Friday, July 31, 2009

Israeli forces kidnap 2 Ni’lin residents

29 July 2009

In the early morning on Wednesday 29 the brothers Saeed Attallah Ameerah , 24, and Ahmed Attallah Ameerah, 22, were brutally kidnapped from their home. At 5 am, dozens of soldiers surrounded their house and pounded on their door. Ahmed opened and was immediately grabbed by the soldiers , beaten, handcuffed and blind folded. About 17 soldiers entered the home, found Saeed whom they forcefully handcuffed and blind folded. The terrified family, in total 11 persons, were placed in one room while their brothers were kept in another room. When their brother in law tried to interfere also he was beaten, handcuffed and blindfolded.

“I was so scared. Soldiers were everywhere and I saw how Ahmed’s wrists were bleeding cause they were so tight tied together. Soldiers have entered our house in night time many times, its horrible. This time my mum got so scared and upset that we had to take her to the doctor ” –Ahlam, sister of Ahmed and Saeed

The soldiers also searched the house trying to find a third brother who wasn’t at home. After over one hour the soldiers left and brought Saeed and Ahmed with them. The brothers had to leave in only their pajamas and no explanations were given to the family about why the boys were taken or where they where taken to.

Israeli arrest and intimidation campaigns on the villages that demonstrate against the Wall, have led to the arrests of over 76 Palestinians in Ni’lin alone. (see Adameer and Stop the Wall report:

Bil’in demonstrates against nightly raids

Bil’in Popular Committee

30 July 2009

On Wednesday night, July 29, one hundred villagers of Bil’in along with their International and Israeli supporters conducted a Protest March against the IDF’s nightly raids and detaining of Palestinian villagers.

The protest march began in the village of Bil’in, but buoyed by peace songs, chants, and flashlight-lit containers with peace messages written on them in over a dozen languages, the enthusiastic marchers walked down to the Separation Fence and where a 15-minute rally was held.

The lights and chanting attracted several Israeli military vehicles who launched several night flares (inducing exuberant cheering and vigorous waving of the Palestinian flags carried by several members) as the landscape brightened. It was reported that one tear gas canister was fired in the vicinity of the demonstrators, but no one was injured, fortunately.

Bil’in has been conducting regular protest marches against the illegal wall’s incursion into its farmland every Friday noon since 2005. Wednesday’s protest was the second weekly nighttime demonstration created by the Bil’in Popular Committee members. Their common purpose is to ‘take the message to the perpetrators’… that the wall’s location is illegal, that Israeli’s occupation of Palestine is wrong and harmful to the Palestinian people, and that the IDF’s night-time incursions into Bil’in’s peaceful village (arresting its youth and leadership) will be resisted with a wide variety of peaceful methods until justice is done.

Updated on July 30, 2009

PCHR report 23/7-29/7/2009

excerpt from PCHR weekly report No. 30/2009 23 - 29 July 2009

At least 900 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been deprived for family visitation for more than two years.

In recognition of ICRC as the guardian of the Fourth Geneva Convention, PCHR calls upon the ICRC to increase its staff and activities in the OPT, including the facilitation of family visitations to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Tarqoumia village, west of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child:

1. Suleiman Mohammed al-Ja'afra, 17;

2. Hassan Mahmoud al-Muraqtan, 19; and

3. Husni 'Omar al-Muraqtan, 19.

At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Saddam 'Ali 'Awadh, 19.

Also at approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-'Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Anas Ahmed Hassaniya, 19.

Friday, 24 July 2009

At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Nablus and the neighboring 'Askar refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 'Abdul Nasser Mustafa Abu Keshek, 23.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

At approximately 12:00, IOF moved into Seilat al-Zaher village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Ahmed Sameer Za'rour, 17.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Dura village, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Fayez Isma'il Faqqoussa, 27.

At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Ka'abna area in the east of Yatta village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mefleh Taleb Najada, 25.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Barta'a village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and shops looking for Palestinian workers. They arrested at least 200 workers and took them to an unknown destination. It is worth noting that due to the restrictions imposed on access of Palestinian workers to work places inside Israel, those workers are forced to stay in places located behind the Annexation Wall to be able to travel easier to their work places inside Israel.

At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into 'Aanin village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Ghaleb Fawaz Yassin, 22.

Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Far'a refugee camp, south of Tubas. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

1. Mohammed Basheer Abu Khaizaran, 40; and

2. Ghassan Basheer Abu Khaizaran, 50.

Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into 'Aanin village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Ghaleb Fawaz Yassin, 22.

At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided a house belonging to Ibrahim Mousa Salim, 46, after blowing up the door. The house was damaged and its walls cracked. Windows of five neighboring houses were also broken. Also as a result of blowing up the door, 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a woman, were injured:

1. Ibrahim Mousa Salim, 46;

2. Miriam Mohammed Salim, 46, his wife;

3. Salim Ibrahim Salim, 16, his son; and

4. Hani Mohammed Khalifa, 20.

During the house raid, IOF troops treated the residents inhumanly. They handcuffed male residents and detained them in rooms. No arrests were reported, and IOF troops left the house without asking about anyone.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into 'Allar village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

1. 'Izzat Makkawi Shadid, 29; and

2. Mohammed Makkawi Shadid, 26.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ofer prisoners ready to strike if cancer patient not treated

Published yesterday (updated) 30/07/2009 13:57

Hebron - Ma'an - Prisoner in Israel Hamza Tarayra cannot eat and can barely speak with the large tumor in his mouth that went undiagnosed for months after Israseli prison authorities denied him medical assistance, recently released prisoner Raed Al-Atrash said Wednesday.

Al-Atrash held a public appeal alongside other released detainees from Israel’s Ofer prison, the group demanded Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, human rights associations and the Red Cross intervene and insist Tarayra receive proper medical treatment.

“He can only swallow the water they give him,” Al-Atrash said of Tarayra’s condition, “he has lost a lot of weight and is in very bad condition.”

Tarayra asked several times to see medical professionals after noticing the lump in his mouth, but was only offered pain relievers by prison authorities, an earlier report from the Prisoner’s Center said.

Palestinian detainees at Ofer blamed the prison administration for the deterioration of Hamza’s health and said they will go on hunger strike unless the situation is remedied.

Families of men in Egyptian prison rally in Gaza

Published yesterday (updated) 30/07/2009 17:51

Gaza – Ma’an – Families of five men detained in Egypt have continued an appeal following a Hamas-organized summer camp staged a sit-in Wednesday demanding the return of a Gaza man from detention.

“Egyptian authorities arrested five residents of Gaza on 12 September 2004 and charged them with affiliation to an extremist group outside the country,” said their spokesman Abu Murad Al-Qoqa, “they were officially released on 15 January 2005 according to a court decision, but state security rejected thr decision under the pretext that martial law applied in their case.”

“The news reports we’ve heard say our children are treated harshly and sometimes we hear rumors they have died in Egyptian detention,” one mother said. The assembled families appealed to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to free their sons.

