Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Plight

Bianca Zammit and Fadi Skaik
29 November 2009
There are currently approximately 11,000 Palestinian prisoners being held captive in Israeli jails across Israel. Whilst their imprisonment is of itself in direct contravention of international law, the whole arrest, judiciary and imprisonment process compromises their basic human rights. In Gaza, the families of prisoners in Israeli jails meet every Monday at the premises of the International Committee of the Red Cross to hold a weekly vigil asking for the release of Palestinian prisoners. The demonstration also takes place at the ICRC building in order to send out a message to the international community, asking it to uphold international law and put pressure on Israel for the release of all prisoners.
Palestinians taken captive are held in one of the 24 prisons across Israel. The Fourth Geneva Convention through Article 76 prohibits an occupying power, in this case Israel, from imprisoning prisoners outside the territory it occupies and Article 47 of the same Convention clearly outlines that convicted prisoners should serve their sentence within the occupied territory.
Since September 2000 Palestinian citizens living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip require special permits to travel within the 1967 borders of Israel, yet these permits are very hard to come by. For these last three years all permits have stopped being issued and Palestinians from West Bank and Gaza are prohibited from entering 1948 land1.
The use of telephone is controlled and only in rare exceptions are Palestinian prisoners allowed to call their families. Without family visits and telephone calls the only ways of communicating is through letters and greetings families send through radio stations. Letters are received sparingly by both sides, months after they were written and sent2.
Hazem Shubair was imprisoned in an Israeli jail in 1993. His brother Tayseer has been denied the permit to visit his brother for the past 15 years. Hazem’ parents were allowed to visit him until 2002 and for the last 7 years they were forbidden access. All forms of communication between Hazem and his family have been severed. Hazem was sentenced to life imprisonment and the prospects of him being released in the near future are bleak. “I just want to see him, to have the opportunity of talking with him once more and to know how he is doing. These 17 years have been horrible” Tayseer states. Hazem has another 6 siblings anxiously awaiting his news and to be able of seeing him.
In terms of the judiciary system, Palestinians are tried within Israeli military courts located within Israeli military centers. These military tribunals are conducted by a panel of three judges appointed by the military, two of whom often do not have any legal training or background. This juxtaposes the impartiality and reliability of the legal apparatus since the judges are also soldiers who work on orders they receive from their supervisors and are dependent on the latter for promotion.3 These tribunals rarely fall within the required international standards of a fair trial.
Many Palestinian prisoners are either wounded or ill. Many prisoners were taken captive after having been shot at with live ammunition. According to Addameer Centre for Human Rights based in Gaza, “prison clinics tend to offer aspirin as a remedy for all health treatments and physicians within the clinics are all soldiers. Health examinations are conducted through a fence, and any necessary surgery or transfer to hospital for additional medical treatment is usually postponed for long periods of time”.
In 1999 the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled that it does not forbid the use of torture but rather allows interrogation methods deemed as torture to be used in situations of national defense. The victim of torture can only submit a complaint in that case that torture can be clearly proven. Israel interrogators are able to use methods of torture without impunity. Legalized torture includes sleep deprivation, denial of food and water, denial of access to toilets and shackling4. A Palestinian detainee can be interrogated for up to 180 days, during which access to a lawyer may be denied for 60 days.
Many prisoners receive administrative detention where charges are based on secret evidence. In this case both the lawyer and the detainee are not aware of the reason for arrest and cannot practice their right of defense. The detainee and lawyer are also not informed about the date of release. In administrative detention the army hands over the detainee to the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) who interrogates the prisoner. After interrogation, ISA can either file for indictment or release detainee. If none of these two paths are chosen the military commander can choose administrative detention. Administrative detention can be extended indefinitely. This usage of administrative detention as a tool to imprison civilians violates International Law and Human Rights Charters but is legal according to Israeli legislation5.
Nayef Abu Azra, a 23 year old from Beit Hannoun, was arrested in 2007. Since then he has never been brought before a court. To Nayef’ mother there is no consolation. Asia Abu Azra stated “A group of Israeli infantry soldiers invaded our home and took Nayef. We do not know why he was arrested or when he shall be released. Nobody is giving us any information. Nayef was hard working and well respected in the community. My only hope is to see him again”.
Nowhere can the discriminatory laws within Israeli judiciary be clearer than in terms of Palestinian imprisonment which is reminiscent of apartheid South Africa. A Palestinian can be held in custody for 18 days before being brought before a judge. An Israeli citizen, however, can be held in custody for only a maximum of 48 hours before being brought before a judge. A Palestinian can be held without charge, by order of a judge for a period from one to 6 months. An Israeli citizen can be held without indictment for 15 days and can only be extended to 15 days. Lawyer visits can be prohibited for up to 3 months for a Palestinian detainee. The meeting between an Israeli detainee and his attorney can be delayed for 15 days6. In addition, when Palestinian detainees are arrested, the army is not obliged to inform the detainee’s family of their arrest or the location of their detention.
38 year old Ashraf Al-Balouji from Al-Sahaba area in Gaza was detained in Ramallah on December 14, 1990. He was ordained in the Israel military court and sentenced to 320 years imprisonment. His father Hassan Al-Balouji states “there is a different policy for Palestinians and Israelis in Israel. If my son were Israeli then his sentence would be very different. We all know that. Three years ago my wife passed away and Ashraf was not allowed to visit her or attend her funeral. His 7 children are also prohibited from visiting him.”
These discriminatory laws also affect children. There are now 337 Palestinian children in Israeli jails.7 Like the majority of other Palestinian prisoners, Palestinian child prisoners routinely face violations of their human rights during arrest, interrogation and imprisonment. They are exposed to physical and psychological abuse, amounting to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and sometimes torture. They are denied prompt access to a lawyer and often denied contact with their families and the outside world. This is a clear breach of international law, which makes special provisions for the prisoners, specifically forbidding the use of physical and psychological torture8.
Nedal Mohammed Al-Soufi was just 17 years old when he was arrested. In 2007 during an army incursion, Israeli soldiers entered their home in Rafah and took him. Jana Al-Soufi, Nedal’ mother does not know the reason for his arrest. Nedal was sentenced to 9 years. The lack of communication sources between Nedal and his family concerns his mother. “I worry for his health and mental state. I have not received his news for many months”.
The imprisonment of Palestinians has been used routinely by Israeli authorities as one of the main tools to enforce the apartheid regime and ensure the ongoing success of the occupation. Israel has violated and is still violating a number of basic human rights in the way it kidnaps Palestinians, holds them captive without access to a lawyer and eventually tries them in a mock court which itself falls short of internationally agreed upon minimum standards. The injustices being perpetuated upon the 11,000 Palestinians prisoners must not be overlooked.
Bianca Zammit is a human rights activist and a member of the International Solidarity Movement “ISM” in Gaza.
Fadi N. Skaik is a BDS activist and an independent author based in Gaza

