Sunday, May 31, 2009

Samieh Jabbarin - "Haaretz" weekend supplement‏

Dear friends,
The solidarity struggle with Palestinian theatre-artist and activist Samieh Jabbarin, who is still under house-arrest in Um Al Fahm, has gained significant resonance in the past two weeks thanks to the publication of journalist Aviva Lori's extensive coverage of the affair in "Haaretz" weekend supplement in Hebrew (22.5.09) and English (28.5.09). Links to both versions follow:

Unfortunately, nothing has moved in court. On June 7th the court in Hadera is to review Samieh's appeal for lifting the limiting conditions of his house-arrest – four (!) months of being denied his personal liberty after being arrested at a political demonstration. Due to the said limiting conditions, Samieh could not even attend the Tel Aviv University scholarship and award-granting ceremony of the Faculty of Fine Arts held a few days ago, where he was mentioned with outstanding honors by the dean and received a scholarship (see appendix).
Please consider: further damaging Samieh, the police – along with the State Attorney's Office – has accused him of so-called violent action. It is no coincidence that these very days a steep exacerbation is anticipated for the future freedom of expression and political association in the State of Israel. Rapid legislation in the Knesset (parliament) of a whole battery of anti-democratic laws has been of major concern. Among others: a proposed law curbs 'any aspiration to change the character of the State or to publish anything that might cause disrespect of the regime" (!); the "Nakba law" prohibits the commemoration of Palestinian suffering caused by the foundation of the State of Israel; the "loyalty law" will require every Israeli citizen - Arabs included – to sign a declaration of loyalty to the state as a "Jewish and Zionist state"; a law to create a fingerprint database of all Israeli citizens; a law forbidding demonstrations in front of residences of public officials, etc.
These are laws that, once legislated, will enable the state to act harshly against all of us in the future, Arabs and Jews alike. No more figments of imagination will be needed about 'violent action' in order to arrest, prosecute and punish innocent citizens.

We thank you for your support of Samieh Jabbarin, for joining the struggle against political detention in Israel, and for sharing the struggle against the new evil winds now blowing in this country.

Our online petition is ongoing. We would appreciate your signatures if you have not yet signed it, and thank you for distributing it among your friends, for this is our most efficient way to keep you in the picture and update you about further actions for Samieh in the near future.

Here is the link to our petition:
Thanking you in advance,
The Committee for Solidarity with Samieh Jabbarin
May 2009

