Thursday, November 30, 2023

Jenin Brigade Mourns 2 Leaders Martyred During Confrontations with IOF

By Al Mayadeen English

The Brigade affirms that the killing of its leaders and fighters will only strengthen its determination and resolve.

The Jenin Brigade - Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement, mourned on Thursday its leaders, Mohammad al-Zubaidi and Wissam Hanoun, who were martyred in confrontations with Israeli occupation forces.

The Jenin Brigade also mourned the two child martyrs, Bassel Abu al-Wafa (15 years old) and Adam al-Ghoul (9 years old), who were martyred by Israeli occupation forces' gunfire during the storming of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

In a statement, the Brigade affirmed that "the killing of our leaders and fighters will only strengthen our determination and resolve," renewing the commitment to "continue the path of Jihad, toward either victory or martyrdom."

On Wednesday, martyr Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), also mourned martyrs Hanoun and al-Zubaidi.

Concurrently, Palestinian news sites reported confrontations between Palestinian youths and Israeli occupation forces near Omar ibn al-Khattab Mosque in the al-Aroub refugee camp, north of al-Khalil.

Meanwhile, Jenin mourned 15-year-old martyr Bassel Abu al-Wafa amidst chants in support of the Palestinian Resistance and its leaders.

Local sources had reported that Israeli occupation forces left the two Palestinian children bleeding after shooting them directly, preventing citizens and paramedics from reaching and aiding them.

On Wednesday, the Jenin Brigade confronted the raiding occupation forces in the city of Jenin and its refugee camp in a raid that was the largest since the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7th, where the Israeli occupation military had declared Jenin a "military zone".

Palestinian Resistance forces in Jenin joined forces to confront the occupation forces, raining them with heavy gunfire and explosive devices.

Resistance Liberates 30 Palestinians in 7th Batch of Exchange Deal

By Al Mayadeen English

Hamas' Al-Qassam hands over eight Israeli captives to the ICRC in Gaza in return for the liberation of 30 new Palestinian prisoners from Israeli occupation prisons.

30 new prisoners, including eight female prisoners and 22 minor males, were liberated from Israeli occupation prisoners at Friday dawn, as part of the seventh batch of the indirect prisoner exchange agreement between the Palestinian Resistance in Gaza and the Israeli occupation.

The Palestinians welcomed their freed prisoners, raising flags of Hamas and Al-Qassam in the western part of Ramallah and the Old City of occupied Al-Quds, with slogans honoring the Brigades and the Resistance.

Meanwhile, Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades published scenes of its fighters handing over Israeli captives to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Gaza Strip, fulfilling their part of the deal.

The Resistance fighters transferred eight Israeli captives to various areas of Gaza, including Palestine Square in Gaza City and the northern part of the Strip.

Liberated female prisoners

All of the female prisoners who were liberated were from the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948. Their names are as follows:

- Ahdab Hourani

- Sabrine Atawneh 

- Hadil Mahamid 

- Shahed Suweitat

- Aseel Ibrahim 

- Ayat Atamleh

- Rana Suweilat

- Aseel Suweitat

Liberated male minors

- Ahmad Ajlouni / occupied al-Quds

- Ahmad Marzouk / occupied al-Quds

- Mahmoud Shloudi / occupied al-Quds

Blinken calls for an end of settler extremism, yet supports 'Israel'

Yemeni, Iraqi factions ready to escalate as truce comes to an end

- Mahran Hmeidan / occupied al-Quds

- Seifeddine Darwich / Beit Lahm

- Ali al-Asakra / Beit Lahm

- Abdulkarim abu Mustafa / Ramallah and al-Bireh

- Younes Hawamdeh / Ramallah and al-Bireh

- Idris Abed / Ramallah and al-Bireh

- Qusai Masri / Ramallah and al-Bireh

- Youssed Hamed / Ramallah and al-Bireh

- Mohammad Ayyash / Ramallah and al-Bireh

- Qassam Hamed / Ramallah and al-Bireh 

- Ezzeddine Hamed / Ramallah and al-Bireh

- Mahmoud Metwalli / Qalqilya

- Abdullah Hamdan / al-Khalil

- Abdullah Albo / al-Khalil

- Mahmoud Ikhlil / al-Khalil

- Raed Sarsour / al-Khalil 

- Abi Youssef Abu Maria / al-Khalil

- Mahmoud Qatnani / Nablus

- Ousama Qabha / Jenin 

It is noteworthy that the number of liberated Palestinian prisoners since November 24 has reached 240, including 71 females and 169 minors.

Since the truce came into effect, Israeli occupation forces have been attempting to kill the joy of the Palestinian people on the occasion of the liberation of their loved ones from occupation prisons by banning any forms of celebrations. Occupation forces have also been assaulting journalists in an attempt to prevent them from reporting about the celebrations.

A temporary truce not an end to the aggression

Hamas declared on Thursday a one-day extension to the truce in Gaza. The truce, which was set to expire Thursday at 7:00 am, has been extended for a seventh day as per an agreement, the Resistance movement announced.

Earlier on the same day, Israeli occupation forces confirmed that the truce, which was approaching its end, would persist, "aiming to facilitate ongoing efforts for the release" of the captives in the Gaza Strip.

However, the current truce does not mean that a new round of war on Gaza has been entirely suspended. Analysts suggest that domestic pressures may prompt Israeli occupation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resume the aggression sooner rather than later. A delayed resumption could lead to tensions with far-right government ministers who supported the temporary truce with the understanding that the ground invasion would resume shortly.

Yemeni, Iraqi Factions Ready to Escalate as Truce Comes to an End

By Al Mayadeen English

30 Nov 2023 23:40

The Yemeni Armed Forces have announced their intention to escalate naval actions, aiming to effectively impede the passage of Israeli vessels through the Red Sea.

The Yemeni Armed Forces (YAF) reiterates its readiness to resume its operations against the Israeli occupation, in case the latter resumes its aggression on the Gaza Strip, the spokesperson for the Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya al-Saree announced on Thursday.

Moreover, Yemen's military said that it will not hesitate to expand the scope of its confrontation against the Israeli occupation "to encompass targets ("Israel") does not anticipate, on land and in the sea."

The statement confirmed that the Yemeni Armed Forces will cease their attacks on Israeli targets once "Israel" ends its aggression on the Gaza Strip. Israeli-owned vessels will not be allowed to sail in and out of the Red Sea, the Yemeni military confirmed. 

The YAF said that its actions come in line with the guidelines set by Sayyed Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, Ansar Allah's leader, and the demands of the Yemeni people and the free people of the Arab and Islamic Ummahs, to support the Palestinian people and their Resistance.

As the humanitarian truce between the Palestinian Resistance and "Israel" comes closer to an end, factions in the Axis of Resistance have reiterated their readiness to confront the US-backed Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq said that it will not abandon Palestinians, as they face the "tyrants of the world" on their own. 

"We announce our readiness to escalate our military operation on Iraqi soil or abroad," the Islamic Resistance in Iraq underlined.

Axis of Resistance ready to support Palestine

Resistance factions in Iraq have targeted US bases in Iraq and its occupation bases in Syria in response to the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip. Knowing that the United States has provided "Israel" with the necessary military and diplomatic backing to conduct its aggression on the Gaza Strip, Resistance factions have made it clear, that US assets in Syria and Iraq are legitimate targets in defense of Palestine.

The Resistance has also targeted the occupation city of "Eilat" with long-range weapons in a show of solidarity with the Palestinian Resistance.

After the Resistance in Palestine agreed to a 4-day truce, which was extended for three extra days, the fronts in Yemen and Iraq have seen relative quiet, which goes in line with proceedings of the battle in Gaza. However, as time runs up on the truce, the Axis of Resistance has renewed its readiness to confront the occupation and escalate its operations, which have targeted vital Israeli sectors and damaged US interests in the Middle East.

On the other hand, the Israeli political and military commands are faced with the choice of accepting a defeat, that stems from its embarrassment on October 7, or risking yet again the breakout of regional war and adding on to its losses since Operation Al-Aqsa Flood was first launched.

A ‘Terrorist’ Organization? – This is What Hamas’ Charters Say

November 30, 2023

Palestinians take part in Hamas’ anniversary rally in Gaza in Dec 2022. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Blake Alcott

How many people, making claims about how evil Hamas is, know the first thing about Hamas? How many have at least read what this large, popular movement has said it believes and wants to do? Very few.

In this article, I look at what Hamas has said in two documents – the Covenant of 18 August 1988 and the Document of 1 May 2017. One might invoke the adage, ‘Judge not what I say, but what I do’. And Hamas has done many things over the last 35 years: politicizing, promoting Islam, providing social services, governing, educating, and fighting.

