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Issue No : 85

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

10th March, 2014

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10th March, 2014

Issue No : 85

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Israel doubled illegal settlement construction in 2013

Netanyahu: I did not commit to freeze settlement construction

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Hamas: Egyptian court decision to ban the movement serves occupation FEATURED STORY

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Gov’t: ‹Weapons ship› is an Israeli fabrication to justify the blockade

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Hamas, the ‹outlawed› movement in Egypt Hamas and Egypt: A fluctuating relationship over the years 2 |

ARTICLE

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Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 85

10th March, 2014

CONTENTS News of Palestine

Hamas: Egyptian court decision to ban the movement serves occupation Netanyahu: I did not commit to freeze settlement construction Gov’t: ‹Weapons ship› is an Israeli fabrication to justify the blockade Israeli court›s sentence against Sheikh Raed Salah Several Palestinian prisoners› health situation deteriorates On International Women’s Day, 21 women still held prisoner by ‘Israel’ boycott costs Israel 100 million shekels in losses

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Reports

Hamas and Egypt: A fluctuating relationship over the years

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Articles & Analyses

Hamas, the ‹outlawed› movement in Egypt

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

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Issue No : 85

10th March, 2014

News of Palestine

Hamas: Egyptian court decision to ban the movement serves occupation

4/3/2014 Hamas movement said in a statement on Tuesday that the Egyptian court decision banning Hamas’s activities and closing its offices in Cairo was political par excellence.

The decision, which Hamas described as null and void, fell in line with the media incitement campaign against the Palestinian people and their “brave resistance”.

Hamas declared its rejection of the decision, which, it said, was issued by the Egyptian court to enhance hostility to Palestinian resistance in service of political goals.

Hamas asked the Palestinian and Egyptian peoples in addition to Arabs, Muslims and free people of the world to stand up to such “oppressive decisions” that target the Palestinian resistance and The movement said that it had no offices or activi- came in harmony with the Zio-American strategy ties in Egypt, charging that the decision reflected in the region. clear antagonism to resistance and only served the Source: PIC “Zionist occupation”. 4 |

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 85

10th March, 2014

Israel doubled illegal settlement construction in 2013

Netanyahu: I did not commit to freeze settlement construction

7/3/2014 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he did not commit to freezing settlement construction during his meeting with US President Barack Obama and that he will reject any agreement with the Palestinians that does not meet Israel’s security needs. Israel Radio quoted Netanyahu on Friday, on his way back to Israel, telling Israeli journalists that he considered extending the negotiating period between the Israelis and Palestinians in US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework agreement unlikely to make a difference for the Israeli coalition government, as most of its members reject the idea of establishing a Palestinian state. He added that he will reject any agreement with the Palestinians that “does not meet Israel’s needs

and poses a threat to its security, even if there are attempts to impose such an agreement on Israel.” Netanyahu refused the possibility of unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank territories if the negotiations fail, stating that he does not prefer this possibility and that “the unilateral withdrawals (from south Lebanon and the Gaza Strip) have not justified themselves nor did they provide security stability for Israel”. According to a report published on Monday by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, illegal settlement construction in the occupied West Bank has witnessed a dramatic rise, with more than double the number of settlements constructed in 2013 than the previous year. The Central Bureau of Statistics’ data finds that ever since the current minister of housing, Uri Ariel, took office, settlement operations have been accelerated, with the construction of 2,534 new housing units launched in 2013, in comparison to 1,133 in 2012. The data indicates that the rate of settlement construction in 2013 was the highest yet from the time when records on settlement construction were first documented in 2000. In addition, 46 per cent of the new settlement units have been classified as “public buildings”, which means that they were set up and supported by the Ministry of Housing.

Source: Agencies

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10th March, 2014

Issue No : 85

Gov’t: ‹Weapons ship› is an Israeli fabrication to justify the blockade

06/03/2014 The Palestinian government in Gaza has stated that the occupation’s announcement of its interception of a ship in the Red Sea supposedly on its way to Gaza carrying advanced Iranian weapons is an Israeli fabrication “to justify the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip”. An adviser to the cabinet, Taher Al-Nono, posted on his Facebook page that: “The Israeli announcement and the scenario about intercepting the weapons ship is a silly storyline in a failing film that is not

convincing at all; used as a means to justify and prolong the blockade of Gaza, in correspondence with Egyptian attempts to eliminate Hamas.”