[1] Amnesty International (2009) Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories

[2] Addameer –
[3] UN Human Rights Committee (2007) Article 14: Right to equality before courts and tribunals and to a fair trial, UN Doc: CCPR/C/GC/32, 23 August 2007, page 6, paragraph 22.
[4] Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (2008) No Defense: Soldier Violence against Palestinian Detainees, page 3 –
[5] Hamoked and B’Tselem (2009) Without Trial -Administrative detention of Palestinians by Israel and the Internment of Unlawful Combatants Law, page 9.
[6] Addameer –

[7] Save the Children (2009) Fact Sheet – Palestinian Child Detainees at

[8]Defense for Children International (2009) Palestinian Child Prisoners- The systematic and institutionalized ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities, DCI Palestine: Jerusalem.
Updated on November 29, 2009

November 23, 2009 10-year-old boy beaten and detained for 11 hours

[RAMALLAH, 22 November 2009] – DCI-Palestine fieldworkers have recently documented an incident in which a 10-year-old boy was chased, beaten and detained for approximately 11 hours by Israeli soldiers after he attended a demonstration against the Wall, in Deir Leghsoun village, north of Tulkarm, in the Occupied West Bank.
At about 9:00am, on 14 November 2009, 10-year-old Husam left his house in Deir Leghsoun to attend a protest against the Wall. The Wall borders the village to the west, only two kilometres away from Husam's house. The protestors were chanting "No to the Wall," and carrying banners and flags. They reached the Wall (made up of razor wire and electrified fence in this section) and broke through a gate. Military jeeps arrived immediately and soldiers started firing tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets.
Half an hour after the army 's violent response started, Husam and other children began to run away in different directions. Husam was hiding behind a tree when a soldier grabbed him. “I felt so scared that my legs started shaking.” The soldiers asked him to raise his hands and struck his legs for about five minutes with something resembling a horse whip. “I was shouting in pain and he would say 'Shut up! Shut up!'”. The child sustained minor injuries of which DCI has photographic evidence. The soldiers then cocked his weapon and ordered Husam to walk in front of him, aiming his weapon at the child. They walked to the main street where soldiers tied his hands with plastic cords but not tightly.
Husam was then placed in the back of a jeep with a number of other boys “I was scared, wondering where they were taking us.” The vehicle stopped, in what Husam later learnt was Ariel settlement, and soldiers shouted at the boys to get out of the jeep. One of them dragged Husam out, as he did not understand the order. The boys were held for several hours and later taken to a container-like room where they slept on the floor, still blindfolded and tied. They were given military vests to keep them warm.
Later on that same night Husam was put inside a jeep with two soldiers, and allowed to remove his blindfold. The driver told him "This time it's ok because you're just a kid, but those boys are going to prison... You'll be killed or go to prison if you do it again". The journey was long, it was night time. When the jeep stopped at a checkpoint, a policeman pulled Husam out and untied his hands. “I was shivering because I was cold; especially because I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt.” The police officer stopped a taxi and ordered the driver to take Husam home. Husam got home at around 10:00pm, “shocked”, “tired”, “hungry and cold”.
Husam told DCI: “Now I feel scared whenever I remember what happened to me. I am scared it might happen to me again; especially because they threatened to kill me or lock me up.”
DCI-Palestine strongly condemns the disproportionate use of force against unarmed Palestinian demonstrators, including children. Husam posed no threat to the soldier who beat him. In July 2008, 10-year-old Ahmad Mousa was killed when Israeli Border Police shot him in the head with live ammunition as he took part in a non-violent demonstration against the Wall in Ni’lin.
For further information on Palestinian child detainees please see DCI-Palestine’s latest report: Palestinian Child Prisoners: The systematic and institutionalised ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities

PA: UN wants Israel to admit secret prison

Published Sunday 22/11/2009 (updated) 25/11/2009 21:35

Ramallah – Ma’an – The UN has sent an official request to Israel to admit the existence of secret prison camp 1391, dubbed in the press “Israel’s Guantanamo Bay,” according to the Palestinian Authority minister of prisoners affairs.

