Palestine Chronicle marks 20th year with an appeal

30 Oct

Palestine Chronicle editor, Dr. Ramzy Baroud, speaking during a media interview in Nairobi, Kenya, in June 2019.

Kia Ora Gaza draws on a wide range of reputable sources to bring you up-to-date and factual news, analyses and views on the Palestinian struggle.

One of the most consistently reliable and trustworthy sources is the Palestine Chronicle, which marks it’s 20th anniversary with this Appeal:

Dear Readers,

The Palestine Chronicle at 20: Our Message Stronger than Ever

The Palestine Chronicle is not just a website. We are more than that, much more.

Sure, The Palestine Chronicle English platform has been in existence for 20 years. We launched the first page in September 1999.

And our French sister-website joined us a few years ago, amplifying our message to French-speaking audiences around the world.

We have reached many millions of readers since then, and we continue to define a whole new genre on Palestine. At the core of this new genre are the Palestinian people, their daily struggle, their popular resistance and their undying somoud, steadfastness.

But the truth is, our online platforms have also unleashed an impetus of new thinking on Palestine. Our founder and editor, Dr. Ramzy Baroud, has used the concept of people’s history not only in his books, but in journalism, as well. It is no accident that our news coverage focuses as much on the everyday happenings in Palestine as it does on the big picture.

We offer highly refined, intellectual and political analyses, but we also report on uprooted trees near Bethlehem, farmers attacked in Hebron, and the meaning of the siege on Gaza to Palestinians living there.

But that’s not just it. In the last six months – the last time we appealed to you for financial support – we have taken the message from the Palestinian people on the road. Our main focus was Africa. It was the most obvious, but also urgent, choice, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has succeeded in swaying the ruling elites in various African countries to Israel’s side. Our response: we reached out to many Kenyans and South African communities in speaking tours that lasted for weeks; we engaged journalists, politicians, human rights groups, young scholars, and ordinary folk in these countries. The outcome has been truly outstanding. Click here to learn more about our trips in Kenya and South Africa.

Now that you are familiar with our legacy of the last two decades, you can rest assured that we will not slow down, nor deviate from our mission, in the next six months or the many years ahead.

Latest book launch

We have another, exciting piece of news to share with you: The Palestine Chronicle team is happy to announce the publication of our latest book, These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons.

Folks, this is an extraordinary feat. The book introduces, in a whole new way, the stories of 20 Palestinian prisoners who directly convey their prison experience to the world. It will be published by Clarity Press on November 15. Make sure to pre-order your copy right away.

Frankly, we could go on and on, but we will finish by telling you this: none of this is possible without your support. If you are happy with our work, and by the scope of our mission, please take the urgent step of supporting us right now.

With you, our work has been possible for 20 years. Please give today and give generously, and help us take our message to more and more people the world over.

The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.

To make a contribution using your paypal account or credit card, please click HERE

Or kindly send your contribution to:

PO Box 196
Mountlake Terrace
WA, 98043
USA

With many thanks,

The Palestine Chronicle team.

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/

Al-Nakba: ‘an injustice that is a menace to world’s peace’

29 Oct

Al-Nakba

“The Nakba did not begin in 1948. Its origins lie over two centuries ago….”

So begins this four-part series on the ‘nakba’, meaning the ‘catastrophe’, about the history of the Palestinian exodus that led to the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, and the establishment of the state of Israel. This documentary series is essential viewing for anyone who want to understand the Palestinian predicament.

“The tragedy in Palestine is not just a local one; it is a tragedy for the world, because it is an injustice that is a menace to the world’s peace”

Arnold Toynbee, British Historian.

Thanks to Wellington Palestine [ https://wellingtonpalestine.nz/ ] for highlighting this important documentary from AlJazeera

Israeli military vehicles infiltrate Gaza, raze land

29 Oct

Palestine Chronicle, 29 October, 2019

Israeli military vehicles infiltrated today the Gaza border and reached dozens of metres into Palestinian land east of Jabalya in the north of the Gaza Strip, according to WAFA correspondent.

He said the military vehicles razed agricultural land and erected sand barricades along the border amidst intermittent shooting.

Israeli army incursions several metres into Gaza and razing of land are frequent and intended to keep farmers away from their border area land and prevent them from cultivating it.

(Photo: via Twitter)

Courage yes – but do the Silver Ferns have character?

24 Oct

By John Minto, The Daily Blog, 23 October 2019

This Saturday, 26 October, marks the second International Day of Action against PUMA because of its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA).