Interview with.... an Ex-Political Prisoner

Hi. My name is Mansour Hammad. I live in Gaza. All my life I have lived in Gaza. But, I am originally from Na'alaya, in Majdal. I am a refugee in Gaza, and my grandparents came to Gaza when the Nakba, the Catastropher, occurred.
In 1986 when I was 16 years old, I was arrested by the Shen Bet at midnight, in my home in Gaza.
They came into my house, very quietly, I was asleep, but my mother answered the door. She was terrified with all those guns she saw.
They woke me up and placed a gun in front of my head.
I was wearing my pajamas, and was bare foot.
I was handcuffed, and made to walk around 500 metres away from the house, until I came to the outskirt of the Jabalya Refugee Camp. There they had arrested other boys and men from the camp. They began to beat us up.
I was numbed by the pain, the next thing I knew... my shirt was saturated with blood.
They took us, then, to the Saraya, in Gaza city. They detained us, and began the interrogation procedures.
They demanded I remove every piece of clothing on my body... "zay ma jabtak ammak", stark naked like the moment of birth.
They made me wear a navy blue overall, which was bloody, sweaty, stinky, and torn. Someone must have been wearing it for a while... I put it on. Then they shaved all my hair off. This is the place that political prisoners call the Maslakh... the slaughtering house. It still drives terror into the soul of many ex-political prisoners.
They beat me up again, and remained for a weak with minimal dirty food and water, and no sleep allowed.
One week later, they took me to Majdal Prison.I cannot ever forget the Israeli soldier who had iron plated his teeth. He was the worse... he did things to me that I have difficulty recounting. Let me just say... that many young men leave their prisons... infertile...
They constantly pressured me into collaborating with them against my people. They would bring in all sorts of pressures. They told me I would be spending around 8~9 years in the prison.
I was transfered from Majdal to Saraya, then to 'Askalan and to Naf'ha prisons. Then, I was placed in the Naqab prison. I was accused of belonging to the PFLP, and being a "threat to the state of Israel".
In the Naf'ha prison, I organized an 18 day food strike with the other political prisoners. The living conditions in prison were inhumane... at some point they would let Israeli convicts in other prisons cook for us... do you know what that means? It means they spit in the food, they would stir the soup with a broom... the pans that they cooked for us with, were extremely dirty... it was more than disgusting
We demanded that they bring to us better food.
During the strike, they would bring us chicken, rice and fruit to break us. They brought in the best of food, to break us. Alhough we were tempted, we did not break in, and we maintained an 18-day food strike.
Imprisonment in the 60s, was different that the 70s, was different from the 80s, and 90s, and now...
In the 60s, for instance, they used to pluck your nails out... no one knew about it, since concerned human rights organizations were non-existent to help and spread the word about our conditions.
Other forms of torture were present, that are still ongoing till this date.
There were periods whereby they played Radio Israel for us, the Arabic section, where they played Fairuz daily... and we listened with nostalgia...
Prisons makes you... different. Especially for me, I was sixteen and came out of their prisons at 26. I learned Hebrew, and some English of which I forgot most of it now. The political prisoners make better living conditions for themselves there, they strive, strike... to pressure. It is a continuous war between the prisoner and the guards.
We would play games on them... not for fun... but, out of desparation... sometimes, a man would hang himself in the his cell... just as an act of desparation.. He'd pick the time to be that of the guard shift and the checking of rooms... Once the next guard came in to check, he'd go wild thinking a case of suicide happened... they would open the cell and get our comrade out to be medically checked upon... it was desparation... sometimes a demand would be to get in a comb... it is silly... but, immensely symbolic.
Was it daring or crazy? I say a little bit of both... does a soldier think of what he is getting into at war? No, if he did, he wouldn't get in... he'd be too afraid just thinking of what would happen... that is the crazy part of it... that you don't think about the coming events. The daring part of it, is that you would be in, and not get out. You stay in, and fight till your last breath.
Narrated by Mansour Hammad
Written, translated and organized by Natalie Abou Shakra
Jabalya, Palestine

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Three Israeli solidarity activists, two Palestinians detained

Date: 30 / 05 / 2009 Time: 19:18

Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli forces on Saturday detained three Israeli solidarity activists and two Palestinian boys during a peaceful rally against the expansion of an Israeli settlement in Beit Ummar on Saturday.

Several other solidarity activists sustained bruises as a result of being hit by Israeli troops during the assault that occurred near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

“We were suppressed by excessive use of force by Israeli soldiers. They hit us with gun butts while settlers were assaulting us,” said one of the activists. He added that settlers also turned over a truck belonging someone taking part in the anti-settlement rally.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Palestinian prisoners praise Abbas in smuggled letter to Ma'an

Date: 29 / 05 / 2009 Time: 15:07

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Detainees inside Israeli prisons expressed their gratitude to Palestinian President Abbas for making their plight a priority in a letter received by Ma'an.

The letter, which was smuggled out of Mjedo prison inside Israel, read, "The president's attitude has engendered in all of us hope and patience that one day we will leave this prison and be released."

It went on to say that prisoners there "thank the president for the amounts of money distributed by the PLO; it helps so much."

In the letter, the prisoners called on Palestinian leaders to work toward a unity government to solve the division between Hamas and Fatah, adding that "your unity is a path for the detainees' release."

They also encouraged Palestinians to stand by the Detainees’ Society to help them in all their efforts to release Palestinian prisoners of Israel.

Israeli army seizes three from refugee camp near Jericho

Date: 28 / 05 / 2009 Time: 17:12

Jericho - Ma’an - Israel's army seized three Palestinians from Aqbat Jaber refugee camp south of the West Bank city of Jericho on Thursday.

Local sources said that “the Israeli forces arrested Khaled Mustafa Al-Akhras, Ashraf Yousef Nofal and Mohammad Fawaz Maharmeh, all residents of the camp, after breaking into their homes and taking them to unknown location.”

These latest three Palestinians are in addition to the previous total of 34 Palestinians who had been taken by the army from their homes in the last four days, according to Israel’s own count.

