FWD: Kiev ramps up repression by Ben Gliniecki

May 13, 2015

Kiev ramps up repression

The last few weeks have seen a wave of political killings in Ukraine. All the deaths have been of high profile figures associated with opposition to the current Kiev government. The two most recent killings, one of a former Party of Regions MP and the other of a journalist and author, coincided with the victims’ details being published on a website called The Peacekeeper shortly before their deaths.

Andrey BilestkyThis website, which has the support of Anton Geraschenko, a top advisor to Ukraine’s interior minister who encouraged his Facebook followers to send in information about “suspected terrorists and separatists” to the site, claims to be a database with information on “pro-Russian terrorists, separatists, mercenaries, war criminals, and murderers”.

Within hours of each other on 16 and 17 April, Oleg Kalashnikov, a former MP with ties to Yanukovich, and Oles Buzyna, a journalist who had appeared on Russian talk shows recently, were murdered. According to political expert Volodomyr Fesenko, a group claiming to be the Ukrainian Insurgent Army sent him an email addressed to the Opposition Bloc, claiming responsibility for the murders. Fesenko quoted the letter as saying “We are unleashing a ruthless insurgency against the anti-Ukrainian regime of traitors and Moscow’s lackeys. From now on, we will only speak to them using the language of weapons, all the way to their elimination.”

This claim by the neo-nazi Ukrainian Insurgent Army comes shortly after they have been legitimised by the Ukrainian parliament, in the same breath as banning all Communist symbols and propaganda and glorifying the nazi collaborators in WWII. Far right elements in Ukraine have also recently received a boost from the appointment of Dimitry Yarosh, leader of the fascist Right Sector, to Advisor to the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces in Ukraine. President Poroshenko’s reliance on fascist elements to silence opposition to his regime is increasing.

The final interview given by Buzyna before his murder is revealing. In it he says “I support the idea that relations between Russia and the Ukraine should become most comfortable and friendly [because] the ‘real’ Ukraine is in large measure dependent on economic ties with Russia”. He goes on to say “There was a coup d’état. After that, it was legalized, they did everything, anything they wanted, to make it look decent…The fact that there was a coup is hugely the fault of Yanukovich, who failed to perform his duties as President”. He also describes the country as being “governed by thieves from within” and concludes by saying that the government is “shelling civilians in towns instead of fighting terrorists… That’s the thing. My position is inconvenient to the current authorities in Ukraine”. One week after criticising the government in this way, Buzyna was dead.

These two most recent murders have been preceded by a spate of so-called suicides, all involving opposition figures. On February 28, Mikhail Chechetov, a former MP for the Party of Regions, reportedly jumped from the window of his 17th-floor apartment in Kiev. On March 9, Stanislav Melnik, also a former member of parliament with the Party of Regions and the manager of several businesses in Donetsk, was found dead in his apartment near Kiev. And finally, on March 12, Oleksandr Peklushenko, another former MP, was found in his house in Zaporizhzhya, in southeastern Ukraine, dead of a gunshot wound.

The Kiev authorities have claimed that many of these deaths are suicides. Regarding Buzyna and Kalashnikov the government has suggested that this could be the work of Moscow attempting a provocation by killing off opposition figures. This seems far-fetched to say the least, as Buzyna said in his final interview: “When the country is governed by thieves from within, it is very easy to blame Putin. Whatever happens—Putin is to blame.” In the context of a consolidation of fascist positions in the government and in law, as well as the breathing space afforded by the fragile ceasefire agreement, it appears that Kiev is making the most of this opportunity to unleash its far right thugs against its opponents.

Meanwhile US troops have begun training soldiers of the Ukrainian National Guard, while the US state department has hypocritically claimed that Russia is violating the terms of the Minsk agreement by massing weapons in prohibited zones and carrying out training exercises with rebel forces. Although the ceasefire appears to be holding in the main, there has been fighting breaking out at certain flashpoints, particularly near the key port of Mariupol.

Poroshenko, under pressure from the far right Ukrainian nationalists, will not be able to reconcile fascist support for his government with a separatist state in the east of the country. This will put the ceasefire under more and more pressure the longer it continues, but Poroshenko recognises the potential for general discontent, caused by continued war in the east, to spread widely among ordinary western Ukrainians. Thus he is cementing his position by eliminating figures around which opposition to his regime could coalesce, thereby paving the way for a renewed assault on the eastern republics.


Terrorism in Macedonia Wasn’t An Isolated Act!

May 12, 2015

_82888586_kumanovomacedonia0515The weekend [9.-10. May 2015] violence in Macedonia (FYROM) [later in short only Macedonia] has sent a wave of anxiety across the Balkans raising concerns about presumed ethnic-Albanian unrest in the volatile region. Eight police officers were killed and 37 were injured in the gun battles, which began at dawn Saturday [9th May 2015], and also 14 gunmen were killed in the fighting. Earlier a police operation had been launched in the suburb of Divo Naselje to “uncover and break up an armed terrorist group” that had entered Kumanovo from “a neighboring country” with the aim of “attacking state institutions”. Police encountered heavy resistance from the “well trained” group that was using “automatic weapons, bombs and snipers”.