Its fighting branch, the Al-Qassam Brigades, in my opinion with full justification, has seen to it that it can attack with some success the military parts of the colonizing power, Israel. This is a normal, armed liberation struggle, its goal being an independent Palestine from the river to the sea, replacing the colonial-apartheid entity now in power.

Judging what Hamas did on 7 October 2023 will have to wait until the facts are in. Only then can we say which of the roughly 800 Israelis killed who were not at the time in uniform were bonafide civilians, and whether they were killed by Hamas, Israel, or others. But concerning Hamas’ ideology, for a first assessment let’s get it from the horse’s mouth. What I do not analyze or judge here is how Hamas rules the 2.2 million citizens of the Gaza Strip, but rather only Hamas’ stance over against the Zionist entity and over against other resistance groups including the PLO and Fatah.

The Global-Western Zionist press and politics declare themselves competent to pronounce that Hamas’ ultimate intention is to kill all the Jews in the world – or sometimes just those in Israel, who would at least be pushed into the sea. Brandeis University wrote a letter banning the local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine in which it claimed that Hamas calls for the “elimination of Israel and the Jewish people”. Congressman Mike Lawler of New York ‘knows’ that Hamas “is a terrorist organization whose primary purpose is the eradication of the Jewish people”.

Online show master Piers Morgan believes “Hamas’ stated intent (is) to wipe Israel off the face of the earth”, a statement which irresponsibly conflates the end of Israel, a state, with the end of individual Israelis, and even to “kill all Jews”. Former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard condemned the “Islamist Hamas terrorists who are calling for a genocide, the extermination of all Jews, not just in Israel, but around the world”.

The media where I live, in Zürich, Switzerland, brim over with similar statements, the most virulent in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. One of their regular writers is Martin Rhonheimer, whose Wikipedia pages describe him as a ‘Swiss Jewish’ native of Zürich who became a Catholic priest within the Opus Dei system in 1983. On 13 November he claimed (my translation) that Hamas’ “goal is the annihilation and extermination (Vernichtung und Auslöschung) of the Jews and everything Jewish and their state – that is, a second Shoa.”

Is there any evidence in official Hamas writings that it wants to kill all Jews, or some Jews because they are Jews, or any non-combatants at all? Hamas, after all, itself says it is fighting Zionism and the Israeli occupation (colonization) – just as past Palestinians fought nicht-Jewish Crusaders and Tartars.

The Words Themselves

Hamas’ currently official enunciation of its principles and goals was published, after several years of work by a large number of its members, on 1 May 2017. It’s called ‘A Document of General Principles and Policies’. Following its page-long Preamble are 42 sections (Articles). Hamas’ first such ‘Charter’ or Covenant was published on 18 August 1988. Written by Abdul Fattah Dukhan, its two-page Introduction is followed by 36 Articles.

The 2017 Document I’ll quote was translated into English by Hamas itself – here or here. For the 1988 Covenant I’ll use two English translations, one by Muhammad Maqdsi of Dallas, Texas, as published in the Journal of Palestine Studies 22 (4), Summer 1993, pp. 122-34, and the other on Yale University’s ‘Avalon’ website.

The Goal

The Document’s Preamble begins: “Palestine is the land of the Arab Palestine people, from it they originate, to it they adhere and belong, and about it they reach out and communicate.” As Article 2 soon clarifies, by ‘Palestine’ is meant the land from the “River Jordan” to the “Mediterranean” and from “Ras Al-Naqurah” to “Um Al-Rashrash.

After thus asserting political ownership of the whole of historic Palestine, they then attest its “occupation”: “Palestine is a land that was seized by a racist, anti-human and colonial Zionist project that was founded on a false promise (the Balfour Declaration), on recognition of a usurping entity and on imposing a fait accompli by force.” “By force” means: against the will of the indigenous people.

The Preamble states the goal: “Palestine symbolizes the resistance that shall continue until liberation is accomplished, until the return is fulfilled and until a fully sovereign state is established with Jerusalem as its capital.” “Return” is of course that of the roughly 8 million refugees who have for 75 years been forcibly prevented by Israel from returning to their places of origin in historic Palestine.

Article 1 states the goal more briefly: “to liberate Palestine and confront the Zionist project”. It then adds that Hamas’ “frame of reference is Islam, which determines its principles, objectives and means.” Article 2 then spells out that “Palestine… is an integral territorial unit” and that the fact that “the Palestinian people” were “expelled and banished” upon the “establishment of the Zionist entity” doesn’t mean they have lost their right “to their entire land”; neither does it “entrench any rights therein for the usurping Zionist entity.”

Note Hamas here disallows rights for the Zionist entity, remaining silent about possible individual rights, perhaps humanitarian ones, of Israelis. Article 3 then ties the country firmly to Islam: “Palestine is an Arab Islamic land.”

Article 4 defines “Palestinians” as “the Arabs who lived in Palestine until 1947, irrespective of whether they were expelled from it, or stayed in it; and every person that was born to an Arab Palestinian father after that date, whether inside or outside Palestine…” This wording is virtually identical with Article 5 of the PLO Charter of 1968 – whose Article 6 then added: “The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians.” The 2017 Hamas Document does not add this, nor does it clarify whether “the Arabs” included the indigenous Jewish Arabs.

Hamas’ Article 6 does say, though, that one is a “Palestinian… irrespective of their religion, culture or political affiliation.” So Palestinians include Moslems, Christians, Jews, Druze, and others – so long as they are “Arabs”. Recall that the Palestinian leadership in the 1930s and 1940s had moved to acceptance as citizens of the to-be-established State of Palestine of “all present citizens of (Mandatory) Palestine”, as I have shown in my book The Rape of Palestine: A Mandate Chronology.

Articles 7, 8 & 9 comprise the section “Islam and Palestine”, Article 7 asserting the significance of Palestine for Islam and as well that Palestine “is the birthplace of Jesus Christ”; its “soil contains the remains of thousands of Prophets, Companions and Mujahidin”. Article 8 then states that “Islam – for Hamas – [follows a] justly balanced middle way”, has a “moderate spirit”, and is “a model of coexistence [and] tolerance”. Further, “It provides an umbrella for the followers of other creeds and religions who can practice their beliefs in security and safety.”

That Hamas’ fight is political rather than ethno-religioUs is further indicated in Article 12: “The Palestinian cause in its essence is a cause of an occupied land and a displaced people.” Article 9 had just sworn to fight “injustice” and “oppressors irrespective of their religion, race, gender or nationality.” (The 1988 Covenant, in Articles 15, 27, 29, 34 & 35, declared the struggle against the Zionists to be no different than previous struggles against the Crusaders and Tatars – neither connected with Judaism.)

Articles 12 and 13 elaborate on the right of return, “a natural right, both individual and collective”, which is “inalienable” – not by “any party, whether Palestinian, Arab or international”. Furthermore, receiving due compensation for decades of losses does not “negate or diminish their right to return”.

Article 14 says “The Zionist project is a racist, aggressive, colonial and expansionist project based on seizing the properties of others.” It also maintains that “The Israeli entity is the plaything of the Zionist project and its base of aggression.”

The Zionist Entity and Jews

Article 16 doubles down on the political nature of its fight: “Hamas affirms that its conflict is with the Zionist project and not with the Jews because of their religion. Hamas does not wage a struggle against the Jews because they are Jewish but wages a struggle against the Zionists who occupy Palestine.”

The irony noticed by any serious student of Zionism is then spelled out: “Yet, it is the Zionists who constantly identify Judaism and the Jews with their own colonial project and illegal entity.” This conflation of Jews and Zionists is implicit in practically all public discussions of Hamas, and is of course the false premise for false accusations of anti-semitism.

Chapter 17 further indicates that Jews as Jews are under no threat from Hamas: “Hamas rejects the persecution of any human being or the undermining of his or her rights on nationalist, religious or sectarian grounds.” It then addresses a second conflation, namely that of Europe and Western Asia – between where “the persecution of the Jews” took place (Europe), and the Arab and Muslim worlds, whose “heritage” and “history” shows no anti-semitism whatsoever.

May I pause here to attest the utter innocence of the Palestinians in this whole story? They had been ruled by the Ottomans, then ruled by the British, then ruled, expelled, killed and robbed by the Jewish Zionists – without ever having lifted a finger against anybody. Their only crime was wanting to shape their polity and future themselves.

Article 18 correctly lays the blame with the British, the League of Nations and the UN General Assembly – all of whose decisions effecting Palestine’s occupation being “null and void” – and Article 19 states boldly: “There shall be no recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist entity” – as done by the PLO.

