Ex-Israeli Arab MP Barakeh "supports" Palestinian terrorist prisoners and "all means of struggle against the Israeli occupation"
Headline: “The national conference to support the prisoners recommends…”
The following refers to statements made on Nov. 24, 2021, at “the national conference to support the prisoners,” which was held by Al-Quds Open University, the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, and the PA-funded Prisoners’ Club -Ed.
“Chairman of the [High] Follow-Up Committee for Arabs [Citizens of Israel] in the 1948 territories (i.e., Israel; an extra-parliamentary umbrella organization that represents Arab citizens of Israel) Muhammad Barakeh said that the prisoners represent all the meanings of struggle against the Israeli occupation, and that our people will support the prisoners’ resolve. He added that our people in the Interior (i.e., Palestinian term for Israel) are suffering from attempts to erase cities from the map of the Palestinian homeland, but they – and foremost among them Jaffa and Lod (i.e., Israeli cities) – rose up (the verb “rose up” is from the same root as “intifada” -Ed.) and said that they are Palestinian and thus they will remain (refers to Fatah/Hamas Riot and Rocket War 2021; see note below -Ed.).”
Fatah/Hamas Riot and Rocket War 2021 – On April 30, 2021, facing certain electoral defeat, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the first PA elections scheduled in 15 years. Hamas, which expected to win the elections, denounced it as a “coup.” In need of a conflict to divert public discontent, Abbas artificially generated a crisis over Jerusalem. His Fatah party called for "raising the level of confrontation,” and Abbas' spokesman told Palestinians "the battle of all battles is here.” Jerusalem Arabs responded by attacking Jews with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Hamas, Abbas' political rival, could not allow Abbas to lead the battle, so on May 10, 2021, Hamas launched rocket barrages targeting Israeli population centers including Jerusalem. Over the next 11 days, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into southern and central Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing 9 Israelis and 3 foreign nationals, and wounding hundreds. In response, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls to target Hamas terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Already in mid-April, a planned eviction of some Palestinian families illegally living in Jewish-owned buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem had led to clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli police. This dispute provided Palestinians with a pretext for violent rioting. Adding to the crisis, Israeli Arabs started rioting throughout Israel, especially in cities with a mixed Jewish and Arab population. Two Jews were murdered and many were wounded. According to Walla, an independent Israeli news site, 10 synagogues were wholly or partly burned down; fires were set in 112 Jewish homes and 1 Arab home mistaken for a Jewish home; 386 Jewish homes were plundered and 673 were damaged; 849 cars were set ablaze; and there were 5,018 rock-throwing attacks. In response, Jews started attacking Arabs and their properties as well, but on a much smaller scale. No mosques were burned; 13 Arab homes were damaged; 13 Arab-owned cars were burned; and there were 41 rock-throwing attacks by Jews. [Walla, May 16, 2021] The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with a ceasefire on May 21, 2021.