43f5f7e94c02d2ae374908caabfe65cbMacedonian prosecutors have charged 30 people with terrorism after a shootout in the northern town of Kumanovo left 22 dead, including eight police officers. The prosecutor’s office said some had also been charged with illegal possession of arms and explosives. It said 18 of the accused were ethnic Albanians from neighbouring Kosovo, most of whom entered Macedonia illegally. (Source: AFP/ABC News )

The arrested leaders of the terrorist group that mounted the attack in Kumanovo include former bodyguards of Kosovo Albanian politicians, Macedonian media report.The persons that surrendered to the Macedonian police after 16 hours of conflicts in Kumanovo include Muhamed Krasnići, the so-called commander Mališeva, Mirsad Ndrecaj, the so-called commander Nato, Sami Ukšini, the so-called commander of Sokoli, Beg Rizaj, the so-called commander Begu and Dene Šehu, the so-called commander Juniku, who took part in conflicts in Kosovo as a KLA member and also in the conflict in Macedonia in 2001. (Source: inNews )

Kumanovo is located next to the rural municipality of Lipkovo, where, on April 21, an unidentified armed group from nearby Kosovo had briefly stormed a border police. Besides in Macedonia the ripple effect seems greatest in Bosnia, which remains troubled by its own recent militant attack. Less than two weeks before violence erupted in Kumanovo, a radical Islamist attacked a police station in the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik.

In a joint reaction on Sunday [10th May 2015] the OSCE, the EU, the U.S. and NATO said that they hoped the hostilities in Kumanovo would remain an isolated event. “It is… our understanding that the armed group in Kumanovo is an isolated phenomenon. We strongly believe that it must not be allowed to harm relations within society,” they said. (Source: BalkanInsight )

Sure it would be politically nice for Western Powers if terrorism in Macedonia is only an individual, isolated act; howver I’m afraid this not the whole picture.

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Perpetual struggle for «Great Albania»?

The recent statement by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama that the isolation of Kosovo in European integration could result in the classical unification of Albania and Kosovo has at the same time woken up the old ghosts of divisions and conflicts in the Balkans. Idea “Great Albania” , which is actively propagandized by nationalists in Albania and in Kosovo, assumes association of all territories in which ethnic Albanians live. The most part of this territory is in borders of present Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, part of Serbia, Montenegro and Greece.

In neighboring Serbia the military security agency (VBA) chief says Serbian security services had warned their Macedonian colleagues in April about a possible “attack” there. “Albanian terrorists who carried out the attack in Kumanovo had been in that part of Macedonia for a while, but, our Macedonian colleagues believed that these stories were exaggerated,” said Petar Cvetkovic. Speaking in the wake of a two-day clash that claimed the lives of eight Macedonian police officers and 14 terrorists, Cvetkovic told the Belgrade-based Pink TV that members of the terrorist group came mostly from Kosovo, but that some of them were also from Macedonia, “and even in the south of central Serbia” – and that their common goal was to create “a Greater Albania.”

bia-1388357518-419993“Greater Albania” is a nationalist project that would expand the borders of Albania to include parts of Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Greece. The head of the VBA said that the idea of ​​creating Greater Albania enjoys “a certain amount of support from the West,” and claimed this was evident by the fact that “some political statements in that regard have not been condemned,” but also because of the manner in which the Western media have reported about the terrorist attack in Kumanovo. (Source B92 )

Views from Terrorist side

Albanian media quoted a statement of the so-called “National Liberation Army” (NLA), which claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying that the army and police carried out “terror against civilians” and announced even fiercer attacks on the security forces of Macedonia. “We will continue to attack the police and the army without mercy. We will fight to the end to unite territories with Albanian population. Today we are stronger, and tomorrow we will be even stronger. We are everywhere.” The National Liberation Army, also known as the Macedonian UÇK, is a militant organization closely associated with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). (Source: inNews )

“The Guard of Republic Ilirida” (GRI) on Sunday informed the public, and, as they say, “all Albanian territories and the international community”, that today all Albanian groups and military units of NLA started to act as “one body” in establishing the “Republic of Ilirida”. “In addition to continuing struggle and reorganization of NLA and GRI, which is imposed as the only option for achieving the Republic of Ilirida, if the leadership of Macedonia, as a false creation, continues to be repressive with its state apparatus, we are ready to destroy, if necessary, not only Macedonia but also the whole Balkans, wherever Albanians live, because the international factor leaves us no other choice,” reads the statement signed by “Commander Hamdi Ndrecaj Panter”. (Source: inNews )

Macedonia’s two decades in short

Macedonia was spared the inter-ethnic violence that raged elsewhere in the Balkans following the break-up of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s but it came close to civil war a decade after independence. Rebels staged an uprising in early 2001, demanding greater rights for the ethnic Albanian minority. The conflict created a wave of refugees and the rebels made territorial gains. Acknowledgement of ethnic-Albanian rights was formalised in amendments to the constitution approved by parliament in late 2001. In return for the deal [the Ohrid Agreement], the insurgents disbanded and formed the ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integration, which now sits in government. Albanians account for about a quarter of the population.

In August 2004, parliament approved legislation redrawing local boundaries and giving ethnic Albanians greater local autonomy in areas where they predominate. Although Macedonia was confirmed as an EU candidate country in December 2005, however EU candidacy is frozen amid a dispute with Greece over use of the name Macedonia.

 

Some geopolitical aspects

[NATO] –  “a big friend of our enemies.” (Macedonian government spokesman, Antonio Milososki, in 2001)

The rise of Albanian nationalist irredentism along the fragile Kosovo-Albanian border gave first signs with a recent attack on a Macedonian police border post at Gošince by 40 armed men wearing the insignia of the the National Liberation Army, NLA, a branch of outlawed Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), and demanding the creation of an Albanian state within Macedonia. It is hard to believe that this act occurred without knowledge of U.S. intelligence based in Camp Bondsteel in same neighbourhood.