The detainees were identified as Ayman Noufal, Mu’tasam Al-Qoqa, Abdallah Abu Raya and Nedal Hamada.

The day before, Hamas youth rallied at Rafah for the release of Ayman Nofal, a Hamas activist involved in toppling the Egyptian border wall in the winter of 2007 during the thick of the Israeli siege. Explosives ripped a gaping hole in the Egyptian border wall, which was left open for a week, allowing Gazans to travel into Rafah for supplies including flour, cooking gas and cigarettes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hamas summer campers demand Egypt release Palestinian

Published today (updated) 29/07/2009 15:18

Gaza – Ma’an – A Hamas-youth summer camp organized a demonstration at the Rafah crossing Tuesday, demanding the release of Hamas Al-Qassam Brigades activist Ayman Nofal from Egypt’s custody.

The summer camp unit, organized and funded by the Hamas party in Gaza, was named “Set Ayman Nofal Free.” The camp is one of dozens of summer programs organized by the political party, which rose to prominence in part because of the social services it provides to Palestinians.

Members of Nofal’s family partook in the demonstration, as well as almost a hundred local youth and campers.

Nofal was detained by Egyptian security when Palestinian fighters destroyed a portion of the border wall and thousands crossed to Egypt in January 2008. Egypt had refused to open the Rafah border crossing following the Hamas-takeover of the Strip, and the Israeli-imposed siege meant no goods were entering the area, home to 1.5 million people.

Explosives ripped a gaping hole in the Egyptian border wall, which was left open for a week, allowing Gazans to travel into Rafah for supplies including flour, cooking gas and cigarettes.

Israeli court convicts Arafat aide over weapons smuggling

Published today (updated) 29/07/2009 14:42

Bethlehem – Ma’an – An Israeli military court convicted Fuad Shubaki, a former financial advisor to the late President Yasser Arafat, on Wednesday of arranging funding and weapons smuggling operations for Fatah’s military wing, Al-Aqsa Brigades.

He was also convicted of masterminding the Karine A, a freighter that was intercepted allegedly carrying weapons from Iran to Gaza in 2002. Israeli forces stormed the ship in the Red Sea, seizing the weapons onboard.

The verdict said, “Shubaki’s office delivered money to establish a factory for producing explosives, and Shubaki himself knew that the weapons and explosives were taken to Al-Aqsa Brigades and were used in attacks against Israel.”

Shubaki was seized in 2005 when Israeli forces stormed the central Palestinian Authority prison in the West Bank city of Jericho.

IPU: Detention of Palestinian MPs breach of immunity

[ 29/07/2009 - 09:48 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The secretary general of the international parliamentary union (IPU) Anderson Johnson has called on Israel to release all Palestinian MPs held in its jails for more than three years.

He said that the detention of those MPs was in flagrant violation of their parliamentary immunity.

Johnson, in a message to the international campaign to release the kidnapped Palestinian MPs, condemned the detention of those legitimate representatives of the people and called for their immediate and unconditional release.

The secretary general pointed out that an IPU committee discussed the issue of those deputies during an IPU session in August 2006 and issued a statement in October the same year denouncing their unjustified detention.

The IPU will continue to defend the rights of the detained lawmakers in Israeli jails until they are all released, he concluded.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Israeli military decides to transfer a Palestinian Prisoner from the West Bank to Gaza

Monday July 27, 2009 17:52 by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News & Agencies

The Israeli military decided on Monday to Transfer a Palestinian political prisoner form the West Bank to Gaza.

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

49 years old Fared Al Akhrass from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, was kidnapped four days ago.

According to his lawyer Al Akhrass was not charged by the military court, but the decision was made because he was originally born in Gaza.

IOF troops kidnap 200 workers, blast Palestinian homes

[ 28/07/2009 - 01:30 PM ]

JENIN, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched a large-scale search campaign in the village of Barta'a, Jenin district, at a late hour on Monday and rounded up more than 200 workers before leaving the village at dawn Tuesday.

Local sources said that 300 IOF soldiers mounting 70 army vehicles encircled and stormed the village shortly before midnight Monday and broke into 200 houses at the pretext that the villagers were providing shelter for Palestinian laborers working in 1948 occupied Palestine.

This is the first operation of its kind where Palestinian workers are chased in the West Bank whereas the soldiers used to detain those workers in the 1948 occupied land.

Meanwhile, IOF troops at dawn Tuesday rounded up four Palestinian citizens in north and central West Bank, claiming they were wanted for interrogation including a Jerusalemite.

In Nablus, citizens said that the soldiers threw explosive devices on the entrances of five houses in Balata refugee camp wounding a number of citizens and causing big material damage.

Jewish settlers, for their part, threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Yitzhar crossing point in Nablus district.

Local sources in Al-Khalil city said that settlers also threw stones at the Ibrahimi Mosque and smashed a number of its windows.

In Kufl Hares village, Salfit district, the IOF soldiers distributed notifications to citizens warning them against completing construction of their homes and warning others that their homes would be flattened.

IOF soldiers had demolished three homes east of Breij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip on Monday during an incursion that was coupled with bulldozing cultivated lands.

Israeli occupation police assault, detain chairwoman of studies center

[ 28/07/2009 - 10:12 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation policemen on Monday evening kidnapped Huda Al-Imam the chairwoman of the Quds center for studies after assaulting her and breaking her arm.

Media sources in occupied Jerusalem told PIC reporter that confrontations took place between Jerusalemite citizens backed by foreign activists and the policemen after the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood organized a solidarity sit-in to protest the Israeli occupation authority's (IOA) judaization schemes in the holy city.

The sources said that the policemen took Al-Imam to an interrogation center where she was charged with participating in an illegal march, obstructing police work and attacking public property.

They underlined that tension was running high in occupied Jerusalem due to the IOA practices, which could harbinger further escalation within the few coming days.

500 balloons launched from Ramallah in honor of child prisoners

Published today (updated) 28/07/2009 16:09

Ramallah – Ma’an – Balloons representing the nearly 350 minors being kept in Israeli prisons were released during a demonstration in Ramallah on Tuesday

Each carried the name of a current or former child prisoner detained by Israeli forces.

The 500 green, red, black and white balloons were released from the Al-Manara circle in the center of Ramallah in a protest organized by the families of prisoners.

Mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters of the detained minors held pictures of their loved ones. One mother, Um Muhammad, said she had not seen her son for more than two years because Israeli security refused her permission to travel and visit the detention facility.

Another mother, Umm Ibrahim, said she had been able to visit her son, but found the experience horrifying, “We are insulted and humiliated by Israeli soldiers and inspectors during visits to prison, and sometimes they deny us access arbitrarily,” she said.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tulkarem:Families of detainees invite activists, politicians to sit-in

Tulkarem – Ma’an – Families of Palestinian prisoners from Tulkarem called on Palestinian Minister of Prisoners affairs Issa Qaraqi’a to join their weekly Tuesday sit-in.

