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Issue No : 81

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

10th February, 2014

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10th February, 2014

Issue No : 81

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Israel demolishes more Palestinian houses in Jerusalem

Construction of 558 new homes in East Jerusalem approved

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Hamas: Abbas does not reflect Palestinian consensus

Abbas proposes demilitarised Palestinian state FEATURED STORY

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Israeli forces injure and arrest activists while evacuating a Jordan Valley village

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Before it›s too late Increasing numbers of Palestinian Druze refuse to serve in Israeli army 2 |

ARTICLE

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Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 81

10th February, 2014

CONTENTS News of Palestine

Abbas proposes demilitarised Palestinian state Construction of 558 new homes in East Jerusalem approved Israeli forces injure and arrest activists while evacuating a Jordan Valley village 15 Palestinians injured in clashes at Al-Aqsa compound Palestinian child died in Syria, raising hunger death toll to 101 Two fighters killed in two separate incidents in Gaza

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Israel Insider

Increasing numbers of Palestinian Druze refuse to serve in Israeli army

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Malaysia & Palestinian Cause

AlQuds Satellite Channel keen to cooperate with Bernama

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Articles & Analyses

Before it›s too late

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

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10th February, 2014

Issue No : 81

News of Palestine

Hamas: Abbas does not reflect Palestinian consensus

Abbas proposes demilitarised Palestinian state

4/2/2014 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has proposed to US Secretary of State John Kerry that a state of Palestine would be demilitarised, protected only by a police force. Speaking to the New York Times, he also said that Israeli forces and settlements could remain in the West Bank for five years after a final agreement has been signed. Abbas told the NYT last week that he agrees that a US-led NATO force could take responsibility for security in the West Bank and Jerusalem. “For a long time, and wherever they want, not only on the eastern borders, but also on the western borders, everywhere,” he said.” How can Palestinians have any security if the Israelis do not feel secure?” 4 |

The NATO force would be responsible for preventing terrorism and weapons smuggling. At the same time, however, Abbas said that he refuses to recognise Israel as a Jewish state, noting that Egypt and Jordan were not required to do so after they signed peace treaties with the Zionist state. The Palestinian Authority leader showed flexibility about extending the period of negotiations, saying that the proposed deadline of April 29 “is not a sacred date”. If there is something promising by that time, he asked, should we just stop? “If there is nothing on the horizon at that time, though, we will stop.” For its part, Palestine’s Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has said that the ideas expressed by President Mahmoud Abbas in his latest interview with the New York

Times are his personal views and do not reflect the national consensus. Abbas told the newspaper that he suggested to Secretary of State John Kerry that a US-led NATO force could be deployed indefinitely in a future state of Palestine. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a written press statement released on Monday that Abbas’s ideas do not constitute a solution. “Rather, they pose a threat to Palestinians’ rights and basic national constants.” The ideas expressed in the New York Times by Abbas do not reflect the reality of the national consensus and the Palestinian rejection of the negotiation process, added Dr Abu Zuhri.

Source: Agencies

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 81

10th February, 2014

Israel demolishes more Palestinian houses in Jerusalem

6/2/2014

Construction of 558 new homes in East Jerusalem approved

Plans to build 558 new housing units in three settlements in East Jerusalem have been approved by Israel’s Planning and Building Committee. These include 386 units in Jabal Abu Ghneim, Har Homa, 136 in Neve Yaakov and 36 units in Pisgat Zeev. The granting of permits is one of the last stages before construction begins, with building likely to start in the coming weeks, the Israeli Peace Now settlement watchdog said. “It’s a shameful decision at a shameful time. A government that wants a two-state solution would not issue those amount of permits for East Jerusalem neighbourhoods,” Peace Now spokesman Lior Amihai said. “Israel is engaging in the deliberate provocation of the Palestinians to drive them to leave the negotiations in protest of Israeli violations, and, therefore, should be blamed for the destruction of the peace process,” senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement. According to figures from Peace Now, in the six months since USled peace talks began on July 29, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advanced plans for 7,302 new homes, including 4,880 in the West Bank and 2,422 in East Jerusalem. In the same period, tenders were issued for 4,460 new homes, 2,372 in the West Bank and 2,088 in East Jerusalem.