Minister Issa Qaraqe told a news conference in Ramallah on Saturday that the UN had asked the Israeli government in a letter to officially acknowledge that the facility.

Human rights experts with the United Nations Committee Against Torture questioned Israeli officials about the facility in may when the country came up for a regular review under a treaty obligation, Reuters reported.

Although Israel declined the UN’s request to discuss 1391 earlier this year, Israeli officials have indirectly confirmed the facility's existence. Former Israeli Justice Minister Dan Merridor told the Haaretz newspaper that he was aware of the site but never visited it.

News reports say that Israel has held Palestinians, Lebanese, and other Arabs at the site. The detention of Palestinians there reportedly increased during the second intifada. Former inmates told the Guardian newspaper that they were held in black, windowless cells with little light.

After being detained and transported to the prison wearing hoods, prisoners said they were told they were “in Honolulu,” “outside the borders of Israel,” or “on the moon,” the newspaper said. The government has even airbrushed ariel photographs and altered maps to conceal the facility’s existence, according to the report.

In interviews with the Israeli and foreign press, former prisoners have also reported cases of rape, prolonged nudity, and tactics regarded as torture. Unlike other Israeli prisons, the Red Cross is not allowed to visit the facility.

Prisoner release?

Asked about Israeli news reports that the country could release Palestinian prisoners ahead of the Muslim Eid Al-Adha holiday next week, Qaraqe said that the PA has not received any official information on the subject. He added that Israel has decided to release prisoners in the past without informing the PA, and that it’s possible that some could be freed.

Qaraqe also spoke about the Palestinian Authority-sponsored conference on the plight of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails which will be held in Jericho on Tuesday. He said forty people and thirteen institutions will participate in the summit, which will address subjects such as the torture of women and children, prisoners’ rights, and efforts to seek international designation of the Palestinian detainees as prisoners of war, not terrorists.

Qaraqe was also asked about the health condition of a detainee named Nahed Al-Aqra, who was accused of blowing up an Israeli tank in Gaza. Qaraqe responded, “The ministry is following up the difficult health condition of Al-Aqra. The ministry also entered a petition with the High Court of Justice demanding his release along with that of other sick prisoners including Akram Mansour.” He also said that the Red Cross is working for the release of ill prisoners.

Human Rights Defender Mohammad Othman Receives his First Administrative Detention Order

Sixty Days after his Arrest, Human Rights Defender Mohammad Othman Receives his First Administrative Detention Order

[Ramallah, 24 November 2009] On 23 November 2009, after 61 days of detention for the purpose of interrogation by Israeli Security Agency officers, human rights defender Mohammad Othman received his first administrative detention order. The administrative detention order is
set for a three month period, during which time Mohammad will be held without charge or trial.

The judicial review of the order is scheduled to take place on 25 November at the Military Court of Administrative Detainees in Ofer Military Base, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The administrative detention order against Mohammad comes just one day after a hearing on 22 November 2009 at the Military Court of Appeals ended Mohammad’s interrogation period. In the Appeals Court hearing, the judge decided to release Mohammad because no measurable progress had been made during the two months he had been held in interrogation, no external evidence had been brought to the attention of the court and the military prosecution had been unable to formulate substantiated allegations or charges against him.

The Appeals Court judge thus accepted Addameer’s appeal against the seventh extension of Mohammad’s detention, which had taken place five days earlier. At the same time, the judge ordered Mohammad’s release on 10,000 NIS bail (about $2,500 USD) and with the conditions that he not travel outside the occupied Palestinian territory, and that he regularly reports to the Israeli police. However, the military judge also gave the military prosecutor 24 hours to issue an administrative detention order
against Mohammad, and remanded Mohammad to detention during this period. At 6:30 p.m. on 23 November 2009, Addameer confirmed with the Israeli Security Agency that an administrative detention order had been issued against Mohammad, and that he would not be released.

Mohammad Othman, a long-time human rights defender and activist with the “Grassroots Stop the Wall Campaign”, was arrested at the Allenby Bridge Crossing between Jordan and the West Bank. On the day of his arrest, 22 September 2009, Mohammad was on his way back to Ramallah from an advocacy tour in Norway where he had been engaged in a number of speaking events.

Addameer is alarmed by reports from Mohammad that he was repeatedly threatened with administrative detention during his two-month long interrogation period. Addameer believes that with these repeated threats, the Israeli interrogation police aimed to coerce Mohammad into giving a false confession to crimes he did not commit. Most recently, on 19 November, after Mohammad was transferred back to Kishon detention center from Ohalei Keidar prison in Beersheba where he had been held in a so-called “collaborators’ cell”, he was told by one of the Israeli interrogators that his detention would not be extended again and that he would be placed under administrative detention if he failed to confess.