This week’s protest will take place at the home of Ahmad Awwad, a prisoner of Israel who suffers from heart disease. The families said the event is meant to raise awareness of Awwad’s case, and the dozens of others who suffer medical conditions in Israeli facilities.

The families also invited the governor of Tulkarem Talal Dweikat to join their sit-in, along with human rights groups and Palestinian political factions and activists.

Palestinian hunger strikes for 13 days; demands medical treatment

Bethlehem – Ma’an –Riyad Al-Amour from Tqu’a village east of Bethlehem said has been on hunger strike for 13 days following improper medical treatment for his heart and stomach conditions, his family said Monday.

Al-Amour told his family by telephone about his condition, and they in turn called the Israeli prison administration to have him moved from the Gilbo'a Prison to another where he can be treated properly.

Al-Amour was detained from his house on 7 May 2002; he was accused of being involved in the death of two Israelis and being affiliated to the Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Sixteenth Palestinian prisoner of Israel diagnosed with cancer

Published today (updated) 27/07/2009 20:44

Hebron – Ma’an – Prisoner of Israel Hamza Tarayra was diagnosed with cancer in Hadassah Hospital on Monday, the Palestinian prisoner’s society in Hebron announced.

Following a visit to the Ofer detention center, prisoner society lawyer Luay Ukka said Tarayra was finally diagnosed following months of requests for medical checks. After each request for a medical appointment, Tarayra said, Israseli prison officials would give him pain relievers. Doctors at the Hadassah hospital found he had a large tumor in his mouth and needs urgent surgery.

Tarayra is from the southern West Bank town of Bani Na’im, east of Hebron. He was detained on 1 May 2008 on charges of resisting Israeli forces and being affiliated to Fatah’s military wing the Al-Aqsa Brigades.

Also on Monday the de facto Ministry for Detainees in Gaza released a statement saying the number of Palestinian cancer sufferers in Israeli prisons has risen to 16.

The head of media department at the ministry Riyad Al-Ashkar said the most recent case is that of Fayyez Sa’dat, who was released for medical treatment after his cancer spread, riddling his body with tumors.

Former PA minister released from Israeli custody

Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israel's Interior Ministry on Sunday issued an order preventing former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Hatim Abdul Qader from approaching an area in East Jerusalem for 15 days.

The former official was detained earlier on Sunday, apparently while trying to block more attacks on a home that had earlier been ransacked by a group of rightist settlers.

The order says that Abdul Qader must not approach property allegedly owned by Arieh King, the leader of a local settler group in the occupied city, who accused the official of attacking him and destroying property in the As-Salam neighborhood.

Abdul Qader was interrogated for eight hours at an Israeli police station on Salah Ad-Din Street in East Jerusalem before he was transferred to the Russian compound detention center for questioning by Israel's Shabak intelligence service. He said he refused to answer questions, and was ultimately released for this reason.

The Fatah-affiliated official insisted that the arrest and ban was an arbitrary decision, which he said was aimed at keeping Palestinian figures from hotspots in East Jerusalem. Nevertheless he vowed to continue defending Palestinian residents there.

Another Palestinian and eight foreign solidarity activists were also detained by Israeli forces operating in the area when, according to Ma'an's correspondent, they tried to prevent settlers and police from occupying the home of Darwish Hijazi.

Three of the internationals were identified in a statement to Ma'an as two American nationals and one from the United Kingdom. There was no word on the other five internationals allegedly seized.

A number of local residents reportedly sat on the road leading to the home in an effort to stop Israeli bulldozers moving near the house, and several protesters were injured, according to witnesses.

Dimitri Diliani, spokesman for Fatah in Jerusalem, and Abdul Qader were quoted as saying that residents were adamant about preventing settlers from occupying the Hijazi home.

Diliani added that dozens of Fatah activists had meanwhile managed to expel a group of settlers from a nearby piece of land, while Israeli police nonetheless brought backup forces and threatened to arrest protesters who refused to leave the area.

ISM Gaza Strip video: Counter protest against siege and for Palestinian prisoners at Erez

Video of the 23rd of June 2009

While Zionists were gathered at the other side of Erez crossing a counter protest was organized by the Waed Society for detainees and liberated & the Popular Committee Against the Siege (PCAS). ISM Gaza Strip volunteers participated at the protest.

Deteriorating conditions throughout Israeli prison system, serious violations in Al Naqab

27.07.09 - 15:58

Bethlehem / PNN – For prisoner Akram Abdul-Aziz Mansour a life sentence in prison may not take much longer to complete. He is one of hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners who the Israeli administration refuses to treat despite illness.

Mansour is a detainee in the Israeli desert prison of Al Naqab where he and several others met with a Palestinian Prisoners Society lawyer this week.

The PPS attorney reports that Mansour recently collapsed during morning exercises and was transferred to the prison clinic. The doctor there claimed that Mansour was fine. Prison officials were asked to bring in a medical specialist to treat skin allergies and high blood pressure for Mansour, who has been in Israeli prisons for 30 years. He is also reportedly suffering from insomnia and hearing loss in his left ear.

The lawyer said that the administration has been ignoring Mansour’s medical issues for four years, and that he may be suffering from a malignant tumor, as well as epileptic seizures. The lawyer also said that Mansour is extremely thin and cannot eat due to dental problems.

Another political prisoner, Tarek Ghanem Zidane, worries about his own deteriorating health, caused by a gallstone. He says the stone has resulted in high blood pressure and heart palpitations, as well as severe headaches and diarrhea. He needs an operation and aftercare at the Ramle Prison Hospital, but the Israeli prison management refuses treatment.

Mohammed Rafat Ali Safi from the village of Beit Soureik has been imprisoned since April 2002. He was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison during which he has undergone an increase in night raids of cells which are well-reported to be brutal and include insults and arbitrary punishments.

Prisoner Abdel-Jawad, a 20-year-old Jericho man sentenced to 20 months in April 2008, told the PPS lawyer this week that the situation in Al Naqab Prison is very hard. The attorney pressured the Israeli prison administration to allow at least the introduction of seasonal clothes by families.

Hatem Suleiman Asad, a man from Jenin Refugee Camp who was imprisoned in May 2004 on a nine-year sentence, is calling for international humanitarian organizations like the Red Cross to ensure adequate prisoner treatment. Asad said that he suffers from oral pain and broken teeth because of poor dental care, which has led to facial swelling and tender gums.

Captive Mahmoud Abdullah Faqih from Ramallah says that his health continues to deteriorate and includes an incredibly painful cyst of ingrown hair on his back. The cyst appeared three years ago and such a condition is known to require a surgical procedure for its removal. However, Faqih has had no treatment. The cyst was discovered by prison doctors during a medical examination but nothing was done about it. Sentenced to 50 months in Israeli prison, the Ramallah man cannot wait. Even President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad lobbied on his behalf for urgent care.

The PPS lawyer also met with a member of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine from the West Bank village of Qabatia. He has been in Administrative Detention, meaning without charge or trial, for 32 months. He called on the Israeli prison authorities to begin legal proceedings in accordance with administrative regulations, rather than arbitrarily denying rights to political prisoners. He said there are 27 such detainees there, all of whom have been denied basic rights.