Across New Zealand, and around the world, there will be protests encouraging the public to boycott PUMA goods and this will include calls for the Silver Ferns to join the boycott of PUMA by ending the sponsorship agreement you have with them. (In case you haven’t noticed – the Silver Ferns wear the PUMA logo on court)

The boycott is not because it’s the Israel Football Association but because the IFA includes football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land and despite many appeals from human rights organisations, in Israel and around the world, it has refused to dissociate itself from these illegal settlements.  

Meanwhile PUMA continues to sponsor the IFA (its only international sponsor) which helps legitimise the association’s policy of support for illegal Jewish-only settlements and the appalling Israeli policies towards Palestinians which goes with them.

It’s important to understand that the issue of settlements goes to the heart of the Israeli government’s racist, apartheid policies towards the indigenous people of Palestine. The establishment and expansion of these settlements, illegal under international law, involves driving Palestinian families from their homes and off their land. This is an ongoing part of the Nakba (“catastrophe”) under which Palestinians have suffered ethnic cleansing every day since 1948.

In addition, the settlements are an integral part of Israel’s military occupation which robs Palestinians of natural resources and denies them their right of movement.

In contrast to the behaviour of the IFA in recognising sports teams from illegal settlements, Palestinian sportspeople are often forced to abandon practices, games and tournaments due to Israeli Defence Force harassment at checkpoints and Israeli government policies to make them refugees in their own land.

When young Palestinians protest to demand an end to the theft of their land many have been murdered by Israeli snipers and many more lose their legs, also from sniper fire, and the chance to play sport. Many young Palestinians have had their sports careers ended in this way over many years.

The international campaign against PUMA is asking people to boycott the company till it stops supporting the IFA.

For this reason the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa is asking Netball New Zealand to end their sponsorship deal with PUMA until PUMA ends its support for the IFA.

The Silver Ferns represent the best values associated with womens’ sport – high skill levels associated with tenacity, courage and commitment on the netball court. 

This campaign is asking that they show the same character and values off the court – standing with Palestinian sportspeople who face apartheid in sports as awful as that faced by black South Africans suffering under apartheid. 

Flotilla medical supplies for Gaza: still missing

24 Oct

Medical supplies being loaded aboard Al Awda, Palermo, July 2018

Freedom Flotilla Coalition statement, 21 October, 2019

Nearly 15 months after propaganda from Israeli authorities claiming [they had released the medical supplies] – that we countered at the time, the Israeli government has still not released 114 boxes of medical supplies for Gaza that were aboard the two Freedom Flotilla boats which they hijacked in international waters [in 2018]. We received this letter [below] in July from MyCARE, our partner in Gaza, who confirm that to date they still have not received the medical supplies.

In the last couple of months our lawyers have been presenting evidence to the Haifa Maritime Court, including affidavits from Captain Herman Reksten (Al Awda), Captain John Turnbull (Freedom) and Ann Wright (FFC – US Boat to Gaza).

This case is important as we attempt to highlight the effects of the ongoing illegal blockade of Gaza, which has caused a humanitarian crisis, which our boats with their cargo sought to alleviate, in a small way.

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Vital medicines are running out in Gaza

21 Oct

Stocks of medicines are dangerously low at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City – 225 essential drugs are almost completely depleted. More than 60 cancer drugs are unavailable in Gaza due to the siege imposed by Israel. [Photo by Mohammed Asad]

By Yousef M. Aljamal, The Electronic Intifada, 17 October 2019

Shaaban is a 10-year-old child with autism.

He requires assistance with his education, as well as medical treatment that costs up to $900 per month. Without his medicine, he can begin to scream, has difficulty sleeping at night and sometimes even loses consciousness.

Shaaban’s father Ibrahim works as a janitor at a local school. Amid a general economic slowdown caused by Israel’s siege of Gaza, Ibrahim has seen his monthly wages fall from approximately $450 to $350 in recent years.

He has four children to care for, including Shaaban. And almost half of Ibrahim’s wages go toward paying a bank loan that was issued to build the family’s home.

An additional problem is that most of the medicines Shaaban has been prescribed are not available in Gaza.

“I feel powerless,” said Ibrahim. “I can neither afford nor find the medicine Shaaban needs. It is too hard. I do all that I can for my son; I don’t know what more I can do.”

The Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor published the findings of its research on Palestinian children with autism in August. The organization stated that most parents of children with autism it interviewed complained that treatment was too expensive for them given that no financial support is provided by the authorities.

