Friday, March 23, 2018

Dore Gold Asserts Israel’s Legal Rights to the Golan Heights at International Meeting in Moscow - Amb. Dore Gold




by Amb. Dore Gold

Regardless of what happens with the question of the Syrian Kurds, -- from the point of view of Israel, in the southern part of that area, the Golan Heights will remain under Israeli sovereignty.




Dore Gold told the Valdai conference in Moscow on February 19, 2018:

Israel has been taking a strong stand, and will continue to take a strong stand, against the conversion of Syria into a satellite state of Iran, which would be used as a launching pad for aggression against the northern part of my country. As a result, we are prepared to take measures, and active measures, against the supply of advanced weaponry to Iranian proxy forces like Hizbullah, which could alter aspects of the military balance. We have also been concerned about the deployment of a Shiite expeditionary army under Iranian command, made up of Iraqi, Afghan, and other troops along Israel’s northern border, which would be backed by Iranian air and naval bases, which we understand are being planned at the present time.

Let me close, since I’m surveying the Syrian situation, with one last point. I know in this conference we’re looking at different futures for different countries, but regardless of what happens in Syria, and regardless of what happens with the question of the Syrian Kurds, it’s important to stress that from the point of view of Israel, in the southern part of that area, the Golan Heights will remain under Israeli sovereignty.

Vitaly Naumkin:* Dore Gold, I’ll start with your last statement. In my view, this statement strongly contradicts international law about… What I mean is that what you said about the Golan contradicts international law, both international law and rational thinking about what’s going on, and how the issue can be resolved. Do you really think that the best way to deal with the security of Israel (which is, of course understandable in this part of your world) is to annex Syrian territory in the Golan Heights? You remember that there were very fruitful negotiations in the days of Hafez al-Assad between Syria and Israel, and it was almost 90% agreed. So why are you now saying that it will never come back to Syria? And what do you think about abiding by international law norms about that?

Dore Gold: On the issue, you mentioned international law.  Well I’ll tell you, as somebody who has to appear a great deal on British and American television, I hear the words “international law” used quite frequently. I would just tell you the basis of my saying that our claim to the Golan Heights is not in violation of international law, and I’ll be very, very brief. Great international lawyers, after the 1967 Six-Day War, drew a distinction between wars of self-defense and wars of aggression. Taking territory in a war of aggression is a violation of international law. Asserting your rights to territory in a war of self-defense is a whole different story, and the source I recommend one turn to is the writing of Stephen Schwebel, who was president of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Before he reached that position, he wrote an article in the American Journal of International Law. True, it is a United States publication, but it is respected worldwide, and he made that distinction. Now you could say, “Well, how do we know? In the Six-Day War, Israel was maybe an aggressor.” This takes us to the dark days of the Cold War, but the Soviet Union sought to have Israel branded as the aggressor after the Six-Day War. They tried it in the General Assembly, but they failed. They tried it in the Security Council, but they failed because it was generally understood by the international community that Israel was acting out of self-defense, and therefore our claim to the Golan Heights is on very strong legal grounds. We’re not going to expand on that, but we are not oblivious to international law. We seek to fulfill international law.

* * *

Note

* Vitaly Naumkin is a Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, President of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, and Advisor to President Putin on Syria.


Amb. Dore Gold has served as President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs since 2000. From June 2015 until October 2016 he served as Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Previously he served as Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN (1997-1999), and as an advisor to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Source: http://jcpa.org/video/dore-gold-asserts-israels-legal-rights-to-the-golan-heights-at-international-meeting-in-moscow/

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Dems Go after Gina Haspel with the “Torture” Smear - Bruce Thornton




by Bruce Thornton

The real background of Trump's CIA pick.




Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to succeed Mike Pompeo as head of the CIA, is a thirty-year veteran of the agency, one well respected by intelligence professionals from both parties. If confirmed, she will be the first woman to run our most important security agency. But despite this feminist victory, the Dems are likely to muddy the waters at her confirmation hearings by smearing her with allegations she oversaw “torture” at a black site in Thailand in 2002. Typical of what we can expect is the New York Times editorial titled, “Having a Torturer Lead the CIA,” even as the charge about the black site was shown to be untrue

Once again, the party bereft of ideas and principle resorts to emotional obfuscation and accusation to advance their ideological prejudices. So, once again, it is necessary to lay out the facts and partisan hypocrisy behind the “torture” charge that has damaged our ability to gather the intelligence necessary to defend our safety and security.

Start with the imprecise or even willfully distorted language that always perfumes unsavory ideologies. In everyday use, “torture” can mean anything from a visit to the dentist to the sadistic mayhem of brutal regimes like Iran or North Korea. As a result, indiscriminate, lurid connotations and emotions attend the use of a word like “torture,” which of course is what makes it so useful for partisan smears. 

Laws, however, have to be more precise. The statute concerning torture in U.S. law defines it as “an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control.” The law further clarifies “severe mental pain or suffering” as “the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from . . . the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering.” 

The key words are “intended,” “severe,” and “prolonged.” As John Yoo, who was a deputy assistant to the AG during the Bush administration, wrote in his book on the subject, in passing this legislation “Congress unquestionably intended its prohibition on torture to be narrow, much narrower than many popular understandings of the word. The alleged torturer must have acted with ‘specific intent,’ the highest level of criminal intent known to the law . . .  If severe physical or mental pain or suffering results, but was unintentional, or unanticipated, it would not be torture.”

However, the law left vague what “severe” means. That is why, in 2002, the Office of Legal Counsel in the Bush administration’s Department of Justice prepared what the left tendentiously calls the “torture memos.” To clarify the law, the OLC looked to other uses of similar language in U.S. law. “The only other place” Yoo writes, “where similar words appear is in a law defining health benefits for emergency medical conditions, which are defined as severe symptoms, including ‘severe pain’ where an individual’s health is placed ‘in serious jeopardy,’ ‘serious impairment to bodily functions,’ or ‘serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.’” So too with “prolonged” regarding “mental harm.” By including this language, “Congress prohibited the causing of posttraumatic stress disorder or chronic depression,” but not the “temporary strain” of a tough interrogation.

This analysis led to the definition of torture in the 2002 legal opinion: “physical pain amounting to torture must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death. For purely mental pain or suffering to amount to torture (under U.S. law), it must result in significant psychological harm of significant duration, e.g., lasting for months or even years.” By this analysis of the law, the enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, are neither “torture” nor “illegal.”

