Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Detention of female ex-prisoner and researcher for prisoners' affairs

Israeli forces detain young man, 39-year-old woman from Jenin
Date: 31 / 03 / 2009 Time: 14:21

Jenin – Ma’an – Two Israeli forces detained a young Jenin-man and a female former prisoner from the city’s easternmost neighborhood and the Jenin Refugee Camp Tuesday, after troops stormed several homes in both areas.

Security sources reported a military force storming homes under intense fire and evacuating residents. They then detained 21-year-old Samer Hashim As-Sa’di.

The As-Sa’di family said soldiers destroyed several pieces of furniture and confiscated a computer, used by Samer for his studies at the Jenin Arab American University.

A military force also stormed the refugee camp at dawn and detained 39-year-old Raja Al-Ghoul, a former prisoner who served 14 months in Israeli prison. The troops surrounded Raja’s home as well as the homes of her close relatives and the relatives of her husband. Once they were in the home soldiers claimed there was intelligence linking her to security concerns.

The forces confiscated a number of computers from an internet café owned by Al-Ghoul’s brother along with her own computer; they also confiscated four cell phones.

Al-Ghoul, who suffers from heart disease, was released from Israeli prison two years ago. She works as a researcher for a prisoners affairs society in Jenin.

IOA kidnaps jurist in charge of file of female prisoners in Israeli jails
[ 31/03/2009 - 05:00 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Al-Ahrar center for prisoners' studies strongly denounced the IOA for arresting Raja'a Al-Ghoul, who works for the center as a jurist in charge of the file of female prisoners, holding Israel fully responsible for her life especially since she is in difficult health conditions as a result of her heart disease.

Palestinian eyewitness from Jenin reported that IOF troops and intelligence officers broke into and ransacked the house of Ghoul before rounding her up, adding that they deliberately sabotaged the furniture at the pretext of looking for banned stuff.

Al-Ahrar center affirmed that the arrest of jurists and human rights workers is a dangerous precedent and a flagrant violation of human rights and international conventions.

Ghoul suffers from shortness of heart arteries and already spent four years in Israeli jails.

In another context, Faris Abu Hasan, the lawyer of the international Tadamun (solidarity) society for human rights, said that the IOA decided Tuesday to extend the administrative detention of Dr. Majda Fidda, a member of Nablus municipality, for an additional period of six months.

The IOA had arrested Fidda in August 2008 and remained in custody pending the investigation for a period of five months before being administratively detained in January 2009 for three months and today the period was extended for six months.

Eight youths detained in Um Al Fahim

Tuesday March 31, 2009 12:24 by IMEMC & Agencies

The Israeli police detained eight Arab youths in Um Al Fahim Arab town, north of the country, after claiming that the eight attacked settlers in the town last week.

Image by Arabs48

One of the eight detained youths is below eighteen. Several residents stood guard last week and attempted to prevent extremist settlers who were planning to conduct provocative marches in Um Al Fahim.

The Arabs48 news website reported that the number of Arab youth detained by the police recently arrived to 38, and that some of them were released, while the rest are still detained without charges or trial.

The police still did not decide whether to release the youths or file charges against them. They were detained while trying to prevent extremist armed settlers from marching in their town.

The police admitted to an Israeli court that the police are using an internal technique in which policemen determine the charges against Arab residents on the moment of their arrest, even before they are officially interrogated.

Several lawyers from Um Al Fahim volunteered to defend the detained youth, asked them not to bow to pressure during interrogation, and gave them brochures informing them of their rights.

Prisoners Defense Office: Kidnap more soldiers; raise swap demands to 11,600

Date: 31 / 03 / 2009 Time: 12:21

Gaza – Ma’an – The Palestinian Prisoners Defense Office called on Shalit’s captors to increase their bargaining power and kidnap more soldiers to ensure the success of a prisoner swap and the freedom of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

The comments from the office came in after Israel tightened restrictions on Hamas affiliates and Islamic Jihad members in Israeli prison, and conducted a mass sweep of arrests targeting Hamas leaders in the West Bank.

