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Issue No : 55

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

5th August, 2013

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5th August, 2013

Issue No : 55

Read In This Report

Gaza gov’t warns of humanitarian disaster due to closure of Rafah crossing P5

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Palestinians take to the streets against After the first round of talks, Israel to retain 85% of settlements in West Bank defamation campaign in Egypt

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Israeli to displace 1,300 Palestinians from Hebron

Al-Barghouthi risks death on his 91st day of hunger strike

Yassir al Zaatara What is behind the resumption of negotiations in Washington?

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia 2 |

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 55

5th August, 2013

CONTENTS News of Palestine

Palestinians take to the streets against defamation campaign in Egypt

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Gaza gov’t warns of humanitarian disaster due to closure of Rafah crossing

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After the first round of talks, Israel to retain 85% of settlements in West Bank

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Israeli to displace 1,300 Palestinians from Hebron

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Al-Barghouthi risks death on his 91st day of hunger strike

8

One martyr and 200 detainees during July

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Articles & Analyses

What is behind the resumption of negotiations in Washington?

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5th August, 2013

Issue No : 55

News of Palestine

Hamas warns of a malicious campaign against it

Palestinians take to the streets against defamation campaign in Egypt

01/08/2013

Palestinians in Gaza organised on Saturday a rally in the middle of Gaza City against what they called an «organised defamation campaign» carried out against Palestinians by the Egyptian media. Carrying Egyptian flags, they chanted slogans referring to the strong relationship between Palestine and Egypt.

Hamas. He also denied any involvement with the current unrest in Egypt. «These documents urge hatred, not only against Gaza or Hamas, but against the Palestinian people.» he said.

Osama Hamdan, a leader in Hamas movement, stated that PA president Mahmoud Abbas leads The demonstrators expressed their anger very a serious scheme to drive a wedge between Gaza clearly over the repeated media accusations and Egypt, as part of a systematic policy to take that Palestinians «interfere» in Egyptian affairs. revenge on Hamas movement. «Gaza is not Tel Aviv,» they chanted. Hamdan confirmed that Hamas movement has Meanwhile, a Hamas official said that elements managed to get official documents to prove PA within the Egyptian authorities colluded with involvement in a conspiracy in coordination with some Fatah elements to demonise Hamas. US and Israel to liquidate the Palestinian cause. Salah, al-Bardaweel, a member of Hamas, said Abbas is involved in paving the way for an Israeli during a press conference on Tuesday that Fatah, aggression against the Gaza strip, the leader in as well as members of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas movement said. the governing body in the occupied West Bank, Source: Agencies pushed forward a malicious agenda to tarnish 4 |

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 55

5th August, 2013

Gaza gov’t warns of humanitarian disaster due to closure of Rafah crossing

01/08/2013

The Palestinian government in Gaza has warned of humanitarian disaster in the besieged enclave in the event the Egyptian authorities continued to close the Rafah border crossing.

It said that the crossing was It pointed out that the allocated the only outlet for Gaza people truckloads of fuel for the Gaza with the outside world, adding power station were not enough to that Egypt slashed its operating operate the station in full, adding hours from nine to only four that power was being cut off for per day. It said that Egypt allows only ten hours daily as a result. The ministry said that all Gaza 150 persons to leave the Strip crossings should operate nor- daily and they should be holdmally and pressures should be ers of Arab or foreign passports exerted on Israel to end its seven- or very ill persons. of traffic of people and goods.

The ministry of foreign affairs said in a message sent Thursday on behalf of the government to regional and international organizations, human rights groups, and political and year-old “oppressive” blockade. notable figures that the health and municipal sectors would The ministry said that the Egyptian authorities’ closure of the be the most affected. Rafah terminal on 5th July and The ministry appealed to all its partial reopening few days parties concerned with the Ra- later led to grave deterioration fah terminal to work for its re- in the inhabitants’ living condiopening to allow normal flow tions.

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The ministry charged that the measure was a clear violation of the internationally guaranteed freedom of movement.