As for the PLO’s acceptance of a reduced state, Article 20 says: “Hamas believes that no part of the land of Palestine shall be compromised or conceded, irrespective of the causes, the circumstances and the pressures and no matter how long the occupation lasts. Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.”

The rest of Article 20 builds a bridge to the PLO: “However, without compromising its rejection of the Zionist entity and without relinquishing any Palestinian rights, Hamas considers the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state, along the lines of the June 4, 1967, with the return of the refugees and the displaced to the homes from which they were expelled, to be a formula of national consensus.”

This seems to contradict the first part of Article 20, but firstly, this sentence is literally descriptive, claiming only that this vision of such a Palestine on about 20% of historic Palestine, is “a formula of national consensus”. Secondly, Hamas’ conditions for being part of this “consensus” have been stated: The state must be “fully sovereign” and the refugees and displaced must be granted return. Such a two-state solution could not be farther from that agreed by Hamas’ rivals – the more so as it is embedded in text soaked in the undying goal of the liberation of all of Palestine. Article 22 indeed immediately insists on all the named rights. (And of course in reality, the return of even a majority of the refugees and displaced is inconsistent with the further existence of the Zionist entity.)


Next, as to the means to liberation, according to Article 23 “Resistance and jihad for the liberation of Palestine will remain a legitimate right”. Articles 25 and 26 are explicit: “Resisting the occupation with all means and methods is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws and by international norms and laws. (See for instance UNGA Resolutions 37/43 §2 of 3 December 1982 and 38/17 §2 of 22 November 1983, etc.)

Hamas regards “armed resistance” as “the strategic choice for protecting the principles and the rights of the Palestinian people”. While Article 13 of the 1988 Covenant says that “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad”, Article 34 says in effect that one has negotiated long enough with the Zionist world, to zero avail, and boldly states, “Nothing can overcome iron except iron.”

Article 27 erases any doubt that it regards a two-state solution as anything more than a point of “national consensus”: “A real state of Palestine is a state that has been liberated. There is no alternative to a fully sovereign Palestinian State on the entire national Palestinian soil, with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Article 28 pledges to honor “pluralism, democracy, national partnership, acceptance of the other and the adoption of dialogue” in its “Palestinian relations”, while Article 29 says of the PLO that as “a national framework for the Palestinian people inside and outside of Palestine [it] should be preserved, developed and rebuilt on democratic foundations…”

Hamas’ fair participation in the elections of 2006-07, and its offer to form a coalition government with Fatah, suggests the sincerity of Article 30, wherein “Hamas stresses the necessity of building Palestinian national institutions on sound democratic principles, foremost among them… free and fair elections”.

Again, however, I am in no position to judge to what degree since 2007 Hamas has respected the rights of those living in Gaza. I know Gazans who severely criticize Hamas on this score, and others who claim there is a reasonable amount of freedom in Gaza.

Article 39 ties some thoughts together: “From a legal and humanitarian perspective, the liberation of Palestine [Article 32: “from the Zionist occupation”] is a legitimate activity, it is an act of self-defense, and it is the expression of the natural right of all peoples to self-determination.”

Article 42 then ends the Document: “Hamas rejects the attempts to impose hegemony on the Arab and Islamic Ummah just as it rejects the attempts to impose hegemony on the rest of the world’s nations and peoples. Hamas also condemns all forms of colonialism, occupation, discrimination, oppression and aggression in the world.”

Contrasts with the 1988 Covenant

The 1988 Covenant was written by Muslim Brotherhood member Abdul Fattah Dukhan in the heat of the First Intifada without much consultation. (It was followed in 1990 by a foundational document reproduced in the Appendix to Khaled Hroub’s definitive 2000 book Hamas: Political Thought and Practice. It contains practically no religious language.)

The 1988 and 2017 statements differ little in framing the fight as one in the name of Islam for the liberation of all of Palestine, while Article 29 of the 1988 Covenant recalls that Palestine had previously repulsed both Crusaders and Tatars; now the colonial force to be gotten rid of is the Zionism – a self-proclaimed Jewish-national project.

Article 32 broadens the focus to “imperialism” and mentions the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – but only to say that it described accurately the expansionism of the Zionist program. A glance at Likud’s founding principles, or the comments of some current cabinet ministers, confirms this, as does the de facto annexation of much of the West Bank since 1974 and current plans to free Eretz Israel of Palestinians down to the Egyptian border.

Compare the Covenant’s Article 22, which takes a stand on the empirical question of whether “the enemy” has wielded its financial and political power for the Zionist cause, answering that it has indeed; note that this article makes no mention of Jews or even Zionists – merely, as in many other Articles, “the enemy”.


The 2017 Document mentions ‘Jews’ or ‘Jewish’ only 6 times, and only to say that Hamas has no quarrel with Jews or Judaism (Articles 16 & 17). It uses ‘Judaism’ once, pointing out that it is the Zionists who insist on framing the fight in religious or racial terms. (A recent virulent example was Netanyahu’s October 27 call for Israel to annihilate the Amalek(s), saying “… our soldiers are part of a legacy of Jewish warriors that goes back 3,000 years.” For Hamas, by contrast, the battle is not sectarian or racial, but rather political, directed at freeing the Palestinians from ‘Zionism’ and ‘Zionists’ (words appearing 19 times), or simply ‘the enemy’.

The 1988 Covenant mentions ‘Jews’ or ‘Jewish’ or ‘Judaism’ 12 times, 6 of which, in Articles 7 & 13, are within hadith quotations which I am not competent to judge. The Preamble speaks of “our struggle with the Jews”, which I believe refers to the current political battle, ‘Jews’ being both how the Zionists refer to themselves and the colloquial term for Israeli, colonizing Jews.

Article 15 similarly colloquially speaks of “the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine”, while Article 20 identifies the perpetrators of “acts… similar to Nazism” once as “the Jews” and once as “the enemy”. It adds by way of reference to the nakba that “Deportation from the homeland is a kind of murder.”

Article 28: “We should not forget to remind every Moslem that when the Jews conquered the Holy City in 1967, they stood on the threshold of the Aqsa Mosque and proclaimed that ‘Mohammed is dead, and his descendants are all women.’ Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people.”

The 1988 Covenant’s Article 31 says Hamas “takes care of human rights and is guided by Islamic tolerance when dealing with the followers of other religions”, mentioning “Islam, Christianity and Judaism” only to say that “Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions… to coexist in peace and quiet with each other.” This parallels the 2017 Document’s more abstractly formulated Article 8. Finally, Article 32 calls on all those “active in the Palestinian arena” to fight “the warmongering Jews”, a phrase which arguably implies a distinction between warlike and peaceable Jews.

In sum: The Jewishness of the racist Zionist occupier is merely incidental, the ethno-religiosity of the colonizer ancillary, non-essential: the political battle remains the same whoever the conqueror. The Covenant’s Article 29 bolsters this conclusion, calling as it does for international mobilization of “the Islamic people… to perform their role in the decisive battle of liberation, just as they did when they vanquished the Crusaders and the Tatars [Tartars] and saved human civilization.”

Article 34 similarly states: “Thus it was that the Crusaders came with their armies, bringing with them their creed and carrying their Cross. … [B]ut the Moslems … surged out fighting under the leadership of Salah ed-Din al-Ayyubi… and in the end the Crusaders were defeated and Palestine was liberated.”

Article 35 continues, “The present Zionist onslaught has also been preceded by Crusading raids from the West and other Tatar raids from the East. Just as the Moslems faced those raids and planned fighting and defeating them, they should be able to confront the Zionist invasion and defeat it.”

Article 15 regards the post-World War I conquest of greater Syria by France and Britain as a case of Christian colonialism, quoting General Allenby saying “Only now have the Crusades ended” and General Gouraud saying “We have returned, O Salah ed-Din.” That is, the League of Nations run by Britain and France enabled the Zionists to inherit the colonial role in fulfilling the “Zionist project”.

Thus, not only does Hamas speak more often of Zionism and Zionists than it does of Judaism and Jews. The problem with Western outlooks on the Palestinian Other is that it starts with, and puts in the center, the Jewish ethno-religious group. But as indicated by the above-quoted passages, as well as Hamas’ 2017 massive de-emphasis on Judaism, an oppressor is first and foremost – or even solely – an oppressor, whether he comes from Europe, central Asia, Mars, or of any other provenance. Western media and politicians who insist on focusing on the ethno-religious Jewish nature of Israel are willfully committing Orientalism.


