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Op-ed in the official PA daily: Israel’s difficulty with fires is sign of weakness and the “nakedness of the Israeli death state has been exposed”

Headline: “The fragility of the [Israeli] home front ”

Excerpt of an op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, regular columnist of the official PA daily

     “The fires (i.e., a wave of suspected Palestinian arson attacks in November 2016) that are spreading in the greater part of historical Palestine – upon which arose the Israeli colonialism state – have exposed the collapse of the status of the State of Sparta (i.e., Israel, so called to portray it as violent and hostile)…
This is not the first time that the nakedness of the Israeli death state has been exposed. The fires have exposed the fragility of the [Israeli] home front and the helplessness of the state that is armed to the teeth with a military arsenal that surpasses its demographic capabilities. Several years ago (i.e., 2010), when the fires broke out on Mount Carmel in Haifa, it became clear that the [Israeli] Civil Defense Forces have become weak and are unable to carry out the minimum that is demanded of them and that they are charged with. And now, for three days Israel has been witness to a long series of fires – 220 in number – throughout the length and breadth of the land, which have been focused in Haifa and Tel Aviv (sic., Haifa and Jerusalem have been major centers).
According to the estimations of [Israeli] Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, they are likely to continue throughout the current week due to the weather conditions, the wind velocity, and the low percentage of humidity in the air. As a result of this, in Haifa alone 80,000 residents have been evacuated until now, and the number could still rise. The airport in the city has been closed, and Haifa Port has been closed to ships. Eleven neighborhoods and suburbs were evacuated. The train traffic between Hadera and Binyamina has been stopped. An emergency situation has been declared. [Israeli] army reservists from the Civil Defense have been called up, approximately 300 firefighters. They were aided by the army. They were aided by the State of Palestine and its Civil Defense Forces. They asked for aid from many countries, including Russia, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, and Turkey.
In an attempt by the Israeli government to calm the anger in the Israeli public, [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, the Israeli Security Agency, and the minister of public security claimed that to some of the fires there is a ‘deliberate nationalist background.’ All those pretending [to be natives of the land] have forgotten that the members of the Palestinian Arab people throughout the land view historical Palestine (i.e., Israel) as their land, and its mountains, valleys, straits, and coasts as theirs. In addition, they constitute a portion of the residents living [throughout] the length and breadth of the land, and this portion, which is firmly rooted in the land of the forefathers, is also suffering from the fires – and not only the Israeli Jews. Therefore, it cannot be that they would think in this way…
Every political or security observer who will analyze [the situation] objectively will easily discern that Israel is a most fragile and weak state, whose home front suffers from a deep structural defect, which is in no way consistent with its Spartan military structure.
If the Israeli security and political leaders would stop now and examine the situation their colonialist state is in, what conclusions would they reach, even if they accept the theory of the Israeli Security Agency, Netanyahu, and Erdan, according to which the fires are a deliberate act? Is a state that is so unstable and fragile on its home front truly able to deal with wars? Does it have true preparedness? Is it fit to continue the bloody conflict? And why does it not seek peace, in order to hide its nakedness and the wretchedness of its fragile situation? ...
Will the extremist right Israeli leadership learn the lesson from the fires and reexamine the continuation of the colonialist settlement enterprise? [Will it] return to the path of peace and the two-state solution within the 1967 borders, amid a promise for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their land on the basis of the international [UN] resolution number 194?”
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UN resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." Palestinian leaders argue this means that all Arabs who left Israel during the war (hundreds of thousands) and their descendants (a few million) have a "right of return" to Israel. Israel argues that the resolution only calls for a limited return and only under certain conditions, especially focusing on the words "wishing to return... and live at peace with their neighbors."

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