Palestinian protesters throw stones at Israeli security forces at the Hawara checkpoint, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, on October 11, 2015. (Flash90)

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Journalists fear Gaza

Hamas shuts up critical Palestinian journalists in Gaza

Cynthia Blank, Arutz Sheva, January 13, 2016

A Palestinian journalist once openly critical of the Hamas terror movement’s rule over Gaza will no longer write about politics after being brutally beaten in jail.

Ayman al-Aloul was arrested along with another outspoken critic, Ramzi Herzallah, in their homes in Gaza City on January 3.

Both were released Monday after nine days in jail, which included beatings and trips to a torture room, known euphemistically as “the bus,” in which prisoners are forces to sit blindfolded on children-sized chairs for the entirety of a day.

Following the experience, al-Aloul said his work will now be constrained to less controversial topics such as entertainment and food.

“I’ve decided not to talk about the general situation anymore,” al-Aloul told the Associated Press (AP) from his home on Tuesday. “The experience I went through was very difficult.”

Al-Aloul’s arrest is part of a crackdown by Hamas amid rising unrest among the Gaza populace. Critics of the terror group’s rule have become more outspoken on social media and Hamas’ attempts to raise taxes have also provoked rare protests.

In his social media activity over the past few months, Al-Aloul has been vocal in urging Hamas to withdraw from the Rafah crossing and hand control over the Palestinian Authority in order for Egypt to agree to open it.

He also posted pictures of people hunting for food in garbage cans, cited business owners enraged over the new taxes and blamed Hamas for ongoing power outages.

“They think that my posts on Facebook harm the Gaza government,” al-Aloul said. “They considered criticizing the government to be criticism of ‘the resistance’ and they accused me of harming the revolutionary unity.”

While Hamas continues to deny it intimidates or tortures opponents and critics, Akram Sourani, a local satirist, told AP he believes the latest string of arrests will have their intended goal of stamping out criticism.  Continue reading

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Palestinian Authority encourages terror

The True Face of the Palestinians’ Leader

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, January 12, 2016

The editor of the Palestinian news agency Maan recently summarized remarks Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made in a conversation with him, as well as in a speech he gave in Bethlehem last week. Some of what Abbas said, according to this report, such as his statement that the PA would not collapse but rather would disappear only after a Palestinian state was founded, were widely quoted in the media. But other remarks, like those made recently by Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub, did not reach Israeli or global media consumers. The latter heard only limited reports on statements by Rajoub and Abbas, who are very cosseted by the media overseas.

President Mahmoud Abbas

President Mahmoud Abbas

For example, Abbas said that the security situation in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is worse than in Gaza or Ramallah; that the “popular intifada will go on until the end of the occupation and there will be no return to negotiations without recognition of all the rights of the Palestinians;” that “progress toward an agreement must be achieved by international intervention;” that “the intifada would have been peaceful if the soldiers of the occupation had not killed Palestinian demonstrators, but now for every terror attack, for every knife and for every shooting by a Palestinian there is an explanation and the Israeli government is responsible for the bloodshed on both sides.”

With regard to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call to the Jews of France to move to Israel, Abbas said he “puts his faith in time and a demographic struggle that will bring down the Zionist theory.”

Rajoub declared that Fatah regards the 17 “martyrs” who were buried on January 1 in Hebron as heroes (terrorists whose bodies were returned to the Palestinians) ,and Fatah encourages young Palestinians to follow their path. According to Rajoub, the issue came up in a meeting of the movement’s Central Committee (which Abbas heads), and it was decided to support these actions.

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Arabs must accept Israel is Jewish state

Lessons We Palestinians Can Learn

Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, January 6, 2016

This past week, the Israelis arrested 25 Hamas terrorists in the West Bank, most of them students from Al-Quds University in Abu Dis. Not rebels without a cause or the unemployed with a chip on their shoulder, but the finest minds we have, the intellectuals of the future Palestinian academia! The group, which dealt with recruiting and guidance and was being handled by Hamas in Turkey and its terrorist wing the Gaza Strip, was planning to carry out suicide bombing attacks inside Israel.

The leaders of the terror cell arranged safe houses and storage sites, where they set up laboratories to manufacture explosives. They recruited Palestinians — from Bethlehem, Hebron, Qalqilya and even from Jerusalem, as well as Arabs from the Israeli Negev — to acquire the chemicals and other equipment necessary for making car bombs for these students, who were getting ready to die as suicide bombers.

The Israeli security forces uncovered the network and arrested its operatives, who had also been influenced by the Palestinian Authority’s non-stop incitement of the Palestinian population. The Palestinian Authority (PA) wants to sacrifice our best and brightest to carry out terrorist attacks against Jews.

Unfortunately, recent events herald the end of the concept of establishing an independent state for the Palestinian people. The cracks in the wall of Palestinian history — which is barely a hundred years old — are growing wider. The attempts to repair the fabric of Palestinian society with neon colors are a failure. There is also internal friction among the various Salafist organizations (Hamas, ISIS, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad) and the PLO and Fatah and other West Bank terrorist organizations.

There is also the issue of inheritance: which organization will control the PLO? What are the differences in their agendas? The Hamas leadership in Gaza wants first to reconstruct the Gaza Strip and then renew the fighting with Israel. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military-terrorist wing, demands the immediate renewal of attacks and rocket fire against Israel. Both are trying to establish new terrorist networks in the West Bank (like the one recently uncovered). The double objective of both groups is to kill Israelis and topple the Palestinian Authority.

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