July 6, 2012 0:00 AM (EST+7)
Daily Summary 07/03/2012
THE PALESTINIAN LEADERSHIP REGRETS HAMAS`S DECISION TO SUSPEND VOTERS REGISTRATION IN GAZA
The Palestinian leadership said during a meeting yesterday in Ramallah it regrets the decision of “Hamas” movement to suspend the voters registration process in the Gaza strip calling on “Hamas” to backtrack it and resume the preparations for the elections as soon as possible.
It expressed astonishment by “the attitude of Hamas movement that has jeopardized the first steps of reconciliation and returned the Palestinian situation to tensed climates that were previously overcome”, calling on Hamas “to backtrack from this unjustifiable stance that totally contradicts with the understandings and agreements which were reached in Cairo and Doha”.
Also, the Palestinian leadership asserted “the necessity not to be dragged again after this recent step by Hamas movement in the Gaza strip to a new chapter of media campaigns and exchange of accusations in all media outlets and by the Palestinian national forces”, stressing that “the Palestinian leadership will follow up the matter with all relevant parties including the leadership of Hamas movement”.
During this meeting that was chaired by president Mahmoud Abbas, the leadership also addressed the incidents that took place during the past two days of protests in Ramallah, reaffirming the stance that was already conveyed by Abbas regarding freedom of expression and the right of peaceful assembly which are guaranteed in the Basic Law that obliges all institutions of the authority to implement it and protect it from all violations. It called for wise treatment and the completion of probes into violations that were committed by any party during the protests, and to take measures which could ensure no reoccurrence of such violations. (http://www.alquds.com/news/article/view/id/367892)
ABBAS FOMRS INDEPENDENT PROBE COMMITTEE INTO RAMALLAH INCIDENTS
FAYYAD: THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT ALLOW REOCCURENCE OF RAMALLAH INCIDENTS
President Mahmoud Abbas decided yesterday to form an independent probe committee chaired by head of the Palestinian Independent Figures` Forum Munib al-Masri, member of the PLO Executive Committee Wasel Taha and commissioner of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) Ahmad Harb to probe into the incidents that took place last Saturday and Sunday in Ramallah.
The president asserted “the sanctity of the right of our people, their forces and their entire groups, activities and institutions to express their stances and views, a right that the Basic Law guarantees and obliges all PA institutions to enforce and protect it from any violation by any party”. Abbas added in a statement that was released by the presidential office that “he will not allow under any circumstances violation of the freedom of expression and the right to assembly including the right to protest within the limits of law…we will not also allow any attack against the public institutions or to harm the dignity of those who were mandated to enforce and protect law”.
The statement indicates that the president issued directives to the minister of interior to form a special probe committee into the “regretful” incidents. (Al-Ayyam)
Meanwhile, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad affirmed yesterday that the government will not allow the reoccurrence of the incidents that took place in Ramallah, saying that the statement by the ministry of interior and the measures it took to handle the incidents represent the stance of the cabinet. Fayyad said: “the incidents that happened are regretful and should not reoccur; we will not allow their reoccurrence because of our total belief in the right of freedom of expression and assembly in compliance with law and in respect of the citizen’s freedom to do so within the limits of law”. (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)
DAHLAN BACKS PROTESTS IN RAMALLAH AGAINST MOFAZ AND CALLS FOR NO RETURN TO NEGOTIATIONS
PLC member Muhammad Dahlan said: “our steadfast people has the right to express their opinions on any attempt by the occupation leaders to tempt the Palestinian leadership to return to meetings and negotiations, and to create a split between the stance of the leadership and that of the people”.
Dahlan added in a press communiqué that the suppression our people encountered while expressing their stances against the occupation and the visit of Mofaz who is involved in shedding our martyrs` blood is a real testimony to the state of weakness and lack of adherence to the Palestinian people`s stance”. He applauded “the youths who took to the streets despite of the cruelty, violence and repression that the PA security practiced against them”. (http://www.maannews.net/arb/Print.asx?ID=500659)
A-ZAHHAR: “FATAH” HAS PREMEDITATED INTENSTIONS TO FORGE THE ELECTIONS
MUHEISEN: “HAMAS” THINKS IT WILL BE THE RULER OF EGYPT
“Hamas” leader Mahmoud a-Zahhar said that the reason behind suspending the work of the Central Election Committee in the Gaza strip is the increasing security summons of “Hamas” cadres in the West Bank and the ban on freedom of assembly and association.
