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Issue No : 70

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

18th November, 2013

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18th November, 2013

Issue No : 70

Read In This Report P4

Tamarod movement against Hamas in Gaza fails

P5 Palestinians mark Shale stones 1st anniversary in Gaza

Hamas reiterates adherence to resistance

Haneyya renews appeal for ending Egypt’s siege on Gaza

P6

Israel approves construction of 9,000 housing units and confiscation of 740 dunums

P8

Lieberman sworn in as Israel foreign minister P 11

In Depth

Up close and personal with Hamas› Mourabitoun unit

P12 A reading of the ‹tunnel wars›

By: Omar Karout

P15

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Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 70

18th November, 2013

CONTENTS News of Palestine

Tamarod movement against Hamas in Gaza fails Hamas reiterates adherence to resistance Haneyya renews appeal for ending Egypt’s siege on Gaza Palestinian Negotiators Resign Israel approves construction of 9,000 housing units and confiscation of 740 dunums Israeli Women Movement calls for breaking into al-Aqsa mosque Israeli soldier killed in Palestinian youth attack

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Israel Insider

Lieberman sworn in as Israel foreign minister

11

In Depth

Up close and personal with Hamas› Mourabitoun unit

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Articles & Analyses

A reading of the ‹tunnel wars›

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18th November, 2013

Issue No : 70

News of Palestine

Tamarod movement against Hamas in Gaza fails

12/11/2013 Despite official intelligence support from a number of Arab States, including Egypt, the Tamarod movement against the Islamists and Hamas in Gaza has failed. Tamarod was attempting to replicate in Gaza the experience of the Egyptian Tamarod movement, which with the help of the Egyptian army removed the country›s first democratically elected president in a coup. However the movement has discovered that it is not at all welcomed in Gaza.

activities.

in Egypt, which was supported Via social media, they called for by the army,» he said. their supporters to start moving He recalled another Tamarodfrom markets to specially al- like movement against the lelocated public squares, taking gitimate government in the to the streets in protest against, Palestinian territories back in what they called, Hamas oppres- 2007. It was supported by the sion in Gaza. US and Israel, and was carried Palestinian police spread along a out by Fatah. They succeeded number of main roundabouts in through violence in the West Gaza, but all day passed without Bank, but failed in Gaza.

noting any sign of demonstra- Writer and director of the Futions anywhere along the whole ture Centre for Studies and ReGaza Strip. search, Ibrahim Al-Madhoun, Hamas spokesperson Salah Al- remarked that: «Failure was Bardaweel suggested that the expected because Tamarod had no operators on the ground. All Tamarod in Gaza chose 11 effort had failed because of the the people who issued the diNovember, the date marking «awareness of Palestinians» rections were in the West Bank, the ninth anniversary of the about the consequences of such Egypt and Europe.» death of late Palestinian Au- an «unethical» movement. Source: MEMO thority leader Yasser Arafat, «They saw what happened at the to start its anti-government hands of the Tamarod movement 4 |

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 70

18th November, 2013

Palestinians mark Shale stones 1st anniversary in Gaza

15/11/2013

Hamas reiterates adherence to resistance

Palestinian people in the Gaza strip on Thursday marked the 1st anniversary of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip that lasted for eight days, during which Palestinian resistance topped by Qassam Brigade achieved a historical victory by shelling «Tel Aviv». The aggression started with the Israeli assassination of Ahmed Aljaabari, the senior military leader of Qassam brigades, Hamas›s military of people wounded was 648. Of wing. the wounded, 625 were civilians, Israel launched an eight-day including 214 children and 93 attack on the besieged Gaza women. Among the wounded cistrip which it codenamed vilians were 16 people with vari“pillar of defense”, whereas ous disabilities. the Qassam brigades called the battle with Israeli forces In response to the Israeli aggression, the Palestinian resistance ‹›Shale Stones››. rockets hit Tel-Aviv and JeruAccording to the Palestinsalem for the first time in the ian Human Rights Center conflict’s history, besides, the (PHRC), Israeli forces carresistance was able to hunt three ried out in the period from 14 Israeli warplanes, two warships to 21 November 2012 thouand many Israeli tanks. sands of airstrikes, attacks by gunboats, and artillery shell- In the first anniversary of “Shale Stones”, Hamas movement reiting. erated its adherence to the resisDuring the eight-day offentance as the only way to defend sive, 171 Palestinians were the Palestinian constants and killed. Of the victims, 102 holy sites, until the liberation of were civilians, comprising the land and the achievement of 60% of the total number of the right of return. victims. 35 of the civilian victims, or 34%, were chil- In a press release on Thursday, dren, while 14 of the civil- Hamas stressed that «the resisian victims, or 14%, were tance in all its forms, especially women. The total number the armed one, is the strategic

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option to deter the occupation, restore the rights, protect the holy sites and liberate the land and the prisoners.» Meanwhile, the Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas movement, have organized a military parade in Gaza City, to mark the anniversary of the battle. The brigades confirmed that Shale Stones battle ended in a victory achieved by the Palestinian resistance over Israeli occupation.

