Created on Tuesday, 19 July 2016 05:53
After two Israelis were murdered last week, and several more injured, Palestinian Authority incitement
against Jews continues unabated.
Palestinian Media Watch, an NGO dedicated to exposing incitement and Jew-hatred in Palestinian media,
has published a translated video in which a top Islamic scholar, speaking on official PA television, claims
that the Jews are "a people of lies".
When PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was caught 10 days ago recycling the infamous libel accusing
Israelis of poisoning Palestinian water, his office was forced to issue a retraction, and declared that:
"President Abbas - out of the deep respect he has for all religions, including Judaism - emphasizes that
he did not intend to harm Judaism or its believers in general." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June
However, just a week before, official PA TV teacher of Islam, Imad Hamato, was explaining to his
Palestinian viewers that from early Islamic stories we learn that "Jews are a people of lies."
Hamato, who hosts a weekly TV program and is also Professor of Quranic Studies at the University of
Palestine in Gaza, told a legend about Jews from the time of Mohammed who admired and praised a
fellow Jew as their leader and their greatest sage, until they heard he converted to Islam, when they
declared that he was a fool. Hamato presented the Jews' change of opinion as proof that all Jews are liars,
and that "lies, distortion of the truth, and aversion to the truth flow in their blood."
Later in the same lesson he taught that before Mohammed's time Jews intentionally caused wars between
the tribes of Mecca. He added that "this is always the practice of the Jews. They create wars":
PA TV teacher Hamato has repeatedly taught anti-Semitism as part of his Islamic teachings. Palestinian
Media Watch has documented him teaching that Jews are behind all that is wrong in the world and that
Jews control "the money, the press and the resources," parroting the age-old anti-Semitic trope of Jewish
world-dominance. He has also stated in the past that Israel gave the world "moral corruption and
degeneration of values," and helps the CIA distribute drugs to the Arab world "to destroy... our children's
Created on Thursday, 23 June 2016 07:52
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas railed against Israel during an address to the European Union parliament in Brussels on Thursday, slamming the Jewish state for committing “mass-murder”.
The comments came hours after Abbas rebuffed efforts by EU President Martin Schultz to arrange a meeting between Abbas and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. While Rivlin accepted the offer, after having received authorization from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Abbas refused even a “brief meeting” with the Israeli leader.
Abbas said that the Palestinians were suffering mass-murder on a scale never seen before in history.
“Palestine and the Palestinian people are experience mass-murder of historic proportions and attacks the likes of which have never been seen or heard of ever by the international community.”
“The Israeli settlers and army have a continuing tendency towards violence and extremism that’s growing worse, both in what they do that is sanctioned by [Israeli] law and what is not sanctioned by [Israeli] law.”
The Palestinian Authority leader called upon the European Union to take action against Israel, saying it had turned the PA into an “open-air prison”.
“You are our friends, help us. Israel has turned our country into an open-air prison."
Abbas claimed these were “black days” for the Palestinians, saying that the “tyranny and racism of the occupation” had worsened. He also demanded the immediate establishment of a Palestinian state with permanent borders, and threatened to continue efforts to “liberate Palestine”.
“Our right to self-determination is not up for negotiation,” said Abbas.
“We are working to free ourselves from the occupation politically and diplomatically”.
Created on Wednesday, 28 October 2015 12:16
After Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas was embarrassingly called out on his false claim that Israel had "executed" an Arab child
for no reason in Jerusalem, the Palestine Liberation Organization he chairs has tried to engage in some emergency damage control - by retroactively rewriting the speech he gave Wednesday night.
Abbas had accused Israel of "executing in cold blood" 13-year-old Ahmed Mansara, in a speech broadcast live last night on Palestinian Authority TV.
"We will not give up to the logic of brute force, policies of occupation and aggression practiced by the Israeli government and the herd of settlers who are engaged in terrorism against our people, our holy places, our homes, our trees and executing our children in cold blood as they did with the child Ahmed Manasra and other children from Jerusalem," Abbas said.
Israeli officials - including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office - immediately slammed the comments
as "lies" and "incitement." Mansara is, in fact, very much alive
, and far from being an innocent victim he is currently in police custody at an Israeli hospital, having been injured in the course of carrying out a vicious knife attack which left two people severely wounded, including a 13-year-old Jewish boy left fighting for his life with multiple stab wounds.
His cousin Mahmoud was killed by Israeli police after refusing to put down his weapon and instead charging at officers. The entire attack was recorded on CCTV cameras
, and footage was released by police shortly after,
As criticism and derision has accumulated over Abbas's comments, the PLO released a revised translation
of the speech, switching "executing our children in cold blood" to "shooting our children" - despite that not being at all what he said at the time.
But aside from the continued lack of context to the "shooting", another more basic problem remains: Ahmed Mansara wasn't shot either - he was struck by a passing car as he and his cousin tore through the streets of Pisgat Ze'ev armed with massive knives.
It is unclear whether the PLO will be rewriting history again, to account for this new discrepancy.
Created on Friday, 25 September 2015 14:36
A new poll shows that most Palestinians no longer support the “two state solution,” which entails lopping off Judea, Samaria, and most of Jerusalem from Israel and establishing an Arab state.
According to the poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 51% of Palestinian Authority residents – including in PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, and of Gaza – do not believe they can achieve their goals via negotiation.
However, that doesn't mean that Palestinians have given up on their goal of establishing a Palestinian state – either on part or all of the Land of Israel. 42% said that achieving such a state could be achieved only by violence. 29% said that talks were preferable.
According to the poll, 65% said they believed that the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem was no longer feasible because of the large numbers of Jews who now live in Judea and Samaria. The poll did not ask whether Palestinians supported the idea of Israel annexing all of Judea and Samaria and providing them with citizenship.
In a previous poll by the organization taken three months ago, 51% of those surveyed said they still supported the negotiation process.
The poll also showed that 65% of Palestinians have had enough of Mahmoud Abbas. The octogenarian PA chief, who is now in his tenth year as PA Chairman– despite being elected for only four years – has threatened several times in the past several months to resign his position, with his reasons varying from “Israeli intransigence” to his saying that he was getting too old for the job.
Abbas dropped out of negotiations with Israel last year in the wake of Operation Protective Edge, and has refused to return unless Israel accepts his ultimatums – a cessation of all building in Judea and Samaria, and a pledge to withdraw from areas of Jerusalem liberated in the 1967 Six Day War.
Previous polls have shown that Palestinians are no fans of the PA. In a survey in June, 79% said there was corruption in PA institutions, while only 23% in Judea-Samaria and 18% in Gaza said there was freedom of the press. No less than 48% believe the PA is a burden on the Palestinian Arabs, and 76% called for the police forces in Gaza and Judea-Samaria to be unified, thereby taking police control away from Hamas in Gaza.
Created on Thursday, 24 September 2015 10:00
, a member of the Hamas politburo and a senior official in the terrorist organization, threatened violence against the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Friday despite the unity agreement between the two groups sealed last April.
Speaking at a massive rally in Gaza's Khan Younis organized by Hamas in support of the Islamist rioters attacking police
on the Temple Mount, al-Zahar slammed the PA for not openly conducting attacks against Israel.
"If (Hamas's) Al-Qassam Brigades, (Islamic Jihad's) Al-Quds Brigades and the forces of the struggle were to adopt the policies and the leaders and countries around them, they wouldn't be waving the rifle at the settlers, as their advice doesn't give us strength to confront the occupation and its soldiers."
Al-Zahar said the PA's security cooperation with the IDF is "spying for the enemy," reports Al-Risalah.
He said that "those who admit to doing it (i.e. 'spying for the enemy' - ed.), their fate is execution by hanging," in a direct threat against the PA and its chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Al-Zahar said that "blood spilled in the way of Allah" for the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount is "holy," in a call for more violence. That call came just hours before three rockets were fired from Gaza, prompting an Israeli airstrike
on a Hamas base in response.
The Hamas leader also spouted standard propaganda, saying that Palestinian Arab terror groups will "liberate Palestine" from the "occupation," and threatening retribution for "harming" Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Turning his attention to the future, al-Zahar said that Judea and Samaria is the most important place for the "liberation of Palestine," and that in the end "we will reach Jerusalem and Haifa."
"The day will come when buses will leave from Rafiah through the Gaza Strip to Al-Aqsa Mosque," he added, even though Israel has been allowing hundreds of Gazans to visit the mosque on Fridays for the last several months.
Created on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 12:12
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas - often lauded in the international community as a "peace partner" for Israel - on Wednesday called for terrorist "martyrs" to prevent "filthy" Jews from visiting the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.
Abbas's comments, which came following rioting by radical Islamists at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Mount that spanned ever since Sunday evening during the Rosh Hashanah holiday, were broadcast on official PA TV and posted to his official website, and were translated Thursday by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
"The Al-Aqsa (Mosque) is ours, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is ours, and they (Jews) have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem," said Abbas.
"We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every martyr will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah," he added, in a clear call for terrorist "martyrs" who die during attacks against Jews.
"Abbas showed which side he's on"
Foreign Ministry Director-General Dr. Dore Gold responded to Abbas's comments on Thursday, saying, "today the world is divided between those trying to destabilize the coexistence, and between those trying to preserve it."
"In his statement that Jewish visitors defile the Temple Mount 'with their filthy feet,' Mahmoud Abbas revealed which side he is on."
In his comments, Abbas mentioned by name the murabitin group of Islamist extremists who harass Jews and attack police on a regular basis on the Mount, and who just last week were banned from the site. The group is funded by Hamas and the Islamist Movement in Israel.
Murabitin are defined as "those carrying out ribat, religious conflict/war to protect land claimed to be Islamic," according to PMW.
Created on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 11:50
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday launched a scathing verbal attack on Israel, following the continued clashes between Arab rioters and Israeli security forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Abbas, speaking in particularly harsh language, insisted that none of Jerusalem's holy sites belonged to Israel, reported Al-Arabiya.
"They are all ours and we will not let them desecrate it with their filthy feet," he declared, speaking during a visit to eastern Jerusalem.
"We will protect Jerusalem and will protect our Christian and Muslim holy sites. We will not leave our homeland. We will remain holding every atom of soil in this homeland," added Abbas.
On Sunday, hours before Rosh Hashanah, masked Muslim rioters hurled rocks and fireworks
at police on the Temple Mount, as well as firebombs near two entrances to the site.
The clashes continued
on Tuesday, as once again masked Muslim youths gathered around the mosque and threw rocks and other projectiles at police who had entered the compound in large numbers and responded with stun grenades.
Under an arrangement meant to placate extremist Muslims, Jews are allowed to visit the compound, but cannot pray there or perform any other acts of worship. In recent years, however, Islamist groups have mobilized in an organized campaign of harassment and violence to end even those limited Jewish visits to the site - while claiming it is the Israeli government which seeks to alter the "status quo" by allowing Jewish prayer.
"The presidency strongly condemns the attack by the occupier's military and police against the Al-Aqsa mosque and the aggression against the faithful who were there," a statement from his office, released following Sunday’s violence, said.
Created on Tuesday, 25 August 2015 11:35
Middle East expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar of the Begin Sadat Center told Arutz Sheva Sunday that Palestinian Authority (PA) is about to “die totally” and that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas's resignation may stem from the fact that he does not want to be there when it “officially” breathes its last.
Kedar analyzed Hamas-Fatah relations and offered his idea for a stable solution for Judea and Samaria.
Created on Sunday, 02 August 2015 07:43
The tension in relations between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas reached a new peak this weekend, after a period of mutual accusations over the responsibility for the failure of the political partnership between the parties.
The latest chapter in the saga came on Saturday, when Salah Bardawil, a senior Hamas figure, sharply attacked PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, following a statement Abbas made several days ago at a meeting of the Fatah movement’s advisory council, in which he argued that Hamas refuses to implement the final clauses in the reconciliation agreement regarding personnel changes in the unity government.
Bardawil told the Quds Press news agency that Abbas does not believe in national unity and proceeded to called him “a dictator who every day proves to be an enemy of the Palestinian people and who unsuitable to govern.”
He added that Abbas is the main reason that the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah is not being implemented, accusing Abbas of stalling the formation of a joint Arab effort to deal with the "Zionist enemy".
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri also attacked Abbas, and said that Abbas’s claims that Hamas is negotiating with Israel are “fabricated lies”.
The Palestinian unity agreement signed in April 2014 sought to end seven years of bad blood between Abbas's Fatah movement and Hamas, but the sides have continued to quarrel
over many issues.
The unity government between Hamas and Fatah collapsed in June
when Abbas decided to dissolve it amid a deepening rift between the sides.
Since the unity government was dissolved, the PA’s security forces began a crackdown on Hamas in Judea and Samaria. PA officials recently said about 100 Hamas members had been arrested over alleged plans to attack the PA.
Hamas later alleged
that more than 200 of its members had been arrested by the PA, with most of them tortured.
Created on Tuesday, 28 July 2015 09:24
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday spoke with Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas and wished him a happy Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday which marks the conclusion of the month of Ramadan.
Netanyahu told the PA Chairman that the citizens of Israel want peace and added that Israel would continue to act toward regional stability.
The conversation comes as the international community has pressured Israel and the PA in recent months to resume peace talks that have been frozen since last year.
France has been making efforts to bring Israel and the PA back to the negotiating table for peace talks that stalled in April last year. It has so far focused with Arab states on a possible resolution
that would set negotiating parameters and establish a time period, possibly 18 months, to complete talks.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius visited the region
recently, urging the resumption of Middle East peace talks but warning that continued Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria poses a threat to a final deal.
Meanwhile, it has been mostly Abbas who has continuously imposed preconditions on peace talks. He recently did so again, demanding that Israel stop construction in Judea and Samaria, release terrorist prisoners and hold talks for a period of no more than a year.
Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, who was appointed by Netanyahu to be in charge of peace talks with the PA, last week called
for the resumption of the talks but also said that “it takes two to tango” and that the PA needs to also show willingness to resume talks.
“We need to resume the negotiations with the Palestinians, even though we don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said, adding that Israel has publicly announced that it wants to resume the negotiations immediately but that "desire from both sides" is required to do so.
Created on Saturday, 25 July 2015 14:09
Senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Saeb Erekat, who has long served as the chief negotiator in "peace talks" with Israel, was named the secretary-general of the PLO on Monday, in a move possibly signifying he will soon replace PLO and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Erekat took the post of secretary-general which is second only to Abbas's position as chairman on the PLO Executive Committee, reports the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency on Tuesday.
Abbas's term as chairman officially ended in January 2009, but he has remained in the role despite the lack of elections or a popular mandate.
Erekat was appointed secretary-general in place of Yasser Abed Rabbo, who was fired two weeks ago reportedly for being involved in a conspiracy against Abbas with Mohammad Dahlan
, Abbas's exiled rival.
Ma'an reported on speculation that Erekat may replace Abbas in the near future, but Ashraf Khatib, a senior adviser in the PLO's negotiation department, claimed to the paper that there is "no fact behind" the speculation.
According to Khatib, Erekat in his new role will focus for now on "restructuring" the PLO, saying it is "up to the decision of the Palestinian leadership and Fatah" whether Erekat will later run in presidential elections, if they are ever held.
If Erekat is to replace Abbas, what can be expected?
Created on Sunday, 19 July 2015 17:05
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas claimed in a recent interview with an Egyptian paper that the Hamas terrorist group, which he signed a reconciliation treaty with early last year, is holding secret negotiations with Israel to establish an Arab state in Gaza.
Speaking with the paper Raz Al-Youssef last month in statements that were just recently translated by MEMRI, Abbas criticized Hamas for starting last summer's terror war against Israel, blaming it for the destruction to Gaza caused by the clash.
He said former US President Jimmy Carter had visited him after the war in an attempt to sign an accord on forming a full unity government between Hamas and PA ending the feud between them, to which Abbas said he had no need of such agreements and instead wanted PA elections held within three to four months. According to him, Carter left at that point and never came back.
But Abbas, who has remained in office since his term ended in January, 2009, said, "I cannot declare elections, because it would mean severing the Gaza Strip from the West Bank. I do not want that. I only want a whole homeland that includes Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem."
Abbas then claimed that "there is security coordination on the border between Hamas and the Israeli occupation. There is a stretch of 50-60 meters beyond the border that acts as a route along which both sides move freely" under an agreement signed with former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
"Now there are direct talks between Hamas and the Israelis regarding the establishment of a Gaza state (by) Hamas, the preparations for which began during the Muslim Brotherhood (i.e. Morsi - ed.) regime," charged Abbas.
He said that members of the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Morsi belonged and of which Hamas is a Gazan offshoot, told him, "'we want to grant our beloved (Hamas - ed.) several kilometers in the Sinai' and I told them at the time that I would never demand an inch of Egypt and stressed, 'Egyptian land for Egyptians and Palestinian land for Palestinians.'"
Created on Tuesday, 23 June 2015 15:12
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday told visiting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius that any new Palestinian unity government should not include Hamas, AFP reports.
The remarks came on the eve of a key meeting of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to discuss forming a new cabinet. The unity government between Hamas and Fatah collapsed last week
as Abbas decided to dissolve it amid a deepening rift between the sides.
"(Abbas) told me this government of national unity could only include women and men who recognize Israel, renounce violence and who are in agreement with the principles of the (Mideast) Quartet," Fabius said at a press conference in Jerusalem after holding talks with Abbas in Ramallah.
Noting that those conditions ruled out Hamas, Fabius added, "And that suits us perfectly."
The Palestinian unity agreement signed in April 2014 sought to end seven years of bad blood between Abbas's Fatah movement and Hamas, but the sides have continued to quarrel
over many issues.
Abbas's move to dissolve the government came at a critical time, with Hamas sources saying it is holding separate, indirect talks
with Israel on ways to firm up an informal ceasefire that last August ended a 50-day war in Gaza.
An Israeli source later confirmed the talks were taking place, but Hamas subsequently denied
they were taking place despite its earlier declaration.
It was not immediately clear whether the government's collapse on Wednesday was directly linked to the talks, noted AFP.
Fabius said he had asked Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu about the contacts with Hamas.
"If I understood his response, it means that somehow, I don't know how, there are conversations about Gaza and about improving the humanitarian situation" in the territory, Fabius said.
Sunday's meetings in Ramallah and Jerusalem were part of efforts by Fabius
aimed at reviving Israeli-PA peace talks that have been comatose since a major American push for a final deal ended in failure last year.
France has so far focused with Arab states on a possible resolution
that would set negotiating parameters and establish a time period, possibly 18 months, to complete talks.
Created on Friday, 19 June 2015 16:28
Israel, Egypt and the United States are seeking to replace Mahmoud Abbas as chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Quds Press news agency reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed “senior Palestinian officials”.
According to the report, a meeting was held in Cairo two weeks ago with representatives from the Israeli Mossad, Egyptian intelligence officers and an American official. That meeting dealt with the question of Abbas’s successor.
Israel, Egypt and the United States, these unnamed sources told Quds Press, believe that Abbas is not fit to deal with future challenges, and they want to find a replacement who can manage the relationship with Israel and simultaneously curb the Hamas movement.
Those same sources said that several candidates were outright rejected, including former PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia
(Abu Ala), Palestinian Football Association chief Jibril Rajoub, and Marwan Barghouti
, a senior member of Fatah who is serving several life sentences in Israel after being convicted on terrorism charges.
Two names that were brought up in this context are those of Mohammed Dahlan, a former security chief in Gaza and Abbas’s arch-rival
, as well as Majed Faraj, head of the General Intelligence Service in the PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria. Dahlan was cited for his good relations with Egypt and the Gulf States and Faraj was cited for his close ties to Israel due to the security coordination.
It should be noted, however, that Quds Press is identified with the political line of Hamas, and therefore it cannot be ruled out that the report is part of a propaganda war carried out by Hamas against the PA, in an attempt to undermine its legitimacy and present it as collaborating with Israel and being operated by foreign entities.
Created on Thursday, 18 June 2015 13:42
The Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government of Hamas and Fatah was said to be on the brink of resigning
Wednesday in a deepening rift with Gaza as its de facto rulers Hamas hold separate, indirect talks with Israel.
A Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official said the government of technocrats formed last year to replace rival administrations in Gaza and Judea-Samaria would be dissolved sometime on Wednesday.
He said it would likely be replaced with a government of politicians.
Those words were given concrete action on Wednesday afternoon when unity government prime minister Rami Hamdallah tendered his resignation to Abbas, according to Al Arabiya.
Officials have said the move had been under discussion for several months because of the cabinet's inability to operate in the Hamas-dominated coastal enclave of Gaza.
But Hamas rejected any unilateral dissolution of the unity government.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was quoted as telling members of his Fatah movement on Monday that the dissolution would go ahead within 24 hours.
"It will be sometime today," the PLO official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"The government will continue to function until we have a new one...I think what's coming now is the formation of a government with politicians, not a government of technocrats."
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, however, said the Islamist movement had not been consulted and that it opposed any unilateral dissolution of the government.
"Hamas rejects any one-sided change in the government without the agreement of all parties," Zuhri told AFP.
"No one told us anything about any decision to change and no one consulted with us about any change in the unity government. Fatah acted on its own in all regards."
Senior Hamas official Ziad al-Zaza, however, struck a more conciliatory note, calling on Abbas "to form a unity government with all national and Islamic factions to face Israeli occupation."
Abbas reaction to Hamas talks
The move comes at an important time, with Hamas sources saying it is holding separate, indirect talks
with Israel on ways to firm up an informal ceasefire agreement that took hold last August, ending the terror group's latest war against Israel.
It was not clear whether Abbas's announcement was linked to the talks, but the PLO official said he believed that it played a role in the decision.
"If you end up having a different kind of status for Gaza, then basically the idea of a Palestinian state completely disappears," the official said.
Another high-ranking Hamas official said he believed Abbas decided to act after receiving word of the indirect contacts.
"When Mahmoud Abbas heard of international envoys taking part in talks to solve the (Gaza) crisis, it caught him off guard, then he took that decision," Bassem Naim told AFP.
"He felt there was a possibility that a solution be found without the (Palestinian) Authority being involved."
The indirect talks are said to have gone through a number of Arab and European channels.
A Hamas source said senior members of the Islamist movement had met in Doha over the weekend for talks with the Qataris, with discussions about an agreement of five to ten years.
The source said they focused on key issues for Hamas such as ending Israel's "blockade," which has been allowing goods in on a daily basis, and the establishment of a sea passage between Gaza and the outside world, which Israel warns would pave the way for massive weapons smuggling.
He did not say whether other Palestinian Arab factions were involved in the talks, such as Abbas's Fatah movement, which was heavily involved in the Egyptian-brokered talks that ended the 2014 conflict.
An Abbas spokesman had on Tuesday said a truce that ended the suffering in Gaza would be welcomed, but added that it "must not have as its price a move away from the Palestinian and national consensus."
The PA unity agreement signed last April, which torpedoed PA peace talks with Israel, sought to end seven years of bad blood between Fatah and Hamas but was dysfunctional from the start.
Created on Thursday, 18 June 2015 13:20
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas led a meeting of the Revolutionary Council of his Fatah faction on Tuesday, in which he laid out his foreign policy on key issues.
Abbas revealed that there are no contacts with Israel as part of "peace talks" at the current juncture in time, and warned of the "destructive" ramifications of the current status quo being allowed to continue.
It was in fact Abbas who torpedoed the last round of talks last April by unilaterally joining international conventions in breach of the 1993 Oslo Accords that established the PA, and by signing a unity deal with the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.
France is trying to get the UN Security Council to authorize a proposal on the Israeli-Arab conflict, according to Abbas.
He said the PA would only back a proposal that raises all of their demands, indicating the demand for an independent Palestinian state on the 1949 Armistice lines with the eastern part of Jerusalem as its capital, and a clear date set for the end of negotiations and implementation of PA sovereignty.
Abbas emphasized that the PA fundamentally opposes recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, reiterating his vehement rejection of the recognition that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu requested in talks.
If recognition of the Jewish state is included in the French proposal the PA will not back it, warned the PA chairman.
Abbas also revealed that in the international contacts aiming to reach a ceasefire agreement for Gaza several ideas were raised, including the establishment of a connection from Gaza to the sea port of Turkish Cyprus, as well as establishing an airport in Gaza. He blamed Hamas for the delay in international aid to Gaza, evidently pointing out the belligerent nature of his rival.
Israel has strongly opposed sea or airport access to Gaza, warning that such moves will give Hamas free access to weapons and intensify the conflict even further.
Created on Tuesday, 16 June 2015 09:08
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas inaugurated a Palestinian embassy in the Serbian capital of Belgrade on Thursday, the Ma’an news agency reported.
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic as well as several Arab ambassadors and the PA ambassador to Serbia attended the opening.
After the meeting, President Nikolic reportedly announced that Serbia "would like to see Palestine and Israel resume negotiations as soon as possible," Ma’an reported, citing a Serbian news network.
Despite “Palestine” not being a country, several countries in Europe and South America have opened embassies for the PA in recent years. As well, several European countries - such as Britain
- have passed resolutions recognizing “the state of Palestine”
In 2012, after the PA’s bid to be upgraded in the UN as a non-member observer state, Abbas began taking steps to officially name the areas he controls "the State of Palestine".
He first ordered all of the PA's institutions to stop using the term
"Palestinian National Authority" on official documents and replace it with the term “the State of Palestine”.
Abbas then issued new guidelines
ordering the PA government to re-issue passports, identity cards, registration documents, vehicle licenses, driver's licenses, stamps and postmarks.
With regard to Serbia, earlier this year The Guardian revealed that Serbia granted citizenship
to Abbas' long time rival Mohammed Dahlan and several of his top political supporters between February 2013 and June 2014.
The alleged move raised tensions between PA and Serbia, Ma’an reported, with a spokesman for Abbas saying at the time that the PA planned to send a letter to the Serbian president to stop the process.
A former security chief in Gaza under Fatah, Dahlan was ousted from the party in 2011 and fled to Dubai. His home in Ramallah was later raided by PA security forces
The longtime rivalry between Dahlan and Abbas has resurfaced as Dahlan is considering to run against Abbas in future elections.
Created on Monday, 15 June 2015 09:02
A new research article citing Arabic media sources reveals that Qatar is backing Jibril Rajoub, who was behind the recent failed Palestinian Authority (PA) effort to ban Israel at FIFA, as a replacement for Mahmoud Abbas as PA chairman when - and if - he steps down.
Pinhas Inbar made the revelation on Tuesday in an in-depth article on the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs website. The Center is a research institute headed by Dr. Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN.
Abbas has remained in office despite the fact that his term ended in January 2009, but nonetheless Qatar evidently has thrown its weight behind Rajoub, who holds the post of PA football association president and has been outspoken in his call for violence against Israel.
Back in 2013, Rajoub said "I swear that if we had a nuke, we'd have used it this very morning," in an interview with Arabic media.
Inbari exposed that while Qatar supports Rajoub, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have put their backing behind Mohammed Dahlan, the arch-rival of Abbas who was ousted and fled to Dubai in 2012.
After the 1993 Oslo Accords, Dahlan was the PA security chief in Gaza, while Rajoub was the security chief in Judea and Samaria.
In-light Press, a website associated with Dahlan, has attacked Rajoub for backing former FIFA President Sepp Blatter for re-election before he stepped down amid a corruption case instead of the Jordanian candidate opposing him, according to Inbar.
Jordan is reportedly threatening to revoke Rajoub's Jordanian citizenship over the move.
Undermining Israel via soccer?
According to Inbar, Qatar's interest in the PA leadership is part of a plan to create instability in Israel through a very unconventional weapon - soccer.
Rajoub has said that as PA chairman he will demand four soccer teams from "1948," namely from the Israeli league, be included in the Palestinian Football Association, calling to ally Arab citizens of Israel with the PA and sow division among Israel's Arab population. Along those lines, he has drafted Israeli Arab players to the PA league and national team.
Rajoub may also be planning to allow Hamas personnel to freely enter Judea and Samaria according to Inbar, who notes that Rajoub's unofficial deputy in Gaza according to Palestinian Arab sources is Abd al-Salam Haniyeh, the 19-year-old son of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
Soccer in Gaza is under the jurisdiction of Hamas, meaning Rajoub may push for Hamas to enter Judea and Samaria under the auspices of soccer.
"Qatar’s backing of Rajoub as Abbas’s successor, then, points to a real possibility that Rajoub will allow Hamas to infiltrate the West Bank," wrote Inbar, adding that while Rajoub in the past cracked down on Hamas a reconciliation likely was reached with Qatari intervention.
The research also quoted Arab sources in Ramallah, who revealed that Qatar has seen a shift since the new Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani took power.
Under his control former Arab MK Azmi Bishara, who fled treason charges in Israel after guiding Hezbollah rockets, along with Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashal, have not only been given refuge but have been granted privileged status and aid in attacking Israel from afar.
Qatar backs several Israeli Arab soccer teams, including Bnei Sakhnin as well as Ahi Nazareth, whose uniforms are green in the color of the Muslim Brotherhood and read "Thank you Qatar."
According to Inbar, "the volatility of the soccer fans’ passions could indeed cause a deterioration of Jewish-Arab relations and make the soccer teams under Qatar’s sponsorship a hub of friction and provocation" for the Arab Israeli population.
He noted that not long after Tamim took power, Qatar-aided teams were required to hold ceremonies in honor of Bishara, events that led to great tension and division as Qatar apparently intended.
Created on Tuesday, 26 May 2015 11:50
His Holiness met with the un-holiest, creepiest man on earth, Mahmoud Abbas, and gave him everything he wanted.
My Catholic friends, we need to talk.
Those pictures of Pope Francis hugging and smooching Mahmoud Abbas are making me squirm. How about you?
Sorry to be disrespectful. But somebody needs to break this up. This needs intervention.
I cite myself as a friend of the Church, as an admirer of the faith and of the faithful. To prove this I have credentials. The Church of Toulouse saved my family when the Nazis came marching into France. Other Jews in the region likewise owe their lives to the Archbishop of Toulouse, Jules-Gerard Saliege – God bless his name.
Indeed that’s what my parents did here in America. They blessed Saliege and Father LaRoche, who studied Talmud with my father and sheltered us against the Gestapo. I wrote about this frequently and lovingly and included a chapter about it (“The Cardinal”) in my book of memoirs Escape From Mount Moriah.
Then there’s John W. Cassell. We lost him only a few weeks ago. How tragic that a man, a writer so stouthearted should die from heart failure.
We were on the phone practically every day. For 10 years we spoke about my Jewishness and his Catholicism and how beautiful it is that so much of Church liturgy comes from the Hebrew Bible. Except for this and that, we have so much in common.
So now what the hell is going on, if you’ll excuse the expression.
Well, we know exactly what’s been happening. His Holiness meets with the un-holiest, creepiest man on earth, Mahmoud Abbas and gives him everything, nearly the entire Vatican. Abbas wants official recognition of “Palestine.” There is no Palestine, never was, but the Pope complies, as painful as that is to Israel – and to his own flock being slaughtered round the world.
Whatever Abbas wants, Abbas gets. Does Pope Francis know that Abbas is a mass murderer of Jews – and Christians? The big picture on this, here
Either way, we’re witnessing a nauseating performance, which didn’t start today.
I quote from the piece: “The trip had absolutely nothing to do with Israel. It had nothing to do with Jews or Catholics. It was all about Islam and its grievances. Whatever Abbas wanted, The Pope complied.”
Yes, Mahmoud Abbas was in charge. Mahmoud Abbas was the boss. He took over the Pope’s itinerary. He took over the Pope.
So then I wrote: “If the Pope’s journey to the Holy Land was to justify terrorism, mission accomplished.”
Followed by: “Abbas took the stage and never let go. He wrote, produced and directed the entire spectacle…and the Pope obliged.”