He said that the Red Cross ignored him when he told them about the plight of these detainees. He has run into many such difficulties with the prison administration, especially when officials manipulate intelligence in order to extend detentions for those prisoners who are nearing the ends of their sentences.

Additionally, the lawyer discussed the problem of transporting prisoners. Trips that should take no more than hours are turned into days and are marred by physical and emotional abuse, the plight of thousands of Palestinians currently in Israeli prisons.

Stop Administrative Detention: the case of Basim Za'rir

posted on Sumoud on 23 July 2009

PLC Member Basim Za’rir was arrested on 1 January 2009, when Israeli occupation forces arrived at his home just after 2:00am. After beating Basim’s eldest son, searching the house, and ordering and interrogating all the men above the age of 16 living in the house nearby, they arrested Mr Za’rir. He was taken to Etzion detention centre where he remained for a week before being transferred to Ofer. He was then placed under an administrative detention order and kept in detention for approximately two months before being transferred again to Ketziot prison in the Negev where he still remains. The administrative detention order against Mr. Za’rir was for a six month period, lasting from his arrest on 1 January 2009 until 2 July 2009. His attorney filed an appeal on Mr. Za’rir’s behalf, challenging this order less than a month after the judicial review took place, but the appeal was denied. On 2 July, instead of being released, Mr. Za’rir was informed that his administrative detention order would be extended for another six months. The judge at the judicial review for the second order confirmed the additional six month period, setting the current order’s expiration date for 1 January 2010.

Prior to his current administrative detention, Mr. Za’rir had been arrested four times and never sentenced once. In 1993, he was arrested and detained for one month of interrogation before being released without charge. Four years later, in 1997, two months of interrogation again proved nothing, and he was subsequently released without charge for a second time. In 2005, Mr. Za’rir was arrested and detained for one month, yet again without charge. However, in 2006, Mr. Za’rir was elected to the Legislative Council, and was arrested six months later on charges of belonging to the Change and Reform Bloc. After spending two years in detention awaiting trial on these charges, Mr. Za’rir was tried before the military courts, was acquitted of all charges and finally released on 23 June 2008. A mere six months later, he was arrested once more and placed under administrative detention without charge or trial. Mr. Za’rir’s case is a prime example of Israel’s arbitrary use of administrative detention as a substitute for prosecution in cases of unavailable or insufficient evidence.

Click here to read Basim Za’rir’s profile and see how you can help.

A demonstration will be held outside the demolished Darwish Hijazi home in Sheikh Jarrah

UPDATE: All activists were given a condition to stay out of East Jerusalem for 3 weeks and will be released later today.

For Immediate Release:

4pm, Monday 27 July 2009: A demonstration will be held outside the Darwish Hijazi home to protest the demolition of the home and the ethnic cleansing of occupied East Jerusalem.

Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah, along with international and Israeli solidarity activists, will hold a demonstration outside the Darwish Hijazi home in Sheikh Jarrah. On Sunday, 26 July 2009, 7 international activists, 1 Israeli activist and 2 Palestinians were arrested outside the Palestinian home.

Settlers had broken into the home and began to destroy the house from the inside. According to local residents, the Palestinian home owner had died a month ago, leaving no one inside the home to protect it. Around 12:30 pm, Israeli forces arrested a German national, an Australian national, a Scottish national, an Israeli and 2 Palestinians including former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Hatim Abdul Qader, when they tried to block settlers from entering the home.

After they were taken to the police station on Salah al-Din street, settlers were able to enter the home. According to witnesses at the scene, settlers were destroying the house from the inside.

Around 3:30, Israeli forces arrested 2 American nationals and a British national, as they tried to enter the Palestinian home to stop the settlers from destroying it. They were also taken to the police station on Salah al-Din street.

The 7 internationals and 1 Israeli activist are still in detention and will likely have court on the morning of Monday, 27 July 2009.

The case of Sheikh Jarrah

The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem was built by the UN and Jordanian government in 1956 to house Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war. However, with the the start of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, following the 1967 war, settlers began claiming ownership of the land the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood was build on.

Stating that they had purchased the land from a previous Ottoman owner in the 1800s, settlers claimed ownership of the land. In 1972 settlers successfully registered this claim with the Israeli Land Registrar.

The 28 families face eviction from their homes. In November 2008, the al-Kurd family was violently evicted from their home in Sheikh Jarrah. Two weeks thereafter, Mohammad al-Kurd died from a stress induced heart attack.

Currently, the Hannoun and the al-Ghawe families face eviction from their Sheikh Jarrah homes. However, all 28 families are battling eviction in Israeli court.

Updated on July 27, 2009

Settlers take over a Palestinian house in Sheikh Jarrah

Israeli Coalition Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)

27 July 2009

On July 26th a group of settlers led by Arie king took over a Palestinian house in Sheikh Jarrah to which they where given custody of in a very controversial decision of the Israeli court. While trying to prevent the settlers from taking over the house and demolishing it, 11 activists (three Palestinians, seven internationals and one Israeli) where arrested.

At about 11:30, with the support of police and army units, settlers came to demolish a home whose owner passed away recently. This is part of the settler organization’s larger campaign to dispose Palestinians of their land and to settle Jews in the East Jerusalem neighborhood, especially in the holy basin – the area which surrounds the old city of Jerusalem.

Activists at the scene attempted to non-violently prevent the entrance of the settler bulldozer into the home, an effort that was met with unrelenting force by the police and army, and ended with the violent arrest of the 11 activists. The activists were held and interrogated at Salah-Adin police station in Sheikh Jarrah, and 8 of them were transferred to the Russian compound and held overnight.

Currently, 28 families face eviction in the East Jerusalem neighborhood, and others have already been evicted and settlers now occupy their houses. Sheikh Jarrah is a Palestinian neighborhood, and the continued efforts by settlers to move Jews there is yet another way of creating “facts on the ground” and preventing any real, just solution from being reached in the future.

Relevant Links:

Radio show to deliver direct testimony from Palestinians inside Israeli prisons

26.07.09 - 21:51

Bethlehem / PNN - A new program is coming to the airwaves to talk about the reality faced by Palestinian political prisoners within the Israeli prison system.

Between 9,500 and 11,000 Palestinians are in Israeli prisons and detention centers where reports of torture, extended periods of solitary confinement, inadequate medical care and food, and a lack of family visits or seasonal clothing are rampant.

The Voice of Arabs is a Cairo-based program that is working in cooperation with Bethlehem’s Hossam Society on a broadcast specifically talking about Palestinians in Israeli prisons and detention centers.

Mowaffaq Hamid, Director of Public Relations at Hossam, explained today that an agreement was reached with the Voice of Arabs for a weekly, hour and a half program.

Palestinians will be on the air from inside Israeli prisons via mobile phone, in addition to loved ones, legal personalities, rights groups and advocates.

Hamid added that the program is designed to explain the suffering of Palestinian prisoners and their families, and the violations committed against them, through live testimonies. Their voices will be delivered directly to the Arab world.