The office also called swap negotiators to include the names of more prisoners in their demanded list to 11,600 prisoners.

The office condemned the recent reports of psychological warfare on Palestinians in Israeli detention centers, and the harsh living conditions imposed on political leaders.

Detainees in Ramon Prison demand Israel to stop nude searches

Tuesday March 31, 2009 11:05 by IMEMC & Agencies

Palestinian detainees imprisoned at the Ramon Israeli Prison voice an appeal to human rights groups in order to oblige Israel to stop the naked and provocative body searches practiced by the soldiers against them.

Detainees' Parents Protest - File, image by jerusalemites.com
Detainees' Parents Protest - File, image by jerusalemites.com

The detainees stated that several days ago, they were undress in front of each other, while the soldiers insulted them and searched their rooms.

They added that the soldiers, and a special police unit, claimed that they were searching for “illegal materials” in the rooms.

The detainees also said that the army escalated its attacks against them recently, repeatedly broke into their room, searched them, and placed a number of detainees in solitary confinement.

They “Illegal materials” the army usually searches for are usually certain books and educational materials.

The Israeli Prison Administration decided recently to bar the entry of newspapers, and confiscated radios and TV sets.

The detainees voiced an appeal to human rights groups and the Red Cross to intervene and stop the Israeli violations and escalation against them.

Ramon Prison is located on the Egyptian borders. It is isolated and nearly out of reach, and is considered a punishment to the detainees and their families.

PFLP: “Israel’s decision to impose more restrictions on the detainees, a terrorist decision”

Tuesday March 31, 2009 11:37 by IMEMC News

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) described the Israeli decision to impose for retractions against the detainees, as a terrorist decision that treats the detainees as hostages, and violates the basic international law.


The PFLP issued a press released stating that this decision is another Israeli violation against the detainees and their legitimate rights.

It also said that Israel rejects to recognize the international rights of the Palestinian detainees, as they are freedom fighters and prisoners of war who should be treated in accordance with the international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

In its statement, the PFLP said that this violation is “yet another Israeli violation to the humanitarian law, and the so-called Peace process”.

The PFLP demanded the Palestinian Authority, the Arab League, different human rights groups and the related United Nations institution to intervene and stop the Israeli violations to the international law.

Nassif: We agree to remain in captivity in return for release of other prisoners

[ 31/03/2009 - 04:17 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- Ra'fat Nassif, one of the leaders of Hamas held in Israeli prisons, said in a statement on Tuesday that he would agree to remain in jail if that would lead to releasing those who spent decades in prisons and those serving high sentences.

He described the new Israeli penal measures against Hamas prisoners as falling in line with political pressure and blackmail to conclude the prisoners' exchange deal without paying the required price.

For his part, Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri told a cultural event on Monday evening in Gaza city that the Israeli captured soldier, Gilad Shalit, would never be freed before the release of the tabled list of Palestinian prisoners.

He also said that all attempts to exclude Hamas from the Palestinian political arena had failed, and advised the factions in Cairo not to bow to foreign pressure in order to ensure success of the national dialog.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The tragedy of the Palestinian Prisoners



Since 1967, over 700,000 Palestinians have been detained - totaling approximately 20% of the total Palestinian population remaining within the occupied Palestinian Territories (oPT) . The majority of those detained are male, meaning that the number constitutes approximately 40% of the total male Palestinian population in the oPT.
The figures of Palestinian detainees vary between sources. In October 2008 the ICRC was following the cases of roughly 10,500 prisoners, (1) while according to the Israeli Prisons Service on 3rd of February 2009 there were only 7951 cases. (2)

Deaths of Palestinians in Israeli jails

Since 1967 at least 197 Palestinians have died while in the custody of the Israeli Forces, 50 of these deaths were due to medical negligence and the rest due to other reasons including torture or even execution. (3)