Source: PIC

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Issue No : 55

5th August, 2013

After the first round of talks, Israel to retain 85% of settlements in West Bank

01/08/2013

Israel expects to retain about 85 per cent of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories at the end of the negotiations, Yedioth Ahronoth said on Thursday. Citing sources in the US Congress, the newspaper estimated that Israel will keep control over all of the major settlement blocs. Immediately after Israel›s Tzipi Livni and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat left Washington, it is claimed, Secretary of State John Kerry phoned some of his friends in Congress, most of whom are pro-Israel, to feed back on the talks. It is said that the two sides not only dis6 |

cussed arrangements and measures regarding the negotiations, but they also discussed the expected land swap to ensure that the settlements will come under formal Israeli sovereignty. Kerry assured his friends that Israel›s interests will be protected. One congressman, described by the Israeli newspaper as a major friend of Israel, asked Kerry if the Palestinians would recognise Israel as a Jewish state. «One of my major goals is to establish a Jewish country for Jews,» Kerry is alleged to have replied.

Source: MEMO

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Issue No : 55

5th August, 2013

Israeli to displace 1,300 Palestinians from Hebron

01/08/2013

The Israeli authorities have begun moves to evacuate about 1,300 Palestinians from eight Palestinians villages in south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank on the pretext that ‹they occupy a firing range in military training area›.

According to Haaretz, the Israeli Authorities did not ask the Jewish settlers to leave the area. Instead, they only asked the Palestinians who have been living in the area for hundreds of years.

Earlier this year, in January, Palestinians from 12 villages in the area filed two petitions in the Supreme Court. They called for the cancelation of the planned measures and the military order that considered the area a ‹closed military zone.›

forceful expulsion of Palestinian residents contravenes international law and should be challenged in the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Israel decided to expel all the villagers in the The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported on area in 2000 for the same reason, but the SuThursday that the ‹state› wanted to evict the Pal- preme Court decided to leave them until a final estinians from their homes because it wanted to resolution was issued regarding their case. save the Israel army time and money. Meanwhile, legal experts have affirmed that the

Source: MEMO

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5th August, 2013

Issue No : 55

Al-Barghouthi risks death on his 91st day of hunger strike

02/08/2013 The health condition of prisoner Abdullah AlBarghouthi has seriously deteriorated after 91 days of hunger strike along with four other Jordanian captives. Lawyer Mohammed Al Shayeb, who visited AlBarghouthi yesterday in Afula prison, warned of the serious deterioration of the striker›s health condition due to his continued hunger strike. The lawyer quoted the doctor as saying that AlBarghouthi risks death at any moment, noting that his medical condition is monitored twice a day to check his heart rate, blood pressure, and 8 |

glucose levels. The IPS in Afula prison has refused the doctors› demand to conduct the hunger striker physical examination to his nerves under the pretext that his transfer from his room to the clinic causes a security problem, the lawyer added. Abdullah al-Barghouthi has declared since early May an open hunger strike along with four other Jordanian captives, Mohammad Rimawi, Muneer Mir’i, Hamza al-Dabbas Othman, and Alaa Hammad.

Source: PIC

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Issue No : 55

5th August, 2013

One martyr and 200 detainees during July

01/08/2013 The Israeli forces have killed one Palestinian and arrested 200 during July throughout West Bank and Gaza strip, Tadamun Foundation for human rights revealed.

The foundation›s report said that 200 Palestinians were detained during July including 40 minors between the ages of 12-18 years and 10 university students who study abroad.

among the detainees were a Palestinian deputy, a university lecturers, two journalists and liberated prisoners.

Several Palestinians were arrested at Israeli checkpoints set Ahmad al-Bitawi, a researcher Nearly 70 Palestinians were ar- up throughout West Bank and at the foundation, stated that rested in al-Khalil, 32 were de- Erez crossing of the Gaza strip Moataz Idris Sharawna, 19, was tained in Nablus, 30 in Ramallah in addition to the Karama bormartyred after being hit by an and al-Bireh, 25 in Jerusalem, 23 der crossing of the West Bank. Israeli jeep during clashes that in Jenin, and 2 in Gaza strip. Source: PIC erupted in Dura in al-Khalil. The report pointed out that