Detainee on Hunger Strike since six days

Thursday July 23, 2009 00:56 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

Palestinian detainee, Riyadh Al Amour, has been on hunger strike since six days in protest to the bad living conditions, and frequent attacks carried out by Israeli soldiers guarding the prison.

Image by PPS
Image by PPS

The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) stated that Al Amour was sentenced to one life term, and is suffering from several health conditions, including a heart disease as he previously underwent a heart surgery when the surgeons implanted a pacemaker.

The PPS added that the detainee needs frequent medical checkups, but the prison administration is denying him the right to proper medical attention.

It stated that there are more than 1000 detainees who need urgent medical attention and treatment but the Israeli Prison Authority is ignoring their basic, international guaranteed right to medical treatement.

Palestinian official arrested in East Jerusalem for role in nonviolent resistance to save homes

26.07.09 - 21:18

Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – The Minister of Jerusalem Affairs in the Palestinian Authority was arrested this morning.

Hatem Abdel Kader was held for investigation at the Israeli police station next to the post office on East Jerusalem’s Salah Addin Street.

For eight hours the Palestinian official was questioned in an ongoing campaign of harassment of Jerusalem citizens which includes closing art exhibits, banning cultural events, destroying homes and confiscating identification.

The Minister of Israeli Internal Security said on Sunday evening that Abdel Kader is banned from nearing East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood from which Palestinians are being evicted. A solidarity tent became the home of the elderly Umm Kamal Al Kurd last year and international attention has been drawn to the plight of citizens who are losing everything. Sheikh Jarrah is one of numerous Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that the Israeli administration is overtaking for settlements in a move that even has the US calling for an end.

Israeli settlers and police had attempted to storm the home of Darwish Hijazi that the nonviolent Palestinian resistance was protecting. Among citizens, officials and media present was Abdel Kader.

The defense for the Palestinian official views the case as part of ongoing efforts to silence Kader and his colleagues while the overtaking of Jerusalem continues.

New Israeli committee undermines achievements made by Palestinians through protest in Israeli jails

25.07.09 - 20:37

Gaza / PNN - The Ministry involved in the issues of political prisoners said this evening that the situation for Palestinians in all Israeli detention centers is worsening by the day.

Although the number is reported between 9,500 and 11,000 Palestinians and Arabs in Israeli prisons the exact count is difficult as arrests occur on a daily basis. The Hamas government’s Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs is using the higher number as it reports on Saturday.

Citing both mental and physical health, it is notable that an increase in policies contravening international standards continues to be carried out. Within the past few months the intensity of mistreatment is up, says the prisoners’ ministry, because of a decision made by the Special Committee created by the Israeli government.

The director of the information department of the Palestinian prison ministry said today that the occupying administration “has spared no effort to undermine the achievements of the prisoners and their rights, while interfering in both large and small details of the lives of prisoners.” The Ministry of Detainees added that this is done “in order to ensure that their lives are narrow and disrupted, with the prisoners constantly employed in how to cope with a new situation after withdrawing from the last.”

The report includes severe deprivations of food and medical attention, along with an additional policy to revoke achievements such as no orange uniforms, news watching and visits held away from the confines of closed plastic.

Administrative detention case submitted to the UN

[Ramallah, 16 July 2009] – On 16 July 2009, DCI-Palestine filed a submission with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of Wa’ad al-Hidmy (UA 5/09), seeking the adoption of an Opinion by the UN body that Wa’ad’s administrative detention constitutes an arbitrary detention in contravention of international law.

Wa’ad was arrested by Israeli soldiers from his home near the West Bank city of Hebron at 3am on 28 April 2008. Wa’ad has been held without charge or trial ever since and received a fifth administrative detention order on 21 June 2009. Wa’ad was 16 years old when he was first arrested.

Administrative detention

Administrative detention is detention without charge or trial and is often based on ‘secret evidence’. Israeli Military Order 1591 empowers military commanders to detain Palestinians, including children as young as 12, for up to six months if they have ‘reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention’. The initial six month period can be extended by additional six-month periods indefinitely. This procedure denies the detainee the right to a fair trial and the ability to adequately challenge the basis of his or her detention.

There are currently around 428 Palestinian men, women and children in administrative detention. For more information visit the DCI-Palestine website at Freedom Now.

To take action, please follow this link and write to your elected representatives and/or the Israeli authorities demanding an end to the practice of detaining children without charge or trial in administrative detention.

Ex-minister’s release delayed for four months as his family prepare for his return

22.07.09 - 16:02

Jenin/PNN - A former Palestinian minister has had his administrative detention extended for the seventh time, just hours before his expected release.

Prisoner’s rights groups have condemned the decision by Israeli security not to release Wasfi Izzat Qabha, the former Minister of State, who has spent the past 27 months in detention without trial.

His wife, Umm Osama, has expressed grief at the extension of her husband’s detention, describing how their seven children had been excitedly awaiting the return of their father. “Once again, the occupation has denied them their joy."

Qabha has previously been arrested five times and spent over seven years in different occupation prisons, including five years imprisonment during the second intifada.

Fouad Khafash, a representative of Ahrar Centre for Prisoners and Human Rights, referred to administrative detention as a criminal policy aimed at undermining the resolve of the detainee and his family. He added that as all decisions were subject to the whim of intelligence officers, many prisoners like Qabha were being misused and manipulated.

Qabha’s detention will be reviewed again in four months.

Fourth administrative detention order for Entima

Administrative detention update

[Ramallah, 15 July 2009] – On 7 July 2009, Entima al-Lahham (UA 4/09) was issued with his fourth administrative detention order by the Israeli military commander in the West Bank. The order was reviewed by an Israeli military court on 13 July 2007, and reduced from four to two months. Entima’s latest administrative detention order is now set to expire on 7 September 2009.

Entima has been held without charge or trial since 13 July 2008.

Administrative detention

Administrative detention is detention without charge or trial and is often based on ‘secret evidence’. Israeli Military Order 1591 empowers military commanders to detain Palestinians, including children as young as 12, for up to six months if they have ‘reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention’. The initial six month period can be extended by additional six-month periods indefinitely. This procedure denies the detainee the right to a fair trial and the ability to adequately challenge the basis of his or her detention.

There are currently around 428 Palestinian men, women and children in administrative detention. For more information visit the DCI-Palestine website at Freedom Now.

To take action, please follow this link and write to your elected representatives and/or the Israeli authorities demanding an end to the practice of detaining children without charge or trial in administrative detention.

Formerly "wanted" Fatah-affiliated fighters appeal for release

Published Saturday 25/07/2009 (updated) 26/07/2009 21:32

Bethlehem – Ma’an – A number of former members of the armed wing of Fatah have appealed to President Mahmoud Abbas to wrap up their cases and release them from prison, according to a statement on Saturday.

Israel and the PA initiated the amnesty deals in 2007. Under the agreement, former Palestinian militiamen agreed to turn in their weapons and spend time in prison, under house arrest, or on probation. In exchange, Israel and the PA promised that they would not be arrested or assassinated.