Institutionalized torture and ill-treatment (4)
Up until 1999 almost all Palestinian interrogees were the victims of at least one form of torture during their interrogation. The tortures were based on the license of the Landau Ministerial Committee (1987) allowing "moderate physical & psychological pressure". Despite the Israeli High Court of Justice ruling of September 1999 which prohibited the use of several forms of torture, significant gaps were left that have allowed for the perpetuation of torture and ill-treatment in General Security Service (Shin Bet), police and army interrogations. In 2007 the Israeli High Court of Justice approved the use of controversial methods to interrogate Palestinians in several cases.(5) The ill treatment of Palestinian detainees begins with the denial of their right to have contact with the outside world, particularly with attorneys and family members, often for extended periods of time. It continues with arbitrary transfers and separation of family members inside prison. (6) Often detainees are held in tents and subject to extreme weather conditions without appropriate protection.
Torture and ill treatment include:

· "Routine" methods such as sleep prevention, binding to a chair in painful positions, beatings, slapping, kicking, strip searching (7), threats and verbal abuse.
· Special methods such as bending the body into painful positions, manacling from behind for long periods of time, intentional tightening of handcuffs, stepping on manacles, the application of pressure on various parts of the body, forcing the interrogee to crouch in a frog-like position ("kambaz"), choking, shaking and other violent and degrading acts (hair-pulling, spitting etc.).
· Torture and ill-treatment in solitary confinement including sleep prevention, exposure to extreme heat and cold, permanent exposure to artificial light, detention in sub-standard conditions that are contrary to the basic standards set by the UN (including cells with roaches, mice, sub-standard hygienic conditions, proximity between food and a hole used as a toilet, lack of hot water, prevention of a change of clothes, and constant artificial light).
· Various forms of psychological torture such as threats and exploitation of family members.

Detention at the territory of the occupying power

Almost all the Palestinian detainees are held in jails away from West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip, in violation of international humanitarian law, which bars the removal of detainees to the territory of the occupying power. (8) This fact also infringes the right of the detainees to receive family visits as these are at best very difficult and more often than not impossible. The majority of residents from the West Bank are denied entry into "Apartheid Israel" even for a short visit; and all visits for families from Gaza to their relatives detained in Israeli prisons have been suspended since June 2007. (9)

Administrative detention

In Israel, Administrative detention is a kind of detention where someone can be held for an extended period of time without trial or charges. It is in clear contravention of international and human rights law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention. Administrative detention was originally based on British Mandate Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945. The decision to place someone in Administrative detention is based on confidential materials kept from the detainee and their lawyer. The confidential materials determine the period of detention and its extension thereafter. The administrative detainee is allowed an appeal before a court martial but the confidentiality of the materials on which the detention is based makes the trial nominal or false. Experience has shown that the real decision-maker in the appeal is the intelligence services. (10) Palestinian detainees have been held under administrative detention orders from periods ranging from 6 months to 8 years. (11) Currently there are at least 564 administrative detainees (IPS- 3/2/2009) (2)

New status of "unlawful combatant" (12)

Israel enacted the unlawful combatant law in 2002. The law legalized the detention of Lebanese and Arab prisoners without sufficient evidence for trial. Following the redeployment of Israeli Occupation Forces from Gaza Strip in 2005 and in order to substitute Administrative Detention, the unlawful combatant law began to be applied to Gazan prisoners. This law gives the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army the right to request that any citizen from the Gaza Strip be deemed an "unlawful combatant". This request need only be based on secret information from Shin Bet, and not on conventionally acceptable evidence sufficient for a regular trial. This law also gives the Israeli court the power to issue a decision to detain Palestinians for an indefinite period. The unlawful combatant Law constitutes a gross violation of international humanitarian law (IHL), particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of the Civilian Population. Currently there are at least 19 Palestinians imprisoned under the unlawful combatant law (IPS – 3/2/2009) (2)