When it comes to the PLO the two statements of principles differ. In the 1988 Covenant, Article 27 both praised and criticised the PLO: it was the organization “closest to the heart of the Islamic Resistance Movement. It contains the father and the brother, the next of kin and the friend. … Our homeland is one, our situation is one, our fate is one and the enemy is a joint enemy to all of us.”

However, the PLO erred when it “adopted the idea of the secular state. … Secularism completely contradicts religious ideology.” And since “attitudes, conduct and decisions stem from ideologies,… with all our appreciation for The Palestinian Liberation Organization and without belittling its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are unable to exchange the present or future Islamic Palestine with the secular idea. The Islamic nature of Palestine is part of our religion… The day the [PLO] adopts Islam as its way of life, we will become its soldiers, and fuel for its fire that will burn the enemies.”

Only in its Article 29 does the 2017 Document deal with the PLO, saying only that it is “a national framework for the Palestinian people inside and outside of Palestine. It should therefore be preserved, developed and rebuilt on democratic foundations…”

Otherwise, this Section called ‘The Palestinian political system (Articles 27-34) retreats decisively from the Islamic position of 1988, stressing in Article 28 “pluralism, democracy, national partnership, acceptance of the other and the adoption of dialogue” and in Article 30 “the necessity of building national Palestinian institutions on sound democratic principles, foremost among them are free and fair elections.” Article 31: “[T]he role of the Palestinian Authority [the Oslo entity] should be to serve the Palestinian people…”.


The Hamas armed attack on Israel beginning on October 7 bears the name ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’, referring of course to a very holy Moslem place in Jerusalem. In the week preceding, Israeli police had enabled over 1,000 Jewish worshippers to enter the Al-Aqsa Compound, a violation of the status quo and as deliberate a provocation as Sharon’s ‘visit’ to that holy place on 28 September 2000.

And recall that in August 1929 violation of this sacred place had been a red line for all Palestinians, not only Moslem ones. But in what sense might a Hamas government be ‘Islamic’? Are Western pundits correct when they fear that Hamas would enforce Sharia in a freed Palestine?

While the 2017 Document’s Article 3 says, “Palestine is an Arab Islamic land”, the 1988 Covenant’s Article 1 says far more religiously that “The Movement’s programme is Islam.” The Covenant’s Article 6 holds: “The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam.

It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned. In the absence of Islam, strife will be rife, oppression spreads, evil prevails and schisms and wars will break out.” So the Covenant of 35 years ago does call for an Islamic government of Palestine, but as the section above on the PLO shows, its current position is that it would abide by the will of the voters as it did in 2006-07.

The closest the 1988 Covenant comes to usurping Palestine for Islam is its Article 11: “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day.” Also, “the law governing the land of Palestine is the Islamic Sharia (law)”.

However, Article 11 also includes a sentence which I find puzzling: “[W]ho could claim to have the right to represent Moslem generations till Judgment Day?” Just as Article 8 of the 2017 Document (just above) inserted into its definition the humble qualifier “for Hamas”, this sentence seems to relativize any claim to absolute truth.

Hamas’ currently valid Document of 2017, on the other hand, is ambiguous on whether it wants what Western media scare-mongeringly call “an Islamic nation-state”. Its Preamble states only that “Palestine is the land of the Arab Palestinian people” – the term ‘Arab’ of course traditionally covering adherents of all three so-called Abrahamic religions; further, “Palestine is the true partnership among Palestinians of all affiliations…” While “Palestine is the spirit of the Ummah”, it is not claimed that the reverse is true, i.e., that the Ummah is the identity of Palestine.

Article 1 states only that Hamas’ own “frame of reference is Islam”, saying nothing about all of Palestine or other Palestinians. Article 3 does however then state that “Palestine is an Arab Islamic land. It is a blessed sacred land that has a special place in the heart of every Arab and every Muslim.” Article 6, somewhat in contrast, then asserts the unity of “all Palestinians,… irrespective of their religion, culture or political affiliation.”

Article 7 adds that “Palestine is at the heart of” both the “Arab” and the “Islamic” Ummah, then recalls it was the “first Qiblah” and was where the Prophet Muhammad “ascended to the upper heavens”. Also, “It is the birthplace of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. Its soil contains the remains of thousands of Prophets, Companions and Mujahidin.” That is, it is “Islamic” in the sense of its importance to Moslems, but not necessarily only to Moslems.

Articles 8 & 9, also dealt with above, are key. “By virtue of its justly balanced middle way and moderate spirit, Islam – for Hamas – provides a comprehensive way of life and an order that is fit for purpose at all times and in all places. Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. It provides an umbrella for the followers of other creeds and religions who can practice their beliefs in security and safety. Hamas also believes that Palestine has always been and will always be a model of coexistence, tolerance and civilizational innovation.” This recalls the tolerant ‘rule’ of Moslems in Andalusian Spain and the Ottoman Empire.

Furthermore, “Hamas believes that the message of Islam upholds the values of truth, justice, freedom and dignity and prohibits all forms of injustice and incriminates oppressors irrespective of their religion, race, gender or nationality.”

As we just saw, Article 16 completely de-ethnicizes the issue by clearly stating that the enemy is Zionism, not “Jews because of their religion”. Finally, likewise as just seen above, there is no way to squeeze an ‘Islamic state’ from the text of Articles 27, 28, 30, 35 & 36, all of which describe Palestine’s political future in terms of democracy.

The name ‘Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyya’ already shows that it is the Resistance Movement, not Palestine, which is ‘Islamic’; similarly, Article 8 of the 1988 Covenant refers to itself, not a Palestinian state, when it says that “the Koran [is] its constitution.”

As a supporter of the separation of state and religion (or ethnicity, or ‘nationality’), I do not believe a state or government can simultaneously be democratic and simultaneously ‘Christian’, ‘Moslem’, ‘Jewish’ or ‘Hindu’. Based on the 2017 text I humbly venture that Hamas struggles to square this circle. But claims of Islamic ‘radicalism’, made either directly or associatively, as when prominent Swiss TV journalist Barbara Lüthi elides Hamas and ISIS by using the term ‘Islamic nation-state’, are certainly false. Such statements reveal profound ignorance of what Hamas actually says.

There is moreover zero evidence for the claim that Hamas wants to kill any Jews because they are Jews, or indeed any Jews who are not in uniform. On the contrary, the evidence examined here from official Hamas statements points to Hamas’ willingness to co-exist with others regardless of their ethnicity or religion. The burden of proof lies with those who allege unstated racist or intolerant intentions on the part of Hamas.

– Blake Alcott is a retired cabinetmaker and ecological economist who has been a solidarity activist since 2010, now living in Zürich. He is Director of ODS in Palestine (UK), an NGO working to make ODS more understandable to the public. His forthcoming book, The Rape of Palestine: A Mandate Chronology, consists of 490 instances of the dialogue, such as it was, between the British and the Palestinians during the years 1917-1948. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle

Al-Qassam’s Latest Video is Best Production Yet – VIDEO

November 30, 2023 

Al-Qassam Brigades release the latest batch of Israeli captives in Gaza. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

All of this is happening in northern Gaza, which was previously declared to be under total Israeli control by an Israeli military spokesman.

On Thursday evening, Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas, released another six Israeli captives. This was the latest exchange of prisoners between Palestinian Resistance and Israel.

Earlier in the day, the Palestinian group released two Israeli captives, holding the ceremony in Gaza City’s largest square, Palestine Square, amid chants from hundreds of Palestinians. 

The remainder were released without fanfare in a part of Gaza that is yet to be revealed. 

Both deliveries carried deep meanings and strong messages from the Palestinian Resistance.

The first part of the video was held in broad daylight, where fighters drove in the open in an area that was supposedly controlled by the Israeli military.

The choice of Palestine Square is particularly poignant as it demonstrates the confidence of the Resistance in being able to operate and retreat in areas very close to advancing Israeli troops. 

The quality of the video itself reflects the growing mastery over the narrative by the Palestinian fighters: friendly exchanges, comments by one of the captives about the good quality of food, and the unhurried process through which the entire affair was conducted.

And finally, the drone.

The Hollywood-like quality of the production is becoming more obvious with every passing day. But equally telling is that parts of the latest Al-Qassam video were, in fact, shot by a drone. 

All of this is happening in northern Gaza, which was previously declared to be under total Israeli control, by an Israeli military spokesman.

In total, 81 Israeli captives were released by the Resistance while over 200 Palestinians were also released, and 30 more are expected to be released in the early hours of Friday.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Israel Executes 8-year-old in Broad Daylight

Tamara Nassar 

Rights and Accountability 

30 November 2023

Rescuers check the damage of a house following an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on 29 November. Mohammed NasserAPA images

While the Israeli army is taking a pause from slaughtering Palestinian children in Gaza, its routine killing of children in the occupied West Bank persists unabated.