But several former members of the Al-Aqsa Brigades, from Jenin and Qalqiliya, said on Saturday that their cases have carried on years longer than they should have.

According to the former "wanted" fighters, they have been jailed seven times the agreed-upon length, and have not received benefits generally provided by the Ministry of Interior to other prisoners. The fighters demanded that their allowances be paid and threatened to carry out protests if their demands were not met.

The former militants who were detained in Qalqiliya were identified as follows:

1. Mujeeb Ahmad Mansour, detained two years
2. Jihad Mohammad Al-A’slawi detained two years
3. Ayman Khaled Noufal deatined two years
4. Shadi Abed Al-Latif Jum’a, detained a year and a half
5. Naser Aqal Radwan, detained 10 months
6. Shadi Abed Al-Hadi, detained 15 months
7. Mahmoud Nimer Metwali, detained 15 months
8. Abdallah Mohammad Samhan, detained 15 months
9. Samir Hassan Thiab, detained ten months
10. Baha’ Ad-Din Anwar Abu Kahlil, detained seven months
11. Ahmad Walid Radwan, detained ten months
12. Wael Mohammad Jbarah
13. Akram Abed Al-Karim Ishtewie
14. Sari Rebhi Radwan
15. Ahmad Hasen Jarbu

Meanwhile, the Al-Aqsa Brigades appealed to President Abbas to wrap up the issue of similar prisoners in Jenin, and to release them from PA detention centers or transfer them to the original site in which they were once held in Ramallah.

It also issued an appeal to publicize the former fighters' plight and those of other fighters once listed on the Israeli military's "wanted" lists. The group insisted it was not a party to lawlessness in the Palestinian territories and said that it on the contrary helps the PA's security departments maintain law and order.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Children fear for life of father being denied adaquate medical treatment in Israeli prison

21.07.09 - 12:05
Jenin / PNN – Fifty year old Ali Al Safori is suffering from an unknown disease causing swellings across his face and body.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society on called for the occupying administration to provide medical care. The man’s family reports that his condition is critically serious.
The prisoners’ rights organization is calling for him to be transferred to a hospital or be able to receive a visit from the Red Cross before he suffers life-threatening complications.
The occupying administration has so far refused to allow any organizations to visit the middle-aged man for a medical examination.
His son, Mohammed Al Safori, described his father as “dramatically changed” by the disease.
“I have seen tumors and swellings in his face… His suffering began seven months ago when he noticed small swellings and demanded to see a specialist for treatment. The administration neglected my father and only submitted his case to the prison doctor, who only gave him painkiller tablets.” Mohammad Al Safori told PPS. The Israeli prison administration is known for doling out Ecomol tablets, similar to Tylenol, for most medical conditions.
His son reports, “This did not help him and now the disease has spread to the rest of his body.”
Al Safori was taken to a prison hospital just once for blood tests, but was never informed of the results. After his return to his cell, the occupation refused to allow doctors to visit or contact him.
Mohammed added that he been prevented from taking photographs of his father so that images of his condition would not reach the media.
Al Safori was arrested in Jenin Refugee Camp during the major attacks of 2002, and given five life sentences by a military court. His home has been demolished and family are allowed to visit him only once every six months.
Mohammed called for pressure to be put on authorities to get treatment to his father. “I appeal for all institutions and bodies to adopt this cause… we have the ability to cover the costs of treatment, because it is most important for us to put a stop to the suffering of my father, who has lost the ability even to sleep. This disease is killing him.”

Israel's Sharon prison kept woman in isolation for four years

Published today (updated) 23/07/2009 21:35

Salfit – Ma’an – A Palestinian woman detained in 2005 has spent the last four years in an isolated cell tortured by prison guards, the Palestinian Detainees Society reported on Thursday.Following a visit to the Sharon prison, lawyers with the society said they spoke with Mariam At-Tarabin from Jericho who was sentenced to eight years in Israeli prison after being seized in 2005. The woman testified to lawyers that she has been kept in isolation since her sentencing. At-Tarabin said soldiers have told her she will remain in isolation, deprived of the company of any other prisoners, until 4 October. She said they gave no reason for the treatment.

Israeli soldiers seize 14 in overnight raids

Published today (updated) 23/07/2009 16:54

Tulkarem – Ma’an – Israeli forces seized 14 Palestinians during overnight raids in the West Bank, the military said on Thursday.Israeli soldiers also invaded the West Bank village of Attil, north of Tulkarem, and photographed mosques and government buildings, according to Palestinian security sources. The soldiers did not raid any houses in the village, and no one was arrested.The Israeli military also said that they raided communities in the Jordan Valley.On Wednesday night Israeli forces held dozens of Palestinian students for hours at a military checkpoint they imposed near the village of Seida, south of the city of Jenin. Witnesses said Israeli soldiers checked the students’ identity papers, but did not arrest any of them.On Tuesday night Israeli soldiers seized five Palestinians during raids on houses, including four in the city of Nablus.

Youth sentenced to three years by Israel for Al-Aqsa affiliation

Published today (updated) 23/07/2009 16:55

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel’s Ofer military court sentenced 18-year-old Muhammad Hassan Salah from Al-Khader village to three years and two months in prison and a penalty 2,000 shekels for alleged affiliation to the Al-Aqsa Brigades.

The decision was handed down on Wednesday night. The Al-Aqsa Brigades is the armed wing of the Fatah party.

Military court sentences man to 15 years for 'Al-Qaeda ties'

Published today (updated) 23/07/2009 17:19

Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A young Palestinian man was sentenced to 15 years in an Israeli jail on charges he was affiliated to Al-Qaeda, according to news reports on Thursday.

The Hebrew-language Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported that Darwish Abu Ayash, 21, was accused of joining Al-Qaeda in 2005, and had planned suicide attacks in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian refugee from Balata Refugee Camp, near Nablus, was convicted on the charges by judges at the so-called Samaria military court. Samaria is a Hebrew word used to refer to the northern West Bank.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Ofer military court found an 18-year-old man from Al-Khader village guilty of affiliation to the Al-Aqsa Brigades, which is affiliated with Fatah. Muhammad Hassan Salah was sentenced on Wednesday night to three years and two months in prison and a penalty of 2,000 shekels, the court said.

Bil’in demonstrates against Israeli night raids

22 July 2009

The Bil’in Popular Committee organized a night demonstration on Wednesday to protest ongoing nightly raids and arrests that have taken place for the past 3 weeks. On the course of the past weeks, over 17 people have been arrested and 13 of those are still being held in detention.

About 120 protesters—Palestinian, international and Israeli solidarity activists—started to march toward the Apartheid Wall shortly before midnight holding up small flashlights in various colors. They were chanting while proceeding. At a certain point near the Wall, the Palestinian activists lit several fires to emphasize our presence. About 3 army jeeps started to patrol the road near the Wall observing our actions. They shot several illuminating shells to get a clearer view of what was going on, and to see how many demonstrators were present.

