President Mahmoud Abbas – The illegal President
This year Kuwaiti Politicians said Abbas was not welcome in Kuwait due to his "negative attitudes" over the Israeli offensive in the Hamas-led Gaza Strip, adding that he had "clear positions to obstruct the operations of a legitimate resistance against the aggression on occupied Arab land.” 21 of the 50 members of Kuwait's parliament signed a letter protesting at the invitation of President Abbas at the Kuwait Summit earlier this year.
Some went as far as saying that he had blood on his hands for not objecting to the Israeli attack on Gaza. Clear indications were that his adversary Hamas was in situ in the Gaza Strip and that hopefully the Israelis would carry out their intended mission the remove them.
The other issue here is the fact that his continued negotiations with British Gas and Israel allowed a deal to go ahead that short changed the legal owner of the offshore natural gas (Palestine) by a significant amount. The deal gave 10% to Israel and 10% to Palestine with the balance going to the exploration consortium. If one looks at the gas situation on the other side of the border one can see that the Palestinians were truly getting ripped off. In the Israeli Mari B deal the Israeli companies have the majority share and the US oil company has only 36%. It is very clear that deal should never have been accepted. However, all is not lost because since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip the entire ball game has now changed and the deal collapsed.
President Abbas also allowed the Israelis to take control of the security for the Gaza offshore marine area which in reality was totally unaccepted. The Oslo Accord had already set aside a fishing zone for Gaza and this zone also contained a buffer on both the northern border with Israel and the southern border with Egypt. This thoughtless act allowed the Israel Navy to patrol inside of the zone and decimate the entire Gazan fishing industry. If he had been a true President and stood his ground (as per the Accord) the fishermen could have maintained their vital industry and the Israel Navy would have had to remain outside of the zone boundaries.
There are so many issues concerning the prolonged existence of his Presidency which is in total violation of their own constitution. We now have an array of such US backed Presidents in the Middle East that one could almost say that more stars could be added to the “Star Spangled Banner” as overseas territories.
I will take this opportunity to look at the Palestinian Constitution to not only show that his position is certainly not constitutional but to also pass over a few more misdemeanours that ridicule democracy that the west talks about so many times.
Under the Law of Palestine and the Palestinian National Authority shall ensure:
PUBLIC RIGHTS & FREEDOMS:
All Palestinians are equal under the law and judiciary, without discrimination because of race, sex, colour, religion, political views, or disability
Therefore members of all political factions are equal i.e. Fatah and Hamas which is not the case
1. Basic human rights and freedoms shall be binding and respected.
2. The Palestinian National Authority shall work without delay to join regional and international declarations and covenants which protect human rights.
The PNA does not protect its citizens in regard to breaches of human rights and breaches of the Oslo Accord by the IDF, Israeli Law Enforcement Agencies and other Israeli citizens as per Article (10) 1 and 2 and also in the wording of the Oslo Accord. The President did not pursue (internationally speaking) the hundreds of violations made on a weekly basis by the Israelis and then accepted the initial delay on the Israeli war crimes in its transit via Geneva.
Punishment shall only be imposed upon individuals. Collective punishment is prohibited. Crime and punishment shall only be determined by law. Punishment shall be imposed only by judicial order, and shall apply only to actions committed after the promulgation of law.
President Abbas would have been aware of the Israeli government intentions to attack Hamas and did nothing to protect the citizens of Gaza from collective punishment as carried out by the IDF. It was to his advantage to allow this to happen both in the political sense and also commercially speaking in order for the natural gas fields to be developed. This also happened to be Israel’s reason for attacking the strip. It was in this regard that caused 21 Kuwaiti Politicians to object to his visit to the summit. Collective punishment is in violation of UN Law.
Palestinians shall have the right to participate in the political life individually and in groups. They have the following rights in particular:
1. To establish and join political parties in accordance with the law.
2. To establish unions, guilds, associations, societies, clubs, and public institutions in accordance with the law.
3. To Vote and nominate for election, representatives among them by ballot in accordance with the law.
4. To hold public office and positions in accordance with the principle of equal opportunities.
5. To conduct special meetings without the presence of police members, and to conduct public meetings, processions, and assemblies, within the limits of law.
President Abbas does not enforce or encourage Article (26) in regard to acceptance of Hamas or its voting rights
THE EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY
The President of the Executive Authority shall be elected in general and direct elections by the Palestinian People in accordance with the Palestinian Election Law.