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5th August, 2013

Issue No : 55

Articles & Analyses

What is behind the resumption of negotiations in Washington? By: Yassir al Zaatara* US Secretary of State John Kerry has worked hard on the Israel-Palestine portfolio since he came into office earlier this year. He has made six tours to the region, the most recent ending in the announcement of the resumption of negotiations. It would be foolish to say that Kerry›s tours were solely an American initiative, as the US only intervenes in the Middle East based on the demands of Israel as Washington is now more concerned about the rise of China. It is worth reminding ourselves that the Palestinian demand for a freeze on settlement activity was not the reason behind the deadlock in negotiations; it was, after all, just one of the Palestinian Authority›s conditions over which it negotiated for 3 years with ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whose government was the most determined to escalate settlement activity.

gotiations. Ever since, Abbas has insisted on an end to settlement growth before resuming talks with the Israelis. Netanyahu has refused and stood his ground, leaving Abbas and Obama to give in to his conditions. They are now talking despite settlements still being built on land supposedly earmarked for a Palestinian state. An insistence on the 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations replaced the settlement condition but has also been rebuffed. The only gain from going back to talks is the release of 104 veteran Palestinian prisoners who have been in prison since before the Oslo Accords and are deemed to be no longer a threat to Israel›s security.

including East Jerusalem, and a light land-swap of land with the same area and significance. We are also expected to believe that Netanyahu is foolish for intensifying settlement activity in areas he will be surrendering in 6 to 9 months, the time scale agreed in Amman for the talks to produce tangible results.

Looking at Kerry›s promises to Abbas in the Amman meetings, which the PA president communicated to members of the PLO Executive Committee, the secretary of state was generHence, Israel›s illegal settlement ous with his guarantees; that›s expansion continues and the 1967 the usual manner in which the It was Obama who put Mah- borders are not acknowledged Americans deal with the Palesmoud Abbas on the spot when as a reference for negotiations; tinian file. It is as if any Amerithe US president told current Is- and the people are expected to can leader can force Netanyahu raeli Prime Minister Benjamin believe that Abbas is committed into doing anything he doesn›t Netanyahu to stop all settle- to the Palestinian national con- want to even though the Israeli ment activity in order to create stants which include a sovereign prime minister is well aware an atmosphere suitable for ne- state within the 1967 borders, that he has more support in 10 |

Of course we must be happy about their release, but it should not be a reason to give up on the cause for which so many have spent lifetimes behind bars.

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Issue No : 55

5th August, 2013

the US Congress than any US president has, Republican or Democrat.

The only gain from going back to talks is the release of 104 veteran Palestinian prisoners who have been in prison since before the Oslo Accords and are deemed to be no longer a threat to Israel›s security.

I used the term «generous» metaphorically because we are aware of the truth behind the Israeli position, and the US is actually far from generous. Kerry made a number of promises and guarantees in order to lure Abbas back into negotiations, or at least for him to be able to tell Fatah and the PLO that he was able to secure promises of the following: a state within the 1967 borders with some land-swaps and East Jerusalem as the capital while keeping Jerusalem united; and a dignified solution for the refugees, one that does not threaten Israel›s Judaisation plans. This, we are led to believe, will result in the end of the occupation, and thus the end of the conflict, while ensuring Israel›s security.

Fatah and the PLO Executive committee were not convinced by Kerry›s proposal and guarantees, this was overlooked, especially since no one could go In addition, Kerry proposed an against Abbas, the leader of both economic package to Abbas groups. There is no doubt that the during the Dafus Economic Arab references, which quickly Forum at the Dead Sea, but communicated the orders to Amhe did not link it to economic man, contributed towards the enpeace (Netanyahu›s project) as hancement of Abbas›s position. he did at the Dead Sea. Instead, Of course, Kerry can tell Mahhe spoke about multiplying the moud Abbas whatever he wants, national income in the West but his ability to impose anything Bank and decreasing the un- on Netanyahu is almost non- -exemployment rate from 23 per istent. If Obama was unable to cent to 8 per cent over the next convince him to freeze settle3 years, explaining that he has ment activity in order to resume important commitments from negotiations, how will he be able Saudi Arabia and the UAE in to convince him to make concesthis regard. sions in East Jerusalem? While most of the leaders of Remember the leaked documents