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NZ’s 70-year-old commitment to Palestinian Right of Return

21 Oct

By Leslie Bravery, The Daily Blog, 19 October 2019

In a press release on 4 October 2019, the UNHCR’s Regional Representative in Canberra, Louise Aubin, welcomed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern‘s formal announcement of our refugee resettlement quota increase, noting that it “sends an important message to the world that every country can make a difference in sharing responsibility for the global refugee situation”. As the UNHCR acknowledges, the majority of refugees are confined in countries neighbouring their homelands.

In Lebanon, where over 470,000 Palestinians are registered with UNRWA, the refugees exist in conditions that UNRWA describes as “dire and characterised by overcrowding, poor housing conditions, unemployment, poverty and lack of access to justice.” Palestinian refugees have few rights; they are not allowed to work in as many as 39 professions, neither are they allowed to own property or land. The number of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon has swollen since the war in Syria forced out so many from that war-torn land.

There are, altogether, 12 refugee camps in Lebanon where, during the 1982 Israeli invasion, one of them, Shatila, and its adjacent neighbourhood, Sabra, were the scene of an Israeli Army-supervised atrocity in September 1982 that has gone down in history for its utter barbarity. The Israeli Defence Minister at the time was Ariel Sharon and, with the approval of his government, the Israeli military ordered its Lebanese Falangist allies to ‘clean out’ the Palestinian refugee camps. The whole operation was planned and supervised by the Israeli military which, having trained and armed the Falangists, commanded them during the massacre. The order to enter the camps came from the Israeli military, as did the order to leave and the Israeli Army surrounded the entrances so that escape would be impossible. During the night, Israeli forces illuminated the camps with flares, to make it easier for the Falangists to search, violate and kill. Many of the slaughtered 3,500 victims were women and children.

VIDEO: There are more than 13 million Palestinians in the world today living under occupation, under blockade, as refugees and some as citizens of other countries. Where Palestinians have ended up after being displaced by Israel has determined what laws they are governed by, where they can go, and whether they have a passport or not. Here’s all you need to know. [TRT World, 19 October 2019]

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Dr Salman Abu Sitta is heading to Aotearoa

9 Oct

Dr Salman Abu Sitta sends a video message of greetings as he heads to Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Dr Salman Abu Sitta, well-respected academic, author and member of the Palestine National Council, is coming to New Zealand next week for a two day visit to Auckland and Wellington.

On his visit here he will be meeting with MPs and various government officials in Wellington and will deliver a free public lecture in Auckland.

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Anglican Church of Southern Africa votes to join BDS

4 Oct

People come together in South Africa to protest against Israeli violations on the Palestinian people [BDSsouthafrica/Twitter]

Middle East Monitor, 28 September 2019

The highest and most prominent decision-making body of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) yesterday voted to join and support the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Israeli occupation.

The church – representing Anglican Christian communities in southern African countries including South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Angola – passed the resolution in the city of Johannesburg during its Provincial Synod, which takes place every three years.

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Adapting to climate change under ‘water apartheid’

1 Oct

On the edge of downtown Jerusalem, among the ruins of the Palestinian village Lifta, Israeli Jews enjoy natural spring waters that once were central to the life of the village. (Photo: David Kattenburg)

By David Kattenburg, Mondoweiss, 9 September 2019

Climate change is a human rights issue. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), where land and natural resources required for climate adaptation are controlled by Israel, and systematically denied to Palestinians. Of all these resources, none are more vital than water.

‘Water apartheid’, it’s called: Jewish settlers receive copious volumes for cheap, Palestinians scrape and scratch to get what they need, at great cost. A highly asymmetrical, discriminatory and exploitative regime formalized in law, achieved through physical separation and enforced by soldiers and police. The very definition of apartheid.

As water grows scarcer in the fast-warming Middle East, as rainfall variability and evaporative losses climb (Israel is in the midst of a five-year drought), those with access to water, and the capacity to capture, store, convey and recycle it, will survive. Perhaps even thrive. Those who don’t will either move on or perish. Nothing would make Israel happier than to see the Palestinians go away.

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News from Palestine

1 Oct

Palestine Weekly Review, 1 October 2019

Presented by Ahmad Abu Rizik, this week’s Palestine Weekly Review is the 13th English broadcast by the 16th October Group in Gaza, in association with Shehab Agency News.

 

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa newsletter Sept/Oct

26 Sep

The next month will be our busiest month since PSNA was redeveloped in June.

