Palestinian resistance and Israeli delegations in Cairo have agreed to a new 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza, slated to begin at midnight.
An official announcement for the timing of the start of the ceasefire is expected soon.
The ceasefire will provide an opportunity for further discussion, including with the Arab League, who will convene in Cairo on Monday to discuss the situation in Gaza.
30 November 2012
Since the Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire agreement between Gaza and Israel came into effect on 21 November 2012, Israeli military attacks on Gaza were supposed to end. Truce or false? See for yourself:
1. On Monday, 26 November 2012, Israeli gunboats intercepted a fishing boat while it sailed at 8 nautical miles out of the Gaza city shore. According to fisherman Amjad Ismail Ahmed al-Sherafi (38) from Gaza, at approximately 09:30, he and his brother Mohammad (34) sailed their in the Gaza waters when an Israeli gunboat intercepted him and forced him to stop at gunpoint and sail back without pulling his fishing nets out of the sea.
2. At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 28 November 2012, Israeli forces chased a fishing boat belonging to Murad Rajab al-Hessi, from Gaza, at nearly 6 nautical miles off the shore from Deir al-Balah. Mohammad Murad al-Hessi (39), Ahmed Murad al-Hessi (32), Murad Mohammad al-Hessi (18) and Rajab Rashad al-Hessi (36) were on board of the boat. 4 Israeli gunboats opened intensive fire at the boat, which caused damage to the boat. The Israeli soldiers then ordered the fishermen to jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. They were all arrested and interrogated at gunpoint. 3 hours later, 4 of them were released. However, Mohammad Murad al-Hessi remains in detention. In addition, the boat still remains confiscated.
3. At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 28 November 2012, Israeli gunboats opened intense and direct fire at a Palestinian fishing boat, belonging to Khader Jamal Baker (20), from Gaza, while he sailed at 3.5 nautical miles. As a result, the fishing boat was destroyed. Baker was arrested by Israeli soldiers who interrogated with him at gunpoint for 3 hours before releasing him.
4. At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 28 November 2012, Israeli gunboats opened intense fire at a Palestinian fishing boat with 3 fishermen on board, belonging to Wafdi Suheil Baker (24), from Gaza, while sailing at 5 nautical miles off the Gaza shore. As a result of the shooting, the engine of the boat was damaged. The soldiers subsequently arrested the three fishermen, who were identified as: Wafdi Suheil Baker (24), Khaled Suheil Baker (20) and Mohammad Suheil Baker (18), all from Gaza.
5. At approximately 12:00 on Wednesday, 28 November 2012, Israeli gunboats opened fire directly and intensively at two Palestinian fishing boats belonging to Mohammad Najib Baker (60) and Tal’at Kamel Baker (22), both from Gaza, while they sailed at 3 nautical miles off the Gaza shore. As a result of the shooting, both boats were damaged.
6. At approximately 10:15 on Thursday, 29 November 2012, Israeli naval forces stationed off the Beit Lahia shore intercepted a fishing boat with 6 fishermen on board, belonging to Fahed Ziad Baker (38), from Gaza, while sailing at approximately 5 nautical miles off the Beit Lahia shore, in the northern Gaza Strip. The soldiers arrested the fishermen and investigated with them aboard the Israeli gunboat at gunpoint. Until now the fishermen remain in detention. The arrested fishermen were identified as: Fahed Ziad Baker (38), Ihab Jawad Baker (36), Mohammad Ziad Baker (32), Nai’m Fahed Baker (16), Ziad Faged Baker (18) and Ali Alaa Baker (18).
1. On 22 November 2012, 6 Palestinians were wounded when the Israeli Forces at the border fence, east of al-Faraheen area in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire at dozens of Palestinians who headed to the fence.
2. On 22 November 2012, 2 Palestinians were wounded when the Israeli Forces opened fire at dozens of Palestinians who headed to the border area in the east of al-Shouka village, east of Rafah. Their wounds were described as moderate.
3. On 23 November 2012, 1 Palestinian was killed and 19 wounded when the Israeli Forces opened fire at a group of citizens gathered to perform Friday prayers on their land east of Khan Yunis. The dead man was identified as Anwar Abdul Hadi Qudaih (20).
4. On 25 November 2012, a Palestinian child was wounded when the Israeli Forces at the border fence, east of Khan Yunis , opened fire at a group of children who approached the fence in the east of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis.