From geopolitical point of view the attack in Kumanovo and earlier [on April 21st 2015] attack to police station in the village of Gosince might not be isolated individual terrorist acts. There is reasonable doubt that these actions are part of the U.S. strategy to bury the Macedonian government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski with help of Social Democratic opposition leader Zoran Zaev, a U.S. favorite and ethnic uprising of Albanians. Amid daily anti-government protests and mounting pressure upon Gruevski to resign, some observers accused the authorities of trying to distract the public from the crisis by fabricating ethnic unrest. Zoran Zaev, said he suspected the government was behind Saturday’s violence in an attempt to deflect attention from the crisis.

Democracy-we-deliverThe U.S. ambassador to Macedonia, Jess Baily, has made waves in Skopje by publicly supporting the putsch being called for by former Social Democratic prime minister and president Branko Crvenkovski, a native of Sarajevo, Bosnia who has been at the forefront of calling on Macedonian youth and college students to hit the streets of Skopje to stage a color revolution against the democratically-elected government of Gruevski. One could also mention that Crvenkovski has accepted large amounts of largesse from such CIA NGO laundry operations as the National Democratic Institute (NDI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Freedom House, and Soros’s Open Society Institute (OSI) to foment a themed revolution against Gruevksi’s right-of-center VMRO-DPMNE government. An additional motivation for U.S. strategy might be that Gruevksi, unlike many U.S.-installed and -influenced governments of the region has been reluctant to apply sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

Besides political aspects there is economic ones too. While South Stream Pipeline project was replaced with Turk Stream and planning is going on to continue project with sc Balkan Stream some serious threats still remain that could endanger the viability of this new project. These mostly have to deal a reoccurrence of instability in Macedonia. And this happened now. The Turk Stream and the Balkan stream pipelines are not the only issues in geopolitical game in Macedonia but there is also the Chinese-funded Balkans railway part of the Silk Road project that will link the Greek port of Piraeus to Budapest through Macedonia and Serbia.

My point of view

Macedonia%20radical%20islamIn my opinion the events in Macedonia are only logical outcome from choices U.S. made mid -90s. As Canadian General Lewis MacKenzie said “We Bombed The Wrong Side”.

Already early -90s U.S. decided to alky with Croatian separatist Nazis due their effective lobby in Washington plus good hired PR-firms. Afterwards the Bosniaks (muslims in BiH) made the same and Serbs were demonized. After war the international community’s foreign aid for Bosnia has exceed USD 90 bn for artificial creature designed in Dayton agreement aiming multi-ethnic state with EU perspective. As a result Bosnia is now even more divided, with less national identity and with a nightmare triple administration. Instead of developing its “European perspective”, Bosnia-Herzegovina going backwards remaining an unwelcome, dysfunctional and divided country, with an aggrieved Bosniak (Muslim) plurality, a frustrated, increasingly defensive Serb entity, and an anxious, existentially threatened Croat population. ( More e.g. in Bosnia on the road to the EU, sorry to Dissolution )

SL6Then followed Kosovo. Despite the Western intelligence agencies warned that Hashim Thaci ran an organised crime network in the late 1990s, that the KLA were criminals running the drug, slave, and weapons rackets throughout Europe, despite all this U.S. decided to back these tribal crime gangs in name of “humanitarian intervention”. KLA’s transformation from Organized Crime-/terrorist group to freedom fighters was an amazing media victory which guaranteed the occupation and later capturing of Kosovo for OC-Clans. (More about case in article Captured Pseudo-State Kosovo ).

Generally speaking it seems that Albanians – or remarkable part of them -are incapable of living and co-existing with their neighbours – Greeks, Macedonians, Montenegrins and of course, Serbs. Albanians continue to cause trouble, even though they have all the rights that they asked for in Macedonia, through the Ohrid Agreement, and have also achieved a pseudo “independence” in Kosovo.

I would like to point out that now the West can not any more escape reality, facts can not be ignored any longer. EU in my opinion should start to distance itself from U.S. cowboy policy. Now many Europeans realize they were hoodwinked into recognizing Kosovo’s independence on the pretence it would resolve problems and bring peace – it didn’t happen; a new approach is needed. The events in Macedonia could be start for reassessment of U.S.policy in Balkans and operations/presence of international community there.

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Trivia:

Great Albania – the name used for Albanian ethnic territories in the Western Balkans.

[The violence in Macedonia was] “a consequence of the unfinished process of the break-up of former Yugoslavia”. (Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik)

An international survey data from the World Value Survey collected and processed by the Washington Post reveals that Albania is the most racist country in Europe. (Source Washington Post )

I continue to take heat for my support of the Serbs (Christians) in Clinton’s Bosnian misadventure. We were on the wrong side in that war and the consequences of Clinton’s perfidy continue to reverberate in that region. Albanian and Kosovo Muslims are openly attacking another country (Macedonia), creating another potential war zone in Europe. Bill Clinton sent American soldiers to fight alongside these “mujahedeen” against the Serb Christians in the Bosnia war. Most Americans still don’t know or understand the implications of America’s support of the jihad in Europe. (Pamela Geller)

A former speaker of Kosovan parliament believes Macedonia should be federalized between Albanian and Macedonian territorial units as the only way for country’s stability and guaranty of full respect of political rights of Ethnic Albanians in the inter-ethnic troubled country.

AhmetiPressConference

Ali Ahmeti (in camouflage top and graying hair, third from the left), speaks to journalists during a press conference from his headquarters west of Tetovo in Shipkovica on August 19, 2001. The choice of flags behind him—NATO, EU, US and Albanian—highlights his goal of integration into (or at least alliance with) the West. When asked why no Macedonian flag was on display, he first dismissed the importance of its omission as a mere oversight and predicted that it would be up “tomorrow” but later explained that the fighting was still too recent for such a gesture. Photo Credit: Reuters/Petr Josek

 

 


Oil Geopolitics: The South Stream Pipeline Has Been Replaced by “The Balkan Stream”

May 12, 2015

While South Stream Pipeline project was replaced with Turk Stream and planning is going on to continue project with sc Balkan Stream some serious threats still remain that could endanger the viability of this new Balkan Stream. These mostly have to deal a reoccurrence of instability in Macedonia. Recent events in Macedonia (FYROM) are giving some credibility to an article Oil Geopolitics: The South Stream Pipeline Has Been Replaced by “The Balkan Stream  by Andrew Korybko in Global Research, March 15, 2015. The article is republished here as it gives a background information and view to issue.

