Thursday, April 30, 2009

Detained PLC member refuses order to wear new orange prison uniform in Israel

Date: 30 / 04 / 2009 Time: 16:16

Gaza – Ma’an – Imprisoned member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Jamal At-Tirawi refused an order to wear a new orange prison uniform at the Jalbou’a prison starting on Saturday.

The Fatah bloc member has been detained since May 2007, and has had his appearance before a judge delayed 38 times. His trial is currently scheduled for 3 May.

A statement from At-Tirawi said the prison administration has ignored all requests to allow inmates to continue wearing street clothes provided by family members, a general rule that has prevailed in Israeli prisons since shortly after the outbreak of the second Intifadah.

Prisoners say the new dictate is meant to humiliate, and At-Tirawi accused the prison administration in Israel as “ignoring all international decisions in such cases while dealing with detainees.”

At-Tirawi noted that lawyers for several of the detainees have stepped in to prevent the move, but that Israeli prison guards prevented them from entering the meeting.

The prison administration has also threatened to close the prison canteen, where prisoners can buy food and basic writing supplies, as well as the clinic if prisoners refuse to wear the new uniforms.

Galboa’ Prison Administration to enforce Orange jumpsuits

Thursday April 30, 2009 10:40 by IMEMC & Agencies

Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) reported Wednesday that the Prison Administration in Galboa’ Israeli Prison informed the representative of the detainees that it intends to enforce Orange jumpsuits on the detainees starting next Sunday.

Galboa Prison - Image reprinted from
Galboa Prison - Image reprinted from

Detainee Mohammad Al Sabbagh, representative of the detainees, stated that the administration threatened to punish the detainees if they do not comply with the decision.

Al Sabbagh added that the administration threatened to bar the detainees from their visitation rights, bar them from meeting their lawyers and even threatened to bar them from leaving their rooms, even if they need the prison clinic.

He also said that this decision is totally rejected by the detainees, and that they will protest it.

In a previous statement, the detainees said that one of the reasons they reject the new order is that the jumpsuits remind them of the infamous Guantanamo bay prison and of concentration camps in which the Jews were prosecuted and massacred during the Nazi era.

Israel arrests seven on kidnap charges

Date: 30 / 04 / 2009 Time: 14:15

Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Seven Palestinian citizens of Israel have been arrested on charges of planning to kidnap Israeli soldiers during the recent war against Gaza.

Israel’s military censor prohibited media from releasing the information until Thursday.

The indictments against the suspects include charges of “aiding the enemy during wartime,” contacting a foreign agent, conspiracy, and weapons charges, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

According to authorities, during searches of the suspects’ homes in northern Israel, police found “nine explosive belts ready to be detonated.”

The suspects were reportedly in contact with a Palestinian in Gaza who encouraged them to carry out attacks.

Israeli forces killed more than 1,400 Palestinians during the three-week offensive in Gaza.

Israeli authorities release Jerusalemite after eight years of detention

Date: 30 / 04 / 2009 Time: 12:02

Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli authorities released the eight-year-long prisoner Medhat Tariq Al-Isawi, 35, from Israeli prison on Thursday.

Medhat, who had one brother killed by Israeli troops and two others in prison, was detained in 2001.

Israeli forces seize Palestinians in Gaza

Date: 30 / 04 / 2009 Time: 11:21

Bethlehem – Ma’an - Israeli forces detained “a number of Palestinians” who they said approached the Israeli border in Gaza early on Thursday.

The Palestinians were taken for interrogation at an unknown location.

From PNN newsflashes

3 Palestinians arrested for allegedly approaching the fence around the southern Gaza Strip

The Israeli military kidnaps four Palestinian civilians from the west Bank

Thursday April 30, 2009 16:41 by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News & Agencies

Four Palestinian civilians were reported kidnapped during military invasions targeting a number of Palestinian cities in the west bank on Thursday.

Israeli soldiers kidnapping a Palestinian man near Hebron � Photo by IMEMC�s Ghassan Bannoura 2008
Israeli soldiers kidnapping a Palestinian man near Hebron � Photo by IMEMC�s Ghassan Bannoura 2008

Three civilians were kidnapped when troops invaded Al Bereh town near the central west Bank city of Ramallah. Local sources said that troops searched and ransacked a number of homes before taking the three men to unknown detention facility.

Meanwhile one man was kidnapped when Israeli troops searched and ransacked homes in old Hebron city, southern West Bank.

Israeli forces seize three Palestinian from Ramallah area

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces said they seized three Palestinians from the Ramallah area of the West Bank on Wednesday night.

The military said the “wanted” Palestinians were taken for interrogation. They are being held at an unknown location.

Israeli troops detain youth for carrying knife near Ibrahimi Mosque

Date: 30 / 04 / 2009 Time: 10:08

Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli troops detained a young man near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and took him to unknown destination early Thursday morning.

Palestinian security sources identified the boy as 17-year-old Oday Al-Halaika, and said Israeli forces alleged he was carrying a knife.

On Tuesday two youth were detained, also for allegedly carrying knives into the mosque area.

Israeli troops detain rights workers, confiscate collected photos and testimony from earlier attack

Date: 29 / 04 / 2009 Time: 21:56

Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers detained dozens youth and two human rights field workers from Wad Al-Shajina village south of Dura Wednesday.

The researchers were collecting statements from villagers following an attack on the by Israeli troops earlier this week and taking pictures of the scene near a road leading to an Israeli military base in the West Bank.

An Israeli officer ordered the group of the Palestinian Al-Haq and Israeli B’Tselem rights groups to leave the area so researchers and villagers went about 25meters from the area they had been standing.

“We continued our work,” said Al-Haq researcher Hesham Ash-Sharbati, “then the officer returned and confiscated our ID cards and our video cameras.”