Negligence of medical treatment / Sick prisoners

Dozens of detainees are currently facing death as they need urgent medical attention (13), and hundreds are denied proper medical treatment (14), by the Israeli prison administration. Among the prisoners denied their right to proper medical care in recent years were patients suffering from cancer (15), paralysis (16) or in need of kidney transplant.(17)

Prohibition of visits / Humiliation during visits

Israeli authorities frequently deny visiting permits to relatives of Palestinian detainees on unspecified “security” grounds. The prohibition often appears to be entirely arbitrary, with the same relatives being allowed to visit on some occasions but not on others. Many parents, spouses and children of detainees had not been allowed to visit their relatives for more than four years. Since June 2007 , the Israeli authorities have suspended all family visits for hundreds of detainees from the Gaza Strip. No Israelis serving prison sentences were subjected to such restrictions. (8) After the Al Aqsa Intifada there were reports that prisoners and their relatives were submitted to humiliating treatment during the visits.

Children prisoners

The Israeli Army has kidnapped a total of 7,600 Palestinian children, males and females, since the year 2000. (18) Some of the children were as young as 12 years old. (18,19) According to the Israeli Prisons Service on 3rd of February 2009 there were 374 Palestinian children prisoners, 50 of them under 16. (20) Palestinian children from the age of 16 years are considered adults under Israeli military regulations governing the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This contradicts the Convention on the Rights of the Child (to which Israel is a signatory) and the UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty where a child is defined as every human being under the age of 18 years. Administrative detention is also applied to children (at least 200 since the year 2000 and currently about 5) (18,20). Palestinian children prisoners are often:
· Tortured during the interrogation period.
· Forced to sign confessions
· Held in sections with criminal prisoners
· Suffering attacks by Israeli criminal prisoners, including threats and stabbings.
· Subjected to sexual, physical and verbal harassment. Sexual harassment has been practiced against a number of child prisoners and threats of beatings if the child reports the incident to the administration. One child prisoner who complained to the administration about sexual harassment was attacked by Israeli criminal prisoners with knives and injured in his leg
· Deprived of the necessary medical care.
· Deprived of family visits, with the subsequent psychological impact on child prisoners.
· Deprived of continuation of education whilst in detention.
· Deprived of the psychological care and counselors within the prison.
· Feeling alone and isolated from the outside world.
· Suffering attempts to coerce them to work as collaborators with Israeli security agencies.
· Suffering thefts of personal belongings, including phone cards, shoes and foodstuff that is purchased from the prison canteen.
· Deprived of entertainment, cultural items, newspapers and recreational facilities. (21)
Women /mothers prisoners (22)

Currently there are at least 63 female political prisoners in Israeli jails - mostly in Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond) and in Damoon Prison (Carmel Mountain). Some of them are only 14 year old children. Female political prisoners are submitted to harsh and humiliating treatment during their arrest, imprisonment or transfer to the court, including strip searching, sometimes in the presence of men (7). The prison authorities ensure that many women either do not receive letters sent to them by their family or get them months after they were sent. The prisoners from the Gaza Strip are particularly harmed by this policy, as their families are not allowed to visit them and letters are the only other form of contact possible with their families. Recently, the prison authorities have prevented the female prisoners' families from handing over handicraft materials. The prison authorities also prohibit the female political prisoners to give their families handicrafts that they have made. Sometimes Palestinian mothers are held in Israeli jails, including those who give birth inside the prison and their children live the first years of their lives in jail. Sometimes Palestinian female prisoners are arrested as a means of putting pressure on their husbands. (23) The Israeli Army has kidnapped more than 10,000 Palestinian women since 1967. 800 of them were kidnapped during the al-Aqsa Intifada. (24)

Long-term prisoners

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have served more than 15 years in prison and dozens have served more than 20 years. In August 2008 a Palestinian prisoner was released after 31 years in prison. (25)

