Hamas calls for new Palestinian uprising against Israel

Above, Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures as he delivers a speech in Gaza City over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Reuters)
Updated 07 December 2017
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Hamas calls for new Palestinian uprising against Israel

GAZA CITY: Gaza Strip witnessed a general strike of government institutions and schools as shops remained open to protest President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

On Wednesday evening and on Thursday the Gaza Strip's cities experienced various marches called by the Palestinian factions to denounce the American decision, during which the demonstrators burned pictures of US President Donald Trump and American and Israeli flags.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new Intifada (uprising) in the Palestinian territories and to mark Friday as "a day of outrage".

“Let tomorrow be a day of rage and the beginning of a broad movement for an uprising that I call “the intifada of freedom of Jerusalem”, such as that which our people in occupied Jerusalem recently blew up in which they mourned the nose of the occupation,” he said in a televised speech.

He called on the Palestinian Authority to stop security coordination with Israel and “enable the resistance in the occupied West Bank to respond to this blatant aggression.”

“We say clearly that Jerusalem is united, not Eastern or Western, it is an Arab Palestinian Islamic and the capital of the state of Palestine, all of Palestine. Today I say that Palestine is one and united from the sea to the river, which cannot be divided by two states or two entities. Palestine is ours and Jerusalem, all Jerusalem to us. We do not recognize the legitimacy of the occupation and the existence of Israel on the land of Palestine to get a capital” Haniya said


“We must speed up the pace of alleviating the Palestinian people and take a decision to lift the sanctions on the Gaza Strip. The wounded people will not be able to face the occupier if they do not have the factors of steadfastness. I call for the cessation of security coordination with the enemy in the West Bank.”

At a press conference in Gaza, Hamas' military wing Islamic Jihad called for the withdrawal of the Arab peace initiative and an end to normalization with Israel. It also called on the Palestinian Authority to withdraw its recognition of Israel and revoke the Oslo Accords.

"We ask the Arabs and Muslims to stop considering the United States as an ally and a friend,” the group said.

Ahmed Bahr, the first deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), stressed the need to write off the Oslo agreement, calling on the resistance to respond to the “American crime against Jerusalem.”

“The response to the American decision will not be achieved with dreams, not with slogans and declarations, but through an effective Arab and Islamic national resistance movement that will hurt the occupation and exert political diplomacy that will be able to isolate the occupation and besiege its policies in international organizations and forums and criminal courts.” Bahr said during an emergency session of the PLC in Gaza.

On Thursday, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah visited the Gaza Strip as part of reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas.

“We will devote reconciliation. If we fail, we will rise again in a spirit of determination and steadfastness, so that together we can face the greatest challenge before us, the Israeli occupation and the need to end it, the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine on the 1967 borders and Jerusalem as its eternal capital,” Al-Hamdallah told a news conference in Gaza.

Akram Attallah, a Palestinian columnist, told Arab News that “Palestinians have been occupied for years by internal conflict that has become a priority and has become the main issue that has drained their administrative, political and media efforts. The partisan and personal issues are a priority for Palestinian forces and parties national project.”

“The beginning from here from Palestine is a courageous decision to put an end to these differences that have afflicted us and to rebuild the political system on new foundations. Trump sheds the curtain on the role of the United States. This may be a different beginning.”

“The Palestinians are going through a difficult period and a real danger. When nations are exposed to dangers, they unite,” he said.


‘Racist’ Israeli homeland law ‘legalizes apartheid,’ say Palestinians

Demonstrators attend a rally to protest against the 'Jewish Nation-State Bill' in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on July 14, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 20 July 2018
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‘Racist’ Israeli homeland law ‘legalizes apartheid,’ say Palestinians

  • The law gives 'license to ethnic cleansing at the expense of the Palestinian people,' says Hanan Ashrawi.
  • The nation-state bill won’t make us disappear, but it will massively harm democracy: M.K. Ayman Odeh.

AMMAN: Palestinians, Israelis and human rights activists have publicly denounced a controversial law passed by the Israeli Knesset which declares that only Jews have the right to self-determination in the country.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary Saeb Erekat said that the legislation enshrines Israel as the national home of the Jewish people and “legalizes apartheid.”

“The ‘Jewish nation-state’ (law) officially legalizes apartheid and legally defines Israel as an apartheid system,” Erekat tweeted from the PLO Negotiation Affairs Department account.

“It is a dangerous and racist law. It denies Arab citizens the right to self-determination to instead be determined by the Jewish population.”

International law considers apartheid a crime against humanity.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed the law after hours of heated debate with 62 lawmakers voting in favor, 55 opposed and two abstaining.

The new law describes Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people” and says the right to exercise national self-determination there is “unique to the Jewish people.”

The new law recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and calls for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city.

Sama Aweidah, director of the Women’s Studies Center in Jerusalem, told Arab News that the racist nature of the law should be exposed. 

“What is expected of all the Palestinian missions abroad is to explain to the peoples of the world and especially human rights organizations the true racist nature of Israel.”

 

Discrimination

PLO executive committee member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said that the law gives “license to apartheid, discrimination, ethnic cleansing and sectarianism at the expense of the Palestinian people.”

She also took a swipe at the Trump administration, saying: “Undoubtedly, the US administration’s blind bias in favor of Israel and its total disdain for international law have emboldened Israel to persist with such unlawful and immoral policies.”

Botrus Mansour, director-general of the Baptist School in Nazareth, said that the law reflects the absence of Israeli confidence. 

“If Israel needs to declare that it is ‘the national homeland of the Jewish people’ after 70 years of independence and tens of thousands of causalities, then that reflects a lack of confidence and belief in their own ways.”

Mansour, a member of the Israeli Bar Association, said that the new bill would have little effect on the ground. “This is a declarative law created by a narrow nationalistic agenda that doesn’t change anything on the ground except for the exclusive rhetoric, hate speech and feelings of marginalization and added alienations of the Arabs in the homeland that they and their ancestors have been living in for centuries.”

Sharona Weiss, director of international relations and advocacy at Yesh Din: Volunteers for Human Rights, said that many Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations are deeply concerned about the bill and are examining its legality. 

“I would not be surprised if eventually a few organizations petition the High Court, once they have examined the details of the bill. However, it is always a sensitive matter petitioning against a law passed in a democratically elected parliament.”

Weiss said that the law enshrined “the discriminatory and unjust practices that Israel has been acting on for years, which actually could be a good thing, in that the world can no longer ignore what’s happening and can no longer call Israel ‘democratic.’ Israel’s true colors can be seen, which could be a catalyst for real change.”

Thousands of protesters marched through central Tel Aviv on Saturday night to protest against the controversial bill, calling it racist and discriminatory.

Under the banner “This is home for all of us,” public figures, parliamentarians and social activists addressed the demonstration, with participants marching from Rabin Square to the Dizengoff Center.

Addressing the crowd, M.K. Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, an alliance of four Arab-dominated parties, said that what is most frightening to the right-wing Israeli government is that Jews and Arabs can live together.

“The nation-state bill won’t make us disappear, but it will massively harm democracy,” he said.

Gershon Baskin, an Israeli political scientist, described the passing of the law as “the darkest day” of Israel’s already challenged democracy.

“The Palestinian citizens of Israel, according to the Netanyahu regime, represent a barely tolerated minority,” he said.