Here’s Cassell’s comment: “As an American Catholic I am ASHAMED. And to think Jack's father taught his children to respect the Catholic Church.”
Once upon a time it was different.
“That was Pope John XXIII who (quoting Genesis 45:4) declared to the Jews, ‘I am Joseph, your brother.’
“No, this Pope is Islam’s brother.”
Back to the moment at hand: What hell…I mean what in Heaven’s name is going on?
Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. The new thriller from the New York-based novelist, The Bathsheba Deadline
, a heroic editor’s singlehanded war on terror and against media bias. Engelhard wrote the int’l bestseller Indecent Proposal
that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. Website: www.jackengelhard.com
Jack Engelhard’s classic international bestselling novel Indecent Proposal, which later became a worldwide hit movie, has been republished to meet readers’ demands. His other major works include Compulsive: A Novel, his award-winning post-Holocaust Montreal memoir Escape from Mount Moriah, plus Slot Attendant: A Novel About A Novelist. His website: www.jackengelhard.com
Created on Saturday, 16 May 2015 23:13
Hours after a new Israeli government was sworn
in, and amid international pressure to resume peace talks, Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Friday announced a new set of preconditions for the resumption of talks.
“A return to the negotiating table requires three basic principles,” Abbas said, according to a Channel 2 News report. “A halt to settlement activities, a release of prisoners - and in particular the fourth batch of the prisoners who were sentenced before the Oslo Accords.”
The third precondition, the report continued, is that the talks must not continue for more than a year.
“The negotiations must continue for one year, and the result will be an end to the occupation by a period not to exceed the end of 2017,” demanded Abbas.
This is certainly not the first time that the PA chief has imposed preconditions on talks with Israel, which has more than once agreed to Abbas’s preconditions only to have him pull out of talks or toughen his position altogether afterwards.
Israel subsequently pulled out of the talks altogether, after the PA signed a unity pact with Hamas.
Abbas has previously conditioned
a return to talks on Israel releasing the fourth batch of terrorist prisoners and freezing construction in Judea and Samaria for three months.
The international community, meanwhile, has been pressuring the sides to resume talks ever since the March elections in Israel.
Earlier on Friday, the European Union’s (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced she will visit the Middle East
next week for talks on the peace process with both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Created on Friday, 17 April 2015 20:05
The war of words between Hamas and Fatah is heating up, as a senior Hamas official asserted that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had forfeited his legitimacy to lead.
In an article published in the Hamas journal "Palestine", senior official Mahmoud Al-Zahar accused Abbas of "treachery" over the PA's security cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), saying that that - along with the fact that Abbas's term as "president" expired years ago - rendered him illegitimate to rule PA-held territory.
In the article, published Friday April 11, Zahar branded Abbas an "embarrassment" to the Palestinian Arab population and called on him to end security cooperation with Israel.
Responding to claims Hamas was interested in establishing its own official "Palestinian state" in Gaza, Zahar asserted that neither Gaza nor the "West Bank" (Judea and Samaria) were sufficient for the Islamist group, which aspires to destroy the State of Israel in its entirety.
"If we succeed in setting up a government in Gaza, autonomy, civil administration or any other framework on a portion of the land of Palestine (sic), that does not mean that we give up on one other grain of Palestine," he said.
The article is just the latest direct challenge by Zahar, who is among the closest to Iran of Hamas's senior leadership, to Abbas's rule.
Created on Monday, 06 April 2015 10:49
Any lingering "honeymoon period" between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) has ended, more than one year
after the "unity government" was announced, with the two rivals re-launching a war of words.
Mahmoud al-Zahar, a member of Hamas's political bureau, said in an interview to Al-Aqsa news agency Friday that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas did not conduct any elections in the PA, and ergo has lost the legitimacy to rule.
Zahar advocated a Hamas takeover of the PA as the only "real solution" against the "occupation."
He added that the PA's location entails the potential for an "armed struggle," i.e. rocket fire from Gaza.
Zahar also claimed that Israel sent representatives to Gaza in an attempt to sign a cease-fire agreement, citing many of the same claims revealed in an expose last month
. Among them: demands for a seaport and airport.
Created on Tuesday, 31 March 2015 12:17
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas used the platform of the Arab League summit in Sharm el-Shekh, Egypt, this Saturday to attack his "unity partner" Hamas, making a subtle call for the Arab states to take military action against the Gaza-based Muslim Brotherhood offshoot.
Speaking at the 26th summit in the southern Sinai peninsula, Abbas made reference to the campaign of airstrikes
launched last Thursday by Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries against Iran-backed Shi'ite Houthi rebels in Yemen - the Houthis have overthrown the government while rapidly expanding their control.
"I hope that the Arab countries will take the same policy they employed in Yemen for all Arab countries suffering from internal conflict - like Palestine, Syria, Libya and Iraq," Abbas said according to Yedioth Aharonot, in an open jab at Hamas in Gaza.
Making Abbas's comments calling for military intervention in "Palestine" all the more pointed is the fact that just two days earlier, Abbas's adviser on Religious and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash
, who also serves as PA Supreme Sharia (Islamic law) Judge, made similar remarks.
Al-Habbash urged the Arab countries to take action and strike Hamas with an "iron fist," in an open call for military intervention.
Hamas and the PA signed a unity deal last April, which has done little to damper the enmity raging between the rivals ever since Hamas violently seized control of Gaza in 2007 - the most obvious example of the how the deal has not changed tensions was when Hamas tried to stage a coup against the PA
in Judea and Samaria last year.
Responding to Al-Habbash, Hamas said the comment is "a dangerous and not nationalist call."
Abbas's call for Arab intervention comes after Arab foreign ministers meeting in Egypt last Thursday declared the establishment of a joint Arab military force
, reportedly meant to rapidly respond to security threats to Arab nations.
Arab League secretary-general Nabil al-Arabi was assigned with coordinating the details with the chiefs of staff of the various Arab armies within one month, so as to work out the logistics of establishing the new force.
Created on Monday, 23 February 2015 00:13
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to stop security coordination with Israel if the country continues to withhold the PA’s tax revenue, a senior PA official said Sunday, according to The Associated Press (AP).
Nabil Shaath said Abbas warned European leaders on a trip to Europe last week that Palestinian officials would discuss the matter during a Palestinian central council meeting next week.
"We have told the international community that we will not be able to continue the security coordination and the Palestinian Authority itself may not be able to continue functioning if Israel continues stealing our money," Shaath said, according to AP.
The funds have been held back
from the PA since last month in retaliation for its moves to join the International Criminal Court (ICC). Shaath said the withheld revenue amounts to $140 million per month for the last two months.
Palestinian Arab officials said the U.S., European Union and Arab countries have asked the PA to hold off on any decision about canceling security coordination with Israel until after Israeli elections on March 17, saying Israel may release the revenue after the elections.
But the PA officials said they were concerned Israel could continue to withhold the tax revenue as a punitive measure through April, when the PA becomes an official member of the ICC.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Abbas has several times threatened
to cut the PA’s security coordination with Israel, the last time being before he submitted a unilateral bid to the UN to achieve statehood.
Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday
the U.S. fears that without a cash injection, the Palestinian Authority could collapse — entailing serious security implications for both Palestinians and Israelis.
While blaming Israel
for the PA’s financial woes, Abbas continues to spend six percent of the PA’s annual budget to pay $4.5 million a month to jailed terrorists
and another $6.5 million to their families.
Created on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 09:39
Sweden announced a multi-million-euro aid package for the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Tuesday as PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas made his first visit
to Stockholm since 2009.
Prime Minister Stefan Loefven stressed that his country’s recognition of “Palestine” back in October, when it became the first major Western European country to do so, came with responsibilities.
"According to us Palestine is now a state. Our expectations of Palestine and their leadership will therefore increase," Loefven told reporters during Abbas' visit to Stockholm, according to the AFP news agency.
"There is no contradiction between keeping good relations with Palestine and keeping good relations with Israel," Loefven added.
The announcement of Sweden's recognition of "Palestine" in late October saw withering verbal jabs about IKEA
furniture between Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, as well as Swedish financial institutions boycotting Israeli companies. Israel also temporarily withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm.
Wallstrom at one point announced she was indefinitely postponing
a planned trip to Israel, and on Thursday, Israel said
that Wallstrom was not welcome for an official visit in the country.
The Swedish Foreign Minister later accused Israel
of “irritating its allies” with its reaction to her country’s recognition of “Palestine” and added, "It is unacceptable how they have been talking about us and everybody else."
Loefven on Tuesday announced a new aid program to the Palestinians worth 1.5 billion kronor ($180 million).
The deal stretches until 2019 and will go toward projects to fight corruption and promote gender equality and human rights, reported AFP.
Loefven said both the PA and Israel must be "ready to compromise" and that Sweden would support “Palestine” in "setting a regional example when it comes to women's rights."
Abbas, who arrived late Monday, thanked Sweden for the aid package and expressed the wish that "other countries would also recognize Palestine as a state."
"I am reaching out to Israel because we cannot achieve peace if we don't sit down for negotiations," Abbas added.
Ahead of Abbas' visit, Israel's Stockholm Ambassador Isaac Bachman described the his diplomatic efforts as a "diversion" from direct talks with Israel.
According to the PA, around 135 countries have recognized the state of Palestine including several that are now EU members.
Created on Tuesday, 03 February 2015 17:20
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday ordered an investigation into the PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida publication of a cartoon of the founder of Islam Mohammed last Sunday.
The investigation, illustrating the stark absence of free speech within PA-controlled areas, comes less than a month after Abbas took part in an anti-terror and freedom of speech rally of world leaders in Paris following the lethal attack on Charlie Hebdo, after the satirical magazine ran cartoons of Mohammed. Abbas's presence struck many as odd, leading to a hilarious series of photo-bombed pictures
The cartoon that sparked Abbas's investigation was in fact very positive towards Mohammed - in it a man in a robe is seen straddling the world, reaching into a heart-shaped pouch to sow "seeds of love," above the caption "our prophet, Mohammed."
Abbas was quoted in his WAFA news agency as saying it is "necessary to take deterrent measures against those responsible for this terrible mistake," reports AFP, noting that Islam bans any depiction of Mohammed, giving him divine status similar to Allah in being beyond representation.
Mohammed Sabaaneh, who drew the cartoon, told AFP it was "misunderstood," but did not elaborate.
In a Facebook page post, he said he was trying to defend Islam "using the same methods as those who seek to insult the prophet - cartoons."
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida apologized for the cartoon on Tuesday, saying it had also launched an internal investigation. It also denied the figure was meant to be Mohammed - despite the caption naming him directly.
Trying to play off the contradiction, a member of the paper's editorial staff told AFP that "Sabaaneh wanted to show through the drawing the grains of tolerance and love of Islam, incarnate as a man. The aura of light around him in the cartoon is the legacy left to Muslims by Mohammed."
The cartoonist told AFP in an interview last month following the Islamist terror attack on the satirical magazine in Paris that the attacks were despicable, saying "you have to react in kind, combating idea with idea, cartoons with cartoons - not through murder."
Created on Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:09
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will visit Stockholm next month after Sweden became the first major state of the European Union to recognize the PA as "Palestine," the Swedish government announced Friday.
"The visit of president Abbas, by invitation from the prime minister, is confirmed for February 10," foreign ministry spokeswoman Ulla Jacobson told AFP. "He will also meet the foreign minister, the king and the archbishop."
She said the agenda would include the Arab-Israeli peace process and "what Sweden can offer after (its) recognition" of "Palestine" in October.
The announcement of Sweden's recognition of "Palestine" in late October saw withering verbal jabs about IKEA furniture
between Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom, as well as Swedish financial institutions boycotting Israeli companies.
Most recently, Wallstrom announced she was indefinitely postponing
a planned trip to Israel; Israel responded that Wallstrom was not welcome for an official visit in the country.
Created on Sunday, 25 January 2015 11:46
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has declared that the PA’s membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC) would be fully active by April, the Ma’an news agency reports.
Abbas said the most important issues to bring to the ICC were “Israeli settlements and assaults.”
The comments, which were made Friday, came during Abbas's visit to Tunisia, during which he and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi discussed the latest Palestinian, Arab, and international political developments.
The PA applied earlier this month
to become a party to the Hague-based ICC and recognized its jurisdiction to retroactively cover a period including the Gaza war. The move came after the PA failed to pass a unilateral motion at the United Nations which would have forced an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.
The probe was slammed
by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said, “Israel rejects the absurd decision of the ICC prosecutor. It’s absurd for the ICC to ignore international law and agreements, under which the Palestinians don't have a state and can only get one through direct negotiations with Israel."
Legal rights experts
have said that having the ICC enter the fray of the Israeli-Arab conflict will ultimately harm the PA, Hamas, and the ICC itself - not Israel.
In a recent interview
, the PA's envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) admitted the PA has no hope of pressing charges against Israel in international courts - because Palestinian Arab terrorist groups are far worse violators of international law themselves.
Created on Thursday, 08 January 2015 07:37
Arab League is to meet January 15 to discuss the failed Palestinian Authority (PA) draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council, an official told AFP Wednesday.
On December 30, the UN Security Council rejected a draft resolution that would have forced Israel to withdraw from Jewish areas of Judea and Samaria in order to create a "Palestinian state."
The Arab League called Wednesday for a meeting of its foreign ministers to discuss the issue.
"The meeting will review a number of issues, the main one being the developments regarding the Palestinian case, especially after failing to pass the UN bid," Deputy Secretary General Ahmed Helly told reporters.
The meeting will also discuss "future steps to support the Palestinian position," Helly said. Ahead of next week's meeting, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will attend a separate Arab peace initiative gathering, he added.
The PA has stated that it may resubmit the draft resolution to the UN Security Council despite the failed first vote.
The move also follows the PA's formal request
to the United Nations on Friday to join the ICC, in a move firmly opposed by both Israel and the United States. The UN accepted that request early Wednesday, after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stated that "the [Rome] statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on April 1, 2015."
The PA has stated intent to file charges of war crimes against Israel in the Hague, but Israel has already filed counter-suits.
Created on Tuesday, 06 January 2015 15:39
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday he was discussing with Jordan plans to resubmit to the United Nations Security Council a resolution calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state that failed to win enough votes
last week, Reuters reports.
Jordan remains a member of the Security Council, but several other countries with revolving membership were replaced over the New Year.
The PA hopes these states will be more sympathetic to their resolution demanding an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and independence by 2017
"We didn't fail, the UN Security Council failed us. We'll go again to the Security Council, why not? Perhaps after a week," Abbas told officials at a cultural conference in Ramallah.
"We are studying it, and we will study this with our allies and especially Jordan ... to submit the resolution again, a third time or even a fourth time," he added, according to Reuters.
In the UN vote last Tuesday, the PA draft received eight votes in favor, including France, Russia and China, two against and five abstentions, among them Britain and Nigeria, whose abstention angered the PA
. Australia joined the United States in voting against the measure.
Any resubmission would face almost certain failure, as the United States has veto power in the Security Council and will likely use it if the resolution passes.
A day after the failure at the Security Council, Abbas signed onto 20 international conventions, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
In retaliation for the move to the ICC, Israel announced on Saturday that it would withhold 500 million
shekels in monthly tax funds that it collects on the PA’s behalf, in a blow to Abbas's cash-strapped government.
"Now there are sanctions - that's fine. There's an escalation - that's fine ... but we're pushing forward," Abbas declared Sunday.
Created on Sunday, 04 January 2015 08:48
Ahmed Bahar, acting speaker of the Palestinian parliament, on Thursday poured cold water on Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s application to join
the International Criminal Court (ICC) and several other international conventions and treaties.
In a statement, Bahar said that Abbas bears responsibility for the applications which, he claimed, do not serve the interests of the “Palestinian people.”
Bahar stressed that any signing of a treaty or an international agreement requires national responsibility and the entire Palestinian parliament must approve it.
Thursday’s statement stands in sharp contrast to Hamas’s statement from Wednesday, in which it praised
Abbas's move as a "step in the right direction."
"This step needs to be part of a general policy and a joint national program," Hamas said in a statement.
Hamas's previous embrace of the ICC bid oddly contrasts with its utter rejection of the PA's UN draft resolution to boot Israel out of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, which it said in multiple statements did not 'represent the Palestinian people.
Hamas's spokesman said last week
the resolution "doesn't represent [the] consensus of the Palestinian people," and Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar added
that the draft resolution in favor of Palestinian statehood was "disastrous," and that it has "no future in the land of Palestine."
The last elections for the PA parliament were held in 2006, and Hamas won an overwhelming majority. The group later staged a bloody military coup in Gaza in the summer of 2007, creating a rift between Abbas’s Fatah movement in Ramallah and the Hamas-led government in Gaza.
The sides formed a unity government last year but the government has been unable to function and there have been signs that it is crumbling.
The most recent reconciliation attempt has been rocked by tensions, most notably Hamas's attempt to stage a violent coup in Judea and Samaria
against the Palestinian Authority.
Created on Sunday, 04 January 2015 06:51
Palestinian Authority (PA) chief negotiator Saeb Erekat announced on Thursday to James Rawley
, the UN's Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, which international conventions the PA signed onto the day before in breach of the Oslo Accords.
Erekat announced that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas in a Wednesday meeting not only signed onto the Rome Accords, allowing the PA to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) and sue Israel for "war crimes," but also signed "the state of Palestine" on to a whole slew of international conventions, as reported in Arabic by the official PA news source WAFA and listed below.
The PA similarly breached the Oslo Accords by signing international conventions back in April when it torpedoed the peace talks with Israel, a process of crashing the talks that was sealed when the PA signed a unity deal with Hamas.
It's most current move comes after the PA's bid at the UN Security Council unilaterally demanding recognition and Israeli withdrawals failed. Experts asses the ICC move would open the PA up to war crime suits
for its involvement in terrorism against Israelis, and likely cause Israel and the US to drop their funding of the PA, effectively collapsing it.
Erekat told Rawley that the "state of Palestine," by signing onto the conventions, obligates itself to changes its laws in accordance with them. He also mentioned that the unilateral press at the UN was a "legitimate right" and expressed a desire to see "Palestine back on the map."
"We guard our people in every place, and the crimes committed against our people in eliminating them, settlements, destruction, and aggression against Gaza, they haven't passed statutes of limitations and those who commit the crimes need to deal with the results," Erekat said.
He added "we demand that the US consider our position, because as is the strength of a nation great so is the responsibility on it great."
"Palestine relies on international law, and therefore we demand that the US again consider its relations with Israel, stop treating it like a nation above the law and stand at the right-hand of international legitimacy regarding the end of Israeli settlement and eliminations," Erekat said.
"Whoever wants to defeat terrorism in the region must deal with the roots of the Israeli occupation as a preface to defeating terror," claimed Erekat, saying "settlements" will be the main focus of the PA's lawsuits at the ICC.
What did Abbas sign?
Erekat's announcement listed the conventions Abbas signed onto, prime among them the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court; the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the ICC; and the Declaration in the accordance with the Rome Statute of the ICC.
Others signed include: Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents; Convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitations to war crimes and crimes against humanity; UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
There were more general ones signed as well, such as the Basel Convention on the control of transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal; UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; Convention on Biological Diversity; Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses.
Likewise the PA signed the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions...relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II); Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions...relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem (Protocol III); Convention on the Political rights for Women; Convention on the safety of the UN and Associated Personnel; Convention on the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards (the New York Convention).
The Treaty On The Non-Proliferation Of Nuclear Weapons; Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects; and Convention on Cluster Munitions rounded out the list.
Created on Thursday, 01 January 2015 06:13
Hamas has praised Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's application
to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a "step in the right direction."
"This step needs to be part of a general policy and a joint national program," Hamas said in a statement, according to the Gaza-based Daily Sabah.
Hamas also called for the various Palestinian Arab terror groups to meet and devise a plan for halting all bilateral negotiations and security coordination with Israel on a permanent basis - as well as lifting the "Israeli blockade" on Gaza, reconstruction, and solving domestic issues between Hamas and rival Fatah.
Hamas's embrace of the ICC bid oddly contrasts with its utter rejection of the PA's UN draft resolution to boot Israel out of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, which it said in multiple statements did not 'represent the Palestinian people.
Hamas's spokesman said last week
the resolution "doesn't represent [the] consensus of the Palestinian people," and Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar added
that the draft resolution in favor of Palestinian statehood was "disastrous," and that it has "no future in the land of Palestine."
Zahar explained that Hamas would not accept the resolution because of its focus on the pre-1967 borders, and not on all of Israeli territory which Hamas considers to be “historic Palestine”.
He further added that the movement refuses to consider allowing to be Jerusalem a capital for both Palestinian and Israeli states.
On Tuesday - hours before the UN Security Council vote - another Hamas spokesman, Mushir al-Masri, yet again blasted the move
as "giving in" to Israel.
According to Masri, adhering to the draft resolution would be walking through pointless negotiations of a political settlement, without a clear national strategy and adherence to the basic principles of the Palestinian people, in his words.
Created on Monday, 29 December 2014 18:27
In what has become a "Christmas tradition" for the Palestinian Authority (PA), PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and other senior figures of the group once again made the ahistorical claim that Jesus was "Palestinian."
Abbas last Monday told the official PA paper WAFA "we celebrate the birth of Jesus, a Palestinian messenger of love, justice and peace," as reported by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
The message follows on Abbas's claim last year that Jesus was "Palestinian,"
which the Israeli Foreign Ministry rebuffed in a verbal riposte referencing Christian tradition, saying "we forgive him because he knows not what he does.”
It goes without saying that Abbas's claim completely flies in the face of historical fact. PMW notes that Christianity defines Jesus as a Jewish resident of Judea, and only hundreds of years after Jesus's death did the occupying Roman Empire change Judea's name to "Palestina," a name brought back thousands of years later by the British mandate which termed Israel "Palestine" after World War I.
Abbas was not the only one getting in on the holiday spirit; Abbas's adviser on religious and Islamic affairs and PA Supreme Sharia Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who has announcedIsrael will disappear
and that Abbas is inciting a religious war
, also joined the action.
"Christmas is also a Palestinian holiday, because Jesus, peace be upon him, was Palestinian. He was born in Palestine; lived and was sent (as prophet) to Palestine. Therefore, Christmas has a special Palestinian flavor," said Al-Habbash last Sunday, reports PMW.
District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Laila Ghannam said on official PA TV earlier this month "we are standing here, Muslims and Christians, in Yasser Arafat Square, (named after) the symbol of our cause, to celebrate Christmas."
"So too we will stand united to celebrate victory, far off as it may be. Merry Christmas, let's celebrate and be merry; Jesus the Messiah is Palestinian, and we are Palestinians and will continue to hold our heads high," said Ghannnam.
Likewise, Adnan Al-Damiri, official spokesman for the PA Security Forces, on Facebook on December 25 celebrated "the anniversary of love and peace, the birth day of Jesus the Palestinian."
PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, a member of the Abbas's Fatah's Central Committee, referenced "the first Martyr, the first Palestinian, Jesus."
Tawfiq Tirawi, also on Fatah's Central Committee, on Facebook wished the "united Palestinian people a new Christmas that will herald liberty, as did Jesus, the first Palestinian."
The PA exploitation of Christianity as propaganda for its campaign against Israel reached new heights during the visit of Pope Francis in May, when the organization showed the pope an art exhibit presenting Jesus as a "suffering Palestinian martyr.
Created on Thursday, 25 December 2014 09:21
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas warned on Tuesday that his administration would "no longer deal" with Israel if a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria fails.
"If the Arab-Palestinian initiative submitted to the Security Council to put an end to (Israeli) occupation doesn't pass, we will be forced to take the necessary political and legal decisions," Abbas was quoted as saying by the Algerian APS news agency.
"If it fails, we will no longer deal with the Israeli government, which will then be forced to assume its responsibilities as an occupier," he added.
The PA draft resolution sets a 12-month deadline for wrapping up negotiations on a final peace settlement and the end of 2017 as the timeframe for completing an Israeli withdrawal.
A final deal would pave the way to the creation of a Palestinian Arab state with Jerusalem as a shared capital, according to the text.
Speculation has been mounting since the death in December of a Palestinian official during a confrontation with Israeli security forces that the Palestinian Authority could suspend security coordination with Israel in the West Bank if the resolution fails to pass.
died of a heart attack moments after he was seen shouting at Israeli soldiers.
"We are determined to regain the rights of our people, including the right of return (for refugees) and the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails," Abbas said.
Abbas met Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Monday during a three-day official visit.
AFP contributed to this report.
Created on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 18:18
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was quoted Sunday as saying diplomatic means are his weapon of choice in the battle against Israel instead of inciting terrorism - and then went on to threaten terrorism.
"I won't talk about using weapons against Israel and I will only use diplomatic means, but if the Palestinian people loses hope, in the end they will explode and no one can prevent that," Abbas said according to Reshet Bet journalist Gal Berger.
Ironically, Abbas has called for terrorist violence in a strikingly similar manner
to those used by his predecessor, terrorist leader Yasser Arafat. Abbas's religious adviser, PA Supreme Sharia (Islamic law) Judge Mahmoud Al-Habash, clarified last month that Abbas is inciting religious war
After the terrorist turned PA minister
Ziad Abu Ein died of a heart attack this month, Abbas threatened to cut the security cooperation with Israel - a threat which hasn't been carried out, but which Abbas said Sunday is still on the table along with joining a host of international conventions if the PA's unilateral attempt at the UN fails.
The PA last week submitted a resolution to the UN Security Council demanding an Israeli withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem by 2017, with Abbas explaining the second stage of the plan is to force millions of "Palestinian refugees
" on Israel.
Both the unilateral bid to the UN and the unilateral joining of international conventions, which the PA already started in April as it torpedoed peace talks with Israel, are in breach of the 1993 Oslo Accords.
In explaining the UN resolution last Thursday, Abbas said it calls for borders based on the 1949 Armistice lines, adding "Jerusalem will be the capital of the two states with eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state."
He claimed the resolution aims at "formulating a just and agreed solution to the problem of the Palestinian refugees in accordance with the Arab peace initiative, the complete cessation of settlement activities, formulating security arrangements that will ensure the presence of a third international party, an agreement for an international conference to launch negotiations, on the condition that the negotiation period not exceed one year and that the end of the Israeli occupation of the state of Palestine will be before the end of 2017."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded on Thursday to the PA’s unilateral move at the UN, saying Abbas "thinks he can threaten us with unilateral steps
. He does not understand that they will result in a Hamas takeover in Judea and Samaria, just as previously occurred in Gaza."
Created on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 13:00
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's adviser on Religious and Islamic Affairs assured in his televised weekly sermon last Friday that Israel will be destroyed, and that military options are being considered to make that happen.
The comments made by Mahmoud Al-Habash, who also serves as PA Supreme Sharia (Islamic law) Judge, on the official PA TV channel were translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
"All of this land will return to us, all our occupied land, all our rights in Palestine - our state, our people's heritage, our ancestors' legacy - all of it will return to us even if it takes time," said Al-Habash, indicating that Israel will disappear given the PA's claims to all of Israel. "Patience is the key to victory, and we are patient. In terms of resistance, all options are on the table, and in terms of diplomacy as well."
The statement on "resistance" and "diplomacy" comes as the PA is poised on Wednesday to submit a proposal to the UN Security Council demanding recognition as a state and an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria within two years.
In a London meeting on Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry finally said the US would veto
the motion while pushing for it to be postponed after Israeli elections in March, while PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat vowed to submit the resolution this week anyway.
In October, Al-Habbash taught that Islam prohibits accepting Israel's existence because the "entire land of Palestine" is Islamic waqf
– an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law. As such, he forbids making peace with Israel because he believes Islamic law prohibits "facilitat[ing] the occupation of even a millimeter of it", i.e., "the entire land of Palestine."
Created on Monday, 22 December 2014 07:21
While many have claimed Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is trying to "calm" the string of Arab terrorism plaguing Jerusalem, Abbas's own Minister of Religious Affairs Sheikh Yusuf Ida'is offered further proof that isn't the case by giving lip service to a libel on official PA TV to incite more violence.
In the comments, which were made last Wednesday and translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), Ida'is made the old claim that Israel plans to "take over the Al-Aqsa Mosque, destroy it and build the alleged Temple."
"All that Israel wants is to Judaize the Holy City, take over the Al-Aqsa Mosque, destroy it and build the alleged Temple. Under Jerusalem there is a city of tunnels belonging to Israel. Yesterday, I was told that Israel has an underground market beneath the Jaffa Gate, which draws many (Arab) residents who shop there," Ida'is claimed erroneously.
Making the claim all the more perplexing is the fact that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has made great efforts
to promise Jordan and its Waqf (Islamic trust) that he will not change the discriminatory status quo imposed by the Waqf, by which Jews are forbidden to pray at the holiest site in Judaism - let alone rebuild their Holy Temple.
Ida'is's claim adds fuel to a major drive behind the recent wave of Arab riots and terror attacks engulfing the capital, which has been built on accusations that Israel is somehow subverting Muslim access to the Temple Mount - when in fact serial Arab riots have blocked Jewish visits to the site.
The claim by the minister of religious affairs appears to have particular appeal, given that a poll in April by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), a member of WIN/Gallup International, found that 90% of Palestinian Arabs described themselves as religious to some extent.
Abbas himself, aside from having his party consistently praise terrorist attacks, was revealed by PA Supreme Sharia (Islamic law) Judge and Abbas's adviser Mahmoud Al-Habbash on official PA TV last month to be personally inciting religious war
known as "ribat."
"First of all, allow me to say that we kiss every forehead, every hand and even every foot that carries out ribat at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in Jerusalem...We are behind them. The leadership is with them...we are with them in every movement, in every action and every deed, and we welcome what they are doing at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque," said Al-Habbash.
He added "the campaign being waged in Jerusalem today - I think it is the final chapter. The final chapter after which our banners will be raised, with the aid of the one, exalted and omnipotent Allah, over the towers of the muezzin (person who sings the Muslim call to prayer - ed.) of Jerusalem, the churches of Jerusalem, the domes of Jerusalem, and its hills, mountains, alleys and houses."
Created on Tuesday, 09 December 2014 03:51
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who is often touted by the West as a “peace partner” of Israel’s, recently declared that there are six million “Palestinian refugees”, and that he is one of them.
Abbas’s comments were made in an interview with the Egyptian daily Akhbar Al-Yawm, published last week and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
In the interview, Abbas reiterated that he did not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, because this contradicted the Palestinian interests by “harming Israeli Arabs and preventing the return of the Palestinian refugees.” He said that there were six million
"Working with Israel is very difficult, if not impossible. We are conducting mutual relations with people who don't believe in peace. You ask for peace, and they do not want it...,” he charged in the interview.
“[Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu said to me: ‘I want [Israel to be responsible for] security on the Jordanian border for 40 years.’ I pretended to have misheard him, and asked: ‘How many?!’ He said: ‘40 years’. I bid him farewell and said, ‘Let's shake hands [in farewell].’ I left his home and said to him, ‘This is occupation.’ I haven't seen him since...,” Abbas continued.
"In principle, I do not oppose 1:1 land swaps. Take territory of known value, and give territory of the same value,” said the PA Chairman, who placed “a basic condition for land swaps – Israel must recognize the June 4, 1967 border at a 1:1 ratio. For example, it is inappropriate for them to receive land in Jerusalem and give me [land] in the Negev [in exchange]."
"Netanyahu once told me that it was an 'idea from hell,' from his perspective, for him to give me the Triangle (the area of east-central Israel, including the cities of Tayibe and Tira -ed.) and everything in it,” said Abbas. “[The Triangle] was occupied in 1949 and at that time it had 38,000 residents. Today, it probably has about 400,000 residents. I said: ‘I will not take anyone. Forget it, because honestly, I will not allow, or force, any Arab to relinquish his Israeli citizenship.’ You might be surprised, but this is important. As far as I'm concerned, this is sacred.”