The Presidents term of office has expired and thus is holding office illegally and the PNA is in violation of the law by not calling a general election to elect a new President
It is the responsibility of the President and PNA to protect all of its citizens and property under the terms of the Palestinian Law and to ensure that the Oslo Accord is complied with. Any violation of the laws as laid down by the UN/Geneva Convention, any violation of the Oslo Accord, any breaches of human rights, acts against mankind or war crimes must be pursued rigorously by the President and the PNA. In this regard the President and PNA have failed to pursue these breaches via the UN including UNCLOS and the ICJ on behalf of the residents of both Gaza and West Bank. The President has failed to support his people under Constitution of Palestine and Palestinian Law.
As further evidence of the failings of the President, the PNA and the failings of the United Nations I would like to draw your attention to the following violations. Many “War Crimes” have been carried out by the IDF in their use of White Phosphorus (WP), Depleted Uranium (DU), DIME and other “Dirty Weapons” whereby the final death toll may never been known. This is in violation of the Geneva Convention Protocol I, II and III. The UN has failed to even identify DU.
The long term side effect of such weaponry includes:
WP – Deep burns and scaring - lung damage to babies and the young.
DIME – Some fragments embedded in its victims leads to many other complications and possibly cancer.
DU – High chemical toxicity – Congenital Disorders, Immune System Damage, Diabetes, Increased Risk of Birth Defects, Brain Damage, Increased cases of cancer, transformation of victims cells, permanent DNA damage affecting the entire genetics of the Palestinian people and leading to a slow and extremely painful genocide.
Similar weapons were used in Iraq during the so called “Shock and Awe” campaign at around 350 locations. This resulted in around 140,000 cancer cases and it has been estimated that between 7,000 – 8,000 new cases occurred per annum. Afghanistan has also succumbed to the same treatment, on a much bigger scale and follows exactly the same trend. Lebanon in 2006 also became a victim of the IDF and their use of “Dirty Weapons” but in doing so “Nuked” its own people in Northern Israel. Now we have Gaza and if my previous wind charts are correct the IDF has now “Nuked” both Central and Southern Israel. A scenario has developed that all people in these areas of conflict have been contaminated in some form. It can be via inhalation or by ingestion. The atmosphere, land, crops and water table are now totally contaminated. This changes the term “Organic Farming” into “Atomic Farming”…..Food that glows in the dark!
Economic greed creates wars which then creates self induced terrorism which then turns into immeasurable pain, suffering, degradation and extremes of poverty
Other terrible war crimes have been committed by the IDF in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The ironic aspect of such crimes is that it is in total violation of the IDF’s own Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct draws reference to actions and treatment in regard to militants and Palestinian civilians as follows:
• Military action can only be taken against military targets.
• The use of force must be proportional.
• Soldiers may only use weaponry that were issued by the IDF.
• Anyone who surrenders cannot be attacked.
• Only those who are properly trained can interrogate prisoners.
• Soldiers must accord dignity and respect to the Palestinian population and those arrested.
• Soldiers must give appropriate medical care, when conditions allow, to oneself and one's enemy.
• Pillaging is absolutely and totally illegal.
• Soldiers must show proper respect for religious and cultural sites and artefacts.
• Soldiers must protect international aid workers, including their property and vehicles.
• Soldiers must report all violations of this code.
The President and the PNA has not pursued the Israeli Government in maintaining the terms of the Oslo Accord especially in regard to its allocated fishing limits. It has not challenged the UN/UNCLOS/ICJ or the Israeli Government in regard to delineation of international borders. It has not challenged the location of existing offshore gas fields and who owns them.
The UN has already identified numerous violations in regard to the exploitation of natural resources by an occupied force and the fishing limits imposed by the IDF. The UN Permanent Observer Mission Palestine has written hundreds of Illegal Israeli Actions to the Secretary General to no avail. The UN itself has passed hundreds of resolutions against Israel but does not follow up by imposing sanctions. The list is endless and this clearly shows the weakness of the UN President, President Abbas and the PNA in not bringing these events to the attention of the ICC or ICJ.
Isn’t it ironic that if you are Palestinian, Iranian or North Korean they will apply all the pressure necessary to force you to comply with the requests of the exclusive boys club (UN Security Council)? However, if you are an Israeli you can break every international law in the book; develop your own unchecked nuclear weapons and carry out the slow genocide of the Palestinian people knowing that those close to you will protect you by casting a Veto, Abstention or No Vote. We saw this clearly towards the end of “Cast Lead” when the majority of the UN members demanded that Israel should cease fire but Olmert and Livni twisted the arm of their close friends Bush and Rice to Abstain!