A-Zahhar called during an interview with the “Voice of Palestine” radio yesterday to allow “Hamas” freedom of activity in addition to providing guarantees to that the elections will be held in the West Bank and Jerusalem, pointing out that the continuous persecution of “Hamas” cadres means they will not be held. He accused “Fatah” movement of having premeditated intensions to forge the elections, citing that elements of “Fatah” were employed to update the voter registry in Gaza in order that “Fatah” be the supervisor of the election process. (http://www.maannews.net/arb/Print.aspx?ID=500725)
Member of “Fatah” Central Committee Jamal Musheisen said on his part that a-Zahhar`s statements are a clear testimony to the state of confusion, split and disputes over power inside Hamas, adding that such statements are harmful to the national and Arab effort pertinent to ending the division which has been beneficial by some people who desire perpetuating it”.
With regard to the impact of the results of the Egyptian presidential elections on the stances of “Hamas” leaders, Muheisen said: “if some `Hamas` leaders think they will rule Egypt and administrate the ruling system there, they must be mistaken and living in illusions because president Morsi announced his position clearly on the necessity of ending the Palestinian division and completing the reconciliation and he will not accept that Hamas or any other party holds a stick considering the historic responsibility on he is shouldering and due to the trust of all (Palestinian) factions; first and foremost, Fatah in his honesty and rationality”. (http://www.maannews.net/arb/Print.aspx?ID=500775)
THE PA DENIES REQUESTING A LAON FROM THE IMF VIA ISRAEL
The PA minister of labor Ahmad Majdalani denied in statements to “al-Quds” that Israel requested on behalf of the PA a loan from the International Monetary Fund a loan at the value of $1 billion.
Majdalani said that the loan application has never been discussed by the PA as “the IMF does not approve loans to non-state members; we are an authority under occupation and thus Israel should be the party takes care of this application and bear its responsibilities”. However, he added that Israel is not expected to request such a loan because it is an “occupation power”, and “in case Israel will directly apply this would mean it bears responsibility towards Palestinians something that totally contradicts with reality on ground as Israel refuses to bear such responsibility”.
Reuters news agency quoted a senior Palestinian official saying: “we tried to obtain $1 billion loan from the IMF through Israel but we failed”. Also, the Israeli “Haaretz” newspaper reported yesterday that premier Fayyad and Israel`s central bank chief Stanley Fischer agreed that Israel apply for short-term loan because the PA cannot obtain this financial support considering that it is not a state member in the IMF. (http://www.alquds.com/news/article/view/id/367865)
AS PART OF A PLAN TO MOVE GOVERNMENT OFFICES TO EAST JERUSALEM, ISRAEL RATIFIES ESTABLISHMENT OF A MILITARY COLLEGE IN THE MOUNT OF OLIVES ON 14 DUNAMS LAND
An Israeli district planning and building committee ratified yesterday a plan to establish a military college near the “al-Mouttala`” hospital.
Field researcher Ahmad Sob Laban said that according to this plan which has been published for general petitions, a huge college will be built on 14b dunams land northeast of Jerusalem Old City as part of a bigger structural plan that carries the number “51870”. He added that the college will comprise of a military college for the Israeli military command, offices to the commanders of the military college and it will absorb approximately 400 military students and 130 academics.
Sob Laban indicated that this college will represent a new settlement outpost inside a-Tour neighborhood where two settlement outposts “Beit Hoshen” and “Beit Orot” already exist there. He highlighted that this plan was approved by the district committee only three months ago and has been swiftly published for petitions in an unprecedented way. (Al-Quds)
VAST AREA OF AQRABA`S LANDS DECLARED AS A “LIVE-FIRE RANGE” BANNED TO PALESTINIANS
“Haaretz” newspaper reported yesterday that the Israeli army has recently renewed “live-fire range” orders whereby barring farmers from Aqraba village an access to their homes and lands since three months. The area was declared as a “live-fire range” following harassment actions by settlers against local farmers. (Al-Quds)
PALESTINAIN DETAINEES IN ISRAEL WILL APPLY TO BE TREATED AS “PRISONERS OF WAR”
PA minister of prisoners and ex-prisoners` affairs Issa Qaraqei said that Palestinian detainees inside the Israeli jails are planning a confrontation with the Israeli prison service by applying to be treated as “prisoners of war”. He told the AFP “a move started a while ago inside the occupation jails as prisoners call on regarding them as prisoners war that the Geneva third convention”.
The prisoners did not reveal when they will start this “battle” but indicated they are preparing for it very well to avoid a failure.