Figures for the whole of 2013 show that 2,433 new East Jerusalem homes were pushed through various stages of the lengthy planning process - indicating that almost all of them were advanced after the talks started. On the other hand, The Israeli authorities have demolished several houses in Jerusalem under the pretext of their being built without a permit. A researcher at the Wadi Halaweh Information Centre, Maysa Abu Ghazaleh, told Safa news agency that the Israeli authorities’ bulldozers, protected by the police, demolished two houses in the Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Sur Baher and Beit Hanina on Wednesday morning, and started the preparations to demolish another two houses in Mount Scopus. Abu Ghazaleh said: “The bulldozers demolished a house in the Sur Baher neighbourhood south of Jerusalem owned by Mujahid Abu Sarhan, which sheltered four individuals. The second house belonged to Mohammed Sandouka in Wadi Al Dam near Beit Hanina and sheltered seven people.” Jerusalem municipality crews have also evacuated the contents of two other houses, owned by Hussein and Nasser Ramadan Shkirat, in Mount Scopus in order to demolish them. Abu-Ghazaleh pointed out that clashes broke out there between the residents and the Israeli forces, which attacked the women and young men, spraying them with pepper gas. Five people are reported to have been detained. The families in Mount Scopus had also been trying to obtain building permits for their houses from the Jerusalem municipality for years, but to no avail.

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

Source: Agencies | 5


10th February, 2014

Issue No : 81

Israeli forces injure and arrest activists while evacuating a Jordan Valley village

7/2/2014

tivists and journalists who were covering the Israeli aggression. Several young men were injured and an unknown number were arrested.

Israeli army forces have injured and arrested tens of Palestinian activists on Friday following a raid on the Ein Hejleh village in the southern Jordan The activists set up their encampValley. ment on Friday to defend the Ein The Palestinian and interna- Hejleh village which Israel had tional activists said Israeli threatened to evacuate and seize.

forced them to evacuate the village. Activists said that Israeli forces emptied the village and declared it a closed military area.

Almost two year ago Palestinian activists began to establish villages of tents on land threatened with conďŹ scation; but Isforces stormed the village af- According to local radio stations; raeli forces demolish them and ter midnight; using sound and the Israeli forces attacked the evacuate the protesters by force. smoke bombs and attacked ac- nearly 300 to 500 activists and Source: MEMO

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia 6 |

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 81

10th February, 2014

Hamas condemns Israeli attacks on activists, Aqsa Mosque

15 Palestinians injured in clashes at Al-Aqsa compound

6/2/2014 At least 15 Palestinians were injured in clashes Palestinian worshippers from going in or out the between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli forc- mosque compound. es inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in AlFor its part, Hamas movement described the Quds (occupied East Jerusalem). “brutal” Israeli attacks on worshipers in the Aqsa “The clashes are still raging after Palestinian Mosque and on activists in Ein Hijle village on worshippers stood up to attempts to storm the Friday as a new “Zionist crime”. compound,” mosque guard Othman Abu GhyarHamas in a statement on Saturday affirmed that biyeh told Anadolu Agency. such “desperate” attempts would not succeed in The clashes broke out after Israeli forces stormed breaking the willpower and steadfastness of the the compound, firing stun bombs and rubber bul- Palestinian masses. lets at worshippers. The mosque guard said that “We, in Hamas, strongly condemn the savage Israeli forces closed the mosque’s Al-Qibali gate attacks on worshipers in the Aqsa Mosque and and sprayed pepper gas toward worshippers inpeaceful activists in Ein Hijle village,” it said, side. adding that such “cowardly acts” only exposed “Three children, two women and ten men were further the “reality of this usurping entity”. injured during the clashes,” Abu Ghyarbiyeh Hamas warned the Israeli occupation of persistsaid. ing in such practice, expressing conviction that it The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and would not “secure a foothold for occupation on Heritage said that Israeli forces were preventing our land”. Source: Agencies

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10th February, 2014

Issue No : 81

Palestinian child died in Syria, raising hunger death toll to 101 8/1/2014 A Palestinian girl on Friday died due to dehydration and lack of medical care in al-Yarmouk refugee camp southern of Damascus, which has been under blockade for 209 days. Action Group for Palestinians of Syria said in a statement that child Islam Shaheen passed away as a result of dehydration and medicine shortage, raising the death toll due hunger to 101. The statement said a state of tension prevailed among the people of the Yarmouk refugee camp as a result of continuous shootings of snipers stationed in the alQudum area.