I believe a case exists for the Local Government of Gaza to cast a vote of no confidence against the Central Government, to demand that international action be taken to rectify the short falls in the Oslo Accord and at the same time to insist that the Central Government pursue without delay delineation of International Borders, extension of sea limits to a legal 24 nautical miles and to apply for its own EEZ. It is noted that the UN already show disputed borders and so it should be relatively simple to enforce.
Finally the Local Government of Gaza must insist that the Central Government restore the full terms of the Palestinians Constitution and Law and where Israelis are violating the rights of the Palestinians, bring them to justice via the ICC/ICJ.
I know that much more could be added to this list given more time but the main priority must be to stop all offshore activity pending UNCLOS/ICJ investigation. This includes identifying the location of existing offshore reserves and subsea pipelines. The pumping of natural gas and from where must also be clarified and stopped, if doubt exists, and to verify if the reserves could be jointly owned.
The plans by Israel to bring onshore the reserves from other fields such as Noa and Noa South must also be clarified as to whom legally own the reserves. Most of the offshore activity involves US and UK oil/drilling companies and therefore it is easy to pursue legal action if required to stop such activity until clarified. In a nutshell this reveals the total inability by President Abbas to lead his country and stand up defiantly against the aggression of Israel. How can the President himself watch the collapse of the Gaza fishing industry and not take steps to cancel the security agreement with Israel in the best interest of his people?
How can the President watch the people of Gaza deteriorate into extremes of poverty and allow their degradation to continue when they own such vast reserves of offshore natural gas worth billions of dollars?
How come the President does not challenge the Government of Israel over the ownership of these offshore fields and why doesn’t he stop the rape of these resources by Israel?
Why doesn’t the President challenge the legality of Israel’s occupation of two thirds of the West Bank especially the eastern sector which has been secured by the Israeli Government……could there be more hidden natural resources? Of course there is!
Why isn’t the constitution enforced and a new election called to replace this illegal President.
Things are not likely to change in Palestine until this soft touch President is removed from office. Palestine desperately needs a true leader who stands up for his country and his people and does not become a puppet of the US. It should not be up to 21 Kuwaiti Politicians to tell you this man may well have blood on his hands.
From my own experience in the oil and gas industry the previous agreement and contract with British Gas was deeply flawed. The UN should for once in its life stand firm and stop this offshore activity without delay. It should enforce normal protocol via its own UNCLOS to ensure that the Palestinians get a fare deal. It should then allow the members of the UN to determine their future. This aspect should not be left in the hands of the Security Council or by the objection of Israel. We are talking here about basic international rights. Palestine and Gaza in particular own these huge offshore reserves and accordingly should be allowed to bring it ashore (directly in Gaza). Once the UN have decided on this issue the existing agreements/contract with British Gas should be disposed of and a new agreement/contract raised involving all parties (including Hamas the current governing body in Gaza).
The UN has to fully understand (which it does) that the people of Palestine, especially those in the Gaza Strip are in extreme poverty and dying. It does not make sense to stop any country from using its own natural resources to recover from this terrible situation and bring the existing fragmented and deprived Palestine back into prosperity. If we, the international community, allow compassion to enter our hearts instead of insane hatred then the Palestinians will for sure recover very quickly from this dire state they are in to an extremely prosperous country. The health issue is another matter…..one can only live in hope and provide them with modern medical facilities and expert supporting staff.
We must also remember that during these long drawn out negotiations between British Gas – Israel – Palestine that key figures in high places may have had their hands greased with huge sums of money (normal practise in the industry, just like any other) and may be worth investigating. Current figures such as Olmert, Barak, Abbas and others could be a starting block and even our own British Prime Minister (at the time) became deeply involved…..this is not accusing anyone but merely pointing out that what went on in the period 1999 – 2008 certainly may raise a few highbrows!
What amazes me is the fact that despite after almost a year of writing such articles nothing ever changes. No one ever prints articles relating to Depleted Uranium or on the many issues I write about. It is disgraceful that the media is totally controlled and censored almost everywhere….even if you have a scoop – hot or exclusive story it doesn’t matter. Sometimes we see a ray of hope emerge when a small group of dedicated people, who give their unpaid/voluntary time, step forward and print the truth. It is their dedication and conscience that makes papers such as the Palestine Telegraph shine through all the economic greed, hatred and corruption.
We can make a change and we will make a change. In closing just remember those wonderful words of Mahatma Ghandi: “There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e., the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being”
Peter Eyre – Middle East Consultant 25/10/2009