The researchers and a dozen youth nearby were detained. Soldiers took the memory cards from the cameras then released all but one 14-year-old boy whose identity is unknown.

Palestinian to break record for longest-held political prisoner

Date: 29 / 04 / 2009 Time: 12:54

Bethlehem – Ma’an – On Friday, 1 May, Palestinian Nael Barghouthi will become the world’s record-holder as the longest-held political prisoner.

Barghouthi will have completed more than 31 years in Israeli custody by May, said Abd An-Nasser Farawna, a Palestinian specialist in prisoners affairs. On Friday, Barghouthi will break the Guinness World Record, which is currently held by Sa'id Al-Ataba, a Palestinian who was also in Israeli custody.

According to Farawna, Barghouthi was detained on 4 April 1978. He became the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner after his fellow prisoner, Sa’id Al-Ataba, was released on 25 August 2008 after efforts made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Al-Ataba spent 31 years and 26 days in Israeli custody.

Barghouthi was born in 1957 in Ramallah in the central West Bank. He was detained on 4 April 1978 at the age of 21, and an Israeli military court later sentenced him to life imprisonment. He has already been in prison ten years longer than he was free.

Farwana: Barghouthi to enter Guinness book of records as oldest serving prisoner
[ 30/04/2009 - 08:44 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Nael Al-Barghouthi, who has been held in Israeli occupation jails for more than 31 years, is to be registered in the Guinness book of records as the oldest serving prisoner, Abdul Nasser Farwana, the researcher in Palestinian prisoners' affairs, said.

He added in a press statement on Wednesday that Barghouthi, who was arrested on 4/4/1978, had replaced Saeed Al-Ataba, who was released in August last year after spending 31 years and 26 days in captivity.

Barghouthi, a bachelor from Ramallah, was born in 1957 and was 21 when he was arrested.

An Israeli military court sentenced him to prison for life and on Friday 1/5/2009 he would exceed the record set by Ataba.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

$10,000 For One Mobile Phone

Denied visitation rights for months, sometimes years, and forbidden from making any calls inside Israeli jails, Palestinian prisoners pay a high price to keep in touch with family and loved ones. Visit my news blog 'The Rabbit Hole' at

Cases of medical neglect in Israeli prisons rise, doctors not allowed to see man barely able to walk

28.04.09 - 14:39

Jenin / Ali Samdoui for PNN - Up day and night from pain, the mother of Ahmad Faisal Nazzal paces while looking for an answer.

Her son is in Israeli prison where he is being refused medical treatment. She believes that Ahmad does not sleep either from an unknown illness, however he is not up pacing, he can barely walk. His mother says the occupation authorities will not disclose the truth.

Um Ahmad has three children in Israeli prisons but is most concerned with her 33 year old son whose health continues to worsen.

“No one is able to extend a real helping hand to put pressure on the prison administration for the treatment and it adds greatly to the calamity facing us. We are not afraid of the imprisonment, but I am concerned by the deteriorating health status,” she says.

Nazzal, who hails from the town of Qabatia near Jenin City, is one of the cadres of Islamic Jihad. He was arrested by Israeli forces on 4 July 2005. After interrogation, torture and isolation he was sentenced in a military court to 70 months on the charge of membership in the Islamic Jihad party.

Two years ago the man issued an official complaint of severe pain in his feet but the Israeli prison administration paid no mind. The situation worsened to the point that the pain became constant and so severe walking became nearly impossible.

The doctor that Ahmad finally saw was negligent in refusing an examination, explains his mother. He was later given analgesics and then the last night vitamin B. The doctor said his condition was normal and minor.

Um Ahmad expressed deep concern about the policy of deliberate medical negligence saying it was an attempt to kill the patient slowly. He can no longer sleep or move well. Dozens of applications have been issued to the Israeli prisons department to allow the introduction of a specialized medical team, but to no avail. The Israelis were not being asked to pay, only to allow doctors to look at the man.

Mrs. Nazzal’s other sons are in Israeli prisons for terms of 15 and seven years.

Army kidnaps two Palestinian teenagers, claims of plan to stab

Tuesday April 28, 2009 16:21 by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News & Agencies

Two Palestinians teenagers were kidnapped on Tuesday at midday by Israeli troops at a checkpoint near the Ibrahim mosque (Tomb of Patriarchs) in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Israeli soldiers kidnapping a Palestinian man near Hebron � Photo by IMEMC�s Ghassan Bannoura 2008
Israeli soldiers kidnapping a Palestinian man near Hebron � Photo by IMEMC�s Ghassan Bannoura 2008

Army radio announced that the two teenagers have confessed they were planning to stab soldiers with a knife.

Palestinian media sources reported the two boys were stopped at the checkpoint, kidnapped by soldiers and taken to an unknown military base. They were identified as Mohanid Qafisha, 15, and Ameen Iskafi, 17.

Israeli forces seize two Palestinians overnight

Date: 28 / 04 / 2009 Time: 10:55

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces seized two Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank during raids late on Monday.

According to the Israeli military, the Palestinians were taken from towns east of Nablus and north of Ramallah.

Nine Palestinians were seized the previous night.

Israeli court refuses to release sick detainee

[ 28/04/2009 - 05:14 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- Israeli military court in Ofer jail has refused to release Palestinian detainee Nassim Al-Kharraz, from Nablus, despite a recommendation by the jail's doctor that he should be released in view of his critical condition.

Fares Abu Hassan, lawyer of the Tadamun institution for human rights, said on Tuesday that Kharraz was suffering serious disease, yet the Israeli military court said that he should be held under administrative detention for six months.

Abu Hassan held the Israeli prisons authority fully responsible for the life of the detainee, demanding his immediate release in view of his grave condition.