Child Yamen Mahmoud was wounded by a sniper fire upon leaving along with many others Al-Waseem mosque, it added, noting that the number of Palestinians died from sniper shootings rose to 233 since the onset of violence events in early 2011.

Source: ALRAY

Israeli airstrike on motorcycle injures two men in central Gaza Strip

8/2/2014

Two fighters killed in two separate incidents in Gaza

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, stated that one resistance fighter was killed, and one Palestinian was moderately wounded in an explosion that took place in the alBoreij refugee camp, of central Gaza. The fighter, Hani Hussein Salama, 27 years of age, is a member of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement. His body was severely mutilated and his remains were moved to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. Furthermore, another fighter identified as Ibrahim As-Sa’eedy, 25 years of age, was killed and two Palestinians were injured in an explosion that occurred east of alBoreij. The police and the Ministry of Interior in Gaza stated that the causes of the two blasts remain unknown, and that the po8 |

lice is currently investigating the two incidents. In a related context, Israeli warplanes targeted a motorcycle in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, injuring two young Palestinian men, Gaza medical sources said. The spokesperson for the Gaza Strip ministry of health told Ma’an that two Palestinian men were evacuated to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir alBalah after an Israeli reconnaissance plane fired a missile at their motorcycle. Medics said one of the victims was critically wounded and the other sustained moderate injuries.

Source: IMEMC+Ma’an

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 81

10th February, 2014

Israel Insider

Increasing numbers of Palestinian Druze refuse to serve in Israeli army

1/2/2014 A recent poll conducted by the University of Haifa has revealed that the number of Druze refusing to serve in the Israeli army is increasing. It also showed that a growing number of Israeli youth prefer being jailed instead of military service. Only 36 per cent of the youth who took part in the poll supported obligatory recruitment, while 47 per cent believed military service should be voluntary. 17 per cent believed the current conscription policy should be revoked. According to the poll, 47 per cent of Druze said there is no difference between them and other Arabs, while 27 per cent claimed their situation is worse than the Arabs in Israel. Moreover, 83 per cent said that their life is worse than the Jews in Israel despite their military service. 90 per cent of Druze polled said they held negative views towards the Israeli establishment because they suffer land confiscation and geographic siege similar to other Arabs. About 75 per cent of them said their negative feelings were because of high rates of unemployment in their community compared to the relatively low rate of unemployment among Jews in Israel. This latest poll by the University of Haifa affirms the findings of similar surveys; that the rate of recruitment in the Israeli army has sharply declined. While some placed the rate at less than 50 per cent, other found it to be below 48 per cent. The issue of recruitment of Palestinian Druze into the Israeli military has become a major public debate after the popular youth musician, Omar Sa’ed, publicly declared that he preferred spending time in prison rather than serving in the Israeli army. Another youth from Druze community issued a public statement explaining the reason for his refusal to in the Israeli army: “Because I am Palestinian, my morals and conscience do not allow me to serve in the Israeli occupation,” Orwa Ghalib said in his statement. Source: Al-Ghad

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

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10th February, 2014

Issue No : 81

Malaysia & Palestinian Cause

PCOM hosts a delegation from AlQuds Satellite Channel

7/2/2014

AlQuds Satellite Channel keen to cooperate with Bernama

Beirut-based Arab television channel, AlQuds, is keen to cooperate with the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) in the exchange of news, documentaries and footages to reach out to Asian viewers. Its Head of New Media, Nayef M. Shehadeh, and Copywriter and Presenter, Dr Omar Jayyosi expressed interest in doing so during a meeting with Bernama Editor-In-Chief Datuk Zulkefli Salleh at the news agency’s headquarters here Friday. According to Jayyosi, people in the Middle East looked at Malaysia as a modern Muslim country. “We are impressed with the Malaysian economic model and are also interested in learning from the Malaysian media experience. We hope Malaysia could play a bigger role in the media industry,” he said. Launched in November 2008, AlQuds is an Arab television channel dealing with the Palestinian issue and has offices in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Beirut and Damascus. 10 |

The TV Channel plans to expand its operations by opening offices in Turkey and in Southeast Asia to reach out to viewers of different background and increase awareness on the Palestinian issue.

sion programme to reach out to more Asian viewers through the exchange of footages with Bernama, he noted.