Laureate Mairead Maguire and American activist Medea Benjamin.

Al-Nono stressed that “None of these actions will affect our He added, “Hamas and Gaza will wisdom in dealing with their rise above the results of these re- outcome and our calmness in gional policies that impose block- assessing the situation.” ade and restrictions”, noting that The Israeli occupation claims preventing Algerian activist Jami- it intercepted an Iranian ship la Bu Hreid, along with a delega- sailing in the Red Sea on the tion of 100 other female activists, borders between Eritrea and from entering Gaza would be a Sudan, 1500 km away from occlear and blatant Egyptian state- cupied Palestine. ment that it is blockading Gaza. So far, the Egyptian government Source: MEMO has already deported Irish Nobel

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Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 85

10th March, 2014

Israeli court›s sentence against Sheikh Raed Salah 4/3/2014 The Israeli Magistrate Court has sentenced on Tuesday Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, the leader of the Islamic movement in 1948 occupied Palestine, to 16 months including 8 months actual imprisonment and an 8 months suspended sentence. The Israeli court claimed to find the Sheikh guilty in November last year of incitement in what came to be known as Wadi Al-Jauz sermon. The Friday sermon was delivered on the 16th of February 2007 after Israel was charged with demolishing part of al-Aqsa Mosque ten days earlier.

Source: Ufree network

3 Palestinian prisoners announced their hunger strike

Several Palestinian prisoners› health situation deteriorates 5/4/2013 Health condition of a group of Palestinian detainees has seriously deteriorated in Israeli Shatta prison, human rights sources revealed. According to Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS), the detainee Iyad Istiti, who went on hunger strike for nine days early February demanding his transfer from Ashkelon prison, has been suffering lung and colon inflammation where he only received painkillers. The detainee Osman Said, from Jenin, has suffered health problems in his kidney, liver, lung and stomach, in addition to frequent bleeding. He was held in Ramle prison hospital; however he did not receive any medical treatment. Said confirmed that he got these health diseases after visiting an Israeli dentist who used non-sterile medical instruments while examining his teeth, which led to a virus transmission.

protesting their illegal administrative detention.

One of them is Aref Hreibat, 28, who was arrested on 18 Aug 2013, and spent more than 6 years in the israeli occupation jails throughout his life. The other two prisoners are; Ayman Tbeish, 33, who was arrested on 9 May 2013 and spent more than 11 years in the israeli occupation jails, and Ahmad AbuRas, 33, who was arrested in 2 Jan 2014 and spent more than 2 years in the Kamal Abu Waar, from Jenin, is suffering from occupation jails. severe pains in his liver and kidneys. He underwent a blood test without receiving any results. In addition to those three prisoners, there are four On the other hand, the detainee Mohammed more prisoners who have announced their open-ended Abed Rabbo suffered migraine and bleeding in hunger strike earlier to protest their detention conditions. addition to frequent syncope. Meanwhile, three more Palestinian prisoners have announced their open-ended hunger strike

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

Source: Agencies | 7


10th March, 2014

Issue No : 85

On International Women’s Day, 21 women still held prisoner by ‘Israel’

8/3/2014

The Head of the Census Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, Abdul-Nasser Ferwana, stated that, since 1967, Israel has kidnapped and imprisoned more than 15,000 women, including 1,000 since 2000, and that 21 women are currently held by Israel. Ferwana stated that the army has kidnapped mothers, wives, children and ailing women, subjecting them to torture and very difficult conditions.

days, and even months”, Ferwana stated. “They are placed in dark rooms, and face harassment by prison guards.”