But once the Democrats turned against the Iraq War and began exploiting it for partisan advantage during the 2003 primaries, “waterboarding” became the dog-whistle for those eager to condemn the Bush administration’s use of “torture.” Pandering to their blame-America-first base, the same Democrats who had demanded everything be done to prevent another 9/11 tossed their previous support down the memory hole. When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, one of his first actions as president––and first fulfilled campaign promise––was to issue Executive Order 13491 that rejected waterboarding and other EIT, and stripped our intelligence agents of an invaluable tool. 


And an effective one. Despite the lies about the ineffectiveness of waterboarding, former CIA directors Michael Hayden, George Tenet, and Leon Panetta, along with the CIA Inspector General’s report on enhanced interrogation techniques, have said that waterboarding and other now forbidden techniques produced actionable information. In his memoirs George Tenet wrote about the interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed––the mastermind of 9/11 who personally decapitated Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. According to Tenet, “From our interrogation of KSM and other senior al-Qa’ida members and our examination of documents found on them, we learned many things––not just tactical information leading to the next capture. For example, more than twenty plots had been put in motion by al-Qa’ida against U.S. infrastructure targets . . .  All these plots were in various stages of planning when we captured or killed the pre-9/11 al-Qa’ida leaders behind them.” As ex-CIA chief Hayden said, the charge that EIT yielded no useful intelligence “is so untrue” that it “actually defies human comprehension. We detained about 100 people, we had a Home Depot-like warehouse of information from those people.”

More important, in 2009 the Obama administration’s own AG, Eric Holder, confirmed the legality of waterboarding. Since tens of thousands of American service members were waterboarded during their SERE (Survive, Evade, Resist, Extract) training, Holder was asked why this training wasn’t torture and hence illegal. Holder correctly replied, “It’s not torture in the legal sense because you’re not doing it with the intention of harming these people physically or mentally.” This same logic perforce applies to the CIA interrogators, whose intent was to gather intelligence in order to defend us from terrorist attacks. The lack of intent to harm permanently on the part of the interrogators is confirmed by the carefully calibrated limitations imposed on the techniques, as well as the presence of physicians and psychologists to monitor the proceedings and insure that the subject didn’t suffer permanent physical or mental damage. 

In sum, as national security analyst Marc Thiessen wrote in Courting Disaster, “none of the techniques used by the CIA meet the standard of torture in U.S. law. This is for two reasons: first, because the CIA’s interrogators did not specifically intend to inflict severe pain and suffering; and second because they did not in fact inflict severe pain and suffering.” 

But despite their earlier recognition that waterboarding was legal and effective, the Democrats continued to peddle the torture lie over the following decade. In late 2014, Senator Dianne Feinstein and the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Democrat members released their “Torture Report.” This sensationalized and duplicitous document allegedly detailed the “brutal interrogation techniques in violation of U.S. law, treaty obligations, and our values,” a crime Feinstein said was “a stain on our values and on our history.” 

Conveniently left out was the Dems earlier support of EIT. Despite their later claims they were shocked, shocked by the use of EIT. Jose Rodriguez, a 31-year veteran of the CIA who ran the interrogation program, detailed the hypocrisy and untruths of the report. He reminds us that in the aftermath of 9/11, lawmakers demanded that the intelligence agencies do everything possible to stop another attack. Indeed, Feinstein in May 2002 told the New York Times that “we have to do some things that historically we have not wanted to do to protect ourselves.” In her comments on the Report’s release, however, Feinstein referred to the Geneva Conventions and said, “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, (including what I just read) whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.” No matter that the Geneva Conventions don’t apply to terrorists, or that the EIT are not legally torture. Twelve years later, the political advantages of moral preening had trumped the recognition that hard choices have to be made sometimes to fulfill the federal government’s highest duty––to keep its citizens safe.

Rodriguez also explodes the report’s canard that the enhanced interrogation techniques were not legally sanctioned. They were in fact reviewed in 2002 and 2005 by the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel, and in 2009 were also investigated by Eric Holder’s DOJ, which did not file charges against those accused of being illegal torturers.  Rodriguez also debunks the claim that the CIA withheld information concerning their use from government officials. Rodriguez should know, since he was there when the CIA briefed Senator Feinstein, House member Nancy Pelosi, and other Congressmen on the techniques. 

Indeed, Feinstein tacitly admitted her duplicity when she said that EIT “amount to torture.” But government policy should follow the law as written and established by Congress, not what “amounts” to the law in someone’s subjective estimation. The EIT cited in the report––threats, sleep deprivation, “physical assault,” stripping detainees naked, putting them in “stress positions” ––are all obviously frightening and painful. But they are not “torture” under U.S. law. Nor is waterboarding, Exhibit A in the left’s indictment of U.S. heinous behavior. That’s why Feinstein slyly said that EIT “amount” to torture rather than explicitly calling them torture, and why she cited international conventions on torture rather than the U.S. law.

Gina Haspel is an excellent choice to be the Director of the CIA. Democrats who attack her during confirmation hearings because of the stale “torture” canard will confirm yet again that they are rank partisans of a party that for two decades has put its own political interests ahead of the safety and security of the American people.


Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269642/dems-go-after-gina-haspel-torture-smear-bruce-thornton

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Egregious security policies - Dr. Mordechai Kedar




by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

It is absolutely crucial that Israel change the message it is sending out to its foes in the three arenas endangering the Jewish State.

The last few months have been  characterized by a slow but steady heightening of security tensions in areas adjacent to three of Israel's borders, in contrast to the more geographically distant additional threat posed by Iran. 

The three areas in question are: 1. Gaza, 2. Judea and Samaria to whose issues one must add knifings and ramming attacks and 3. Lebanon, Syria and the developments involving Hezbollah, Iran and Russia.

The clear and present danger presented by the escalating tension in those areas makes it imperative for  Israel to raise its level of response, because continuing to retaliate on the response level of the  past years does nothing to deter Israel's neighbors nor does it restore tranquility and security to Israel's population. 