He continued, “For example, in the fourth round of the release of our Palestinian prisoners, 15 of the 30 are 1948 Arabs [Israeli Arabs]. They told me: Take them to [Judea and Samaria] and they will relinquish their citizenship. I told them: This is impossible. They should return to their homes and retain their citizenship. As far as I'm concerned, Arabs remaining citizens of Israel is a sacred matter...”
"I don't want to destroy Israel and do not call for its destruction. We want to live with it in security and peace, but only after I receive my rights and you receive yours... In effect, we are approached by very concerned people who say: ‘Why aren't you talking to Israel and Netanyahu?’ And I respond: ‘I am ready to do it tomorrow morning. Bring him [here], I am ready. [But] he left and never returned.’"
Abbas referred to his latest unilateral bid at the United Nations, where he is trying to force a deadline on Israel to “end the occupation” and withdraw from Judea and Samaria.
"We want a state in the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, and we want to [set] a date to end the occupation. That is all we want. If Israel agrees to this now, we will go to negotiations. [But] they use deception and excel at media fraud. They claim that I am going to the Security Council in order to obtain a state, but all the [Security] Council does is give me a certificate; it doesn't give me territory,” he said, adding, “I will take the certificate and then go negotiate with them in order to realize it...”
"The Americans have always pressured, and will continue to pressure, to prevent us [Palestinians] from addressing the Security Council,” said Abbas. “Even though we are small and simple people, and need the entire world, including the U.S., we say: No! [to dropping our UN bid]. This has happened several times. When we addressed the General Assembly, they [the U.S.] fought us for three whole months, and even when we joined 20 international institutions, they [still] fought us, but that doesn't matter. It is more important that when we feel the need to say no, we say no.”
"If we cannot get what we want, there are other steps [we can take]. The first step is joining many international organizations, such as the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice,” he continued. “There are 520 international organizations, and [joining them] will surely bother everyone. If there is an appeal to the ICC, and a Palestinian files a lawsuit against an Israeli, they [the Israelis] get scared, because they are wanted and cannot travel."
"This step won't do much good, but we have two other steps: The first is ending all security coordination between us and them [i.e. Israel]. Currently, there is security coordination, and the comrades in Hamas see this as something they can accuse us about, but they themselves coordinated [with Israel] in 2012 during the era of [Egyptian president Mohammad] Morsi. We have been committed to this security coordination since the Oslo Accords. Now, when there is nothing between us, there is no problem to end the coordination, and there will be no ties, no security, and no talks with anyone.
"We have not benefited from the security coordination, and I want to end it. I am working to defend my people and spare them from harm. In the past, Netanyahu backed down when I spoke of ending the security coordination,” said Abbas.
He then reiterated, as he has several times in the past, that the PA "cannot recognize a Jewish state. We will stand against this enterprise, not out of obstinacy, but because it contradicts our interests.”
The interview is the latest example of Abbas’s “double talk”, of which many examples have been presented over the years.
In one example, told Israeli television that he is willing to sit down for negotiations with Israel and establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and said that, despite originally being from Tzfat, he did not have a desire to go back there.
After his remarks sparked huge protests in Gaza, Abbas retracted his statements. His own spokesman said that the Palestinian Authority certainly has not given up the demand that Israel allow the immigration of several million foreign Arabs who claim Israel is their home.
Abbas then made it clear to the Arab world, through an Egyptian television network, that although he personally would give up living in Tzfat, “the right of return is holy and no one can deny it.”
Much of the PA’s incitement against Israel is disseminated through Abbas’s own media. Examples of incitement include the glorification of Nazism and the lionization of Adolf Hitler, as well as programs on official PA television featuring heavily-stereotyped Jews as villains (and encouraging violence against them), and various TV and radio shows which literally wipe the Jewish state off the map.
Created on Tuesday, 02 December 2014 09:26
The Arab League on Saturday backed Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's plan to seek UN endorsement for a timetable for declaring an independent state, and rejected recognizing Israel as a Jewish nation, AFP reports Saturday.
But the extraordinary meeting of Arab foreign ministers, which Abbas attended, did not announce when they would approach the United Nations Security Council.
A statement said the ministers agreed a plan which includes submitting an "Arab proposal to the United Nations Security Council to end the (Israeli) occupation," of Palestinian land.
It also backed Palestinian plans to seek membership in UN agencies and international courts.
The Arab foreign ministers also announced Saturday their "categorical rejection of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state," the statement said.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has demanded that Abbas, whose Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) recognized Israel in a 1993 accord, affirm the country as a "Jewish state."
The debate over Israel's national identity rose again to relevance this month in light of the proposed Jewish State law, which seeks to enshrine in law Israel’s being a Jewish state.
A Knesset vote on the bill has been postponed
due to vehement opposition to it among coalition members, mostly by Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who has been a vocal opponent
of the proposed law.
The law has also been condemned
by the PLO outright, which said this week that it “is a racist political decision that is built to negate the Palestinian rights and to control the land, and it contradicts international law...and the law institutionalizes racism and discrimination in all fields of life, by implementing (Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu's plan to turn Israel into a country based on racism by law."
Created on Tuesday, 02 December 2014 03:56
A Fatah MP has explained that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas' condemnation of the massacre of five Jews in a Jerusalem synagogue was uttered for diplomatic purposes, reported Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) Sunday.
The MP explained to Quds Net News Agency that Abbas' movement Fatah "justified the statements of the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, who condemned the Jerusalem operation. Fatah member of PA Parliament Najat Abu-Bakr said that those statements were made within a diplomatic context.... [he] is forced to speak this way to the world."
Earlier, Fatah posted on its Facebook page a video of ex-PLO chairman Yasser Arafat's bodyguard saying that Arafat lied when he condemned terror, and that he had no choice but to do so, for diplomatic reasons.
Fatah wrote that watching that video – which was taken from the Palestinian Media Watch website and included the PMW subtitles – explains why Abbas condemned the synagogue massacre.
Created on Sunday, 23 November 2014 05:53
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's adviser and members of his Fatah faction have come out and directly praised the terrorist attack in Jerusalem on Tuesday in which five Israelis were murdered
in a synagogue, after Abbas's office made a perfunctory condemnation
of the attack.
Abbas's adviser Sultan Abu Al-Einen, who praised another terrorist as a "hero"
last month, called the lethal attack with hatchets, knives and guns on Tuesday a "heroic operation" on his Facebook page, reveals Palestinian Media Watch(PMW).
In the post, Al-Einen put up pictures of pools of blood and Jewish victims on the ground in prayer shawls, as well as a photo of the dead terrorists with a bloodied butcher's knife beside them on the ground.
Al-Einen wrote "pictures from the scene of the heroic operation at the religious Zionist institute, in response to the assassination of martyr Yusuf Al-Ramuni 'Abu Jihad.'"
The reference to Al-Ramuni relates to an Arab Egged bus driver who committed suicide on Sunday night, as proven by an autopsy
. Those results did little to dispel the incitement and riots encircling Jerusalem.
Al-Einen was joined by spokesperson Jamal Tirawi of Abbas's Fatah faction, who said in the name of his faction that they "welcomed the martyrdom-seeking operation in Jerusalem" and were "escorting the martyrs of the Abu Jamal family to paradise," PMW reported citing Donia Al-Watan News.
Fatah celebrated the attack, announcing on its official Facebook page that, like Arab residents
of Gaza and the family of the terrorists in Jerusalem, people under their rule were passing out candy.
"Handing out candy in the cities of the West Bank in celebration of the Jerusalem operation, which was carried out to avenge the execution of martyr Yusuf Al-Ramuni and the violations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque," Fatah wrote on its official page.
The various celebrations were added to with a video on Fatah's Facebook page of a bodyguard of former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat
. The bodyguard was interviewed by BBC Arabic in April, and explained that Arafat condemned terror attacks due to international pressure - but lied when he did so.
Fatah posted the following text with the video: "for those who argue with Fatah: Why the PA condemns self-sacrifice operations!" The content became unavailable shortly after it was posted, reports PMW.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday noted in his speech following the attack that while Abbas condemned the murder, he went on to spout incitement and demand "an end to the invasions of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the provocations of the settlers, and the incitement on the part of several Israeli ministers."
Speaking of incitement, PMW revealed on Tuesday that PA Supreme Sharia (Islamic law) Judge and Abbas's adviser Mahmoud Al-Habbash on PA TV on November 5 directly said that Abbas is inciting religious war
Created on Sunday, 23 November 2014 05:24
Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) head Yoram Cohen may have claimed Tuesday after the Har Nof attack that Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas "isn't inciting terrorism
" - but that appraisal is completely wrong according to Abbas's own adviser.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) revealed on Tuesday that PA Supreme Sharia (Islamic law) Judge and Abbas's adviser Mahmoud Al-Habbash appeared on official PA TV on November 5, after several attacks and hours before another one
in Jerusalem that left two dead, where he clarified that Abbas is indeed inciting terrorism.
Al-Habbash used the term "ribat" meaning a religious war or conflict to defend or reconquer land defined as Islamic in describing the recent wave of terror attacks sweeping over Jerusalem, tying the terror to the status of the Temple Mount - the holiest site in Judaism - where the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust) continues to wield de facto control and forbid Jewish prayer.
"First of all, allow me to say that we kiss every forehead, every hand and even every foot that carries out ribat at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in Jerusalem...We are behind them. The leadership is with them...we are with them in every movement, in every action and every deed, and we welcome what they are doing at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque," Al-Habbash said.
Referring to Abbas's speech in mid October when he called to block Jews from "defiling" the Temple Mount by "all means necessary
," Al-Habbash noted "a few days ago, President (Abbas) greeted them, reinforced them and requested more ribat from them."
"This statement may have angered the Israelis and the occupation, that the President is inciting the Palestinians from Jerusalem to ribat. Yes, we are inciting the people in Jerusalem to ribat. Ribat means to protect and to hold on to your ground," said Al-Habbash in an admission of incitement.
In his speech, Abbas said "we must all carry out ribat" so as to prevent Jews by "any means necessary" from entering the Temple Mount, because "they have no right to enter it. They have no right to defile it."
PMW documented how a clip of this part of the speech was given heavy rotation on PA TV, and how the call for violence bears a close resemblance
to former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's call for the 2000 Second Intifada.
Created on Thursday, 02 October 2014 07:12
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that if the United States vetoes the resolution that he will bring before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), he will “re-examine” the PA's security cooperation with Israel, reported Voice of Israel public radio.
Abbas has called on the UNSC to support a resolution setting a clear deadline for Israel’s withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.
However, he added, he will not allow a single bullet to be fired at Israel, because, in his words – “there is no need for an armed intifada.”
Speaking to reporters in Ramallah, Abbas said that if a veto is cast, he will press charges against senior Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, even at the price of being charged there himself along with them.
Abbas added that pressure is being placed on the PA to refrain from appealing to the Security Council, and that threats are being made to stop the financial assistance that it receives – but he does not intend to change his mind.
Created on Monday, 29 September 2014 20:23
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday, in a bid to refute the smear campaign launched by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas claiming Israel is guilty of "genocide."
"Distinguished delegates, I come here from Jerusalem to speak on behalf of my people, the people of Israel," Netanyahu began. "I have come here to speak about the dangers we face [. . ] against the brazen lies about my country and about the people who defend it."
The Prime Minister emphasized that Israel's fight against Hamas is a microcosm of the fight against global jihad.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the people of Israel pray for peace, but those hopes are in danger - because militant Islam is on the rise," he stated. "No one is spared - Christians, Jews, and Muslims."
"Their ultimate goal is to dominate the world."
"That threat may seem exaggerated to some, because it starts out small - like a cancer," he continued. "But cancer grows, covering a wider and wider area. To protect the security of the world, we must remove the scab, before it's too late."
Hamas = ISIS
Netanyahu then noted the hypocrisy of public opinion.
"Last week, many people in the world applauded US President Barack Obama for joining the fight against ISIS," he stated. "The same countries complained against Israel for fighting Hamas."
"They don't understand that ISIS and Hamas are the branches of the same poisonous tree," he continued. "Hamas shares the same militant ambitions of global Islamists."
Netanyahu compared ISIS and Hamas's charters, and noted that Hamas cheered when thousands died in the US during the September 11, 2001 attacks.
"Hamas is ISIS, and ISIS is Hamas," he declared. "And what they share is what all Islamism shares: [. . .] they all have the same ideology, they all seek to establish a global militant Islam - where there is no freedom."
"To them, anyone can be considered an infidel, including fellow Muslims."
Netanyahu then compared Hamas, ISIS, and Nazis.
"The Nazis believed in a master race; Islamists believe in a master faith," Netanyahu said. "The question before us is whether militant Islam will have the power to realize their unbridled ambition."
Hamas, ISIS, and Iran: same same, new name
Netanyahu then addressed the Iran issue, noting that the Islamic Revolution was based on the decree that the whole world will cry, 'There is no God but Allah in the entire world.'
Today, the Revolutionary Guards aim to establish an "Islamic World Government," he notes.
As for the opinion that Iran's views on this are only fueled by "extremists," Netanyahu dismissed it as "changing both the ideology and the content" of Iranian governance. He quoted lines from a book by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whereby Rouhani says he has "problems with the West."
"Don't be fooled by Iran's manipulative 'charm offensive,'" Netanyahu urged. "It's for one reason only: to remove sanctions, and to lift obstacles to the path of power."
"This would essentially cement Iran's place as a threshold nuclear power," he continued, saying it would "pose the gravest threat to us all."
"It's one thing to confront militant Islamists on the back of a pickup truck armed with rifles," he said. "It's another to confront militant Islamists with weapons of mass destruction."
Netanyahu then compared the situation with ISIS to the situation with Syrian chemical weapons, whereby he noted that Syria was disarmed - but ISIS and Iran are not.
"Would you let ISIS build a water reactor? Would you let ISIS have access to nuclear weapons?" he asked. "Of course you wouldn't, and you should not let the Islamic State of Iran either."
If so, he says, "the Ayatollah will show their true face and unleash their fanaticism to the entire world."
"Iran's military capabilities must be fully dismantled," he declared, to general applause.
"Make no mistake: ISIS must be defeated. But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power would be to win the battle and lose the war."
"Ladies and gentleman, the fight against militant Islam is indivisible," he continued. "That's why Israel's fight against Hamas is not our fight: it's your fight. Our fight against Hamas today could be your fight tomorrow."
'Would you let terrorists fire rockets at your cities?'
Netanyahu then addressed Operation Protective Edge.
"You wouldn't let terrorists fire rockets at your cities with impunity," he said. "Nor would you let them dig terror tunnels or kidnap your citizens."
"Yet Israel faced another challenge: a propaganda war."
"Hamas cynically used schools - UN schools! - and hospitals, and mosques to house civilians, as Israel surgically struck to eliminate terrorists."
"We were not [targeting civilians]," Netanyahu fired. "We regret every civilian casualty."
Netanyahu noted that the IDF took many measures to warn Palestinian civilians ahead of every strike.
"No other army in history has gone to greater lengths to prevent civilian casualties in the population of their enemies," he noted, to applause. "They upheld the highest moral values of any army in the world."
"Israel's army deserves the admiration of decent people everywhere," he added, to applause.
Redefining 'war crime' and 'human rights council'
Netanyahu also noted Hamas's executions of Fatah members and dissidents, as well as the terror group's deliberate use of children as human shields, using a France 24 photo as proof.
"This is a war crime," he said. "I say to Abbas: there are the war crimes committed by Hamas, under your leadership, under the unity government you head, and these are the war crimes you should have called to investigate last week."
"The profound moral difference between Israel and Hamas couldn't have been clearer," he said. "Israel was using missiles to protect its children, Hamas was using children to protect its missiles."
"The UNHRC has betrayed its noble principles to protect its enemies," he continued, noting it is "turning the concept of war upside down."
"The UNHRC is sending a clear message to terrorists everywhere: use civilians as a human shield. Use them again, and again, and again. You know why? Because sadly, it works."
"Thus, the UNHRC has become a Terrorists' Human Rights Council," Netanyahu declared, noting that it "may have already had consequences."
Netanyahu slammed the UNHRC for dedicating over half of its resolutions against Israel, "where issues are openly debated in our boisterous parliament."
"The UNHRC is an oxymoron, but I'll use it just the same," he said. "Its policies are an extension of the oldest prejudice in the world. It's a function of diseased minds: it's called anti-Semitism, which is spreading in polite society, which is being legitimized as a form of criticism against Israel."
"Genocide? In what moral universe does a country attempt over and over again to get its enemies out of harm's way? To build field hospitals? To ship tons and tons of aid?"
"The same moral universe where the man who wrote a dissertation denying the Holocaust can stand on the podium and claim Israel commits genocide."
Israel: standing tall
"Today, Israel will defend itself against her enemies," Netanyahu continued. "Israel will try its enemies on the courts of public opinion. Israel will stand proud and unbowed." Applause followed.
"Together, Israel and the world face many of the same dangers," he noted, including "militant Islam and a nuclear Iran."
"Our job is to form a partnership over these issues," he said.
"I believe the partnership between us can also facilitate peace between Israel and the Palestinians," he added, noting that the "active involvement of Arab countries - those who are willing to provide political, material, and other support - could bring a compromise."
"The people of Israel are not the occupiers in the land of Israel," Netanyahu said, citing "history, archaeology, and common sense."
"I want peace because I believe it will bring a better future for my people," he said, calling for one which brings "rock-solid security arrangements on the ground."
"As the Prime Minister of Israel, I am entrusted with the awesome of responsibility of protecting the Jewish people and the Jewish state," he said. "I will never waver on that responsibility."
Partnership for peace in the Middle East
"In Israel, we have a record of making the impossible, possible," Netanyahu said. "We have made the desert flourish. We have led the world in technological innovation."
But in order for Israel to "reach its full potential," he said, "the template for peace must change."
"There is a new Middle East. It has many dangers, but also many opportunities. We are working to work together with our global partners to face those dangers and seize those new opportunities."
"All of this may fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but it is the truth," he said. "And the truth most be spoken - especially here, at the United Nations."
War of words
Speaking just before takeoff on his way to New York, Netanyahu reiterated his pledge to "refute the lies" against Israel at the UN General Assembly, particularly in the speech by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who accused Israel of “genocide” and “war crimes”.
"In my speech to the General Assembly, I will refute the lies that are being told about us and I will tell the truth about our state and the heroic soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world," Netanyahu said on the tarmac at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv before boarding the plane.
Netanyahu's response will reportedly be "razor sharp," according to close confidantes of the Prime Minister, who added that it will be "worth the wait."
On Friday, Abbas made a pathos-laden speech to the UNGA, vowing to prosecute Israel for "war crimes" in International Criminal Court (ICC).
"There is an occupation that must end now," he claimed. "There is a people that must be freed immediately. The hour of independence of the state of Palestine has arrived."
He did not set a deadline for fast-tracking to what he claimed would be "Palestinian statehood," after aides suggested they were eyeing 2017 as a possible date.
Describing Israel's defensive operation in Gaza as a "genocidal crime," Abbas pledged: "We will not forget and we will not forgive, and we will not allow war criminals to escape punishment."
Abbas’s speech garnered strong reactions from the U.S. - which called the tirade "offensive" - and from Israeli MKs across the political spectrum.
Created on Monday, 29 September 2014 11:03
Saeb Erekat, senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, on Sunday condemned statements made by the U.S. State Department
against Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the UN General Assembly.
In his speech, Abbas accused Israel
of “genocide” and “war crimes” and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki responded by saying that the speech “included offensive characterizations that were deeply disappointing and which we reject.”
"Such provocative statements are counterproductive and undermine efforts to create a positive atmosphere and restore trust between the parties," she added.
Responding to Psaki’s comments, Erekat said they were “irresponsible, indecent and rejected,” according to the PA-based WAFA news agency.
He said that all items underscored by Abbas during his speech were welcomed by the international community, with the exception of the Israeli Government and the U.S. State Department spokeswoman.
Erekat called on the State Department to reconsider its positions and support the draft resolution which will be submitted at the UN Security Council.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Sunday that Abbas has become irrelevant following his speech.
Abbas’s speech “has made him irrelevant with regards to any attempts to reach an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians”, Liberman told his counterparts in a meeting in New York.
Created on Saturday, 27 September 2014 09:14
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Monday to present a new timetable for peace talks with Israel when he addresses world leaders at the United Nations later this week, according to AFP.
"I say today to Prime Minister (Binyamin) Netanyahu: end the occupation, make peace," Abbas told an audience in New York.
In a passionate address to students in the Cooper Union hall, Abbas said, "The international community has the responsibility to protect our people, living under the terror of settlers, an occupying army."
"We cannot understand how the Israeli government can be so misguided as to fail to understand that the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza that killed thousands of women and children only sowed more hate," Abbas charged.
"This week I will propose to the United Nations a new timetable for peace talks," Abbas said, speaking in English and winning a standing ovation, according to AFP.
Abbas is set to address the annual UN General Assembly on Friday. His aides said recently that the PA leader will appeal to the international community to set a deadline for Israel to withdraw back to the pre-1967 borders and make way for an independent Palestinian state.
Such a move would be unilateral and would be against the Oslo Accords.
In April, the PA requested to join 15 international agencies
in breach of the conditions of the peace talks that were going on with Israel at that time.
Created on Thursday, 25 September 2014 12:03
A senior member of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction said that Abbas will "drop a bomb" against Israel at the UN General Assembly on Friday.
The senior official, Jibril Rajoub, said in an interview on Palestinian Arab media that the move would be an integration of the international community into "the strategy of the Palestinian people."
It is worth noting that Rajoub in mid-August said the PA had made a "political decision" to support Arab terrorists "slaughtering" Jews
living in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem - an announcement that has been accompanied by a steep rise in terror attacks in the region.
Abbas is currently in New York for the UN General Assembly that starts on Wednesday, and which he will address on Friday in a call for a "new political reality
His New York visit follows a stop in France last Friday, in which he secured French President Francois Hollande's blessings for a UN Security Council resolution
outlining the "solution to the conflict."
That "solution" consists of a timetable plan
by which Abbas will push the UN to demand Israel withdraw from Judea and Samaria within a certain timeframe, despite the fact that Israel's presence in the region is completely legal under international law
Stop "drunk" Israel
While in New York, Abbas spoke to American students at Manhattan's Cooper Union hall on Monday according to the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency, where he called on the world to "rethink Palestine."
"The international community has the responsibility to protect our people, living under the terror of settlers, an occupying army," claimed Abbas.
He added "this week I will propose to the United Nations a new timetable for peace talks," referencing his Friday talk. "Enough is enough; end the occupation. We ask that the international community stop hiding behind calls for the resumption of talks."
Abbas added another slander against "drunk" Israel, accusing the Jewish state over its defensive Operation Protective Edge by saying "I made a prayer for an America that is a real friend of Israel, not a false friend, and just as real friends, do not let friends drive drunk."
The news source added that protesters at the address shouted out "Abbas is a terrorist" before being removed from the hall.
That accusation comes after the "military wing" of Abbas's Fatah, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, bragged of its part
in Hamas's recent terror war on Israel. Fatah also has recently called for a full return to terrorism
, declaring "open war
" on the Jewish state.
Such calls are in keeping with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO
) charter of 1968, which declares "armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine." Following the charter, the PLO and Fatah were defined internationally as terror organizations, a status which was removed during the 1993 Oslo Accords process.
Created on Sunday, 21 September 2014 09:38
According to Bethlehem-based news agency Ma'an, Palestinian Authority (PA) chief Mahmoud Abbas will ask French president Francois Hollande to recognize the “state of Palestine” when Abbas meets Hollande in France Friday. According to the report, Abbas will then ask additional European countries to recognize “Palestine” even before he heads for the annual United Nations General Assembly.
PA foreign minister Riad Al Maliki told Ma'an that “the international situation now is much better than in the past, and there is a better chance that the Palestinian people's demands will be met.” Maliki added that “the world is now conviced, more than in the past, that Israel undermines international efforts for peace by constructing settlements.”
"Because of the diplomatic stalemate, we will say at the Security Council that this is the time to take a clear stand that will lead to the end of the occupation,” he explained. According to Maliki, European countries are gradually becoming convinced that Abbas is following the right path.
Abbas is set to meet Hollande in Paris, where he will stay for two days before flying to the UN on September 24 and try to win support for the PA's new diplomatic initiative to set a date for forcing Israel out of Judea and Samaria.
Abbas recently obtained backing from the Arab League for his plan, which aims to secure an end to the Jewish presence in Judea-Samaria within three years and the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state in the region.
Earlier this month, a senior Palestinian official said the leadership was going to seek a UN Security Council vote on a resolution setting a three-year deadline for ending Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria, despite knowing any such text would be vetoed by Washington.
"We will be seeking a Security Council resolution on ending the occupation on a specific date," said Hanan Ashrawi, who is a member of the governing body of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
"We should know that the occupation will end within three years."
She also raised the possibility of seeking passage of a similar but non-binding resolution by the UN General Assembly.
If, as expected, the Security Council bid fails, the PA has said they will consider fast-tracking an application to become party to the International Criminal Court.
Created on Thursday, 11 September 2014 21:11
The West has long threatened to stop donating to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it continues to pay salaries to its terrorists – and so the PA has found a "creative solution": It will give the money to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and the PLO will pay the salaries instead.
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas recently issued a presidential decree transferring the office responsible for "prisoners" – i.e., terrorists jailed in Israel – from the PA to the PLO. Thus, no longer will terrorists receive salaries during their time in prison via the PA, to which international donors send their funding. Instead, the terrorists and their families will be supported by the PLO.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), which reports on the new ploy, says that the PA will now channel the money through a newly-created PLO institution responsible for prisoners' affairs.
The PLO was founded in 1964 with the goal of "liberating Palestine," according to its still-unrevoked charter
. Thus, the Palestinian call to destroy Israel well pre-dates the building of any Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria – which Israel did not control until 1967.
A PA government spokesman told official PA Television that the new change in ministerial responsibility "will provide political and legal cover for this issue. It eliminates the many arguments made by many parties, who always try to say that [foreign] aid money [to the PA] Is going to the prisoners." This quote, and many others, were first reported by PMW, which constantly monitors PA media and publicizes that which the PA would rather hide from the West.
The PA paid out more than $100 million last year to imprisoned terrorists. The U.S. Congress, as well as the parliaments of Holland, Norway, Britain and others, have demanded that PA cease paying terrorist salaries.
Even after the governmental change regarding the terrorist payments, Abbas announced that he will remain in control of the payments just as before. He has even arranged that the same minister who oversaw these payments under the PA Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs will serve in the same capacity as head of the new PLO Authority. The old-new minister affirmed this week that nothing will change under the new Authority, and the same "services," i.e., payments and other benefits to the prisoners, will continue.
There will be one change, however: The PA has announced that it will raise the annual payments to terrorists by almost 50%, to nearly $150 million.
Created on Friday, 05 September 2014 18:17
A new report has exposed the details of a heated meeting held between Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Qatar-based Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal on August 21 in Doha, in which Mashaal apparently submitted to a ceasefire
The report was published Monday by the Lebanese Al Akbar news site, as cited by Walla!, and notes Abbas was told by Israel Security Agency (ISA) head Yoram Cohen two weeks before the meeting that his agency and IDF foiled an attempt by Hamas from its Turkey headquarters to stage a coup against Abbas
's PA in Judea and Samaria.
Abbas's rage over the news reportedly boiled over in the Doha meeting, which was attended by Qatari emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, his foreign minister, senior members of Abbas's Fatah faction including Saeb Erekat and Azzam al-Ahmed, and Hamas deputy politburo chief Mousa Abu Marzouk.
"I don't want to return to the past," Abbas reportedly told Mashaal, noting on the April PA-Hamas unity deal. "I gave the Qatari emir all the details. We agreed on a unity government and elections."
However, Abbas threatened "that might not happen because you are smuggling weapons, explosives and money to the (West) Bank - and not to fight Israel, but to hold a coup against the (Palestinian) Authority."
Detailing his early August meeting with Cohen, Abbas told Mashaal he was informed about "a group that was arrested, which planned to carry out a coup. Why a coup? This needs to end."
Mashaal then complained to Erekat about the berating according to the report, saying "I don't know anything about the ISA's information, and no one updated me about it."
"We are partners with Abbas, we respect him, and his right to criticize is apparent, but from the start of the meeting he's been irritable. He relies on Israeli stories about a coup, and says he doesn't trust us - that's unacceptable!" said the exasperated leader of the terrorist group Hamas.
Mashaal then pressed his denial of the detailed ISA reports, saying "it's sad that you choose to believe Israeli sources. On the honor of Qatar and the emir, I say - this is 100% a lie."
Hamas independence "is unbearable"
Further tensions in the Hamas-PA unity government, which recently revealed it is completely bankrupt
, were raised in the meeting over the Hamas abduction and murder of three Israeli teens on June 12.
Hamas leader Salah Al-Aruri in Turkey late last month finally admitted
his group was behind the horrific murder, after Hamas leaders had long repeated their denial.
"You kidnapped three children. I asked you about it, and you didn't confirm or deny. Yesterday Al-Aruri said they were the ones who did it. Why? What's the goal of that? To destroy the (West) Bank?" asked Abbas of Mashaal.
The PA leader warned that things would be changing, saying "in (Operation) Pillar of Defense you did what wanted, and we weren't there. Now we are working with you, and the current situation is unbearable."
Abbas's plan to force an Israeli withdrawal
Abbas also presented his plan
to demand the UN set a deadline for Israel to withdraw from the 1949 Armistice lines.
"After 20 years of failed negotiations, Israel and the US haven't brought us anything and the occupation continues," said Abbas. "We are setting a national strategy like this: Israel and the US will agree in writing to a Palestinian state on the '67 borders with eastern Jerusalem as it's capital and defined temporary borders."
"We'll start immediately with a border outline during a period that will be set in advance, and afterwards we will discuss the topics of a permanent agreement," said Abbas, detailing his plan to press Israel to leave its biblical heartland without any agreement in place.
If the US and Israel do not agree, and indeed both have already expressed opposition to the plan, Abbas noted he would stop the security arrangements and all cooperation with Israel, dismantle the PA - a threat made numerous times
in the past - and give Israel control over Judea and Samaria.
"In this way Israel will take on itself responsibility as an occupying state," said Abbas, presenting a move that some estimate would leave Israel vulnerable to an international litigation.
It is worth noting that the 2012 Levy Report
, which has yet to be adopted by the government, revealed that an Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria is not an "occupation" according to international law.
Created on Wednesday, 03 September 2014 05:47
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday once again threatened to pursue Israel through the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, Kol Yisrael radio reported.
Speaking at a meeting of his Fatah faction in Ramallah, Abbas reportedly said that unless Israel agrees to discuss a Palestinian state along the indefensible pre-1967 borders, he would work to have the PA hundreds of treaties and international bodies, including the ICC.
The PA has been trying to join international treaties, part of its unilateral push to gain statehood without negotiating with Israel, a direct violation of the Oslo Accords.
In April, the PA requested to join 15 international agencies
in breach of the conditions of the peace talks that were going on with Israel at that time.
Most recently, aides to Abbas revealed that he will soon appeal to the international community
to set a deadline for Israel to withdraw back to the pre-1967 borders and make way for an independent Palestinian state.
PA leaders have also more than once threatened to take action against Israel at the ICC.
The PA’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, recently met with ICC officials
and inquired about the legal procedures necessary for the PA to join the ICC and sign the Rome Statute, thus allowing it to take action against possible Israeli war crimes in Gaza.
