U.S. Air Force drops pallets of humanitarian aid with food and water over Gaza, March 2, 2024. (U.S. Air Force photo)

International news agencies released news indicating that, for the first time in almost six months of conflict between Israel and Palestine, Hamas had apologized for the suffering caused to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The statement, released on Telegram on Sunday, also expressed the desire to continue the confrontation in search of “victory and freedom” for the population, in addition to recognizing the exhaustion caused by the conflict and thanking the civilians in the enclave.

However, in an interview with Red Portal, Emir Mourad, secretary general of the Latin American Palestinian Confederation (Fepal), questioned the authenticity or importance of the statement. Mourad stated that he did not find the statement in Arabic in any reliable Arabic media outlet, such as Aljazira, nor in Hamas groups that he follows on messaging apps. He suggested that the news could be an international news agency strategy to discredit ongoing negotiations with the Palestinian resistance.

Mourad highlighted that the lack of an official response from Hamas, as well as the absence of a key leadership commenting on the statement, raises doubts about its veracity. He stressed that if the statement was legitimate, it should have been widely disseminated on social media and in Arab media.

“I didn’t see any messages in Arabic, honestly. I don’t know where that is. I looked in Aljazira and other Arab outlets, about 3 or 4, and I didn’t receive that communication either. As I didn’t hear it in Arabic, I won’t give it credit, because there is no speech from an important leader, nor anything responding to this statement,” she emphasized.

The Fepal leader also mentioned that, despite the evident difficulties and suffering caused by the conflict, there are no surprises regarding the apology, as the negotiation points remain open. He noted that Israel has so far contained a possible more aggressive military invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza and that hunger is increasing in the Palestinian territories.

Mourad emphasized the importance of verifying the authenticity of the statement and suggested that, if it were genuine, it should be more public and open, with a press conference or an official statement from the group’s leadership.

The fact is that the Western press has had an explicit bias in favor of Israel, in line with the positions of governments in Europe and the USA. Therefore, information warfare is essential to guarantee Western support, at a time when popular demonstrations are increasingly growing across the world in favor of Palestine. Even in Israeli cities, clashes between protesters and police have become increasingly worse.

Pressure on the streets

Mourad highlights the increase in international pressure on the Israeli government and the continuity of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. He highlights that large demonstrations have taken place in different parts of the world, such as London and Jerusalem, demanding changes and an end to hostilities in the region. In Jerusalem, hundreds of thousands went to Parliament in Jerusalem to demand the resignation of Benjamin Netanyahu, when they were brutally repressed by the police.

“You see several huge demonstrations that took place. In London, there was a huge one, and… They are on hold. On the other hand, there is this gigantic demonstration there in Jerusalem, calling for Netanyahu’s resignation, asking for new elections, also for liberation, for more real negotiations and for the war in Gaza to stop,” said Mourad.

The leader explained that, although there are sectors that wish to continue the war in Gaza, there is also a demand for more concrete negotiations and the release of the hostages. He highlighted that demonstrations against the government and Prime Minister Netanyahu were already taking place before October 7, indicating growing popular discontent.

Mourad emphasized that pressure and demonstrations have increased in volume and intensity, resulting in more intense clashes with police in several Israeli cities. He highlighted that these demonstrations aim to increase pressure on the Israeli government and its international allies, such as the British government and United States President Joe Biden.

“That’s what we want to happen. Resistance continues in its operations as well, and has been for more than a week. There are already several dozen deaths there, due to the lack of food, doctors, in short, all the pressure is being exerted, on both sides”, said Mourad.

Furthermore, the secretary general mentioned the demonstrations in Jordan and Egypt, where protesters called for a break in relations with Israel. He noted that, although there is still no official break, the tendency is for demonstrations and resistance actions to increase, especially in the West Bank.

The Army’s withdrawal from yet another hospital, Al Shifa, with catastrophic results for the civilian population and humanitarian aid, scandalized the world last weekend. There were around 3,000 people trapped in the hospital who were not spared. Analysts estimate that Israel has had many losses and no victories over Hamas, which is why it takes revenge on the civilian population. This weekend, the “Israel Defense Forces” recorded the loss of 600 soldiers.

Doctors transport an injured Palestinian child to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City following an Israeli airstrike on October 11, 2023. (Photo Wikimedia Commons)

Provocations to Iran

Mourad raises questions about Israel’s recent provocations against Iran and its possible motivations in attacking an embassy in Damascus, which led to the death of 13 people, including a high-ranking military officer. Mourad suggests that Israel seeks to expand the arena of confrontation to remain in power, using similar strategies used by the extreme right around the world.

“Now you see Israel provoking Iran. Israel is wanting to expand the arena of confrontation and is wanting to bring Iran in. Why do they think this is good for them? Because Netanyahu has more reason to stay in power and not go to prison”, highlighted Mourad. As long as there is an armed conflict, there is no exchange of power, because as Netanyahu himself says, this would be a gift to the enemy……

The secretary-general compared Israel’s actions with the alleged intentions behind Jair Bolsonaro’s attempted coup in Brazil, suggesting that both aim to maintain the power of the far right in the government. Mourad points out that, by bringing Iran to the center of the conflict, Israel seeks to increase aid from the United States and strengthen its geopolitical position in the region.

“It’s the same method, the same insanity. They want to maintain the power of the far right in the government. And they want aid from the United States to increase. Because bringing Iran into the conflict forces the US to provide more resources. But Iran will not fall for this provocation. He has other diplomatic and political means of facing this episode, as he has faced in other situations”, he explains.

Mourad also points to the possibility of Israel intensifying its operations on Lebanon’s southern border as part of this strategy to expand the conflict. He warned of the risks of this escalation and emphasized the importance of seeking diplomatic and political solutions to resolve tensions in the region.

Vatican support

Mourad also discusses the role of the Pope and the growing international pressure on Israel amid the conflict in Palestine. Mourad highlights the importance of the recent demonstrations, including on Easter Sunday, by the leader of the Catholic Church and the impact they have on raising awareness about the situation in the Palestinian territory.

“The Palestinian people are also Christians, Muslims and there are Jews who live in Palestine. And it is clear that Christianity has long denounced the occupation. The occupied territories, colonization, apartheid. So this is not new”, highlighted Mourad.

The secretary general highlights the long history of denunciations of occupation and colonization by the Vatican and Palestinian representation in the Vatican City State, emphasizing the continued pressure exerted by the religious institution on Israel. He emphasizes that the Pope’s demonstrations strengthen international support for the Palestinian cause and raise awareness of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

He also highlights the humanitarian challenges faced by the population of Gaza, especially given the siege of hospitals and the lack of access to humanitarian aid. Mourad denounces the Israeli government’s efforts to weaken Hamas, despite growing international calls for a ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Source: vermelho.org.br

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