Addameer therefore contends that Mohammad’s arrest and administrative detention are completely arbitrary and are a prime example of Israel’s use of administrative detention as a substitute for prosecution, rather than as
a preventative measure allowed by international humanitarian law for “imperative reasons of security” or “if the security of the Detaining Power makes it absolutely necessary” (Fourth Geneva Convention, Articles 42 and 78).

Further, Addameer reiterates the position that Mohammad’s arrest constitutes a violation of a number of international human rights instruments, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Considering that, sixty days after Mohammad’s arrest Israeli authorities have been unable to cite any legitimate suspicions or allegations to justify his detention, and that the Court of Appeals judge directed that Mohammad should be released, Addameer believes that Mohammad is being detained
administratively as a punishment for his human rights activism. In addition, there is reason to believe that the Israeli military authorities use  Mohammad’s continuous detention as an example to deter other activists, including those active against the occupation and the Annexation Wall in
particular, from continuing their human rights work.

Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on secret evidence without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. In the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli army is authorized to issue administrative detention orders against Palestinian civilians on the basis of Military Order 1591. This order empowers military commanders to detain an individual for up to six months renewable periods if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.” On or just before the expiry date, the detention order is frequently renewed. This
process can be continued indefinitely.

There is no explicit limit to the maximum amount of time an individual may be administratively detained, leaving room for indefinite legal detention. The grounds on which someone can be detained under Military Order 1591 are also unclear, leaving it up to the military commanders to
decide what constitutes “public security” and “security of the area”.

Detainees subject to administrative detention orders are rarely informed of the reasons for their detention; neither are their lawyers. At the judicial review of a detention order, which is held in a closed hearing before
a military judge, the judge can uphold, cancel or shorten the order. In most cases, however, administrative detention orders are confirmed for the same periods as those requested by the military commander. Although the detainee can appeal the decision at the judicial review, in practice, the vast majority of appeals are rejected.

For more information about administrative detention and Addameer’s Campaign to Stop Administrative Detention please visit our website: . For more information about Mohammad’s arrest, please refer to previous statements and updates on the case issued by
Addameer and “Stop the Wall”, or directly contact:
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Tel: +972 (0)2 296 0446 / (0)2 297 0136

DCI-Palestine on the BBC World Service: Kids under arrest

November 13, 2009

Kids Under Arrest
Palestinian kids who throw stones know they risk arrest by the Israeli military. However others can be wary too, as claims are made in the West Bank of childrens' wrongful arrests and abuse by authorities - claims the authorities deny.

Mohammad Salem Abu Eid is a 15-year-old Palestinian boy who spent four months in an Israeli prison. He was accused of throwing stones at the barrier the Israelis built in the West Bank, but Mohammad says he was innocent.

His case is one of those taken up by Defence for Children International, who say Israel is violating childrens' rights.

Matthew Bannister met Mohammad and his mother Somaya to hear about their experiences. He spoke to Gerard Horton of Defence for Children International, and he also talked to the BBC Correspondent in Jerusalem, Katya Adler, who says the Israeli authorities refute the claims made against them.
Listen to the 12-minute interview on the BBC World Service website.
**DISCLAIMER: Please note that the views expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the views of DCI-Palestine, and that the data may contradict ours**
Source: BBC

Israel releases Palestinian professor held without charge

Salfit – Ma’an – Israel released a Palestinian law professor on Thursday after holding him for 20 months in three different prisons without charge.

Dr Ghassan Khaled (known as "Abu Nasser") is a lawyer and lecturer in commercial law at An-Najah University in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Khaled was arrested in January 2008, interrogated for 20 days, then released and re-arrested on 31 March 2008. He was held in administrative detention until last Thursday. According to the human rights organization Ahrar, Khaled was tortured while in Israel's Negev, Megiddo and Ofer prisons.

Akram Daoud, the dean of the law faculty at An-Najah, told the Chronicle of Higher Education earlier in November that his colleague was held completely without charges.

“There are no charges. This was the first time he was arrested. He is religious. He is someone who prays and sometimes talks in the mosques, but he’s not connected to any kind of political party,” Doud was quoted as saying.

“They couldn’t prove that he has any link with any political party—this is why they are going to put him in administrative detention, because they don’t have any charges against him,” he said.

“This guy has very close connections to Israelis from the peace movement—they are coming daily to his house. He has many friends in Israel and among the Israeli people,” he also told the journal.

Ahrar’s director, Fuad Al-Khafsh, said Khaled was a human rights activist who was relentless in his defense of liberty. The professor was born in the village of Jayyus, near Qalqiliya, in 1970 and studied law in Russia, were he also earned a PhD.