Kharraz has been held in Ofer for more than a month. He is married and has four children in addition to being the sole bread winner of his parents.

Egypt arrests Hamas official's brother

Date: 28 / 04 / 2009 Time: 13:32

Sami Abu Zuhri
Bethlehem – Ma’an – The brother of a prominent Hamas spokesperson was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly infiltrating Egypt through an underground tunnel from Gaza, Reuters reported.

Yousif Abu Zuhri, the brother of Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri, was reportedly detained in the city of Al-Arish, near the border with the Gaza Strip. He was arrested during a raid on an apartment.

Israel releases former Palestinian finance minister

Date: 28 / 04 / 2009 Time: 12:59

Omar Abdel Razeq
Nablus – Ma'an – Israel released Palestinian lawmaker and former Finance Minister Omar Abdel Razeq from prison on Tuesday after holding him for five months, according to his wife.

Abdel Razeq, 50 had been held in Israel’s Negev prison camp since he was seized by Israeli forces on 15 December. He is on his way home to the West Bank town of Salfit.

Abdel Razeq had originally been sentenced to 26 months in prison for his affiliation to Hamas. He served the Hamas-led government elected in 2006.

IOA releases MP Abdelrazek, Fatah preventive security kidnaps his son
[ 28/04/2009 - 05:13 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- The IOA released Dr. Omar Abdelrazek, a Palestinian lawmaker and the former minister of finance in the 10th government, from the Negev prison Tuesday morning while the Fatah-affiliated preventive security apparatus kidnapped his son Mohamed soon after his release.

In a press statement to the PIC, his family said that Dr. Abdelrazek told them on the phone that he was still in Al-Khalil city and on his way home.

Instead of congratulating him on his freedom, the preventive security kidnapped his son just few hours after he was released from Israeli jails.

Israel kidnapped Dr. Abdelrazek in mid-2006 in the context of the campaign which was waged then against Palestinian lawmakers affiliated with Hamas, then he was released in August 2008 and later re-arrested again at the end of the same year.

In another related context, the PA security apparatuses kidnapped Monday the son of Sheikh Nasr Jarrar, a prominent Qassam leader who was assassinated by the IOF troops in 2002.

They also kidnapped a Palestinian professor called Yousuf Abu Al-Rub from Jalbun town, east of Jenin, and remarkably issued many summonses on Hamas members in Jenin in the last period.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Palestinian Prisoners Families Protest at Red Cross, Gaza 27/4/2009

The Palestinian Prisoners Day (14th of April) has gone but the families of the Palestinian prisoners continue their struggle. As every Monday for several years now, today again they peacefully occupied the yard of the Red Cross building in Gaza City. Mothers, wives, sisters, children, showing the pictures of their beloved ones that they haven't seen for years, since the Israeli prohibition of visits for residents from Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinian prisoners, hundreds of children, tens of women, are suffering from institutionalized torture and ill-treatment, medical negligence, solitary confinement and other inhuman conditions in the Israeli jails.

From PNN newslashes

Scheduled family visits to Nafha and Ramon prisons cancelled today for Jenin residents

Lawyers prevented from visiting Al Naqab Prison, refusals of medical treatment in Ramle and Nafha prisons

Number of 12 year olds arrested and imprisoned by Israeli forces is on a sharp incline this year

from PNN

27.04.09 - 08:54

Nablus / Amin Abu Wardeh - The Global Movement for the Defense of Children’s Palestine Branch reports that Israeli imprisonment of Palestinian children is up.

Over the past two months Israeli forces have increased campaigns against children. At the end of February 2009 the number of Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons was up to 423. This is the highest number since the beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada in 2000.

It is not just that the number is increasing, reports Defense of Children, the age is getting younger.
During the first two months of the year 2009 the arrest of 10 children aged 12 and 13 is documented. Throughout 2008 three Palestinians aged 12 and 13 were arrested. Defense of Children says there is a “dangerous escalation in Israeli policy of targeting younger Palestinian children.”

Since the beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada, the occupying Israeli authorities arrested approximately 6,700 Palestinian children. Currently there are 423 still in Israeli prisons. Their ages range from 12 through 17. Among the kids are six girls and six being held under Administrative Detention, meaning without charge or trial.

Detained children are subjected to torture, humiliation and cruel treatment during arrest and interrogation, states Defense of Children. These patterns are being employed to destroy the morale of child Palestinian prisoners and to extract quick confessions to use for convictions in military courts which do not abide guarantees of fair trials.

The international organization continues to back-up prisoner rights reports by stating that children are deprived the right to receive appropriate medical treatment, are subjected to extortion when seeking treatment and also deprived family visits. Palestinian children in Israeli prisons are also deprived of the right to education while their mental health is comprised in both the short and long terms. The same is true of physical health which remains compromised due to solitary confinement, beatings and the confiscation of funds for the prison store where the children might be able to purchase supplemental food.

The Palestine Branch of Defense of Children added that the policy of arbitrary arrest of Palestinian children must be stopped while at the same time called on the international community to pressure the occupying state’s commitment to standards set forth in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture.

The occupying power must be compelled to put an end to Administrative Detention and release the children being held, said Defense of Children. The global organization also called for an immediate end to violations of human rights principles and full investigation into torture and mistreatment of the youngest Palestinian political prisoners.

Ibrahim Harb from Gaza Strip sentenced to 4,5 years

extract from PIC article

The Israeli court of Beer Sheba on Sunday sentenced Ibrahim Harb, from the Gaza Strip, to four and a half years in prison, Wa'ed society for prisoners and liberated prisoners reported.

It added that Harb, who has been held in custody since 27/11/2007, is married and has one child. It said that he suffers from health problems and acute pain in the kidney, which the Israeli occupation authority absolutely neglected.