Oil Geopolitics: The South Stream Pipeline Has Been Replaced by “The Balkan Stream”.

As Russia begins to build a pipeline through Macedonia that could form the basis of a revised South Stream route, the Hungarian President is in talks with Erdogan over financing this enormous project. 

While many in the Balkans were lamenting the cancellation of the South Stream project last December, Russia was hard at work laying the foundation for its replacement, hereafter referred to as ‘Balkan Stream’. The concept is to connect ‘Turkish Stream’, the Russian pipeline to Turkey’s Eastern Thrace region, to South Stream’s previously intended Serbian, Hungarian, and Austrian partners, but detouring through Greece and Macedonia to compensate for the exclusion of Bulgaria. While such a strategy was previously only talk, concrete action was taken this week to transform it into a reality, which wouldn’t have been possible had Macedonia not beaten back the Color Revolution attempt that aimed to sabotage the entire thing.

Step By Step

The whole reason that Balkan Stream was conceived in the first place was because its predecessor, South Stream, was cancelled last December. Russia took this decision after Bulgaria (influenced by the EU acting on behalf of the US) made it impossible to construct the pipeline through its territory due to a slew of political and legal games that it was playing. At the time, the author was the first person to write that a replacement route could realistically go through Greece and Macedonia, thereby resurrecting the project and fulfilling the pressing energy demands in Europe that necessitated its creation in the first place. Russia was quick to move, and in the same breath that it cancelled South Stream, it announced ‘Turkish Stream’ to partially replace it. This pipeline will travel under the Black Sea just as South Stream was intended to, but would instead reach land at Turkey, not Bulgaria. From there, the Russian government said, European nations could buy gas from a terminal at the Greco-Turkish border, in what was interpreted as a vague hint that such purchases could either be LNG or possibly even the start of a brand new pipeline.

Midway through December, Putin officially suggested during his annual news conference that the Greek-Macedonian ‘detour’ could represent a solution to South Stream’s cancellation, provided that there was interest in his proposal. This was echoed by the Hungarian Foreign Minister in mid-January, when he said that his country would support the project. Interpreting this as a greenlight to move forward, Putin discussed the topic with Viktor Orban during the former’s visit to Budapest last month. This week was the most monumental in terms of actually making progress on the project because Stroitransgaz, one of the companies involved in the original South Stream, announced on Thursday that it would be building a gas pipeline through Macedonia, which is set to begin construction this weekend and be completed by next summer.  That same day, the Hungarian President, while on a four-day visit to Turkey, spoke with Erdogan about a financing plan for the project, and a day afterwards, the Macedonian Foreign Minister paid an official visit to Turkey as well, where it is expected that he’ll discuss the topic, too. Through these series of diplomatic steps, Balkan Stream made the jump from paper to practice.

Gas pipes

© AP PHOTO/ PETR DAVID JOSEK

Slovakia’s Eustream Ready to ‘Continue’ Russian-Turkish Pipeline to Europe

The Failed Color Revolution

This wasn’t supposed to happen, at least not if the US had gotten its way in Macedonia last month. Understanding that it’s the crucial bottleneck through which Balkan Stream must run, Washington wanted to stage a coup in the country in order to install a new leader that would reject the project and put an end to the region’s plans for reliable energy transit. Nikola Gruevski, the Prime Minister of Macedonia, had earlier broke ranks with his EU partners by refusing to sanction Russia, in a show of rebellion that the US felt it had to absolutely put down. For the few past couple of years, it had contracted the services of former intelligence chief Zoran Verushevsky in order to illegally wiretap over 20,000 people in the tiny country of 2 million, including politicians, journalists, and regular citizens. When it became clear at the end of last summer that South Stream was being stonewalled by Bulgaria and a new route would likely have to be streamlined (which geography dictates would obviously have to go through Macedonia), it activated its intelligence cell in order to preempt these plans, just in case they would go forward sometime in the future.

Zoran Zaev, the leader of the opposition, was given copies of these illegal tapes in order to blackmail the government, which he attempted to do from September to November. When Gruevski refused to give in to the blackmail, Zaev threatened to go public with the wiretaps and accuse the government of carrying them out, alleging that they also contained embarrassing political information and insinuating that this would lead to a Color Revolution. At the end of January, the Macedonian security services finally arrested Verushevky and a few other conspirators for plotting a coup, and Zaev had his passport taken to prevent him from fleeing while the investigation was ongoing. Verushevsky’s son even attempted to destroy his father’s computer before police stopped him, yet authorities were able to access the salvaged hard drive and recover Skype conversations where Verushevky and another plotter even spoke of starting a civil war in the country as a result of the blackmail ‘revelations’.