Five US men jailed for allegedly funding Hamas

Date: 28 / 05 / 2009 Time: 11:28

Khalid Mash'al / Musa Abu Marzouk
Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – A US court sentenced five employees of what was once the country’s largest Muslim charity to prison terms on Wednesday on charges of funneling more than 12 million US dollars to Hamas.

Among the defendants in the Holy Land Foundation case was Mufid Abdulqader, 49, the half brother of exiled Hamas leader Khalid Mash’al. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for aiding the group that the US deems a “terrorist” organization.

Mohammad El-Mezain, 55, a relative of Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouq, was also sentenced to prison in what is being called the largest terrorism financing case in US history. Shukri Abu Baker, 50, and Ghassan Elashi, 55, two founding members of the Texas-based foundation, were sentenced to 65 years in prison.

Three of the defendants maintained their innocence, saying that the foundation was dedicated exclusively to aiding needy Palestinians. "We gave the essentials of life – oil, rice, flour," said former Holy Land board chairman Ghassan Elashi before receiving his sentence, according to The Dallas Morning News.

"The [Israeli] occupation was providing them with death and destruction. The Holy Land Foundation was to assist the Palestinians in their steadfastness against the brutal apartheid regime," he added, according to the newspaper. "I would like to declare my innocence of all the charges."

"Your function in life was raising money to support Hamas," US District Judge Jorge Solis told one of the men while reading out his sentence.

IOF troops raid Jenin and neighbouring villages, arrest 13 Palestinians

[ 29/05/2009 - 10:54 AM ]

WEST BANK, (PIC)-- IOF troops on Friday morning raided the a number of villages in the Jenin district in the northern West Bank without any arrests being reported, while IOF troops arrested on Thursday 13 Palestinians.

Local sources said that the troops raided the villages of Qabatya, Sanor, Mseila and Siris to the south of the city of Jenin.

During the raid, IOF troops fired live bullets and sound bombs and combed the areas raided causing a state of fear and confusion amongst children and women. No arrests were reported during those raids.

On Thursday morning similar raids were reported in the eastern part of Jenin, Jaba' and Qabatya were the IOF troops combed the raided areas before withdrawing without making any arrests.

Meanwhile, the Israeli radio reported the arrest of 13 Palestinians from various parts of the West Bank. Seven of those arrested were from the northern West Bank city of Nablus and three from Jericho in the southern West Bank.

Three others were arrested in the village of al-Majd to the north of southern West Bank city of al-Khalil.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Palestinian prisoner blinded in Israeli jail

[ 27/05/2009 - 04:43 PM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- Saadi Al-Najar, a 25-year-old Palestinian held in administrative detention, without trial or charge, in Israeli occupation jails, has lost eyesight in his left eye due to deliberate medical neglect, the Palestinian prisoner's club said on Wednesday.

Amjad Al-Najar, the director of the club in Al-Khalil, held the administration of the Negev prison fully responsible for the loss of Najar's eyesight.

H explained that the administration refused doctors and legal societies' requests for the treatment of Najar.

The detainee ever since his detention two and a half years ago was suffering from a health problem in his left eye, the director elaborated.

He noted that Najar was now in need of a speedy cornea transplant operation, and called on legal and international societies to pressure the IOA into releasing Najar to enable him undergo the surgery and restore his eyesight.

Hebron prisoner loses eye due to medical neglect
Date: 28 / 05 / 2009 Time: 20:26

Nablus – Ma’an – A Palestinian has lost his eye due to medical neglect in an Israeli prison, according to the Detainees' Society in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday.

Sa’dy Atiyeh An-Najjar, a 25-year-old Palestinian being held at Israel's Madedo Prison, lost his left eye following a condition that required prompt medical attention, but was not provided, according to the society.

An-Najjar, who has been held without trial for a year and a half, is from Al-Fuwwar Refugee Camp south of Hebron. He is yet to be charged with a crime.

The head of Detainees’ Society in Hebron said An-Najjar has suffered from the debilitating eye condition since before he was originally seized and still requires surgery that has yet to be provided.

The official called on human rights associations to intervene for An-Najjar's release so that he can receive proper treatment.

The society's lawyer, Loay Akka, who visited the Negev prison, reported that its administration had refused the prisoner access to medical papers supposed to be signed by An-Najjar in order for him to get permits for doctors to access the prison.

