Posts Tagged ‘Mahmoud Abbas’

Barghouti sent to isolation after Israel comments

January 27, 2012

Ma’an News, Jan 26, 2012


Marwan Barghouti pictured during an interview from his prison cell in

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti was sent to solitary confinement on Wednesday after making critical comments about Israel to journalists.

After testifying in a Jerusalem court on Wednesday the Fatah leader briefly spoke to reporters.

Upon returning to Hadarim prison in Israel, Barghouti was not allowed back into his regular cell and was instead put in isolation, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said Thursday.

Detainees in the prison protested the move and asked prison authorities to explain their decision.

Israeli authorities have not responded.

Barghouti, the former secretary-general of Fatah in the West Bank, told journalists that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would only be resolved when the occupation comes to an end and Israel withdraws to the pre-1967 borders.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society condemned the Israeli decision to isolate him and called on human rights organizations to stop violations against Palestinian leaders in jail.

The Fatah leader has been serving a life sentence since 2004 and has been widely viewed as a contender to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as president.

Obama Fails in Middle East

November 7, 2009

Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation, November 6, 2009

The announcement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he will not run for reelection is the exclamation point on the utter collapse of the Obama adminstration’s Middle East policy. Launched to great expectations — the appointment of George Mitchell, Obama’s Cairo declaration that the plight of the Palestinians is intolerable — it is now in complete disarray. It is, without doubt, the first major defeat for Obama’s hope-and-change foreign policy.

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The Vichy Government of Mahmoud Abbas in Palestine

October 13, 2009

by Jamal Dajani,   Senior Director and Producer Mosaic News, Link TV

The Huffington Post, Oct 9, 2009

It is not the first time Palestinians have called for the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas. When Hamas swept to victory in the Palestinian Parliamentary Elections in January 2006, angry mobs from the defeated Fatah party staged rallies in the Gaza Strip, calling for his resignation. Many gathered outside the parliament in Gaza City, setting fire to government cars and firing shots into the air.

Today, the anger is subtler, but more poignant. Palestinians from all walks of life are stunned and disappointed by Abbas, who withdrew Palestinian support for a vote in the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva to have the Goldstone report sent to the U.N. General Assembly for possible action, the first of many steps towards possibly establishing war crimes tribunals to investigate Israel’s alleged war crimes in Gaza.

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Falk: The PA betrayed its own people

October 8, 2009


Richard Falk, , October 7, 2009

GAZA, (PIC) — Richard Falk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that that the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah betrayed its own people at a moment when the international community was so close to endorse Goldstone’s report accusing Israel of war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

“The Palestinians have betrayed their people, this was a moment when finally the international community endorsed the allegations of war crimes and it would have been an opportunity to vindicate the struggle of the Palestinian people for their rights under international law and for the Palestinian representatives in the UN themselves to seem to undermine this report is an astonishing development,” he told al-Jazeera.

The UN official, however, said that the report, despite being delayed, is still very important because it exposed the inadequacy of Palestinian representation at the international level and will encourage groups supporting the Palestinian struggle to continue their efforts in this regard.

For his part, member of the central committee of the popular front for the liberation of Palestine Kayed Al-Ghoul said that delaying the vote on Goldstone’s report is a sin committed by Mahmoud Abbas, demanding him to apologize for this wrongdoing before the Palestinian people.

Ghoul stressed that this apology is a necessary step to stop the negative repercussions and to hold accountable all Palestinian officials who were responsible for what happened.

In the same context, PA official Sa’eb Erekat told Al-Jazeera satellite channel on Tuesday that the PA in Ramallah is responsible for delaying taking action on Goldstone’s report, alleging that there was a misunderstanding of the PA position.

Erekat during his talk to the channel appeared to be trying to absorb the popular anger towards the PA astonishing position against Goldstone’s report.

Senior Fatah leader and former Palestinian ambassador to Egypt Nabil Amr held Abbas on Monday in remarks on the same channel fully and directly responsible for what happened in Geneva and called on him to stop fabricating excuses.

Obama’s peace effort has failed but our struggle continues

September 25, 2009

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 24 September 2009

US President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas in a kitschy reprise of the famous 1993 White House lawn handshake between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin. (MaanImages)

There is the old joke about a man who is endlessly searching on the ground beneath a street light. Finally, a neighbor who has been watching him asks the man what he is looking for. The man replies that he lost his keys. The neighbor asks him if he lost them under the streetlight. “No,” the man replies, pointing into the darkness, “I lost them over there, but I am looking over here because here there is light!”

The intense focus on the “peace process” is a similarly futile search. Just because politicians and the media shine a constant light on it, does not mean that is where the answers are to be found.