Sputnik.Polls Reveals Serbia and Bulgaria Fear Cancellation of South Stream

While Zaev attempted to create an actual Color Revolution last month by encouraging people to amass in the streets and protest the government, he failed to garner a consistent and sizeable following, showing that most Macedonians saw through the gimmick for what it was — a Ukrainian-styled soft coup attempt. Taking matters further, both Albanian parties in the country (whose affiliates are estimated to possibly constitute a quarter of the population) loudly distanced themselves from Zaev, thereby diminishing the prospects of a return to the 2001 interethnic violence that rocked the country and could have set the stage for the civil war that the conspirators previously discussed.  Russia evidently feels that the combination of government action, Albanian loyalty, and popular support has finally stabilized the situation, since it would not have gone forward with the pipeline’s construction through Macedonia had it thought that it could be endangered by the Color Revolution attempt. Accordingly, one can interpret this as Moscow’s recognition that Washington’s plot ultimately failed.

The Battles Ahead

Despite the obvious failure of Zaev’s destabilization, serious threats still remain that could endanger the viability of Balkan Stream. These mostly have to deal with the susceptibility of Hungary and Serbia to similar Color Revolution attempts (or a reoccurrence of instability in Macedonia), as well as the fragility of the Greek government. Also, a plan needs to be devised as to how the pipeline will comply with the EU’s Third Energy Package (which mandates the separation of energy suppliers and distributors), as the failure to have done so was the ‘official ‘reason that South Stream was stonewalled last year. If these difficulties can be surmounted, which is entirely feasible, then Balkan Stream has the potential to enrich the region and ensure Europe’s stable energy transit for decades to come.


What’s Going On In Gaza (And Mideast Peace)

May 6, 2015

 “They [Hamas] claim that they protect those people, but by Allah, they have nothing to do with our Muslim people in Palestine.” (ISIS video after beheading Palestinians in Yarmouk)

Earlier in my article Gaza State Under Construction, West Bank Remains Bystander I described how official representatives of the Israeli government and defense establishment have been holding a real dialogue with the Islamic terrorist group – Hamas – in a bid to reach a long-term calm on the Gaza border. This possible deal between Hamas and Israel has a risk that internal disagreements between Hamas’ political and military wings could endanger it. Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades might take advantage of instability within the Hamas to carry out attacks on the border with Israel without getting a green light from Hamas’ political leaders.

Untitled-1294Struggle inside Hamas is not the only battlefield in Gaza. A group calling itself Supporters of the Islamic State in Jerusalem has continued to challenge the Gaza-ruling Palestinian entity Hamas. Now during last weeks there has been increasing tensions between Hamas and sc Islamic State (IS). After Isis beheaded several Palestinians, including a senior Hamas official, inside the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria in April 2015, the Palestinian Intelligence agency, Palestinian Authority and Hamas, swore that it would avenge the killing of their personnel. Since then Hamas has arrested several prominent Islamic State preachers from Gaza. According to Isis sources on social media, Hamas has arrested at least 40 “Salafi Mujahideen”.

According Foreign Policy Hamas implemented demolishing a Salafist mosque in Deir el-Balah took place on Sunday [3rd May 2025]. The mosque had been frequented by supporters of the salafi jihadi group, which is called Ansar al-Dawleh al-Islamiyeh (Supporters of the Islamic State ). Hamas did not comment on the charges. However, sources close to Hamas denied the charges, saying the structure that was bulldozed was not a mosque but an office that served as a meeting place for the jihadists. Seven men, including a local Salafist Sheikh Yasser Abu Houli, were arrested during the demolition of Mosque Almtahabin.

In its statement, Isis said that it would kill Hamas personnel one by one as it knows the names and addresses of all the officers working for the Palestinian Intelligence agency. Isis in Gaza also alleged that Hamas was working for the Israeli forces. Isis gave Hamas 72 hours to release Salafist Sheikh. ” If Hamas doesn’t release a detained Salafist sheikh, IS threat of “dire consequences.

After thread a bomb blast targeted Hamas’ security headquarters in Gaza City Monday [4th May 2015] and the blast did damage to one of the militant group’s security walls. The bomb did not result in any casualties in the northwestern Gaza Hamas headquarters. Hamas has deployed masked militants throughout the fundamentalist neighborhoods in central and south Gaza, hoping to dissuade rival jihadis from conducting any further attacks. A spokesman for Hamas told the AP that “slight violations take place from time to time and the security services follow them.”

According to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, the majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip reject IS – 86% of which say the terrorist organization “does not represent true Islam.” (Source: JPost )

Dead Mideast peace process

1649425730Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations stopped as [on 23rd April 2014] Fatah and Hamas announced a new reconciliation agreement which would see a unity government formed within five weeks, ahead of a presidential and parliamentary election within six months. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the reconciliation deal did not contradict their commitment to peace with Israel on the basis of a two-state solution. Israel disagreed.

However in the midst of negotiations to resolve the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, the Shin Bet revealed an alleged plot by Hamas to depose Fatah rule in the West Bank. This would be achieved by deploying Hamas cells around the West Bank to incite a third intifada and overwhelm Palestinian Authority forces. More than 90 people were arrested. President Abbas said the plot was “a grave threat to the unity of the Palestinian people and its future.” After this the PA has taken a series of unilateral steps to achieve statehood without moving towards peace with Israel, including a failed bid for UN recognition and a successful attempt to accede to the International Criminal Court.

Also Israel-U.S. relationship reach the nadir

enemiesAccording United with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned down a proposed visit from US Secretary of State John Kerry following the Israeli elections, saying it would be better to visit after a government coalition is formed. The purpose of the visit may have been to revive the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process, pundits say. The report came from Israel’s Channel 2 news station. Correspondent Udi Segal suggested that Kerry was seeking reassurances that Israel was willing to move forward on negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. During his campaign, Netanyahu said that there would be no Palestinian state created on his watch. He later clarified that he meant that current conditions were not right for the creation of a Palestinian state.