Israeli court orders continued imprisonment for three Hamas leaders

Date: 27 / 05 / 2009 Time: 16:16

Hamas lawmaker Azzam
Salhab [Ma'anImages]
Bethlehem – Ma’an – An Israeli military tribunal sitting in the settlement of Ofer rejected a petition on Tuesday to release three Hamas lawmakers from prison, instead remanding them to six months administrative detention.

Ma’an learned that Attorney Fadi Al-Qawasmi had petitioned for the release of Nizar Ramadan, Azzam Salhab and Ayman Daraghmah.

The three were abducted by Israeli forces in a series of pre-dawn raids in the West Bank on 19 March. Israel seized 10 Hamas political leaders from the West Bank that morning in an apparent attempt to pressure the group to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from Gaza.

Administrative detention is a practice in which Israel holds prisoners without formally charging them with any crime.

Meanwhile sources said that Israel’s intelligence services transferred Hamas lawmaker Khaled Tafesh of Bethlehem from the Negev desert prison camp to a detention center in Ofer for interrogation. Tafesh was also detained in the 19 March sweep.

There are more than 11,00 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, including about 40 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

After year of resistance Israeli prison administration rescinds demand Palestinians wear orange

27.05.09 - 11:44

Jenin / Ali Samoudi for PNN – Palestinian political prisoners in sections one and four of the Israeli Jelboa Prison continue the long-standing struggle against the imposition of orange uniforms.

Palestinians have refused the Israeli mandate and are invoking methods of nonviolent resistance. Besides using their lawyer, political prisoners are also appealing directly appealing to the Israeli prison administration, no matter how notoriously unsympathetic.

The Israeli prison administration has informed political prisoners through their lawyer of its decision to freeze the demand that they wear orange uniforms.

After periodically meeting with the prisoners the lawyer stated Wednesday that the detainees were told by the administration last Sunday about the return of the previously worn brown uniform. This uniform was what they wore before being required to wear the orange uniform which Palestinians say likens them to criminals instead of political prisoners.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society says in its most recent report that the Israeli administration’s enforced uniform was a “repressive measure as these are the uniforms worn by the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.”

The head of the Bethlehem PPS said his organization is working in solidarity with political prisoners and that most refuse the orange.

Palestinians in the Israeli prisons are also disallowed family visits: all blocked for at least two months, and are not allowed even shelter from the summer heat.

No seasonal clothing or television is news is allowed either.

Israel to release Nablus deputy mayor after two years

Date: 27 / 05 / 2009 Time: 15:30

Nablus – Ma’an – Israel decided to release the deputy mayor of the West Bank city of Nablus after holding him without trial for two years on Wednesday.

According to Fares Abu Hassan, an attorney with the International Solidarity prisoners organization, 44-year-old Mahdi Shaker Al-Hanbali was arrested on 31 May 2007 when Israeli soldiers raided his home. He was remanded to administrative detention in Megido Prison for six months, and later to the Negev desert prison camp for a year and a half.

The Israeli high court decided not to extend Al-Hanbali’s administrative detention on Wednesday, Abu Hassan said.

Al -Hanbali told Abu -Hassan that “the prisoners are living in their worst stages of life” adding that they are “ suffering of bad treatment and imposing high fines and barring family visitations, in addition to solitary confinement for any simple reason.”

Soldiers kidnap 11 Palestinians in the West Bank

Wednesday May 27, 2009 15:58 by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News

The Israeli military announced Wednesday that it kidnapped 11 Palestinians during night and dawn invasions in different parts of the occupied West Bank.

Israeli troops kidnapping a Palestinian civilian in Hebron � Photo by IMEMC's Ghassan Bannoura -File 2008
Israeli troops kidnapping a Palestinian civilian in Hebron � Photo by IMEMC's Ghassan Bannoura -File 2008

During the invasions, troops searched and ransacked residents' homes, witnesses told local media.

Local sources reported that the detained Palestinians are from Nablus Jenin, Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem.

The military claims the men are on its "wanted list".

Israeli troops arrest 11 Palestinians in the West Bank

Ramallah, May 27, 2009, (Ramattan)- Israeli occupation forces on Thursday arrested eleven Palestinian citizens in different cities in the West Bank, Palestinian security sources said.

The sources said that the Israeli troops thrust into Jenin town, north of Gaza, and arrested four citizens.

Witnesses said that the Israeli troops stormed tens of houses and launched a search campaign in Jenin.