IOF troops arrest a disabled Palestinian boy on his way to hospital

[ 29/11/2009 - 01:42 PM ]

KHAN YOUNIS, (PIC)-- IOF troops arrested a 19-year-old disabled Palestinian boy Ahmad Samir Asfour, from the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, on his way to a hospital in Jerusalem, according to local sources.
The family of the Palestinian captive said, in a statement it distributed through the Prisoners' Studies Centre, that their son Ahmad was treated in Egypt after being wounded during the Israeli occupation war on Gaza, where he had to have several amputations on parts of his limbs and that his treatment was to be followed up at Jerusalem hospitals.
The family added that they were surprised that the IOF arrested Ahmad, turned back his father who accompanied him and confiscated $2500 and the mobile phones they had on them.
The family said that Ahmad takes regular medication which he needs for his condition and they fear that this medication will not be made available to him by the Israeli occupation prison authority.
They also expressed fear that the Israeli occupation interrogators will use his health condition as a tool to pressure him into admitting to false charges and held the Israeli occupation fully responsible for his life.
Asfour was wounded in a rocket attack fired by an Israeli occupation drone during the war on Gaza last December/ January resulting in amputations of parts of his limbs, paralysis in his right arm as a result of  damage to nerves and had internal injuries to the pancreas and stomach. Three other members of his family were injured in the same attack.
Director of the prisoners' studies centre, Raafat Hamdouna, said that Israel puts itself above the law by using the need of patients for treatment by arresting them on occasions or by trying to blackmail them into collaboration on other occasions.
He called on human rights organisation to oppose these Israeli acts, stressing that silence towards these Israeli policies encourages it to continue with such policies.

UPDATED list: Israel pardons 90 former Fatah fighters

Nablus – Ma’an Exclusive – Israel has agreed to remove 90 former Palestinian fighters from its list of “wanted” men on the eve of the Muslim Eid Al-Adha holiday, Palestinian sources said on Thursday.

The sources indicated that on Wednesday night the Palestinian Authority (PA) handed Israeli officials a list of 93 people it wants removed from the wanted list during a meeting.

Initial reports Thursday said Israel agreed to pardon 26 of the men, and ease restrictions on the movement and rights of others. Reports by Friday morning were that Israel had decided to pardon 90. Only eight of the total, however, received full pardons. Thirty-two received partial pardons, and the rest received "improvements" to their conditions.

Not all the men were fully pardoned. Of the initial 26, all of the men had to report to a PA compound and sleep there at night will now be able to sleep at home. Seven of the first round of pardons will be released from the PA’s Juneid prison, outside the West Bank city of Nablus.

Since 2007 former Palestinian fighters signed “amnesty” agreements in which they would hand in their weapons, swear not to fight, and spend a term in a PA jail in exchange for a return to normal life, free of the threat of arrest or assassination by Israeli.

One of the newly pardoned men was Ala Sanakreh, 29, of Balata Refugee Camp in Nablus, who is now working for the PA security forces. Israel agreed not to track or pursue him, making him fully pardoned. He told Ma’an he was elated at the news, and considered the decision a step toward peace.

Sanakreh was formerly one the most wanted men in the West Bank. He said he escaped several assassination attempts. The Israeli military killed his brother Ibrahim in 2006 and and another brother Ahmad in 2007.

“We, as Palestinians should be able to live freely like any other people around the world. We deserve to live a happy life,” he said.

Totally pardoned:

1- Ala Muhammad Ibrahim Sanakreh – Nablus
2- Yousef Khamis Hasan Abu Mustapha – Nablus
3- Muhammad Hussen Sa’id Zabaro – Nablus
4- Ayoub Khalil Musa Kin’an – Bethlehem
5- Muhammad Abdul Rahman Saleh Zeid – Ramallah
6- Ra’ed Muneer Muhammad Silama – Jenin
7- Ghaleb Ismail Muhammad Shafe’y – Tulkarem
8- Naser Ibrahim Salem Othman – Tulkarem

Movement without restrictions in Palestinian areas

9 - Louay Mahmud Musleh Eklik – Nablus
10 - Bassam Hasan Ali Abu Shallal – Nablus
11- Yassin Omar Ahmad Banat – Nablus
12- Yousef Khamis Hassan Abu-Mostafa – Nablus
13- Muhammad Sa’id S’oud Khaled – Nablus
14- Nael Sa’d S’oud Khaled – Nablus
15- Nidal Abdel-Fattah Yousif Mizher – Nablus
16- Abdel-Moneim Saleh Rajeh Sanakreh – Nablus
17- Na’im Saleh Rajeh Sanakreh – Nablus
18- Thaer Shaker Mahmud Mashi – Nablus
19- Saleh Abdel-Rahman Zaki Al-Ashkar – Nablus
20- Jamal Muhammad Mahmud Abu Ar-Rub – Ramallah
21- Kamel Taha Ahmad Ghannam – Ramallah
22- Ali Ibrahim Ali As-Sabah – Qafin
23- Wadi Ibrahim Abdul Latif Shadid – Tulkarem
24- Musheer Farouq Othman Mansoury – Tulkarem
25- Thafer Hassan Ali Eiran – Balata
26- Muhammad Ameen Musa Hammad – Jenin
27- Salim As’ad Salim Hussen – Jenin
28- Sa’id Mustafa Sa’id Mer’y – Kufur Dan
29- Hani Ahmad Anees Masad – Kufur Dan
30- Mu’ath Ahmad Saleh Saba’neh – Qabatya
31- Abdul-Salam Muhammad Aref Hanaysha – Qabatya