Qaraqei` cited that president Abbas has approved an appeal to the UN whereby considering the detainees inside the Israeli jails as prisoners of war instead of “security detainees” like Israel has been referring to them. (http://www.alquds.co.uk/scripts/print.asp?fname=data\2012\07\07-02\02x81.htm)
THE GAZA-BASED DEPOSED GOVERNMENT RATIFIES EXECUTION OF THREE CONVICTED MEN OF MURDER
The Gaza-based cabinet ratified the implementation of execution sentences that were ruled against three convicted men of homicides.
General prosecution Muhammad A`bed said that the three crimes were committed in 2004, 2009 and 2010. (http://www.alquds.com/news/article/view/id/367907)
ISRAELI ARMY DEVELOPES TECHNOLOGICAL SYSTEM TO EXPOSE TUNNELS
The Israeli radio reported yesterday that the Israeli army has managed to develop a technological system that can expose tunnels that Palestinians dig at the border with the Gaza strip. It indicated that the system was successfully tested at the “Kerem Shalom” area, adding it will be installed as a first stage along 10 kilometers of the borders with the Gaza strip by the end of next year before. (http://www.alquds.co.uk/scripts/print.asp?fname=latest\data\2012-07-02-12-12-22.htm)
Israel approves the purchase of 30 training jets from Italy to its air force
The Israeli ministerial committee for defense procurement approved a deal with an Italian company to purchase 30 new M-346 training jets to the Israeli air force.
The Israeli radio reported that the air force will receive these planes in 2014 to replace old “Skyhawk” jets, citing that the deal is valued at over NIS 4 billion and Italy will purchase Israeli military products in return for an equal sum of money.
Nazi swastikas printed on Jewish homes in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem Old City
Israeli sources said last night that Nazi swastikas were printed by unidentified persons on the walls of two Jewish homes in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem, Old City. The sources added that the Israeli police are investigating the incident.
Settlers uproot olive trees west of Nablus
“Chavat Gilaad” settlers uprooted today 41 olive trees that belonged to resident Nayef Rihan from Tel village, west of Nablus. (http://www.maannews.net/arb/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=500852)
Clothes shipment from Gaza to the UK
Israeli occupation authorities allowed a shipment of clothes from Gaza to the United Kingdom via “Karm Abu Salem” (Kerem Shalom) crossing, southeast of the Gaza strip. Head of the supplies coordination committee Raed Fattouh said that the shipment consists of 2,000 pieces of wool clothes.
The first shipment to the UK was permitted by the Israeli occupation authorities last May 14, the first time since the siege was imposed on the Gaza strip. (http://safa.ps/details/news/82230/تصدير-شاحنة-من-الملابس-لبريطانيا.html)
* The UK foreign ministry calls on Israel to halt the systematic settlement expansion. (Al Quds)
* Hawatmeh calls on the Palestinian leadership to immediately turn to the UN to obtain Palestine`s membership; appeals to citizens to take to the streets to call for ending the division. (Al-Quds)
* Border guards harass a child in Hebron. (Al-Quds)
* End of matriculation exams and results before July 28. (Al-Quds)
* Prisoner Said Toubasi who was sentenced for 32 life imprisonment: we call on implementing the reconciliation agreement and we will not forgive those who jeopardize it. (Al-Quds)
* Israel fears of the arrival of chemical weapons to “Hezbollah” and “al-Qaeda”. (Al-Ayyam)
* The Catholic Church welcomes enrolment of the Nativity Church on the World Heritage Sites. (Al-Ayyam)
* Mofaz threatens to resign due to Netanyahu`s acquiescence to the ultra-orthodox Jews. Al-Ayyam)
* UN official: the credibility of the UNHRC put on the sport concerning the Israeli settlement activities, “criticism totally unhelpful to the Palestinian people”. (Al-Ayyam)
* Netanyahu seeks avoiding financial collapse of the PA for fear of the consequences. (Al-Ayyam)
* The opposition is trying to unify its ranks and violence escalates. 85 Syrian officers and soldiers defect and resort to Turkey. (Al-Ayyam)
* Israel detonates espionage device planted south of Lebanon to spy on Hezbollah. (Al-Ayyam)
* The president criticizes protocol news in the Palestinian TV and radio and asserts not allowing violation of the freedom of expression; says the Palestinian media should comply with truth and frankness. (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)
* Falk: the international community is conspiring against the Palestinian people and facilitating the policy of settlements. (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)
* IMF rejects an Israeli appeal for loan to the PA. (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida)
|Front Page Photos |
Al-Quds: 1) Jerusalem- residents and foreign activists from seven countries while rebuilding the house of Salim a-Shawamreh in Anata village; 2) Nayef Hawatmeh.