5. On 26 November 2012, the Israeli Forces positioned at the border fence in the east of Khan Yunis fired at a group of children, who approached the border fence in the east of Abassan village. As a result, a child sustained minor injury.
6. On 26 November 2012, 2 Palestinians were wounded when the Israeli Forces positioned at the border fence in the east of Jabalya, in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at a group of civilians and famers, who were present near the border fence to challenge the Israeli decision to impose a buffer zone along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
7. On 27 November 2012, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when the Israeli Forces stationed at the border fence in the east of Abu Safiya gate, east of Jabalya, fired bullets and tear gas canisters at a number of civilians and farmers near the border fence.
8. On 27 November 2012, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when the Israeli Forces positioned at the border fence to the east of al-Shouka village, east of Rafah, opened fire at dozens of Palestinians near the border area.
9. On 28 November 2012, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when the Israeli Forces at the border fence in the east of Beit Hanoun opened fire at a group of Palestinian civilians and farmers near the area.
10. On 28 November 2012, 8 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded when the Israeli Forces fired at dozens of Palestinians who headed to the border fence in the east of al-Bureij and al-Maghazi refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip.
(Data from Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and Palestinian Ministry of Health)
22 November 2012
by Ismail Thawabta
Firstly, I would like to send warm condolences to families of the Palestinian martyrs and to the wounded. Nearly 160 Palestinian were killed including 42 children, 11 women and 18 elderly persons, and 1222 others were wounded including 431 children, 207 women and 88 elderly.
These statistics indicate that the occupation was brutal and ferocious, and its military intelligence was so deficient they didn’t know what to do. As a result they did whatever they could to inflict the maximum pain on the people of the Gaza Strip through the killing of women, children, and the elderly, journalists and other civilians.
Praise to our heroic people who presented a great example of survival, generosity and sacrifice.
Now, we are going to discuss something else.
In previous years, the Palestinian resistance was not capable of winning battles with the Israeli enemy in the manner we have witnessed today. The united Palestinian resistance have succeeded in achieving, to a considerable extent, a balance of power and deterrence that we never expected at all. Better still, the occupation forces, with all their military might including aircraft, tanks and warships failed to subdue the will of the resistance.
Today the enemy backed off, and announced that Israel is ready to implement a ceasefire in accordance with the conditions laid down by the valiant Palestinian Resistance. This time is different. Netanyahu and his ministers have raised the white flag and surrendered to the valiant Resistance. Israel contacted more than 10 regional states and Europe in order to intervene with Hamas, who convinced them to accept the truce.
Israel is asking for calm, and the Resistance is imposing the conditions in an advanced step sccoring more points in their favor. On the other hand, the Israeli Interior front is deteriorating.
The enemy (Israel) led by Netanyahu fell to its knees and bowed its head in front of the greatness and might of the Palestinian Resistance, which crossed what were considered Israel’s red lines.
This Israeli retreat establishes the methodology that Hamas seeks in the next battle of liberation.
Journalists and media professionals in this battle demonstrated heroism of the highest order. Their role in exposing the crimes of the occupation is well-known. This is what lead Israel to deliberately target and bomb media institutions, journalists and media workers. Journalists risked their lives for the truth. We highly appreciate and respect their dedication, and they deserve the highest accolades for all their work.
There is an equation that never leaves our minds, nor the minds of the Israeli occupation. This equation can be translated as follows:
1. The resistance succeeded in targeting cities in the 1948-occupied Palestine such as Tel Aviv and Occupied Jerusalem.
2. The resistance dared to cross a red line that was never reported by the occupation, namely, targeting war-planes and successfully destroying more than one type of aircraft.
3. The resistance used mortar rockets, which form a severe blow to the Zionist military intelligence.
4. The resistance also targeted the navy and hit Israeli warships in the sea, forcing them to retreat from the coast.
5. The resistance succeeded in targeting jeeps and tanks more than three times, using Kornet and other types of missiles.
6. The resistance reported bombing cities in 1948-occupied Palestine using Fajr-5 model, resulting in confusion in occupation reporting.
7. The resistance struck a blow to the occupation when announced it was using M75 missile. M for Maqadmah, a Hamas leader who was assassinated by Israel, and 75 for the distance 75 Km.
8. The resistance repeatedly launched Grad rockets, which caused panic among the occupation and the settlers. As a result, they left their homes to live in underground shelters.