The Israeli army extrajudicially executed an 8-year-old Palestinian child in the city of Jenin on Wednesday.

CCTV footage shows Adam Samer al-Ghoul walking backwards when he suddenly starts running away. As he retreats, he is shot and falls to the ground.

Another Palestinian youth cautiously approaches him, crouches behind a parked vehicle, and pulls him by his arm in an attempt to bring him to safety.

The youth peeks and raises his arms to indicate to the Israeli army (not captured in the footage) that he is unarmed. He then quickly ducks away and signals in the opposite direction for help.

Israeli forces fired live ammunition at Adam from a distance of 10 to 15 meters from inside a heavily armored military vehicle, according to a field investigation by Defense for Children International-Palestine.

Adam was hit with a bullet to the head.

A second Palestinian child was killed when Israeli forces fired live ammunition at him from the same distance from inside a heavily armored military vehicle.

Basel Suleiman Abu al-Wafa, 15, was “allegedly attempting to throw a homemade explosive device at the time Israeli forces shot and killed him,” DCIP said.

The teen sustained a bullet wound to the chest.

Israeli occupation forces left the two children “bleeding” after shooting them, and “prevented citizens and paramedics from reaching them and treating them,” Wafa news agency reported, citing local sources.

Both boys were eventually transferred to hospital where they were announced dead on arrival, DCIP reported.

“Palestinian children in Jenin have been a routine target for the Israeli military,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, DCIP’s accountability program director.

“It is shocking that Israeli forces, sitting in an armored vehicle, can fatally shoot two children in broad daylight and the international community will refuse to hold them accountable.”

The Israeli army killed the two children during a military incursion into Jenin and its refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank that started Tuesday night and ended on Wednesday afternoon.

Injuries included a Palestinian who was shot with a live bullet in the head and another who was run over by an Israeli armored vehicle.

Israel killed four Palestinians during its raid, including Adam and Basel, and injured others.

“Israeli forces besieged three of Jenin’s major hospitals, and armed Palestinians confronted them,” DCIP said.

Israel’s besieging of the hospitals prevented patients and wounded Palestinians from reaching Ibn Sina hospital, as its director Wissam Bakr told Wafa news agency.

Israeli forces bombed a home, struck a vehicle in the camp and fired Energa anti-tank rifle grenades at another home. Israeli army bulldozers also destroyed infrastructure in the camp, including electricity, water, sewage and roads.

Sixty-four Palestinian children have been killed in the occupied West Bank since 7 October, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces and settlers have killed at least 104 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank so far in 2023.

Israeli drone strikes in the occupied West Bank have killed nine Palestinian children in 2023, while Israel has used a US-made Apache helicopter to fire missiles that killed four children. An Israeli warplane airstrike killed one additional child in the West Bank during that time.

Israeli troops have killed nearly 240 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 7 October, and an additional eight were killed by settlers, the UN monitoring group OCHA has reported.

This constitutes more than half of all Israeli killings in the area since the beginning of the year. “Already, 2023 has been the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since OCHA began recording casualties in 2005,” the group said.

Israeli forces have injured over 3,100 Palestinians in the West Bank since 7 October, more than 500 of them children.

This is Why We Carried Out the Ramot Attack – Qassam Brigades

November 30, 2023

Murad Nimr, 38, and Ibrahim Nimr, 30, carried out a shooting operation in Occupied East Jerusalem. (Photo: via social media)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The Al-Qassam Brigades explained the reasons behind the shooting in occupied East Jerusalem and claimed responsibility for the operation.

The Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas, claimed responsibility for the shooting operation carried out at the entrance of the Ramot settlement in occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday morning.

“The Al-Qassam Brigades declare their full responsibility for the heroic Al-Quds operation, which was carried out at the northwestern entrance of the occupied city of Al-Quds (East Jerusalem), on Thursday morning,” the group said in a statement. 

In the statement, the Brigades asserted that “this operation comes as part of the responsibility to respond to the crimes of the occupation in killing children and women in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank, and the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the sanctities.”

On Wednesday, Israeli snipers killed two children, Adam Samer Al-Ghoul, 9, and Basil Suleiman Abu Al-Wafa, 15, in the city of Jenin.

Moreover, the attack “is a direct warning message against the violations practiced by (Israeli Minister Itamar) Ben-Gvir and his gang against the male and female prisoners in the occupation jails,” the statement concluded.

Three Israeli settlers were killed and 12 injured on Thursday morning in a shooting operation carried out by two Palestinian brothers in the occupied Palestinian city.

The two brothers were identified as Murad Nimr, 38, and Ibrahim Nimr, 30, from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher.

Immediately after the shooting, the occupation police closed a number of entrances to the occupied city of Jerusalem, including the major Qalandiya checkpoint, north of the city.

Moreover, a large Israeli occupation police force raided the neighborhood, broke into the siblings’ homes, and detained members of their families for questioning.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Israeli Stabs Pregnant Palestinian Woman to Death (Graphic content)

By Al Mayadeen English

In a heart-wrenching tragedy captured on video, the world witnesses the cold-blooded killing of a pregnant Palestinian woman who was accompanying her child to school.

A pregnant Palestinian woman was martyred after being stabbed by an Israeli settler in the occupied city of al-Lydd as she was on her way to drop her children off at school.

Local sources reported that the victim in this stabbing incident was identified as Ayah Abu Hjaij from al-Lydd.

A video captured by a surveillance camera documented the settler stabbing the woman in her back in front of her children. Consequently, she fell to the ground, and he continued to stab her while she attempted to defend herself. Later, another person in a private car arrived at the scene, which the killer got into and fled the scene. 

This comes shortly after video footage surfaced, depicting armed Israeli extremist settlers invading residences in the Palestinian village of Mu’arrajat in the Jordan Valley on Tuesday night.

At a certain moment, an Israeli extremist settler struck a Palestinian in the stomach using the butt of his rifle, subsequently aiming the weapon at him as he managed to flee.

According to a classified document revealed on Thursday by Israeli Channel 12, Israeli occupation Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has exerted pressure on senior police officers in the West Bank, urging them to avoid pursuing extremists responsible for offenses against Palestinians.

Extremist settlers exploit military status to assault Palestinians

Israeli human rights organizations have raised significant concerns about violence against Palestinians since October 7, specifically pointing to the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) establishing "six volunteer battalions to safeguard West Bank settlements."

These new reserve regional "battalions" consist of volunteers from Israeli settlements and occupied cities and towns who have undergone previous IOF training.

Critics argue that this has blurred the distinction between settlers and the military, allowing extremist settlers to exploit their military status for the further harassment and assault of Palestinians.

Recently, footage showed two such reservists entering a Palestinian school in the southern al-Khalil and assaulting Palestinians.

This is happening as the IOF, alongside extremist settlers, escalated their violence dramatically in the occupied West Bank, with killings and displacement being on the rise since Oct. 7

In a related development, Israeli occupation forces raided the towns of Beitunia west of Ramallah and Tulkarm, firing tear gas and assaulting the family of soon-to-be-released prisoners Nohad and Mohammad Jadallah in Tulkarm.

Palestinian youth Fadi Muayyad Badran was killed during the confrontations with the Israeli occupation in the town of Beitunia, west of the city of Ramallah, in the central West Bank, in addition to several injuries earlier today at dawn.

The killing of Fadi comes less than 24 hours after two Palestinian children were killed by Israeli occupation forces' gunfire in Jenin in the occupied West Bank. Adam Samer al-Ghoul (8 years old) and Bassel Suleiman Abu al-Wafa (15 years old), were shot and killed by the occupation forces on Wednesday afternoon. Footage shows that one of the children was shot right in front of his family home in the al-Basateen district.  

As the Israeli genocide in Gaza is ongoing, it might seem inappropriate to shift focus to the relatively smaller but troubling settlers' violence and IOF's terrorism in the occupied West Bank. However, it would be a mistake to underestimate the dangers posed by the recent surge in violence against Palestinians in the West Bank. 

This seems to be a strategic calculation made by "Israel" to expand its illegal settlements and steal more Palestinian land. Reports indicate a notable increase in the number of Palestinians forcibly displaced or killed since Oct. 7. The occupation seems to be fully aware that the diverting global and Israeli attention from the West Bank provides cover for more land usurpation in the area.

At the beginning of this month, the 150 residents of Khirbet Zanuta have been forcibly displaced once again. At the time, armed settlers, some of whom were dressed in reserve army uniforms and others concealing their identities, started to break into their homes during the night, assaulting adults, vandalizing and looting possessions, and traumatizing their children.