The Israeli leader’s opposition to focusing at this time on negotiations with the Palestinians, together with strong disagreements between Jerusalem and US President Barack Obama over the Iranian nuclear issue, led the White House to publicly excoriate Netanyahu. Obama said that the US “needs to rethink our approach” towards relations with Israel. US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power clarified that this could include putting forward anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Security Council. On the Iranian issue, Obama will not meet with Netanyahu in person until a final nuclear agreement is reached, and Kerry dismissed Israeli concerns about the deal as “hysteria.”

There have also been intimations that the Obama administration interfered in the Israeli elections. The US Senate is currently investigating whether the State Department provided funding to the Victory 15 campaign, whose sole goal was to unseat Netanyahu.

 

Related article :

Gaza State Under Construction, West Bank Remains Bystander

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Gaza State Under Construction, West Bank Remains Bystander

April 30, 2015

 

For several weeks or even three months now, official representatives of the Israeli government and defense establishment have been holding a real dialogue with the Islamic terrorist group – Hamas – in a bid to reach a long-term calm on the Gaza border. These secret talks have been “partly direct” and partly through Qatari and European mediators. (Source e.g. YNet ) There has been rumours about this dialogue and both parties have so far denied them, for example a senior Hamas official said earlier that group does not conduct any negotiations with Israel; “We negotiate with the occupation only through the rifle.”

Gaza2However now Hamas official Ahmed Yousef confirmed to Maan News that Hamas is having “chats” with Israel through mediators but denied direct contacts. Yousef told Ma’an that “we await the formation of an Israeli government so things can get more serious. European diplomats and civil society activists come to the Gaza Strip constantly and pose Israeli viewpoints and convey the reaction of the movement through unofficial chats.”

While both sides are preparing for next Gaza war, estimated start in one year or even this coming Summer, there is slight chance that Hamas and Israel can broke a deal as the war would not benefit either side. If so the outcome might be a longer calm period or even a Gaza state, while Fatah led Palestinian authority on West Bank will stay as bystander or try to build its own state with their unitary actions.

Hamas-Israel Dialogue in progress

It was reported in The Times of Israel that Hamas offers long-term calm in exchange for end of blockade. Senior Hamas officials met with Western diplomats about the ceasefire, and also reached a number of understandings about the character of the ceasefire. During the talks, Hamas officials emphasized that they were willing to agree on a ceasefire of at least five years (though some sources said the offer was for 15 years), during which time all military activities “above and below ground” from both parties would end. At the same time, the blockade on Gaza would be removed, including restrictions on exports, and Israel would allow the construction of a seaport and an airport.

An Israeli official confirmed that the offer was presented to Israeli officials.

In conversations with other diplomats, Hamas presented different terms for a ceasefire with Israel. One of the draft agreements reached The Times of Israel, with the following clauses:

1) All forms of military conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will cease.

2) Israel will commit to removing the blockade on Gaza, including: opening all crossings around Gaza; permitting unfettered import and export from Gaza; allowing the construction of a sea and airport.

3) The tahdiyya [ceasefire, AR] will last between three and five years starting from the moment the agreement is signed, but the two sides will finalize the exact length of the ceasefire.

Earlier there was unconfirmed rumour that three months before the elections, Israel received a concrete and detailed proposal from Hamas for an agreement on a calm period of five to 10 years. The official Israel did not respond but both sides’ interests dictate cooperation without formal decisions in the government. And now this cooperation is changing Israel’s strategy towards Hamas and same time bypassing the Palestinian Authority.

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Israeli side it has confirmed a report that Israel had received a concrete and detailed proposal from Hamas for a truce of five to 10 years. Explaining the Israeli rationale, Ynet quotes defense establishment officials believe that the absence of a dialogue that will help ease the living conditions in Gaza will lead an armed conflict in the summer, and Operation Protective Edge will be perceived as a colossal failure. The person pushing for talks with Hamas is the coordinator of the government’s activities in the territories (COGAT), in cooperation with new IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot , with assistance from the political leadership. The official Israel continues to conceal the dialogue with Hamas: It would have disrupted the elections, it’s not good for the image of a right-wing government, and it gets in the way of continuing to define Hamas as a terror organization in the world. (Source and more in Ynet)

 

Palestinian Authority – West Bank remains bystander

According Jerusalem Post Hamas is negotiating with Israel on Palestinian state in Gaza. The Palestinian officials have claimed that Hamas was negotiating with Israel about its plan to turn the Gaza Strip into a separate Palestinian entity. Mahmoud Habbash, the chief Palestinian Authority religious judge, who also serves as PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor on religious affairs, said that Hamas’ “plan” to create a separate entity in the Gaza Strip was a “dangerous Israeli conspiracy.” Habbash claimed that the Israeli “conspiracy” envisages the total separation of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank. “Israel wants to divide the Palestinian people and turn the Palestinian territories into separate entities and cantons,” he said.

imagesUFO2G8JXKayed al-Ghul, a senior official with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), said that the idea of establishing a Palestinian state only in the Gaza Strip was first raised by late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1988. Al-Ghul warned that the “plan” would have serious repercussions for the Palestinians. Ahmed Majdalani of the Popular Struggle Front, another PLO faction, accused Hamas of working toward establishing an “Islamic emirate” in the Gaza Strip. “There will be no Palestinian state without the Gaza Strip,” he said. He claimed that the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon proposed the idea about 10 years ago, when he decided to withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

Another PLO official, Wasel Abu Yusef, warned that Hamas’ effort to create an “Islamic emirate” in the Gaza Strip would hinder the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and solidify divisions among the Palestinians. He urged Palestinians to work toward scuttling Hamas’ alleged scheme. Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf claimed that Israel and Hamas have already reached understandings regarding the separate state in the Gaza Strip. “This is an Israeli plot designed to eliminate the Palestinian cause,” he argued. “What is the price that Hamas will pay to Israel in return for allowing the movement to establish its mini-state in the Gaza Strip?” (Source Jerusalem Post )

 

Preparations ongoing for the next war

Despite dialogue both sides are preparing themselves for the next war. Hamas is intensively rebuilding its terror tunnel infrastructure, that were used to attack Israelis during previous war, with the digging reportedly taking place six days a week with three shifts each day. Over 1,000 diggers are said to be employed by Hamas to construct the tunnels, and the current estimation is that the tunnels lead up to Israeli territory – Hamas will extend them beyond when it feels the time is right to strike.

