Archive for July, 2012

Hamas opposes Palestinian UN bid, warns of consequences

GAZA CITY (BNO NEWS) — The Palestinian militant group Hamas on Wednesday said it does not support the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations (UN) and warned of its consequences, the Palestine News Network (PNN) reported.

A spokesman for the movement, Salah al-Bardawil, said that President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to go to the UN is a tactical move, part of a negotiation process that is ‘not based on principles.’ He added that Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions it leads would therefore not support the decision.

Bardawil also told a seminar in Gaza City that if the Palestinian state is ratified within the 1967 borders, the Palestinian resistance would not be able to shoot a single bullet ‘against the Israeli occupation,’ according to PNN.

On Tuesday, the Fatah Revolutionary Council called for the Palestinian support of the UN bid and urged people to go out and demonstrate in city centers. Fatah said the demonstrations will increase until September 23, when President Abbas will speak to the UN General Assembly.

Last week, the United States said it will veto any Palestinian bid to seek a full United Nations membership and warned that any action at the United Nations will only increase tensions in the region. The United States is one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The U.S. comments came a day after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told U.S. officials that the Palestinian bid does not contradict the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but will end the deadlock that resulted from “Israeli intransigence.”

Abbas also said that Palestine is willing to return to negotiations if Israel accepts the terms of reference to the peace process, the two-state solution on the 1967 borders and stops settlements in the Palestinian Territory, according to the Palestine News and Information Agency.

Last year, Israel and the Palestinian Authority stalled the peace negotiations, which were supported by the United States and the United Nations, after the Jewish nation refused to extend a moratorium on settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territory in September.

In response, President Abbas broke off direct talks as recommended by Hamas, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union and countries such as the United States and Israel. Israel has since resumed settlement construction even though they have been labeled as a violation of international law by the international community.

Palestine has demanded a stop to settlement construction in the disputed East Jerusalem and West Bank area as a key element for continuing peace talks, aimed at reaching a two-state solution based on the 1967 Green Line. However, Israeli authorities have rejected the Palestinian solution based on the 1967 borders as that measure would leave a large population of Israelis in Judea and Samaria outside Israel’s borders.

About 120 out of 193 countries have currently recognized the State of Palestine and those are seen as possible supporters if the UN votes on the issue. If the UN Security Council resolution to recognize Palestine is approved, Palestine would become the 194th member of the United Nations.

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Source: WireUpdate.


Jordan prefers talks for Palestinian state


Wednesday 14 September 2011

AMMAN, Jordan: Jordan’s foreign minister says his country supports a Palestinian drive for recognition at the UN but prefers negotiations toward creation of a Palestinian state.

Palestinians are appealing to the world body for recognition because peace talks with Israel are frozen.

Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told reporters Wednesday that Jordan supports the Palestinian campaign, but it should take into account the rights of Palestinian refugees, the fate of Jerusalem and the borders of a future Palestinian state.

He said the “best way” to attain statehood is through “direct negotiations.”

Jordan hosts nearly 2 million Palestinian refugees, slightly more than in the West Bank and Gaza. It is also the custodian of Muslim and Christian holy shrines in Jerusalem.

A future Palestinian state would border on Israel, Egypt and Jordan.

Source: Arab News.

Jordanians burn US, Israeli flags

Wed Sep 14, 2011

Jordanian protesters have gathered outside the US Embassy in the capital, Amman, burning Israeli and American flags and demanding an end to relations with Tel Aviv and Washington.

Chanting anti-US slogans, demonstrators on Wednesday condemned Washington’s policy in the Middle East and called for the expulsion of Americans from their country.

The rare protest was reportedly held over WikiLeaks cables suggesting Washington had covert plans to turn Jordan into a home for Palestinian refugees.

The protest was held ahead of a planned million-man march in front of the Israeli Embassy in Amman on Thursday. Organizers say the protesters will try to break into the Israeli Embassy and bring down its flag.

Israel has announced a state of alert at its embassies around the world after protesters stormed its embassy in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Friday and forced its ambassador to flee.

Source: PressTV.

Lebanon hosts Conf on cluster bombs

Tue Sep 13, 2011

The delegates from more than 100 countries are participating in a five-day conference on cluster munitions with aim to eradicate the inhuman weapon.

Organizers have said that hundreds of thousands of unexploded cluster bombs remain in Lebanon after being dropped by Israel during the July 2006 war, The Daily Star reported on Tuesday.

“These bombs have until today disabled or killed more than 400 victims, therefore constituting a form of occupation [of the country],” Lebanese President Michel Sleiman said on Monday in his inaugural address in Beirut.

The conference will last through Friday.

Sleiman added, these weapons “still threaten our citizens’ lives on a daily basis while we have not yet completely removed them and obliterated their impact.”

More than 200,000 unexploded cluster bombs have been found and made harmless since 2006, but millions still remain unfound in southern Lebanon.

The president said the primary reason the conference is being held in Lebanon because the country has suffered severely because of this inhuman weapon.

The UN investigations in southern Lebanon show that Israel dropped over four million cluster munitions during the last days of Tel Aviv’s war on the country in 2006.