The meeting hosted by US President Barack Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel on 22 September signaled the complete and terminal failure of Obama’s much vaunted push to bring about a two-state solution to the Palestine/Israel conflict.

To be sure, all the traditional activities associated with the “peace process” — shuttle diplomacy, meetings, ritual invocations of “two states living side by side,” and even “negotiations” — will continue, perhaps for the rest of Obama’s time in office. But this sterile charade will not determine the future of Palestine/Israel. That is already being decided by other means.

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Abbas urges unity against land grabs

September 8, 2009
Morning Star Online, September 7,  2009

Tel Aviv announced on Monday that it has officially approved the construction of 366 new flats for Israeli settlers in illegal West Bank colonies.

And Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said that he intends to approve about 84 more soon.

The first new construction that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hawkish government has approved since taking office in March threatens to derail attempts to get Middle East peace efforts back on track.

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Fateh delegates to Bethlehem conference demand a probe on Arafat’s death

August 7, 2009
author Thursday August 06, 2009 02:46author by IMEMC & Agencies Report this post to the editors

As Fateh’s conference, held in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, entered its second day, delegates participating in the conference criticized the movement’s leadership for not demanding an investigation into the death of late President, Yasser Arafat, and slammed it for not insisting on it.

Reprinted from PNN
Reprinted from PNN

The demands came during the evening session of the second day of the conference on Wednesday.

The issue of Arafat’s death resurfaced last month after one of the senior Fateh leaders in exile, Farouq Qaddoumi, stated accused the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and senior Fateh leader, Mohammad Dahlan, were involved in an Israeli plot to poison Arafat.

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We must act to help the people of Gaza

January 7, 2009

We have the power

Why we must act to help the people of Gaza, urges JEREMY CORBYN.

SIX HUNDRED dead and 2,500 injured is the current price of Israel’s 11-day onslaught on Gaza. Its blood-stained assault is the culmination of the abject failure of Western strategy in the Middle East since 2005.

That was the year in which the first democratic elections in Palestine for the presidency and assembly were supposed to mark a step on the road towards the recognition of Palestine as an an independent state, with the complete withdrawal by Israel from Gaza and a partial withdrawal in the West Bank.

But the result didn’t go to plan.

While Palestinians elected Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas as president, they handed Hamas a parliamentary majority.

Israel’s response was swift. It rounded up 74 parliamentarians and threw them in jail. Today, 40 remain in custody without charge or any prospect of a trial.

The US and EU, meanwhile, promoted economic and political support for the West Bank while allowing Israel to continue its blockade of Gaza unhindered. It joined Tel Aviv in ritual condemnation of the Hamas leadership.

A ceasefire agreed between Hamas and Israel was respected by the Islamist movement until Israel carried out a major offensive in the West Bank. When Tel Aviv failed to end its siege of Gaza as agreed, the ceasefire was again broken by Hamas.

Normally 450 lorries a day enter the strip bearing essential supplies to sustain Gaza’s 1.5 million population. Under the Israeli blockade, this fell to fewer than 80 lorries a day, helping to create the humanitarian disaster now unfolding in the strip.

Much has been made of attacks using home-made rockets upon Israel and their military impact has been greatly exaggerated. Obviously, it is wrong that they should be fired and that any casualties should be caused. But these attacks are no excuse for 600 air raids and an orgy of killing.

Israel has flouted every UN resolution ever passed concerning the rights of Palestinian people. It has constructed a wall that has been declared illegal by the World Court and it has forced collective punishment on the people of Gaza by controlling all travel and by denying access to the basic necessities of life.

The Israelis are led by President Shimon Peres, a man addicted to office irrespective of the policies of the administration in which he is serving, and the squabbling twins of Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni. They are engaged in a macabre competition to see who can be the most brutal towards the Palestinian people. Theirs is a crude electoral game played with an eye on elections for prime minister next month.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu is waiting in the wings. He has a proven record of killing far more people than this and is ready to do battle.

The EU has called for a ceasefire and issued various statements suggesting that Israel ought to halt the bombardment of Gaza as it is wholly disproportionate to the alleged cause for their actions.

However, at no stage has the EU even suggested that there could be any political or diplomatic reaction to Israel’s behaviour. The current bilateral trade agreement between Israel and the EU is due to be upgraded. If Israel is granted associated status, in the past a step on the road towards full EU membership, it will gain even greater access to EU trade and aid.

If any other country anywhere else in the world had behaved in the way that Israel has in the past 11 days, never mind the past 60 years, it would be roundly condemned by every government.

But there is an unspoken bottom line that Israel need fear no retribution for its actions. The US administration has not even called for a ceasefire. George W Bush and Condoleezza Rice have fallen neatly in line with Israel’s depiction that this is a war of equals. Yet this supposed war of equals is being waged by a nuclear-armed power against a largely unarmed Gazan population.