Shujaiya-3-300x268Iran has sent Hamas’s military wing tens of millions of dollars to help it rebuild the network of tunnels in Gaza destroyed by Israel’s invasion last summer, intelligence sources have told The Sunday Telegraph. It is also funding new missile supplies to replenish stocks used to bombard residential neighborhoods in Israel during the war, code-named Operation Protective Edge by Israel. (Source: i24news )

From the opposite side the Israeli military is actually training for the reconquering of the entire Gaza Strip next time a confrontation flares up between the two sides. A new tunnel detection system developed by Elbit Systems will protect Israeli citizens from the threat of infiltration by Hamas terrorists. Now, after two months of development, the Israel-based international defense electronics company says that they have created an effective system which uses sensors to detect tunnel building activity. The system will be implemented along the entire Israel-Gaza border, Elbit said. The system includes a series of sensors. The information they receive is analyzed using a control system based on algorithms. This method enables the precise identification of tunnel building and its location without false alarms. The system is the first of its kind in the world and was developed in Israel in record time by the Director of Research and Development in the Defense Ministry in cooperation with Israeli industries. (YNetNews )

The Lebanese Shiite Hizballah group, Iran’s Lebanese surrogate, has clearly taken a leaf out of its Palestinian ally, Hamas’ book, for a fully mobilized terror tunnel project against northern Israel. Its manpower, including engineering units, is working under the guidance of Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers to sink a large network of tunnels leading under the border into Galilee. They are working efficiently and at top speed with the aid of modern Western-made earthmoving equipment and foreign professionals paid top dollar to manage the project. Debkafile

 

A Hamas State of Palestine in Gaza?

Hamas is consolidating its grip over the Gaza Strip and making plans to turn it into a separate state. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah consider the purported plan a “severe blow” to the two-state solution and unity among Palestinians. As the U.S. Administration and the international community continue to push for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, Hamas seems to be working toward establishing an independent state of its own in the Gaza Strip. In recent weeks, reports have surfaced in a number of Arab and Western media outlets to the effect that Hamas leaders have decided to establish a “higher committee” for managing the affairs of the Gaza Strip.

300px-Gaza_Strip_map2.svgMahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas leader, last week confirmed that his movement was working toward turning the Gaza Strip into an independent state. “There is nothing wrong or shameful about labeling the current situation in the Gaza Strip an authority or administration,” Zahar said. “If we establish an emirate or state in the Gaza Strip or in any part of Palestine, this would not mean that we are prepared to give up one inch of Palestine.” (Source: Gatestone Institute )

 

The bottom line

During last year there has been talks about national reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. The Hamas-Israel dialogue is the last example that instead unity the split between Hamas and Fatah as well between the West Bank and Gaza Strip is even wider than before. It might be that the international community must define their two-state solution with new content including two Palestinian state – one Islamist emirate in the Gaza Strip and an other Fatah-controlled state in the West Bank.

Related to possible deal between Hamas and Israel there is a risk that internal disagreements between Hamas’ political and military wings could endanger it. The rift within Hamas is widening amid disagreement over several issue: First the organization’s position on the recent turmoil in the Arab world, specifically over its stance on a Saudi-led coalition against Yemen’s Huthi group and second Hamas’ policy in Gaza concerning the confrontation with Israel and the deterioration of ties with Egypt. Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades might take advantage of this instability within the organization to carry out attacks on the border with Israel without getting a green light from Hamas’ political leaders.

 

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Earlier related to Hamas e.g:

Fatah-Hamas Accord can be more an Opportunity than an Obstacle

Analysis: 2014 Gaza Conflict

Peculiarities of Operation Protective Edge

Reality Check Time of Mideast Peace Process

Hamas’ Miscalculation: Israel Started Operation Pillar of Defense

Fatah-Hamas Deal: Three Scenarios

Will Iron Dome balance the Hamas Terror?


Top Priority of EU Foreign Policy: A New ‘Jude’ Badge

April 23, 2015

emergencyssxfoiWhen fragile Minsk II for Ukraine is ‘to be or not to be’ stage, while 21 Ethiopian Christians were beheaded in Libya and while hundreds of refugees drowned in the Mediterranean and while there the increasing chaos in the Maghreb region and in the Middle East with increasing refugee problem, when Palestinians are being brutally murdered by ISIL in refugee camps in Syria, so during these ongoing conflicts it might be difficult to decide about priorities of EU foreign policy. However EU Foreign ministers found an easy and cheap solution – their top priority is labelling Israeli products from the disputed territories (West Bank).

16 of the European Union’s (EU) 28 foreign ministers co-signed a letter to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, urging her to advance the creation of guidelines to separately label goods produced in the West Bank as part of an economic offensive on Israel. The labeling plan was first mooted in 2012, but the 16 member states told EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini it was now time to press ahead as part of efforts to force Israel to divide in a “two state solution.”

When the whole MENA region risks falling into an abyss of war and genocide EU foreign ministers choose to attack the only stable democracy in the region, namely Israel. And this attack even does not help Palestinians as its effect might be totally opposite.