The road the demonstrators were marching was in safe distance from the army outpost and the road near the Wall. The group gathered around the fires for about half an hour chanting and whistling while the army jeeps remained stationary. Apart from shooting illuminating shells, there was not intervention from the occupation forces. The protesters then returned peacefully back to the village.

Updated on July 23, 2009

Israeli troops detain footballer en route to West Bank from Gaza

Published today (updated) 23/07/2009 15:33

Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli troops detained a Palestinian football player on his way out of the Gaza Strip through Erez crossing Thursday afternoon.

The former forward with the Rafah team Mahmoud Kamel As-Sarsak was on his way to Nablus where he was expected to join the Balata team, and continue his football career. Two other footballers travelling with As-Sarsak were turned away at the crossing, while the young player was taken into Israeli custody.

Mahmoud’s brother Imad Al-Sarsak said soldiers took him to Ashkelon prison, and noted that none of the family was made aware of any charges against him.

Israeli forces arrest Palestinian on his return from testifying to the UN in Geneva, released on bail

published on ISM webpage

Update: According to his legal representation, Mohammad Srour will be released on bail.

For Immediate Release:

22 July 2009: Israeli forces arrest Palestinian on his return from testifying to the United Nations in Geneva.

Mohammad Srour was arrested on 20 July 2009 while crossing the Allenby Bridge from Jordan.

Srour and Jonathan Pollack, an Israeli solidarity activist, testified to the United Nations in Geneva on 6 July 2009 about the murder of 2 young men by Israeli forces during a demonstration in Ni’lin.

(Video available:, download the video:

Srour, a member of the Ni’lin Popular Committee Against the Wall, participates in demonstrations that take place against the theft of Ni’lin’s land. He and Pollack were witness to the shooting of 2 Ni’lin residents (Arafat Rateb Khawaje and Mohammed Khawaje) on 28 December 2009, during a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza.

“I know full well that I will pay the price for this testimony when I return at Israeli crossing points in my journey of return after this hearing.” –Mohammad Srour stated at minute 4 of his testimony to the United Nations

Srour was arrested at the border crossing of the Allenby Bridge and taken to Ofer prison. On Wednesday, he was interrogated by Israeli forces and his lawyer has requested an urgent hearing for Thursday. He will likely be taken to court on Thursday, 23 July 2009 to hear the charges against him.


The West Bank village of Ni’lin has been demonstrating since the Israeli government began for a second time to construct the Wall on village lands in May 2008. To date, Israeli forces have killed 5 residents of Ni’lin and critically injured 1 American solidarity activist. According to local medics who volunteer with the Palestinian Red Crescent, over 450 people have been injured during demonstrations as of April 2009.

Visibly, the violence from Israeli forces dramatically increased during and after the 22-day assault on Gaza that began on 27 December 2008. Israeli forces have killed 3 demonstrators since the beginning of the Gaza assault in Ni’lin. Additionally, the Israeli army has introduced new weapons against demonstrators; using the high-velocity tear gas projectile and a 0.22 calibre live ammunition shot by sniper fire as a means of crowd dispersal.

Additionally, Israeli arrest and intimidation campaigns on the villages that demonstrate against the Wall, have led to the arrests of over 76 Palestinians in Ni’lin alone.

  • 5 June 2009: Yousef Akil Srour (36) was shot in the chest with 0.22 caliber live ammunition and pronounced dead upon arrival at a Ramallah hospital.
  • 13 March 2009: Tristan Anderson (37), an American citizen, was shot in the head with a high velocity tear gas projectile. He is currently at Tel Hashomer hospital with uncertain prospects for his recovery.
  • 28 December 2008: Mohammed Khawaje (20) was shot in the head with 5.56mm caliber live ammunition. He died in a Ramallah hospital 3 days later on 31 December 2008.
  • 28 December 2008: Arafat Rateb Khawaje (22) was shot in the back with 5.56mm caliber live ammunition and pronounced dead upon arrival at a Ramallah hospital.
  • 30 July 2008: Yousef Amira (17) was shot in the head with two rubber coated steel bullets. He died in a Ramallah hospital 5 days later on 4 August 2008.
  • 29 July 2008: Ahmed Mousa (10) was shot in the forehead with 5.56mm caliber live ammunition and pronounced dead upon arrival at a Ramallah hospital.

In total, 19 people have been killed during demonstrations against the Wall.

In total, 38 people have been shot by Israeli forces with live ammunition in Ni’lin: 9 were shot with 5.56mm caliber live ammunition and 29 were shot with 0.22 caliber live ammunition.

Since May 2008, residents of Ni’lin have been organizing and participating in unarmed demonstrations against construction of the Apartheid Wall. Despite being deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004, the Occupation continues to build the Wall, further annexing Palestinian land.

Ni’lin will lose approximately 2,500 dunums of agricultural land when construction of the Wall is completed. Israel annexed 40,000 of Ni’lin’s 58,000 dunums in 1948. After the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, the illegal settlements and infrastructure of Kiryat Sefer, Mattityahu and Maccabim were built on village lands and Ni’lin lost another 8,000 dunums. Of the remaining 10,000 dunums, the Occupation will confiscate 2,500 for the Wall and 200 for a tunnel to be built under the segregated settler-only road 446. Ni’lin will be left with 7,300 dunums.

Updated on July 23, 2009

No charge for Srour; bail, "conditions" following UN testimony

Published today (updated) 23/07/2009 21:17

Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Nil'in man who testified for the UN’s Gaza fact finding mission was released on “conditions” though he was not charged following his detention by Israeli border officials on his way home from Geneva.
Srour was testifying at the UN’s fact finding mission on Gaza, lead by Richard Goldstone. The mission has a broad mandate that includes investigations over how the political situation in Israel in the lead-up and fall out of their war on Gaza affected the West Bank.

According to Srour’s lawyers at the office of Gaby Lasky, Srour was released on “conditions,” and was asked to post bail, said to be around 4,000 shekels (1,000 US dollars). The courts said they were likely going to charge the non-violence activist, but they did not say with what he was to be charged, or when. No court date has been set for his reappearance.

Srour, a member of the Ni'lin Popular Committee Against the Wall, participates in demonstrations that take place against the theft of Ni'lin's land. He and Pollack were witness to the shooting of two Ni’lin residents, Arafat Rateb Khawaje and Mohammed Khawaje, on 28 December 2008, during a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Palestinian child detainee figures on the rise again

July 09, 2009

Palestinian child detainee figures on the rise again

[Ramallah, 9 July 2009] – According to the latest figures compiled by DCI-Palestine from sources including the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) and temporary Israeli army detention facilities, the number of Palestinian children detained in Israeli prisons and detention centres inside Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory is on the rise again after falling for three consecutive months.

The child detention figures for June 2009, show a 2.6% increase over the previous month, and a 9.9% increase over the corresponding period in 2008. DCI-Palestine continues to be concerned by the sharp increase in the number of Palestinian children being arrested in the West Bank by Israeli authorities in 2009, a trend that coincided with the start of the war in Gaza. During the whole of 2008, the monthly average number of children held in detention was 319. In the first six months of 2009, this average has risen to 387, an increase of 21.3%.