Another Israeli court had passed six and half years sentence against Ibrahim's brother Sa'eed earlier this month.

Their father Mohammed Harb was held in IOA jails for three months after which he was released on a wheelchair as a result of extreme physical and psychological torture.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Israeli court delays trial of Fatah lawmaker for 38th time

Date: 26 / 04 / 2009 Time: 11:59

Jamal At-Tirawi
Nablus – Ma’an – The Israeli military court at Salem delayed the trial of jailed Palestinian lawmaker Jamal At-Tirawi for the thirty-eighth time on Sunday.

The trial is now scheduled for 3 May. A Fatah-affiliated member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) At-Tirawi has been held in prison since May 2007, when Israeli forces seized him from his home in Balata Refugee Camp in Nablus.

At-Tirawi is accused of working with Fatah’s now-demobilized armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Brigades.

In a statement issued on Sunday, At-Tirawi dismissed the charges as an attempt to delegitimize him.

“The witnesses confirmed in court that they do not have any relations with me but the court aimed to enlarge the case,” he said.

Meanwhile, the head of the solidarity committee with At-Tirawi, Ghassan Hamdan, also called the proceedings a “political trial.”

Some 40 members of the PLC are held in Israeli prisons.

IOA deprives one third of Palestinian prisoners of family visits

[ 26/04/2009 - 10:23 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority is depriving more than one third of the Palestinian prisoners in its jails from family visits, the PA ministry of prisoners affairs in Gaza said on Saturday.

Riyadh Al-Ashqar, the ministry's spokesman, said in a statement that the IOA had informed the Red Cross, which is responsible for following up visits to those prisoners, that family visits to prisoners of the Negev and Ofer jails were not allowed and did not specify a date for their resumption.

He said that the two prisons include more than 3,000 Palestinian prisoners while another 1,000 Gaza prisoners have been already deprived of those visits for more than two years, which makes more than one third of the Palestinian prisoners in IOA jails deprived of family visitation.

The IOA is seeking to double the suffering of Palestinian prisoners with all means possible, Ashqar charged, adding that the IOA was heading towards "legalizing visit deprivation".

He said that the international humanitarian law allows regular visits for families of prisoners while the IOA "oppressive courts" issue rulings to the contrary. He noted that members of the Israeli parliament had repeatedly called for depriving Palestinian prisoners from family visits at the pretext that they were affiliated with "terrorist organizations".

The spokesman, however, said that the "cruel" measures against those prisoners would not weaken their determination and resoluteness and would not succeed in persuading resistance factions capturing the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to lower their demands.

Ashqar appealed to the international concerned institutions to expose the IOA policy of stripping prisoners of their internationally guaranteed rights.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Center for Prisoners' Studies reports on Gaza family denied prison visits, mother hasn't seen baby

25.04.09 - 12:59

Nablus / PNN – Eight children have not seen their mother in two years. The ninth was born in Israeli prison. Mother Fatma Azzak has not been able see him since his birth 15 months ago.

Over the phone from Tel Mond Prison 40 year old Azzak says she only knows her last child through photos. “What hurts me so much also is my son six year old son Suleiman. He was just four when I was put in prison, the age when he needs so much care and tenderness,” she tells her husband.

Mahmoud Azzak told the Center for Prisoners’ Studies that his wife being away is incredibly difficult.
Three times in seven months they were allowed telephone contact.

The Israeli prison administration has banned all visits for residents of the Gaza Strip, including the Azzak family, for over 20 months.

Husband Mahmoud says, “We are trying to rely on ourselves after the arrest, but I won’t hide from you that this is really hard. A major vacuum was left.” The Center for Prisoners’ Studies notes that the consequences are severe for the entire family.

Fatma Azzak said via telephone, “We’re calling the cries of distress to no avail. The prison administration banned all visits we thought letters would be a means of communication. Although we have sent dozens of letters through the Red Cross, they have not reached either of us. We are living in isolation here, just as the Gaza Strip is isolated.”

Ra’fat Hamduna, Director of the Center for Prisoners’ Studies, said that the issue of Palestinian political prisoners requires legal action against the Israeli authorities. It is the only possible means of obtaining a visit for the Azzak family, he said.

“Pressure must be put on the occupying state to free the captive and her child, and to ensure the needs of prisoners in general, including clothing, because the prevention of visits and communications is prohibited.”

Several hundred Palestinian women are among the 11,000 political prisoners currently being held by Israeli forces.

17 April 2009: The Continuous Violation of Palestinian Political Prisoners’ Rights

ADDAMEER, Ramallah, 17 April 2009 - 17 April 2009 marks yet another Palestinian Prisoners’ Day in the occupied territory with nearly 8,400 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons and detention centers, among them 61 women, 423 children and approximately 550 administrative detainees, indefinitely held without charges or trial. The total number additionally includes 41 Palestinian Legislative Council members and 122 long-term prisoners serving sentences of 20 years and above.

Addameer is extremely concerned over Israel’s continued arrests, torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees, especially children under the age of 18. In 2008 alone, the Israeli Occupying Forces arrested nearly 4,960 Palestinians in more than 10,200 raids across the West Bank and Gaza Strip . In addition, hundreds of Gazans were arrested in Israel’s most recent aggression on the Strip (27/12/2008 – 18/01/2008) and used as human shields during military operations and house searches. An approximate 100 of these are still held in Israel, including 10 “unlawful combatants” captured on the basis of the Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law of 2002, which allows for the indefinite administrative detention of foreign nationals.