9. The resistance used missiles of the type 107, which raised the ire of the occupation, and turned the streets of Israel into ghost towns.
10. The final straw from the resistance on the last day, was a rearguard action, the bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv.
In addition to this, Israeli occupation forces failed once again to achieve the goals set by Israeli leader before the aggression on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli operation aims against the Gaza Strip were as follows:
1. to stop all types of rockets from the Gaza Strip. The Occupation failed and, on the contrary, they increased, surprising occupation forces.
2. to assassinate Hamas leaders, to overthrow its government, and to assassinate leaders of the resistance. Doomed to failure.
3. to eliminate weapons stores. The occupation forces failed, and rockets continued rain on them until the last minute.
4. to secure the buffer zone. Failure. The resistance continued to target border patrols using Kornet missiles.
Again, all praise to our proud steadfast Palestinian people. We wish the highest reward for our heroes and martyrs. We wish a speedy recovery for the brave wounded Palestinians. We pray to God to give strength our people.
Translation: Mohammed Mustafa
Revision: Julie Webb-Pullman
23 November 2012
Given his role in the Gaza-Israeli ceasefire, it was only a matter of time before Egypt’s President Morsi found himself in the sights.
Few expected it to be quite so fast.
Protests across Egypt are underway, both in support of, and against Morsi’s ‘surprise Constitutional Declaration’ on Thursday.
The inability of those screaming for democracy to actually accept its results is staggering. One of their major complaints was that the Constituent Assembly formed to draft the new Constitution was ‘unrepresentative’ – and despite a new agreement on its composition being reached in June 2012, non-Islamists continue to complain.
The Egyptain election results were clear – the Islamists won power, by a clear majority. Non-Islamists, especially those espousing democracy, should have no trouble in accepting this outcome, ie that they are in a minority, and are subject the decisions of the majority.
Most have withdrawn from the Constituent Assembly – but even then, they only constitute 25%, leaving a weighty 75% still in there. Which bit of ‘majority’ do they not understand?
That is what democracy is. That is what they have been, and continue, screaming for at the barricades.
The outcome of the Constituent Assembly, the proposed new Constitution, will go to referendum, and the people will get to vote for – or against – it. What is ‘undemocratic’ about this?
And the Constitutional Declaration – why should it concern them, for instance, that the Constituent Assembly and Shura Council (upper house of parliament) will be immune to dissolution by a judicial body? These bodies were elected by, or on behalf of, the people, not appointed by the judiciary, and in a real democracy, they should be dissolved by the people, not by any other authority, judicial or otherwise.
Does the US judiciary have the power to dissolve the Senate? Does the British judiciary have the power to dissolve the House of Lords? Why should the Egyptian judiciary have such powers?
Who appoints the Attorney General in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada? The Prime Minister! Who appoints the Attorney General in the United States? The President! Is this the type of ‘separation of powers’ they are calling for in Egypt?
The purpose of the Declaration is to speed up the transition to a new Constitution, and a newly-elected Parliament under the new Constitution – something the ‘revolutionaries’ all desired, but also something some in the current judiciary have been doing their best to prevent.
Morsi’s move has been praised by the spokesperson for the ‘Coalition of Judges for Egypt’, Justice Walid Sharabi, who particularly praised the dismissal of the Public Prosecutor, saying “Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, the Public Prosecutor, has long defended the toppled regime, sought to corrupt the judiciary and to create a justice system rotten to the core.”
So is this latest round just a front for the massive destabilisation attempt we have been expecting since Morsi’s election, and more especially, since the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza brokered by Egypt this week?
As leading Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) member Essam El-Erian said in Al Ahram Online today when condemning reported attacks on FJP offices in several governates, “They are acts of thuggery hiding behind [opposition] political forces.”
With its role as mediator and guarantor of the ceasefire agreement, and Israel’s killing of at least one Palestinian and the injuring of nine more in a clear breach of the agreement before the ink has even dried, Egypt’s position is both pivotal, and vulnerable to destabilisation by those with the most to gain from distracting Egypt at best, and bringing down the Morsi regime at worst.
No prizes for guessing the identity of who is paying these ‘pipers’ of dissent in Egypt, and whose fingers will be as sticky with Egyptian blood as they already are with the blood of Palestinians, Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, Libyans and Iranians, if they are allowed to prevail.
22 November 2012
A victory lap of Gaza City the day after the ceasefire.