Partial relief (see details)

32- Mohammed Mazen Ma’moun Hanbali – Nablus
33- Ahmed Amr Muhammad Abu Salha – Nablus
34- Ghassan Ata Musa Abu Rish – Nablus
35- Saher Jaber Muhammad Hamayel – Nablus
36- Mithqal Subhi Fares Abu Salah – Jenin
37- Ahmad Sedqy Fayeq Qasem – Jenin
38- Sa’ed Thabet Muhammad Abu Obeid – Jenin
39- Yousif Mahmud Hussen Taleb – Jenin
40- Jalil Afif Hussen Sarhan – Jenin
41- Zakaria Afif Hussen Sarhan – Jenin
42- Maher Khaled Muhammad Haj Ali – Qabatya
43- Muhammad Safa Muhammad Kamil – Qabatya
44- Mubarak Alyan Muhamad Zedat – Hebron (must turn in his weapon)
45- Ali Rajab Ramzi Yumna – Yatta (must turn in his weapon)
46- Muhammad Othman Salman Abu Aram – Yatta (must turn in his weapon)
47- Hashem Muhammad Abdel-Majeed Azzam – Bethlehem
48- Nidal Odeh Hussen Malsh – Bethlehem
49- Mahmud Ibrahim Odeh Jubran – Bethlehem (must turn in his weapon)
50- Ala Kamel Musa Al-Hawareen – Ramallah
51- Tareq Ahmad Ahmad Skout Gaza-Ramallah
52- Muhammad Hussen Shalsh Zeid – Ramallah
53- Ala Ahmad Musa Sharaka – Ramallah
54- Khaled Abdel-Ra’ouf Sa’id Injas – Ramallah
55- Suleiman Naief Suleiman Hawareen – Ramallah
56- Munir Abdel-Raheem Muhammad Harb – Ramallah
57- Walid Ali Eid Dar Abed – Ramallah
58- Khaled Mussa Muhammad Hantsh – Ramallah (must remain in jail)
59- Fadi Atieh Muhammad Jawabra – Ramallah (must remain in jail)
60- Tareq Ziad Ali Abu Wazneh – Ramallah (must remain in jail)
61- Ahmad Mahmud Husen Ubed – Ramallah (must remain in jail)
62- Ibrahim Husam Ibrahim Abu Thaher – Ramallah (must remain in jail)
63- Luai Awad Muhamad Hosheh – Ramallah (must remain in jail)

Now permitted to sleep at home (as opposed to at the detention center)

64- Ibrahim Sa’id Issa Masemy – Nablus
65- Ahmad Hashem Muhammad Ramadan – Nablus
66- Nael Rebhy Abdul-Rahman Mansour – Nablus
67- Ammar Ibrahim Baker Kaddoumi – Nablus
68- Mohammed Nadi Muhammad Saleh – Nablus
69- Louay Muhammad Abdel-Qader Madeni – Bet Iba
70- Fathi Ahmad Fathi Ahmad Muna – Rojeeb
71- Yousef Hasan Muhammad Tayeh – Al-Far’a camp
72- Omar Ahmad Ali Sweilem – Nablus
73- Ahmad Walid Ismail Radwan – Qalqiliya
74- Abdullah Muhammad Abdullah Samhan – Qalqiliya
75- Jameel Mansour Ali Mansour – Salfit
76- Hazem Ali Ahmad Hamad – Jenin
77- Jaser Ameen Ibrahim Nazzal – Jenin
78- Ra’ed Salem As’ad Abu Srour – Jenin
79- Ahmad Walid Muhammad Ibrahim – Jenin
80- Majd Husny Alaf Abu Husen – Jenin Refugee Camp
81- Ragheb Sami Rajab Zeid Al-Keelany – Ya’bud
82- Zaher Ahmad Naji Subeh – Ramallah
83- Abdel-Kareem Hamed Shtaya – Ramallah
84- Majed Musa Muhammad Qattouf – Yatta
85- Wajd Hamed Abdel-Hady Al-Husseny – Bethlehem
86- Mu’ath Atef Mussa Abu Aker – Bethlehem
87- Muhammad Ahmad Abdullah Alqam – Qalandiya
88- Khaled Mahmud Ahmad Mateer – Qalandiya
89- Raby Theeb Nimer Ayyad – Qalandiya
90- unknown

IOF soldiers arrest fifth son of Um Bakir

[ 28/11/2009 - 10:13 AM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) spoilt the Eid joy for the Palestinian old widow Um Bakir in Nablus on Friday and took away her fifth son to join his four brothers in detention.
Local sources reported that large numbers of IOF soldiers broke into the home of late Sheikh Said Bilal and savagely searched it before taking away the only remaining son of the family into custody.
Um Bakir told the Ahrar human rights center that Israel wants to pressure the families of prisoners after it failed to pressure the resistance into concluding the prisoners' exchange deal according to its own terms.
Fuad Al-Khafsh, the center's director, denounced the detention of Omar Bilal, who is the only son for that family out of prison.
He explained that the eldest son Bakir has been held under administrative custody for two years while the other son Muaz, who has been in prison for 11 years, is serving 26 life sentences, Othman, who has served 15 years in jail, is sentenced to life, while Obada was sentenced to ten years and his wife was taken into custody in mid November this year.
Now they have taken the fifth and remaining son of the family Omar, Khafsh pointed out.
He called on the local and international media outlets to shed light on the suffering of this Palestinian family and to expose the criminal image of the Israeli occupation authority.

