How Israel is turning Gaza into a super-max prison

How Israel is turning Gaza into a super-max prison

Palestinians walk under the minaret of a destroyed mosque in Gaza. Israel not only are profiting from the reconstruction but also turning the territory into a super-maximum prison. Photo: Mohammed Saber / EPA

According to the United Nations, 100,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, leaving 600,000 Palestinians – nearly one in three of Gaza’s population – homeless or in urgent need of humanitarian help.

Roads, schools and the electricity plant to power water and sewerage systems are in ruins. The cold and wet of winter are approaching. Aid agency Oxfam warns that at the current rate of progress it may take 50 years to rebuild Gaza.

Where else in the world apart from the Palestinian territories would the international community stand by idly as so many people suffer – and not from a random act of God but willed by fellow humans?

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Under cover of reconstruction, UN and PA become enforcers of Israel’s Gaza siege

[Among the more cynical acts of “humanitarian imperialism” is the invention of this “relief” program for the further humiliation and victimization of the Gazan victims of imperialism and Zionism. — Frontlines ed.]

Details given in a confidential briefing this week confirm that the UN has agreed to become the chief enforcer of Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza.

Under the guise of reconstruction, the UN will be monitoring and gathering private information about Palestinian households to be passed onto Israel, which will have a veto over which families get aid to rebuild their homes.

This was presented as part of an effort to try to entrench and legitimize the Israeli-backed Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza.
Under the arrangements, Israel will be given even more intrusive control over the lives of Palestinians in Gaza, who will be subjected to onerous ongoing monitoring as they try to rebuild their houses, communities and lives following Israel’s summer massacre.

UN agencies estimate that almost 90,000 homes must be rebuilt, in addition to hundreds of schools and other major infrastructure systematically destroyed in Israel’s attack, or degraded by years of blockade.

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In This Time of Resistance to a Genocidal Assault, A Strategic Call for Palestine

[Today, July 31, amidst loudly announced “ceasefire talks” at hand in Cairo, one can’t help but think of the endless see-saw of aggression by the gun and the aggression by the pen.  In this article below, the noted Palestinian scholar, Dr. Hatem Bazian, predicts the ominous and dangerous play about to be performed behind the doors in Cairo, based upon his careful and detailed review of the Oslo Accords and Camp David Talks (and other highly-touted but widely seen, in time, as notorious embellishments and extensions of the bloody settler-colonial Zionist regime in the historic land of Palestine).  As the balladeer Woody Guthrie once wrote, “Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered / I’ve seen lots of funny men; / Some will rob you with a six-gun, / And some with a fountain pen.”  How the appeal of Dr. Bazian — to keep eyes fixed on the goal of liberation, and not be tricked or dissuaded — will be carried by the Palestinian representatives in the Cairo talks, will be seen in the days to come. — Frontlines ed.]

Gaza: A Palestinian War of Independence

Gaza: A Palestinian War of Independence

July 30, 2014

by Dr. HATEM BAZIAN, Director, Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project

The PLO announced the sending of unified delegation to Cairo to participate in intense negotiations with Israel through Egyptian intermediaries intended to institute a ceasefire in Gaza. Leading up to the PLO delegation announcement, PA President Mahmoud visited Saudi Arabia to coordinate and reaffirm support for the Egyptian ceasefire plan. As such, one has to be clear on the unfolding process and the negotiation lines that will become transparent in the next few days. More importantly, how best for the Palestinians as a people, to confront plans coming from the smoke filled rooms in Cairo which seeks to dispossess them one more time but with the complicity and participation of the PA, Arab “leaders” and the Western powers.

Gaza’s resistance and steadfastness, in reality, is a Palestinian war of independence witnessing complete self-reliance and internal grassroots solidarity in the face of Israeli, PA, Arab and Western collusions to maintain the Occupation intact.

Let us again be clear on Israel’s approach to the Cairo negotiations, which at present sees high level coordinating of its positions with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the US with the specific short-term goal of a ceasefire to immediately be followed with restoring Abbas’s authority and power inside Gaza. Israel’s failure in this campaign is as much a result of the lack of intelligence on the ground as it is the success of resistance planning on the ground. As such, immediate reconstitution of Abbas and the PA in Gaza would be the game changer for Israel if the same framework present in the West Bank is permitted to sink roots in the Strip.

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NDFP condemns Philippine Army’s barbaric attacks against Lumad civilians

[The Lumads are an indigenous people in Mindanao among whom the CPP, NPA, NDFP and mass organizations have been working for decades.  They have been putting up fierce resistance against big mining firms in recent years.  The National Democratic Front of the Philippines describes these latest Philippine Army attacks on anti-mine activists as “a manifestation of the real implementation of Noynoy Aquino’s counter-insurgency program ‘Oplan Bayanihan.’— Frontlines ed.]