Ferwana saluted all Palestinian women, all former and current female detainees, and said that, as the world marks International Women’s Day, Palestinian women continue to play an essential role in the Palestinian Arresting and imprisoning women struggle against the Israeli ocis part of Israel’s policy of targetcupation. ing Palestinians and subjecting them to extreme torture, abuse and “They are defending our dignity, the dignity and freedom harassment. of the Palestinian people. They “The arrests escalated after the continue to play an important beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada, role in the struggle”, Ferwana in late September 2000. This is added. “They have been killed a form of collective punishment by the army, wounded, imprisand is in direct violation of Interoned and even forced into exnational Law”, Ferwana said. “In ile, but they have never surrenmany cases, women are kidnapped dered, and continue to fight for by the army to force wanted Palesthe liberation of their people.” tinians to surrender, or to pressure detainees to provide information The official urged international and local groups, who are acand to make up confessions.” tive in defending the rights of The official further said that all women, to play a more active detained women are subjected to role in defending the rights of physical and psychological huPalestinian women, and to docmiliation. “They are also tortured, ument both their suffering and placed in solitary confinement for their achievements, despite IsHe said that 21 women are currently held by Israel, and that the longest serving is Lina Jarbouni, who was taken prisoner twelve years ago, and was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment.

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rael’s escalating violations. He stated, “As women around the globe mark International Women’s Day, we need to remember the suffering of Palestinian women, facing oppression and attacks by Israel’s army and settlers, in occupied Palestine, we need to act and pressure Israel into releasing all detained women, and stop targeting them. Palestinian women are an essential part of the struggle against the illegitimate Israeli occupation of Palestine. Many have helped lead the struggle, and continue to be a very important part of the revolution for liberation and independence. Hundreds have been killed by Israeli fire and shells, thousands were injured, and they continue to face aggression by the army and fanatic settlers, but they never surrendered, and their steadfastness and courage inspire entire generations.“

Source: IMEMC

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 85

10th March, 2014

boycott costs Israel 100 million shekels in losses

7/3/2014 According to Israel’s Maariv newspaper, Israeli sources believe that the international boycott of Israeli settlement products has already caused Israel’s economy financial losses amounting to about 100 million shekels ($30 million), with the agricultural sector in the Jordan Valley suffering the most. One source described the boycott as a “constant war”, while others added that they expect Israel will face an increase in the number of boycott calls, especially if the peace talks with the Palestinians fail and the construction of settlements continues, noting that the European Union will also renew its decision to label settlement products if the negotiations fail, which would cause even more damages to the Israeli economy. The newspaper reported on Friday that the European calls to boycott settlement products would likely grow, while the European imports from Israel would shrink. The overall volume of settlement exports to Europe is estimated to be about 300 million shekels ($90 million), with most sales generated by SodaStream.

Source: MEMO

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10th March, 2014

Issue No : 85

Repoerts

Hamas and Egypt: A fluctuating relationship over the years 8/3/2014 The recent ruling issued by a Cairo court on Tuesday (4-32014) to ban the activities of Hamas in Egypt has marked a new phase in the relationship between the movement and Egypt. This relationship, during previous periods, has been depending on the orientations of the existing regime in Egypt since the era of the deposed president Hosni Mubarak, through the period of President Mohamed Morsi, and to the phase of the military coup which saw the most serious decisions against the movement and the Palestinian resistance.

period, the Egyptian intelligence was in charge of Hamas’s file, but the Egyptian officials’ concern began growing after the rise of Hamas and after it won parliamentary elections in 2006. Yet, the requirements of the Egyptian moves in the Palestinian arena had forced the regime in Egypt to avoid entering into any open conflict with the resistance movement, especially as Egypt was the sponsorship of the Palestinian reconciliation file.

opening of Rafah crossing. This relationship has quickly deteriorated after the coup staged by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and Hamas had to face many accusations.

Those accusations included participating in prison break, espionage and killing Egyptians, and came in conjunction with a fierce media campaign to undermine the resistance and its elements, and procedures tightening the blockade The relationship with Egypt has on the Gaza Strip; including Hamas, together with mem- seen a positive and a remarkable closure of the Rafah crossing bers of the Muslim Brother- development after the January 25 and demolition of all the tunhood, have been accused of revolution and especially after nels. “prison break” during the Jan- President Morsi came to power. The Egyptian military even uary 25 revolution. The move- In that period, Hamas officials made matters worse by enterment has completely denied were greeted at the presiden- ing the skies of Gaza, while involvement in such actions. tial palace, developments were the Ministry of Endowments The court ruling provides that all the activities of Hamas, its institutions and the organizations that receive support from it will be temporarily banned in Egypt, pending determination of a submitted criminal case.