In 2008, Addameer Association has documented at least 30 cases of torture and ill-treatment during arrest, transfer to detention and in interrogation centers aiming at coercing detainees into confessions. Abusive techniques included beatings, slapping and kicking – in some cases in front of family members – excessive use of blindfolds and painful handcuffs for prolonged periods of time, threats of torture and killing and lengthy transfers to detention centers without access to basic human needs. In addition, detainees were exposed to psychological pressure in collaborators’ rooms, denied lawyers’ visits, placed in solitary confinement, shackled in contorted positions and finally denied access to hygiene products, clean clothes, the use of showers and toilets for days and sometimes weeks.

Addameer stresses that detention conditions have not improved in comparison with last year and still fall far below accepted international standards, with overcrowding, humidity, the lack of natural light and a poor diet affecting both the mental and physical well-being of all detainees.

Medical neglect seems to have become an institutionalized policy of the Israeli Prison Service, leading to the death of two detainees in 2008 – Fadel Shahin, of the Gaza Strip who died in Beersheba’s Eshel prison on 29/02/2008 and Jum’a Musa who passed away on 24/12/2008 in Ramla prison. The denial of specialized gender-sensitive medical care and counseling to female prisoners persisted, while their right to regular contact with family members, including children remained unfulfilled. Additionally, women prisoners were systematically exposed to degrading strip searches. The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) continued depriving child detainees of adequate schooling in line with the official Palestinian curriculum, whereas adult prisoners did not see their right to higher education in Arabic fulfilled. Rather than a right, the IPS views education as a privilege and makes it conditional on a prisoner’s disciplinary record. Similarly, sanctions against prisoners from the Gaza Strip persisted. Since June 2007 when Israel unilaterally suspended the ICRC Gaza Family Visit Programme, 900 Gazan prisoners have continuously been deprived of the right to family visits.

Finally, Addameer reiterates its belief that Israel systematically arrests Palestinian political leaders to achieve political gains and thus keeps them in detention as “bargaining chips”. Following the collapse of Egypt-mediated prisoner exchange negotiations with Hamas on 18 March 2009, the Israeli Occupying Forces have raided West Bank towns and kidnapped 10 Palestinian political leaders, including 4 Palestinian Legislative Council members believed to be associated with Hamas. All of the arrested were consequently placed under administrative detention for a 6 month-period. Addameer reminds the international community that these arrests follow the Israeli government’s decision to implement sanctions against Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners as a way of ensuring the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit. On 29 March the Israeli government accepted recommendations presented by a special Ministerial Committee aiming at downgrading detention conditions of prisoners identified with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. These punitive measures included: lowering the number of family visits to a minimum, preventing prisoners from either higher or secondary education, banning them from watching selected TV channels and listening to the radio; denying access to newspapers and lastly, placing restrictions on prisoners’ canteen accounts.

Consequently, some of the sanctions were implemented: children under the age of 6 visiting their fathers imprisoned in Gilboa were prevented from the usually allowed 10-15 minutes of physical contact at the end of the visit, while female prisoners affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad detained in Hasharon prison were threatened to be denied the right to family visits.

In light of the above and in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, Addameer Association calls upon the international community to pressure Israel to ensure its compliance with international law. More specifically, Addameer:

• Urges the international community to pressure Israel to end its continuous policy of collective punishment against the Palestinian people and the use of prisoners as bargaining chips.

• Demands that all administrative detainees be released promptly and unconditionally. Likewise, Addameer demands the right to a trial in which international standards and legal guarantees for fair trial are upheld for all political detainees.

• Stresses that the use of torture and ill-treatment is prohibited under international law and constitutes a grave violation of human rights as inscribed in international standards and conventions. All cases of torture should be investigated while perpetrators should be brought to justice.

• Calls upon the international community to pressure Israel to respect internationally recognized detention standards, including the right to regular family visits for all detainees without distinction, adequate and timely medical health care and the right to education. Moreover, Addameer urges the international community to act immediately in order to stop the implementation of further sanctions against detainees identified with Hamas and Islamic Jihad as such measures constitute collective punishment.

• Calls for the immediate release of all child detainees held in Israeli custody. The international community should ensure that Israel abides by its commitments and obligations as included in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

• Demands that a special nutritional diet be provided to pregnant prisoners, nursing mothers, women suffering from treatable diseases, and most importantly children held with their mothers until the age of two. Equally, Addameer demands that female prisoners have access to specialized gender-sensitive medical including counselling.

Everyone knows a prisoner

In Gaza

April 24, 2009, 5:12 pm
Filed under: political prisoners



I visited Anwar in his Rafah home last week, 2 days after April 17th Palestinian Political Prisoners’ Day.

Prison is a theme for all Palestinians living in occupied Palestine, whether they themselves have been abducted and imprisoned by Israeli occupation forces, or whether someone in their family (a brother, father, son, daughter, mother) is being held in one of Israel’s prisons.

So while the visit was to meet Anwar’s family, the prison theme was unavoidable.

Anwar spent 3 years in an Israeli prison after taking his then 3 year old son, Yousef, to Egypt for treatment for his cerebral palsy. He, his wife and children ha’d spent 2 months outside of Gaza, but when they returned in June 2004, Anwar was hauled away to Israeli prison for 3 years.

Prior to 2005, Israel still physically occupied Gaza (now Israel occupies Gaza militarily, controlling borders, airspace, water, and even the basic goods allowed into Gaza).

“When we arrived at the border, I was taken aside and questioned. ‘Why were you in Egypt? They accused me of being a weapons merchant.” He was sent to one of Israel’s most notorious prisons, the Nakab prison.

While in prison, he was not only cut off from his 3 children, but also missed out on the birth of his son Ibrahim. “My wife was pregnant with our 4th child then. I didn’t meet him until he was 3 years old.”Despite his unjust confinement and the substandard conditions of his incarceration, prison time eventually afforded Anwar much time for reading and, surprisingly, to develop his artistic side.