Palestinian Prisoners with "Israeli citizenship"

Israeli repression affects also Palestinians with "Israeli citizenship". Recently more than 700 of them were detained, over half of those minors under the age of 18, in an effort to repress protests against the onslaught on Gaza. (26) Others were arrested during protests against the nomination of extreme-rightwing Israelis as heads of one of the election centers in Um elFahm, the second biggest Arab city in the "Apartheid Israel". (27) There are also long-term political prisoners arrested before the First Intifada. (28) Among the prisoners are also Palestinian Druze conscientious objectors (29) and Bedouins.(30)

Prisoners' resistance

Palestinian prisoners have a long history of political organization and resistance inside the Israeli jails. Hunger strikes protesting violent attacks, denial of visits, medical negligence and harsh conditions is the most usual way of struggle and in some cases thousands of prisoners have participated. (31) Sometimes the Palestinian prisoners' response to severe violations of their rights is even stronger with riots erupting. The Israeli response is brutal as in the case of October 2007 in Ketziot prison when a 30year old Palestinian was murdered. (32) Palestinian prisoners through hunger strikes are also showing their solidarity with the rest of the Palestinian people during hard times as in January 2009 (War on Gaza) (33) or July 2006 (War on Gaza and Lebanon). (34) Finally the Palestinian Prisoners are playing a key role in the efforts to restore unity between Palestinian factions. Their most prominent recent initiative is the National Conciliation Document of the Palestinian Prisoners (May 2006). (35)


Sources: Addameer, AIC, Al-Dameer, Amnesty International, B'Tselem, IMEMC, Ma'an, Palestine Monitor, PCATI, PCHR, PHR, PIC, PNN, Sumoud, Waed, WOFPP

(1) Palestine Monitor fact sheet http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article9 The first sentence is attribute to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Human Rights Situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab Territories. Available Online at: http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G08/402/29/PDF/G0840229.pdf?OpenElement. January 2008.

(2) B'Tselem "Statistics on Palestinians in the custody of the Israeli security forces" http://www.btselem.org/english/statistics/Detainees_and_Prisoners.asp

(3) The numbers are given from Palestinian researcher and specialist in detainees’ affairs, Awni Abdul-Naser Farwana as cited in the article "Palestinian Detainee Dies Due to Medical Negligence in al-Ramah Israeli Prison", IMEMC 24/12/2008 http://www.imemc.org/article/58140 But I added another death according to "Medical negligence suspected in prisoner's death" PCHR 5/3/2009 http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9371.shtml

(4) Most of this chapter is based on the reports of PCATI: Torture in Israel 1990-1999 http://www.stoptorture.org.il/en/skira90-99 and Torture in Israel 1999 to present http://www.stoptorture.org.il/en/skira1999-present

(5) "Report: High Court permits torture of Palestinians" PCATI 30/5/2007 http://www.stoptorture.org.il/en/node/777

(6) "Report: Palestinian prisoners face numerous kinds of suffering in Israeli jails" PIC 11/3/2009 http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7nMYFv82YDKZrrSD9fMq2wsIBuZLlcJXzCirI5gTjvBD1c1Y5WTYusvU6xvwvJyX9J0aOE3R4PZNapbBk2y9ILSkpXzyuY0JjWx8PNMKEcf4%3d where as source is cited a report of the Palestinian center for prisoners' studies.

