Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Fatah, Hamas leaders hold unity talks in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas and Fatah leaders met in Gaza City on Tuesday to discuss national reconciliation.

Fatah central committee member Nabil Shaath and Fatah MP Faisal Abu Shahla joined Hamas' Imad Alami and Ghazi Hamada to discuss obstacles to implementing national reconciliation.

Fatah reiterated the importance of "building bridges" between the rival factions and raised the recent arrests of Fatah affiliates in Gaza, Abu Shahla told Ma'an.

Hamas has repeated complained that its members are still being arrested in the West Bank by forces from the Fatah-led PA. more

Video: New Israeli plan calls for more “intelligence” gathering to disrupt BDS movement

From the Electronic Intifafda (Ben White)
This week in Jerusalem, the Israeli foreign ministry hosted the fourth international conference of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism.

As I previously blogged, this is “a gathering that has served as an important focus for efforts to fight Palestine solidarity activism and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns.” The pre-conference agenda and working group mission statements made it clear that hasbara — propaganda — was once again going to be high on the agenda.

Reproduced below is the “Action Plan” presented to delegates by the working group tasked with examining “delegitimization” and BDS. This is transcribed from slides shown to the conference, and the video can be viewed above.

This document needs to be read, shared, and taken into account by activists when planning campaigns and strategies.
BDS and Delegitimization Task Force Action Plan

Divide Responsibilities - Rather than everyone trying to do everything, identify the comparative advantage of each organization to maximize their effectiveness in proactively and reactively addressing delegitimization threats. The British approach could be a model. For example, encourage groups with ties to labor to focus on working with unions, those with expertise in international relations to devote their attention to members of UN agencies, those involved in media and PR to concentrate on journalists and messaging, those with legal expertise to explore legal avenues for fighting BDS and those active on campus with students, faculty and other stakeholders.

Enhance Intelligence Capabilities - We need to have more information about the organizations promoting delegitimization, including their membership, funding and planned activities. Nations, foundations and other funders supporting BDS should be named and shamed. Map connections between BDS organizations and their supporters, such as the PA [Palestinian Authority]. Also investigate the BDS efforts toward multinational corporations.

Hamas: Iran reduces financial support over Syria stance

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Iran has significantly reduced financial support to Hamas because of the group's support for opposition groups in Syria's internal conflict, a senior party official said Monday.

Ahmed Yousif told Ma'an that Iran has never threatened to completely stop financial support to Hamas, but said there has been a serious reduction in funds due to the group's stance on Syria's ongoing conflict.

Hamas offices in Iran and Lebanon are still open, Yousif said, highlighting that Hamas decided to leave Syria to show "support to the Syrian people against tyranny and oppression."

The Hamas official dismissed media reports that Hezbollah and Iran had warned officials to leave their respective countries if the group didn't change its position on Syria.

Yousif said that Hamas would not yield to pressure from Iran but would not reject its support. "We will not accept to bargain for our positions," he added. more

West Bank doctors to start open strike Wednesday

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Doctors in public hospitals across the West Bank will go on open strike on Wednesday, their union said Monday.

Only doctors on duty in wards will work while all others, including specialists, will stay home, the doctors union said in a statement.

The union called on all members of its general assembly to join a sit-in protest at the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah on Wednesday. more