THE POLITBURO chief of Palestine’s Hamas resistance movement says the Israeli regime will not be able to change the reality on the ground across the occupied lands, including the holy city of al-Quds, (Jerusalem) no matter what manipulative or aggressive course of action it resorts to.
‘The measures that the occupying Zionist regime takes in al-Quds can neither manipulate the historical and geographical facts concerning the city nor turn lies into truths,’ Ismail Haniyeh said on Tuesday, marking the 34th anniversary of Hamas’ establishment.
The Israeli regime proclaimed existence in 1948 after overrunning vast swathes of regional Arab lands, including the western part of al-Quds, during a heavily Western-backed war. The regime occupied the rest of the city in a similar campaign of aggression in 1967.
Al-Quds hosts the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is Islam’s third holiest site. Palestinians want the city to serve as the capital of their future state.
The Hamas’ official urged Palestinians to work towards the realisation of unity among their ranks so they can defend their rights in a more resolute manner.
‘Provision of support for the Palestinian nation’s rights requires that we stand together in a single front and strive towards unity,’ he noted.
Haniyeh also vowed that the Palestinian movement would not free the Israeli prisoners that are in its captivity, until the regime agrees to the release of Palestinian prisoners.
He repeated Hamas’ principled position of refusing to recognise the Zionist enemy, reminding the regime of its constant failure to destroy the resistance group since its 1987 establishment.
‘All the plans and plots that were drawn up to enable Hamas’ destruction through either siege or warfare have fallen through,’ the Hamas’ official said.
The Israeli regime brought the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is headquartered, under an all-out siege in 2006, when the group rose to power in the Palestinian territory.
It has also launched four wholesale wars against the coastal sliver, the last of which that took place in May prompted the group to fire back thousands of missiles towards the occupied Palestinian territories.
Hamas’ website also published a statement on the occasion of the anniversary, pledging that the movement would not lay down its arms until the liberation of the entire Palestine from Israeli occupation and aggression.
‘All-inclusive resistance in all its forms, most importantly armed resistance, is the only means of reclaiming our rights and liberating our lands and sanctities,’ the statement read.
- The armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has launched a military exercise in the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip.
According to an announcement by the Brigades, the drill, dubbed ‘Shield of al-Quds,’ began on Wednesday morning to ‘raise combat readiness and simulate different scenarios’.
The manoeuvre, it added, is part of a series of continuous military exercises simulating various forms of combat operations.
The al-Qassam Brigades further advised that explosions and shooting may be heard in some Gaza areas during the drill.
On Tuesday, Hamas leader Muhammad Abu Askar said the military exercise, which takes place in northern and southern Gaza, marks the 34th anniversary of Hamas’ foundation.
Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of the Gaza Strip to mark the 34th anniversary of Hamas establishment.
The drill will ‘send a message to the enemy that the resistance is ready in case they think of doing something foolish in the Gaza strip,’ he emphasised.
Gaza has been under an Israeli land, air and sea blockade since June 2007, which has caused a decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
Israel maintains a heavy naval presence off the coast of the impoverished Palestinian enclave, severely affecting the livelihood of fishermen.
The regime also launches bloody bombing campaigns on Gaza, the latest of which occurred in May, with the Palestinian resistance factions firing more than 4,000 rockets towards the occupied lands during the 11-day war.
Apparently caught off guard by unprecedented rocket barrages, Tel Aviv announced a unilateral ceasefire, which the resistance groups accepted with Egyptian mediation.
- An Israeli court has rejected an appeal for the immediate release of a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for nearly 120 days in protest at his indefinite, unfair and unexplained imprisonment at the hands of the Tel Aviv regime.
The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) attorney, Jawad Boulos, said on Monday that the Israeli military appeals court has rejected a petition submitted for the release of 40-year-old Hisham Abu Hawash, who has been on hunger strike for 118 consecutive days in protest against Israel’s so-called policy of administrative detention – a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.
Bolous went on to say that the military court has decided to renew the Palestinian inmate’s administrative detention for four months despite his deteriorating health condition, adding that he is going to appeal the court’s decision to Israel’s High Court.
According to the PPS, Abu Hawash is in serious health condition after being on months-long hunger strike against his detention without charge. He is said to be unable to walk straight and is suffering from various pains all over his body, weight loss and constant vomiting.
Abu Hawash’s family earlier warned that he may die any moment as a result of his prolonged hunger strike, calling for urgent action to save his life before it is too late.
Abu Hawash is one of the four prisoners who went on extended hunger strikes against their detention without charge. The other prisoners were Kayed Fasfous, Ayyad al-Harimi, and Lo’ai al-Ashqar.
Last month, 34-year-old Fasfous and Harimi, 28, suspended their months-long strikes after Israeli authorities agreed to set them free.
Fasfous finally walked out of an Israeli jail and returned home to his family on December 5, after refusing to eat for 131 days in protest.
Facing widespread international criticism, the regime has also agreed to free several other Palestinians, who’ve been on lengthy strikes.
More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held in Israeli jails. Hundreds of them have apparently been incarcerated under the ‘administrative detention’. Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.
Five Palestinian prisoners are continuing hunger strike in jail to protest Israel’s detention policy
The five have been demanding an end to their administrative detention, which is based on a ‘secret file’ even their lawyers are not allowed to view.
Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express their outrage at the detention.
Palestinian inmates have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.
Over a dozen Palestinian lawmakers and nearly 20 journalists are also held in Israeli detention centres, several of them under the same detention policy.
In 2015, Israel approved a law that authorises force-feeding the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, a practice rejected by the UN as a violation of human rights.
The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as many human rights group have frequently expressed serious concern about hunger strikers’ health condition and call for their immediate release.