PA officials realize, however, that joining the ICC is a calculated risk because it would give Israel a forum to pursue war crimes charges against the PA as well and particularly against Hamas.
In a recent interview
, the PA's envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) admitted the PA has no hope of pressing charges against Israel in international courts - because Palestinian terrorist groups are far worse violators of international law themselves.
Noting concerns that Israel could launch legal offensives of its own
against the PA should it sign up to the ICC, the presenter asked whether such a move would be realistic. The response was unequivocal.
"The missiles that are now being launched against Israel - each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets," he said.
Created on Monday, 01 September 2014 18:09
After Arab citizens of Israel led by radical Arab MKs held a "Hamas victory rally
" in the Galilee last Friday, Arab residents followed suit on Saturday in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority (PA) stronghold in Samaria.
Thousands of local Arabs took part in the rally, which was organized by the Hamas movement in Ramallah in celebration of the hard-hit terrorist organization
's supposed "victory" against Israel in Operation Protective Edge.
The rally, held in the Al-Bireh neighborhood of Ramallah, was entitled "The Pledge of Allegiance and Victory." Hamas leaders and parliamentarians in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from different parts of Judea and Samaria took part in the celebration, accompanied by leaders of other Palestinian Arab organizations.
Horse-mounted Hamas activists led the rally march, waving Hamas flags and singing the praise of Hamas's "military wing," the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades.
Children also took part in the "festivities," parading models of the rockets fired in massive barrages by Hamas terrorists at Israeli civilian centers during the terror war, as well as pictures of senior Hamas leaders
assassinated by the IDF in targeted airstrikes.
Khalil al-Haya, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza, gave a speech at the rally via telephone in which he emphasized the right to "resistance" against Israel.
The rally is particularly noteworthy because as mentioned above, it occurred in the heart of the PA governmental center of Ramallah.
The rivalry between Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction and the Islamist Hamas passed breaking point after the latter violently ousted Fatah from Gaza in 2007. Abbas signed a unity deal with Hamas in April, helping to torpedo peace talks with Israel, but tension and mutual recriminations have tested the durability of the deal.
Hamas's position is seen as an attempt to gain support in the PA-ruled areas of Judea and Samaria and strengthen its position over its rival Fatah.
Just two weeks ago it was revealed that the Hamas headquarters in Turkey ordered a large-scale coup
of Abbas's new PA unity government by destabilizing the political and security situation through a series of terror attacks on Israelis. Abbas later said the information could have lasting implications
for the unity deal between his faction and Hamas.
Created on Friday, 22 August 2014 05:18
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, often touted internationally as a "moderate" alternative to Hamas, has declared its intentions to further increase its terror attacks against Israeli citizens.
A new video released to YouTube by Fatah's "military wing," the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, declares the unity of Fatah's various military branches, and announces a recent decision to strengthen Fatah's military activities.
Filming in what they term a "joint operations room" in Gaza, the Fatah terrorists are seen in the video proudly displaying three-barrel rocket launchers, anti-tank rocket launchers, assault rifles and portable communications devices.
One of the terrorists is filmed telling the camera that "the rifle" was and remains the only option to "free the occupied lands," and that Fatah has never abandoned the path of violent terrorism.
As demonstrated by the armed presence in Gaza, Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades has reportedly taken an active part in the terror war being fought against Israel from Gaza, joining Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror organizations against Israel during Operation Protective Edge.
In Judea and Samaria, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have likewise declared "open war
" on the Jewish state.
The declaration has been followed by numerous Fatah terror attacks, including a shooting attack
south of Bethlehem last Sunday, after another shooting attack
the Sunday before in Neve Tzuf. On Monday, a wanted Fatah terrorist was killed by IDF forces
near Shechem after he refused to turn himself in and opened fire on the soldiers.
While there has been a common perception globally that Abbas's Fatah is somehow more "moderate" and accessible as a peace partner than Hamas or other alternative groups, Fatah has been open about its goals to destroy Israel.
Fatah's position is in line with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO
) charter of 1968, which calls for "armed struggle" and "armed revolution," declaring "armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine," and calling on local Arabs to "be prepared for the armed struggle."
Following the charter, the PLO and Fatah were defined internationally as terror organizations, a status which was removed during the 1993 Oslo Accords process.
Created on Sunday, 17 August 2014 04:30
The Palestinian Authority official daily has published five articles in the last six weeks accusing the United States of establishing the radical Islamic movement Islamic State (ISIS or IS), which has conquered vast territory in Syria and Iraq in recent months, reports Palestinian Media Watch.
IS has declared itself a Caliphate, thereby claiming religious authority over all Muslims; its goal is to bring much of the Middle East, including Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Cyprus under its control. To this end, IS has used extreme terror tactics, including decapitations, crucifixions and mass murders that were filmed and posted on YouTube.
The articles claim that the US has a long term goal of controlling the Arab-Muslim states by dividing them through conflict and wars. IS's war and other conflicts are all said to be the work of the US:
Some quotes from the articles, as cited by PMW:
"The wars in Libya, Iraq, Syria and Palestine were planned by the US in order to protect its interests... The ISIS, Islamic Front, and Al-Nusra Front (i.e., all radical Islamists) are Muslims from various countries the US is using to fight in Iraq and Syria, in order to fragment the unity of these two Arab countries... We are now more aware that the Americans - who want to fight for their own interests using Islamic, Jewish and Christian believers - are truly the head of the snake."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 16, 2014]
"ISIS, the perpetrators of atrocities and the groups that hoist the banner of religion seem to be raising their weapons in sync with Washington, and fight the US verbally, but in practice are killing their enemies. Is this a coincidence, or was it planned ahead of time?"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 14, 2014]
"The radical terrorists of ISIS and those like them, who were created by Israel and the US, are paving the way for Israel to act like them."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, August 3, 2014]
As Palestinian Media Watch reported in June, the current editor in chief of the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida was appointed by the presidential decree of PA chief Mahmoud Abbas.
Fatah Central Committee Member Abbas Zaki made a similar accusation to the Palestine News Network, calling IS a "new creation" of the United States:
"[The US,] whose most advanced pawns include Israel and its new creation, ISIS, whose goal is to destroy the Arab world and eliminate the Palestinian cause."
[Palestine News Network, Aug. 7, 2014]
PMW has documented that the Palestinian Authority frequently publishes libels and vitriol directed against the United States.
Created on Monday, 21 July 2014 15:39
Hamas has received an "invitation" for cease-fire talks in Cairo on Sunday, the terror group announced, and would consider participating in the Egypt-brokered initiative - under certain conditions.
Hamas "received an invitation, through mediators, for a delegation headed by (chief-in-exile) Khaled Meshaal to visit Cairo and discuss the Egyptian initiative," it said in a statement.
It said the Islamist movement's "response was that its position on the initiative is known, but it is at the same time ready to cooperate with a move by any party that will achieve the specific Palestinian demands."
An Egyptian foreign ministry official said he could not confirm or deny the new invitation.
Hamas categorically rejected
attempts for a cease-fire on multiple occasions in the thirteen days since Operation Protective Edge began, insisting that the terms of the agreement 'did not apply' to them and taking issue with the Egyptian mediators at the heart of international peace efforts.
Mashaal, as well as Hamas, have openly encouraged escalation this week, declaring that Israel is "doomed to fail
And on Thursday, a Hamas spokesman
in Gaza stated that "Israel will pay a high price" for launching the ground operation and that Hamas "is ready for the confrontation."
"With this action the Israeli government seeks to restore the morale of its soldiers and the morale of its army leadership - a leadership that is collapsing because of the qualitative blows of the resistance,” the spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, claimed.
Egypt: friend or foe?
Egypt, under recently-elected President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has moved to isolate Hamas, accusing it of backing the Muslim Brotherhood on its own territory.
Egypt's foreign ministry has condemned Israel's ground offensive but it also lashed out at Hamas
, saying the Islamist movement could have saved dozens of lives had it accepted Cairo's proposal.
According to Kol Yisrael radio, the Egyptian government said it was placing the responsibility on Hamas for “the possible deaths of Palestinian civilians”, citing Hamas’s refusal to accept Egypt’s proposal for a ceasefire.
The report quoted Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, as having said that had Hamas accepted the ceasefire proposal, it would have saved the lives of at least 40 Gazans who were killed in Israeli airstrikes.
Shoukry further said that Hamas was cooperating with Qatar and Turkey to harm Egypt’s status in the region.
Shoukry’s comments on Hamas echo those made earlier
by Egypt’s former Foreign Minister, Mohammed Al-Arabi, who said that Hamas was not serious about a ceasefire – and that the terror group was deliberately trying to embarrass Egypt.
Speaking in an interview in an Egyptian newspaper, Al-Arabi blamed Hamas for not only failing to come to a ceasefire, but for “shedding the blood of innocent Palestinians” by continuing to attack Israel.
Palestinian Arab push
Tensions between Egypt and Hamas may have been pushed aside, however, by the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s encouragement for Hamas to take the cease-fire deal - citing, among other things, the specific desire to hurt Israel
"Israel accepted the ceasefire proposal. We (the Palestinians) must also accept it so that we can put the Israeli side at unease," Abbas told a news conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Istanbul in comments translated from Arabic into Turkish.
A senior official in the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the group behind Abbas's Fatah party, said in an interview on official PA television that Ramallah has recognized - and legitimized - Hamas's unprecedented demands.
"These are also our demands," Yasser Abed Rabbo said. "If Gaza is broken, all Palestinians will be broken."
Created on Saturday, 19 July 2014 12:03
Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas on Friday urged support for an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire proposal in Gaza, as he held talks with Turkey's leaders on a brief stopover after a visit to Cairo.
"Israel accepted the ceasefire proposal. We (the Palestinians) must also accept it so that we can put the Israeli side at unease," Abbas told a news conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Istanbul in comments translated from Arabic into Turkish.
Egypt-mediated talks to end the escalating Gaza Strip conflict have faltered amid Israeli plans to widen its ground operation Gaza, a Palestinian territory ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement.
Abbas voiced support for the ceasefire proposal which he said was floated by "our Egyptian brothers at our request".
Turkey, a staunch critic of the Israeli assaults in Gaza, is pressing for involvement of Hamas in any negotiations for a ceasefire.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood from power last year, has sought to isolate Hamas and initially demanded that the militants unconditionally accept its truce.
Created on Saturday, 12 July 2014 19:51
Not to be outdone by the Hamas terrorists in Gaza who have been showering rockets
on southern Israel, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction has stepped up its threatening rhetoric against Israel.
Fatah threatened death against Israelis by telling them to "prepare body bags," writing on its official Facebook page Monday "Sons of Zion, this is an oath to the Lord of the Heavens: Prepare all the bags you can for your body parts."
The statement, translated by Palestinian Media Watch, is just the latest in a recent string of calls to terrorism by Abbas's party. On Saturday, the group posted the threat "the sons of Fatah will turn your settlements into balls of fire and increase your horror," which was accompanied by apicture of burning houses:
The talk of burning Jewish homes may be more than mere threats given the wave of suspected arson terrorism
over the last several weeks, in which fires have broken out for the last two weeks at a nearly daily pace, often in multiple locations simultaneously around the country.
The most recent posts are only the tip of the iceberg. Last Wednesday, after 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khder was found burned to death in the Jerusalem Forest, Fatah called for violent "revolution"
on its Facebook.
In fact Fatah was calling for "blood" even before the body of Abu-Khder was found, writing on Tuesday hours after the three Israeli teens were buried "an oath in the name of the Lord of the Universes, O sons of Zion: blood for blood."
Fatah likewise justified
the abduction and murder of the three Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha'ar by Hamas terrorists, while celebrating the terror act with grotesque cartoons
on its Facebook.
Despite the calls for violence from his own party, Abbas on Mondaydemanded that Israel stop
its airstrikes in Gaza that come in response to the recent barrage of rocket fire from the terrorist stronghold, even while not condemning that rocket fire or the widespread Arab violence against Jews in the massive riots that have engulfed Israel since last Wednesday.
Created on Sunday, 06 July 2014 08:33
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh lost no time blaming Israel for the abduction and murder of the Arab youth found Wednesday morning, even though police are investigating suspicions that the murder was a criminal act by local Arabs.
Rudeineh demanded that Israel "expose the criminals and bring them to justice," reports Yedioth Aharonoth.
According to the spokesperson, Abbas demands that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "condemn the abduction of the Arab youth and his murder, like we condemned the abduction and murder of the three settlers."
The statement refers to the three Israeli teens who were murdered by Hamas terrorists; Abbas recently signed a unity agreement with Hamas. Last month Abbas did condemn the kidnappings, even while playing victim, saying “those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us
(the PA). We will hold them accountable."
Abbas's Fatah movement likewise on Wednesday blamed Israel for "the cold blooded abduction and murder of the Arab youth by settlers."
Fatah went on to condemn the murder as a "war crime and organized crime," adding it was "a direct result of the continued incitement by the right-wing occupation (Israeli) government and its complete support for settler terror."
While wild unconfirmed reports have claimed the murder was a Jewish revenge killing, police noted all directions of investigation are being looked into, including suspicions that the murder was conducted by Arab residents of Jerusalem.
Riotous reaction to the murder
Quoting eye witnesses, IDF Radio said a black car had stopped by an Arab youth in Jerusalem's Beit Hanina who was hitchhiking and he was forced inside. The car then took off. Some time later, the family of the youth, who is understood to be around 16, reported him missing, it said.
The burnt body of an Arab youth was later found in the Jeusalem Forest area. There is speculation that the youth is the same one who went missing in Beit Hanina, and the he possibly was murdered by Jews as a possible act of revenge after the kidnapping murder
of three Jewish teens. However, there are also reports that the abduction was carried out by Arabs and that the murder was an "honor killing" or another kind of criminal murder.
Large police forces are combing the area where the body was discovered and hundreds of Arabs from Shuafat are currently rioting. The road between Beit Hanina and Pisgat Ze'ev has been blocked to traffic. In addition, operation of the Light Rail to Beit Hanina and Shuafat has been suspended, due to concern that rioting Arabs may attack the railway and its passengers.
The Arab rioting in Shuafat spread to the Temple Mount on Wednesday, where masked Arab rioters threw rocks at police. This led to the decision to close the Mount to visitors. The entrance into Jerusalem from Highway 443 at the Ben Tzion Interchange was also closed off.
Three Light Rail stations were destroyed by rioters. Arab pogromists were also reportedly targeting Jewish homes and cars in Pisgat Ze'ev.
Later, it was reported that Arab rioters hurled three pipe bombs at police forces. Only one of these appears to have exploded, and police sappers are neutralizing those that did not. No police were reported hurt by the bombs, although a man was hospitalized from the blast.
Created on Sunday, 22 June 2014 14:25
Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas played the victim on Wednesday, accusing the terrorists who kidnapped three Israeli teens last Thursday of trying to "destroy us," meaning the PA.
"Those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us. We will hold them accountable," Abbas said at an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, reports AFP.
Abbas also defended the cooperation between PA security forces and the IDF in the operation, saying "the kidnapped are human beings like us."
"It is in our interest to have security coordination with Israel because that would help protect us," Abbas said, claiming "I say it frankly, we will never have another Intifada - that would destroy us."
Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza on Monday condemned Abbas over the cooperation, saying instead he should declare “jihad”
against the “Zionists.”
That same Monday Abbas condemned the kidnapping, four days after it occurred, but in the same statement condemned the IDF
Operation Brother's Keeper aimed at rescuing the youths and cleaning out the Hamas terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu telephoned Abbas shortly after the statement was released, in the first telephone conversation between the two in months, saying "I expect you to help in the return of the kidnapped youths and the capture of the kidnappers."
However, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, the terror wing
of Abbas' Fatah faction, released a joint statement with Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza on Tuesday, threatening they would use "force" against Israel
if the operation continues.
Created on Sunday, 15 June 2014 09:16
Former Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat slammed PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's "soft" policies in the new "unity" government with Hamas, according to tapes leaked by the Awrak news agency.
In the tapes, Erekat makes a series of furious remarks over Abbas's decisions, saying that Abbas views the government as his "personal property." According to Erekat, Abbas rejected a PLO majority vote Wednesday night that would have seen the PA turn to the International Criminal Court over Israel's actions over the past several days.
Erekat claimed that Mahmoud Abbas' decision is a "mistake," stating that the vote would have labelled Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a "war criminal" - preventing him from leaving Israel - and taken IDF commanders to trial for alleged "war crimes."
Erekat further implied that Abbas's actions, in his words, cost the PA their sovereignty, as such drastic moves could see the Arab-occupied Judea and Samaria recognized as a state by the international community.
"Palestine is not just for the Palestinians or people who live there, but it belongs to all Muslim Arabs," he added.
He also said that Israel is "deliberately humiliating" Abbas, and urged the PA to take a "more aggressive stand."
In April, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett noted that the PA's statehood bid would do more damage to the PA itself than to Israel, and urged Israel to take Abbas and Fatah to the Hague over war crimes
- including supporting Hamas and inciting more terrorism against Israeli Jews.
"Every year we renew a 'festival of threats': if we don't do what the PA wants, they will go to the UN, they will turn into a country and slam us at the Hague," Bennett said.
"But it's time to change this concept," he declared. "This is not the PA's 'judgement day' weapon. The rifle is empty."
Created on Monday, 09 June 2014 22:03
A former Hamas government spokesman revealed on Sunday that Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has said in private meetings he is lying in public statements to "trick the Americans."
The spokesman, Ihab al-Ghussein, wrote on Facebook that "behind closed doors," Abbas had said "when I go out and say that the government is my government and it recognizes 'Israel' and so on, fine - these words are meant to trick the Americans." Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) translated the Facebook post.
"Guys, let me (continue) saying what I say to the media. Those words are meant for the Americans and the occupation (i.e., Israel), not for you. What's important is what we agree on among ourselves. ...Don't harp on everything I tell the media, forget about the statements in the media," Abbas told Hamas, according to Ihab al-Ghussein.
PMW exposed that Al-Ghussein then laughs at Abbas in the post, adding "I really do want real reconciliation, meaning partnership and achieving unity, but not reconciliation as Abbas means it."
Al-Ghussein held his position as Hamas government spokesman until the new unity government between Hamas and Fatah was sworn in last Monday.
Abbas has insisted to the US that the new unity government would be controlled by him, and be based on what he called "the four Palestinian principles
": recognizing Israel, recognizing the terms of international agreements, and the explicit rejection of violence and terrorism.
Apparently his statements worked: the American administration said last Monday that it would "work with
" the new unity government, claiming it did not include Hamas
Despite the claim, three Hamas-backed ministers were sworn in to the unity government from Gaza via video feed. Further, Hamas continues to be adamant
over its full control of the government, and said it would be subject to their approval
before being established.
That approval power was proven when Hamas nearly scuppered the government the day of its swearing-in over a disagreement on the Ministry of Prisoners, which was resolved in a last second deal.
Casting a shadow of doubt over how much the American administration is being "tricked" by Abbas are reports last Thursday from Buzzfeed, claiming that the US has been negotiating with Hamas for months
, despite it's official policy against the terrorist organization. US officials denied the reports.
Created on Friday, 06 June 2014 12:55
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday urged the Muslim and Arab world to rush to the defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, accusing “the Zionist interlopers,” as he put it, of planning to destroy it.
In what Israeli officials were calling a serious case of incitement by Abbas against Israel and the Jewish people, Abbas complained about how Israel was conducting archaeological digs under and around the Temple Mount. The digs, he said, were likely to topple the Mosque.
Abbas also demanded that Arab nations do something to protect the Temple Mount from ongoing “invasions” by Jews, who were too often being permitted to ascend the Temple Mount in his opinion. Many religious Jews have been attempting to visit the Mount in recent years, despite being banned from praying at the site, which is the holiest in Judaism but is currently controlled by the Islamic Waqf trust.
The Mosque “must stand at the head of efforts to preserve the Arab identity and the religious status of Jerusalem,”Abbas said in a speech that was broadcast on Arab satellite television. The speech was a preview of what can be expected at the annual Islamic conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, about “threats” to the Mosque.
, hundreds of Jews who attempted to ascend the Temple Mount were shocked to discover that they were barred entry onto the holy site. The ban came after Muslim groups demanded that Jews stay off the site, and despite a promise by police that Jews would be allowed to enter it. Jews attempting to enter the site on Wednesday morning witnessed dozens of armed Arabs who were apparently waiting for the gates to open. Police did not intervene to remove the group which appeared to be preparing for a riot, but instead kept Jews off the site. Activists said that this was at least the fifth festival in row in which Jews were banned from the Mount.
Abbas has made numerous comments and speeches inciting Arab masses against Israel and Jews, as have many of the officials in his government. Israel last October
filed a complaint with the United Nations in the wake of a condolence letter sent by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the family of a terrorist who was responsible for a 2012 Tel Aviv bus bombing attack
. The terrorist, Mohammed Assi, was eliminated
by IDF soldiers after holing up in a cave near Dolev, in the western Binyamin region.
“Terrorism does not begin with an attack on a bus or a café. That is how terrorism ends. Terrorism begins when its perpetrators are indoctrinated with words and thoughts of hate,” said Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, in the letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Created on Tuesday, 03 June 2014 18:56
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has released an official Israeli response to the swearing-in of the Palestinian Arab "unity" government
Monday, after he declared an emergency Cabinet meeting with top ministers to discuss the issue.
Both Netanyahu and the ministers agreed not to engage politically with the new government, as part of the policy not to negotiate with terrorists. Several ministers encouraged Netanyahu to impose additional sanctions on the Palestinian Authority (PA) as part of the move, noting that both Fatah and Hamas are responsible for encouraging terror attacks against Israel and that the sanctions would press the point that Israel will not tolerate the justification of a Palestinian Arab government run by terrorists - whether the international community approves or not.
"[PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas said 'yes' to terror, not peace," Netanyahu stated, at the end of the meeting. "It is the direct continuation of Abbas's policy to refuse peace, while Israel has made courageous and painful steps for the political process and remains committed to peace."
"Abbas refused to extend the negotiating framework via the US's proposal, continues to incite against Israel, joined international agencies in a set of unilateral moves, and now has formed an alliance with the Hamas terrorist organization - which is responsible for the murder of more than a thousand innocent Israelis, and has fired thousands of rockets at Israeli towns," he continued.
The Prime Minister reiterated that Hamas was declared a terrorist organization in the US, Europe, Egypt and around the world.
"In the past several days, Hamas leaders have reiterated their commitment to terrorism and the destruction of Israel," he said. "The agreement with Hamas transfers to Abbas direct responsibility for terrorism from Gaza."
Accordingly, the official Cabinet decision released included the following edicts:
1. To continue acting in accordance with its 24 April 2014 decision and to not negotiate with a Palestinian government that relies on Hamas, a terrorist organization which calls for the destruction of Israel;
2. To act, including in the international arena, against the participation of terrorist organizations in elections;
3. To authorize the Prime Minister to impose additional sanctions on the Palestinian Authority;
4. To hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for all actions that harm the security of Israel which originate in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip; and
5. To form a team to consider ways of action given the new reality that has been created and ahead of diplomatic and security situations that will be created in the future.
Created on Sunday, 01 June 2014 21:40
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that Israel had threatened to cut ties with the PA if the PLO and Hamas formed a government of national unity, but added that he was prepared to respond to the threats.
According to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, Abbas made the statements during a visit of French solidarity activists in Ramallah.
He reportedly said that the unity government should be formed by Monday, and would be "composed of independents and experts, not members of Fatah or Hamas or any other organization."
Abbas stressed that the PA was taking “Israeli threats” seriously and would be prepared to respond if Israel followed through and cut ties with the PA.
"We will take things step by step and we will not be the ones who initiative. We will respond against any action. When Israel decides to prevent us from (accessing) the money that it collects on our behalf -- as opposed to the three percent that it takes (currently) that is not their right -- we will have a response," he threatened.
He also stressed that Israel had no reason to boycott the national unity government, as it would merely continue policies the existing policies of the PA.
"The policy of the (unity) government is our policy. ... The government will adopt (the policies) that we have adopted. The government recognizes the state of Israel. The government recognizes international law," claimed Abbas.
"Where is the mistake that Israel is opposing this government for?"
"Israel wants to boycott us because we made an agreement with Hamas ... but Hamas is part of our people," he added.
The Hamas-Fatah unity agreement, announced in April, aims to bring an end to the longstanding feud between Fatah and Hamas, which began in 2007 when Hamas took control of Gaza in a bloody coup and started cracking down on Fatah officials
living in the territory.
In response to the pact, Israel pulled out of the peace talks with the PA and imposed sanctions on the PA.
Despite Abbas’s continued claims that the unity government will adhere to his policies, Hamas has continued to be adamant
over its full control of the new government, expressing over and over again that it would remain in control of both Gaza and the PA after elections and insisting that its Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh
would rule the government.
Created on Friday, 30 May 2014 19:54
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday chose Rami Hamdallah
, currently the prime minister of the PA government, to be the prime minister and head of the unity government
Hamdallah has been seen by experts as being largely under Abbas's thumb
. However, precisely the post of foreign minister in the unity government appears to be holding back the government's formation.
"The government is ready, but there is only one problem, and that is that Fatah and Hamas reject Riyad al-Malki as foreign minister, something Abbas is insisting on," a PA official told AFP.
Al-Malki is the current foreign minister of the PA government, an office he has held since 2007. In January he stated that "the Arab states will never recognize a Jewish state
A source close to Hamas has reported that the terrorist organization wants Ziyad Abu Amer, one of two deputy premiers now serving under Hamdallah, to get the post of foreign minister.
Following the reconciliation deal signed between Abbas's Fatah faction and Hamas last month, which torpedoed peace talks, the two sides have been working to form an "independent government" of technocrats ahead of elections. Reportedly the government will include 15 ministers.
"If this issue is resolved today and Abbas agrees not to appoint Malki, then the government will be announced in the next few hours," the Hamas-linked official said.
The unity government in its inclusion of Hamas and Islamic Jihad
constitutes a change in the framework of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the group recognized internationally as representing the "Palestinian people," but which has never rejected terrorism
There has been friction surrounding the forming of the unity government, given that Abbas has said Hamas won't be part
of the "independent government," even as Hamas continues to be adamant
over its full control of a "unity" government.
Created on Tuesday, 27 May 2014 18:54
Pope Francis met with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem Sunday, in a historic meeting that saw Abbas accuse Israel of "Judaizing" Jerusalem.
During the meeting, Abbas insisted that Israel is "systematically acting to change [Jerusalem's] identity and character, and strangling the Palestinians, both Christians and Muslims, with the aim of pushing them out."
Earlier, Pope Francis addressed what he called "the State of Palestine," according to Ma'an, calling Abbas "a man of peace." In his speech, he called for a two-state solution and an end to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict, which he deemed "unacceptable
"The time has come for everyone to find the courage... to forge a peace which rests on the acknowledgement by all of the right of two states to exist and to live in peace and security within internationally recognized borders," he urged.
The pope also paused for several moments in front of a graffiti on the security wall in Bethlehem, bowing his head in prayer in front of a message proclaiming, "Pope we need to see someone to speak about justice. Bethlehem look like Warsaw ghetto. Free Palestine."
Pope Francis invited both Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres on Sunday to his home in the Vatican for a "heartfelt prayer" for peace.
"I wish to invite you, president Mahmud Abbas, together with President Shimon Peres, to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace," he said at the end of an open-air mass in Manger Square in Bethlehem.
"I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer," he said. "Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a constant torment. The men and women of these lands, and of the entire world, all of them, ask us to bring before God their fervent hopes for peace."
According to the Washington Post, both Peres and Abbas accepted the invite Sunday afternoon.
Political or apolitical?
Although Francis himself has said it will be a "purely religious trip
," both Israel and the PA will be looking to use the visit to score a few political points.
The Vatican said the main reason for the visit was a meeting in Jerusalem with Bartholomew I, the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, seeking to heal a nearly 1,000-year rift between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.
Rabbi Sergio Bergman, a member of the Argentinian parliament and close friend of Pope Francis, reported in February that the pope intends to define himself as the "Che Guevera of the Palestinians
" and support their "struggle and rights" during his visit.
Created on Monday, 26 May 2014 12:53
The Vatican denied Monday that Pope Francis's Middle East trip has been driven by a political agenda, AFP reports Monday.
Francis "has no political agenda" and his unscheduled visits to the Judea and Samaria security fence and to a memorial for Israeli civilians killed in terrorist attacks were "gestures" which "rounded out his official program," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.
On Sunday, Francis made an unplanned stop by the separation barrier, climbing out of his open jeep to pray, his forehead and hand resting against the wall, in a powerful show of support for Palestinian Arabs.The gesture profoundly angered Israelis, who noted immediately that the wall has saved countless Jewish lives from Palestinian Arab terror.
His unscheduled stop Monday at national cemetery on Mount Herzl took place at the personal request of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to "balance" his trip, Lombardi said.
"I was not surprised to hear negative reactions in Israel over the pope's decision to stop and pray in front of the separation barrier," Lombardi said. "The pope did not know about the (Israeli) memorial, and added it when it was possible."
The pope was winding up a packed trip which saw him issue a unique invitation to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to pray with him at the Vatican to end their "increasingly unacceptable" conflict. Both accepted the invitation.
'No political agenda'?
Although Francis himself stated that the visit is a "purely religious trip
," the Vatican - and the Pope himself - has made several questionable statements over the visit.
Sunday, Pope Francis addressed what he called "the State of Palestine," according to Ma'an, calling Abbas "a man of peace." In his speech, he called for a two-state solution and an end to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict, which he deemed "unacceptable
The Vatican itself also used select terminology for the proceedings, titling the events on YouTube with specific - and differing - terminology, as demonstrated below.
The Vatican said the main reason for the visit was a meeting in Jerusalem with Bartholomew I, the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, seeking to heal a nearly 1,000-year rift between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.
But ahead of the trip, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro
Parolin defended the Palestinian Arabs' right to a "sovereign and independent" homeland and said he hoped Francis's visit would lead to "courageous decisions" for peace.
Rabbi Sergio Bergman, a member of the Argentinian parliament and close friend of Pope Francis, reported in February that the pope intends to define himself as the "Che Guevera of the Palestinians
" and support their "struggle and rights" during his visit.
Created on Thursday, 08 May 2014 08:08
Egypt’s former foreign minister said on Wednesday that Hamas must recognize the existence of Israel in order to make it possible to move forward with a Palestinian state, AFP reported.
"It is normal for the Palestinians to reconcile," said Amr Moussa, referring to the unity deal
struck between Hamas and its longtime rival Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
However, he added, “I believe that Hamas should declare its acceptance of the Arab initiative of 2002, which is the map of normalization and recognition of the state of Israel together with the establishing of the Palestinian state and the withdrawal of the occupied territory.”
"If Hamas does do this, it would be a major step in the direction of formulating a favorable all-Palestinian policy towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," Moussa said, according to AFP, referring to the Arab Peace Initiative
of 2002, which demands that Israel withdraw completely from Judea and Samaria, at which point the 22 Arab countries would supposedly normalize relations with Israel.
Under the terms of the Hamas-Fatah unity deal, signed on April 23, the two sides would work together to form an "independent government" of technocrats, to be headed by Abbas, that would pave the way for long-delayed elections.
The deal aims to end a longtime rivalry which started back in 2007, when Hamas took control of Gaza in a bloody coup and started cracking down on Fatah officials
living in the territory.
The unity deal angered Israel, which in response suspended its participation in peace talks with the PA, saying it cannot be expected to negotiate with a government which includes members of a party dedicated to its destruction.
Egypt, which was once close to Hamas, has grown increasingly hostile to the group after the Egyptian military ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi. Hamas is an offshoot of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.
Last month, an Egyptian court outlawed Hamas
, much like it banned the Muslim Brotherhood earlier this year, and ordered all of its assets seized.