The US, with the support of the British government, has ensured through its security council veto that there has been no ceasefire call from the UN.

Another security council meeting takes place today in New York. The very least that it could do is condemn Israel for the huge loss of civilian life, including the bombing of a UN school in Gaza yesterday, which has reportedly killed at least 40 people.

Next Monday, Foreign Secretary David Miliband will report to the House of Commons on the British government’s participation in the various EU efforts to bring about a ceasefire.

But will he recognise that ordinary public opinion in Britain has been steadily moving in favour of the rights of Palestinian people?

There has been an avalanche of support for the victims of Israel’s behaviour. Support for Jews for Justice for Palestinians has increased, as has the participation of people in demonstrations such as the massive march through London last Sunday and the daily demonstrations at the US embassy.

Ordinary people have been emailing, phoning and faxing their MPs to demand action as they are bombarded with daily images of the carnage in Gaza. Support for Israel in Parliament has been steadily reducing and is now much more limited than in the past.

Not only is the continued oppression of Palestinians appalling for the individuals concerned but it can only lay the foundations for greater conflict in the future.

The time is long past for the rest of the world to unreservedly condemn Israel’s behaviour.

The increasingly militant hardline leadership in Israel must be isolated.

This time, the plight of the Palestinian people will not wait as they are dying in their hundreds and starving in their thousands.

The neighbouring governments that have so far failed to open the crossing points or effectively condemn Israel will soon be feeling the wrath of popular opinion in their own communities.

We often feel a sense of helplessness in these situations. But we can apply force to the political process in Britain and join in the massive numbers of protests and street demonstrations that are being held every day.

For the people of Palestine, in Gaza and the West Bank, it means more than we can know.

There is a national demonstration in London this Saturday January 10. Assemble 12.30pm at Hyde Park Corner. Visit for more information on this and other actions.

Failing Darwish’s Legacy

August 23, 2008

By Sumia Ibrahim

Relatives of the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish along with Palestinian Authority officials mourn over his coffin during his state funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah, 13 August. (Mustafa Abu Dayeh/POOL/MaanImages)

Last Wednesday’s state funeral in Ramallah for the revered Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish revealed how far the Palestinian people are from realizing the justice imagined in Darwish’s writing, and was a sad reminder of how the Palestinian Authority (PA) helps undermine his people’s struggle.

On the day that Darwish’s body was laid to rest, amid tens of thousands of Palestinians mourning in the streets and many more in their homes, his criticisms of and hopes for the Palestinian and Israeli governments and societies remained unheeded and unrealized. However, Darwish’s official funeral at the PA headquarters, with all of its military pomp, demonstrated that the PA had its own interests in mind over that of respecting, never mind fulfilling, Darwish’s message and legacy.

Darwish joined the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1973 but broke 20 years later in disagreement with their signing with Israel the Oslo Accords which Darwish believed did not even minimally fulfill Palestinians’ rights. The Oslo Accords established the PA and initiated the “peace process” supposedly aimed at creating an independent Palestinian state, but were null and voided after Israel doubled its illegal settlement population in the years that followed, dashing any hopes of Palestinian sovereignty.

It is hard to imagine that Darwish would have been pleased with his PA-sponsored state funeral. Indeed, with the Oslo Accords he opposed came the establishment of the PA and the illusion of a Palestinian government in parity with Israel. However, in effect the PA served as an arm of the occupation, relieving Israel of its obligations as an occupying power. Meanwhile, Israel continues to colonize Palestinian land, control the borders and Palestinian movement, and the Palestinians are no closer to realizing their right to self-determination.

Furthermore, Darwish was overtly critical of political factionalism between Fatah and Hamas, Palestine’s leading governing parties. In July 2007, he described deadly infighting in Gaza as “a public attempt at suicide in the streets.” He said with irony, “We have triumphed. Gaza won its independence from the West Bank. One people now have two states, two prisons who don’t greet each other. We are victims dressed in executioners’ clothing.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas eulogized at Darwish’s funeral: “You remain with us, Mahmoud, because you represent everything that unites us.” Abbas spoke of Palestinian unity but in actuality, the PA has complied with Israel and the US’s attempt to further fracture Palestinian society by isolating Gaza from the West Bank. Renewed infighting emerged this summer between Fatah and Hamas, with the more severe rights violations occurring at the hands of Hamas in Gaza. But for their part, the al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades, closely linked to Fatah, abducted a senior member of Hamas in the West Bank in Nablus earlier this month. Palestinian security forces also detained up to 50 Hamas members, including senior party figures, also in the West Bank earlier this month.

Continued . . .

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