Israel: 980 Palestinians slated for release

Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel will release 980 Palestinians in exchange for a soldier captured in 2006, its State Attorney's Office said Sunday.

The office said Hamas will select 450 names and Israel will choose the rest.

The announcement came after an activist group petitioned the country's Supreme Court against a swap deal, according to the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

In response, the State Attorney's Office disclosed, "As part of an agreement with Hamas, which would allow the return of soldier Gilad Shalit to Israel ... there is a possibility for the release in principle of about 450 prisoners whose names are being delivered by Hamas."

Some 530 Palestinians selected by Israel will also be released "[a]s a gesture to the Palestinian people" in a second stage of the deal, the office added. "The list of these prisoners has not been formed yet and no criteria have been set on this matter."

The office stressed that "contrary to the release of prisoners as part of a gesture and/or diplomatic agreement, this is an incident of bargaining, which can be seen as an ongoing terror attack, as part of which negotiations are being held to reach the lowest price possible as far as the State of Israel is concerned."

State defends military censorship

The State Attorney's Office was responding to a petition filed by a group called the Almagor Terror Victims Association and the fathers of three Israeli children said to have been killed by Palestinians. They were demanding to know why the government was using its military to ban the publication of news items reporting details of the prisoner exchange.

The office responded by saying Hamas and Israel had agreed to a request from a foreign mediator that both sides refrain from discussing the talks "as a condition for the negotiations."

Other state representatives added that "the military censorship is authorized to ban the publication of a certain [news] item, when it reaches the conclusion that publishing that item would most probably substantially damage the possibility of returning soldier Gilad Shalit."

Also on Sunday, an informed Palestinian source told Al-Jazeera that a German mediator will meet Hamas leaders to receive the Islamic movement's final response to Israel's offer. The source said negotiations will be completed in Gaza, and that Hamas wants to clarify certain safeguards required to complete the deal.

Responding to reports by Israeli analysts on Sunday evening the deal was weeks away, Al-Jazeera's source denied that negotiations with Israel had reached an impasse.

According to the source, the chief obstacle has become the United States, which believes the deal would strengthen Hamas and consequently weaken the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The US is demanding that it be put off or altered because it inordinately favors Hamas, the source said.

Meanwhile, the London-based Guardian newspaper's Sunday edition, The Observer, reported that the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad has recommended that Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti not be freed in the deal.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

PA minister: No peace deal without prisoner release

Jericho – Ma'an – Issa Qaraqe, the minister of detainees and detainees affairs, said on Thursday he would not sign a peace agreement with Israel until all Palestinian prisoners had been released from its jails.

Speaking at an international conference in Jericho on the plight of Palestinian prisoners, Qaraqe said children and women in Israel's jails deserved the attention of the international community, which he urged to intervene.

He also alleged that Palestinians suffer widespread torture and medical neglect, that the issue was at the top of President Mahmoud Abbas' agenda, and that there would never be a peace agreement with Israel that did not address detainees.

Among the participants on Thursday were Sinn Féin member and former political prisoner Patrick Sheehan, former EU vice president Luisa Morgantini, UK lawyer and activist Liam Pepper, US ex-detainees activist Victoria Britain, Swedish lawyer and International Court of Justice -child detainees group member Arne Malmgren, Greek Committee for Human Rights representative Christina Papadopoulou, US activist member Nancy Murray and Friends of Ahmad Sa'adat - USA representative Dr Renee Levant.

Detainee To Be Allowed To Receive Medical Treatment Abroad, Won’t Be Allowed Back

Wednesday November 25, 2009 11:11 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

Palestinian sources reported Wednesday that the Israeli Authorities decided to release detainee Akram Oneiter, 25, who will be receiving urgent medical treatment abroad under the condition that he does not return to the country.
Free The Detainees
Free The Detainees
Oneiter is from Borqeen town, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin. He is suffering from several health conditions, including a skin disease and acute infections.

He previously had several surgeries and has platinum implants in his back.

He is detained at the Negev Detention Camp, and is not receiving the needed specialized medical treatment. Oneiter was kidnapped and imprisoned two years ago.

The Israeli Prison Authorities kept delaying looking into his case for several months.

His family said that they rejected Israeli offers to deport him as Israel used his health issue as a bargaining chip, but his gradually declining health conditions left them no other choice.

They added that they contacted several international institutions and eventually Spain agreed to host him for medical treatment.

Yet, Israel kept rejecting to release him and delayed a decision for this regard for three months.

His mother stated that he will be undergoing extensive and lengthy treatment in Spain, approximately for three years, as he needs several surgeries and ongoing follow-up.

It is worth mentioning that Algeria agreed to host him after he completes his medical treatment.

His mother voiced an appeal to Spanish human rights and legal groups to adopt the case of his son to ensure he is allowed to return back home after completing his medical treatment.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner Society, there are currently 7350 detainees, including 34 women and 377 children, imprisoned by currently Israel.