(7) About strip searching see "Israeli Strip Searches: A Partial List" Compiled by Sarah Tiglao
If Americans Knew http://www.ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/strip-searches.html

(8)Amnesty International Report 2008

(9) Palestine Monitor fact sheet http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article9 As source is cited: UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL. Human Rights Situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab Territories. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967m John Dugard. 21 January 2008. P. 20, para 47. http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G08/402/29/PDF/G0840229.pdf?OpenElement

(10) "Administrative detention" ADDAMEER http://www.addameer.org/detention/admin_deten.html

(11) ADDAMEER Fact Sheet: "Palestinians detained by Israel" http://www.addameer.org/resources/reports/factsheet.html

(12) This chapter is mainly based on "Israel treats Gaza Prisoners us unlawful combatants" Al-Dameer 5/3/2009

(13) "Waed Society: "Sick prisoners facing death due to medical negligence"" IMEMC 3/3/2009 http://www.imemc.org/article/59090

(14) "Political prisoners suffer medical neglect in the cold, pray for Gaza" PNN 18/1/2009 http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4546&Itemid=1

(15) "Life of cancer-stricken Palestinian prisoner at risk due to medical neglect" 27/1/2007 http://sumoud.tao.ca/?q=node/view/860 PIC cited as source

(16) "Paralyzed detainee facing slow death" IMEMC 7/7/2008 http://www.imemc.org/article/55886

(17) "IPS must pay for a Palestinian prisoner´s transplant" PHR 1/10/2007 http://www.phr.org.il/phr/article.asp?articleid=500&catid=57&pcat=46&lang=ENG

(18) The numbers are given from Palestinian researcher and specialist in detainees’ affairs, Abdul-Naser Awni Farwana as cited in the article "Report: “Amy kidnapped 7,600 children since 2000, 246 remain behind bars”" IMEMC 19/2/2009 http://www.imemc.org/article/58929

(19) Palestine Monitor fact sheet http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article9

(20) B'Tselem "Statistics on Palestinian minors in the custody of the Israeli security forces" http://www.btselem.org/english/statistics/Minors_in_Custody.asp

(21) "Palestinian Children Political Prisoners" ADDAMEER http://www.addameer.org/detention/children.html

(22) Newsletter February 2009 WOFPP http://www.wofpp.org/english/february9.html

(23) "Palestinian Women Political Prisoners" ADDAMEER http://www.addameer.org/detention/women.html

(24) "Farawna:' March 8th a day of solidarity with Palestinian female detainees' " IMEMC 6/3/2009 http://www.imemc.org/article/59170

(25) "Palestinian prisoners in Guinness book of records" Ma'an 23/12/2007 http://maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=26863

(26) "Over 750 Palestinian Citizens, Residents of Israel Detained by Israel Since Beginning of Attacks on Gaza" Written by Connie Hackbarth, Alternative Information Center (AIC) 19/1/2009 http://www.alternativenews.org/english/1687-over-750-palestinian-citizens-residents-of-israel-detained-by-israel-since-beginning-of-attacks-on-gaza-.html 

(27) "Free Comrade Samieh Jabbarin!" Abnaa elBalad (Children of the Land) Movement condemns: The political detention of Comrade Samieh Jabbarin and calls for International Solidarity 23/2/2009 http://sumoud.tao.ca/?q=node/view/1218

(28) "Hamas adds names of Arab detainees from the north to the list for Shallit swap" IMEMC 18/2/2009 http://www.imemc.org/article/58920

(29) "More Druze refuseniks despite Israeli threats" IMEMC 6/7/2007 http://www.imemc.org/article/49363

(30) "Israel Arrests Two Bedouin Palestinians as Al-Qaeda Members" http://sumoud.tao.ca/?q=node/view/1046 (articles from Haaretz)

(31) For example see "Palestinians end hunger strike" by Laila El-Haddad 3/9/2004 http://sumoud.tao.ca/?q=node/view/120 or "2400 detainees in the Negev on Hunger Strike" IMEMC 16/8/2006 http://www.imemc.org/article/20884

(32) "What is not being said about the Ketziot prison raid" http://palsolidarity.org/2007/10/2746

(33) "Palestinian detainees on Hunger Strike in protest to Israeli attacks in Gaza" IMEMC 28/12/2008 http://www.imemc.org/article/58181

(34) "Detainees in the Negev on Hunger Strike protesting attacks in Gaza, Lebanon" 31/7/2006 http://sumoud.tao.ca/?q=node/view/732 PNN cited as original source

(35) "The full text of the National Conciliation Document 'Prisoners Document' " 11/5/2006 http://www.elections.ps/template.aspx?id=330

Palestinian deportee returns to Ramallah after five-year exile

Date: 30 / 03 / 2009 Time: 18:09

Gaza – Ma’an – Palestinian deportee Raed Zaghlul returned to Ramallah on Monday after spending five years of exile in the Gaza Strip.