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Gaza’s economy in freefall: debtors’ prison overflows

26 Sep

A Palestinian man sits next to his cart where he hangs household items for sell in al-Nuseriat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, August 1, 2019 (Photo: Mohammed Assad) Mondowiess)

By Yousef M. Aljamal, Mondoweiss, 25 September 2019

As Gaza’s economy goes into freefall, the debtors’ prison is overflowing

Karam Marwan, 22, wanted to own a video game store. In 2016 he took out a $5,000 loan from an acquaintance to open the shop. Marwan had recently graduated college with a degree in accounting, but with limited job prospects in the Gaza Strip where he lives, he hedged his bets on starting a small business. In less than a year the video store would shutter and Marwan would be in prison serving a three-month sentence over failure to repay the borrowed seed money.

In Gaza, delinquency on loans is a civil offense punishable by a maximum of a 91-day sentence, according to the Law on Execution No. 23 passed in 2015. The statute allows judges to incarcerate a Palestinian holding a debt, irrespective if that debt is to a traditional lending institution or a private individual. In most cases, a judge will mediate a settlement between the debtors and the financers. Annually, Hamas-run endowments and loan forgiveness programs will pay down or absolve some debts during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, but many Palestinians are left to fend for themselves.

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Archbishop condemns extrajudicial executions

22 Sep

The Palestinian Archbishop of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church, Atallah Hanna. (Photo: The Palestine Project)

Palestine Chronicle, 22 September, 2019

Archbishop Atallah Hanna, of the Sebastian Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem, slammed on Friday the extrajudicial executions of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers, Maan News Agency reported.

His remarks came following the execution of a Palestinian woman at the Qalandiya Checkpoint, between Ramallah and Jerusalem, early this week.

The archbishop described the shooting of the Palestinian woman [Alaa Wahdan] by the Israeli soldiers, as “leaving her bleeding to death” and as an “intentional and clear violation of all international and humanitarian laws and conventions.”

He added: “The series of executions is continuous and escalating, and this savage behavior reflects the criminal mentality and hatred culture which feed the Israeli extrajudicial killing.”

“These horrific scenes which we saw at Qalandiya Checkpoint,” he also said, “where armed soldiers used their lethal arms to execute a lady just because of passing through the wrong lane, is a result of Israel’s immunity policy.”

The archbishop stressed that this is an “absolute international and American collusion with Israel,” asking “who will bring these criminal soldiers, who believe they have done a heroic act when they executed the Palestinian lady in cold blood, to justice?”

He also posed the questions: “Where is the international conscience, values, morals and principles? What is the reason for this doubtful silence regarding the crimes being committed against the unarmed Palestinian nation?”

Concluding his statements, the archbishop proclaimed “the image of this innocent lady, who was executed in cold blood, will remain in our minds and we will never forget this horrific scene, which we hope will reach all corners of the world, to disclose Israeli oppression practiced against the Palestinians.”

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

See also our earlier report and video: https://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2019/09/19/palestinian-woman-fatally-shot-at-israeli-checkpoint/

Palestinian woman fatally shot at Israeli checkpoint

19 Sep

By Tamara Nassar, Electronic Intifada, 19 September 2019

Israeli forces fatally shot a Palestinian woman near the Qalandiya checkpoint separating Ramallah from Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday.

Israeli police claimed that Alaa Wahdan was walking towards its forces on a pathway designated for vehicles when they asked her to stop.

They added that the 28-year-old from nearby Qalandiya refugee camp pulled out a knife before a security guard shot and injured her in the legs.

In the video above, Wahdan appears to pose no plausible danger to anyone around her when she is shot.

“They could have controlled her,” bystander Mohammed Hammad Jaradat told the publication Middle East Eye.

“They were five soldiers and she was some seven meters away.”

According to eyewitnesses, Wahdan was left to bleed without first aid.

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Remember Sabra and Shatila: a forgotten War Crime

16 Sep

VIDEO: TRT World – World in Focus: Sabra and Shatila: A Forgotten War Crime

Refugee Camps become mass graves between September 16 and 18, 1982, people in Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps were massacred. Estimates vary, but about 2,000 Palestinian refugees, mostly women, children, and the elderly were killed. The attack took place during Lebanon’s civil war, a few months after Israel’s invasion of the country.

Robert Fisk: ‘It was a war crime’  – The massacre was committed as revenge for the assassination of Bashir Gemayel, the leader of the Phalangists. The Lebanese Maronite-Christian Phalangist militia wrongly blamed the Palestinians for the assassination, and murdered hundreds while the Israeli army was accused of standing by.

For more on this story, go to: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190916-remembering-the-sabra-and-shatila-massacre/

 

Netanyahu: Israel will ‘probably’ have to launch another war on Gaza

14 Sep

Israeli PM Netanyahu at Israeli Army Gaza Division HQ. (Photo: File)

Palestine Chronicle, 14 September 2019

Israel will probably have to go to war with the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today.