Gaza and the tunnel industry

On Sunday, March 18, Israelis awoke to the voice of the IDF Spokesperson announcing that Israel had destroyed two more Hamas-built terror tunnels  aiming to reach into Israeli territory.  Israel blew up the tunnels, seizing the opportunity to retaliate for the explosion of four roadside bombs placed near the border fence by Hamas the previous week.  At first glance this seems like another case of Israeli cleverness and  a calculated risk.  Hamas hides bombs and Israel blows up tunnels in a legitimate response to aggression, careful to be sure there is no one in the tunnels, so that those who employ the diggers will not have an excuse to raise the level of violence in the area.

The decision to employ this course of action is a result of the Islamic Jihad tunnel destruction Israel carried out in October 2017, in which 15 Jihadists were killed, some in the tunnel and others while trying to rescue those trapped inside.  Since then, the IDF and political echelons are wary of a Gazan revenge operation, so in order not to give the terrorist organizations an excuse to heat up the volatile region, they have elected to try to avoid injuring those digging the tunnels, especially if the tunnel has not yet encroached on Israeli territory. I imagine the IDF's ever-present legal experts had a hand in the decision.

With all due respect to those who make the decisions in the IDF, their superiors and their plethora of legal advisers, this kind of behavior is totally wrong and sends a very problematic message to Gaza's terror organizations.  These murderers are now well aware of Israel's fear of escalating violence and its concerns about the fury of the organizations digging the tunnels. They are experts at taking advantage of the fear projected by Israel. 

In my opinion, Israel must begin to act in a diametrically opposed fashion. It has to declare that all the tunnels, including those that have not yet crossed the border into Israel, are to be considered aggression against Israel. This means that Israel has both the right and the duty to destroy them at any moment in time in order to defend itself. This is already the case when Israel hits Hezbollah and Iranian targets in Syria without waiting for provocations, and the situations are, in effect, exactly the same.  Israel must announce in clear and unequivocal tones that the very act of digging a tunnel anywhere, even within the Gaza Strip, is an aggressive act that justifies an attack even if it eliminates those digging or those who happen to be inside the tunnel by chance. 

Israel must create a situation in which anyone entering a tunnel in Gaza, Rafiah or  Khan Younis, in order to continue digging it, deliver supplies or ready it for action, is liable to end his life inside it – as is anyone who enters the tunnel to try to rescue hm. In order to destroy the tunnel infrastructure, Israel must create a situation where anyone entering a tunnel fears for his life every second he is in it. 

This may not deter all the willing diggers, but it will considerably raise the salaries demanded by the organizations taking part in building the  tunnels, and might delay or even bring the work to a standstill.

Judea and Samaria, paying a price for stabbing and car ramming

Stabbing and ramming terror attacks are becoming much too popular lately. They require no technical or organizational infrastructure, the murder weapons – a car or a knife – can be obtained legally by a terrorist acting on his own, while successful prevention of both types of attack is limited. Perpetrators are treated like heroes in their social surroundings, songs of praise are heaped upon their heads, and even if Israel does destroy their homes, they are sure to be rebuilt by the terrorist's extended family. Meanwhile, his nuclear family will receive generous official financial support from the PA, whether he has been eliminated or apprehended and imprisoned by security forces.

The economic and social benefits reaped by the families of those who carry out terror attacks automatically grants them the status of collaborators, whether or not family members helped in planning the attack. The increase in the number of knifings and ramming attacks forces Israel to raise the level of punishment to include the terrorist's family. One of the sanctions to be considered is exiling the terrorist's immediate family – at least his parents – to Gaza. Uprooting the family from its natural social surroundings is proportionate and non-extreme punishment, but it may cause a potential terrorist to think twice about his plans.

At the same time, Israel must work towards a permanent solution – that is, the Palestinian Emirate plan for the cities of Judea and Samaria, based on local families instead of the must-be-dissolved Palestinian Authority, before that entity turns into a terror state under the protection of the world and the UN.  Mahmoud Abbas' approaching disappearance from the scene is an opportunity Israel must take advantage of in order to establish the only possible solution that works, the Emirate Plan.

Syria and  Lebanon – Iran and Hezbollah

In contrast to the other two areas in which Israel has to deal with Arab residents of Israel, Syria and Lebanon are an international issue, involving at least four nations:  Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Russia. Israel must keep each of these protagonists' expected reactions in mind when it decides to act in any way. The US is another country involved in what is happening in Syria and Israel has to coordinate its every move with America.

The Syria-Lebanon arena is extremely dynamic, with the situation on the ground  constantly changing. Hezbollah and Iran's presence in territories that Israel sees as a threat to its security is also in flux.  What this means is that a situation Israel has learned to live with one day turns into something unacceptable overnight. In the background is the concern that the entire northern front can go up in flames, leading to a wide-ranging war against Hezbollah and Iran.

This concern became real on Saturday, February 10, the day an Iranian drone was intercepted, Iranian and Syrian targets were bombed and an Israeli F-16 downed . A day of battles of this nature could easily have deteriorated into a regional war – and in fact, the tense atmosphere prevailing between Israel, Hezbollah and Iran may actually cause a large scale war to break out.

Israel can repeat over and over that it is doing everything to prevent war, that it is executing "precise surgical operatons"  so as not to give  Assad, Nasrallah and Khamenei  an excuse to initiate an all-out war against it. 

This is the wrong kind of message to be sending because it reflects  fear of dealing with Iran and Hezbollah. Cowardice heightens the chances of war, because our northern neighbors believe that if Israel does not want a war, it means that Israel thinks it will be the loser in that war, and  that it is afraid of the high price in blood and destruction it would have  to pay. Israeli fear only encourages Hezbollah and Iran to continue provocations aimed at dragging Israel into a war which they are sure it will lose.

It is crucial for Israel to change that message and the operations accompanying that message. Israel must declare that what is happening in Syria and Lebanon – that is, the increased Iranian presence and Hezbollah's acquisition of advanced weapons, is seen as aggression against Israel, that Israel is prepared to fight a defensive war, is planning it and will begin it at whatever time it sees fit in response to this aggression. A declaration of this kind will gain the attention of a world which has not taken seriously the growing strength of Iran in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon. 

Will an Israeli declaration of its plans for a preventive war in Syria and Lebanon improve Israel's position? I think it will, because as time passes, Iran is gaining a larger and larger foothold in Syria while Hezbollah stockpiles more and more weapons in addition to establishing arms-producing factories.  That leads to the conclusion that the longer the war in the north is put off, the worse it will be and the higher the price Israel pays in blood and damage is going to be. 