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exposed by Al Jazeera which revealed the extent of the concessions the PA is willing to agree to? They also revealed Israel›s inflexibility, especially regarding the refugees and Jerusalem. Israel›s Justice Minister and lead negotiator Tzipi Livni told her Palestinian counterpart Saeb Erekat that the number of refugees who will be allowed to return to what is now Israel will be «zero». As for the matter of East Jerusalem, when Erekat told her that he was proposing «the largest Jerusalem in Jewish history», Livni replied arrogantly that the matter was beyond the context of negotiations. Everyone knows that the Jerusalem issue is what caused the Camp David negotiations to fail in 2000, and not the refugees. Everyone, that is, except the Palestinian negotiators, it seems. It is also important to remind ourselves that one of the reasons behind the Israeli-American keenness to resume negotiations is the fear of a new Intifada in the West Bank; Kerry was frank about this during his meeting with Abbas in Amman. These fears cannot be downplayed, as the occurrence of an Intifada would mean the collapse of all of Israel›s security achievements over the last 7 years, in addition to imposing a serious threat to the Zionist state in the context of the Arab Spring. | 11


5th August, 2013

Issue No : 55

If a final agreement is not achieved, no problem; the Israeli army will simply be deployed into new areas and more money will be thrown at the conflict. Negotiations will be replaced by another attempt to get full membership of the UN, leading to the establishment of a temporary state within the confines of Israel›s «Separation Wall» in a constant battle over borders without Abbas or anyone else ever having to admit that they have surrendered over the constants. This situation will last for years until «temporary» turns into de facto «permanent». In the end, the Palestinian cause will be wiped out and a «confederation» with Jordan will most probably emerge. The other possibility is that negotiations will continue in secret, and will end in Mahmoud Abbas accepting much less than what he accepted from Olmert, with a final deal 12 |

which sees the PA getting a share of the areas surrounding Jerusalem which the Israelis have added to «Greater Jerusalem» since 1967 to use as the capital of Palestine. Meanwhile, historic Jerusalem will indeed remain «united» as the capital of Israel. This will include Al-Aqsa Mosque, which will be subject to special arrangements for worshippers but the sovereignty of the area in which it is located will be Israel›s. Moreover, the Jordan Valley will be leased to Israel for 30 years as per the old Camp David proposal plus security ar-

The new round of negotiations may not achieve anything at all due to the issue of Jerusalem and borders.

Of course, the new round of negotiations may not achieve anything at all due to the issue of Jerusalem and borders. Arab League approval for land swaps will see the major settlement blocs annexed to Israel, fragmenting a Palestinian state permanently. The Jordan Valley will also prove to be a difficult matter to resolve, and it is a massive part of the occupied West Bank.

rangements in the spirit of the annex of the Geneva Accords. The end result will be a fragmented entity whose constituent parts are linked by bridges, tunnels and bypass roads, without the return of the refugees to their land in Israel; they will receive compensation paid for by the Arab states. This is if the Israelis do not demand greater compensation for Jews› property in Arab countries, with a possibil-

ity of this compensation being accompanied by security and political arrangements with Jordan, also in the form of a confederation. The first possibility seems to be the most likely but the second scenario cannot be ruled out. It is all quite easy for Mahmoud Abbas as he will be ruling over the West Bank alone, and so will be easy to manipulate. As for the Gaza Strip, that will be dealt with separately based on the development of the Palestinian situation in the region in general. All that is left to say is that this is what they are considering, but the Palestinian people may have other ideas; it is quite likely that they do, as around 78 per cent of all Palestinians are excluded from the discussions and equation. They will not accept their cause being wiped out by the emergence of a temporary state, nor a distorted solution. They will rise up against the PA and its partner in a new struggle that will be different in terms of its ability to realise achievements for the people and the cause.

* The author is a Jordanian writer. This article is a translation from the Arabic text first published on Al Jazeera Net, 31 July 2013

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Issue No : 55

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

5th August, 2013

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Issue no 55