Moussa, who was Egypt's top diplomat from 1991 to 2001 before becoming secretary general of the Arab League until 2011, is close to former military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, who is tipped to win next month's elections in Egypt.
Earlier this week, Hamas’s deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk ruled out the possibility
that Hamas will recognize Israel and declared that the group “will not recognize the Zionist entity.”
Created on Saturday, 22 March 2014 17:22
The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah, the faction of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, didn't let the peace talks with Israel deter their annual praising
of the most lethal terror attack on Israel. Both groups reveled in the March 11 anniversary of arch-terrorist Dalal Mughrabi's horrific massacre.
In 1978, Mughrabi led a group of terrorists from Lebanon to Israel, where they hijacked a bus and killed 37 Israeli civilians, among them 12 children.
Abbas's advisor on NGOs, Sultan Abu Al-Einen, saw fit to say at an event broadcast on official PA TV this Monday that Mughrabi "would not agree to anything other than to establish her state between Yafo (near Tel Aviv) and Lebanon in her special way."
Al-Einen added "they [Israelis] are deluding themselves if they think the negotiations are our only choice. Let the young people hear me: Allah, honor us with Martyrdom. Allah, give us the honor of being part of the procession of Martyrs." Palestinian Media Watch translated the remarks.
The remarks bring to mind the statements of a senior PA official and confidante of Abbas last Wednesday on PA TV, who called Israelis "an advanced instrument of evil," claiming "Allah will gather them so that we can kill them."
Al-Einen was by no means the only one to get in on the action praising Mughrabi.
Fatah Spokesman Ahmad Assaf spoke at a separate event, and was quoted last Wednesday in the official PA daily calling Mughrabi "an extraordinary example of struggle, whose headline is bravery, heroism, sacrifice and courage," and who "inspired her generation and the next generations."
The PA paper reported on Monday that at the event "Fatah promised to the masses of our heroic people that it would remain loyal to the promise of the Martyr Dalal and her companions, and to all the Martyrs, until freedom, independence and return."
In yet another event lionizing the arch-terrorist, Deputy Governor of the Jenin District Abdallah Barakat "mentioned the Martyr Dalal Mughrabi, who taught the world about dedication and love of the homeland."
Social media was not ignored as an outlet of terror celebrations. Last Tuesday, Fatah wrote on its official Facebook page "the waves of the sea raged and disgorged eleven stars. Dalal and her friends had decided to return to their homeland as heroes."
The page further romanticized the mass murderer by saying she "planned to make Zionism tremble; she [Dalal] destroyed two large buses and killed more than 100; and the flag of Palestine waved in the skies of the occupied land." The attacks took place between Tel Aviv and Haifa.
Created on Friday, 21 March 2014 08:18
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction went on the offensive Thursday, claiming that Hamas in Gaza is corrupt and "doesn't represent the Palestinian people."
Fatah Spokesman Ahmad Assaf told Erem News that Hamas's attempts to influence Egypt's inner workings are "unacceptable," noting the ties between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, both of which have been outlawed
in the Nile state for their part in terror attacks.
Egypt has done more for the Palestinian Arabs than Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood, who merely spew empty slogans and sell religion according to Assaf. Hamas on Tuesday criticized Egypt for closing the Gaza border
with Sinai, calling it a "crime against humanity." The siege has led to power outages
The Fatah spokesman claimed that while Gaza is one of the poorest places in the world, there are 1,700 millionaires among Hamas members, hinting that the terror group imposes steep taxes on its citizens for goods entering from Egypt and Israel, and that this money finds its way into Hamas officials' pockets.
Assaf finished by praising Abbas, the "Palestinian President," for standing behind his principles and treating any concessions in peace talks as red lines. The spokesman stated Hamas had returned the situation to the way it was before 1967, a somewhat confusing remark, given that it was in 1967 that the Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria came to an end, in the Six Day War.
Widening cracks in Fatah-Hamas relations
The Fatah criticism comes after Middle East expert Prof. Rafi Yisraeli assessed that Abbas's life is in imminent danger
from Hamas, which may try to supplant him. In doing so, the group would be aided by the fact that Abbas's term of office ended in January 2009, giving Hamas claims of legitimacy.
Tensions between Fatah and Hamas have been high, with Hamas police in Gaza cracking down on demonstrators supporting Abbas on Sunday, with 13 demonstrators arrested
and many reportedly beaten.
Those tensions have also been expressed in Hamas's energy crisis. Hamas refuses to pay the exorbitant fuel taxes imposed by PA on fuel bought for the Gaza government from Israel, a key factor in the Hamas-enclave's repeating fuel shortages.
On Sunday, Gaza was left without power for another day
following an outage starting the day before, after the PA transferred only 100,000 liters of the 500,000 liters of fuel it had agreed to sell to Hamas.
Created on Thursday, 13 March 2014 11:59
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas clarified his positions regarding the issues of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and the so-called “right of return” of Palestinian “refugees” in an appearance broadcast by PA TV, translated by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute).
It is worth watching, for anyone who harbors any doubts regarding what the “moderate” PA leader seeks, in the negotiations with Israel. Abbas states clearly: no Jewish communities will remain in the PA, and 5 million “refugees” worldwide, “from Canada to Japan” – including all of the descendants of Arabs who fled Israel in 1948 – will have the right to “return” to Israel.
In his address, broadcast three days ago, Abbas rejects categorically even the idea that settlement “blocs” will remain in the PA state ("not one stone") and says that any agreement with Israel will be brought before the Palestinian people worldwide, for a referendum that will accept or reject it.
In addition, Abbas emphatically reiterates his position
that the Palestinian Authority will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly insisted that the PA recognize Israel as a Jewish state as part of any agreement. Speaking at AIPAC's annual policy conference last week, Netanyahu explained
that such recognition would be more than a symbolic gesture, but rather a clear statement that the PA was prepared to end the conflict for good, as opposed to simply restarting it at a later point with new claims, such as an attempt "to flood Israel with refugees".
But last night the US State Department - which has been brokering renewed talks between the two sides - dismayed Israelis by stating that in its view the PA would not be expected
to make any such concessions.
"The American position is clear, Israel is a Jewish state," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told the PA-based Arabic-language Al-Quds newspaper. "However, we do not see a need that both sides recognize this position as part of the final agreement"
Created on Thursday, 13 March 2014 10:58
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas stood his ground on Friday and reiterated that he will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Speaking to youth activists of his Fatah party and quoted by The Associated Press (AP), Abbas unequivocally declared that there is "no way" he will recognize Israel as a Jewish state and accept a Palestinian capital in just a portion of eastern Jerusalem.
Abbas further stated that he withstood international pressure in the past, when he sought UN recognition of a state of Palestine despite the United States’ objections.
"They are pressing and saying, 'No peace without the Jewish state,"' he said, though not spelling out who is applying the pressure. "There is no way. We will not accept."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has insisted that Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish state, explaining that the Arabs’ refusal to recognize Israel stands at the heart of the conflict.
Abbas said in his speech late Thursday that he would not compromise on a demand for a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem, according to AP.
He also reiterated that the PA has options if the negotiations don't lead to a deal, adding he would resume the PA’s quest for wider UN recognition, a step Israel and the U.S. adamantly oppose and that was suspended for nine months of the negotiations.
"I accept a valuable chance (for an agreement) if there really is a valuable chance, not just talk," said Abbas.
The comments come as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who pushed the sides back to the negotiating table last July, is preparing a framework agreement for the sides in a bid to continue the talks beyond an April deadline.
On Thursday, Abbas’s close aide Mohammed Shtayyeh said that the gaps between Israeli and PA negotiators only have widened in seven months of talks, adding he believes it would be pointless to extend talks
because there is no common ground.
Netanyahu, meanwhile, gave interviews
to Israeli media, excerpts of which were broadcast Friday night.
"I am ready to proceed, I am ready to reach the end of the conflict, but it must be the end of the conflict," Netanyahu told Channel 10 News. "We won't allow the establishment of a Palestinian state so that it will continue the conflict, so it needs to recognize the state of the Jews just like they are demanding from us that we recognize the state of the Palestinians."
Netanyahu said Jerusalem will remain under Israeli sovereignty.
In an interview on Channel 2 News, Netanyahu said that not all the communities in Judea and Samaria will be part of Israel in a peace agreement, but will do his utmost to ensure that as many as possible do remain under Israeli control.
“I will not leave a single Israeli without Israeli security, without the full security that we can ensure for every Israeli,” he said, adding, “We of course will not abandon any Israeli citizen.”
Asked whether he would be willing to consider evicting Jewish communities as part of a future peace deal, Netanyahu replied, “It’s obvious that some of the settlements will not be part of an agreement. Everyone knows that. I will ensure that it’s the smallest number possible, if we get to that point. And I will not abandon any Israeli.”
Created on Sunday, 23 February 2014 09:39
The Palestinian Authority (PA) declared Thursday that it would gladly accept the US framework for peace with Israel -- but only if it was outlined on the PA's own terms.
"[The PA] will not agree to any agreement, whether it is a framework agreement or a permanent arrangement, if they do not include the Palestinian and Arab positions which are in line with international law," Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for the PA in Ramallah, stated.
"The strong and consistent position of the Palestinian Authority is the same as the position of President Mahmoud Abbas, that there will not be a (Palestinian) state without East Jerusalem as the capital city, that we will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, that settlements are illegal, that the Palestinian state will be along 1967 lines, that we must find a just solution to the refugee problem and that Israel must release the prisoners."
Abu Radeineh's statement echo equally defiant claims by the PA ambassador to Paris, who stated earlier Thursday
before Abbas's upcoming meeting there with US Secretary of State John Kerry that the PA stubbornly refuses Israel's terms in the talks.
For its part, the PA has already formally refused to recognize
Israel as a Jewish state. The PA has also charged Israel of "imposing its agenda"
on peace talks by raising the issue of Israel's Jewishness, even as US proposed deals would reportedly force Israel to obligate itself through guarantees that it will not compromise the status of Israeli Arabs, and in doing so begin "earning" PA recognition
of Israel as the state of the Jews.
As a PA representative in the talks, Abu Rudeineh has repeatedly cited international law as a means of launching criticism
against Israel. Recently, he slammed Israel's lead negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, claiming she was "unfit to be a negotiator" and "joining the other Israeli officials who are destroying talks."
Meanwhile, US officials insist they are making progress
on drawing up the framework, which is due to set out parameters and goals of the negotiations by the end of 2014.
Created on Friday, 21 February 2014 16:46
Hamas's propaganda campaign against ongoing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) continued Thursday, after the government insisted that the talks are a "conspiracy" against the Palestinian Arab people.
Taher Al-Nunu, Hamas's PR consultant, stated vehemently Thursday that the US's framework for an agreement between the two sides in talks "would not pass" and claimed that "the plot to destroy the 'Palestinian problem' would not succeed."
"Palestinian land is not something privately owned, to be given away anytime they feel like it," he added.
The PR spokesman also slammed PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas over statements the latter made at the meeting with Israeli students in Ramallah earlier this week. At the meeting, Abbas claimed that the PA has no intention
of flooding Israel with refugees and that "creative solutions" will have to be found to the "refugee problem."
"The refugees' right to return is set in stone; no one person has the authority to give them up, hurt them, or negotiate the matter," Al-Nunu fired. "It is a private and collective right." He added that Hamas calls for an immediate end to negotiations and that the entire peace process is a "historical disgrace."
Hamas continues to slam Abbas over the meeting, which apparently evoked a more moderate image of Palestinian Arabs than the terror group expected. On Monday, the Hamas government issued sharp criticism to the PA over the meeting, calling it "a sign of normalization of ties with Israel" that "only seeks to improve their image with the world."
Earlier in the process, Hamas also slammed Abbas personally
for his involvement in talks, calling the PA Chairman "illegitimate" and claiming that he does not truly represent the Palestinian Arab people.
Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of Gaza, setting up a government that is independent of Abbas’s Ramallah-based government and cracking down on Fatah officials residing in Gaza.
Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal
in Cairo in 2011, pledging to set up an interim consensus government of independents that would pave the way for legislative and presidential elections within 12 months. That deal has yet to be implemented.
Created on Friday, 21 February 2014 14:29
US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Paris on Thursday, for their second round of talks in two days.
The men met for two hours with their teams in an upscale Parisian hotel, where Abbas hosted Kerry for dinner and late night talks on Wednesday, US officials said.
The top US diplomat has spent months trying to get Israel and the PA to accept his framework for resolving their conflict, but the negotiations have shown little sign of progress.
There was no immediate comment on how the talks went, but US officials have insisted
they are making progress despite the tough issues to be resolved.
The PA "ambassador" to Paris, Hael al-Fahum, told Voice of Palestine radio that Abbas "had outlined his vision of a peace which is based on international law". He also insisted there could be no deal without dividing Jerusalem and making it the capital of a Palestinian state and "a resolution of all the issues -- in particular security, refugees and the release of prisoners."
The remarks follow a flurry of controversial reports, which include the US demanding a building freeze
in Judea and Samaria and the possibility that current residents of the region will not be evicted
from their homes if the framework is accepted.
Little has trickled out about the details of Kerry's proposed framework to guide the talks forward. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times published some alleged details
of the plan, which, he said, will call for a phased Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria based on the 1949 armistice lines, with "unprecedented" security arrangements in the strategic Jordan Valley.
Martin Indyk, American envoy to the peace talks, later revealed
to American Jewish leaders that 75 to 80 percent of the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria would remain in their homes even after a permanent agreement. The agreement will include a reference to the incitement against Israel in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and will also include a reference to compensation for Jewish refugees who came from Arab countries.
On Sunday, Abbas appeared to strike a conciliatory tone on two of the most divisive issues, saying he did not want to "flood Israel" with so-called “Palestinian refugees” and that there was no need to "re-divide" Jerusalem.
The comments were made during a meeting
between Abbas and more than 300 Israeli university students at his Ramallah headquarters.
At the same event, however, Abbas accused Jews
in Judea and Samaria of committing "murders".
"The settlers are cutting down trees, and wreaking destruction," he said. " They are not just settling our land, they are also killing us -- you must stop them!" he urged.
Created on Thursday, 20 February 2014 09:27
Lior Michael, a student from the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo, spoke to Arutz Sheva Wednesday about his personal experiences at Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's meeting with Israeli students
"It was nice to hear what he had to say," Michael began. "I think that it's a welcome initiative to be able to sit face-to-face and ask questions directly, without mediation."
Michael himself did not ask questions, however, and explained that many students missed the opportunity due to time considerations. The questions that did manage to surface were a mix of tough topics and questions that were obvious, in his opinion. Those questions, according to Michael, "were not even real issues. They were [about] topics where it was obvious what [Abbas] was going to say - questions like the relationship between Jews and Arabs in our generation."
When asked about any insights that did occur to Michael because of the meeting, he responded that Abbas's tastes reflect the more moderate views among Palestinian Arabs, and that it was refreshing to hear them directly and not through the media.
Michael also stated that while Abbas was not asked about some of the thorniest issues facing Israel's relationship with the PA - e.g. the PA's ongoing incitement against Israel - he had raised the issues in the session on his own. Abbas claimed that he had proposed a joint task force against the incitement problem between Israel, the PA, and the US - but that Israel rejected the offer.
When asked, "We see images in the media of Abbas hugging freed terrorists, but no one seems to have reacted to it. Yet if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were to hug, say, Ami Popper, [an Israeli convicted of a deadly terrorist attack
against Palestinian Arabs in 1990 - ed.] the public reaction would be fierce. Was this brought up at the meeting?"
Michael answered that it had not been, and added that the question of the PA threatening to "wipe Israel off the map" - and the fact that PA maps have already been published to that effect - had also not been asked at the conference.
Despite the setbacks, Michael claimed that Abbas was "the only real partner for peace" Israel has at the moment, and as such it was still worth it for him to attend the conference. He also stated that despite the fact that the meeting was apparently meant to paint Abbas
in a positive light by definition - and that questions and answers were filtered for the media
- that he and his fellow students "did not feel exploited" during the meeting.
Created on Monday, 17 February 2014 08:29
More than 300 Israeli university students and dozens of journalists crowded the Palestinian Authority's Ramallah headquarters Sunday, for a unique event advocating a "Two-State Solution". In a packed room at the Muqata compound, PA President Mahmoud Abbas outlined his opinion, his complaints and his demands concerning the ongoing negotiations between the PA and Israel.
The event was co-organized by the One Voice association and Labor MK Hilik Bar, who heads the Knesset Caucus for the Promotion of a Two-State Solution for the Israeli-Arab Conflict. Interestingly, more than one participant explained to me that they did not "trust" the Palestinians, but were motivated to push for vast territorial concessions because they saw no other option. None could explain how a lasting peace could be made with a partner you do not trust; and this strange desperation to believe was to underline much of the subsequent proceedings.
Parts of Abbas' speech were unremarkable: he began by berating the Israeli government for what he said was an insincere stance in negotiations, and reiterated his position for a Palestinian Arab state in Judea and Samaria along the pre-1967 armistice lines. He also outlined what he said were major concessions made by the Palestinian Authority, including acceptance of the idea of minor land swaps to take into account major Jewish "settlement blocs", and his suggestion for a NATO peacekeeping presence in Judea-Samaria.
He also assured his audience that he was not looking to "dump" five million Arab refugees and their descendants on Israel, but emphasized that the "refugee question" needed to be solved one way or the other.
But the speech was anything but bland. Buoyed by the sympathetic, largely left-wing audience, Abbas exhibited a rhetorical deftness for which he is less well-known than his Israeli counterpart and nemesis, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - but unjustifiably so. For artfully woven in between the diplomatic platitudes was some breathtaking double-talk, historic revisionism and sugar-coated incitement - executed with a charm that was almost endearing.
Nowhere to be found was the firebrand who only two months ago lionized released murderers, and who has named the pro-Nazi former mufti of Jerusalem as a "hero"
who should be emulated. In his friendly, almost grandfatherly tone the Ra'is (President), as he is known, admitted that incitement was a problem within the Palestinian Authority - a significant admission, though one which will come as little surprise to those familiar with the glorification of terrorism and rampant anti-Semitism within official PA media and often expressed by senior officials.
And yet, instead of taking responsibility he insisted that he and his Authority were not to blame. Despite the incitement coming from his own camp, the guilty party was none other than Israel, he claimed, since he was still waiting for a response to a 14-year-old proposal for a tripartite committee (of Israel, the PA and the US) to "referee" the issue. No one batted an eyelid.
And when Abbas took the Israeli media (and to an extent the international media - which, he informed the Israeli delegation, "you" essentially control) to task for "propaganda" against him, there was more applause. He was indeed correct that those who accuse him of denying the Holocaust in his Ph.D thesis had clearly never read it. If they had, they would see that he paraphrases the Koranic verses about the value of human life. More applause.
And if they had, they would also see that it is entitled "The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism", and that it claims that "a partnership was established between Hitler's Nazis and the leadership of the Zionist movement ...[the Zionists gave] permission to every racist in the world, led by Hitler and the Nazis, to treat Jews as they wish, so long as it guarantees immigration to Palestine."
They would also see that, whilst not denying the Holocaust itself, Abbas does deny the scale, asserting that "…it is possible that the number of Jewish victims reached six million, but at the same time it is possible that the figure is much smaller - below one million," and that the figure of six million was simply invented by "the Zionists". But, alas, they had not read it.
And even if they had, it was abundantly clear that Hilik Bar and co. would never have allowed it to wreck the party.
For when, during the Q&A session, one of the carefully-vetted questioners asked how Abbas could assure that an influx of "refugees" - in whatever context - would not tear the demographic fabric of the Jewish state, the veteran diplomat simply grinned and offered a revealing tongue-in-cheek response: "What, do you want to impose birth control on us?"
Hilik Bar shifted uncomfortably in his seat, cleared his throat, mumbled something about it not exactly answering the question... and urged proceedings along. I could barely stifle a chuckle.
And apart from spotting something remarkably interesting on his desk, Bar did not react when Mahmoud Abbas - whose term as "Palestinian President" terminated five years ago and counting - informed us that we should not worry about the influence of extremist groups because "we are a democracy here. We have transparent elections."
Far less humorous, however, were Abbas's comments about "the settlers".
"You are honorable people, it is a shame what the settlers' do without any reason. The cut our trees, they kill, they destroy... they slaughter my sheep," Abbas goaded. "You must stop them."
Nobody asked him when and where all of these mysterious "settler" murders occurred. But nearly everyone clapped.
It was a master class in incitement and manipulation, to an audience which he and other speakers had repeatedly assured were the next generation of Israeli leaders.
Of course, if Israel had agreed to take part in a tripartite committee such incitement would likely never have been uttered. Nor would it appear regularly on PA TV as a license to violently attack
Jewish villagers in Judea-Samaria.
And whether claiming that Jerusalem "has always been Palestinian", or denying the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount (we should be happy with the "Wailing Wall"), or informing us that Hamas had "renounced extremism", it was clear that nothing would ruffle the feathers of those assembled. Nothing would shake their belief in the "Two-State Solution" with the moderate speaker before them.
Given that these are the architects of the "Two-State" template upon which the current negotiations for the future of this country are based, that is something which should worry us all.
Created on Sunday, 16 February 2014 19:26
Last week, the Palestinian Authority's Chairman and Terrorist-Paymaster Mahmoud Abbas inked a 1 billion dollar deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin to extract gas and oil from the Gaza Strip's economic exclusion zone.
Apart from all the other issues, with this money from Russia, it's now time to cut all US aid to the Palestinian Authority and Abbas.
First, Abbas appears to be very good at selling "rugs" he doesn't own. Hamas, and not Abbas' Fatah, is in control of the Gaza Strip. So Putin really should be talking to Hamas. But Putin has been talking to Iran, Hamas' puppet-master, so the deal is probably fine with Hamas. Consequently, the billion-dollar payment to Abbas is a token to perfect the real deal with Hamas.
And isn't it strange that the same Abbas who is impotent to compromise on "one refugee's right of return" in a "peace" deal is the same Abbas who is omnipotent in transacting oil deals with Russia that deposit a billion dollars into his sovereign Swiss bank account for those very exact same Palestinians?
The real tragedy is that the American and the Israeli "peace-camp" have empowered him to steal from the Palestinians he falsely claims to protect. Western "peace-makers" preen in the Rose Garden, stay in Swiss hotels with dark chocolate squares and turned-down beds and collect Nobel peace prizes, while they have insured that Palestinian Arabs in the Middle East continue to live in garbage-heap-squalor and are ruled by violent terrorist-mobsters.
The Putin-Abbas deal shows that the Palestinian Arabs, as a whole, are now a Russian client state. So, putting any US "peacekeeping" troops into Judea and Samaria just became 100 times more dangerous to the US troops. And, since Fatah is an American ally no more, America will be strengthening a Russian enemy of America by forcing Israel to cede the strategically vital "West Bank". If Israel was a strategic ally of the United States before the Putin-Abbas deal, now Israel is a supreme strategic ally of America and the PA is its strategic enemy.
Third, none of the US and EU funding is getting to the actual Palestinian Arabs in the "West Bank". Abbas can't even pay to have the garbage picked up. Instead, he's busy paying "heroes" who murder Israeli children in their sleep or paying his official television channel to teach new generations of toddlers to want to murder Israeli children in their sleep.
It's way past time to recognize America's experiment in trying to teach the Palestinian Arabs to be Canadians has failed. For every day America leaves Abbas and his band of murderers in power, it will take a year to reteach Palestinian Arabs that Israeli-child-murdering is not the way to paradise.
Israel was much closer to real peace with their neighbors in 1993 than they are in 2014. Instead of the billions of US aid dollars going to help actual Palestinian Arabs in the "West Bank", they have gone to empower and enrich an aging generation of unrepentant-terrorists, which Israel's peace camp thought they could convert from being unrepentant-terrorists into peacemakers. Instead, these naive Israelis turned gangs of wanton bloodthirsty terrorists into Israeli-sanctioned wanton bloodthirsty terrorists who "deserve" an actual state from which they could launch yet more venal terrorism.
The time has come for America to admit its aid money to Abbas and the PA is going to terrorism and not peace, and must stop every last penny to the PA.
Instead, monies should be distributed to Israel to dispense to Palestinian Arab municipal authorities that actually pick up the garbage, and grant their children a real education instead of the hate for Israel and America that Abbas has inculcated in untold generations - America's expense.
The writer, who writes on security issues, has created an original educational 3d Topographic Map System of Israel to facilitate clear understanding of the dangers facing Israel and its water supply. It has been studied by US lawmakers and can be seen at www.marklangfan.com
Created on Sunday, 09 February 2014 09:28
US Secretary of State John Kerry revealed new details about the secretive Israeli-Palestinian Authority (PA) peace talks he is pushing through. According to Kerry, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opposes the idea that NATO forces will secure Israel's borders in the event of a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.
That idea was raised by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas last week, who said he would agree to the IDF leaving the region after 5 years, to be replaced by NATO forces
"for a long time."
Speaking to the Washington Post, Kerry said Saturday that "Netanyahu has made it clear he doesn't want NATO." However, he stated that the possibility of a third-party being tasked with Israel's security still "is something for the parties to work out."
Netanyahu's opposition comes despite reports that he offered to give the PA full control of over 90% of Judea and Samaria
. He has also offered to lease the region from the PA for an extended period of time, and to have Jews live under PA
Nevertheless, on this issue Kerry stated that "it's very important for Israel to ensure in the framework of the talks that the (Jordan) Valley region, which is strategically very important, will be secured by reliable forces, in order to prevent infiltration by terrorists or by weapons from Jordanian territory to the future Palestinian state."
Kerry also voiced disappointment with opposition to his plan, which includes the establishment of an Arab capital in Jerusalem
“There are those who do not want a two-state solution, who don’t believe in it. There are those who don’t want to stop settling certain parts of the region.”
The latest statements come after Kerry once again provoked anger in Israel, over comments claiming that "last year, not one Israeli was killed by a Palestinian from the West Bank." The claim is patently false; the widow of Evyatar Borovsky
, one of the several Israelis murdered by an Arab terrorist in Samaria last year, accused Kerry of "living in a world of his own
Created on Saturday, 18 January 2014 16:55
Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habash claimed Monday that Jihad fighters should not flock to Syria, but to Jerusalem - and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas applauded, according to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
"Whoever wants resistance, whoever wants Jihad, the direction for Jihad is well-known and clear," Al-Habash claimed to a crowd at a PA-sponsored event. "Those who send young people to Syria or elsewhere to die for a misdirected cause must stop and understand that Jerusalem is still waiting. Jerusalem is the direction, Jerusalem is the address."
"There is a message we must convey to those who kidnapped the Yarmouk [Palestinian] refugee camp [in Syria] with baseless false slogans, pretexts, and excuses," he continued. "We say to them: 'The [place for] resistance and Jihad is not the Yarmouk refugee camp. Whoever wants resistance, whoever wants Jihad, the direction for Jihad is well-known and clear. Everyone knows it. I don't think that there is anyone who doesn't know where Jihad is supposed to take place."
"I don't think that there is anyone who doesn't know to where we should direct efforts or where to concentrate the masses. I don't think there is anyone who doesn't know this. Those who send young people to Syria or elsewhere to die for a misdirected cause must stop and understand that Jerusalem is still waiting. Jerusalem is the direction, Jerusalem is the address."
PMW notes that Abbas applauded to the speech, which came just hours after PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki claimed to Maariv that “the Arab states will never recognize a Jewish state.”
On Saturday, Abbas told a visiting delegation
that there will be "no peace between us and Israel" without eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state.
Created on Saturday, 18 January 2014 15:24
Members of Fatah
, the party of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, have reportedly raided Arab villages in "Area C
", just north-west of Jerusalem, opening fire with automatic rifles
. The clashes are reportedly part of internal power struggles within the party
"Area C" refers to areas within Judea and Samaria which are under full Israeli security control, in contrast to Areas A and B which are under full and partial PA control respectively.
The Arab news source Ajnad News reports that residents of the villages Katane, Bidu, and Beit Anan, which lie just outside of Jerusalem, feel "insecure" after automatic gunfire rent the still night air.
Residents relate that the fire from automatic weapons was different from recent celebratory gunfire commemorating the founding of the Arab-nationalist Fatah at the beginning of the secular year. This time, they said, the gunfire stemmed from conflict between two rival Fatah factions in the villages
Fatah is coming under increasing scrutiny, after a recent incident in which members of the group armed with automatic weapons were filmed in Kalandiya
, in northern Jerusalem, and after a PA police officer was arrested
for involvement in the bombing of a bus in Bat Yam two weeks ago.
Under the Oslo Accords, armed Palestinian Arab groups are forbidden from operating in Area C, and the growing presence of armed terrorists may be an ominous sign of things to come.
Israelis are already skeptical about the intentions of the Fatah-led PA, given ongoing incitement and conflicting messages during the current talks.
In a clip exposed last week, a senior member of Fatah told Syrian TV that any peace agreements are merely the "first stage
" in realizing the group's ultimate goal of destroying Israel.
Created on Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:16
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told a delegation on Saturday that there will be "no peace between us and Israel" without eastern Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state, the Ma’an news agency reported.
Speaking to a delegation from Jerusalem in his office in Ramallah, Abbas highlighted that the Arab Follow-up Committee would reiterate this stance during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday.
"He will be told that occupied East Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Palestine, and without this there will be no peace between us and Israel," Abbas declared.
The current round of negotiations has been limited to nine months after which "we are free to do whatever we want," he said, highlighting that, "the time frame is limited and not open, and our unanimous position isn't secret."
Abbas added that he heard that the Israelis had refused to mention Jerusalem in any talks or negotiations.
"Let them say whatever they say. Unless it is mentioned clearly and marked in big fonts that it is the capital of the state of Palestine, there will be no peace with them and I want them to hear this," he declared, according to Ma’an.
Sources previously revealed that Kerry's proposals would divide the capital
under international management.
Netanyahu has claimed he won't sign any document which in any way allows the establishment of a PA capital in Jerusalem, no matter the price to peace talks, according to Haaretz reports Friday morning.
Responding to this, Abbas told the visitors, "Our language is understandable. We have been hearing lots of talks about the capital here and there. The capital is Jerusalem and its surroundings in Jerusalem which were occupied in 1967."
Abbas highlighted that he is adhering to a stance that has long been official policy.
"We have a right even though we are weak in the world. We will continue to demand our rights and we will realize them," he was quoted by Ma’an as having said.
Abbas added that the whole world had started to "know and understand our grievances and pains" and that European countries have started to support the “Palestinian cause” by boycotting products from Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
He also denied that an agreement had been reached between the two sides to allow Israel to build in Judea and Samaria when a group of terrorists is released from Israeli jails.
"The Israelis link between prisoners and settlements. When a group is released, they build settlement units and claim this has been agreed on," he charged, adding, "These are lies as there is definitely no relation between releasing prisoners and settlements. Settlements are illegal from the beginning to the end."
On Friday, the Israel Land Authority and Ministry of Construction and Housing announced the publication of tenders
marketing land in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria for construction.
The planned property set aside for construction in Judea and Samaria includes a total of 801 new housing units.
As expected, this announcement angered the PA, whose chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said
, “The new settlement construction is a message from Netanyahu to Kerry not to come back to the region to continue his efforts in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks."
"Every time Kerry has stepped up his efforts, returning to the region (for more talks), Netanyahu has stepped up his efforts to destroy the peace process," complained Erekat. "Netanyahu is determined to destroy the two-state solution. It is high time we held Israel accountable for its crimes."
Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said the Israeli announcement “reflects Israel's insistence on sabotaging U.S. efforts to reach peace based on the two-state formula.”