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Winston Peters urged to condemn Israeli plans to annex vast tracts of Palestinian land

11 Sep

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa’s chair, John Minto [Photo: Kia Ora Gaza]

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa Media Release, 11 Sept 2019:

Winston Peters urged to condemn Israeli plans to annex vast tracts of Palestinian land

The Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has written to Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters today urging that New Zealand condemn the Israeli Prime Minister’s planned annexation of vast tracts of the occupied West Bank of Palestine. 

This is theft on a grand scale. It is a reckless incitement to violence. It is reprehensible.

Such an annexation of illegal Israeli settlements would be a blatant violation of the United Nations Charter and international law. It would constitute a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

It is a travesty of what New Zealand stands for internationally.

Netanyahu made the announcement in his role as Prime Minister of Israel. He has broadcast to the world his intention to commit a war crime. New Zealand must respond.

We have told the foreign minister that the usual patsy diplomatic language of “disproportionate response” or “unhelpful to creating peace in the region” would be wholly inadequate.

Action NOW from New Zealand must include concrete steps such as:

  • Condemning the proposed annexation of vast areas of Palestinian land
  • Cancellation of the proposed importation of $9 million of Israeli military equipment
  • Suspension of the signing of the so-called “innovation agreement” with the Israeli government
  • Expelling the Israeli ambassador

For the past three years New Zealand has taken no significant action to protest Israeli theft of Palestinian land, attacks on unarmed Palestinian civilians or the murder of Palestinian children. Our silence has encouraged the Israeli government to continue its plunder of Palestine.

Silence now is not an option. 

We must send an unambiguous signal to the Israeli government that New Zealand finds the proposed annexation abhorrent.

John Minto

National Chair, Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

VIDEO: AlJazeera reports on Netanyahu’s announcement:

Arab countries have condemned a campaign pledge by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. They say his plan would violate international law. Netanyahu said the Trump administration’s so-called “deal of the century'” would provide an historic opportunity for extending Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank and other areas. But Al Jazeera‘s Harry Fawcett reports from West Jerusalem, this may just be pre-election talk.

Literacy rate in Palestine 97.2% despite the occupation

10 Sep

Students walk home from school in Khan al-Ahmar. [Photo: Faiz Aby Rmeleh, via ActiveStills.org]

Palestine Chronicle, 10 September 2019

Illiteracy rates among Palestinians aged 15 years and above fell from 13.9 percent in 1997 to 2.8 percent in 2018, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said.

In a report issued yesterday to mark International Literacy Day, the PCBS said illiteracy among men fell from 7.8 percent in 1997 to 1.3 percent in 2018, while for females it fell from 20.3 percent to 4.3 percent.

The rate fell from 14.1 percent in 1997 to three percent in 2018 in the occupied West Bank while in the besieged Gaza Strip it dropped from 13.7 percent in 1997 to 2.4 percent during the same period.

Illiteracy, according to the UNESCO definition, is when a person does not know to write and read a simple sentence about his or her daily life.

[According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the illiteracy rate in Palestine is one of the lowest in the world. Ed]

PalPlus video, 12 September 2018:

 

Is NZ Government serving the Israel Lobby?

8 Sep

By Leslie Bravery, the Daily Blog, 7 September 2019

On 25 August we sent an email to the NZ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters (pictured above), essentially similar to those already emailed to Jacinda Ardern and Ron Mark, concerning the Ministry of Defence proposal to purchase $9 million-worth of military equipment from Israel, and asking that the order be cancelled. The responses from Jacinda Ardern’s Office and Ron Mark can be seen in previous blogs.

Our emails closed with a summary requesting that they clarify the New Zealand Government’s position regarding:

Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law

The proposal that New Zealand should contribute, through trade, to the profitability of the Israeli military

and asking:

In view of the evidence presented [in our emails] and in greater detail online, is the NZ Government willing to declare it unequivocal support for international law with regard to the security and human rights of the Palestinian people living under alien military Occupation?

Israel first, international law ignored

In October 2017, The Jerusalem Post welcomed the appointment of Winston Peters as New Zealand‘s Foreign Affairs Minister because he was critical of this country’s sponsorship of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which the online newspaper described as “an anti-settlement UN resolution that set back ties between the two countries.” The Jerusalem Post also quoted a comment by Politik NZ, the news and analysis website, saying that “the argument about the process has become a proxy for opposing the resolution altogether” with the conclusion that “Labour’s concession to Peters amounts to an indirect acknowledgment that the resolution was wrong.”

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