 It is in Israel's interest, therefore, to wage a preventive war soon, at a time that is more convenient for Israel than for its enemies. Postponing the war will only lead to a stronger, better armed, more organized and dangerous  Lebanese and Iranian front arrayed against the Jewish State.

Simultaneous war on three fronts 

Israel must take into account that war in the north will lead to escalation in Gaza, due to Iranian influence on Hamas and  Islamic Jihad. Increased terror attacks in Judea and Samaria are also to be expected.  Unquestionably, the next war will be a complex and far from simple test for Israel's military, civilian and political systems, but every Israeli must take into account the critical regional situation in which Israel strives to maintain its very life, a region where the weak find it hard to survive.

Only a country which is militarily and economically strong, based on a unified society which believes in the justice of its cause, can deal with the Middle East's challenges – challenges whose tragic results we see in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya. Only a nation that poses a clear threat to its enemies is left alone in this region, while weakness and fear encourage its enemies to see that those fears are realized and come to pass.

In the Middle East, self control is seen as weakness, even if there are some na├»ve and war weary people in our midst who believe the opposite is true. Egregious security policies are a psychological state in which one side, the foolish one, acts in accordance with its own culture, conceptual framework and rationale, ignoring the culture, conceptual  framework and rationale of the other side. To our eternal sorrow and detriment, Israeli decision-makers have been taking steps that  absolutely suit our culture, concepts and worldview, while they ignore the fact that our neighbors behave in line with totally different and often completely opposite considerations in mind. The high price for foolish security policies is being paid by the unfortunate people living in the various areas of conflagration in our vicinity.

It's about time our decision makers begin to react to the Middle East in the ways to which it is accustomed and by which it operates.

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated by Rochel Sylvetsky, Senior Consultant and Op-ed  Editor.


Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.

Source: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/21885

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How Facebook and Social Media Promote Terrorism - Uzi Shaya




by Uzi Shaya

Under the guise of protecting free speech, the social media conglomerates [allow] the use of their networks and platforms by terrorist entities and have -- turned a blind eye to the growing and menacing phenomenon.

  • The failure by the social media networks to enforce the prevention of terror-related content on their sites is, in fact, a direct violation of the Antiterrorism Act and the Material Supply Statutes; the general public is also in its right to have the protections of the Community Decency Act of 1996 cover content on social media.
  • The conclusion is that the social media companies are adopting an adversarial case-by-case approach to enforcing a ban on terror incitement on their platforms.
The nature of Islamic terrorism throughout the world has changed in recent years. Alongside the established and organized groups -- such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and even ISIS -- a new and different type terror has been created, one that is nourished ideologically, spiritually, and intellectually by these groups, yet shows no connection -- organizationally or operationally -- to them.

This terror is defined by what we refer to as "lone wolves." These are individuals whose nationalistic motives, religious incitement or psychological needs propel them to commit acts of terror without being a member of an organized group or cell. The one unifying aspect for all these lone wolves is social media.

Social media networks enable any individual to have his voice and his opinions heard so that his proclamations can resonate with audiences that are far-reaching. Unfortunately, the existing freedoms on social media have been manipulated by terrorist groups to create a threat that poses a clear and present danger to citizens around the world.

Terrorist groups around the world have recognized the potential of social media and these networks have become an essential component -- in fact, an unhindered course of action -- in allowing the global terrorist networks greatly to expand the operations of terror groups and their supporters worldwide, and affect billions of people around the world. These operations and activities include disseminating "open messages," the recruitment of new members and supporters, but most importantly to advertise and promote the essence of their terror movement and the glorified aftermath of attacks that they have perpetrated. In the process, the terrorist groups can reach a potential army of a million possible soldiers without any direct connection to them.

This is how lone wolves are born.

Under the guise of protecting free speech, the social media conglomerates have not risen to the challenge of stemming the use of their networks and platforms by terrorist entities and have, instead, turned a blind eye to the growing and menacing phenomenon. Equally harmfully, under illusion of virtue-signaling and "political correctness" to show they are not "racist," they have been censoring material that warns the public about these current dangers.

As a direct result of several high-profile terrorist attacks and the outcry from victims, along with an increased global profile of ISIS and subsequent legal action brought against these companies, social media networks have only marginally addressed the issue of limiting terrorist recruitment and incitement on their platforms.

Sadly, it must be noted that these efforts are neither timely nor aggressive enough to stop the use of these platforms to promote terror, and stem solely as preemptive efforts to stop public outcry and legal action.

The social media networks have the ability and the means dramatically to limit the manipulation of their services by terrorist groups, but they do not exercise this control. Instead, they rely on users to report any unsavory activity. The social media networks continue to permit terrorist groups to use their services openly and brazenly to promote their groups and their hate-filled doctrines. The propaganda arms of many terrorist organizations continue to use the social media networks, primarily Facebook, to spread their messages to ever expanding audiences. Organizations and individuals who are designated as terrorists on U.S. and international watch-lists are able flagrantly to open social media accounts even though virtually all the social media companies are headquartered in the United States.

The conclusion is that the social media companies are adopting an adversarial case-by-case approach to enforcing a ban on terror incitement on their platforms.

Beyond the rhetoric and the pleas for action, the social media applications have not -- and it appears will not -- self-enforce common-sense restrictions prohibiting terrorist groups from disseminating their radical messages and criminal exploits online, and they continue to shirk their own responsibility for these posts.

The failure by the social media networks to enforce the prevention of terror-related content on their sites is, in fact, a direct violation of the Antiterrorism Act and the Material Supply Statutes; the general public is also in its right to have the protections of the Community Decency Act of 1996 cover content on social media.

It goes without saying that the laws along with their subsequent enforcement must adopt to this fairly new mass communications and mass media reality to force these platforms to assume complete responsibility or else be regulated by the government as if they were a utility, so that this unmitigated threat to the safety of millions of people around the world can be stopped.

Uzi Shaya is a former senior officer in the Israeli Intelligence community; former head of financial warfare operations in the Israeli intelligence community and an expert in social media warfare.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12041/facebook-social-media-terrorism

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Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, And Supporters Of Fatah's Muhammad Dahlan: Masses Will Throng To Border With Israel To Demand Right Of Return - MEMRI




by MEMRI

Daoud Shihab called for "continuing the intifada and maintaining the escalation, in order to confront the Israeli occupation and thwart the American plans concerning Jerusalem and the issue of the refugees."