Al-Ayyam: 1) 34 activists from 7 countries will be staying in the two coming weeks insides tents in Anata village, near Jerusalem, to participate in rebuilding a Palestinian family`s home that was destroyed by the occupation forces; 2) A Syrian mother carrying her baby at one of the refugee camps in Turkey.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida: 1) The president during the meeting of the leadership in Ramallah; 2) Peace activists rebuilding a home in Anata after it was destroyed by occupation forces; 3) anti-Assad protesters in al-Kastan near Idleb.
|Voice of Palestine Interviews|
**Basem Khoury, head of the Shifa pharmaceutical company on Hamas closing down pharmaceutical warehouses in Gaza demanding a drop in medicine prices
It is not actually about the demand to decrease the price of medicine but it has other dimensions. The truth is that parties claiming to be responsible raided the pharmaceutical warehouses for foreign medicines and all of the Palestinian made medicines and banned all medicines from being sold, saying they did not adhere to their decision, which we consider illegal. As pharmaceutical companies, we will not adhere to these directives, which stipulate two prices for the same medicine. Even if we have to withdraw from the market, we will not listen to the orders. It is very dangerous: it will deny Gazans from receiving medicine. This is a basic right. Some even said to use the tunnels as an alternative. But medicines must be kept in the appropriate climate so this undermines that condition and shows how irresponsible these parties who proposed this solution really are. The parties [Hamas] claim that these new directives are to bring medicine prices down but actually the opposite has happened.
Q: On its websites, Hamas is saying that you deal with Gaza on a commercial basis and that their government deals with the issue from a national and religious standpoint
I am not going to go down to this level. This is shameful. We are all one country and one people. Palestine is for all us and is bigger than just Ramallah or Gaza. We reject such claims.
**Head of the legal unit in the Prisoner Society attorney Jawad Bulous, on the postponement of discussion on the case of hunger striker Hassan Safadi
Q: What is Safadi’s health status at the moment?
Hassan began his hunger strike on June 21 and he said he would continue until he is released. What happened in court is a real setback. The prisoners will not be fooled. Hassan was promised something else and will not accept this manipulation. On May 15, the five long time hunger strikers including Safadi were requested by the Israelis to quit their strike in return for halting all the measures against them and to release them. So now, Israel backtracked on their decision regarding Safadi because he finished his sentence on June 29. He has now been given another six months detention.
Q: Will the other prisoners return to a hunger strike now?
Of course. Hassan has announced he is on hunger strike; the military prosecutor promised to look into the details of the case for reconsideration. If not, the case will go the high court and we will summon all those who were there at night as witnesses including Israeli security personnel.
**Ayed Abu Qteish from DCI on the video of the Israeli soldier kicking a little boy in Hebron
Q: You are the head of the accountability department. Does this incident fall within your jurisdiction?
Of course, the violations against Palestinian children should all be brought for accountability. Such acts are in violation of international law and the international convention of the child. What happened to the child in Hebron was terrifying. It took place in a little alley; one soldier held him and another kicked him. The main goal is to terrorize Palestinian children who live in the old city of Hebron near settlements. They want to break even the thought of resisting settlement expansion in these areas. What was noticeable is that there were no clashes whatsoever in the area where the child was attacked. He was attacked anyway.
Q: this is just one incident that happened to be caught on tape. There are dozens of incidents like it that don’t show online. How are these dealt with?
Of course videos confirm the incident and are testimony to the attacks and show that there are no attacks on the soldiers or settlers. But every day there are attacks on Palestinians – children and otherwise. If the Palestinians do act violently, the response is even more severe.
Q:How much does the British foreign ministry report about the treatment of Palestinian children help you in DCI highlight this issue?
The cases and outcomes of the report are basically the same outcomes and results that DCI has come to. What was strange is who some of the Israelis responded. One officer described Palestinian children as potential terrorists.
**PLO executive committee secretary Yasser Abed Rabbo on Hamas’ decision to halt voter registration in Gaza
Q: Hamas says the decision was taken because of Fatah’s intentions to forge the elections. That is why all the employees hired for the registration in Gaza are from Fatah. What do you say to this?