Meanwhile, sharing AlQuds’ experience in covering wars in Palestine, Shehadeh said during the 2008 war Meanwhile, Zulkefli said Berna- with Israel, the occupier waged war ma was also keen to cooperate with Gaza, just 14 days after the with the Arab TV channel. AlQuds TV Channel was launched. “We are happy that you (AlQuds It was the only TV channel which TV Channel) want to cooperate covered the war, he said. with Bernama and that you want to further educate the Malaysian “During the November 2012 war, people on the Palestinian issue,” two of our cameramen and one correspondent were martyred in Gaza he added. while one cameraman lost a leg,” According to Zulkefli, Bernama he disclosed. intended to expand its TV coverage to other Southeast Asian Shehadeh and Jayossi are on a week’s visit to Malaysia from Feb countries. 6, hosted by the Palestinian CulturAs such, it would be a good op- al Organisation Malaysia (PCOM). portunity for AlQuds TV ChanSource: BERNAMA nel to also be part of the expan-

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 81

10th February, 2014

Articles & Analyses

Before it›s too late By: Hani Al Masri Palestinians must act quickly as any plan proposed by US Secretary of State John Kerry will not benefit the Palestinians regardless of whether or not it comes in the form of a peace treaty or a blue print or even a mutual agreement to extend the period of negotiations. It would be difficult to oppose any plan after it is formally announced, especially if it garners European, Russian, Arab and International support. Anyone who has any hope for Kerry’s proposal must read the comments that were made by his assistant, Martin Endik, to Jewish leaders, which clearly demonstrate the American bias for Israeli interests. The factors that are the driving forces behind Kerry’s failures can be summarised as follows:

ables Israel to maintain the status quo, which is in its favour, according to the Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon. • Israel feared the failure of any agreement once, even if it was completely in its favour. In light of the instability in the region, there are no stable systems with strong and legitimate leaders to guarantee its continuity. What is the purpose of Israel making any concessions if one cannot guarantee a potential agreement’s continuity? This point of view is supported by the fact that the outcome of Arab revolutions currently benefit Israel; however, there is no guarantee for Israel that the situation will continue in this manner for the long term.

• The enormous gap between the Israeli and Palestinian positions and the lack of sufficient will among the US administration to exert the required pressure on Israel. Time goes quickly and the date of midterm congressional elections is approaching, the influence of pro-Israel forces is increasing the US administration is in a difficult position. Moreover, the Democratic Party is in a state • The weakness of Palestinof decline. ian leadership. It cannot easily ac• The lack of a balance of cept a bad deal that takes away from power, which remains in favour of national rights and there is no guarIsrael, does not compel the Israe- antee that the people will approve it, lis to sign a peace agreement even especially since its legitimacy and if the details of such agreement credibility continue to be eroded because of the current divisions. Furserve Israeli interests. thermore, any potential agreement’s • The improbability of the legitimacy has not been renewed due outbreak of a third intifada en- to a lack of elections or resistance.