His home is filled with crafts made in prison –pillows, embroidery, even a multi-sailed sailboat, all branded with words of love for his wife and children.

“Riham is so strong, I’ve loved her since I was in my mother’s womb,” Anwar said adoringly of his wife, pointing to the embroidered initials ‘AR’–Anwar and Riham–which appear on many of the different crafts he made.

“This is al Khoba al Sakhara, the Dome of the Rock,” he explained, displaying a model of the revered golden dome in the al Aqsa mosque complex in Jerusalem, one of the most important sites for Muslims. Palestinians with Gaza or occupied West Bank ID cards are largely cut off from the holy site, particularly at crucial times, like the religious festivals of Eid. By nature of their West Bank IDs, even during non-holy times of the year, Palestinians outside of Jerusalem (and even those within Jerusalem at times) find it nearly impossible to visit the mosque.

Released three years later, Anwar finally re-aquainted with Riham and their children, including the son he had yet to meet.

Two days prior to visiting Anwar, in Gaza’s demonstration on Palestinian Political Prisoners’ Day I saw a blur of faces — mothers, wives, children–holding posters or small photos of their imprisoned loved ones. In Gaza the situation for political prisoners as well as their families has become unbearable, with visitation rights fully terminated, meaning families have gone one year, five years, or more, without seeing or talking with their imprisoned loved ones.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) describes how visitation rights have become worse to impossible after Israel began employing the term “enemy/illegal combattant” in reference to imprisoned Palestinians from Gaza:

Israel began to utilize the contested “illegal combatant” concept with respect to Gazan prisoners. The use of this concept grants the Army Chief of Staff the power to issue an arrest warrant against whoever it considers an “illegal combatant”. Classification criteria is determined by the Army Chief of Staff and the disclosure of evidence is not required.

Palestinian Political Prisoners’ Day honours the nearly 11,000 Palestinians, including 349 minors and 75 women (as of October 2008 ICRC statistics) held in Israeli jails and under the nefarious “administrative detention” category which enables Israel to hold prisoners indefinitely without sentencing them. Israeli rights group B’Tselem says:

Administrative detention is intended to prevent the danger posed to state security by a particular individual. Israel, however, has never defined the criteria for what constitutes “state security.”

Israel’s use of administrative detention blatantly violates these restrictions. Over the years, Israel has held Palestinians in prolonged detention without trying them and without informing them of the suspicions against them. While detainees may appeal the detention, neither they nor their attorneys are allowed to see the evidence. Israel has therefore made a charade out of the entire system of procedural safeguards in both domestic and international law regarding the right to liberty and due process.

As of February 2009, Israel is holding more than 560 Palestinians in administrative detention in facilities run by the Israel Prison Service (IPS).

Recognizing the thousands of unjustly imprisoned Palestinians, in and outside of Palestine, solidarity supporters held demonstrations calling not only for their release but for conditions within Israeli-run prisons to meet the minimum standards internally-recognized for prisoners, something which PCHR succinctly notes Israel consistently falls far short of, listing among many concerns on the treatment of Palestinian prisoners:

Ill-treatment and poor detention conditions

Palestinian prisoners are detained in below minimum standard conditions. They are detained in narrow, overcrowded and poorly ventilated cells. Israeli jails dedicated for the detention of Palestinians lack necessary sanitation facilities, and Palestinian prisoners are denied access to personal cleanliness and hygiene. Israeli prison administrations do not provide enough food, in terms of quantity and quality, for the Palestinian prisoners. Detained Palestinian children and patients do not get food suitable to ensuring their physical wellbeing.

denying visitation rights

IOF deny Palestinian prisoners their visitation rights via the imposition of different conditions that hinder or prevent visits of Palestinian families to their relatives in Israeli jails. These conditions include: linking visitations with the overall security situation, requiring that prisoners must not be security prisoners and that persons applying for visits must not have a security record, requiring that visitors be first-degree relatives and that brothers or sons applying for visits must be under the age of 18. Since 6 July 2007, families in Gaza have not been able to visit their relatives in Israeli jails.

Medical negligence and denial of healthcare

Due to poor detention conditions, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are suffering ill health. Israeli jails lack specialized medical personnel and clinics. Israeli prison administrations have consistently refused the provision of medicines and medical equipment necessary for the treatment of some sick prisoners. In addition, these administrations ignore the dietary requirements of some detained patients.


IOF subject Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons to numerous instances of torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Apart from using poor detention conditions as a means to exert psychological pressure and cause physical weakness, IOF also mistreat Palestinian detainees in order to extract confessions. Known methods include: preventing detainees from meeting with their lawyers, beatings, verbal abuse and insults, threats, the use of Shabhah, sleep deprivation, forcing detainees into the ‘frog crotch’ and the ‘banana’ positions, tightening handcuffs and shackles around hands and legs, suspending by legs, and so on. The isolation of prisoners in poorly-ventilated solitary confinement cells, where they are denied visitation rights and contact with other prisoners, is one of the cruelest punishments applied to Palestinian prisoners. Solitary confinement cells are narrow, poorly ventilated and highly humid; conditions that facilitate the spread of diseases.

IOF violations of Palestinian prisoners’ rights constitute serious violations of International Humanitarian Law. In particular, ill-treatment of prisoners, denial of visitation rights, medical negligence, torture and administrative detentions are violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 relative to the protection of civilians in times of war, and against the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.

useful sites on Palestinian political prisoners:


















Ex-Aqsa fighters in Amnesty program seek end to 16-month imprisonment

Date: 25 / 04 / 2009 Time: 18:34

Nablus - Ma’an - A group of ex-fighters taking part in Israel’s amnesty deal demanded on Saturday that their files, now 16-months-old, be completed so they can finally leave the Palestinian Authority Prison they committed themselves to and return to normal life.