Sleiman went on to say that the legacy of the Israeli war machine throughout its aggression against Lebanon, especially during the month of July 2006, has caused huge devastation, claimed hundreds of innocent lives, and inflicted physical and moral suffering upon the Lebanese people.

An international convention on cluster munitions has been in force for over a year that requires signatories to give up the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of the weapons.

All the countries, which are participating in the Lebanon conference, have joined the convention.

The United States, Israel and Russia manufacture and stockpile most of the world’s cluster munitions. They are among countries who have not signed the treaty.

International researchers say the US has transferred hundreds of thousands of cluster munitions, containing tens of millions of bomblets, to 28 countries in the world.

The worst affected countries are Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya.

Source: PressTV.

Palestinians detain dozens in weapons crackdown

July 02, 2012

JENIN REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian self-rule government has detained some 200 people, including security officers, in recent weeks in the biggest crackdown on illegal weapons in the West Bank in five years, a spokesman said Monday.

Officials say the campaign is unusual because it targets include alleged vigilante gunmen linked to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement. Previously, security forces went mainly after armed supporters of rival groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Of some 200 people detained since May, just under 100 have been released after surrendering their weapons while the others remain in custody, said police spokesman Adnan Damiri. In all, about 100 guns have been seized, he said.

The weapons roundup was sparked by a shooting attack in May on the house of the governor of the Jenin district, Kadoura Mousa, who later died of a heart attack. Damiri said suspects in that shooting are among those in detention.

Others are being held on suspicion of illegal weapons dealing, extortion and attacks on security officers, he said. The operation focuses on the Jenin district, the largest contiguous area under Palestinian self-rule. Israel retains overall control of the West Bank, a territory it captured in 1967, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Palestinians have limited autonomy in 38 percent of the West Bank.

The performance of Abbas’ security forces, key to buttressing Palestinian claims for independence, has won praise by Israel in recent years. At the same time, Palestinian officials complain that Israeli restrictions on the movement of the Palestinian security forces and frequent Israeli army incursions into self-rule areas hamper law-and-order efforts.

Jenin saw some of the worst Israeli-Palestinian violence during the second Palestinian uprising a decade ago. At the time, gunmen fighting Israel emerged as local heroes, but also acted with impunity at home, terrorizing other members of the community, residents say.

In recent years, the Palestinian Authority has gradually taken control in Jenin and other parts of the West Bank. However, several high-profile shootings in Jenin in the past 15 months signaled that the campaign was far from complete.

In a brazen daytime attack in April 2011, a masked gunman shot and killed Israeli actor Juliano Mer Khamis, who ran a local community theater, after stopping his car in the Jenin refugee camp. The killer remains at large.

This was followed by the attack on the governor’s house in May. On Sunday, assailants fired at Palestinian lawmaker Shami al-Shami of Fatah, wounding him in the leg as he approached his home. Damiri said the motive remains unclear and that there are no suspects yet in Sunday’s shooting.

Al-Shami said in an interview Sunday that he opposes taking weapons away from Fatah loyalists, arguing that the movement needs them for a possible future confrontation with Hamas and other rivals. The Islamic militant Hamas seized Gaza by force in 2007, leaving Abbas with only parts of the West Bank.

In response to the Gaza takeover, Abbas cracked down on Islamic militants in the West Bank, arresting armed supporters and shutting down Hamas-linked institutions. Damiri said the current campaign is the biggest since 2007.

Associated Press writer Dalia Nammari in Ramallah contributed reporting.

Slain Hamas official buried in Jordan

Fri, 29 Jun, 2012

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal and top Islamist leaders in Jordan on Friday attended the burial of a senior member of the Palestinian movement who was killed this week in Damascus.

Around 500 people took part in the funeral of Kamal Hussein Ghannaja, whose coffin was taken from a mosque in Amman’s east to a nearby cemetery, where he was buried amid tight security.

“Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar (God is greatest). Hamas, you are the gun and we are the bullets. Martyrs are beloved of God,” they chanted.

Hamas has said Ghannaja, a Jordanian, was killed on Wednesday in a Damascus suburb, accusing Israel’s spy agency of having carried out an attack.

“All options are open. Investigations are still under way,” Khalil Hayyeh, a senior Hamas leader, told AFP at the funeral.

“There were burn marks on his body. So maybe he was targeted or it was the result of an accident at home.”

Ghannaja was a deputy of Mahmud al-Mabhuh, a senior Hamas military commander found dead in a Dubai hotel room in 2010. Investigators in the Gulf emirate have accused Mossad of that murder.

Syria has long allowed Hamas to operate offices in Damascus, but the Palestinian group has in recent months quietly moved most operations elsewhere as an uprising rocks the country.

Meshaal, who is in Jordan on his second official visit this year to improve ties with Amman, met on Thursday with King Abdullah II and top officials, including Jordan’s intelligence chief.

Relations between Hamas and Jordan have been strained since 1999 when the authorities expelled Meshaal and three other Hamas members after the group was accused of threatening the kingdom’s security and stability.