In recent weeks, there have been reports of an initiative launched by social activists in the Gaza Strip, in collaboration with Hamas and the Palestinian factions, for Palestinian refugees in all areas bordering on Israel, to march en masse towards the border, erect there "Return Encampments," "nonviolently breach" the border into Israeli territory, and demand to actualize the Palestinian right of return. The organizers of the initiative, dubbed "The Great Return March," have called it a nonviolent move for implementing the Palestinian refugees' right of return, as part of a general initiative in countries bordering Israel. However, some have raised questions about the usefulness of these mass marches, because other, similar campaigns in the past have failed to achieve results. 

The leading factions involved in the initiative are Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and supporters of former senior Fatah official Muhammad Dahlan, who in 2011 was expelled from Fatah because he was a rival of Palestinian Authority (PA) President and Fatah leader Mahmoud 'Abbas. To date, there have been no official PA or Fatah announcements about this initiative. 


Great Return March Facebook page; as of this writing, the page has 
some 6,000 followers (Facebook.com/maseera2018, February 22, 2018.) 

Hamas and the Palestinian factions have clarified that this initiative is part of the "popular intifada" in the struggle against Israel, which is an additional form of struggle. This is the first time that Hamas and the factions, which traditionally have based their activity on the principle of armed struggle and have been harshly critical of Fatah and the PA for engaging in political activity, have been willing to diversity their methods and include such forms of allegedly nonviolent political struggle. 

This paper will review reports on the Great Return March, and the discussion about it in online newspapers and social media.  

Gaza Strip Activists: "The Campaign Proves That The Descendants Of The Refugees Still Cling To Their Right Of Return" 

On February 8, 2018, the Gaza daily Filastin reported that social activists in the Gaza Strip were promoting the Great Return March initiative. A leading activist behind the initiative Ahmad Abu Ratima explained: "The idea for the march came together in light of [U.S. President Donald Trump's] statements about the 'Deal of the Century'... and the American plans and statements aspiring to eradicate the role of UNRWA and eliminate the problem of the refugees...[1] This is the imminent danger threatening the Palestinian cause, and it must be tackled with an assertive, extraordinary message [coming] from the refugees, to be expressed in an extensive nonviolent demonstration at the separation fence, in which the demonstrators will emphasize their right of return and their refusal to submit to the [political] arrangements aimed at eliminating the [refugee] problem...

"The current deterioration in the economic situation in the Gaza Strip is [also] one of the primary reasons pushing the activists towards the idea of organizing this march of return... [The march] may begin in the coming weeks, with the completion of the mobilization stage and in coordination with all elements of society...  There are several recruitment initiatives aimed at refugees where they reside, mostly in the Gaza Strip. This proves that the descendants of the refugees still cling to their right of return that is anchored in international law and in UN resolutions... All the activity on the ground that will soon be carried out near the separation fence will be in the framework of the stage of recruitment, organization, and stirring up the atmosphere before zero hour – which will be determined on the ground... Recruitment is going well, against the backdrop of a positive atmosphere fostered by all the [political] forces."[2]

On March 6, Abu Ratima said that the Great Return March activity would begin March 30, the 42nd Land Day.[3]

On its Facebook page, the initiative wrote that "the nonviolent and popular march of millions of Palestinians will set out from Gaza, from the West Bank, from Jerusalem, from Jordan, from Lebanon, from Syria, and from Egypt in the direction of the lands from which the Palestinians were expelled in 1948. The aim of the Return March is to implement the right of return of the Palestinian people to its land from which it was expelled, in accordance with UN resolutions concerning the Palestinian right of return, including Resolution 194."[4]

The march coordinating committee wrote, also on the Great Return March Facebook page: "Our Palestinian people has decided to singlehandedly restore its rights and nonviolently return to its land and its home, armed with the international resolutions,  international law, human rights principles, and the support of the free peoples in the world. It has decided to set out towards Palestine in nonviolent, mass, and popular marches comprising men, women, and children, in throngs of refugees from all their temporary places of residence, with the aim of returning, and nothing but returning, waving the flag of Palestine and UN Resolution 194."[5]


Great Return March Facebook page: "A nonviolent, popular march of 
millions of Palestinians" (Facebook.com/maseera2018, February 5, 2018)

It should be noted that some Palestinians are skeptical about the effectiveness of such initiatives. For example, writer Dia Khalil called them "enthusiasm with dubious political achievements" and noted that a similar initiative, in 2011, jointly with Hizbullah, had achieved nothing. He wrote: "The idea was born out of the precedent of Hizbullah in Lebanon, on Nakba Day 2011, when an enthused public gathered next to the fence and teen boys and girls tried to cross the fence into the occupied territories. Several were killed and wounded, and there was no political reaction on the part of the movement [Hizbullah]... [This time too] it can be expected that the occupation forces will respond to the plan by opening fire, if it [the plan] is implemented on the borders."[6]

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Spokesman: We Will Assure Protection For The Demonstrators

The Great Return March initiative is in coordination with Hamas and the Palestinian factions because of their political power and their recruitment, outreach, and education networks.[7] Abu Ratima noted this coordination in a post on his Facebook page: "I met today with [Palestinian] Legislative Council member and senior Fatah official Ashraf Juma'a, at his invitation. He expressed great enthusiasm for the idea, and willingness to help recruit for and participate in [the march]. We agreed that there was a need for all the factions and political forces to participate under a single flag – the flag of Palestine. There will be a meeting with the leaders of Hamas, the national factions, and the civil society institutions to discuss this idea.

"Today I was called on by the civil society institutions to participate in a workshop for the discussion of this idea and how to implement it. Many writers, journalists, and national figures agreed to support this initiative, and for this they should be praised. Many young people and activists in the occupied [West] Bank, in the 'interior' of Palestine [i.e. Israel], and in Lebanon have expressed enthusiasm for participating in the march, and in recruiting friends locally [to participate]."[8]

The Palestinian factions announced their full support for the initiative, and added it to their agenda. Following the February 17 explosion at the Israeli border with Gaza,[9] the factions called on the Palestinian people to participate "in all activities for Jerusalem and for the undisputed national rights and principles of our people, headed by our right to return and to reparations."[10] Earlier, on March 7, Islamic Jihad senior official Khaled Al-Batsh announced the establishment of the National Supreme Committee for the March for Return and for Breaking the Siege, with the participation of representatives of all the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, with an emphasis on Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, and followers of Muhammad Dahlan.