Source:Agencies To read more about “Battle of Shale Stones”; browse PCOM’s Special News Report “War on Gaza (2)” @ www.issuu.com/pcomalaysia

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18th November, 2013

Issue No : 70

Gaza Strip plunged into darkness as fuel runs out

Haneyya renews appeal for ending Egypt’s siege on Gaza

16/11/2013 Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya reiterated his appeal to the Egyptian authorities to end its blockade on the Gaza Strip, saying it is unreasonable to secure Egypt›s security at the expense of the humanitarian situation in the Strip. In his Friday Khutba (sermon), premier Haneyya called on the Egyptian regime to stop its arbitrary incitement campaign against the Palestinians and Gaza. «Egypt has the right to protect its security, but it must not be at the expense of Gaza,» the premier highlighted in his speech. He also expressed his dismay at Egypt›s destruction of the Rafah border tunnels without finding an alternative fulfilling the humanitarian needs of the Gaza people. Haneyya also said that his government initiated contacts with several regional countries to stop the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Gaza as a result of the escalating blockade.

Meanwhile, Fuel shortages have caused daily life in the Gaza Strip to grind slowly to a halt, as power plants and water pumps are forced to shut down, cutting off access to basic necessities for 1.7 million residents. The lack of diesel fuel is a result of the tightening of a 7-year-long blockade imposed on the territory by Israel with Egyptian support. The lack of electricity also forced water stations to stop pumping at times, and in some neighbourhoods residents only receive two hours of water a day. Families stay up all night waiting for these two hours to ensure they have enough water for their daily needs. The lack of power also means that life ceases at night, as the lack of electricity forces life to continue by candlelight. Even though many Gaza homes, businesses, and public institutions have generators to provide power for when the electricity cuts out, the lack of fuel means these can no longer be used by most.

Source: PIC + Ma’an 6 |

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Issue No : 70

18th November, 2013

Hamas: The step is senseless as long as negotiations continue

Palestinian Negotiators Resign

14/11/2013 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stated Wednesday that the Palestinian negotiators to peace talks with Israel have resigned. Abbas said that the negotiations team said that Israel is ongoing with its invasions, assaults and violations topped by its ongoing illegitimate settlement construction and expansion activities in the occupied West Bank, and in occupied Jerusalem.

ignations “would not cause a halt to direct talks with Tel Aviv”, adding that the Palestinian Authority “would either convince the negotiators to resume their duties or form a new negotiations team.” For its part, the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas has said that the resignation of the Palestinian negotiating team «is senseless as long as negotiations with Israel continue.»

The Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that Talking to an Egyptian TV sta- the Palestinian negotiating team tion, Abbas hinted that the res- has submitted its resignation

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as the negotiations did not achieve any real progress. Abbas denied that the resignation would prevent conducting further talks with the Israeli side. Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman, said «the resignation of the negotiating team is meaningless. What is required is a complete halt to all talks with Israel and not to replace one delegation with another. The resignation is merely media uproar.»

Source: IMEMC + PIC

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18th November, 2013

Issue No : 70

Israel approves construction of 9,000 housing units and confiscation of 740 dunums

16/11/2013 The Israeli Ministry of Housing have issued tenders for the construction of 9,000 new homes in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. The ministry has preconditioned designers to include settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem city in their designs. Israel›s Ha›aretz newspaper said that the Ministry of Housing requested contracted planning offices to design building schemes in the settlements as well as in major Israeli cities. According to the newspaper, the Ministry›s procedure was 8 |

the first of its kind which requires planning offices to work in the settlements, even if they refuse to do so. On the other hand, The Israeli District Committee for Planning and Building approved on Friday the establishment of a «National Park» on lands of Tur and Issawiyya villages, Wadi alHilweh Information Center said. The center pointed out that the «National Park» project (Plan 11092) will stretch across approximately 738 dunums of land confiscated from Tur and Issawiyya villages.