Previous announcements on construction have also raised the ire of the PA, which demanded that Israel cancel any tenders it has issued for new construction or the talks would be over.
The PA has repeatedly slammed Israel’s planned construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, despite the fact that it was informed in advance that Israel will continue to build as talks continue. The areas in which Israel plans to build are areas that even the PA has previously accepted will be part of Israel in a future deal.
Created on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 13:36
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas briefed Jordanian King Abdullah II Wednesday on Middle East peace negotiations, according to AFP, after US Secretary of State John Kerry failed to find a framework deal for final talks.
"The meeting with his majesty focused on exchanging views about unifying the Jordanian-Palestinian position on... Kerry's initiative," the palace quoted Abbas as saying after a meeting with the king, whose country has a peace treaty with Israel.
"Kerry is still providing ideas, which we are discussing. He will come again soon. We continue to meet with his aides until ideas mature and before he comes up with a framework for the agreement," Abbas added, without elaborating.
Kerry left the region on Monday following four days of intense meetings with Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders, during which he failed to broker agreement on a framework to guide the talks forward.
Israeli media say Kerry, who kicked-started nine months of direct peace negotiations in July after a three-year hiatus, is due back in the region next week.
The news follows reports Friday that one of King Abdullah II's closest advisors has demanded a Jordanian presence in talks.
"Jordan needs to be present and involved in all future negotiations," stated former Prime Minister Marouf al-Bahit. He is currently the deputy head of the King's Council, an advisory board closest to the monarch.
"It is unthinkable that Jordan should sit on the side, as an observer. Jordan should join the negotiating table immediately - since it is bound to be the one paying the price of the Israeli and American positions."
Created on Tuesday, 14 January 2014 08:02
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry proposed to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas the “return” of 80, 000 Palestinian “refugees” to Israel, a well-informed Palestinian Authority (PA) official told Chinese news service Xinhua on Monday.
The senior official of said on condition of anonymity that Kerry's proposal on the “return of Palestinian refugees” was part of the offer he presented to the Palestinian side in his latest bid to reach a framework peace agreement between Israel and the PA.
Kerry, who was visiting the region until Monday, had held talks on Friday and Saturday with Abbas in Ramallah.
"Kerry's proposal on the return of refugees is the same proposal offered by former U.S. President Bill Clinton during Camp David peace talks held in the United States in 2000," said the official.
He added that during their meetings, Abbas wanted to increase the number of Arabs “returning” to Israel to 200,000, and the demand is still under discussion with Kerry.
The PA claims that Arabs who fled Israel in the Independence War of 1948 are refugees to this day, as are all of their descendants. Israel has never accepted this wide definition of “refugees,” and has insisted that most Arabs fled the Land of Israel because they were told by overconfident Arab leaders
to do so. The leaders expected a bloodbath in which Jews would be annihilated and assured the local Arabs that they would be able to return their homes when it was over.
It has also noted that there were just as many Jewish refugees displaced from Arab countries
at about the time of the War of Independence, many of whom were resettled in Israel – and argued that just as these refugees do not demand to be resettled in the Arab countries they fled, so shouldn't Arabs who fled Israel.
Israel has always seen the PA demand for the “return” of “refugees” as a disguised attempt to flood Israel with Arabs who will change its demography in a way that challenges the Jewish majority.
As for the issue of Jerusalem, the official said "Kerry's recent ideas focus on handing over parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinian National Authority and that Jordan will have the jurisdiction on holy sites and places in the city."
However, Israel refuses to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state, and insists that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the state of Israel, according to the source.
The Arab side also opposes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's demand that the PA recognize Israel as a Jewish state, the source said, adding that "gaps are still wide concerning the permanent status issues of the refugees, Jerusalem, borders, settlements and the Jewish state."
Created on Friday, 03 January 2014 19:41
PA leader Abbas views recognition of Israel as the Jewish state as a red line. It is high time the Palestinians recognize the Jewish people’s right to their ancient homeland, as Israel already recognized Palestinian rights in the land 35 years ago.
The media reported that Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), rejected the peace proposals submitted by US Secretary of State John Kerry. The Palestinians leaked that Abbas sent a letter to Kerry reiterating his complete opposition to the demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This was declared a “red line” that the Palestinians will not cross.
This “red line” is not just about semantics, but rather the essence of the conflict. The Palestinian position amounts to denying the Jews the right to establish their state in their homeland. It also indicates without any doubt that the Palestinians, despite the conventional wisdom, are not ready to reach a historic compromise with Zionism, the Jewish national revival movement.
Therefore, a stable peace based on mutual recognition and ending all demands is not in the cards. The weak PA seems to accept partition of Mandatory Palestine into two states – perhaps in accordance with the PLO’s stages approach – but it still refrains from accepting the legitimacy of the Zionist enterprise.
This is in stark contrast to Israel, which recognized the “legitimate rights of the Palestinians” in the September 1978 Camp David Accords, and is ready for generous territorial concessions in order to implement a partition of the Land of Israel/Palestine.
The bitter truth is that the asymmetry in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has not changed for over a century. In essence, this ethno-religious conflict is not about territory – although it obviously has a territorial dimension – but about securing the recognition of the other side to national rights in a given territory.
Despite the image of untrustworthiness in keeping written agreements, Palestinians actually give great importance to the language used in the documents they are asked to sign. Yasser Arafat, generally viewed by most Israelis as an accomplished liar, refused in 2000 to sign an agreement that included a clause about an end to all demands. For him the conflict could end only with Israel’s eventual demise.
Similarly, Abbas cannot bring himself to put his signature to a document which says that the Jews have returned to their homeland. We know that the perception of Jews being foreign invaders of Palestine is a fundamental widespread Palestinian attitude, which is instilled in the younger generations in the PA-run schools.
The entrenchment of such attitudes is clear also by the lack of a debate among the Palestinians whether to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Discussing Jewish rights to the Land of Israel is not conceivable in the current intra-Palestinian deliberations.
Not even the so-called Palestinian moderates are calling for a debate among the Palestinians on whether to recognize the right of self-determination of the Jews in their historic homeland. Palestinian polls do not ask whether Israel should be recognized as a Jewish state. Normative language mentioning rights and international norms in Palestinian discourse is reserved for Palestinian demands only, and is never applied to understand what Israelis want.
The efforts of the Palestinian media to negate the Jewish past and historic links to the Temple Mount, and even the Western Wall, indicate an ideological commitment to rewriting history. Palestinian archeology is similarly used to erase all traces of Jewish presence from the land. Even Koranic sources mentioning the links of the Jews to the Land of Israel are ignored.
Such Palestinian behavior serves only to prolong the conflict because it does not teach the Palestinians that Jews are part of the history of this land. All these acts are intolerable and must stop before Israel considers signing a comprehensive peace agreement.
It was a mistake not to insist on recognition of Israel being a Jewish state in the negotiations with the Palestinians in the 1990s. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu understands very well the need for such recognition by the Palestinians to ensure a historic peace deal, and his insistence on getting it in the framework of a comprehensive settlement is right on the mark.
Moreover, Palestinian Arabs are different than the Egyptians or Jordanians, who were not required to accept Israel as a Jewish state. They have no claims to Palestine, while it is the Palestinian Arabs and the Israelis that fight for the same piece of land.
The Israelis recognized Palestinian legitimate rights 35 years ago. It is high time for the Palestinians to learn about the “other” they are in conflict with, and reciprocate if they are serious about making peace.
Prof. Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.
A BESA Center Perspectives Paper, published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family
Prof. Efraim Inbar
The author is Professor in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and the Director of its Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies.
Created on Thursday, 26 December 2013 14:26
Mohammed Shtayyeh, Member of the Central Committee of Fatah, a former Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet minister, accused the Israeli government of avoiding political agreements and employing a policy of "settlement" expansion, house demolitions and "killing civilians."
Ma'an reports Friday that at a restaurant in the PA village of Beit Jala, Shtayyeh claimed the "so-called bilateral Palestinian-Israeli negotiations are not going to take us anywhere".
"There is a strong party and there is a weak party, and the Israelis want to dictate rather than negotiate," he told journalists. "The Israelis want to replace occupation by force with occupation by an invitation, with our signature, and it will never happen."
Shtayyeh also blamed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, claiming he has not put effort forth to present to the government a peace agreement because his government is "not a government of peace," and that Israeli government ministers would not approve a peace agreement.
He further called Netanyahu's move toward negotiations a "tactical move" that "does not stem from peace," and that negotiations conducted with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Attorney Yitzchak Molcho were not negotiating with the full Israeli government.
The alternative, according to the PLO official, is not through fighting - but through PA citizens garnering international support. Shtayyeh threatened Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria that they would be stripped of their Israeli citizenship and pursued by the governments of the US, Britain, Russia, and the European Union, claiming that they were violating PA territory after the UN allegedly legitimized the body last year.
PA officials have claimed since 2012 that the UN granting the PA non-member status has effectively made them a full-fledged country according to international law.
The remarks also confirm similar statements by Abbas, who has openly declared
that a future Palestinian state will have no Jewish presence, military or civilian.
Created on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 14:09
Hamas's leader-in-exile Khaled Mashaal telephoned Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas this past weekend, in a rare telephone call between leaders of the rival parties, the official news agency Wafa said.
"Mashaal telephoned president Abbas to thank him for his efforts at different levels, particularly sending aid to the Gaza Strip," Wafa reported, referring to the support sent by the PA to Gaza as it recovers following the major winter storm in recent days.
On Sunday, Gaza received a long-awaited diesel delivery. The diesel, which came through the Israeli Kerem Shalom crossing, was purchased by the PA for Gaza using funds donated by Qatar.
PA sources told the Ma'an news agency on Monday that Abbas and Mashaal had a "warm" phone call which lasted more than ten minutes.
The sources confirmed that Mashaal thanked Abbas for his efforts and added that the two also talked about other issues.
Abbas reportedly confirmed to Mashaal that he already planned "what he should say and what he should do" if the ongoing peace negotiations fail to meet the PA’s demands by the scheduled time limit.
He also confirmed to Mashaal that the "sacred and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people" are a state on the indefensible pre-1967 borders with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, the so-called “right of return” and the release of all terrorist prisoners being held in Israeli prisons.
The comments are in line with previous comments made by Abbas and other PA officials, according to which there will not be peace with Israel unless all the Arab demands are met.
Abbas also asserted that any agreement reached with Israel should be approved by the PA public through a referendum, reported Ma’an.
"Whatever agreement is reached, it will be put to referendum as nothing can be passed without the consent of the Palestinian people. If we don't obtain all our rights without abandoning a single right, we will have things to say and to do," Abbas was quoted as having told Mashaal.
Mashaal, for his part, confirmed to Abbas that "I have no fears … as I am confident you will defy all pressures and will never give up on any of the inalienable rights of our people. I respect and appreciate your firmness and be sure that I will back you."
In October, Abbas spoke to another Hamas leader, Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, and the two men exchanged greetings for Eid al-Adha.
Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since 2007, when Hamas violently took control of Gaza, setting up its own government there and cracking down on Fatah officials who reside in the territory.
Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo in 2011, pledging to set up an interim consensus government of independents that would pave the way for legislative and presidential elections within 12 months.
The deal has yet to be implemented as the parties have argued over the make-up of the interim government.
The tensions between the sides flared up again in recent months, as Fatah accused Hamas of being responsible for Egypt closing the Rafiah border crossing with Gaza. Fatah claimed that Egypt decided to close the crossing because Hamas had intervened in Egypt's internal affairs when it backed ousted President Mohammed Morsi, a member of Hamas’s parent movement the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamas has rejected Abbas’s talks with Israel and has called on Abbas to work for national unity instead.
Created on Monday, 16 December 2013 14:39
Anwar Abd al-Hadi, director of the PLO Political Department, met with Dr. Faisal Miqdad, deputy Syrian Foreign Minister Foreign Ministry headquarters in Damascus, and briefed him on developments in the negotiations with Israel.
According to the Palestinian news agency Maan, Abd al-Hadi stated that negotiations are stalling due to "Israeli intransigence" and Israel's emphasis on protecting its own security.
The PLO official also stated that Abbas has thrown a wrench into discussions by stating that he will not allow any "Israelis" onto Palestinian Authority lands in the event of a two-state solution - including, ostensibly, Israeli Arabs. According to al-Hadi, Abbas has lumped all Israeli Arabs with Israeli Jews, and has expressed hatred against both as a group.
The report corroborates statements Abbas made earlier this year in Cairo, where he also claimed that he would not tolerate "any Israeli - civilian or soldier - on [Palestinian Authority] lands." While the two-state solution would effectively make a Palestinian State "Judenrein" - a Nazi Germany term meaning "free of Jews" - Israel would still allow Israeli Arabs full citizenship if they so desired.
The two men also allegedly discussed the situation in Syria, particularly regarding developments near Damascus. The region was also hit hard by this weekend's snowstorm, and refugees there have been dying of cold and hunger, reports claim.
The Maan report contradicts statements made by US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday, who claimed that concrete progress was being made in peace talks, but would not reveal details.
"I'm personally encouraged that very tough issues are beginning to take shape," Kerry was quoted as having said in an interview with ABC's "This Week."
"But we've agreed not to be talking about what we're doing because it just creates great expectations. It creates pressure. It creates opposition, in some cases. I think it's much better for us to do exactly what we've been doing, which is negotiate quietly and privately."
Created on Monday, 16 December 2013 08:24
A Palestinian Authority (PA) source on Friday told AFP that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas formally rejected US proposals for Israel to keep troops in a future Palestinian state along the Jordan border. The source further formally stated Abbas' position of refusing to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
Abbas' rejection of US Secretary of State John Kerry's
proposals in Ramallah Thursday night came after similar remarks
to a public radio station earlier in the night. The PA source confirmed Friday that Abbas "has rejected the ideas" presented by Kerry.
The source also revealed that Abbas had given Kerry a letter on "Palestinian red lines," which include his "refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state."
In November, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu remarked that the root of the conflict
is the PA's refusal to recognize the Jewish state of Israel.
Allegedly Abbas "rejected the ideas on (Jordan Valley) security because there is not a third party" to monitor the border. Such an arrangement has been opposed by Israel, and according to analysts even a limited security presence in the area would be a "death-trap
" for Israel.
Kerry, who was set to meet Netanyahu in Jerusalem Friday morning, changed his plans to continue on to Jordan due to the heavy snowstorm
, instead heading straight to his next stop, Vietnam.
Kerry, who just turned 70 years old, was in Israel on his ninth trip since March, the second in less than a week.
Created on Sunday, 15 December 2013 08:12
On December 21, Arab foreign ministers are slated to meet in Cairo to discuss the faltering peace talks between Israel and Palestinian Authority (PA), according to a statement released by the Arab League on Thursday.
The announcement comes as US Secretary of State John Kerry returned to Israel yet again on Wednesday to try and push talks forward. Analysts have warned that Kerry's security arrangement proposals, which have been rejected by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, follow the 1967 "Allon Plan" and are a "death-trap" for Israel.
Arab League deputy secretary general Ahmed Ben Helli told AFP that the meeting of Arab foreign ministers had been called by Abbas, who may brief ministers on the talks' status at the meeting.
Talks have been rocky at best, as in November Abbas threatened to cancel talks unless Israel cancelled tenders on 20,000 new homes in Judea and Samaria, effectively calling for a de facto building freeze even while none has been officially set as a precondition. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu quickly conceded to the pressure, urging the plans to be shelved.
On Monday, Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) official, said Kerry's efforts and proposals are leading "to an impasse and to total failure." Rabbo added that Kerry "is treating our issues with a high degree of indifference," provoking a "real crisis."
However Kerry refused to accept the Palestinian position, saying on Wednesday "President Obama and I reject that cynicism."
Israelis do not appear to share Kerry's optimism. A poll last week revealed that 87.5% of Israelis believe the current peace talks will not lead to peace.
Meanwhile Nabil Shaath, another senior PLO official, said in late November that the PA was only remaining in negotiations to release the remaining 52 terrorist prisoners out of 104 that were designated to be released as part of a "gesture" to encourage talks.
Created on Sunday, 15 December 2013 08:02
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has said that if Israel insists on maintaining security presence in the Jordan Valley, there will not be a peace agreement.
Abbas made the comments in a television interview which aired on Thursday. The comments were cited by Kol Yisrael radio and were made ahead of a meeting between Abbas and United States Secretary of State John Kerry, who has returned to Israel yet again to try and push talks forward.
Abbas added in the interview that all the Israeli “settlements” are located on “Palestinian land” and must be evicted in order for an agreement to be signed. He added that the PA leadership would agree to extend the current talks by one month, if serious progress is made during the nine-month period that was allocated by the Americans for the talks.
He reiterated that he would not agree to any temporary agreement but would be willing to accept a permanent agreement that is implemented in stages.
Abbas also warned that if the next scheduled release of terrorists being held in Israeli prisons is delayed, he will turn to the United Nations.
Last week, Kerry presented Abbas with security proposals for the Jordan Valley, but Abbas was quick to reject them. It was then reported that Kerry would delay the next scheduled release of terrorists in order to pressure Abbas to accept his security proposals.
Responding to Kerry’s threats, a spokesperson for Abbas declared that the PA will not agree to the delay.
Israel has always insisted that in any final agreement it would have to maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley, and has rejected outright the idea of any third party involvement. The PA rejects any long-term Israeli security presence in the Jordan Valley and, in fact, Abbas has openly declared that a future Palestinian state will have no Jewish presence, military or civilian.
Meanwhile, AFP reported, Kerry arrived on Thursday in Ramallah for a meeting with Abbas. A State Department official said that the meeting ended about two and a half hours later.
No further details were provided.
On Friday, the top U.S. diplomat is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres before continuing to Jordan.
Created on Thursday, 12 December 2013 11:19
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has granted a post-mortem honor to arch-terrorist Abu Jihad, who was responsible for the murder of at least 125 Israelis in numerous terror attacks that he planned, including a bus hijacking in 1978, in which 37 civilians were murdered.
Official PA TV News reported that Abbas, in order "to honor the founding leaders and the first generation of the Palestinian revolution and the PLO, and out of loyalty to their history of struggle," chose to decorate Abu Jihad with "the highest order of the Star of Honor."
At the ceremony, Abbas handed the award to Abu Jihad's widow. Secretary-General of the Presidential Office, Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, read aloud the "decree" signed by Abbas, calling terrorist Abu Jihad "the model of a true fighter and devoted leader," and praising him for "his honorable national role":
"Abu Jihad shall be granted the highest order of the Star of Honor in recognition of his honorable national role and his history of struggle as one of the founding leaders of the Palestinian revolution, and out of great appreciation for his high position and significance in the defense of Palestine as a country, a nation, and a cause. He was the model of a true fighter and devoted leader [and] through his commitment and contribution he left his mark on the history of the Palestinian revolution and the PLO."
Palestinian Media Watch reported in July 2013 that Abbas decorated another terrorist leader with the Star of Honor. The recipient was Nayef Hawatmeh, the leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). The DFLP carried out many deadly terror attacks in the 1970s and has also participated in and claimed responsibility for dozens of other terror attacks, including a suicide bombing near Tel Aviv that killed 4 people in 2003.
Former PA PM Salam Fayyad was also among this year's recipients of the Star of Honor.
The glorification of arch-terrorist Abu Jihad is a long-standing PA and Fatah policy. Every year in April, the anniversary of Abu Jihad's death is marked with numerous events and ceremonies held in his honor.
This year, PMW reported that the official PA news agency WAFA lauded Abu Jihad as a killer of 125, listing all the terror attacks he planned and directed, specifying the number of murdered:
"Abu Jihad was killed by the Israeli Mossad in Tunisia on April 16, 1988... and was crowned the Prince of the Martyrs of Palestine... Among the military operations planned by Abu Jihad: the explosion at the Zohar reservoir in 1955; the operation to blow up the Israeli National Water Carrier in 1965; the operation at the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv, which killed 10 Israelis, in 1975; the blowing up of a truck bomb in Jerusalem in 1975; the killing of Albert Levi, the senior sapper, and his assistant, in Nablus in 1976; the Dalal Mughrabi operation (i.e., bus hijacking), in which more than 37 Israelis were killed, in 1978; the shelling of the Eilat Port in 1979; the Katyusha fire on the northern settlements [in Israel] in 1981..."
[WAFA and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 16, 2013]
At a Fatah event in January this year, Abbas praised Abu Jihad and other terrorists who killed hundreds as "the blessed Martyrs" and "the leaders of all the fighting forces":
"We renew the promise to our blessed Martyrs, that we will follow the path of the Martyr Brother Yasser Arafat and his comrades among the leaders of all the fighting forces, all the Martyrs. Among them, I mention Martyr Abu Jihad..."
Private organizations also follow the lead of the PA and glorify terrorist Abu Jihad, such as sports organizations that name their activities and tournaments after him. This year the Palestinian Association for Martial Arts held "its first Prince of Martyrs [Abu Jihad] festival" and the Palestinian Boxing Association held "The Martyr Abu Jihad Tournament."
The following is the report on official PA TV News on Abbas' decoration of terrorist Abu Jihad with the Star of Honor:
Abu Jihad (Halil Al-Wazir) was a founder of Fatah and deputy to Yasser Arafat. He headed the PLO terror organization's military wing and planned many deadly Fatah terror attacks killing 125 Israelis. This included the most lethal in Israeli history, the hijacking of a bus and killing of 37 civilians, 12 of them children.
He was killed in a daring raid by Sayeret Matkal on his beachfront villa in Tunisia in 1988.
Created on Friday, 01 November 2013 14:44
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has released a translated video showing the Palestinian Authority's celebration of the release of 26 murderers Tuesday night.
In the segment, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas embraces the 21 murderers who were released to Ramallah. He later raises the hand of Issa Abed Rabbo, who murdered two Israeli students in 1984. The victims, Ron Levy, 23, and his girlfriend Revital Seri, 22, were hiking in northern Mount Hevron in 1984, near the Cremisan monastery. Issa tied them up with ropes, put sacks on their heads and shot them.
The text provided by PMW is as follows:
PA TV announcer: "Here they are embracing President Mahmoud Abbas after long years behind the bars of the occupation, in which they were transferred between different prisons and cells simply because they are Palestinians who fought the occupation... They are the ones who were, and are still standing firm against the arrogance of the cowardly occupier, they still write glorious chapters of strength, courage and self-sacrifice... Here are President Mahmoud Abbas and the released prisoners waving to the audience. They are signaling victory with their hands, giving the sign to start the moment of truth (i.e., the celebrations)..."
Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake: "Even though the prisoners were released in the middle of the night, each one of you, the prisoners, is a sun lighting up Palestine's sky..."
Abbas: "We welcome our heroic brothers who come from behind bars to the world of freedom. We congratulate ourselves and we congratulate all of you in this great celebration that unifies and returns our sons to us... Today is the second celebration, and in two months - the third celebration, and then the fourth, and then the fifth, until the prisons are emptied and our families return to us... There will be no agreement [with Israel] as long as there is one prisoner behind bars."
Created on Thursday, 26 September 2013 10:33
Hours after he called on Israel to “end the occupation of the West Bank”, U.S. President Barack Obama met Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday.
During the meeting, reported the Associated Press, Obama said that no one is under the illusion that peace between Israelis and Arabs will be easy, but claimed PA Arabs realize that negotiations are the best and only way to achieve a two-state solution.
Obama also praised Abbas for consistently rejecting violence and being open to negotiations, according to the report.
Abbas said he remained fully committed to the peace process and thanked the U.S. for supporting the process. He added that the goal is an independent Palestinian state.
The peace talks between Israel and the PA resumed this past summer following shuttle diplomacy by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kerry asked both sides to keep the details of the negotiations secret in order to give the process a chance to work and, while Israeli officials have remain tight-lipped about the talks, PA officials have made several leaks to the press.
A recent leak involved a PA official saying that during the negotiations, Israel agreed to a wholesale deportation of thousands of Jews from Judea and Samaria and the transfer of their property to PA Arabs. However, the PA official who reported on that Israeli offer added that the PA side had rejected it as not going far enough.
In an earlier leak to the press, the PA's chief negotiator , Saeb Erekat, told an Arabic radio station that the US has guaranteed the PA all of its key preconditions in advance of negotiations.
Abbas, who has for years demanded a state based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Six Day War, recently stated that unless Israel meets all of his preconditions, there will be no peace.
In recent days there have been calls on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to stop the peace talks with the PA unless Abbas condemns the murder of two IDF soldiers in two separate incidents.
Dozens of Knesset members, including deputy government ministers, have signed a letter calling on Netanyahu to cancel all planned releases of terrorist prisoners as part of a series of "goodwill gestures" to the PA.
Abbas, who met representatives of the Jewish community in New York on Monday night, reportedly said that he condemned the killing and all other acts of violence, but also said that he expected Israel to condemn recent deaths of four Arab youths from Israeli gunfire.
Created on Monday, 16 September 2013 17:23
Israel’s “peace partner”, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, has once again outright rejected an Israeli demand to ensure a peace agreement that does not harm its security.
In a speech on Sunday to graduates of a university in Jericho, Abbas also clarified that unless all of the PA’s demands are met, there will not be a peace agreement with Israel.
Abbas told the graduates that the eastern border of the State of Palestine along the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley will be with Jordan, thus essentially rejecting an Israeli demand for a special security arrangement in the Jordan Valley, that would allow IDF soldiers to remain in the region after the establishment of a Palestinian state.
In the past, Abbas indicated his willingness to allow an international UN presence in a future Palestinian state, but stressed that not a single Israeli – civilian or soldier - will be allowed in “Palestine”.
Abbas also told the students that the current negotiations between Israel and the PA are intended to reach a two-state solution based on the borders that existed before June 4, 1967, end “the occupation”, bring about the realization of the independence of the State of Palestine whose capital is Jerusalem, and bring a settlement to all final status issues, including releasing PA Arab terrorists from Israeli jails.
“Unless all the demands and rights of our people are realized" there will not be an arrangement, he stressed.
The speech in Jericho is the latest example of Abbas saying one thing when he speaks in English to Western officials or to Israelis, then turning around and telling his own people the opposite in Arabic.
Most recently, members of the Israeli leftist party Meretz who met with Abbas claimed that the PA Chairman had reassured them that if a peace agreement is reached with Israel, it would bring an end to his people’s demands of the Jewish state. He also assured the Meretz members that the PA would give up its demand for the “right of return”, which would see millions of Arabs who fled Israel in 1948 and their descendants flood Israel.
However, several days later an official statement from Abbas’s Fatah party made it clear that "the main goal of the negotiations with Israel is to establish an independent Palestinian state within the [pre-]1967 borders with its capital Al-Quds (Jerusalem -ed.), and the return of refugees in accordance with resolutions by international legitimate institutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
For years, the PA has demanded a state based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Six Day War. Israel refuses, as these borders, which were termed “Auschwitz borders” by the late former Foreign Minister Abba Eban, are indefensible and would guarantee its destruction.
Abbas agreed to resume negotiations with Israel in July after being pressured to do so by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kerry asked both sides to keep the details of the negotiations secret in order to give the process a chance to work and, while Israeli officials have remain tight-lipped about the talks, PA officials have made several leaks to the press.
In the most recent leak, a PA official said that during the negotiations, Israel agreed to a wholesale deportation of thousands of Jews from Judea and Samaria and the transfer of their property to PA Arabs. However, the PA official who reported on that Israeli offer added that the PA side had rejected it as not going far enough.
In an earlier leak to the press, the PA's chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, told an Arabic radio station that the US has guaranteed the PA all of its key preconditions in advance of negotiations.
At the same time, PA officials have publicly stated that achieving peace with Israel was impossible, blaming the Jewish state and its “occupation” of Judea and Samaria for this.
Created on Saturday, 17 August 2013 13:39
Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) may have just restarted but, according to the head of the United Nations, “Palestine” already exists.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who arrived in Ramallah on Thursday to meet PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, was quoted by AFP as having said upon his arrival that he was pleased "to visit the state of Palestine."
In a unilateral move by the PA, the UN General Assembly on November 29 upgraded the PA to the status of non-member observer state by a vote of 138 votes in favor, nine against and 41 abstentions.
Abbas has taken advantage of this vote by taking a series of steps to officially name the areas he controls "the State of Palestine".
He first ordered all of the PA's institutions to stop using the term "Palestinian National Authority" on official documents and replace it with the term 'the State of Palestine'.
Abbas then issued new guidelines ordering the PA government to re-issue passports, identity cards, registration documents, vehicle licenses, driver's licenses, stamps and postmarks.
Even the United States, which voted against the PA in the UN, has said that a Palestinian state can only be established through peace talks between the sides, but the vote in the General Assembly was apparently enough for Ban as is reflected by his comments on Thursday.
Abbas said Thursday that all key issues were discussed at a new round of peace talks with Israel, but he declined to elaborate because of an agreed news blackout.
"We can't speak now about what happened," he was quoted by AFP as having told a joint press conference with Ban.
At the request of Washington, Israel and the PA have so far maintained a strict news blackout on the U.S.-brokered talks.
"We discussed the issues which are always on the table: borders, Jerusalem, settlements," Abbas said.
"Until now we didn't speak about what happened (in the talks) and when there is something we shall tell you," he added, according to AFP.
Israeli and PA negotiators met for around five hours on Wednesday evening, in a meeting that was described as “long and serious”. The parties agreed to meet again within days.
Ban, who arrived from Jordan, called upon both sides to avoid actions which could disrupt the fragile negotiations.
He did not elaborate but likely was referring to the newly announced Israeli plans for building in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Despite having been informed of the building prior to talks, and despite the fact that the construction will take place in areas which even the PA has accepted in previous negotiations will be within Israeli borders, Palestinian Authority officials and their supporters have expressed outrage at the plans.
In Amman earlier, Ban urged Israelis and PA Arabs to show "patience" to give the peace talks a chance of success, Jordan's state-run Petra news agency reported.
He "called on the Israelis and the Palestinians to have patience and do all that they can for the success of their negotiations and achieve the needed progress with the help of the international community."
Ban met on Thursday evening with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who said that Israel expected the PA to make “good-will gestures”, just as Israel had done by releasing 26 murdering terrorists as a gesture to the PA. In total, 104 terrorists will be released as the peace talks continue.
Edelstein clarified that Israel expects Abbas to take “confident-building” steps that will create a good atmosphere for the continuation of peace talks. One of these steps, said the Knesset Speaker, is that the incitement against Israel at PA schools be stopped.
"Part of the effort for peace is educating for peace and not for hatred of Israel, and the Palestinians must stop the incitement against Israel in its education system,” he declared.
On Friday, Ban is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.
Created on Sunday, 21 July 2013 09:29
The Hamas terrorist group which controls Gaza was quick to pour cold water on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement that peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would resume.
"Hamas rejects Kerry's announcement of a return to talks and considers the Palestinian Authority's return to negotiations with the occupation to be at odds with the national consensus," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP on Friday, after Kerry announced at a press conference in Amman that negotiators from both sides will be meeting in Washington next week.
Abu Zuhri said that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who heads Hamas’s longtime rival faction Fatah, had no legitimate right to negotiate on behalf of “the Palestinian people.”
Ihab al-Ghassin, spokesman for the Hamas government, also told AFP that "whoever negotiates on the part of the people who is not chosen by them, represents only himself. The Palestinian people will not accept this."
Earlier, Abbas’s office hailed the Chairman’s meetings with Kerry on Friday, saying they achieved "progress" towards resuming peace talks with Israel.
"Abbas's meeting with Kerry in his headquarters in Ramallah on Friday evening achieved progress, and will facilitate an agreement on the basis of a resumption of talks," Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said in a statement quoted by AFP.
But he stressed there were still "specific details that need to be resolved," without saying what these were.