Zaghlul said in a telephone call with Ma’an that after five years of exile by Israeli forces to the Gaza Strip, he met his wife and his six daughters.

Zaghlul expressed his gladness to be home in Ramallah, wishing that all deportees will one day return, as well.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Israel sentences PFLP leader to life for planning suicide attack

Date: 29 / 03 / 2009 Time: 11:56

Nablus – Ma’an – An Israeli court in Jerusalem sentenced the head of the militant wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to life in prison on Sunday.

Saed Abu Hnish, 29, was accused of planning a suicide attack at an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank that killed an Israeli woman and three of her children in 2002.

The court also ordered the Palestinian, who served as the head of the PFLP's Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, to pay 60 million shekels in compensation to the Israeli family residing in the settlement of Itmar, near the city of Nablus.

Hnish was sentenced to life at the Ramon prison in the Israeli town of Nafha.

A spokesperson for defendant, who is from Beit Dajan in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that Hnish holds a bachelor's in political science from An-Najah National University in Nablus.

The attack on the settlement occurred on 20 June 2002, when a Palestinian entered the area and hid in one of the houses before clashing with Israeli troops and settlers, which lead to the deaths of four Israelis and the attacker.

Hnish was also accused of participating in and planning other attacks against Israeli targets.

Hnish had recently fled an assassination attempt that left him moderately injured. Israeli troops also demolished his three-floor home and arrested his two brothers, George, 19, and Foad, 22.

Israeli occupation court sentenced comrade Kamil Abu Hnish to life in prison.

Freedom to All Palestinian Prisoners

Comrade Kamil Saed Abu Hnish, 29, was accused of attacks against settlers in the colony of Itmar , near Nablus in the occupied West Bank. The court claimed that the operation carried by the Armed Forces of the PFLP resulted in the killing of 4 Israeli settlers in 2002.

Comrade Hnish was sentenced to life at the Ramon prison in the town of Nafha. Also, the occupation court ordered the Hnish family to pay 60 million shekels (about 15 Million USD) in compensation to the settlers of Itmar colony!

Comrade Hnish was accused of participating and planning other attacks against Israeli occupation targets. Comrade Hnish had recently fled an Israeli assassination attempt that left him moderately injured.

Israeli troops also demolished his three-floor home and arrested his two brothers, George, 19, and Foad, 22.

Comrade Hnish holds a bachelor's degree in political science from An-Najah National University in Nablus.

PFLP rejected the occupation sentence and considered the decision to be nothing but a mockery and illegal. PFLP called for the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners from Zionist Israeli jails.

PA: Israel attempting to deport six prisoners

Date: 29 / 03 / 2009 Time: 19:46

Nablus – Ma’an – Israel plans to deport six Palestinian political prisoners when they finish their sentences, the Palestinian minister of prisoners affairs said on Sunday.

Minister of Prisoners Affairs Ashraf Al-Ajrami told Ma’an that the six are currently held in the prison in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, north of Gaza. Some of them have already completed their sentences but have not been released yet.

According to Al-Ajrami, Israel has not found a country, Arab or otherwise, that is willing to accept the men, all of whom hold Palestinian Authority (PA) ID papers. He said the PA is negotiating with Israel in an attempt to stop the deportation.

Ma’an obtained the names of the prisoners who are facing deportation. They are:

1. Saleh Sawarka
2. Nassri Atwan
3. Mohammad Abu Zweid
4. Samer Hamed
5. Marwan Faraj
6. Ahmad Zeidat

Meanwhile, the prisoners managed to send a statement to the ministry urging them to intervene in their case, especially since they are being held beyond the end of their terms.