All of these excuses and claims do not deserve a response. When Hamas won the elections six years ago, they said the CEC was honest. Now, Mahmoud Zahhar and others are making up stories with no basis. What is the connection between those who register the voters and the results of the elections? From the start there was no intention to reach an agreement. This is the policy Hamas is taking now. But still, we reconfirmed yesterday that the door was still open regardless of this last setback. Separation has always been their goal from the beginning and then maintaining it. Each time they find some excuse. Once again, we call on Hamas to rectify this situation so things can continue smoothly.
Q: have you contacted Khaled Meshaal or the Egyptian sponsor to help smooth things out?
So far we have not contacted Meshaal or the Egyptians but this may happen sometime in the future.
Q: What kind of lessons can we learn from the incidents that took place in Ramallah over the past two days?
The leadership had taken a decisive stance; they were clear that the right of protest and expression and political activity are all guaranteed rights. Any violations to these rights must be dealt with in court; this includes anyone who is protesting if they violate someone else’s rights, they should be held accountable. This was made clear. In any case, a national committee has been formed to look into the incidents and those found guilty will be held accountable.
**Hisham Kheil, executive director of the CEC
Q: Do you consider Zahhar’s statements about the voter registration as a way to undermine your work?
First of all the policy of the CEC is not to respond to statements by political parties. However, in terms of the voter registration, we are now updating the registry; this is not an election. Our plan was very clear and we involved all parties. I would like to say that those who are updating and registering votes are not our choice but were chosen by the education ministry and we only train them. Anyway, all of these jobs are temporary – none of them are permanent jobs and will end when the registration is over.
Q: Hamas also says the decision was taken after obstacles were put before a large number of Hamas members in voter registrations in the West Bank
There is no concomitant voter registration process between the West Bank and Gaza. The last joint one was in 2007. In the West Bank we carry out the process in a different fashion. In Gaza there are large number of unregistered voters who need to be addressed unlike the West Bank. From the start, we have been in full contact with officials in Gaza including political parties. We were really surprised at the decision yesterday. We thought everything was going smoothly.
The Jordanian position….between Jerusalem and Bethlehem
By Bassem Toubassi
In the news lately, we have heard that Israel may sign an agreement with the Vatican granting Israel for the first time recognition of its jurisdiction over Christian holy places in Jerusalem. Furthermore, Palestinian and religious sources have said there are Israeli efforts to ensure that this agreement is signed, which means it has not been signed yet at least. In either case, this can be considered a blow to the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty, especially since it included a stipulation about the continuation of a Jordanian mandate over the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.
Contrastingly, UNESCO decided at the beginning of this week to include Bethlehem on world heritage list, making it the first Palestinian site to ever be on the list. This took place doing a meeting of the world heritage center in St. Petersburg. According to information from inside the meeting, the Arab group exercised rare diplomacy in obtaining this agreement even though Palestine has not yet completed the time period required as a UNESECO member, which is one condition or including heritage sites on this list. The Arab request was met with tremendous support from international parties, most significantly from India and France, which only confirms that it is politics which calls the shots in UNESCO diplomacy. This also reminds us that the Jordanian committed to UNESCO represented in the World Heritage Center needs to be reconsidered and its efforts questioned. Proof of this is its weak position last year when the subject of protecting Petra archeological remnants was discussed.
From today, we can speak about the right to transform Palestine into a cultural reservation, which is the weapon which has always been neglected. Furthermore, the change of status for the Palestinians in UNESCO from an observer since 1974 to a full member last year will allow them to file other applications for recognition of other sites in the occupied Palestinian territories as world heritage sites. After Bethlehem, efforts should turn to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, so it could be on this list which enjoys special protection. This would require joint Palestinian-Israeli efforts regarding Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem and which will need a real diplomatic battle and political and cultural tools aimed at turning East Jerusalem into a cultural reservation.
Israel has bought and sold the world for over six decades with politics and propaganda of cultural overtones. Events have proven that this is still marketable even during the darkest hours imposed by the ruling Israeli elite. The law of Israeli political behavior in international and regional climates has been based on aggressive offensives at critical moments with soft political marketing at the same time. Hence, the more Israel’s aggressive machine pushed forward in wars, destruction, expulsion and extremist, the more it would push to take unexpected leaps in its marketing strategy based on cultural tools and discourse that would reinvent its image all over again.