The relationship between achieved in the reconciliation in the coup government canEgypt and Hamas has started file, and the siege imposed on the celled the Jerusalem Commitin the era of Mubarak. At that Gaza Strip was lifted through the tee of the Supreme Council for 10 |

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 85 Islamic Affairs; the first official committee concerned with the Palestinian cause.

10th March, 2014 this verdict as it is contrary to all the Egyptian constitutions and the international treaties and conventions which consider that Hamas is a resistance movement exercising its natural right to resist the occupation, and that supporting it is the duty of the neighboring countries including Egypt.

According to observers, many motives lie behind the decision to ban Hamas’s activities. They said the coup leaders want to introduce themselves to America and Israel as the most able to protect their interests, through contributing to The experts pointed out that the distortion of the resistance this systematic campaign comes accusing it with terrorism. as part of the war waged by the Hatem Azzam - deputy head authorities of the coup against of the Wasat Party and mem- Hamas and the resistance moveber of the coalition to support ments that threaten the security the legitimacy - said in a press of Israel, and aims to satisfy the statement: “After the decision American-Israeli lobby.

to ban Hamas, the coup leader Dr. Mustafa Abu al-Khair - legal became a national hero for the expert and professor of internaZionist entity.” tional law - stated in a press stateHe pointed out that Sisi has ment that the court ruling which begun offering concessions to provides the closure of Hamas’s Israel to convince the U.S. ad- headquarters, which do not even ministration that he will be the exist, is intended to criminalize best president for Egypt serv- the movement and label it as a terrorist organization, in adoping America’s interests. tion of the American and Israeli Meanwhile, political science viewpoint. professor at the Palestinian an-Najah University Professor For his part, political science Abdul Sattar Qassem believed professor at the Egyptian univerthat the court decision aims sities Abdullah Ashaal urged in to incite the Egyptian street a press statement the Egyptian against the resistance. That authorities not to implement the would lead to tightening the provision, and emphasized that Gaza siege, he said, and there- its implementation would be a fore intensifying the suffering historic and strategic mistake. of the Palestinian people. He said such a step would be Jordanian writer Hilmi Asmar against the Egyptian national sestressed that Hamas has no curity, and therefore the interest headquarters or activities in of Egypt lies in supporting the Egypt, and stressed that this resistance. decision was a political one par excellence.

Observers believe that the decision has serious implications and Concerning the legal effect of will deepen the internal crisis in the ruling, many legal experts Palestine and the Palestinian diemphasized the invalidity of vision.

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

The decision to ban the Hamas activities was met with many angry reactions in the Arab and Islamic world, while the international organizations considered that it is directly targeting the Palestinian resistance and offers an unlimited support for Israel in its crimes against the Palestinian people. Many also saw that this decision is a prelude to the collapse of the reconciliation file in which Egypt plays the most prominent role, alongside Fatah and Hamas. The Islamist group said that the decision threatens national security and “represents an insult to all Egyptians, as it gives the wrong message that Egypt supports Israel”. It said: “Considering Hamas a threat to the Egyptian national security is a grave mistake at a time when everyone, including the former Mubarak regime, is aware that the group represents a defensive line for Egypt’s eastern borders against any Israeli invasion.” For his part, leader of the Tunisian Ennahda Movement Sheikh Rashid Ghannouchi slammed the decision and considered it unfair, while the head of the Palestinian Forum in Britain Ziad Aloul said it is a collective punishment that would harm the interests of the Palestinian people. Palestinian factions and personalities expressed their anger toward this decision, and saw it as a collective punishment and as targeting the Palestinian resistance, which | 11