As of October 7, the Palestinian Prisoners Club reported that the overall count of Palestinians held in Israeli detention has reached 3,325. It is worth noting that United Nations data have lately indicated that a minimum of 247 Palestinians, including children, have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli occupation forces since October 7.

Meanwhile, in Gaza, "Israel" has killed at least 15,000, including more than 6,150 children and over 4,000 women, as per the Government Media Office in Gaza.

Deaths, Injuries in Double Operation in Occupied al-Quds

By Al Mayadeen English

Today 09:46

Another operation was carried out in the Jordan Valley, which resulted in the injury of two Israeli soldiers.

Israeli media reported earlier this morning that three settlers were killed and several were injured in a shooting operation in the settlement of "Ramot" in occupied al-Quds.

Six were injured in the operation, four of whom are in serious condition.

Later, in another operation, Israeli media revealed that a Palestinian ran over a number of soldiers, injuring two of them at the "Beka'ot" checkpoint in the Jordan Valley.

The Palestinian who carried out the ramming operation in the Jordan Valley was martyred after being shot.

Israeli media reported that the two Palestinians who conducted the operation in al-Quds arrived by car at the bus station and opened fire at the settlers there.

They were identified as the two brothers Murad Nimr (38 years old) and Ibrahim Nimr (30 years old) from the town of Sur Baher, south of occupied al-Quds. They are liberated prisoners and belong to the Hamas movement.

The Israeli police commander in al-Quds reported that the Palestinians who conducted the operation were killed.

The Israeli army radio reported that preliminary investigations indicate that the operation was bipartite involving both a ramming and a shooting. 

Shortly after the shooting operation, Israeli occupation forces deployed units to the site.

Israeli media pointed out that "almost a year ago today, a similar operation had taken place in the same location."

Channel 12 reported that this is "the fourth and most deadly operation we have witnessed in Jerusalem [Al-Quds] since the start of the war in Gaza."

Despite the large Israeli police presence, in addition to armed settlers, the threat of Resistance operations remains grave, a Channel 12 correspondent reported, noting a recent uptick in Resistance operations. 

Additionally, the military correspondent for Yedioth Ahronoth said, "The circumstances of the Jerusalem operation and the weapons used indicate that there was prior planning for its execution."

This comes as Israeli occupation forces ramp up their aggression on the West Bank, raiding towns, surrounding hospitals, and killing children and youths in cold blood, amid a truce ongoing in Gaza with the IOF not failing to violate it every now and then. 

Just yesterday, two Palestinian children, ages 9 and 15, were killed in cold blood in Jenin.

Later at night, Israeli occupation forces conducted raids in the towns of Beitunia west of Ramallah and Tulkarm, firing tear gas and assaulting the family of soon-to-be-released prisoners Nohad and Mohammad Jadallah in Tulkarm.

Meanwhile, Palestinian youth Fadi Muayyad Badran was killed during confrontations with the Israeli occupation in the town of Beitunia, west of the city of Ramallah, in the central West Bank, in addition to several injuries.

The Palestinian Red Crescent confirmed the injury of 5 Palestinians with live bullets, with one described as being in a “very serious” condition, in confrontations that followed an attack by the Israeli occupation forces on the masses gathered to receive the liberated Palestinian prisoners. 

Sanaa Says Captured Ship's Fate in Hands of Palestinian Resistance

By Al Mayadeen English

29 Nov 2023 18:34

The Yemeni armed forces underline that while they are safeguarding regional security, it would stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Ansar Allah spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam responded to the statement issued by the G7 regarding maritime security, wherein he stressed Wednesday that Sanaa was committed to maritime security and that of maritime corridors.

The statement G7 issued a statement warning against further escalation, calling on Asar Allah to halt what it said were "threats" to international shipping and to release the Israeli-linked vessel they had captured earlier in the month.

"Emphasizing the importance of maritime security, we call on all parties not to threaten or interfere with the lawful exercise of navigational rights and freedoms by all vessels," a statement by Japan, the current head of the Group of 7, said.

"We especially call on [Ansar Allah] to immediately cease attacks on civilians and threats to international shipping lanes and commercial vessels and release the M/V Galaxy Leader and its crew, illegally seized from international waters on November 19," the statement added.

Abdulsalam stressed that the Yemeni Naval Forces were committed to protecting Yemeni territorial waters as per its sovereign jurisdiction. "The ship and its crew were captured in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in support of the valiant resistance in Gaza."

The fate of the Israeli-linked ship, the Ansar Allah spokesperson said, "is linked to the choices of the Palestinian Resistance and what serves its goals in the battle against the Israeli aggression."

"The crew were dealt with according to Islamic morals and humanitarian laws," Abdulsalam added, noting that they are being allowed to contact their families.

The operations of the Yemeni Navy that took place as of late "are exclusive to Israeli ships," which is what the Naval Forces had already warned about, cautioning both Israeli or Israeli-linked ships prior to the capture.

Abdulsalam expressed Sanaa's conviction that "the criminal actions of the occupation are a threat to regional and international security and peace" and that confronting its aggressive activities against the Palestinian people and the region is "essential for the security and peace of the region and the world."

The Ansar Allah spokesperson underlined that the G7 granting legitimacy to the occupation was a violation of international law, given that the latter was "an unjust occupation of Palestine, engaging in brutal aggression against the Gaza Strip."

Abdulsalam emphasized that the "true legitimacy lies with the Palestinian people in resisting and confronting the aggression, siege, and occupation" perpetrated by the occupier, which is supported by the United States and the West.

Following a series of events on the same shipping route, a tanker related to an Israeli corporation was boarded off the coast of Yemen on Sunday, according to the maritime security organization Ambrey.

Ambrey announced that "US naval forces are engaged in the situation" following the incident with the Central Park vessel, which is owned and operated by a UK-based, Israeli-affiliated business.

Later, a US defense official said a tanker linked to an Israel-affiliated company was captured off the coast of Yemen on Sunday by unidentified armed individuals.

"There are indications that an unknown number of unidentified armed individuals seized the M/V Central Park in the Gulf of Aden Nov. 26. US and coalition forces are in the vicinity and we are closely monitoring the situation," the official told AFP, following a series of incidents on the same shipping route.

Yemen's Naval Forces had previously threatened to attack the tanker if it did not divert to the Hodeidah port, Ambrey said. The maritime security firm claimed that communications from a US coalition cruiser had been intercepted, instructing Central Park to disregard the signals.

The tanker was captured offshore the Yemeni port city of Aden, according to Ambrey, with another vessel in the region reporting "an approach by eight persons on two skiffs wearing military uniforms."

This comes after an Israeli ship was targeted in the Arabian Sea (north of the Indian Ocean) on Thursday night -- Friday dawn shortly before the temporary truce in Gaza came into effect, private sources told Al Mayadeen.

The sources confirmed that the ship was directly hit, and it caught fire as a result of the attack. 

The party behind the operation has not been specified.

Commenting on Al Mayadeen's exclusive report, Roi Kayes, head of the Arab Affairs Department at the Israeli Kan channel, said no confirmation has been received from Israeli authorities about whether the incident took place or not or if "Israel" actually owns the ship.

Earlier last week, the official spokesperson for the Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, announced on November 19 that the Yemeni Naval Forces carried out a military operation in the Red Sea, resulting in the capture of an Israeli ship.

In a video statement, General Saree confirmed that the ship named Galaxy Leader was led to the Yemeni coast, emphasizing that this operation comes in support of Palestine's West Bank and Gaza. "The operations of the armed forces threaten only the ships of the Israeli entity and those owned by Israelis," he said.

Sudan Army Announces Ground Campaign to 'Eliminate' RSF


People greet army soldiers in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan, Sudan on April 16, 2023. PHOTO |By XINHUA

The Sudanese Armed Forces (Saf) on Tuesday announced the beginning of a ground campaign to march on the Sudanese capital to "eliminate" the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

"The army has begun a campaign. All the (military) areas are ready, and we will march in all directions," Yasir Al-Atta, the Saf's assistant commander-in-chief, addressed soldiers and officers of Omdurman Military Area.

Al-Atta commended the efforts and support of the Sudanese people for the armed forces to preserve the entity of Sudan and defeat the RSF, accusing some regional and international countries and organisations of supporting the RSF.

A senior Sudanese army officer was quoted on Tuesday by Sudan's Al-Sudani newspaper website as saying that "the Saf has inflicted heavy losses of lives and equipment."

