Refugees: the Principle Issue of Palestine

Palestinian Flag

Palestinian Flag

Rafit Nasir, a member of the political wing of Hamas, severely condemned the latest statements of Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the PLO in which he disregarded the right of return. Nasir stated that the refugees are the most important Palestinian issue and there is no way of solving the issue other than return. He emphasized that the right of return is a holy right and an individual-social right and that nobody has the right to disregard it. Any agreements made in this area are invalid and are not necessary for any Palestinian to observe.

In regards to the national talks in Palestine, he said that the only path of success would be to look into foundational issues such as correcting the organization of free Palestine, correcting the organization of security forces implementing nationalistic guidelines, and returning lost credibility to Palestinian institutions and organizations.

In regards to the presidential term of Mahmoud Abbas which will end in a couple of months, Nasir said that any one sided movement is outside of the national agreement and is in opposition to the constitution. It is never in favor of a national debate and nobody should act or take positions which would destroy talks before they start. Everyone must respect the law and consider themselves as the implementers of the law.

Taken from www.insight-info.com

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SS Free Gaza and SS Free Liberty

SS Free Gaza and SS Free Liberty

Two boats Free Gaza and Liberty manned by fourtysome activists from various lands, safely reached the shores of besieged Gaza. They passed through the naval blockade established by the Israelis, and brought a message of hope, and even some provision for the besieged. This was far from obvious and expected conclusion of the daring enterprise; some 20 years ago, a similar attempt ended in catastrophe. In 1988, the PLO staged an unsuccessful effort to sail from Cyprus to Haifa. The Israeli frogmen attached a limp mine to the ship, named the Sol Phryne and re-christened Exodus-2, while it was in the Cypriot port of Limassol, while a day earlier they planted a bomb in the car of the crew and killed three of them. That voyage had been timed to coincide with 40 years of Nakba and the founding of Israel. For twenty years, nobody even mentioned it, nor tried to repeat the suicidal trip. This trip marked the 60th anniversary, and it went off successfully.

This is a happy event: we should be glad that the boats arrived safely. Let these small vessels be remembered together with Granma and Exodus, if not with Santa Maria of Columbus, for they did an historic deed. The siege of Gaza is breaking down. The Israeli authorities said they did not want to interfere with the boats in order to give it less publicity. But events have their own dynamics; and we may hope that Israeli leaders won�t find it that easy to go back to their bad old ways. One small demonstration may lead to revolution. This operation should be extended, and multiplied; instead of one boat, hundred boats should sail.

Full article: www.insight-info.com

26 Years on 1982 Invasion, Resistance Made the Change

June 6 is a day with a special characteristic. It’s a day that marked the beginning of a new era in the Arab-Israeli conflict and paved the way for strong resistance movements to rise and eventually make a change.

us embassy beirut


On this day, twenty-six years ago, Israeli occupation forces launched a massive military incursion into Lebanon in an operation dubbed “Peace for Galilee.” At first glance, the Israeli aggression seemed to be aimed at south Lebanon, but then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon pushed all the way to the capital Beirut.
“Peace for Galilee” for the Israelis is the “Israeli Invasion” for the Lebanese.  It began on 6 June, less than two months after Israel transformed its defeat in Sinai into a political victory in Camp David. Then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin got the impression that all Arab countries would follow Egypt and sign so-called peace deals with Israel.
 
Jordan gave its word to Israel that it would sign such treaty once Lebanon signs a similar one. The Kingdom did not want to get involved in any agreement that would put it at odds with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) that had its leadership headquarters in Beirut.
Back then, Lebanon meant the fertile land for Palestinian resistance movements; thus dealing a blow to the PLO in Lebanon would crush the resistance once and for all and pave the way for signing a peace deal with Lebanon and then with Arab states. In doing this, Israel would extract the acknowledgment of Arabs in the so-called “state of Israel” and open the way for political and economic expansion in the Middle East region.
 
Menachem Begin found that the only way to achieve this “glory” for Israel was to invade Lebanon to crush the PLO, but under what pretext?
 
On July 24, 1981, US President Ronald Reagan’s special envoy Philip Habib arrived in Beirut with a controversial mission. Habib managed to broker a shaky nine-months ceasefire between Yasser Arafat and Israel. When the ceasefire took effect, Tel Aviv was like a beehive preparing politically and logistically for their “big time invasion.”  
Back in Beirut, Israeli and pro-Israeli bodies worked persistently on straining the internal front. Clashes between Lebanese and Palestinian forces expanded throughout south Lebanon. Both forces got weak and their chances of closing ranks to confront any Israeli military operation were zero.  
 
The element of direct military resistance was removed at a time some Arab regimes were at the Arab Summit in Fass preparing a formula to penetrate the Arab impregnability.
So everything was ready for the invasion. Israel just needed the pretext and it was not hard to find. On June 3, 1982, Israel’s ambassador in London Shlomo Argov escaped an assassination attempt.
The Israeli intelligence told Begin that the PLO was not involved in the attack, however he withheld this information from his cabinet. Rafael Eitan, who was then the Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, responded to the aforementioned information in his famous saying “Abu Nidal, abu shmidal. We need to end PLO!”

Full article: http://www.insight-info.com/articles/item.aspx?i=1156