"Kerry will send an invitation to [chief negotiator Saeb] Erekat and a representative of the Israeli side to meet him in Washington for initial talks in the next few days," he added.
According to Kerry’s announcement in Amman, Erekat and Israeli negotiator Justice Minister Tzipi Livni would meet him in Washington "to begin initial talks within the next week or so."
Kerry had spent four hours earlier on the phone talking to both sides before making the decision to dash to Ramallah to meet Abbas for the third time this week.
The whirlwind diplomacy came after the PA leadership rejected Kerry's proposals for a framework to guide the relaunch of peace talks with the Israelis stalled for nearly three years.
Meanwhile, a PA leader told the Associated Press on Friday that Kerry’s plan to get Israel and the PA talking again involves getting Israel to release hundreds of terrorist prisoners.
Ahmed Majdalani said that Kerry has assured PA leaders that Israel would gradually free some 350 terrorists in the coming months. The prisoners would include some 100 men that were arrested over terrorist attacks carried out before the 1993 Oslo Accords. Israel has refused to free these terrorists in the past because many of them carried out some of the deadliest attacks against Israelis.
According to Majdalani, Kerry would endorse the pre-1967 borders as the starting point of negotiations. The plan does not include a freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.
Created on Thursday, 27 June 2013 07:21
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas continues to promote the PA libel that Israel is scheming and acting to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Palestinian Media Watch reported.
In an interview to the Saudi paper Al-Watan, Abbas said that the Arab and Islamic world should become more pro-active in responding to the Israeli “plot”.
"All these [Israeli] actions indicate an evil and dangerous plot to destroy Al-Aqsa [Mosque] and build the alleged Temple,” Abbas said, according to PMW. “Unfortunately, these dangers, which are clear for everyone to see, have yet to receive proper Arab, Islamic and international responses," Abbas said.
Abbas' reference to the "alleged Temple" is part of the language the PA routinely uses to deny Israel's history in Jerusalem, as reported by PMW, and refers to the false PA claim that there never was a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Abbas presents taking Jerusalem from Israel as an Islamic mandate. In a speech at the Arab Summit in 2010, Abbas told Arab leaders that taking Jerusalem away from Israel is a religious Islamic obligation of the highest level, a "fard ayn" - a personal Islamic commandment incumbent on every Muslim:
"I say to the leaders of our Arab nation and to its peoples: Jerusalem and its environs are a trust that Allah entrusted to us,” Abbas said, as respoted by PMW. “Saving it [Jerusalem] from the settlement monster and the danger of Judaization and confiscation is a personal [Islamic] commandment incumbent on all of us.
Therefore, I call all of you to serious and urgent action to save [Jerusalem] and to make available all possibilities in order to strengthen our resolve and to maintain its historical, cultural and religious character."
Created on Saturday, 22 June 2013 16:14
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned the international community not to be fooled by Iran’s new "moderate" president.
Speaking to the Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth on Thursday, Netanyahu said that the elections in Iran “reflect a deep dissatisfaction of the Iranian people with its regime. Unfortunately, this result doesn’t have the power to change Iran’s nuclear ambitions. These are determined not by the elected president but by the so-called supreme leader, [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei.
He noted that the nuclear program is “Guided and controlled by Khamenei. He remains committed to pursuing the path of arming Iran with nuclear weapons, and I’m afraid the elections are not going to change that.”
President-elect Hassan Rowhani “was chosen as one of a slate of candidates that conform to Khamenei’s extremist views,” said Netanyahu. “They eliminated hundreds of candidates and left seven. Rowhani used to be the national security adviser of Iran and the former nuclear negotiator.
He’s the author of a doctrine — I call this doctrine ‘talk and enrich.’ He wrote the book on it.”
“We can’t let the Iranian regime play this game. They play for time. They continue to enrich. They broaden the base of their nuclear program. What Iran is seeking is not one or two bombs but 200 bombs. They’re building ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles] parallel to developing their nuclear weapons program. The ICBMs are not intended for us; they’re intended for you. Within six to eight years, they intend to be able to reach the continental United States. To have a regime like this — that is, a rogue regime — have a nuclear arsenal with their messianic, apocalyptic ambitions is to imperil the entire world. It is to put the peace of the world in great jeopardy,” warned Netanyahu.
Asked about the efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu said, “We should enter immediately into negotiations without preconditions. That’s been my view for the last four years, and I hope it becomes the Palestinian view. If Secretary Kerry, whose efforts we support, were to pitch a tent halfway between here and Ramallah — that’s 15 minutes away driving time — I’m in it, I’m in the tent. And I’m committed to stay in the tent and negotiate for as long as it takes to work out a solution of peace and security between us and the Palestinians.”
He added that “there are many things that I need to successfully close a deal, but I don’t ask them of Abu Mazen [PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas] in advance. Israel has withdrawn from territory, from Lebanon and from Gaza, with the express promise that once we do so we’ll have peace and security. But in fact, the opposite happened. We gave land, but we didn’t get peace. We got, in the case of Gaza, 12,000 rockets on our cities. In the case of Lebanon, we got an Iranian enclave with another 12,000 rockets. We can’t afford to have that happen again.”
“We’ll have to have an arrangement that assures our security, that tells us what’s on the other side in a Palestinian state,” stressed Netanyahu. “Is it another Iranian client-state that is committed to our destruction? That arms itself with missiles and rockets? Or is it something that actually changes the climate, that teaches its people and its children to live in peace with us and is genuinely demilitarized? These are questions that cannot be resolved before we enter the tent. They’ll have to be resolved in order for us to leave the tent with an agreement. But I don’t place any of our conditions and our demands in advance of the negotiations, and I hope the Palestinians don’t either.”
Referring to Abbas’s endless preconditions for starting negotiations, Netanyahu said, “I think placing preconditions before negotiations is the quickest way to undermine peace. That’s what has been done in the past four years and we’ve gotten nowhere. It’s time to look at a different course. It’s time to grapple head-on with the issues and negotiate. You can’t end negotiations unless you begin them. And you can’t begin them if you continually negotiate about the terms to begin negotiations.”
He added that the freeze on Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem during his last term, after which Abbas still refused to come to the negotiating table, was proof that “the problem isn’t the settlements.”
“The real reason [for the continuation of the conflict] is the persistent refusal to recognize a sovereign Jewish state in any boundary,” Netanyahu told the Washington Post. “That was and remains the core of this conflict. To solve this, the Palestinians will have to recognize the Jewish state just as we recognize a Palestinian state. Both peoples, both nations, deserve a nation-state of their own. Palestinians, if they wish so, will go to the Palestinian state; Jews, if they so wish, can go to the Jewish state. And we’ll have to have security and demilitarization agreements between us. But the beginning of the conflict and the root of the conflict is the refusal to recognize Israel in any boundary. Once this is overcome, I think there is a chance for peace. I think that is never recognized because people are fixated on one of the results of conflict, which are the settlements, but it’s certainly not its cause.”
Created on Friday, 07 June 2013 21:07
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has accused Israel of trying to “destroy” the Al-Aqsa Mosque by allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.
In an interview he gave on Thursday to the Saudi-based Al-Watan newspaper, Abbas said that "the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger," claiming that Israel prevents PA Arabs from praying at the mosque, while allowing “extremist Jews" to worship there. This, he claimed, is proof that Israel has a "malicious" and dangerous plan to destroy the mosque and rebuild the “false” Holy Temple in its place, as he put it.
Arabs continuously make false accusations that Israel is trying "Judaizing" the Temple Mount, sometimes resorting to ridiculous propaganda such as accusing Israel of using chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse.
A claim similar to Abbas’s was made several months ago by a PA official who also said that Israel was trying to build a new Holy Temple on the Temple Mount.
The official claimed that an analysis of Jerusalem's development plans finds that there is an intention to Judaize the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and within this framework build the Temple on its ruins and to then reduce the number of Arab residents in the city.
The reality, however, is that it is the Jews – not the Arabs – who are discriminated against when they want to pray on the Temple Mount. The Waqf, which was left in charge of the Temple Mount following Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, has removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the Jewish holy site.
Police, in an attempt to appease the Waqf, limit the number of Jewish worshippers allowed on the Temple Mount at one time in order to prevent conflict with Muslim worshippers. They often close the Mount to Jews in response to Muslim riots – despite evidence that Muslim riots have been planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.
In the interview with the Saudi newspaper, Abbas also made it clear that no negotiations will take place with Israel as long as it continues to build in Judea and Samaria and refuses to accept a two-state solution based on the indefensible pre-1967 lines, that were termed “Auschwitz borders” by the late former Foreign Minister Abba Eban.
As for the idea of land swaps between Israel and the PA, Abbas said that these should be limited, but added that in any event the PA will demand all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Jerusalem, Abbas said, is not up for negotiations or bargaining, since the Arabs will never give up on it, and there will not be a Palestinian state without eastern Jerusalem as its capital.
Created on Monday, 08 April 2013 08:58
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Palestinian Authority leaders Sunday, on a fresh mission to forge a new path forward after a years-long impasse in Middle East peace negotiations, AFP reported.
Flying in from Istanbul, the first stop on a 10-day overseas trip, Kerry went to Ramallah, where he held talks with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for the third time in a little over a month. A top State Department official called the talks "a constructive meeting," according to AFP.
The two first met for about 20 minutes with several PA and U.S. officials present, before Kerry and Abbas met for a one-to-one lasting almost an hour during which they "agreed to continue working together to determine the best path forward."
But Abbas, who has imposed endless preconditions on peace negotiations, came up with another one, saying that the release of terrorist prisoners held by Israel was a "top priority" for resuming peace talks.
"President Abbas stressed that the release of the prisoners is a priority that creates an appropriate climate for the possibility of moving the peace process forward," his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP.
In a public speech last week, Abbas said that the freeing of terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons was a "priority" for his leadership.
"The Palestinian leadership gives priority to the prisoners issue and ending their suffering," Abbas said in a speech to a meeting of his Fatah party in Ramallah.
"We cannot be silent about their staying behind bars... (we) have demanded the freeing of all prisoners, especially those arrested before the Oslo accords, and sick, child and women prisoners," he said.
The “free the terrorists” precondition comes just two days after Abbas demanded that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu present a map for a future Palestinian state before any peace talks can resume.
Abbas "wants to know, through a map to be presented by Benjamin Netanyahu to (U.S. Secretary of State John) Kerry, what the prime minister's view of a two-state solution would be, especially the borders," his political adviser Nimr Hammad told AFP.
The PA chairman has continuously demanded that Israel freeze Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem. When Israel froze construction for a ten-month period in 2010, however, he refused to come to the table.
Earlier Sunday, Kerry said that he was very anxious for Turkey and Israel to restore ties as fully as possible. Good relations were essential for stability in the Middle East, as well as for making progress in negotiations between Israel and the PA, he said.
Kerry will Monday join a ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day before meeting PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and then Israeli President Shimon Peres.
He will meet Netanyahu on Tuesday morning before leaving for London for a meeting of G8 foreign ministers.
Created on Sunday, 07 April 2013 08:56
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu present a map for a future Palestinian state before any peace talks can resume, an aide told AFP on Friday.
Abbas "wants to know, through a map to be presented by Benjamin Netanyahu to (U.S. Secretary of State John) Kerry, what the prime minister's view of a two-state solution would be, especially the borders," political adviser Nimr Hammad told AFP.
The remarks came just days ahead of a visit by Kerry, who will hold fortnightly meetings with Israeli and PA leaders as he tries to revive the stalled peace process.
"Any return to negotiations requires Netanyahu to agree on 1967 borders," Hammad said, repeating one of Abbas’s usual preconditions for talks with Israel.
Abbas has insisted that participation in new talks be conditioned on using the borders that existed before the 1967 Six Day War as the basis for negotiating future borders.
Abbas also repeated to Barack Obama, on his first visit to the region as U.S. president in March, that a halt to Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem was a precondition for any peace negotiations.
Expectations are growing that the U.S. administration is ready to resume some kind of shuttle diplomacy to rekindle the peace process, which has stalled since 2010.
Kerry accompanied U.S. President Barack Obama on his first official visit to the region several weeks ago and, after Obama left the region, Kerry stayed behind and met PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Amman. He then travelled to Jerusalem for talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
After Kerry’s last visit, PA officials said that he had begun to push for a resumption of peace talks between Israel and the PA.
Unconfirmed reports following that visit indicated that Kerry is planning on offering Israel and the PA an outline which would see Israel releasing terrorists from its prisons and transferring areas from Area B, which is under joint PA-Israeli control under the Oslo Accords, to Area A which is under full PA control.
Kerry’s outline would have the PA undertaking a return to the negotiating table and promising not to file lawsuits against Israel with the International Criminal Court.
Abbas has continuously imposed preconditions on peace talks and has demanded that Israel freeze Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem. When Israel froze construction for a ten-month period in 2010, however, he refused to come to the table.
Created on Thursday, 28 March 2013 07:17
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has appealed to the Arab League to pressure the United Nations over the construction of new homes for Israelis in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Abbas repeated claims that the building of new homes for Israelis would prevent the establishment of a new Arab state in the area.
The UN has already demanded that Israel forbid its citizens to build in the region.
According to Haaretz, Abbas plans an appeal to the International Criminal Court at The Hague if other measures to stop new Israeli construction fail.
Arab League heads heard Abbas’ appeal and have decided to send a mission to Washington to present their views to the United States government. The mission will also present a new Arab peace plan that includes a timetable for a full Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, and the establishment of a new Arab state with Jerusalem as its capital, Haaretz reports.
The new Arab plan reportedly also includes a timetable for Israel’s release of PA resident terrorists.
Since 2000 Israel has allowed construction only within existing communities in Judea and Samaria, and has not allowed the creation of new communities. Most construction takes place within “settlement bloc” areas where Israelis outnumber PA Arab residents.
Past diplomatic initiatives have assumed that Israel will retain the “settlement bloc” areas under any future agreement with the PA, with possible land trades to give the PA the equivalent of all land east of the 1949 armistice line.
Created on Thursday, 21 March 2013 16:59
PA Arabs are not happy that U.S. President Barack H. Obama is paying Ramallah a visit Thursday. In fact, said a PA official, “we don't want Obama here.”
Speaking to Yisrael Hayom, a PA official who is very close to PA chief Mahmoud Abbas, said that “unfortunately we do not have much hope for this visit, and we don't believe it will lead to a renewal of negotiations.”
“Obama is not wanted here,” said Rassam al-Massry, a top PA official and an organizer of protests against the President's visit. “He declared that he will not pressure Israel to return to negotiations, and he thwarts every attempt by the Palestinians to condemn Israel in the UN,” he said.
Throughout the week, PA Arabs have torn down posters with Obama's image and scrawled anti-American graffiti throughout Ramallah and Bethlehem, which Obama is set to visit Thursday.
Arabs in Bethlehem had a “warm welcome” for American officials who on Monday came to prepare for President Barack H. Obama's visit to the city Friday, by throwing shoes and garbage at the vehicles in an entourage from the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem. Hundreds of Arabs mobbed the vehicles outside the Church of the Nativity, where Obama is scheduled to visit when he comes to Bethlehem.
Sources in the city told Israel Radio that Arab protesters tore down posters with Obama's image, throwing them to the ground and spitting and stepping on them. The protesters threw shoes at other posters that were hung too high for them to easily tear down.
Created on Thursday, 21 February 2013 07:26
Israel's military is training for the possibility the Palestinian Authority may soon launch a formal third intifada.
A senior IDF officer warned Thursday morning during an interview on Army Radio that army analysts believe it is likely the PA will choose to launch an intifada over returning to the negotiating table for final status talks with Israel.
The officer, who serves in the regions of Judea and Samaria, said Thursday in an interview on Army Radio that soldiers are currently training to deal with four-week confrontation scenarios.
The drills are reminiscent of those that were carried out prior to the military exercises held just prior to the PA's launch of the second intifada in 2000.
The officer listed a myriad reasons why a third intifada might be ignited in the near future.
Among the triggers he noted were the possible failure of U.S. President Barack Obama in his efforts to jump start the peace process during his visit to the region next month, or the possible resignation of Ramallah-based PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Another possible cause he said would be if the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terrorist organization, or the Gaza-based Hamas terrorist organization, were to declare war on Israel. Both are incited to annihilate Israel, generously funded, equipped and trained by Iran.
The second intifada was launched in September 2000 in response to a September 28 tour of the Temple Mount -- Judaism's holiest site -- in the Old City of Jerusalem by then-Opposition leader MK Ariel Sharon, together with a Likud party delegation surrounded by hundreds of Israeli riot police. But although Sharon's tour was deemed to be the trigger, the intifada had long been planned -- in fact, it was set up by PA / PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat months earlier, immediately upon rejecting all offers on the table and walking away from the Camp David peace talks in July.
Upon learning the U.S.-based summit would not result in agreement to all his demands, Arafat ordered Hamas, Fatah and the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, to launch "military operations" against Israel.
Former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) agent Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas founder and leader, Sheikh Hassan Yousef several years ago commented in his book, "Son of Hamas" that the second intifada was actually a political maneuver premeditated by Arafat, analyzing the reason to be that Arafat "had grown extraordinarily wealthy as the international symbol of victimhood. He wasn't about to surrender that status and take on the responsibility of actually building a functioning society."
Arafat's widow Suha Arafat later confirmed the fact in a December 2012 interview on Dubai television, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), that her husband had indeed pre-planned the intifada.
More than 1,000 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks during the years of the second intifada, also known as the Oslo War due to its having resulting from security concessions forced upon Israel during negotiations that resulted in the Oslo Accords.
The agreement has been violated thousands of times by the Palestinian Authority -- most recently in its unilateral application and acceptance for membership as a non-member observer nation in the United Nations General Assembly, a status which grants the entity international de facto recognition as an independent sovereign nation -- and thereby circumvents the need for final status talks with Israel.
Created on Friday, 11 January 2013 05:45
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has allowed armed terrorists to publicly march and fire into the air within the areas he controls in Judea and Samaria.
Kol Yisrael radio reported Thursday that about 20 members of Abbas's Fatah movement marched in the Balata area of Shechem on Thursday afternoon, firing into the air. A source in the PA told the station that PA security forces were not on hand and did not deal with the armed terrorists.
The source indicated that some of the terrorists had been released from Israeli or PA prisons, after serving time on charges of terrorism, and that they are currently unemployed.
Kol Yisrael noted that Fatah has avoided allowing masked terrorists into the streets over the past several years but has done so three times in the past month: in the Dehaisha refugee camp near Bethlehem, in Bir Zeit, north of Ramallah, and on Thursday in Balata.
PA Arabs have rioted and attempted to carry out terror attacks in Hevron and throughout Judea and Samaria in recent weeks, while Abbas's security forces have failed to stop them as they had done in the past.
The incidents have led some to warn that a third Arab intifada (uprising) is in the works.
A recently released video showed a group of Arab terrorists announcing the formation of a new military brigade, which would start a new intifada against Israel beginning in Hevron.
In addition, Abbas has gotten closer to the Hamas terror group after years of fighting. During Israel's recent counterterrorism Operation Pillar of Defense, the two factions announced they have decided to end infighting. The PA later announced it will release Hamas-affiliated detainees as a goodwill gesture to boost reconciliation efforts.
Last week, for the first time since its violent takeover of Gaza, Hamas allowed the Gaza branch of the Fatah party to mark its anniversary in the region.
Created on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 11:49
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is taking another step in his bid to officially name the areas he controls "the State of Palestine".
After he ordered all of the PA's institutions to stop using the term "Palestinian National Authority" on official documents, Abbas published new guidelines on Sunday, which order the PA government to re-issue passports, identity cards, registration documents, vehicle licenses, driver's licenses, stamps and postmarks.
Abbas's guidelines dictate that a new stamp which reads "the State of Palestine" be placed on all re-issued documents. His guidelines also state that the new "Palestine" ID cards and passports will be used "by all Palestinians, both in Palestine and in the diaspora".
The new orders did not indicate, however, whether Israeli Arabs who are defined by the PA as "Palestinians" will be eligible for citizenship and a passport of the "State of Palestine."
Abbas's moves are a result of his new found confidence after the United Nations overwhelmingly voted in favor of upgrading the PA's status at the organization to that of a "non-member observer state".
A senior PA official revealed the plans for the new "Palestine" passports in a newspaper interview that was published several days after the UN vote. The change to “state” status is important because it shows that “the state of Palestine is occupied,” he said.
However, Abbas’s bid to officially name the territories he controls “the state of Palestine” has not distracted residents from their anger over corruption and the failing economy.
Hundreds of PA Arabs protested late last week in Bethlehem over the PA’s economic policies. Similar protests were held in other cities during the week.
The rally in Bethlehem over “corruption” centered on a new government edict that will see residents of the so-called refugee camps forced to pay for their private electricity use.
The requirement comes as Israel has begun forcing the PA to pay for its electricity use, after allowing it to rack up considerable debt to the Israel Electric Corp. Israel has reportedly agreed to resume transferring taxes it collects on the PA’s behalf under international agreements if the PA pays for its electricity.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad warned residents that if they refuse to pay for electricity beginning in 2013, they will be required to pay for earlier electricity use as well. Those with low incomes may apply for discounts, he said.
Created on Sunday, 06 January 2013 16:16
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas spoke glowingly last Friday of the “legacy” of the infamous Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who was a collaborator with the Nazis, and was prepared to conduct the mass murder of the Jews of the Land of Israel in the event of a Nazi invasion. The Mufti, Abbas said, was a great man whose ways should be emulated by all PA Arabs, and was worthy of great praise.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, David Bedein, the director of the Makor Yisraeli news agency and the Center for Middle East Research, said that Abbas made the comments during a Fatah march in Gaza last Friday. It was the first time in years that Fatah terrorists had been given permission by Hamas to march, and Abbas spoke to the marchers via video feed.
Abbas, Bedein said, wrote his doctorate at the University of Moscow on how the World Zionist Organization, not the Nazis, was responsible for the destruction of European Jewry. Given this, Abbas's praise of the Mufti, the ultimate “Arab Nazi,” was very serious, and needed to be publicized, he said. The Mufti was also the antecedent of Fatah, which Abbas is currently chairman of.
After the Mufti was forced by the British to leave Mandatory Palestine, he took up residence in Europe, and met Hitler in Italy.
The two agreed that Hitler would murder the Jews of Europe, and that he, the Mufti, would organize the murder of the Jews of the Middle East, when the time was ripe. During the war, the Mufti broadcast pro-Nazi propaganda in Arabic from Berlin. Later he reached Cairo, where he was one of the founders of the Arab League, which adopted the pact between the Mufti and Hitler as a basic document of the organization.
Bedein also slammed the Israeli media for ignoring Abbas' speech praising the Mufti. Bedein said he received information about the speech from PA Arabs who heard it themselves. He sent the information about the speech to Israeli media, but they were apparently not interested, he said. Bedein said that he also sent the data to President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett, but none of them have responding privately or publicly yet.
Created on Tuesday, 01 January 2013 10:12
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas expressed hope on Monday that the coming year would see the implementation of a Palestinian state, AFP reports.
Lighting a torch in the grounds of his Ramallah headquarters to start the celebrations of the 48th anniversary of his Fatah movement, he spoke of last month's United Nations vote upgrading the Palestinian Authority's status to a non-member observer state, referring to it as the "birth certificate" of a Palestinian state.
"We have a birth certificate... and we want to complete the march toward full independence," Abbas said, according to AFP. "Next year, 2013, will be the year of statehood and independence."
The West insists that a Palestinian state must be achieved through peace negotiations with Israel, but since 2009 Abbas has refused to come to the negotiating table with Israel and has continuously tried to impose preconditions on talks.
One of his longstanding demands is that Israel accept the pre-1967 lines as final borders. He has also demanded that Israel release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin. At the same time, he has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist. His Fatah party's newly adopted logo shows all of Israel as Palestine.
Even when Israel imposed a ten-month freeze on Jewish construction in an attempt to bring Abbas back to the negotiating table, he refused, choosing instead to impose more preconditions.
Meanwhile, his Fatah movement is on Tuesday to mark its anniversary in Gaza, AFP reported. It will be the first time Fatah celebrates in Gaza since its rival, Hamas, seized power there in a bloody 2007 coup.
Under Egyptian mediation, the two groups made a reconciliation agreement in April 2011, although it has so far not been implemented.
Abbas called on Monday for the deal to be completed, saying that there was a "national consensus" for unity, which was needed "to build on what has been achieved with the recognition of our state and the steadfastness in the face of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip."
The Fatah anniversary commemorates the first terror attack it carried out against Israel on January 1, 1965.
Created on Sunday, 30 December 2012 09:49
The Fatah party, headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, has made official what it has been saying quietly and has adopted a new logo showing all of Israel as Palestine.
The logo marks the 48th anniversary of the founding of Fatah by Yasser Arafat and includes a map with the PA flag and a map of Israel that appears to be a depiction of the black and white checkered kefiyah, a symbol of the violent intifada, and the slogan “the state and victory."
Palestine Media Watch (PMW) revealed that the official PA daily published the new official logo.
For the past year, official PA documents have increasingly shown Palestine as covering all of Israel, but this is the first time the Fatah party has placed the map on its logo.
PMW noted, “Other symbols central to Fatah ideology also appear in the logo, including a rifle and a key symbolizing the Palestinian claim of ownership to houses within Israel.”
The Arab media watchdog translated and published the article announcing the new logo:
"Senior Fatah official in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Rabah, stressed that the movement this year will hold a big, central rally in the Gaza Strip on the day of the 48th anniversary of the beginning of the Palestinian revolution.
“Rabah explained to Ma'an that the event will be held considering the atmosphere of reconciliation and unity that has prevailed in the Palestinian arena in the last few….
“The organizing committee for the 48th anniversary of the Fatah movement approved this year's main anniversary logo... [The rally] will take place in Gaza to mark the 48th anniversary of the modern Palestinian revolution under the slogan 'the state and the victory.'"
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) reacted to the new logo by urging “President Barack Obama, the European Union and the United Nations to condemn this outrage which reiterates the clear fact that Abbas and the Fatah/PA have no interest in peace with Israel, only its destruction.”
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, "This new Fatah logo graphically depicts the ugly truth about this unreconstructed terrorist organization whose Constitution to this day calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 13) and the use of terrorism as an essential element in the struggle to achieve this aim (Article 19). …It belies the fiction that Mahmoud Abbas is a 'moderate' who seeks peace with Israel, and who wishes to end Palestinian terrorism against Israeli Jews. It also makes clear that the principles of Yasser Arafat are respected and promoted.
"The new Fatah logo is not an aberration. The Palestinian Authority continues to promote the incitement of hatred in Palestinian mosques, schools and media.
"The ZOA renews its call upon the Obama Administration to stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on the unreformed terrorist entity that is Fatah, to stop making excuses for Abbas, and to stop pressuring Israel to make dangerous concessions on the altar of appeasement.”
Created on Friday, 28 December 2012 08:30
Qatar’s emir, after having brought a $250 million check to Hamas in Gaza, plans to bail out Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas next week, possibly as part of a strategy to separate Iran from Hamas.
Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Ibn Khalifa al-Thani said he will make good on his pledge to bail out the PA, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency. Israel has announced that instead of turning over tax revenues it collects monthly for the PA to Ramallah, it will use the funds to pay off the Palestinian Authority’s massive debt to the Israel Electric Corp. for electricity supplied.
Behind the emir’s sudden interest in the PA could be Iran, which has an “evil axis” that runs from Syria, through Lebanon and Hizbullah and to Hamas in Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Arutz Sheva reported last week that de facto Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has told Hamas terrorist cells in Judea and Samaria to prepare for a new Intifada – this time against none other than Abbas, who heads the arch-rival Fatah movement.
The same report was cited as being one of the reasons Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pulled off his gloves, speaking forcefully concerning Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem and the intentions to build more than 3,000 new homes for Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
“The aim of the Qatari leader’s visit is part of a larger Qatari policy to reorient Iranian alliances in the Middle East and to win over Hamas to the side of the pro-Western countries like Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia,” wrote Geopolitical Monitor.
By giving Hamas recognition through the emir’s visit, Qatar offers the terrorist organization an alternative to Iran for financial aid. If Qatar can pull off the trick of buying into Hamas and Fatah and placing them under its wing, the sound of money may quiet them down.
Without Hamas, Iran will have less capability of engineering a two-front proxy war against Israel through Lebanon and Gaza.
Qatar, like the five other Gulf States, has another objective – neutralizing Iran’s threat to manufacture a nuclear bomb as part of its announced strategy to establish a pan-Arab Islamic empire in the Middle East.
Qatar is a close ally with the United States, and by propping up Hamas, it gives the terrorist organization recognition it never enjoyed before, but also may draw Hamas away from the Axis of Evil.
Created on Sunday, 09 December 2012 15:19
Mahmoud Abbas’ embrace of the Hamas terrorist organization and his diplomatic talents of convincing the UN to applaud his violations of the Oslo Accord may already have spawned a new round of violence in Judea and Samaria, as predicted by Arutz Sheva for more than a year and as recently as last week.
A young woman was wounded by a rock that crashed thorough the windshield of the car which her husband was driving on Highway 60, between Jerusalem and Kiryat Arba-Hevron shortly before the beginning of the Sabbath Friday night. Instead of arriving at her parents' home in the southern Hevron Hills, she was rushed to a Jerusalem hospital and released shortly before the beginning the Sabbath.
Friday’s rock-throwing came a day after a troubling IDF retreat from an Arab mob, signs of what may be in store for residents of Judea and Samaria. More than three dozen Arabs bombarded solders with rocks and stones when the IDF tried to stop the attacks on motorists. At least three IDF soldiers and Border Policemen were wounded for their trouble.
The day before, an outnumbered IDF force hastily retreated after a mob attacked them as they tried to arrest a Palestinian Authority policeman for terror.
Rock and firebomb attacks on roads in Judea and Samaria have been increasingly frequent since the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly granted the Palestinian Authority Non-Member Observer status.
Hamas, after more than year of opposing Abbas' UN ploy, understood the strategy and reversed its stand several weeks ago while at the same time rejecting a “two-state” solution.
The new unity between the Fatah faction, headed by Abbas, and Hamas was a new call to arms, which Abbas has disguised under a call to Israel to “negotiate” while simply allowing his security forces to let Hamas terrorists operate without interference, the Maariv newspaper reported Sunday.
Abbas has cashed in the chips he has been stockpiling ever since he took over after Yasser Arafat died eight years ago last month. Replacing Arafat’s pistol on the hip and his black-and white checkered kefiyah with a suit and tie, he built up an image as a “peace partner,” convincing the United States to force the Sharon, Olmert and Netanyahu governments to make "good will concessions” towards a “final status” solution to PA demands.
The Oslo goal of reaching a negotiated agreement on borders and security for Israel evolved into an assumption by the international community and reported as fact by mainstream media that the goal of the “peace process” was to grant the Arab world’s territorial demands that Israel’s border be shrunk to those that existed with the Temporary Armistice Lines drawn by the UN and which ended with the Six-Day War in 1967.
Simultaneously, Abbas ostensibly eschewed violence while the PA education system and Muslim clerics openly preached violence and the establishment of a new Arab state of “Palestine” in place of Israel, from the Lebanese to the Egyptian border and from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
Created on Friday, 30 November 2012 10:33
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that he is not afraid of Israel's “threats,” and the he plans to go full-force forward with his attempt to get the UN General Assembly to give a PA state non-voting observer status at the UN. Abbas, speaking in New York, said that the PA had been subject to “extreme pressure” to pull its request for statehood recognition, but that it planned on continuing with the process.
Numerous European countries, including France, have announced that they will support the bid. The U.S., meanwhile, said that it was sharply opposed to the move. With support from third world and Arab countries, the bid is expected to pass easily when it comes up for a vote later Thursday.