Drones and heavy artillery strikes were launched on Tuesday in Bahri, Omdurman and Khartoum, destroying 35 RSF positions, while the army's special forces conducted qualitative operations on the militia pockets in the Jabra neighbourhood of Khartoum and Omdurman, the officer said.

Meanwhile, video clips posted on social media on Tuesday showed heavy columns of smoke rising in the neighbourhoods of Eastern Khartoum due to continued battles between the Saf and RSF in Khartoum.

Sudan has been witnessing deadly clashes between the Saf and the RSF in Khartoum and other areas since April 15, which have killed up to 9,000 people by October, forced more than 6 million displaced within and outside Sudan, and left 25 million in need of aid, according to the latest Sudan situation report issued on November 12 by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha).

EAC Court Throws Out Eacop Challenge


The East African Crude Oil Pipeline is a 1,443-kilometre heated pipeline that will run from the oilfields in Lake Albert in Northwestern Uganda to Tanzania's Indian Ocean port of Tanga. PHOTO | COURTESY



A regional court on Wednesday threw out a legal challege

The scheme has come under fire from activists who say it will harm fragile ecosystems in areas rich in biodiversity as well as the livelihoods of tens of thousands of local people.

A five-judge panel at the court based in the Tanzanian town of Arusha said the lawsuit submitted in 2020 "cannot be adjudicated upon for having been filed outside the time period prescribed".

The civil society groups involved said they planned to appeal the "unjust" ruling.

Lucien Limacher of Natural Justice, an environmental and rights organisation working in Africa, charged that the court had failed to give the petitioners the chance to argue their case.

"The judgement marks a continuation of how the global north and various government institutions in Africa are blind to the destruction of the environment and the impact oil and gas has on the climate," Limacher said in a statement.

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (Eacop) is a 1,443-kilometre (900-mile) heated pipeline that will run from the oilfields in Lake Albert in Northwestern Uganda to Tanzania's Indian Ocean port of Tanga.

TotalEnergies has a 62 percent stake in the pipeline, with Ugandan and Tanzanian state-owned oil companies holding 15 percent each and China National Offshore Oil Corporation eight percent.

Lake Albert lies atop an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of crude, of which about 1.4 billion barrels are currently considered recoverable.

Uganda's first oil is expected to flow in 2025 -- almost two decades after the reserves were discovered -- and the project has been hailed by President Yoweri Museveni as an economic boon for the landlocked country where many live in poverty.

Militias Attack Army Detachment in Northern Burkina Faso


Servicemen stand guard during the burial of the soldiers killed in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on October 8, 2022. PHOTO | AFP


Security sources that spoke to AFP on Tuesday said jihadists carried out a major attack against an army detachment in Burkina Faso's northern town of Djibo.

The detachment in the Sahel region was the target of a "large-scale militia attack perpetrated by armed terrorist groups" on Sunday, a security source said, adding that the army imposed "heavy losses" on the attackers.

Some soldiers were killed in the attack they said, without giving a figure.

The attack and the losses among the assailants' ranks were confirmed by other sources.

"The attack began around 3:00 pm (local time) and was carried out by several hundred-armed men who tried in vain to penetrate the (military base)," said the source.

They added that the attackers were hit by an army aircraft.

The security source said that the attack was carried out by "several waves of armed groups" for more than three hours.

A follow-up search for the militia survivors of the attack on Monday "made it possible to neutralise several dozen other terrorists", the source said.

The Burkina Faso Information Agency said, "more than 400 terrorists (were) destroyed during the counter-offensive by the Burkinabe Armed Forces against nearly 3,000 criminals who tried to seize the town of Djibo."

The nation is battling a militia insurgency that spilled over from neighbouring Mali in 2015 and has left more than 17,000 civilians and soldiers dead and displaced two million people.

Burkina Faso is ruled by a transitional government put in place after a September 2022 coup.

The junta-led government has been conscripting men over 18 for its anti-militia fight.

Madagascar Detains Two Colonels Over Election Mutiny


President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina (C). PHOTO | AFP


Two Madagascar army colonels have been detained and charged with inciting a mutiny during the country's recent presidential election, a top prosecutor and investigators said Tuesday.

The charges were announced only three days after Andry Rajoelina secured a new term as the African island's president in an election that was boycotted by most opposition leaders.

The two accused were officially charged on Monday with "threatening state security", said Antananarivo prosecutor Narindra Rakotoniaina.

They have been placed in custody until a hearing on January 16.

"Two army colonels tried to unite battalion commanders in the city of Antananarivo with the aim of inciting them to mutiny," Tahina Ravelomanana, head of the Madagascar gendarmerie criminal section, told AFP.

They acted "to contest the election and destabilise power".

Ahead of the election first round on November 16, the two officers offered the equivalent of about $27,500 to several army leaders so that they would incite soldiers to cause trouble, Rakotoniaina said.

The army leaders refused the bribe and reported the two colonels to the chiefs of staff, who ordered an investigation, he added.

Rajoelina was declared winner of the presidential election on Saturday, without a second round required.

About 10 opposition candidates had organised protests in the capital in the weeks leading up to the vote.

They had called on supporters to boycott the vote saying the result had been fixed. They have refused to recognise the result.

Two requests to cancel the result have been made to the constitutional high court which will have to give the official results by December 4.

Madagascar's elections rarely end without controversy. Rajoelina became president a first time in 2009 when Marc Ravalomanana was forced out of power. He won a first election in 2018.

Sixth African Union Judicial Dialogue Closes in Algeria


November 28, 2023

The Sixth African Union Judicial Dialogue, on the theme “Promoting Human Rights in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities of Transposing Regional and International Human Rights Jurisprudence into National Jurisdictions,” has ended in Algiers, Algeria. 

Over 100 top judicial officials from across the continent, including Chief Justices, Constitutional Court Presidents, and Judges, attended the dialogue, which was used to deepen the promotion of human rights and the effective administration of justice in Africa.

Lady Justice Imani Daud Aboud, President of the African Court, noted during the session the challenges and opportunities of transposing regional and international Human Rights Jurisprudence into National Jurisdictions.

She said it underpinned the theme of the dialogue and the importance of consistency and convergence in interpreting regional and international human rights standards at the national level.

The African Court President noted that, given the intrinsic relationship between human rights, integration, peace, and development, the role of human rights bodies, and particularly the African Court, is extremely important.

“History teaches us that an independent judiciary is indispensable for the socio-economic and political development of any community.

“It is hoped that this biennial African judicial jamboree provided an avenue for fruitful exchange of experiences and best practices and helped come up with ways of improving the protection of human rights on the continent,” she noted.

Lady Justice Aboud said immediately after the conclusion of the dialogue, the African Court would deliver nine judgements and proceed to examine 13 cases on its cause list for the session.

“We will also consider, among other items, a proposal on the disposal of cases for 2024, the draft guidelines on compliance hearings, the draft manual on procedures before the court, reports on sensitization visits to Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, and Cape Verde, as well as a number of administrative matters,” she noted.

The dialogue was officially opened by Mr Nadir Larbaouni, Prime Minister of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria who represented President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, while Mr Abderrachid Tabi, Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals od the People’s Republic of Algeria performed the official welcoming.

The African Court is collaborating with the African Union, the European Union, GIZ and the United Nations and the Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria for the dialogue.

Tunisia Sees an Increase in Tourism Revenues

By Xinhua 

November 29, 2023

Tunisia’s tourism revenues in the first 11 months of this year grew by 32 percent from the same period last year, the Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) reported on Tuesday.

Revenues from the tourism sector amounted to 6.4 billion dinars (about 2.06 billion U.S. dollars) by Nov. 20.

The increase contributed to strengthening the country’s foreign exchange reserves, which reached 24.8 billion dinars on Nov. 27, compared to 21.9 billion dinars during the same period in 2022, the TAP said.

Tunisian authorities seek to restore activities in the tourism sector, which has fallen significantly in 2020 and 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tourism is an important sector of the Tunisian economy, representing 9 percent of the country’s GDP and offering nearly 400,000 jobs.

The Tunisian tourism sector has experienced the worst crisis in the past decade, as it was hit by the political crisis, called the Arab Spring uprising in 2011, and the terrorist attacks at the Bardo Museum in the capital Tunis and at a beach resort in Sousse in 2015.

30 Foreign Tourists Saved as Plane Crash-lands in Tanzania’s Eastern National Park

By Xinhua 

November 29, 2023

All 30 foreign tourists, two pilots, and one cabin crew on Tuesday remained safe after their plane crash-landed on an airstrip in the Mikumi National Park in eastern Tanzania, authorities said.