Hamas official Isma'il Redwan said that the march activity would begin March 30, and would reach its peak on May 15, Nakba Day.[11] He stressed that this activity "should take place without clashes [with Israel] in order to protect the young people... The national and Islamic forces are thinking seriously about activity that may force the Zionist occupation and the international community to end the suffering of our people in the Gaza Strip, [by means of] removing the siege and opening the crossings... The current plan of action focuses on organizing a march hundreds of thousands strong towards the border in order to pressure the occupation."[12]

Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shihab said: "The resistance forces are currently prioritizing the popular measures... The Palestinian factions have discussed holding the marches... and ensuring protection for the demonstrators who will be facing arbitrary force on the part of the Israeli occupation." He added that Islamic Jihad had formed popular committees for conducting clashes in the border regions in each of the Gaza Strip provinces beginning "in the first week of the struggle against Trump's announcement [that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel]."[13] Shihab added that the Palestinian intellectual elite was behind the idea, the main point of which was to "pressure the occupation and send warning and resistance messages about the continuation of the current [difficult] circumstances in the Gaza Strip." He called for "continuing the intifada and maintaining the escalation, in order to confront the Israeli occupation and thwart the American plans concerning Jerusalem and the issue of the refugees."[14]

Hamas, Palestinian Factions: The Return March Is A Form Of Resistance

Hamas is promoting the Great Return March initiative as an aspect of the struggle against Israel, in addition to the armed struggle. Hamas political bureau head Isma'il Haniya called for participating in the march, while political bureau member Khalil Al-Haya said that Hamas is "at the heart" of the march.[15] Another political bureau member, Moussa Abu Marzouq, tweeted from his personal account, with the initiative's hashtag: "Those besieging Gaza must know that the Gaza residents will not break, and that their eyes are still [directed at the return] to their land, either peacefully or belligerently. The separation fence is no obstacle for them. The #Great Return March that is advancing towards our land is the path to victory and return."[16]


Abu Marzouq's tweet: "The Great March... is the path to victory and return." (Twitter.com/mosa_abumarzook, February 7, 2018)


On February 6, the Great Return March Facebook page posted an excerpt from an article by Hamas refugee department director 'Issam Adwan defining the march as a form of resistance.[17] It stated: "Palestinians across the world have no weapons, except for in the Gaza Strip. [But] lack of weapons absolutely does not mean refraining from resistance to the enemy occupying their land for 68 years... The enemy can be resisted by various means, and the peoples who have fallen under the rule of colonialism are experienced in these. Some of these means are nonviolent and others are violent. All are legal, accessible, and feasible, and all have an impact...

"Until the Palestinian people obtains weapons to regain its occupied land, it must act in light of what is accessible, practical, and feasible... The Palestinians have a tremendous human presence that surrounds the occupying enemy state from all directions, and that is estimated in the millions of people. Among them are a million Palestinians in Syria and Lebanon who suffer under the harshest and most grave conditions, to the point where dozens of them take the risk of [attempting] to cross the sea [to Europe] in search of a better life, despite the recurring drownings.

"Here a legitimate question arises... Why not breach the borders set up by the enemy in order to prevent their return to their occupied land? The arrival of thousands of families at these borders will shame the occupation, attract media sympathy for our people's cause, expose the nakedness of our enemy, arouse the region, and encourage our people to dare against the occupying enemy. What have our people to lose from such an attempt, except for the poverty and misery in which they currently suffer in the lands of refuge?

"Our people's [political] forces and all its factions support, help, welcome, and praise the demonstrators from among our people [who are already taking action] near the border [with Israel], both on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. Every day, more of them are killed and wounded, and no one mocks this 'nonviolent resistance,' despite its limited impact on the enemy. Will the march [to the border] by thousands of families, men, women, and children, carrying their luggage and belongings, singing about the return to the lands – the registration papers for which they still hold, and the right of return to which is guaranteed by international law and human rights principles – not have a greater impact than the [current] demonstrations at the border? Some of the resistance forces are planning the liberation of Palestine – all of Palestine – and drawing up strategic plans of action for achieving this supreme goal. Is it not more worthwhile for these forces to push their people to begin nonviolent resistance in a march of return that is less dangerous, less costly, and more accepted by the international community [than liberating all of Palestine]. 

"The march of return of thousands of Palestinians, particularly those families harmed by the abandoned war in Syria, and by the harsh conditions in Lebanon... is necessary, possible, legitimate, and legal... Planning this march well is the duty of all the Palestinian forces, without exempting families and individuals of the responsibility to join it... just as those who launched the Al-Quds intifada did when they set out and stormed the border fences without asking anyone's permission and without giving an accounting to anyone. Thus are heroes made."[18]

In 2012, Adwan said that "all forms of the resistance, headed by the armed resistance, will remain the genuine option to regain the land and the holy places and to actualize the liberation and return."[19] Drawing up a strategy for an asymmetrical struggle against Israel combining various forms of resistance that he referred to as "controlled conflict," he called on Hamas and the Palestinian factions to strike limited military blows and to respond with great restraint to Israel's counterattacks. This strategy, he said, "will place Gaza and its needs on the agenda of the international media and will motivate all the international, regional, and local forces to find solutions for the new circumstances created by the resistance." The impact of demonstrations by young Palestinians at the Israeli border would, he said, be minimal "unless tens of thousands of them take part in this activity."[20]

In another article, Adwan wrote that the Return March "is one of the most important forms of resistance, that is no less important than the armed struggle, which is the most serious form of resistance and the shortest way to return and liberation... There is no doubt that Land Day, March 30, must be the day to begin this global march, which will turn the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, in mid-May, into the starting point of the return to Palestine, and to the crucial stage of ending forever the game of negotiations and the marches for the false peace."[21]

Writer For Hamas Mouthpiece: The Barrier The Occupation Is Building Will Not Protect It From The March Of Thousands

Concurrently with the preparations for the Great Return March, several incidents occurred that intensified the tension between Israel and Hamas, including the February 10, 2018 Israeli airstrike in Syria in response to the infiltration of an Iranian drone into its airspace, and the February 17, 2018 Israeli attack in Gaza in response to the planting of an IED on the Gaza-Israel border. The Hamas-affiliated press addressed the march both explicitly and implicitly, including in articles discussing violent confrontation with Israel.