They also said that the prison administration has forced them to wear orange jumpsuits, preventing their families from providing clothes for them. The administration also prevented their children from visiting.

The deportation threat comes the same day that the Israeli cabinet decided to strip Palestinian prisoners of certain rights in order to increase pressure on Hamas to agree to a prisoner exchange for a captured Israeli soldier in Gaza. According to the decision, prisoners will face restricted family visits, and will be denied access to education and Arabic-language television, among other services.

The negotiations over the release of soldier Gilad Shalit in a prisoner swap broke down when Hamas refused to accept Israel’s demand to deport certain prisoners instead of releasing them to their homes in the West Bank and Gaza, while refusing to release other key prisoners.

Israel seizes, deports 208 Palestinian workers

Date: 29 / 03 / 2009 Time: 15:22
تكبير الخط تصغير الخط
Salfit – Ma’an – Israeli Border Police seized 208 West Bank Palestinians living without permits in Israel over the weekend and deported them to the Palestinian Authority.

According to Israeli officials, four Israeli employers, five drivers and two people who provided the Palestinians with housing were also arrested.

The Secretary-General of Palestinian Workers’ Public Union, Shaher Sa’d, condemned the arrests of the workers as a violation of international law. He also accused Israeli police of beating Palestinians during arrest raids.

The union said that it was aware of 30 workers who were arrested, interrogated, and sent back to the West Bank. The workers were originally from Jenin, Tulkarem, and Qalqiliya, and were detained in Haifa and Tel Aviv.

Hebrew press: Gov't to impose stricter measures against Palestinian prisoners

[ 29/03/2009 - 09:12 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Israeli government is expected to endorse a new set of penal measures against the Palestinian prisoners especially those affiliated with Hamas following failure of the prisoners' exchange deal, Hebrew press reported on Sunday.

Ma'ariv daily said that the government is expected to prevent prisoners from watching TV and from following up education in addition to barring entry of newspapers, confiscating radios and reducing the amount of money allocated to each prisoner to buy needs from the prisons' cantinas.

It said that the "justice minister" Daniel Friedman would table at the cabinet session on Sunday means of imposing those new penalties against the prisoners without violating the international law on prisoners' rights.

The government of outgoing premier Ehud Olmert had formed a special ministerial committee headed by Friedman to look into ways of pressuring Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners.

The penal measures hope to pressure Hamas into softening its conditions for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Israel refused Hamas's list of Palestinian prisoners to be freed in return for the release of Shalit and asked for a change in some of those names and for deporting others. Hamas refused to amend the list.

Seeking Shalit deal, Israel to strip Palestinian prisoners' rights
Date: 29 / 03 / 2009 Time: 17:09

Gilad Shalit appears on a poster
in Gaza [Ma'anImages]
Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Israel plans to strip Palestinian political prisoners of certain rights in order to pressure Hamas to accept a deal involving the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Palestinian prisoners are facing severe limitations on family visits, access to media, and transfers of money for use at the prison canteen. Prisoners may also be denied the right to take high school matriculation exams or take university correspondence courses.

Israel is seeking the release of soldier Gilad Shalit who was captured by in 2006. Hamas is demanding the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange.

The Israeli cabinet voted to adopt these tactics at a meeting on Sunday after being briefed by security officials and by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann.

"It is true that we are the only democracy in the Middle East, but we can't let ourselves become the only suckers and we mustn't show weakness," Friedmann said, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Mounir Mansour, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners Committee, said on Sunday that Hamas prisoners are considering a hunger strike in protest of the sanctions.

Mansour told Israel Radio that the Israeli prison administration has already begun to revoke prisoners rights including cutting family visits and access to Arabic-language television. Some prisoners belongings were seized, he said.

There are more than 11,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons.