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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Palestinian Youth Movement: ‘oppose the attempt to impose a false peace in false borders’

Statement on the September 2011
Declaration of Statehood

We, in the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), stand steadfastly against the proposal for Palestinian statehood recognition based on 1967 borders that is to be presented to the United Nations this September by the Palestinian official leadership. We believe and affirm that the statehood declaration only seeks the completion of the normalization process, which began with faulty peace agreements. The initiative does not recognize nor address that our people continue to live within a settler colonial regime premised on the ethnic cleansing of our land and subordination and exploitation of our people.

This declaration serves as a mechanism for rescuing the faulty peace framework and depoliticizing the struggle for Palestine by removing the struggle from its historical colonial context. The attempts to impose a false peace with the normalizing of the colonial regime has only led us to surrender increasing amounts of our land, the rights of our people, and our aspirations by delegitimizing and marginalizing our people’s struggle and deepening the fragmentation and division of our people. This declaration jeopardizes the rights and aspirations of over two-thirds of the Palestinian people who live as refugees in countries of refuge and in exile, to return to their original homes from which they were displaced in the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe) and subsequently since then. It also jeopardizes the position of the Palestinians residing in the 1948 occupied territories who continue to resist daily against the ethnic cleansing and racial practices from inside the colonial regime. Furthermore, it corroborates and empowers its Palestinian and Arab partners to act as the gatekeepers to the occupation and the colonization of the region within a neo-colonial framework.

The foundation of this process serves as nothing more than to ensure the continuity of negotiations, economic and social normalization, and security cooperation. The state declaration will solidify falsified borders on only a sliver of historic Palestine and still does not address the most fundamental issues: Jerusalem, settlements, refugees, political prisoners, occupation, borders and resource control. We believe such a state declaration will not ensure nor promote justice and freedom for Palestinians, which inherently means there will be no sustainable peace in the region. Continue reading

Fatah-Hamas Discuss Release of Political Prisoners While Mutual Repression Continues

[As this article shows, neither Fatah nor Hamas, who have recently embarked upon some levels of co-operation with each other, have displayed the leadership or the authority to unite the Palestinian people in struggle today against the Zionist settler-colonial occupation and its imperialist partners and paymasters.  Many new grassroots initiatives (both within historic Palestine and throughout the diaspora), of varying degrees of independence from both Fatah and Hamas, are being discussed and debated. — Frontlines ed.]
Thursday, 23 June 2011
Dolev Rahat, Alternative Information Center (AIC)

Although the scheduled meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashal in the matter of establishing a Palestinian unity government was recently cancelled over disagreement on the identity of a new Palestinian prime minister, talks between Fatah and Hamas continue on the issue of political detainees.

Palestinian Legislative Council Member Muna Mansour (above) was attacked by West Bank PA police officers during a demonstration

In the framework of the national unity agreement signed in Cairo on 4 May, both Fatah and Hamas committed themselves to cease political detentions, and to free political prisoners already detained.

On Wednesday 22 June, Ashraf Jumaa, a member of the Fatah delegation to the Palestinian unity talks in Cairo, noted that both sides exchanged lists of people they define as political prisoners held by the other side. The reconciliation agreement determines that a committee will be established to discuss these lists and decide which are indeed political prisoners who must be freed.

On Wednesday Jumaa met with mothers and wives of political prisoners from Gaza, and noted a general dissatisfaction with the pace of progress in the matter of political prisoners and their release.

In the meantime it appears that the governments controlled by both movements continue to prosecute political activists of the other side. Continue reading

Palestinian unity: details still unclear

al Jazeera

[While details of the PA-Hamas deal are still largely unclear, the largest question is whether or how Palestinian people–in Gaza, in the West Bank, inside Israeli areas, and throughout the diaspora–can assert some meaningful level of control over the process, or will be manipulated once again.  At the same time, there is concern from the (US/EU) imperialist powers about how they may control or strongly influence this process–through their old corrupt subordinates in the PA and through the traditional US-tied Egyptian military, which is being touted as “the Palestinian deal-makers.” — Frontlines ed.]

Wikileaks: Economic Reasons Behind the Siege of Gaza

The Alternate Information Center                                                  Thursday, 10 February 2011

Shir Hever, JNews

The ripple effects of the Wikileaks documents are still being felt, but until recently Israeli officials continued to boast that the documents were ‘good for Israel’.

break-siegeAs opposed to the way the Palestinian Authority (PA) was portrayed in leaked cables, leading to scandalous revelations, for a while Israel suffered no such scandal from the documents pertaining to its conduct. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even came out in support of the leak of the papers, suggesting that the documents can do no harm to Israel’s foreign policy.

He spoke too soon. More recent cables have provided unflattering revelations about Israel’s policies in the Gaza Strip, quoting Israeli officials spelling out their attempts to keep the Gaza Strip on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe. They have also described how corruption is rife at the checkpoints through which goods are brought into Gaza.

Yet this information failed to shock. It was already well-known and widely reported by UN bodies, NGOs, scholars and journalists.

One cable, however, does contain some new information and has so far received no coverage at all.

The cable, titled “Shin Bet Talks Gaza Economics,” was written by David R. Burnett, Economic Counselor in the US embassy in Tel Aviv. It describes a briefing given to Embassy officials by senior members of the Israeli Shin Bet*, on how Israel uses the banking system in Gaza to increase the political influence of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Gaza, by attempting to starve the Hamas government of cash.

The Shin Bet informed the US embassy that banks in Gaza know that they must neither allow Hamas members to open bank accounts nor have salaries deposited into existing accounts. If the banks disobey, they will lose their stamp of approval from the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA), a branch of the PA that is under constant pressure by Israel and the US to prevent any dealings with Hamas members. The Shin Bet expressed satisfaction that the Gaza banking system has indeed been cowed into submission. Continue reading

After the Palestine Papers, can the PA survive?

Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 1 February 2011

Will PA President Mahmoud Abbas go the way of deposed Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali? (Thaer Ganaim/MaanImages)

With the 18-year-long Middle East peace process finally pronounced dead, is the Palestinian Authority finished too?

That is the question being asked by Palestinians in the wake of a week of damaging revelations that Palestinian negotiators secretly made major concessions to Israel in talks on Jerusalem, refugees and borders.

The PA — the Palestinians’ government-in-the-making, led by Mahmoud Abbas — was already in crisis before the disclosure of official Palestinian documents by Al Jazeera television last week. Continue reading