Seven other citizens were detained by the Israeli troops in separate incidents in Nablus and Qalandia town, north of Jerusalem, according to Palestinian official sources.

Israeli forces seize 11 Palestinians overnight
Date: 27 / 05 / 2009 Time: 13:21

Hebron – Ma’an – The Israeli military said it detained 11 Palestinians during overnight raids in the West Bank, bringing the total to 22 in the last three days.

Among those detained on Wednesday morning were two Palestinians from the southern West Bank towns of Tarqumiya and Ash-Shyoukh. Israeli forces ransacked several homes in both towns.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society in Hebron, Firas Abu Haltam from Tarqumiya, and Muhammad Ababda from Ash-Shuyukh were seized from their homes.

Separately, Israeli forces raided several houses in the southern West Bank town of Sa’ir east of Hebron. No detentions were reported there.

Israeli forces also seized four Palestinian fighters affiliated with the Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, while they were driving a car in the city of Nablus.

Israel seizes four Gaza fishermen

Date: 27 / 05 / 2009 Time: 17:53

Gaza – Ma’an – Israel’s navy seized four Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza on Wednesday, according to the Palestinian-International Campaign Against the Siege.

A statement from the group said Israeli warships surrounded Palestinian fishing boats off the northern coast of Gaza and then arrested the four. The arrests come a day after two other fishermen were seized from their vessel off the coast of Rafah, at the southern end of the Strip.

The statement denounced what it said were escalated attacks on Gazan fishermen and also called on Israel to return confiscated fishing boats.

An Israeli military spokesperson said he had no information on the reported detentions.

Israeli lawmakers approve jail terms for 'Jewish state' denial

Date: 27 / 05 / 2009 Time: 15:53

Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, gave preliminary approval to a bill that would mandate year jail term for anyone who speaks against Israel’s status as a Jewish state on Wednesday morning.

The bill, which still needs final approval before coming law, passed after a heated debate with a vote of 47 to 34 and one abstention. The measure was originally introduced by Zevulun Orlev, a member of a right-wing religious nationalist party, Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home).

The bill’s passage comes three days after lawmakers advanced a bill that would ban all commemorations of Nakba Day, on which Palestinians, including those who are Israeli citizens, remember their expulsion of 1948.

According to news reports, a Palestinian member of the Knesset, Jamal Zahalka, was removed from the auditorium during an argument after the vote.

During the debate preceding the vote, Chaim Oron, the chair of the left-wing Zionist party Meretz, decried the bill, according to the Ynet news agency: “Have you lost your confidence in the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state? This crazy government – what exactly are you doing? Thought Police? Have you lost it?”

Jamal Zahalka said, also according to Ynet’s report, “Many intellectuals in the academia who talk about a country belonging to all its citizens belong in prison, according to MK Orlev. Arab and Jewish leaders who seek real democracy in Israel also belong in jail, according to Orlev… He wants to put anyone who doesn’t agree with him in jail.”

Police arrest a Palestinian worker over clams of attacking security guards at a West Bank settlement

Wednesday May 27, 2009 15:49 by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News & Agencies

A Palestinian worker was arrested on Wednesday by the Israeli police at the entrance of Ma'aliah Adomem settlement located near the city of Jerusalem.

Israeli troops in the west Bank- Photo by Ghassan Bannoura 2008
Israeli troops in the west Bank- Photo by Ghassan Bannoura 2008

Police reported that the workers were trying to attack security guards at the gate with a knife. According to the security guards the worker was stopped at the gate, then asked to show his permission. The guards say he did not have permission to get to the settlement, so he was denied entry. He proceeded to attack them with a knife. The police report added that the workers were restrained by the security guards and then was handed to the police. The police did not release the name of the worker.

Troops kidnap four fighters near Nablus

Wednesday May 27, 2009 01:35 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Palestinian sources reported Tuesday that Israeli soldiers installed a temporary roadblock near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and kidnapped four fighters of the Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fateh movement.

File, Photo by Maan News Agency
File, Photo by Maan News Agency

The four fighters driving on the Al Bathan road, north of Nablus, when they were stopped by a sudden Israeli roadblock installed in the area.

The soldiers surrounded their vehicle and ordered them to step out. The four were not armed when the army stopped their vehicle.

They were identified as Mohammad Al Mansy, Nassouh Abu Sa’da, Salah Al Reemwai, and Tareq Idrees.