For example, Ibrahim Al-Madhoun, a columnist for Hamas's mouthpiece Al-Risala, addressed the topic in the context of the barrier that Israel is constructing on the Gaza-Israel border to thwart the threat of Hamas's attack tunnels. He wrote: "The occupation will be surprised to discover that the barrier does not protect its soldiers when hundreds of thousands of Gaza's residents spontaneously march on the border and cross it, returning to their homes and their property, in a major operation. The preparations and calls for this operation are increasing from day to day, due to the suffocating siege."[22] Faiz Abu Shamalah, a Hamas-affiliated columnist, wrote on the Filastin daily: "Will the people of Gaza rise up against the resistance [i.e., Hamas], or will they march, along with Hamas, to the border of the Zionist state, in a ferocious mass-procession and demand the right to return to Palestine, as well as action by the international community to implement [UN] Resolution 181 [sic] The coming days will provide the answer."[23]  'Imad 'Afana, the former secretary-general of Hamas's faction in the Palestinian Legislative Council, wrote in his Al-Risala column: "Our people's resistance factions and active forces perhaps have no choice but... to formulate plans for the practical realization of the right of return, considering the relative porousness of the [Zionist] entity's borders these days." [24] 

In an article devoted in its entirety to the Great March of Return, Ibrahim Al-Madhoun wrote: "The Great Return March is the best way to make the Palestinians' voice heard and to realize the aspiration of return... Only this civilized march will tip the scales and provide the Palestinian people with a highly effective weapon, without spilling a single drop of blood... The idea of the large-scale popular march is one of the Palestinians' most powerful weapons and we must prepare and plan for it well, and recruit [participants]... It will not be surprising if the [Palestinian] factions rally around the call to stage riots in light of the deepening crisis, for silence and calm mean [nothing but] a slow death... What do we have to lose in Gaza except crises, chaos, anxiety and economic deterioration bordering on collapse? Why not consider a collective march of return in which everyone will participate – young and old, weak and strong, man and woman, leader and soldier? The faction leaders and elites shall lead us. We shall raise the Palestinian banner and unite our efforts."[25]

Great Return March Spokesman: The Is A Non-Violent Struggle In The Style Of Nelson Mandela And Martin Luther King

The march organizers and Gaza journalists made sure to stress that two coordinated and complementary struggles are taking place simultaneously on the Gaza border: an armed struggle and an unarmed one, both of which are legitimate. They added that Israel is trying to blur the distinction between the two in order to undermine and criminalize the non-violent struggle.

In response to the February 2 IED incident, Abu Ratima wrote on his Facebook page: "The version [of the incident provided] by the occupation army, [purporting that Palestinians] used a Palestine flag placed on the Gaza border in order to carry out a violent operation, is a dangerous and loaded version. It aims to create a political and media climate [conducive to] intensifying Israel's violence against the non-violent operations in the future, on the pretext that [these operations] serve as a cover for armed activity. I find it hard to believe that the timing of the incident was innocent, for it came simultaneously with the call for increasing the refugee protests and for a non-violent march of return. However, the fact that the occupation tasked its most senior spokesman with marketing its version [of the incident] shows that the occupation is taking the scenario of the Great Return March very seriously and is already preparing ways to contend with it. The armed factions must recognize the seriousness of the current period, and understand that the Great Return March is a completely non-violent action, and that mixing it with any other aspect of the resistance will harm it. The goal of the Great Return March is more important than the killing or wounding of a few soldiers... The march will begin with a demonstration unrestricted in time at least 700 meters from the separation fence, and it does not aim to reach the fence at this stage."[26]    


Abu Ratima's Facebook post following the February 17, 2018 IED incident on the border 

Radwan Al-Akhras, writer for the Qatari daily Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed, noted that the February 17 explosion on the border was a message to Israel from Hamas and the armed factions not to harm Palestinians demonstrating near the fence or participants in events such as the Great Return March: "The resistance has warned, more than once in recent months... that it will not remain silent about the occupation's siege and recurring attacks [on the Gaza Strip], about the assassinations [there], or about the repression of demonstrators. Perhaps this explosion came in this framework, and it may be connected to the upcoming period, now in planning and preparation, for bringing together great crowds near the border under the motto of return, or of breaking the siege, and perhaps as part of this message they wanted to say that attacking [these] gatherings will be an unexpected spark that will ignite everything [into a situation] that the Zionists fear, and they are unprepared for this. The occupation wants to take advantage of this explosion against its soldiers in order to intimidate the [Great Return March] demonstrators so that they will stay away from the border, by spreading a story that links the demonstrations with the explosion."[27] 

Journalist Jibril 'Odeh wrote in the Filastin daily that the armed operations of Hamas and the factions should not be criticized, even for the sake of defending the non-violent struggle: "Some people went too far in their negative interpretation of the 'flag ambush' [i.e., the IED incident] and even linked it to a future event, namely to the Great Return March, stating that the operation had been meant to sabotage the march. That is an unwise and dangerous statement, which harms the resistance of the Palestinians everywhere... Perhaps we must warn those who carry out sincere national operations and initiatives against falling into this shameful pattern of behavior... We must not  forget the importance of military action in the war for independence, just as we should not underestimate the importance of political, popular, media and cultural [action] that is committed to the homeland and defends the rights of our people. What happened in eastern Khan Younis [the IED incident] was a heroic act that expressed the enduring spirit of resistance burning in the hearts of the Palestinians, [an act] that complements the resistance [activity in the] arenas of Jerusalem, Nablus, Jenin, Hebron and all the Palestinian cities. The resistance is one entity, and a gunshot fired in Jenin is no different from an explosive charge in Khan Younis."[28]

In an article he published on the arabi21.com website, which is close to the Muslim Brotherhood, Abu Ratima warned against potential flaws in the initiative, in light of the failure of past initiatives of this kind. He wrote: "Although the Palestinian people of Gaza are [usually] inclined towards the armed varieties of resistance, this time they accepted the idea of the Great Return March with enthusiasm that did not escape the notice of anyone who follows social media... Today this idea has a greater chance of succeeding, now that the number of people who believe in it has grown, but the effectiveness of the idea does not automatically guarantee its success if we do not take care to consider several factors. First, this is a completely non-violent march... which [must not] involve armed action of any kind whatsoever... Second, the success of the idea depends on the ability to recruit [enough people]... Hence, the factions must make the effort to recruit at least 100,000 Gazans... Third,... this non-violent action, of unlimited duration, [is meant]... to exhaust the occupation on the security, political and media levels.