The men, all former members of the Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, signed a renunciation of violence agreement and turned in their weapons when they voluntarily entered the Juneid Prison west of Nablus 16 months ago.

Since then they have waited for their official pardons to be granted from Israel, so they can stop living undercover and return to live with their families.

The men sent a collective appeal to Ma’an News Agency and asked the Palestinian side to pressure Israel into putting a close to their cases. There has been no indication, however, as to whether or not the new Israeli government will honor the deal struck with the fighters and the Olmert administration.

Those who signed the appeal were:

1-Husni Suleiman AS-Salah
2-Mohammad Tayseer Mohammad Melhem
3-Hasan Abd Al-Fattah A’reiysha
4-Mohammad Fathi Abd Ar-Rahman Mansour
5-Haitham Mohammad Lutfi Te’mah
6-Mohammad Saber Hammad Marshud
7-Nedal Nader A’del Suleiman
8-Sabri Mohammd Sabri Al-Kurdi
9-Yousef Hasan Mahmoud Tayeh
10-Ali Issa Mansour Nassar
11-Khaled As’ad Abed Al-Wahhab Darwish
12-Mohammad Mustafa Mohammad An-Nadi

Israel sentences Palestinian former deputy PM to six months in prison

Date: 23 / 04 / 2009 Time: 21:47

Nasser Ash-Sha'er speaks at a press
conference in 2006 [Ma'anImages]
Nablus – Ma’an – Palestinian former deputy foreign minister Nasser As-Sha’er has remanded to six more months in administrative detention by an Israeli military court, his attorney said on Thursday.

Attorney Fares Abu Hassan said Ash-Sha’er’s would petition to overturn decision, which was issued by a court in the settlement of Ofer.

The Israeli army seized Ash-Sha’er and nine other senior Hamas leaders, including several members of parliament, in an overnight sweep in on 19 March. Israel reportedly carried out the raids in an attempt to pressure Hamas to speed negotiations toward a prisoner swap.

Administrative detention is an Israeli policy under which so-called “security prisoners” can be held nearly indefinitely without charge or trial.

More than 40 members of the Palestinian parliament, the Legislative Council (PLC) are held in Israeli prisons. Many of those were arrested since Palestinian fighters from Gaza captured an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, in 2006.

Hamas lawmaker sentenced to three and a half years in Israeli prison

Date: 25 / 04 / 2009 Time: 09:44

Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Israeli military court at Ofer sentenced a Palestinian lawmaker to three and a half years in jail in addition to two years probation on Friday.

Sources in Jerusalem said Muhammad Tutah, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from Jerusalem representing Hamas’ change and reform bloc appeared in front of a military judge after more than two years of administrative detention where he was held without charge.

Tuta was detained in June 2006 during a wide-scale Israeli apprehension campaign against Palestinian ministers and lawmakers affiliated to Hamas following the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Legal center: Israeli internal security minister sanctions stricter measures

[ 25/04/2009 - 08:26 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority has escalated its oppressive measures against the Palestinian prisoners in its jails following the appointment of Yitzhak Aharonovich as the new internal security minister, the Palestinian center for prisoners' studies said.

The center warned on Friday that Aharonovich was sanctioning escalation of harassing Palestinian prisoners on all levels; the latest was the Nahshon unit's assault on 20 prisoners in Askalan jail for refusing to wear the orange costume, before being transported to the Salem military court, as imposed by the prison administration.

The center charged that those new penal measures, including those approved by a ministerial committee, are in violation of human rights and democracy.

Ra'fat Hamdona, the director of the center, described statements by a number of senior Israeli prison administration officers on conditions of Palestinian prisoners as "lies" and "deceptive".

Those officers claimed that the prisoners were enjoying their stay in prison and described them as "murderers" who never express regret.

Hamdona said that those officers, the disciples of Aharonovich, believe that prison should be a place for "torture and death", and they do not care about the deprivation of the prisoners.

He asked the world community to act and protect the international agreements daily violated by the IOA against those prisoners, and mentioned some of those measures as following: physical attacks, solitary confinement, detention without trial, high sentences and others.

Aharonovich is a member of Yisrael Beiteinu the fanatic party led by Avigdor Lieberman, the current Israeli foreign minister, who once called for drowning all Arab and Palestinian prisoners in the Dead Sea.

MP Khaleda Jarrar, a member of the PFLP politburo, told a seminar on conditions of prisoners on Thursday in Al-Khalil that the Palestinian prisoners were freedom fighters who struggled for the liberation of their country.

She said that all old serving Palestinian prisoners should top the list of those to be released in any prisoners' exchange agreement.

Palestinian families prohibited from visiting Israeli-jailed relatives

Date: 25 / 04 / 2009 Time: 10:27

Tulkarem – Ma’an – Palestinian families with sons and daughters in Israeli prisons are prohibited from visits following an Israeli order intended to punish relatives after damage to one prison facility was discovered, sources in the Red Cross said Saturday.

The International Red Cross Committee in Tulkarem said in a statement that they received the directive Friday afternoon and delivered the directive to prisoners’ families. The order applies to all families wishing to visit prisoners at the Negev Desert prison and Ofer detention center in Israel.

The order was first handed down to Tulkarem-area families and then extended to all West Bank Palestinians.

The statement explained that families were to be denied visits as a punishment for damage done to the facility following previous visits.

***Updated 10:34 Bethlehem time

Friday, April 24, 2009

Israeli authorities release 51-year-old Nablus politician after ten month term

Date: 24 / 04 / 2009 Time: 15:35

Nablus - Ma'an - Israeli authorities released 51-year-old Nablus municipal government representative Sheikh Hussam Ad-Din Qatalony from Israeli prison following a 10 months term late on Thursday.