They were all cuffed, blindfolded and moved to an unknown destination.

Israeli forces seize four Al-Aqsa Brigades men in Nablus
Date: 27 / 05 / 2009 Time: 09:35

Nablus – Ma’an Exclusive – Israeli forces seized evening four Palestinians affiliated to Fatah’s armed wing, Al-Aqsa Brigades, in the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday evening.

Ma’an learned from Palestinian security sources that the activists were travelling in a blue Hyundai on Wadi Al-Badan road before they were overtaken by an Israeli patrol which surrounded the car and detained them.

The source named the men as Muhammad Al-Mansi, Nasouh Abu Sa’da, Salah Rimawi, and Tariq Idris.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Israel sends Jenin prisoner into Gaza exile

Date: 26 / 05 / 2009 Time: 11:56

Nablus – Ma’an – Israel has decided to maroon a Palestinian prisoner in Gaza when he finishes a 12-year prison term on Tuesday, isolating him from his home and family in the West Bank, according to the Wa’ad prisoners organization.

In a statement the organization said that they would nonetheless organize a celebration for the release of Mahmoud Azam, from the West Bank city of Jenin.

Wa’ad said that the deportation of West Bank prisoners to Gaza is a longstanding Israeli policy and a violation of international law.

The organization also said that Azam is “one of the leaders of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement.”

Israel deports a Palestinian prisoner to Gaza

Gaza, May 26, 2009, (Ramattan)- Israeli occupation forces deported a Palestinian prisoner to the Gaza Strip after he spent 12 year in prison.

Ramattan reporter said that Mahmoud Azzam, from Jenin city in the West bank, has arrived Gaza today as Israel did not allow him to return to his house.

Azzam was detained in 1997 while he was trying to return to the West Bank through King Hussein border crossing.

Israel used considering deported tens of Palestinians from the West Bank to Gaza in the last decade, and refuse to allow them to return to their homes in the West Bank.

Israeli forces detain 6 Palestinians in West Bank

Gaza, May 26, 2009 (Ramattan) – The Israeli forces detained on Tuesday morning six Palestinian citizens in different cities across the West Bank, Palestinian security sources said.

Sources added that at least six Palestinians were arrested and were taken to an undisclosed area as the Israeli soldiers thrust into the cities of Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah.

The Israeli army claimed that all the detainees were wanted, adding that they were transferred for questioning.

During the last week, more than 31 Palestinians by the Israeli soldiers across the West Bank.

Israeli navy seizes two Gaza fishermen

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Date: 26 / 05 / 2009 Time: 12:17

Gaza – Ma’an – The Israeli Navy seized two Palestinian fishermen from a small boat off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, according to witnesses.

Fisherman Nizar Ayyash told Ma’an that an Israeli gunboat stopped the fishermen at sea and took three of them on board their own ship: Nahed Hassan Hassouneh and Muhammad Abdel Salam Hassouneh. Both are from the Tal As-Sultan area of the city of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Witnesses also said that Israeli navy ships fired on Palestinian fishing boats in the Rafah harbor early on Tuesday, causing no injuries.


Al Mezan

IOF Gunboats Detain Fishers at Rafah Beach

At app. 9.30am on 26 may 2009, the IOF gunboats opened heavy fire and launched artillery shells at Palestinian fishing boats at Rafah beach, but no injuries were reported. They also detained two fishermen; 38-year-old Nahed Abd Ar-Rahman Hasouna and Mohammed Abd As-Sala and took them to an unknown destination.

Palestinian political prisoners denied fans and seasonal clothing as summer hits desert prisons

25.05.09 - 14:04

Nablus / PNN – Palestinian political prisoners are suffering from new impediments as the summer season is upon them.

The Center for Prisoners Studies confirmed Monday that the introduction of summer clothes, shoes and fans has been banned by Israeli prison authorities.

The summer heat is sweltering in Palestine, particularly in the Israeli areas of the Naqab Desert where several prisons are located, notably Beerseeba, Naqab and Ramon. Purchases are also restricted through the prison stores, referred to as Al Cantin.

In a letter regarding the status of Palestinian political prisoners they indicate that new lows are continually reached, with violations exceeding the lowest moral levels.

The Center for Prisoners Studies said today that it is the duty of the media to draw attention to the violations of international and humanitarian law.