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

• Israel is being controlled by the influence of the most extreme forces which weakens the possibility of any Israeli government signing any agreement that does not guarantee all Israeli demands. Even if President Benjamin Netanyahu were to change his affiliations or change his coalition, he has no guarantee that he can stay in power after that. After all, he still remembers his experience when he lost power after he signed the “Wye River” agreement. The factors that are the driving forces behind Kerry’s success can be summarised as follows: • The fear of all parties concerned of the consequences of failure, particularly in terms of the risk of emerging alternatives and other parties seeking to fill any voids. • The increasing belief that Kerry’s efforts could be the last chance for the so-called two-state solution. • Weakness of the Arab situation and the pursuit of the currently active states to resolve the | 11


10th February, 2014

Issue No : 81 Palestinian issue in any form in order to devote themselves to face the so-called Iranian threat, even if the only way to do so requires forming an alliance with Israel against Iran. • The unwillingness of the United States to accept a new failure in the region because it will have a tremendously negative impact after the decline of American influence in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and even in the Gulf States. • The vulnerability of the Palestinian leadership and its willingness to respond to pressure for fear of the collapse of the Palestinian Authority. Also, the need for the President, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), whose time in office is considered moderate and a symbol of security and stability in the region, to end his political career with a successful achievement, which may make him willing to be flexible. These factors may encourage Israel not to waste this historic opportunity, which may not be repeated, to allow them to impose a solution that can fulfil Israeli and American demands.

The current negotiations, and whatever the two parties present, is for public consumption only and for the parties to put press on each other and to push the Americans to put more pressure on the other side.

ing both sides commit to mandatory positions including making Israel choose between its security or maintaining all or a majority of the settlements. There are certain settlements that will be leased and others will The Quartet Committee supported remain under the sovereignty of the Kerry’s ideas at its last meetings. Palestinians. Catherine Ashton, the European As for the Palestinians they have to Union’s foreign affairs spokesper- choose between an incomplete powson, said that the EU would offer er on a large part of the West Bank, unprecedented support to the parties or to have broad powers on all the in the event that a framework agree- Palestinian population without sovment is reached. In the same context ereignty. Or, the more of their rights it is difficult for the Palestinians to that they waive the more land they reject Kerry’s proposal without Arab can control. support, a statement released by a There is also a possibility that each Palestinian official said. party will have the right to insist So, how about if there was Arab pressure and encouragement to accept what Kerry is going to propose on the basis that this is what the Palestinians can get now and if they refuse, their situation will worsen due to the pressure and sanctions that will be imposed by the US, Europeans and Arabs.

A question of the utmost importance remains: Is it possible for the Palestinian leadership to accept a solution that will put an end to the Palestinian issue while simultaneously declaring • The regional and inter- that they would never approve it? national consensus to resolve dis- The answer to this question is that putes and conflicts using political what is being proposed today is not methods. This requires the diffu- the final solution but a roadmap tosion of danger that is inherited in wards achieving a final solution. the Palestinian issue, because if This will give both sides a way out this conflict explodes it will de- of accepting any deal by saying they stroy everything in the region. achieved part of what they were aim• Kerry’s eagerness and determination to achieve a political breakthrough that he can claim as the perfect end of his political career. He is obsessed with reaching a solution, and he did not put forth all of these efforts in order to manage the conflict because this can definitely be achieved with significantly less work.

ing to achieve and they did not give up all or part of their other demands.

Statements have been leaked that some or many of the proposed solutions, especially those related to Palestinian demands, will be vague while recognising the “Jewishness” of Israel and the arrangements that guarantee security and compensation for Jewish refugees and the liquidaKerry would not have continued tion of the right of return will all be his efforts for all this time if each crystal clear. party’s current stance was a true There are other issues, such as makreflection of their final positions. 12 |

on certain demands that are not approved, with the right to renegotiate these points in subsequent talks. Another approach is to list, in the agreement, all the points that have not been agreed upon and the point of view of the side that is insisting on finding a solution for it. Alternatively, everything can be presented in the form of a new roadmap that is being proposed by the Americans and to extend the negotiations until after April to reach an agreement, and to find a way to gradually implement what will be agreed upon now. This critical situation requires all Palestinians to bear their national responsibilities and this is not possible without holding a national conference immediately and to initiate a comprehensive national dialogue involving all representatives of the people across the board through the participation of members of both Houses of the national legislature with the addition of representatives of political parties and sectors not represented properly, especially women, youth and people in the Diaspora. If such a conference can’t be held quickly with full representation then it should be the responsibility of those who can attend to make final decisions on behalf of the Palestinian people.

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 81

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

10th February, 2014

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Issue no 81