The initial plan was suggested in 2009 by the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Israel Nature and National Parks. In April 2010 the District Committee for Planning and Building approved the project. The District Committee held on Thursday a hearing session for two hours dealing with appeals against the project, during which the project was approved.

Source: Agencies

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 70

18th November, 2013

Israeli Women Movement calls for breaking into al-Aqsa mosque

12/11/2013

Israeli extreme women movement identified as Red Tent Temple Movement called for breaking into al-Aqsa mosque to perform religious rituals in the holy Islamic site. The organization declared that it will carry out daily breaking-ins into the mosque starting from Monday, calling on Jewish women to participate into the «Talmudic activity.» It also called on men and children to join the activity in order to increase the participants› number. On the same context, Jewish settlers have raided this morning al-Aqsa mosque under heavy protection. For his part, Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs Dr. Ismail Radwan denounced the Israeli decision to build a settlement project adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the expense of the Jerusalemites› lands. He stated that Israeli authori-

ties aimed at escalating their attacks against al-Aqsa mosque especially that the Arab nation is busy with its internal affairs.

warned of Judaization projects targeting al-Aqsa mosque, saying that what was earlier negotiated has become today approved.

Radwan called for activating armed resistance in Jerusalem and West Bank in defense of alAqsa mosque and to stop security coordination and the absurd negotiation that «provides a cover to Israeli crimes.»

The Islamic Movement deputy head, Sheikh Kamal, warned of the serious implications of the Israeli plan to divide alAqsa mosque temporally and spatially.

He also called for an Arab and Islamic firm position towards the Israeli continued crimes and attacks against al-Aqsa mosque. For his part, the Islamic Movement in 1948-occupied Palestine has

Many have disregarded our warnings against Israeli Judaization plans, however today Jewish groups started today to approve and to implement those schemes.

Source: PIC

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Issue No : 70

18th November, 2013

Israeli soldier killed in Palestinian youth attack

13/11/2013 A 16-year-old Palestinian has stabbed an Israeli soldier to death on a bus in an attack apparently motivated by the jailing of his relatives by “Israelâ€?. An Israeli TV channel said that the soldier was critically wounded in the attack and succumbed to his wounds shortly after his transfer to hospital. It said that commuters at the bus station managed to restrain the Palestinian teen and handed him to the police after beating him. The Israeli northern police commander arrived at the scene along with big numbers of policemen, who cordoned off the area and combed surrounding areas. The Israeli violence during the last few weeks has increased tensions and prompted speculation about the outbreak of a third intifada, or uprising. The ďŹ rst Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation ran from 1987 to 1993, and was followed by a second one from late 2000 to 2005.

Source: Aljazeera + PIC 10 |

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 70

18th November, 2013

Israel Insider

Lieberman sworn in as Israel foreign minister

12/11/2013 The hard-line Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman has been sworn in by parliament as the country›s foreign minister, a development that could complicate peace talks with Palestinians. The leader of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party was reappointed to the ministry on Monday after being cleared last week of all charges in a corruption case. He had stepped down as foreign minister last year to defend the charges. The prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had left the post vacant for Lieberman while he awaited the verdict. The two men warmly hugged after the foreign minister was sworn in by parliament. An Israeli court acquitted him on Wednesday of fraud and breach of trust stemming from allegations he had given an Israeli diplomat an ambassador›s post in exchange for a tip-off about a police inquiry into his affairs. The court agreed he had engaged in «inappropriate conduct» but did not find it warranted a criminal conviction.

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Labour MP Micky Rosenthal said in the parliamentary debate that accompanied Lieberman›s confirmation on Monday that although the court had cleared him of breaking the law, there was still «a giant shadow over his public behaviour». Lieberman will likely use his significant political clout to argue against concessions to the Palestinians, making him an unpredictable player in already troubled US-backed peace efforts. As head of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party, which is allied with Netanyahu›s Likud, Lieberman has been outspoken in his scepticism about the negotiations, saying reaching a permanent peace deal is impossible. Lieberman has been accused of racism, stirring controversy by questioning the loyalty of Israel›s Arab citizens and proposing some Arab communities in Israel be shifted to Palestinian control in a land-for-peace deal.