Life in Israeli prisons is devastating for children who attempt to visit parents, PPS reports

23.05.09 - 11:46

Bethlehem / PNN – Sajida has not seen her father in a long period of time. He is one of 11,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

Her dreams are boycotted, her ideas interrupted, say well-wishers. The Israeli court has decided to keep Jamal Abu Al Hija for seven years isolation from her father.

Another daughter is marrying nonetheless next month. Asim says, “My father must have a rapid release because I want to get married.” Their mother sits among children, the banter and jokes, but the crying is also prevalent. “We all yearn with nostalgia,” she says.

It has been eight years, 26 August 2002, since Al Hija was not imprisoned, nearly a lifetime for a child. This is just one family among the thousands suffering from the Israeli disregard for international resolutions and human rights charters.

Thirteen year old Sajida began her day before dawn in hopes of visiting her father in the Israeli prison of Jelbua. “I was happy to be on the bus after my brothers and my mothers were banned for security reasons from visiting,” she said Saturday.

“But as soon as we got to the gates of the prison my heart rate increased…I was sure I would be prevented by the occupation from seeing my father.”

A saddened young girl said today, “I did see him, behind a thick plastic window that I waited in front of for his shape. Tears came to my eyes and I held my hand up but he couldn’t in the same way because his was amputated in the battle of Jenin,” referring to the major Israeli attacks on Jenin Refugee Camp in April 2002.

Another child, a son of 10 years old, said, “I was appalled by the sight of my father who seemed to be a yellowish color because he has not seen the sun.”

Settlers smash shops in E Jerusalem’s Old City, soldiers attack prisoner rights officials

22.05.09 - 20:57

Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – Last night units of Israeli Special Forces assaulted a number of East Jerusalem residents.

Among the injured are officials in the Palestinian political prisoners movement, including the director of the Palestinian Prisoners Society-Jerusalem, Ala’ Haddad who chairs the Committee for Prisoners of Jerusalem, Mohidan Abu Assab, Ashraf Dhaher and Maher Abu Sneineh.

They were assaulted, severely beaten with batons and rifle butts, while walking in the streets of the Old City. Jihad Nasser was attacked and his father tried to aid him. Several people attempted to hide in a clothing store in the marketplace however the Israeli special forces tore into the shop and continued the assault. The shop owner, Mohidan Abu Assab, was beaten and rushed to Hadassah Hospital.

In the same area, East Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli settlers smashed shop windows and streets lights on Al Wad Street, Jaffa Gate, and other areas. Several marauding marches were underway with Israeli soldiers and police doing nothing to stop the Jewish settlers who continued their attacks on Palestinian property throughout the Old City.

On Jaffa Street a private car of a Jerusalem citizen was attacked by a group of these settlers before the driver was able to escape. Two other vehicles were stoned in the same area, including a public vehicle.

With the Israeli Prime Minister dismissing international law and claiming that religious sanctities in the holy city will be under Israeli control, levying fines against Palestinians who do not voluntarily evacuate their homes for settlers or parks, and revoking identification, there is little recourse for Jerusalemites who are also under the rule of a mayor who as a campaign promise said he would “make more housing for young Jews in East Jerusalem.”

Monday, May 25, 2009

Occupation of Red Cross, Gaza 25/5/2009

As they do every Monday, families of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, they peacufully occupied the yard of the Red Cross buiding protesting for the inhuman conditions, the torture and other violations of human rights that suffer the more than 11,000 Palestinian prisoners. The families of Gazan prisoners have not been able to see their relatives for almost 2 years now.

Mandela: The IOA released prisoner Nawal Al-Sa’di

[ 25/05/2009 - 11:08 AM ]

NAZARETH, (PIC)-- The Mandela institution for human rights and political prisoners said that the IOA released prisoner Nawal Al-Sa’di, the wife of sheikh Bassam Al-Sa’di, one of Islamic Jihad leaders, after serving six-month imprisonment sentence in Telmond prison.

Mandela institution said Israeli soldiers took prisoner Nawal to Tulkarem area and released her at an Israeli checkpoint there where she was received by her children and other members of her family.

The institution added that Nawal lived in very cruel conditions during her detention, especially as a result of her concern for her children who were left without a breadwinner after her husband was administratively detained in Israeli jails. Her brother and other relatives are also in detention.