Ka EFREN, Far South Mindanao Region, National Democratic Front of the Philippines
05 October 2012

The contentions of Philippine Army 27th Infantry Battalion commanding officer Lt. Col. Alexis Noel Bravo that his troops conducted a raid, killing two armed members of the New People’s Army in Barangay (village) Telafas, Colombio on 29 September is a sheer highfalutin and shameless fibbing of the fascists to conceal their ruthless and barbaric act towards innocent civilians.

Their victims were ordinary peasants and innocent civilian residents, not NPA members, and no legitimate military encounter happened. Past 3 o’clock at dawn, the patrolling Philippine Army indiscriminately strafed the farm shack where the victims were sleeping.

Dead on the spot were Andy Datuwata, a 24 year old farmer, and Ronald Malley, a 16 year old student in Brgy. Telafas National High School. The fascists also apprehended Tata Malley, 22 years old, mauled him before turning him over to the police station in Colombio town. The victims are Tiruray residents in the area.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Far South Mindanao Region strongly condemns this inhuman attack done by the 27th Infantry Battalion against the civilians. We also express our sympathy to the families, the Tiruray folk, and friends of the victims at this time of their grief, pain and injustice.

The 27th IB inisists that the rifles they recovered in the crime scene are substantial “proof” or “evidences” to establish that the victims are NPA guerillas. But it has long been known in Colombio that possessing and retaining firearms is common among the locals for their defense. Keeping arms is a traditional practice of the Lumads, and having at least one has become necessary for their survival and for their livelihood.

This ferocious crime committed by the 27th IB is a blatant and grave breach of the CARHRIHL and the laws espousing the protection of human rights. Furthermore, it unambiguously hounds the rights and the life and being of the Lumad minority and young victims. Such barbaric act is the character and a usual practice of the 27th IB in carrying out their duties as mercenary defenders of foreign agribusinesses and mining companies. This is a manifestation of the real implementation of Noynoy Aquino’s counter-insurgency program “Oplan Bayanihan” which apparently promotes and protects “peace and development”.

The Malley and Datuwata families and the Tiruray folk are the occupants of Sinalkuhan, Brgy. Telafas, and tillers of the lands persistently being targeted for agricultural plantations and mining operations. The area is within the FTAA (Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement) acquired formerly by the Western Mining Corporation and now owned by the Xstrata-SMI. This company is currently bankrolling the operations being conducted by the 27th IB and the Philippine National Police in the area. These families and their Tiruray folk strongly oppose the agri-plantations and large-scale mining.

The 27th IB elements’ wicked and spiteful killing of Ronald Malley and Anthony Datuwata adds up to the lengthy list of violations and bloody crimes perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against the people. Never would the innocent civilians put behind the fierceful attacks meted out by the AFP against them, such as the brutal killings of Rogelio Lagaru in Brgy. Datal Blao, Colombio in 2006; Boy Sarino in Sityo Tinansang, Brgy. Palavilla, Lutayan in 2008; Tuliano Dalumatan in Sityo Takol, Brgy. Sinapulan, Colombio in 2009; Boy Billanes in Koronadal City in 2008; the Bolani family massacre in Sityo Latil, Brgy. Abnate, Kiablawan in 2004; and many others.

The executors of these crimes, the 27th IB led by Lt. Col. Bravo, the AFP, and the US-Aquino regime, who is the real tyrant behind these ploys, are accountable and must be punished for the recurring offenses, injuries, and injustices they wreak onto the innocent civilians.


[An earlier news report (July, 2012) gives further background on the struggle of the Lumad and the role of the NPA. — Frontlines ed.]

Moros, Lumad urged to take up arms against mining companies

By: Jefry M. Tupas,
July 9, 2012

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Mindanao called on Lumad and Moro people to take up arms against mining companies, saying these are “exceedingly damaging to Mindanao, to its people and to the environment.”

The group, a coalition of left-wing organizations, also called on all units of the New People’s Army (NPA), its armed component, to be “more daring in their defense of the people’s interest against the greed and capacity of the local ruling classes and their imperialist master.”

The NDFP-Mindanao also hailed the series of attacks against mining companies in many parts of the island, its spokesperson Jorge Madlos, or Ka Oris, said in a statement sent to the media on Sunday.

On July 6, NPA rebels stormed VPO Mines, Inc., in the town of Rosario, Agusan del Sur.  In the attack, the NPA confiscated 30 firearms which included seven M16 rifles, two carbines, nine shotguns, six .45 pistols, one M203, two M14 rifles and an AK-47 rifle.  Continue reading