Qatalony spent most of his term at the Megiddo and Negev prisons, Nablus mayor Adli Ya’ish told Ma’an by phone Friday morning.

Israeli forces took Qatalony from his Nablus home on July 15 2008 during an arrest campaign targeting several well known figures in the city.

Nahshon units beat Palestinian captives for rejecting orange uniform

[ 24/04/2009 - 03:34 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The PA ministry of prisoners and ex-prisoners' affairs in Gaza has condemned Thursday the repressive IOA measures against Palestinian captives in Ashkilon prison for refusing to dress themselves with the orange uniform.

In a statement he issued in this regard, and a copy of which was obtained by the PIC, Riyadh Al-Ashkar, the information officer of the ministry, warned that that assault of the Israeli Nahshon units on the 19 Palestinian detainees who refused to put on the uniform could be a prelude for further repressive measures against the captives.

Palestinian prisoners have decided to reject wearing the orange uniform, underling that they were prisoners of war (POWs), and not criminals. They added that the uniform could inflict bad psychological repercussions on the captives and on their families.

At least three Palestinian prisoners were wounded when the Nahshon unit beat them up, according to Ashkar, who added that the IOA wants to impose its will over the Palestinian detainees by forcing them to wear the uniform.

In this regard, Ashkar urged all human rights and legal institutions to immediately interfere to rescue the Palestinian captives of the despotic Israeli measures.

Meanwhile, in Ramallah city, the Palestinian prisoner club society revealed that the Israeli Ofer, Salem courts, and the interrogation centers of Al-Maskobeyyah and Jalama have extended the detention terms of 24 Palestinian citizens from the West Bank, and imposed fines on a number of them.

Around 11,500 Palestinian prisoners, including hundreds of women and children, are locked up in different Israeli jails, many of them for more than 20 years now, in very tragic conditions.

MP Haj: Palestinian prisoners especially patients live in very harsh conditions

[ 23/04/2009 - 02:58 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- MP Ahmed Al-Haj, who was released from Israeli jails on Wednesday, said that the Palestinian prisoners live in very harsh incarceration conditions especially the patients who suffer a lot as a result of the policy of medical neglect pursued by the prison administrations.

MP Haj told the Palestinian center for the defense of prisoners after his release that the number of ill prisoners is on the rise and their health conditions deteriorate everyday.

He added that the bad detention conditions in Israeli jails caused different diseases to many prisoners who were not ill, pointing out that he and PLC speaker Aziz Dweik were among the prisoners who suffered from this Israeli policy.

The lawmaker noted that Israel does not only practice the policy of medical neglect, but also deliberately increases the suffering of patients in its jails such as transferring them to hospitals by armored vehicles instead of ambulances.

The MP also pointed to the policy of administrative detention and the decision to impose the orange uniform on prisoners, saying that such repressive actions are aimed to break the morale of the Palestinian prisoners and undermine their steadfastness.

He called on human rights and legal organizations to intervene to stop the Israeli serious violations committed against the Palestinian prisoners.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Farwana asks Arab League to activate Damascus summit resolution on prisoners

[ 23/04/2009 - 09:57 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Abdul Nasser Farwana, the former prisoner in Israeli occupation jails, has called on the Arab League secretary general Amr Mousa to activate the Arab summit resolution passed in Damascus last year to mark 17th April as the Palestinian prisoner's day.

Farwana, who is a researcher in prisoners' affairs, hoped that Mousa would adopt practical steps to vitalize this decision in order to shed light on the issue of Palestinian prisoners on the Arab official and popular levels.

He noted, however, that the decision was not implemented as 17th April passed without Arab activities in solidarity with those prisoners.

The ex-detainee said that the Israeli occupation authority was escalating its measures against those prisoners, which made marking that day more urgent.

For her part, Hamas MP Mona Mansour expressed dismay in a press release on Wednesday at the absence of any serious action to release the Palestinian MPs held in IOA jails.

She said, during a reception for the liberated MP Ahmed Al-Haj in Nablus after two years in IOA jails, that all PA concerned parties along with local and international institutions should accord more importance to the issue of those MPs.

In a related development, Israeli occupation forces arrested 16-year-old Maymona Jibril at the Ofer jail while visiting her detained brother.

The society of liberated prisoners said on Wednesday that the IOF soldiers beat up the girl at the pretext she was carrying a knife, adding that all visits were called off because of the incident.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hamas lawmaker released from Israeli jail after 17-month administrative detention

Date: 22 / 04 / 2009 Time: 21:00

Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli authorities released a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) representing the Hamas bloc in Nablus after he served 17 months of administrative detention.

The 71-year-old Ahmad Al-Hajj Ali from Ein Beit Al-Mai was released on Wednesday. Hajj Ali was detained on 16 December 2007.

Hamas legislator released after two years in prison

Thursday April 23, 2009 09:28
by IMEMC & Agencies
The Israeli Authorities released on Wednesday evening legislator Ahmad Al Hajj Ali, from the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Negev Detention Camp
Negev Detention Camp

Al Hajj is a member of the Change and Reform Bloc of the Hamas movement. He is from the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Lawyer Fares Hasan, of the International Solidarity Institution for Human Rights, stated that the Salem Israeli Military Court issued an order to the release of Ali after he spent two years in detention.

Ali was kidnapped by the army in Mid-December 2007, after the army broke into his home in Al Ein refugee camp, in Nablus.

He spent most of his detention period at the Negev detention camp and Majiddo prison.

After the Hamas movement won the vast majority of the Legislative Council seats in January of 2006, and its winning in most village councils and municipalities elections in 2005, Israel carried a large-scale arrest campaign that targeted dozens of Hamas legislators, mayors and officials.