Number of Palestinian children in Israeli detention at the end of each month since January 2008
Year/Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2008 327 307 325 327 337 323 324 293 304 297 327 342
2009 389 423 420 391 346 355 - - - - - -
(note: these figures are not cumulative)

DCI-Palestine is not in a position to conclusively explain the reason for the increase, but in the first three months of this year, the percentage of children being charged with throwing stones increased from 26.7% to 61%. DCI-Palestine suspects that the increase is linked to a rise in the number of protests arising out of the war in Gaza.

On 6 March 2009, the President of Defence for Children International (DCI) wrote to the Israeli Minister of Justice, Daniel Friedmann, seeking an explanation for the sharp increase in the number of Palestinian children being detained by Israel and notified the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child of these developments.

To date, there has been no response from the Israeli authorities.

If you would like to take action, then please consider lobbying your elected representatives and demand that more pressure be applied to the Israeli government to cease the practice of detaining children as young as 12 years from the occupied West Bank.

For further information please refer to DCI-Palestine’s latest report.

URGENT APPEAL: Wa'ad al-Hidmy

UA - 5/09 – URGENT APPEAL – DCI-Palestine

Name Wa’ad Arafat Mustafa al-Hidmy
Age at arrest 16
Occupation Student
Place of residence Surif, Hebron, Hebron, OPT
Date of arrest 28 April 2008
Charge No charge
Place of detention Ofer Prison

UPDATE: July 2009

21 September 2009 Possible release date
21 June 2009 Fifth administrative detention order (3 months)
26 March 2009 Fourth administrative detention order (3 months)
26 November 2008 Third administrative detention order (4 months)
27 August 2008 Second administrative detention order (3 months)
6 May 2008 First administrative detention order (4 months)
28 April 2008 Date of arrest

Background information

Wa’ad was arrested from the family home in the village of Surif, near Hebron in the West Bank, at 3:00am on 28 April 2008. He was asleep at the time and woke to the sound of Israeli soldiers banging on the front door.

The soldiers entered the house and after identifying Wa’ad, tied his hands behind his back with plastic cords and took him out of the house to a waiting jeep where he was blindfolded. Wa’ad was placed on the floor of the jeep and told to ‘shut-up’. During the drive to the settlement of Karmi Zur, soldiers in the back of the jeep placed their legs on Wa’ad’s body. On arrival at the settlement Wa’ad was asked some questions about his health before being transferred to Etzion Interrogation and Detention Centre, near Bethlehem. In an affidavit given to lawyers for DCI-Palestine in June 2009, Wa’ad recalls that: ‘I did not know why they were arresting me. I started to wonder whether I had done something wrong without knowing.’

Two days later, Wa’ad was transferred to Ofer Prison, near Ramallah, where he was interrogated by a policeman in blue uniform. During the interrogation the policeman told Wa’ad that he had been informed by a third person that Wa’ad had participated in a demonstration organised by Islamic Jihad, an organisation banned by the Israeli authorities. Wa’ad could not recall there being any demonstrations organised by Islamic Jihad where he lived during the previous year and that in any event, he had not participated in any of their demonstrations. Wa’ad recalls that the interrogation only lasted around five minutes.

Several days later a prison officer handed Wa’ad a document written in Hebrew and informed him that it was an administrative detention order for six months. Wa’ad recalls feeling depressed because ‘I was expecting to be released because I had not confessed to anything and I had not done anything.’ Two days later Wa’ad’s order was reviewed by the Administrative Detention Court and reduced to four months.

Months passed, and in August, three days before the expiry of the first order, a prison officer again handed Wa’ad a document written in Hebrew and informed him that he had been given a second administrative detention order for four months – ‘I became anxious, but felt helpless. I was expecting to be released after the expiry of the first order but this new order surprised me.’ Several days later the Court reviewed the second order and reduced it to three months.

Wa’ad recalls becoming nervous in the week before the expiry of the second order – ‘I was afraid that the order would be renewed again.’ Two days before the expiry date, Wa’ad was issued with a third administrative detention order for four months, which was confirmed by the Court.

I feel a great injustice because of this detention that, according to what I understood from the lawyer and judge, is based on confidential material. I do not know the real reason behind my detention because I cannot remember doing anything that would put the security of the state at risk.’

In March 2009, a few days before the expiry of his third order, Wa’ad was issued with a fourth administrative detention order, for four months, which was later reduced to three months by the Court – ‘I did not know what to do in such a situation. I became unstable and unsure when I would be released. Such a situation is driving me crazy.’

On 14 June 2009, nearly 14 months after his arrest, Wa’ad was visited for the first time by his parents. Up until this time, they had been denied a permit on unspecified security grounds, and only his younger siblings had been allowed to visit him. During the 40 minute visit, Wa’ad recalls telling his parents that he was ‘certain’ to be released on 25 June. However, on 21 June 2009, Wa’ad was issued with a fifth administrative detention order for three months – ‘now I am extremely depressed and do not know what to do.’

Wa’ad was imprisoned once before in September 2005 for throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and has a 20 year-old brother who is also being held in administrative detention in the Negev, inside Israel.

Wa’ad will lodge an appeal against the issue of his fifth administrative detention order.

Administrative detention

Administrative detention is detention without charge or trial and is often based on “secret evidence.” Israeli Military Order 1591 empowers military commanders to detain Palestinians, including children as young as 12, for up to six months if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.” The initial six month period can be extended by additional six-month periods indefinitely. This procedure denies the detainee the right to a fair trial and the ability to adequately challenge the basis of his or her detention.

There are currently at least 449 Palestinians being held by Israel without charge or trial in administrative detention, of which six were under 18 when they received their order. For more information visit the DCI-Palestine website at Freedom Now.

Recommended action

The detention of a child in these circumstances does not conform to Israel’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child or the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Please send Urgent Appeals to the Israeli authorities urging them to:
  • Immediately cease the practice of holding persons under the age of 18 in administrative detention; and
  • Immediately and unconditionally release Wa’ad from administrative detention, or charge him with a recognisable criminal offence and promptly try him in a proper court of law with internationally accepted standards for a fair trial. Any further action should take into consideration the fact that Wa’ad has now been detained without charge since April 2008.

Appeals to:

Prime Minister,
Office of the Prime Minister,
3 Kaplan Street, PO Box 187, Kiryat Ben-Gurion, Jerusalem, 91919, Israel,
Fax: +972- 2-651 2631,
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister

Ehud Barak
Minister of Defence, Ministry of Defence,
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940
Salutation: Dear Minister

Minister of Justice, Fax: + 972 2 628 7757; + 972 2 628 8618

Attorney General, Fax: + 972 2 627 4481; + 972 2 628 5438; +972 2 530 3367

*** Please inform DCI-Palestine if you receive any response to your appeals and quote the UA number at the top of this document –