Catherine Mbena, the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) senior conservation officer for corporate communications, said in a statement that the plane — an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia — that was flying from Tanzania’s Zanzibar crash-landed on the airstrip at 9:40 a.m. local time after it had experienced technical glitch.

“The pilots worked hard in collaboration with officials of the airstrip to ensure that all passengers on board were safe,” said the statement, adding that the tourists later continued with their scheduled tour of the national park.

The statement said TANAPA has contacted the Ministry of Transport to launch an investigation into the cause of the technical glitch that forced the plane to crash-land.

Royal Academy of Engineering Announces 10th Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

By Prosper Kay 

November 29, 2023

Shortlist includes engineers from Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda

Fabrics made from fungi grown on human waste, chicken farming tech, recycled plastic roof tiles, and an app-based waste management service are among 2023 innovations

Africa Prize innovators join a network of 133 alumni across 21 African countries working to transform the continent with home-grown solutions

Four finalists will compete for a share of £60,000, with the overall winner receiving £25,000

Sixteen innovators from eight African countries, including Botswana for the first time, have been shortlisted for the 10th Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.

The Africa Prize, launched in 2014 by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering, demonstrates how ambitious engineering innovators are protecting the environment and transforming the continent’s economy through scalable solutions. Africa Prize innovators are working to address pan-African and international challenges, including adapting food and water systems for climate resilience, developing low-carbon energy and transport solutions, and improving telecommunications, education, financial services and healthcare.

Shortlisted innovations for the 2024 Africa Prize include roof tiles made from recycled plastic, early detection of agricultural pests and diseases, environmental monitoring of chicken farms, and a fabric made from fungi grown on human waste.

Also featured are innovations aimed at healthier methods of cooking, including low-smoke briquettes made from biowaste, a solar-induction oven and hob, and a biodigester that uses organic waste to generate gas. Clean energy solutions include a large-scale power pack made from repurposed electric vehicle batteries, a solar dryer to enhance small fish farming, and converted electric motorbikes with replaceable batteries.

Other innovations include an automated storage locker, a domestic alert for deaf people, a plug-in device to transform any screen into a computer, and a healthcare platform based on WhatsApp.

Engineering is a fundamental enabler of development and is linked to all the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, impacting healthcare, education, gender equality and the environment. Engineering is also a driver of the African Agenda 2063, the African Union’s blueprint for development over the next 50 years, where it is described as supporting the continent’s goal of being “integrated, prosperous and peaceful… driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena”.

By being shortlisted for the Africa Prize, innovators benefit from support including business incubation, mentoring, fundraising and communication. They also gain access to the Academy’s global network of high-profile engineering and business experts in the UK, Africa and beyond.

Judges, mentors, and expert reviewers for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation have provided more than 4000 hours of support to entrepreneurs since the prize was established, equivalent to more than £10.4 million.

“Winning the Prize opened our business up to many opportunities and provided exposure for our solution to the local and international market,” said 2020 Africa Prize winner Charlette N’Guessan from Côte d’Ivoire in 2023, the first woman to win the prize. “I am happy to see the Africa Prize has inspired many young woman innovators to break down barriers.”

Four finalists will be chosen from the shortlist to present their innovations and business plans to judges at the Africa Prize final in Nairobi, Kenya, in June 2024. The winner will receive £25,000, with three runners up awarded £10,000 each. A One-to-Watch award of £5,000 will be made for the most impactful pitch, as voted by the audience. In 2024, the audience will include some 80 Africa Prize alumni from the last ten years.

Africa Prize alumni have supported more than 10 million beneficiaries through their products or services. They have also created more than 28,000 jobs – including more than 21,000 jobs for women and more than 500 jobs for persons with disabilities – and raised more the USD 39 million in grants and equity funding, directly contributing to 15 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Africa Prize judge Sewu-Steve Tawia said, “The 16 innovators shortlisted for this year’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation are contributing to key Sustainable Development Goals including no poverty, health and wellbeing, quality education, affordable and clean energy, reduced inequalities, and climate action. What sets these 16 people apart is their determination to solve local challenges, contribute to job creation and seizing the opportunity to scale their innovation across Africa. In its tenth year, the Africa Prize is proud to elevate these local changemakers to global engineering innovators.”

Shortlisted innovations and entrepreneurs:

Beba-Beggie, Charles Oduk, Kenya – An IoT automated locker technology offering affordable, accessible, secure and convenient short-term storage.

Biomass Briquettes, Ludo Ntshiwa, Botswana – An environmentally-friendly clean fuel that harnesses the green energy of biowaste to produce a renewable energy source for heat production as a substitute for charcoal.

Early Crop Pest and Disease Detection Device, Esther Kimani, Kenya – A solar-powered tool using AI- and machine learning-enabled cameras to detect and identify agricultural pests and diseases early.

Eco Tiles, Kevin Maina, Kenya – An environmentally-friendly roofing material made from recycled plastic.

Kiri EV, Christopher Maara, Kenya – An end-to-end affordable and clean energy mobility provider, from electric motorcycles, scooters and tuktuks to battery charging infrastructure across Kenya.

Knock Knock, Esther Mueni, Kenya – A domestic alert system for the deaf and hard of hearing, using a highly sensitive vibration sensor to detect physical knocks on a door and transmit this information to smartphones via Bluetooth.

Kuza Freezer, Purity Gakuo, Kenya – A durable low-cost solar-powered fridge freezer made from recycled plastic waste.

La Ruche Health, Rory Assandey, Côte d’Ivoire – A smart healthcare platform that provides communities in remote areas with direct access to vital healthcare information via WhatsApp, facilitates appointments to vetted medical practitioners, and digitises medical records for smooth patient onboarding.

MakSol Cooker, Paul Soddo, Uganda – A low-cost, solar-powered induction oven and hob designed for safe, zero-emissions indoor cooking by people in off-grid communities.

MAVUNOLAB Solar Dryer, Dr Evodius Rutta, Tanzania – A low-cost solar-powered dryer developed to help small-scale fish processors and farmers in off-grid locations by enhancing food safety and hygiene for perishable food products.

Microfuse Stick Computer, Ivan Karugaba, Uganda – A compact and affordable device that plugs in to any screen, projector or monitor to transform it into a Wi-Fi-connected computer, increasing computer access and digital inclusivity.

Myco-Substitutes, Abubakari Zarouk Imoro, Ghana – An eco-friendly sewage treatment that uses viruses, bacteria, and fungi to treat and feed on faecal waste and produce yarn and leather substitutes.

PenKeep, Adaeze Akpagbula, Nigeria – A climate-smart remote sensing device that monitors and controls environmental conditions in poultry farms, ensuring optimal health and productivity of chickens.

Second-Life Batteries, Léandre Berwa, Rwanda – A solution that repurposes retired electric vehicle (EV) batteries to be assembled as a back-up power supply for telecom towers and mini electricity grids.

The Kitchen Box, Tunde Adeyemi, Nigeria – An affordable biogas digester technology which turns any type of organic waste into animal feed and organic fertiliser, and generates clean energy for heating and cooking.

Yo-Waste, Martin Tumusiime, Uganda – A location-based mobile application that connects homes and businesses to independent agents for an efficient on-demand rubbish collection and disposal service.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to developing African innovators and helping them to maximise their impact. It gives commercialisation support to ambitious African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to address local challenges, demonstrating the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development.

An eight-month period of tailored training and mentoring culminates in a showcase event where a winner is selected to receive £25,000, along with three runners-up, who are each awarded £10,000. One shortlisted innovator with receive an award of £5,000 as ‘The One to Watch’.

The Africa Prize has been generously supported by the UK Government, including the UK’s Department for Science, Innovation and Technology’s Official Development Assistance funding, as well as charitable trusts and foundations, individual donors and corporate partners over the last ten years.

This year, the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation judges are:

Dr Ibilola Amao, Founder and Principal Consultant, Lonadek Global Services

Malcolm Brinded CBE FREng (Chair of judges), Past President of the Energy Institute, former Chair of EngineeringUK

Dr Alessandra Buonfino, Senior Advisor, Global Innovation Fund, Consultant, International Research Fellow; Said Business School, Oxford University

Rebecca Enonchong FREng, Founder and CEO, AppsTech

Dr John Lazar CBE FREng, Co-founder and General Partner, Enza Capital; Chair, What3words and Raspberry Pi Foundation

Sewu-Steve Tawia, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Jaza Rift Ventures

The Royal Academy of Engineering is harnessing the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone.

In collaboration with our Fellows and partners, we’re growing talent and developing skills for the future, driving innovation and building global partnerships, and influencing policy and engaging the public.

Together we’re working to tackle the greatest challenges of our age.