Source: Aljazeera | 11


Issue No : 70

18th November, 2013

In Depth

Up close and personal with Hamas› Mourabitoun unit

In an exclusive, Al-Monitor gained rare access to one of Hamas› most reputable brigades, the Mourabitoun, which are likely to play a lead role in any future confrontation with Israel.

By: al-Monitor Since late October, the eastern Gaza border with Israel has been its most tense since the end of the November 2012 war. After Israel announced the discovery of a tunnel east of Khan Younis into Israel in early October, a number of Palestinians have been killed in related clashes, and a few Israelis wounded. Amid this heated atmosphere, attention is being drawn to the Mourabitoun units affiliated with the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, deployed along the border, from Rafah to Beit Hanoun.

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Issue No : 70

18th November, 2013

It was not easy for Al-Monitor to accompany the Mourabitoun at a time when Palestinians in Gaza are experiencing such difficult times, but after unremitting efforts, permission was granted to follow an official nicknamed Abu Mujahid in eastern Gaza on a recent night as Israeli aircraft hovered overhead. During the field tour, Abu Mujahid confirmed that the Mourabitoun’s task is to monitor and guard Palestinian areas at risk of Israeli invasion. He also said that the unit works primarily at night, usually in places close to the contact lines with the Israeli army.

Logistical preparations Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida said that the Mourabitoun’s task is to protect Gaza’s entry points around the clock. Its members have been instructed to never leave their stations or the border gaps they monitor. During the field visit with Hamas fighters, Al-Monitor noticed that the various Mourabitoun groups are similarly armed and equipped. Each group possesses roadside bombs and ground-embedded explosives. Some fighters remain in fixed positions, while others move around and are used as needed. Each Mourabitoun member carries various kinds of projectiles on his body. Another field officer, who calls himself Aaed, told Al-Monitor that the Mourabitoun members are keen to perform their combat exercises and rotations every night. Theirs is organized and difficult work, with the essential task entrusted to them being to give early warning of and confront Israeli incursions. To give a clear picture of the Mourabitoun›s operations, Aaed described how a unit would deal with the Israeli army. “If we had 10 Mourabitoun groups at their locations doing their tasks and a communiqué is suddenly received about a Israeli military concentration about to invade, the communiqué is circulated to all 10 groups, and the other groups that are outside of the rotation mobilize,” he told Al-Monitor. “If an Israeli army concentration forms in a way that suggests invasion is imminent, other Mourabitoun groups are deployed in the central and rear lines. This does not apply only to the rotating groups and to those close to the contact line. We also take into account geographical range, the estimated invasion points and the invasion’s goal. Groups are distributed in light of these considerations. We have special maps prepared in advance so that each group knows its location and its mission,” he added. Abu Mujahid also spoke about facing an Israeli military incursion. “The most important weapons for the Mourabitoun units opposing the Israeli army are directed explosives, which are put in place and moved around as needed, in tandem with anti-armor RPG rounds. When the incursion starts, responsibilities are passed down to the field commanders for each area and group to act according to the situation in the field. In this case, Mourabitoun groups need not refer to the general field commander for every mission since the conditions of the confrontation are harsh,” he explained.

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Issue No : 70

18th November, 2013

While preparing this article, Al-Monitor examined an internal Palestinian military document that read, “The al-Qassam Brigades have several Mourabitoun units and brigades that face the Israeli army at several axes throughout Gaza, using new tactics that are unknown to Israel. The Israeli army has never made an incursion in an area that we have been unable to monitor. On the contrary, gatherings of the Israeli army have happened in open and exposed areas, hoping that the militants might come forward so that they can hunt them down. This has never happened, however.”