10th March, 2014

Issue No : 85 forms the first line of defense for Egypt. The member of the political bureau of Hamas Mahmoud al-Zahar said on Tuesday that Egypt has lost its role in the Palestinian reconciliation process, after the new decision. For his part, First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Council Dr. Ahmed Bahar called on the Republic of Egypt to retreat from the decision, because it “does not serve the Palestinian cause and targets the legitimate Palestinian resistance against the oc-

cupation.”

authorities to retreat from the The Change and Reform Bloc Cairo court’s decision and to said that the Egyptian judiciary prevent the criminalization of decision is a political decision the resistance. par excellence. The Palestinian MP and the Other Palestinian factions called Hamas leader Ismail al-Ashqar for holding a dialogue between stressed that the ruling authorithe two parties to resolve out- ties in Egypt have offended Egypt and its history and standing problems. started to play the role of the Hamas movement in a statement hostile party to the resistance called on the Palestinian and the approach. Egyptian peoples, the Arab and Islamic countries and the free Meanwhile, some believe that people of the world to stage a Hamas has to drag the reconpopular movement, in order to ciliation file from Egypt and put pressure on the Egyptian introduce another party instead.

Source: PIC

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Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue No : 85

10th March, 2014

Articles & Analyses

Hamas, the ‹outlawed› movement in Egypt Hamas was not “officially” present in Egypt in order for it to be banned (it is present in the hearts of its honourable people), nor has it been “officially” present in any Arab country as far as I know. It is a “state of mind”, an idea and heartbeat, not just an organisation that is like any other Palestinian resistance group. Israel acknowledges it more than any other Arab country and carefully deals with it as a reality on the ground, more careful with it than any other Arab country.

Of course, this “judicial” order has nothing to do with legal order, as it is obviously a political issue and has been filed for internal reasons that have no value on an international level. According to Sabah AlMukhtar, president of the Arab Lawyers Association in the UK, the judiciary in Egypt has been politicised for some time now, and targeting Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood before them, confirms its politicisation.

The Egyptian judicial order banning Hamas required it to actually be present in Egypt, but today we are living in a world of wonders and oddities. The order bans the Islamic resistance movement Hamas from working within Egyptian borders, bans all its activities and stipulates the confiscation of its headquarters in Egypt (where are the headquarters?). This “urgent” lawsuit was filed by lawyer Samir Sabry against Interim President Adly Mansour, former Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi, and Minister of the Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, urgently demanding them to consider Hamas a “terrorist organisation”. The lawsuit pointed out that “Hamas was established as an Islamic resistance movement in Palestine, but transformed into a terrorist organisation after adopting the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

on Hamas a result of its intervention This is a translation by MEMO in Egyptian affairs and its siding with of the Arabic text published by the Muslim Brotherhood, according Ad Dustour newspaper on 5 to a Fatah spokesperson. This spokes-

By: Helmi Al-Asmar

person would have been better off distancing himself from this farce, as it does no good to the Egyptian government and only deepens the divisions between the Palestinians, which is being fuelled by some countries and governments who He also said that in addition to the do not have these people’s best inorder “being groundless, as it is a po- terests at heart. litical order that has no relation to the rule of the law, there has also been I will end by saying that this order insufficient evidence for this order. is another offence going down in Hamas is a political movement and Egyptian history, that does not afthe Egyptian governments have been fect Hamas or its members, who dealing with it throughout its various consider the movement a fighting stages and have made deals regard- group that has fought the enemy ing the borders with the movement. and hurt it more than all the harm In addition to this, Hamas won the done by the Arab countries com2006 elections and represents a fun- bined, including Egypt. damental part of the Palestinian peo- When Hamas emerged from ple. All of these indications confirm amongst the people, it did not that it is a political movement and not need permission from Egypt’s a terrorist organisation.” Such facts judges or the Arab governments cannot be written off by court orders. and its continued existence is a Furthermore, as surprised as we are decision made by the Palestinian at this order, we are even more sur- people and no one else. Only the prised at Fatah’s position which jus- people who embrace the movetified this order, considering the ban ment can ban it.

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia

March, 2014

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Issue No : 85

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10th March, 2014

Palestinian Cultural Organization Malaysia


Issue no 85