In response, a senior Israeli diplomat told the EU “labeling products from Judea and Samaria is a yellow badge,” referencing the “Jude” stars the Nazis forced Jews to wear during the Holocaust. One should note that the letter was signed in same week when it was Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.

bds-bigotry-double-standards-bigotryThe letter was signed by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and drafted by his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders who also signed it. UK, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Malta, Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia, Croatia, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands and Luxembourg were the other signatories.

 

 

Palestinian workers come under threat due BDS

The number of Palestinians working for Israelis on either side of the Green Line doubled in the last four years and now make up 2.2 percent of all workers in the country, according to the Bank of Israel’s upcoming 2014 annual report. The 92,000 Palestinians who work for Israelis make on average NIS 198 per day, while their peers in the Palestinian territories make just 45% of that, on average, or NIS 91 per day, according to the report. According to a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics report published in February 2014, there were 105,200 Palestinians employed in Israel, including 20,200 in the settlements. (Source: Jpost )

Sieppaa

According to Israeli law, Palestinian workers are entitled to employment terms and rights guaranteed by Israeli labor laws. Based on a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, they should enjoy the same rights enjoyed by Israeli workers.

The September 21 [2014] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida article, translated by Palestinian Media Watch, said that “whenever Palestinian workers have the opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to quit their jobs with their Palestinian employers – for reasons having to do with salaries and other rights.” Wael Nazif, CEO of the Union of Palestinian Workers’ Organizations in the Jericho district, said it was “inconceivable that the Palestinian worker should receive his full rights from the Israeli employers but not from the Palestinian ones.” Surveys and interviews conducted by Al-Hayat Al-Jadida clarify that the salaries of workers employed by Palestinians amount to less than half the salaries of those who work for Israeli employers in the areas of the Israel-occupied  West Bank, which house factories, tourist facilities and agricultural lands. Although the Palestinian Authority has criminalized working in the settlements but given the high unemployment rate PA do not enforce the law that criminalizes work in the settlements.

Daniel-Birnbaum-CEO-SodaStream-Forward-BDS-quote-01There are 15 industrial zones in territory Israel seized in the 1967 war. They have about 1,000 plants — sophisticated aluminum and food manufacturers as well as tiny textile and furniture workshops — that pump roughly $300 million into the Palestinian economy through salaries .

My view

The proposed labelling of Israeli goods from the disputed territories is giving supporting message to the growing anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish sentiments in Europe, while EU instead should promote cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians. The letter might reflect EU frustration over the re-election of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his recent remarks on the difficulties of creating a Palestinian state in the current circumstances.

One should note that the employment of Palestinians, including refugees, is one of the main problems that must be solved if the stability of the region is to be ensured. Instead of BDS foreign investment to West Bank and Gaza should be encouraged; restrictions on marketing West Bank and Gaza produce in Israel, Europe and the rest of world should be removed to create employment opportunities for the Palestinians. Beside salaries Israeli enterprises provide rare opportunities for coexistence between the two peoples.

My related earlier article (in Finnish): SodaStream rauhanmallina

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P.S:  The BDS  poster below can be used also opposite way – as shopping list of Israeli products

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 and more:boycott_israeli_products_2014_by_islamalive-d7tnyns


Maidan Massacre – Documentary Video by John Beck-Hofmann

April 20, 2015

English version of documentary investigation into the shootings which occurred 20/2/2014 in Kiev’s Independence [Maidan] Square

[Directed by John Beck-Hofmann]

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A documentary film by John Beck-Hofmann, which recounts the chronology of events of the Kiev Maidan which led to a Coup d’etat and the demise of the democratically elected government of president Yanukovitch.

Maidan Massacre is an investigative documentary into the shootings which occurred on February 20th, 2014, when nearly 50 people were gunned down on the streets of Kiev’s Independence square. The massacre was the result of a massive three month long protest against the former Government of Viktor Yanukovich and his decision to reject a trade deal with the EU. Although no thorough investigation had been conducted, the blame was immediately placed on the officers who served under Yanukovich. This program investigates the scene of the crime, interviewing those who were there when the shootings occurred, and seeks to answer the questions as to who really was shooting that day on Kiev’s Independence square – a place known to the people of Ukraine, as Maidan. – Written by John Beck Hofmann

John Beck-Hofmann acknowledges that his film was censored, without going into details. It was initially 90 minutes, important sections pertaining to US sponsorship of the Coup d’Etat were removed.

In the words of John Beck Hoffman, in response to comments on his youtube channel:

Comment: On the basis of examining the issues of the Maidan snipers a decent documentary. However, more background to the events that led these “protests” would have been welcomed e.g. Oleg Tsarev’s claims of US NGOs funding regime change in Ukraine. The events in the attempted Macedonian coup shows that the US still up to its tricks.

Beck-Hoffman: “all that was in my original cut of the film which was closer to 90 mins. I went into great detail of USAID, NED, Nuland/Pyatt, corporate interests and the history of how this has happened many times before – I unfortunately had to cut it out for reasons I can’t go into, but I will eventually release the full “directors cut” of the program.”

Beck-Hoffman: [in response to another comment] A Russian language version was released first, as well on youtube. I had also originally made a longer version of the film which went into detail as to “who would benefit” from such an atrocity. It unveiled a lot of what was going on behind the scenes, but that segment ended up being cut from the final film. I would like to release that someday but I have no idea if and when that would be possible. If I do, I will put it on my youtube channel. But please, pass along this film to whomever you think would enjoy it. It needs to get more exposure as so many people have no idea what really happened over there. thanks you again. JBH

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[Source and original post by syrianfreepress ]

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