The Hebrew radio reported Sunday that an Israeli military court sentenced a Palestinian girl from the West Bank to 15 months in prison at the pretext that she made contacts through the internet with Palestinian fighters affiliated with Islamic Jihad in Gaza and planned to carry out a martyrdom operation in the 1948 occupied lands.

Prisoners’ center for studies appeals for lifting Israeli ban on prisons’ visits

[ 24/05/2009 - 03:54 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The prisoners’ center for studies on Sunday appealed to the Red Cross to intervene to lift the Israeli ban imposed on the Palestinian families’ right to visit their sons and daughters imprisoned in Israeli jails.

The center said that the prisoners’ families are extremely worried about the state of their sons in Israeli jails in light of this Israeli ban, noting that visiting prisoners is a right guaranteed by international laws and conventions especially the fourth Geneva convention.

Director of the center Ra’fat Hamduna affirmed that the Israeli ban on families’ visits caused an a cute shortage of prisoners’ basic needs like clothes and blankets while the prison administration sell such things to prisoners inside jails at higher prices.

Meanwhile, the Salem military court sentenced Palestinian prisoner Mohamed Libada from Nablus to 12 years in jail, while the Palestinian prisoner club reported that an Israeli court issued different imprisonment sentences against two other prisoners from Nablus, one was given a sentence of 10 years in prison.

The prisoner club in Tulkarem said that the conditions of prisoners jailed in solitary confinement in the Jalame investigation center are very bad and constitute a threat to their lives, adding that they are tortured and maltreated for long periods and locked up inside places like graves as a form of psychological pressure used to extract confessions from them.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Prisoners and Detainees in Israeli Prisons

Prisoners and Detainees in Israeli Prisons

General Statistics - 2008-2009

Edited by: Adalah Attorney Abeer Baker

Data is presented below regarding detainees and prisoners in Israeli prisons, as collected from various sources. As of January 2009, approximately 22,500 individuals were imprisoned or detained in Israeli prisons; around 70% of those individuals are Arabs.[1]

Palestinian prisoners and detainees holding Israeli citizenship

January 2009

Security classification

Criminal classification



Palestinian prisoners and detainees that are residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip

January 2009

Security classification

Criminal classification



Prisoners and detainees with the classification of "security"

(total: approx. 8,200)

(January 2009)

Palestinian citizens of Israel

Jewish citizens of Israel

Palestinian residents of Gaza

Palestinian residents of the West Bank

Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem

Syrians from the Golan Hights







Administrative detainees and unlawful combatants[2]

January 2009

Administrative detainees

Unlawful combatants



Administrative detainees – detention period[3]

January 2009

Number of Adminitrative Detainees

Detention period


Up to 6 months


6 months and more


one year to year and a half


A year and a half to two years


Two to two and a half years


Two and a half to three years


Three and a half to four years


Four to four and a half years


Four and a half years and more

Palestinian Minors in IPS's custody[4]

February 2009



Detained until end of proceedings


Administrative detainees


Under 16 years of age






Under 18 years of age






Prisoners and detainees by detention facility[5]

Southern District

January 2009


Number of Prisoners

Oholey Keidar




Detention facility, Jerusalem
















Central District


Number of Prisoners







Hadarim Detention facility


Magem-Nitzan Detention facility


Tel Aviv Detention facility








Neveh Tirtza




Northern District


Number of Prisoners

















Recidivism, sorted by type of crime[6]

First detention

Second detention

Third detention

Fourth detention

Fifth detention

Sixth detention and beyond








Civil crimes














Public order







Financial offenses







Moral crimes







Crimes against

human life







Sex offenses














Drug offenses







Transportation and licensing offenses







Offenses against property














Other offenses







Illegal stay







[1] Figures were provided to Adalah by the IPS' spokesperson, in his letter dated 29.1.2009. Data valid as of 20.1.2009.

[2] Ibid. it should be noted that according to B'Tselem, in January 2009, there were 564 administrative detainees, and in February 2009 their number was 542. Available at:

[5] From statistics given by the IPS' spokesperson to the Legal Clinic for Prisoners Rights and Rehabilitation at Haifa University, 22.1.2009.

[6] From the IPS' response to an application by the Legal Clinic for Prisoners Rights and Rehabilitation at Haifa University, 22.1.2009.