Military divisions Despite the lack of accurate statistics on the current number of Mourabitoun members, a senior Hamas military official estimated al-Qassam fighters to number some 20,000, of which the Mourabitoun constitute an essential but undetermined amount. They are distributed over five brigades in the areas of Rafah, Khan Younis, Deir al-Balah, Gaza City and Jabaliya. Al-Monitor learned from Hamas military circles that these geographic divisions correspond to Gaza’s five provinces. Each brigade consists of battalions, each battalion consists of companies, and each company can be broken down into factions. For each faction, there are several teams of 11 members, each comprising two five-member squads plus the commander. They have anti-tank missiles specialists, snipers and an engineering unit to plant and detonate explosives. The most important Mourabitoun groups are those responsible for monitoring the Israeli army’s movements around Gaza and following up on the movement of residents in the surrounding encampments to detect and exploit any security vulnerabilities. When speaking with Al-Monitor, Abu Mujahid revealed that al-Qassam fighters compete with each other to join the Mourabitoun and carry out attacks against the Israeli army. This indicates that morale is high. Many of those on the front lines have memorized the Quran. Aaed, the Mourabitoun official, said that Mourabitoun members have grown accustomed to following professional tactics in the face of Israeli incursions, setting up ambushes and opening holes in the walls between houses so they can move through them unseen, lay ambushes inside and control the areas through which the Israelis invade. At the conclusion of Al-Monitor’s hair-raising field tour with Hamas fighters on Gaza›s border with Israel, it became clear that during Hamas’ earlier clashes with the Israeli army, the Mourabitoun units were quite useful. They knew the routes used by Israeli vehicles, made a plan to confront them by booby-trapping Gaza’s entrances, planting road-side bombs and deploying fighters with RPGs to impede progress and trap Israelis inside the improvised explosive device “hunting grounds.” It is obvious that the Mourabitoun will be Hamas’ spearhead in the next confrontation with Israel.

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Issue No : 70

18th November, 2013

Articles & Analyses

A reading of the ‹tunnel wars› By: Omar Karout pation. It has become clear that Israel›s plans to change the nature of confrontations to come and that it will revisit its strategic policies relating to security in the Gaza Strip.

Over the last few days, the two tunnels that link the Gaza Strip with the Occupied Territories and span the length of borders, have become well known. A lot of information has been revealed about these tunnels features and the main reasons why they have been designed as such. These tunnels are facilitating two very contrasting issues.

The second issue is that the Occupation has exposed the true capabilities of the Palestinian resistance and plans to stop any attempts to confront the Occu-

We all remember the exact sites of these tunnels; however, now the tunnels are changing from being tactical to being strategic and from being practical to being targeted.

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The first is the discovery of plans and policies by the Palestinian resistance movement that reveals their current intentions. The resistance movement is currently planning a strategic plan of action that would allow them to attack the aggressive occupational forces in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian territories. They are progressing well due to their thought out approach that distances itself from the confusion currently overwhelming Palestinian political thought.

The discussion on the use of tunnels by Palestinian resistance is not unprecedented. In fact, they used this tactic even prior to Israel›s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. We all remember the exact sites of these tunnels; however, now the tunnels are changing from being tactical to being strategic and from being practical to being targeted. This means that the original purpose of these tunnels has altered to carry out resistance operations and taken on a more strategic purpose, dictating the movement›s confrontation of the Occupation. This change demonstrates a turning point in the resistance›s planning and a new point of concern for the Occupation, which now feels the need to establish security measures that will enable them to detect and uncover unmarked tunnels. The last confrontation between the Occupation and the resis| 15


18th November, 2013

Issue No : 70

Even if we have seen changes in the Palestinian resistance›s ability to confront the Occupation, we should not be overcome by exaggerated confidence or joy because the recording of a victory is not important what is important is that it counts for something. Recording victories in situations such as these can sometimes be problematic and

more importantly, useless, if it does not contribute to steadfastness.

Even if we have seen changes in the Palestinian resistance›s ability to confront the Occupation, we should not be overcome by exaggerated confidence or joy because the recording of a victory is not important what is important is that it counts for something.

tance along the eastern border of the Khan Younis province, demonstrated the pivotal role of the tunnels. It also became clear to the Occupation that the tunnels were a key part of Palestinian resistance strategy and therefore, endangered their soldiers. There was also a fear that the resistance movement would succeed in overpowering the Occupation and that a victory would be achieved by capturing the soldiers in potential confrontations or special operations. The Occupation can no longer view its confrontations with the Palestinian resistance as an open attack in the Gaza Strip. These changes will transform the rules of the game and it is unknown where this thinking will lead them.

What I would like to draw attention to in these ‹tunnel wars› between Palestine and the Occupation is the timing and the goal. I expect that both sides at this stage of the conflict are avoiding a full and comprehensive confrontation because any collision will come at too a high costs for any side to bear. They are forced to limit their maneuvres to open spaces or potential borders in order to avoid resorting to confrontation (or ‹option zero› as it is known militarily.) This is a common military trend in long-lasting conflicts as all sides attempt to convince the other party to stop confrontations and experimental operations to avoid a full collision with heavy consequences.

The author is a Palestinian writer. This is a translation of the Arabic text published by SamaNews on 6 November, 2013, by MEMO.

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Issue No : 70

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

18th November, 2013

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Issue no 70