Abbas said that Israel had “threatened” him, but that he was not “afraid. If Israel wants to hurt me they can easily do so, because I live under Israeli occupation.” He added that in his opinion, the PA deserved to have a state at this time. “The world has witnessed for the past six years how the PA has developed institutions, political, security, and government, in preparation for this declaration,” he said.
Abbas did not specify how Israel had “threatened” him, but was apparently referring to statements by Israeli officials that Jerusalem would demand international guarantees in future negotiations, and that the statehood bid would “boomerang” on the PA. Speaking on Israel Radio earlier, Government Secretary General Tzvi Hauser said that the PA move will make a final settlement harder to achieve.
“This moves breaks the rules of the game and will allow Israel to react in any way it deems necessary in order to protect its interests." Hauser stressed that any deal between Israel and PA needed to be made by direct negotiations, and that involving international bodies in the attempts to arrive at a settlement would not produce anything.
A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Israel Radio that the General Assembly's declaration was “meaningless. This will be the third time the Palestinians have received symbolic recognition of a state from the General Assembly, after failing in the past to convince the Security Council to recognize them as a state. In addition, this move is a blatant violation of the agreements we have with the PA,” the official said, and the Authority will eventually regret its latest ploy.
Created on Sunday, 25 November 2012 22:04
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas claimed Saturday the entity's renewed bid for United Nations membership is the “last chance” for Arab peace with Israel.
The PA is hoping to create an independent, sovereign state in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and parts of Jerusalem that were restored to the Jewish capital in the 1967 Six-Day War. Previous efforts to evade the necessity of final status talks with Israel through application for membership in the United Nations have been stymied by Western nation, led by the United States.
Speaking with students at his headquarters in the PA capital of Ramallah, Abbas said, “The Palestinian side is ready to return to the negotiating table as soon as getting the Palestinian state's membership. This might be the last chance for making peace in the Middle East before time goes,” he added.
As head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which represents the PA to the United Nations, Abbas plans to apply for status as a non-member state.
"There is nothing preventing us from obtaining the incomplete membership in the United Nations,” Abbas insisted.
Such a designation would create a de facto recognition of the PA as an independent, sovereign country. It would also successfully circumvent the final status negotiations with Israel mandated by the internationally-recognized 1993 Oslo Accords signed by both parties.
Final status talks between Israel and the PA ground to a complete halt when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu entered office. In subsequent months, under pressure from the United States the prime minister froze Jewish construction in Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria for ten full months. But the initiative, hugely unpopular among Netanyahu's constituency, resulted in nothing more than three preliminary meetings during which Abbas was unwilling to negotiate on any point without preconditions. Among the points on which Abbas refused to budge was the insistence on a further freeze on any building in existing towns in Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem restored to the city in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Abbas said Saturday that he hoped U.S. President Barack Obama would keep a promise he claimed was made in 2009 to maintain “his opposition to the settlement building on Palestinian land” and supporting the “two-state solution.”
The PA chairman said Saturday he would submit the PA request for the status on November 29.
Created on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 08:44
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced on Monday that the PA will present its bid for non-state UN membership, despite U.S. and Israeli opposition, AFP reported.
Following talks with Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi in Cairo, "it has been agreed that the request will be presented on November 29," Abbas told reporters, calling for support from Arab states.
The November 29 date was chosen on purpose, as it is the anniversary of the day in 1947 in which the United Nations voted in favor of the partition plan. The resolution recommended the creation of two states, one Arab, one Jewish and granted a small portion of the area, under the British Mandate, to the new Jewish state.
The announcement was made a day after Abbas responded to U.S. President Barack Obama with a direct “no” when told the U.S. administration is opposed to the PA’s unilateral move at the United Nations.
In a phone conversation with Abbas on Sunday, Obama "reiterated the United States' opposition to unilateral efforts at the United Nations", according to a White House statement released after the conversation.
"We don't want any confrontations with the United States or Israel. If we could start a dialogue or negotiations the day after the vote, we will," Abbas said, according to AFP.
"We know we are a country under occupation, but we want our land which was occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem. Israel says Palestinian lands are disputed and open to negotiation, and is hurrying to build settlements, covering Jerusalem with settlements," he accused.
Abbas met earlier on Monday in Riyadh with Saudi King Abdullah, before travelling to Cairo for an Arab League meeting.
Palestinian negotiator Mohammed Shtayeh told a news conference in Ramallah that the bid had been delayed at Washington's request until after last week's U.S. presidential election.
"Now there is no excuse for anybody to ask us not to go to the United Nations," Shtayeh said, according to AFP.
"President Abbas will attend the Assembly General session for the vote," his spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeina, told AFP.
Shtayeh played down threats by Israel to take punitive measures against the PA should it press ahead with its UN bid, saying he believed any response would be relatively limited.
"I think that most of these measures that have been declared will be empty threats," AFP quoted him as having said.
"Israel has a vested interest in maintaining the status of the Palestinian Authority as it stands today and I don't think that the Israelis are in a position to push this Palestinian Authority to a total collapse," said Shtayeh.
He added the Arab League had promised the PA a financial safety net in the event of punitive Israeli sanctions.
PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio on Monday that PA officials were working to have the League pledge implemented.
"We are trying to activate the decision related to the Arab safety network, valued at $100 million monthly, in case Israel blocks our money and the U.S. closes the PLO office and halts aid," he said.
Erekat said "Obama did not utter any threats but there are threats from the Congress, which has a draft bill, according to which it would demand closing the PLO office in Washington and cutting off aid" if the UN bid goes ahead.
Channel 10 News reported last week that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has threatened that if the PA goes ahead with its unilateral statehood bid he “will work to ensure the PA will collapse.”
Lieberman reportedly stressed that a unilateral statehood bid by the PA will "put an end to the chances to resume peace negotiations."
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz also threatened the PA on Saturday, saying that Israel would once again halt the transfer of the taxes it collects for the Palestinian Authority if it pursues its statehood bid.
Created on Monday, 12 November 2012 16:00
U.S. President Barack Obama told Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday that his administration opposes his bid for non-state membership of the UN, both sides said, according to an AFP report.
"There was a long telephone conversation between president Mahmoud Abbas and Barack Obama," Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP.
"Obama expressed the opposition of the United States to the decision to go to the UN General Assembly," he added
Abbas explained "the reasons and motives for the Palestinian decision to go to the UN ... including the continued (Jewish) settlement activity and Israeli aggression against citizens and property," Abu Rudeina said.
In a subsequent statement quoted by AFP, the White House said Obama had "reiterated the United States' opposition to unilateral efforts at the United Nations" in the call to Abbas.
Obama "reaffirmed his commitment to Middle East peace and his strong support for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians with the objective of two states living side by side in peace and security," it said.
Obama said he hoped he and Abbas would "continue cooperating closely in the future," added the statement, noting that Obama was returning a congratulatory call made by Abbas after his re-election last week.
Earlier on Sunday, Abbas used the anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death to adamantly state he will submit a bid to the United Nations General Assembly this month for non-member status.
"We're going to the United Nations in November 2012, not 2013, or 2014," Abbas said at a Ramallah event commemorating the eighth anniversary of the death of Arafat. The bid is a scaled-down version of his ploy last year, when he dropped his bid for full membership in the UN after it became clear that he was one vote short of the needed two-thirds support in the Security Council.
On paper, Abbas has an overwhelming majority to win the vote in the General Assembly, where the U.S. does not have veto power as it does in the Security Council.
Last Thursday, envoys from the Palestinian Authority unveiled the resolution they hope will give them observer membership at the United Nations.
Arab League foreign ministers are to discuss the resolution sometime this week. The PA’s mission to the United Nations sent a letter to UN members with its proposed resolution, saying it would be put to the 193 member UN General Assembly "at a date to be announced in the near future."
The Obama administration indicated already two months ago that it opposes the PA’s unilateral move and said it would “make the case” at the UN for Israeli-PA talks when Abbas submits his bid.
Channel 10 News reported last week that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has threatened that if the PA goes ahead with its unilateral statehood bid he “will work to ensure the PA will collapse.”
Lieberman reportedly stressed that a unilateral statehood bid by the PA will "put an end to the chances to resume peace negotiations."
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz also threatened the PA on Saturday, saying that Israel would once again halt the transfer of the taxes it collects for the Palestinian Authority if it pursues its statehood bid.
Created on Sunday, 04 November 2012 08:34
The Palestinian Authority continued a long-standing policy of telling Israelis and Westerners one thing and then stating exactly the opposite to the Arab world.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas won warm applause from President Shimon Peres, who called Abbas “courageous” for telling Channel 2, "I want to see Tzfat. It's my right to see it but not to live there."
His words “prove that Israel has a real partner for peace,” said Peres.
Huge protests immediately followed in Gaza, and Abbas' own spokesman said that the Palestinian Authority certainly has not given up the demand that Israel allow the immigration of several million foreign Arabs who claim Israel is their home.
Abbas then made it clear to the Arab world, through an Egyptian television network, that although he personally would give up living in Tzfat, “the right of return is holy and no one can deny it.”
He said the report of his giving up the demand was taken out of context. “I am not playing with words," he said. "I am telling Israel what I tell Palestinian Authority Arabs."
The Palestinian Authority has previously stated different positions to Arabs and to the West. It has committed itself to dismantling the terrorist infrastructure and halting incitement while actually escalating the encouragement of children and adults to become “martyrs” and carry out suicide bombings.
Abbas also has said he would accept the existence of Israel, without defining it as a Jewish state, but school maps and PA media teach that the entire state of Israel, from the Lebanese to Egyptian borders and from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, is “Palestine.”
Created on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 23:04
In an open letter penned to the residents of Gaza, PA President Mahmoud Abbas spoke about Israel's claim to land obtained before 1967 and touched on the PA's upcoming request from the General Assembly to grant it "super-observer" status, writing on his Facebook page, "Our land was conquered and it is not disputed territory and this is true of all of the land that Israel conquered before June 1967."
Abbas' statements were repeated in official PA media and translated by Palestinian Media Watch.
"The recognition of [the State of Palestine at the UN] will not free the ground the next day, but it will prove our just cause that our land is occupied and not disputed territory, and this is true in regards to all of the territories Israel occupied before June 1967."
"I want you to know that this is a great political and diplomatic campaign, and I regret that some Palestinian voices do not understand or do not want to understand the importance of it," wrote Abbas.
This letter comes only weeks after Abbas secretly met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Jordan, focusing on efforts to resume peace talks.
Yet the PA's public opinion that all land prior to 1967 is now "occupied territory" is nothing new. Last Independence Day PA officials spoke on television, saying, "Today, 64 years ago, the Israeli Zionist gangs committed the broadest deportation actions against our people in the occupied lands in 48."
Educational programs for children on PA TV ask children, "You live in Jerusalem. Did you go to the cities occupied among cities in 1948", and when the child says "I visited Hebron", the host presses, "No, Hebron is a city [Palestinian Authority] we can all get into. Occupied cities - such as Lod, Ramle, Haifa, Jaffa, Acre - Have you visited them?"
Palestinian Authority newspapers commonly refer to certain officials as "leaders of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948."
Created on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 17:45
Palestinian Authority head, Mahmoud Abbas, proposed cancelling the Oslo Accords with Israel at a weekend meeting of the PA leadership, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) told AFP on Tuesday.
PLO Executive Committee member Wassel Abu Yusef said Abbas raised the idea of "cancelling the Oslo agreement as well as the associated economic and security arrangements," at the meeting on Saturday and Sunday.
Abu Yusef said that "members of the Palestinian leadership had mixed opinions on the issue, and it was decided to postpone any decision until their next meeting," due to be held after Abbas's return from the UN General Assembly later this month. "It was the first time the Palestinian leadership put the issue of the Oslo agreement on the table since it was signed in 1993," Abu Yusef added.
Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority -- faced with social unrest over price rises and inability to pay bills despite massive donations -- asked Israel for talks on amending the Paris Protocol, the 1994 agreement that governs economic ties between the two sides.
Abu Yusef added that the PA leadership also discussed holding presidential and parliamentary elections "in the light of Hamas's refusal to complete Palestinian reconciliation."
Gaza's Hamas rulers and Abbas's Fatah movement signed a reconcilation deal early last year that was supposed to have paved the way for the long-delayed elections to be held in Gaza and PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria. But bickering over the implementation of the agreement has hampered any progress towards going ahead with the overdue elections.
Created on Saturday, 01 September 2012 12:34
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas asked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to help establish a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders, PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said Friday.
The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported that Abbas and Ahmadinejad met in Tehran on Thursday for what Erekat described as “frank and productive” talks.
Erekat told Ma’an that Abbas had indicated to Ahmadinejad that the “Palestinian” diplomatic quest was to establish a state along the pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.
Abbas said that the mission had been approved by both the Arab Peace Initiative and the foreign affairs summit in Tehran in 2003.
Ahmadinejad called on Abbas to implement reconciliation between his Fatah party and Hamas immediately, Ereket told Ma’an, adding that Abbas reassured the Iranian leader that national unity was his “top priority.”
The PA recently announced its intention to turn to the UN General Assembly for recognition as a state.
In September 2011, Abbas applied for full UN membership at the UN Security Council. Israel and the U.S. staunchly opposed the bid, which failed due to a lack of support in the 15-member council.
Abbas’ meeting with Ahmadinejad took place on the sidelines of the summit of the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement. Earlier this week, he threatened to pull out after Hamas’s Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, announced he had also received an invitation to the summit.
Haniyeh later pulled out of the trip, citing a desire not to damage reconciliation efforts. Sources told Ma'an that the debacle started when Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei invited Haniyeh, while Abbas was invited officially by Ahmadinejad.
Erekat told Ma’an that Abbas reassured Ahmadinejad that neither the PLO nor the Palestinian Authority objected to Iran or any other country inviting Hamas leaders to visit.
However, Abbas said that inviting Haniyeh to the Non-Aligned Movement summit without consulting the PLO was considered a snub to the legitimacy of the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people.
Ahmadinejad denied inviting Haniyeh to attend the NAM summit, Erekat said.
Created on Monday, 27 August 2012 07:19
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas frequently refers to the “alleged” Jewish Temple, but if it was not Jewish, there is no basis for Christian belief, as written in the New Testament in Matthew (21:12), that Jewish “moneychangers" chased Jesus from the Holy Temple. However, Christians so far have not reacted to the implicit denial of their belief.
The PA campaign to eradicate Jewish history at the Temple Mount , as well as in the rest of Israel, has escalated sharply in the past two years.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) documented and translated statements from Palestinian Authority leaders, including Abbas, his advisor Ahmad Al-Ruweidi, clerics and ministers, all of whom used the term "alleged Temple" 97 times in 2011 and 2012.
PMW pointed out that the number 97 refers only to the term “alleged Temple” and does not include thousands of other denials of the existence of the First and Second Temples and Jewish history in the rest of Israel. Many Jewish sites, such as Rachel’s Tomb at the edge of Bethlehem and less than a mile from Jerusalem, has been given an Arab name by the PA, whose clerics claim it was a Muslim site - before Islam was founded.
Last week, Abbas said in the official PA WAFA news agency and in the PA official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, ”[Israel's] purpose is to achieve its black goals: Destroying the Al-Aqsa Mosque, building the 'alleged Temple,' taking over the Muslim and Christian holy sites, and destroying its [Jerusalem's] institutions in order to empty it, uproot its residents, and continue its occupation and Judaization.”
PMW also uncovered Abbas' statement “that all of Israel's archeological digs and tunnels... will not change the reality of the city... and will not create a [Jewish] right based on fantasy and legends.”
The statement ended, “There will be no peace, security, or stability unless the occupation [Israel], its settlements and settlers will be evacuated from our holy city and the eternal capital of our state."
Abbas has previously declared that “Palestinian” history is 9,000 years old and said last year, on the eve of Israel’s Independence Day, "Netanyahu, you are incidental in history. We are the people of history. We are the owners of history,” PMW stated.
Created on Wednesday, 22 August 2012 18:46
Hamas has infiltrated into the senior ranks of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abba’s own security forces, bearing out Israel’s worst fears that the PA might turns it guns on Israelis, according to the DebkaFile website.
Debka, staffed by former journalists and former intelligence personnel, said that the Palestinian Authority arrested this past Sunday two Hamas agents of the terrorist’ organization’s military branch who infiltrated into the elite hand-picked security force that guards Abbas.
The PA reportedly has clamped a blackout on the arrests.
Abbas' personal security force includes approximately 170 men, and the general security forces include an additional 4,000. The discovery of the two Hamas infiltrators indicates the possibility that the PA security army, officially called police under the Oslo Accords, may be filled with more Hamas operatives.
Debka said there might be the existence of an “unknown number of sleeper cells awaiting orders to spring into action” against Abbas as well as IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians in Judea and Samaria.
Israeli nationalists have warned for years that the government’s allowing the PA to deploy a security force far larger than the number limited by the Oslo Accords, and allowing them to be armed, will bring about a repeat of the terror that broke out in the late 1990s after the Rabin government gave the PA thousands of rifles.
The presence of Hamas terrorists in the PA security forces is especially troubling for the United States and Britain, which screened Abbas’ personal guards.
Created on Thursday, 19 July 2012 21:38
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met Egypt's newly elected president, Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo on Wednesday.
The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported that Abbas is in Cairo for two days, coinciding with a trip to the country by Hamas head Khaled Mashaal. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi is a part.
Both Fatah and Hamas said their leaders were in Egypt to discuss the stalled reconciliation process between them, but it was not clear whether they would meet, Ma’an reported.
Abbas congratulated Morsi and briefed him on the latest developments in the peace process with Israel. According to the report, Abbas said Israel's refusal to stop Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria or make any agreement was hindering a return to talks.
Abbas has repeatedly continued to demand that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as final borders, release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin.
He recently made the same preconditions during a meeting in Paris with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad met in Jerusalem with Clinton this week, but his message was the same: no talks with Israel without preconditions.
According to Ma’an, Abbas and Morsi also discussed bilateral relations between Egypt and the PA as well as the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.
Hamas and Fatah have had a longtime row since Hamas violently overthrew the Fatah government in Gaza five years ago. The two factions signed a reconciliation deal in May of 2011, but the deal has repeatedly faltered as the parties spar over its implementation.
Created on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 07:18
Israel should annex Judea and Samaria and put an end to the Palestinian Authority’s “salami system” of taking land, according to government coalition leader Ze’ev Elkin, a Likud Knesset Member.
“For the past twenty years we have been discussing what we should give and why. The time has come for a completely different discussion. It is our right and it is our land. It is our right to apply sovereignty over it”, says Elkin in his pre-recorded greeting to the participants of the Second Conference for the Application of Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. The conference is scheduled to be held Thursday in Hevron, under the auspices of Women in Green and "Just Peace For Israel.”
“Now is the time to do so in Judea and Samaria. It is time to end this ‘salami system’, where the Palestinians take and take as we cut away and give them slice by slice,” MK Elkin declared.
He said that fear of international criticism is unfounded because Israel has maintained its sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights for more than 30 years despite international condemnation. Mainstream media still dateline articles in the areas as “occupied” territory.
Elkin’s comments come less than a week after a panel headed by retired High Court judge Edmund Levy concluded that there is no “occupation” in Judea and Samaria, and international law allows Jews to live in Judea and Samaria.
The idea of Jews having a legal right to live in Judea and Samaria sent shudders through mainstream media, which initially buried the report for several days, leaving Arutz Sheva as almost the lone media outlet to publish it immediately.
Voice of Israel government radio was quick to feature on Monday Talia Sasson, former head of the State Prosecution Criminal Department. She rejected Levy’s report and said it contradicts High Court rulings.
Sasson authored a 2005 report that has served as the basis for declaring dozens of Jewish communities and outposts “illegal.” Her report was commissioned by then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who also engineered the “Disengagement" program to expel more than 9,000 Jews from their homes, all of them legally built, in Gaza and in four northern Samaria communities in 2005.
Sasson later ran in Israeli elections as a member of the left wing Meretz party.
Created on Thursday, 05 July 2012 09:28
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas will meet with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the French President Francois Hollande this week.
Erekat said Abbas will stress the importance of releasing PA jailed in Israel when he meets with the leaders, according to a statement from his office.
He added that Abbas will also meet EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, and the British, German and Norwegian foreign ministers during his two-day trip to Paris.
World diplomats are currently gathering for a "Friends of Syria" meeting in the French capital. The summit is a bid by world leaders to bridge Arab and Western positions over the conflict in Syria.
However, Russia – which says the group is biased in favor of opposition to President Bashar Assad – refuses to attend.
A spokesman for Abbas' office said last month that the PA leader will only meet with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu if Israel agrees to free seriously ill prisoners, including those detained prior to the Oslo accords.
Specifying pre-Oslo and sick prisoners is a step down from Abbas' previous position, which was the unconditional release of all PA prisoners from Israeli prisons.
However, the prisoner issue remains only one of several preconditions Abbas has thrown in the path of renewed peace talks between Ramallah and Jerusalem.
He has also demanded Israel agree to the indefensible pre-1967 lines as the borders for a future PA state and impose a second building freeze in Judea and Samaria before he agrees to come to the negotiating table.
Israeli officials note that a previous 10-month building freeze by Israel aimed at meeting Abbas' demand was rebuffed and not only met with additional preconditions, but a unilateral statehood bid at the United Nations in violation of the 1993 Oslo Accords as well.
They say Abbas' current raft of preconditions are a fait accompli intended to forestall talks that would require him to make concessions he has not prepared his people for.
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said he is ready to resume talks immediately without preconditions from either side.
Created on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 19:43
The U.S. State Dept. charged UNESCO on Monday with “hotwiring” a Palestinian Authority demand that the Church of Nativity be declared a PA heritage site.
The designation is usually reserved for sites that are under the threat of destruction. The United Nations agency, which recently accepted the Palestinian Authority as a member over American objections, rejected its own advisors’ opinions and named the church in Bethlehem as an official Palestinian Authority heritage site.
The decision adds another pillar to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s strategy of trying to turn the Palestinian Authority into a de facto country.
State Dept. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland rejected Associated Press reporter Matt Lee’s argument that American opposition to the heritage designation was “political.”The World Heritage Commission’s decision to include the church of Nativity as a world heritage site was made despite “the official recommendation of the International Council of Monuments and Sites, the expert body that evaluated the site,” Nuland said.
She explained, “This procedure in the World Heritage Committee has only been used four times in the past, in extreme cases when the site in question was under threat of being torn down. That was not the case here…. It – from our mind, it speaks to a political move rather than a well thought-out move with regard to the site…"
“It speaks to hotwiring a process that should have been done more properly… It wasn’t an absolute imperative to designate it under this emergency thing.”
Another reporter alleged that Israel is digging under the Temple Mount, a supposed activity that could allow the Palestinian Authority to claim that the Dome of the Rock mosque is in danger.
“Do you counsel against taking similar activities with the Dome of the Rock and the Haram Sharif because there is digging underneath there, and there may be plans to do the same thing with UNESCO – Joseph Tomb, the Holy Sepulcher Church, and many other places?” the journalist identified as “Said” asked Nuland.
“We are prepared to see the World Heritage Committee review any appropriate sites. We just want to see it done through normal procedures,” she answered.
Lee of the AP unsuccessfully tried to corner Nuland into saying that the American opposition to accepting the Church of Nativity as a Palestinian Authority heritage site was based on its concern that the Palestinian Authority “shouldn’t be a member of UNESCO in the first place.”
Nuland replied, “I think we’ve gone to the end of this one. Anybody else? Anything else? All right. Thank you, all.”
Created on Sunday, 17 June 2012 22:11
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday said Sunday that the peace process with Israel is "clinically dead" just days before PA negotiator Saeb Erakat meets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"The peace process is clinically dead and the Israeli side is definitely the one responsible," Abbas said at a conference in Ramallah, according to the AFP news agency. "The ball is in their court."
Negotiations between Israel and the PA have been moribund since late 2010, with the PA refusing to return to negotiations without a freeze on building for Jews in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron). The PA also demands that Israel agree to accept 199 Armistice lines as the basis for the talks.
Israel has said it wants an immediate return to the negotiating table -- but without these preconditions.
"I was assigned by President Abbas to inform US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of our position on resuming negotiations once Israel commits to stopping settlement activity and release of prisoners, among other obligations," Erakat told AFP on Sunday. "These are not preconditions but obligations and Israel must abide by them," he said.
"We hope the American administration compels the Israeli government to fulfill its obligations in order to get the peace process back on track."
Created on Sunday, 10 June 2012 07:50
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has added to his pre-negotiations demands. After telling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to choose “between peace and settlements,” he has reiterated his demand for a full construction freeze, but has added demands that Israel release terrorists and add arms to the PA police force.
“We recently told them that if Israel accepted to free prisoners and allow us to re-arm the police then we would again sit at the same table as Netanyahu,” Abbas said at a press conference in France.
Abbas also defended his demand for a complete construction freeze, saying it was not a true precondition. Most of the world considers Israeli construction in Judea (Yehuda) and Samaria (Shomron) illegal, he said.
If his demands are met, the path to true negotiations is not yet over. “If Mr. Netanyahu agrees…. Then we will establish a dialogue, but that doesn’t mean a negotiation,” Abbas clarified.
Israeli spokesman Mark Regev said in response, “Israel remains ready for the immediate resumption of peace talks without any preconditions.”
Created on Saturday, 09 June 2012 07:38
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas warned on Friday that he may seek non-member status for a Palestinian state at the United Nations if peace talks with Israel do not resume, The Associated Press reported.
The PA currently has observer status at the UN and an upgrade by the General Assembly to “non-member” would give Palestine recognition as a “state”. This could open the way for PA Arabs to take legal action against Israelis through the International Criminal Court.
Speaking at a news conference with French President Francois Hollande in Paris, Abbas said, “We went to the Security Council. We did not obtain the vote necessary. If we don’t return to the (peace) negotiations, we’ll of course go to the General Assembly to obtain the status of non-member state, as is the case for the Vatican or Switzerland.”
He added, according to AP, “Of course, we are going to encounter many obstacles.” He did not specify when he might take his bid to the General Assembly.
The UN Security Council blocked Abbas’ bid to become a full member last September, after he failed to get the required support of nine of the Security Council’s 15 members.
“As for the negotiations,” Abbas said, “I just want to say that the ball is in [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu’s court. If Mr. Netanyahu agrees to end the colonization and recognize the borders, we will be inclined to take steps in this direction.”
He also said, according to a report in the PA-based WAFA news agency, that “if Israel agreed to release prisoners, and allowed us to import weapons to the police, we can sit down with Mr. Netanyahu.”
Abbas has continued to demand that Israel accept the indefensible pre-1967 lines as final borders, release all Arab terrorists from its jails, and halt construction in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem for a second time before talks begin.
The previous 10-month construction freeze in the 'disputed territories' by Israel was not only rebuffed, but met with the failed statehood bid at the UN.
Peace talks between Israel and the PA have been frozen since Jordan hosted a series of “exploratory meetings” between PA and Israeli representatives several months ago. The PA refused to continue to talk after those meetings and threatened to cancel all agreements signed after 2000 if Israel does not agree to all its preconditions before peace talks.
In a speech in Tunisia last month, Abbas claimed Netanyahu is “a partner for peace”, but repeated his demand that Netanyahu choose “between peace and settlements.”
Netanyahu, meanwhile, said last week he believes his 94-seat super-coalition is a historic opportunity – and mandate – for peace.
Netanyahu called on Abbas “not to miss this unique opportunity and give peace a chance.”
"Let me clarify – I have not set any conditions to enter into negotiations," he said, repeating his willingness to begin negotiations immediately. "Certainly I will have conditions to conclude negotiations, and so will Mahmoud Abbas. This is natural and it is the reason we conduct negotiations. But this is why I say to Abbas – don't miss out on this opportunity to extend your hand in peace."
Created on Tuesday, 05 June 2012 21:12
As was expected, the Palestinian Authority glorified the 91 terrorists whose bodies were returned by Israel, as a gesture by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
The Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) research organization, which monitors and translates the PA-based media, has translated and presented on its website several incidents in which the PA glorified the dead terrorists. The PA gave the terrorists a military funeral for heroes, with the participation of Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and other PA dignitaries.
All the returned terrorists, including many suicide bombers who murdered Israeli civilians, were presented as heroic and categorized as Shahids (martyrs).
In one speech which was broadcast on PA TV on May 31 and which was delivered by the Secretary General of Mahmoud Abbas' office, Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, he said:
“Our Martyrs are now among us after being in our hearts, in our minds, and in our veins. We did not forget them for a moment, we will never forget them, and we will always remain faithful to their vow... Oh brothers [Martyrs], your souls now hover above us and say to us: 'Follow in our path, stick to the obligation that is incumbent upon us and we are sure that you will be fulfilling this obligation and following this path.' May Allah have mercy on you. We ask Allah to gather you in the uppermost heaven, along with the prophets, the righteous, and the Martyrs.”
A second speech by PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein also glorified the terrorists. Hussein is the same mufti who, several months ago, publicly called for the genocide of Jews.
In his speech after the terrorists’ bodies were returned, the mufti said:
“Today we receive this elite group of Martyrs. Our people, headed by the Palestinian leadership, welcome these Martyrs with great honor... As we accompany these Martyrs to Heaven, we should be happy: By Allah's will, we still have elite groups of Martyrs like these among us. We still have a generous leadership, and we still have a people that has never been sparing and will spare no sacrifice for this blessed land, for this homeland, for Jerusalem and the holy places, and for every inch of the pure land of beloved Palestine. Honored brothers, this is a great event: The souls of the noble Martyrs envelop us, and their souls tell us to follow in their path.”
Created on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 07:05
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas used a ‘Nakba Day’ speech on Tuesday to accuse Israel of carrying out ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem.
Nakba Day, or the day of catastrophe, is what the Arabs call the English date of May 15, when the State of Israel was re-established with a declaration of independence in 1948.
“For decades, Israel has been building settlements in Jerusalem and around it,” Abbas said in a televised speech, according to a report on Israel’s Channel 2 News. “This is done while there is a massive destruction of houses in the city and their original inhabitants are being uprooted on a daily basis.”
Abbas also claimed that Israel intentionally harms the Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, saying, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque is being targeted by the occupation and together with the extremists has become the main target. They are trying to make Muslims and Christians flee the city by imposing heavy taxes, a policy which can only be called ethnic cleansing.”
The PA Chairman also said that “the continued Israeli occupation of Jerusalem is the main factor which fans the tension and wars in the region and the world,” and vowed to “turn every grain and stone to put a complete stop to the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem - the capital of Palestine. As long as the occupation continues there will be no peace.”
He also clarified that “no peace agreement with Israel will be signed without it recognizing an independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem. Until then, the Israelis will not be able to live peacefully, but will continue to deal with the consequences of their existence in the heart of a hostile environment.”
Abbas warned that if what he said in his speech does not occur exactly the way he noted, “this will lead to the inevitable formation of a bi-national state. Such an alternative is unacceptable to the Israelis, and we are not interested in it either.”
His comments came one day after Israel signed an agreement with PA prisoners to end their hunger strike, which has been gaining international sympathy.
The Prime Minister's Office said on Monday that the deal that ended the hunger strike was a goodwill gesture to Abbas.
Part of the deal was the transfer of 100 bodies of PA Arab terrorists currently buried in Israel. The Netanyahu administration instructed security officials to prepare to transfer the bodies to the PA in another apparent gesture of conciliation to Abbas.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, at least four Israeli security personnel were hurt in Nakba Day clashes with PA Arabs in Judea and Samaria.
Hundreds of PA residents threw stones and firebombs outside the Ofer Prison adjacent to the Beitunya crossing. The IDF and Israel Police responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and other crowd dispersal means.