"Fourth, the involvement of the factions is crucial in recruiting [participants] and in logistical support. The Great Return March will not succeed without the active involvement of the factions. At the same time, it is crucial to stress... the popular character of the march and to raise the banner of Palestine and of [UN] Resolution 194. Furthermore, figures known for their links to armed resistance must not lead the marchers... Fifth, the discourse must focus at this time on the non-violent revolution of an entire people that is opposing the elimination of its [national] rights in order to escape the slow death awaiting it in the Gaza Strip... Therefore we must highlight [the participation of] families and let the women, children and elderly people lead [the march]... Sixth, the march must [initially] take place in a safe area, relatively far from the separation fence, for... this plan is not aimed at bloodshed but at actualizing [the right of] return, and this will not be possible until a sufficiently large number of refugees gather and then march forth as one towards the homeland.

Seventh, the current international climate will help the Palestinians in this non-violent activity, because several years ago Europe opened its gates to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. So if Israel claims to be part of Western civilization, it cannot kill unarmed refugees that are demanding the implementation of the UN resolution about [their right of] return... Eighth, once the plan is ripe, the [events on] the ground will determine the next step. If the Gazan Palestinians manage to recruit 100,000 non-violent protesters, and the other areas manage to recruit tens of thousands, the occupation will be hard put to deal with these mass marches. Even if some people are killed during the actual breaching [of the border]... but thanks to [their sacrifice] the Palestinians manage to cross the separation fence and reach their land that was occupied in 1948, it will be a reasonable price to pay. Thousands of victims have fallen in the wars without [achieving] any political results... This time, deaths will be justified and will be for the sake of making a significant national achievement."[29] 

In another article on the same website, Abu Ratima focused on the rationale behind the initiative: "The Palestinians have gained more confidence in the 'soft power' they can wield... These non-violent protests will largely neutralize the vast arsenal available to the occupation state... It will not be able to confront this human flood using the principles of warfare [used in] war. The option of force can be useful when confronting 5,000 protesters, but it loses much of its power when facing 200,000 protesters, on more than one front... The return marches have a moral transparency that increases their chance of success. They call for the return of the refugees to their homes in a non-violent manner, and do not espouse the call to throw the Israelis into the sea. The occupation state's objection to these marches does not rest upon convincing foundations.  It is a racist objection, aimed at maintaining the supremacy of the Jewish race in the occupation state, and this is a position that goes against the march of history. The world is no longer tolerant of regimes like the South African apartheid regime, and the values of citizenship and equality are now dominant. For this reason, the return marches will force the occupation state into a difficult confrontation: a confrontation between humanistic values that call for justice and rights [on the one hand] and values of racist discrimination and genocidal crimes [on the other].

"The marches of return are based on the philosophy of rights, not on the philosophy of liberation. Liberation means eliminating Israel and throwing its people into the sea, whereas the struggle for rights, in the format [created by] Nelson Mandela, aims at eliminating the racist settlement enterprise and realizing the oppressed Palestinians' [right of] return and self-determination. Following this, it does not matter whether the Israelis remain [in the country] as individuals, or leave."[30] 

In a post on his Facebook page, Abu Ratima wrote: "Question: What is the next step after the success of the #Great Return March and the entry of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees into Palestine that has been occupied since 1948? Answer: We will insist on remaining 'inside' [i.e., in the 1948 territories] as a demographically significant [sector] and a non-violent movement of struggle, along with the 'inside' Arabs [i.e., Israeli Arabs], so as to attain our civil rights, the way Martin Luther King did in the U.S."[31]


Abu Ratima's Facebook post
 

[1] See more reactions by representatives of the Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip to the U.S. decision to cut aid to UNRWA in MEMRI TV Clip 6385, Spokesman For Gaza Refugees Hassan Jibril Following Cut Of U.S. Funding For UNRWA: American And Israeli Interests In The Region Will Be Affected By This, January 18, 2018.
[2] Felesteen.ps, February 8, 2018.
[3] Felesteen.ps, March 6, 2018. Land Day is an annual protest day by the Israeli Arabs society and a symbol of  struggle for equality and rights. It commemorates the March 30, 1976 protests against the Israeli government's decision to seize lands belonging to Arabs in the Galilee, which turned violent and ended in the killing of six Arab civilians by the Israeli security forces.
[4] Facebook.com/maseera2018, February 5, 2018.
[5] Facebook.com/maseera2018, February 12, 2018.
[8] Facebook.com/aburtema, January 14, 2018.
[9] On February 17, 2018, four  IDF soldiers were  severely wounded by an IED near Khan Younis. The soldiers approached the border fence to remove a Palestine flag that had been pinned to it during a demonstration that had taken place there, and were wounded when the explosive charge was detonated by remote control.
[10] Qudsnet.com, February 18, 2018.
[11] Palinfo.com, March 7, 2018.
[12] Palinfo.com, February 6, 2018.
[13] Palinfo.com, February 6, 2018
[14] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), February 7, 2018.
[15] Safa.ps, March 1, 2018; Hamas.ps, March 7, 2018.
[16] Twitter.com/mosa_abumarzook, February 7, 2018.
[17] Facebook.com/maseera2018, February 6, 2018.
[18] Palinfo.net, January 12, 2016.
[20] Palinfo.net, June 10, 2017.
[21] Felesteen.ps, March 7, 2018.
[22] Alresalah.ps, February 1, 2018.
[23] Felesteen (Gaza), February 5, 2018.
[24] Alresalah.ps, February 21, 2018.
[25] Alresalah.ps, February 19, 2018.
[26] Facebook.com/aburtema, February 18, 2018.
[27] Alarab.qa, February 19, 2017.
[28] Felesteen.ps, February 20, 2018.
[29] Arabi21.com, February 7, 2018.
[30] Arabi21.com, February 23, 2018.
[31] Facebook.com/aburtema, February 8, 2018.


MEMRI

Source: https://www.memri.org/reports/gaza-strip-initiative-collaboration-hamas-palestinian-islamic-jihad-and-supporters-fatahs

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