Today, Israel has the gumption to continue its harsh aggression with the continued arrogance of the extremist elite such as Avigdor Lieberman, which has us thinking there is a heated campaign battle ahead of us, whose core is a conflict over culture. (http://www.alghad.com/index.php/afkar_wamawaqef2/article/29941/%D9%85%D9%88%D9%82%D9%81-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%86%D9%8A-%D8%A8%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%AF%D8%B3-%D9%88%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%AA-%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%85.html)
Border police filmed kicking Palestinian boy in Hebron
By Donald Macintyre
Israel's Border Police opened an official investigation yesterday in response to video footage showing an officer kicking a Palestinian boy while he is being held by a colleague.
The footage, filmed on Friday and issued yesterday by the Israeli human rights agency B'Tselem, shows nine-year-old Abd a-Rahman Burqan being grabbed by one policeman who says: "Why are you causing trouble?" Another then comes up to the boy – by now prone and crying out – and kicks him. The first officer then lets the boy go and he runs away.
B'Tselem frequently gives video cameras to Palestinian citizens to film possible human rights abuses in the occupied territories. The incident took place in the Israeli-controlled sector of Hebron where Jewish settlers live alongside Palestinians.
The incident follows publication of a Foreign Office-funded report by British lawyers last week citing violations of international law in the detention of children in the West Bank.
The area, close to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Ibrahim mosque, has seen recent friction between police and Palestinian boys, and some police officers have complained of stone throwing. The boy's father, Amer Burqan, said his son had gone to collect soup given out to the poor.
A Border Police statement said such conduct was "contrary to [its] values" and that an investigation had been ordered "immediately". (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/border-police-filmed-kicking-palestinian-boy-in-hebron-7904498.html)
Calm words about a heated event
By Mohammed Jadallah
If this leadership is more versed in political issues than the people, then the people are more versed in its own interests and concerns than this leadership. If the leadership postponed or backtracked on the meeting of a killer, then the people have not postponed or backtracked on their right to express their rejection of such meetings and negotiations that only set us up for more failure and score yet another victory for our enemies.
On Saturday, June 30, the first day of the youth movement’s peaceful demonstrations – President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted as saying that there was no harm in having protests outside of the presidential headquarters as long as the protesters do not go to the checkpoints. In spite of this, a crackdown occurred in a scene all too familiar to us and the world – if we attributed the scene to the occupation forces, it would not have been any worse.
Here are the questions at hand:
Who is in power? Is it the president or the security forces? I think the contradiction is clear between what the president said in front of this colleagues in the executive committee and what the security services did in front of the Muqataa and in the streets of Ramallah. Or did the President say one thing and order another? This is not a contradiction but a catastrophe. Did the President know what the security forces were doing? If he did know, this is a disaster and if he did not then it is even worse, right?
The protest was peaceful and civilized. Let us remind everyone that the president never hesitates to boast about the youths of this country, how aware and civilized they are in their political behavior and action. he is right in that, of course. So why were they oppressed and beaten? Furthermore, if the police are supposed to be responsible for maintaining security why did they attack them without any protester violating this security? And why were there individuals in civilian clothes who were not from the police force intervening and beating the protesters using the police’s nightsticks?
The president and his political leadership canceled the visit of the murderer Shaul Mofaz; these young men and women demonstrated against it. Does this not show compatibility and support for the President and leadership’s position, even if their position was a bit late or only in response to the youths’ protest? So why the crackdown and beating? And what’s worse, why accuse the protesters of working for the sake of foreign agendas? Where are the voices of reason?
Some good-intentioned people, including myself, expected that the President would make a speech or address in which he declared his rejection of what the security services did and would immediately announce the start of holding them accountable. I was naïve obviously; this didn’t happen.
On the contrary, the next day, July 1 came more beatings, crackdown and oppression even more severe than the day before. The protesters took to the streets to protest the crackdown a day earlier, which is their right enshrined in PA law and regulations. What we saw happen was a mockery of the law and an attack on citizens and their dignity. As the President praised freedom of the press, we saw how journalists were beaten and their cameras broken above their heads.
So, what next? Have the security forces started a war with every free and dignified citizen? Is the future full of more oppression and crackdowns? Do the security forces want to tame the people and beat them into submission? And if the security forces get their way – God forbid – then who will liberate the homeland? Those silent people beaten into submission? They cannot liberate a country or nations? Only free and dignified souls can do that.
Or will the President take the advice of his leadership and put an end to this breach of law at the hands of the security forces? Will he hold accountable all those involved in the oppression and attack on citizens only worried out their homeland and the dignity of this nation?
It is not becoming of us to allow what happened just to pass by as if nothing ever happened. Protest and demonstrations are a legitimate and enshrined right and does not conflict with resisting the occupation. But crackdowns and beatings have no support, cannot be justified legally or legislatively.
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