201 detainees died in Israeli prisons due to torture and medical neglect while some were shot and killed after being detained. 76 detainees died in Israeli prisons since 2000.

Barghouthi: Negotiations failed to release prisoners

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Jailed Fatah Central Committee member Marwan Barghouthi said he regrets the failure of talks with Hamas and Israel to guarantee the release of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, a letter from the leader said Tuesday.

The letter, addressed to the International Conference on Detainees launched in Jericho told participants that “it is regrettable that the negotiations and agreements have failed to release the prisoners. The victims of this failure are the hundreds of prisoners who have been in jails for more than 32 years such as Na’el Al-Barghouti, Fakhry Al-Barghouthi, Karim Younis, Othman Musleh, Fuad Ar-Razemand and many others.”

It was not clear, however, whether the letter from Barghouthi was proclaiming as failed the most recent round of talks between Israel and Hamas via Germany over the possible release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the handing over of a captured Israeli soldier. Though some Israeli officials have sworn never to release Barghouthi "even if he is elected Palestinian President," the latest reports have hinted that he could be included if a swap is secured before Eid.

Focusing his letter on the poor treatment of Palestinians in Israeli prison, Barghouthi urged fellow detainees to boycott the Israeli courts and work on the development of a unified Palestinian strategy to show that the authority of the courts is not recognized by Palestinians. He said he considered the courts an integral part of the Israeli military system, working for its service over the past 42 years.

“The Palestinian prisoner is not only a victim of the Israeli occupation, but also of the Israeli civil and military courts," Barghouthi continued. He accused the courts of lacking the "minimum in proper legal procedures," and noted that "less than 1% of prisoners have been found 'not guilty' by Israeli courts."

Barghouthi took several paragraphs to explain the conditions in Israeli prisons, lamenting that "hundreds of sick prisoners who suffer from severe diseases, some of them are suffering to death, are not released instead they are being treated [in military health clinics]. There are also hundreds of women and children and hundreds of Palestinians in Administrative Detention, locked up without charge or due process. There are also dozens of prisoners in solitary confinement."

More Than 370 Children Currently Imprisoned By Israel

Monday November 23, 2009 13:28 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Riyadh Al Ashqar, head of the media department at the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees in Gaza, stated that Israel is currently holding captive more than 370 child detainees under the age of 18.
Child Detainee - Arabs48
Child Detainee - Arabs48
The Al Aqsa TV reported that child detainees are sent to courts that prosecutes cases of adult detainees an issue which directly violates the International Law.

Dozens of child detainees received harsh sentences by the courts while military judges never dealt with them as minors.

Similar to the case with adult detainees, children in Israeli detention camps are also fined and subjected to torture and abuse.

Al Ashqar demanded the International Red Cross and human rights groups to intervene and stop the Israeli violations against underage detainees.

He also called for ensuring that Israel complies with the International Law by stopping the violations against the detainees, especially children and women.

Gaza families upset at jilt from Jericho prisoners conference

Gaza – Ma’an – The Gaza Committee of Parents of Detainees called the conference on Palestinian prisoners in Jericho a "great national step" in efforts to gain international recognition for the abuse of prisoners by Israeli officials, but expressed disappointment over their exclusion from the proceedings.

Members of the Gaza delegation said they had been promised invitations by conference organizers, but said they never received any sort of request for their attendance. According to organizers however, the conference, which ended Wednesday, was not attended by any delegates from Gaza because they could not secure permits for travel to the West Bank.

Delegates were frustrated with the lack of communication from the conference organizers, saying they were promised follow-up via the Ministry of Prisoners Affairs.

A statement from the group said they were surprised to have been ignored by the organizers, and disappointed that there was no one present at the conference to represent prisoners from Gaza.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blind prisoner exposed to harsh interrogation by Israeli officers

[ 23/11/2009 - 12:23 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The information committee of Hamas in Israeli jails revealed Monday that prisoner Obadah Bilal, who is a blind 30-year-old young man, has been exposed to harsh interrogation by Israeli officers since he was transferred a week ago to Petah Tikva interrogation center where his wife is also detained.
The committee said that after the kidnapping of Bilal’s wife last week, he was transferred from Negev prison to join his wife in Petah Tikva, where Israeli interrogators maltreated and physically assaulted him despite the fact that he cannot see.
In another incident, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) prevented the mother of prisoner Hamza Qa’kour, an Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, from visiting him in Shata prison and confiscated her visit permit which she obtained from the Red Cross without giving reasons.
The mother of Qa’kour said the Israeli troops also took her ID upon arrival with other Palestinian families of prisoners to Jalama military checkpoint on board a bus belonging to the Red Cross and told her that she cannot visit her son.
Different Palestinian local sources said that a large number of IOF troops invaded at dawn Monday the districts of Qalqiliya, Bethlehem and Jenin and kidnapped two Palestinian citizens.
According to the sources, the troops stormed the village of Azzun in Qalqiliya at an early hour Monday and kidnapped a Palestinian young man.
They also kidnapped another citizen in Bethlehem after breaking into and ransacking his home.
In Jenin, the Israeli troops raided the house of a Palestinian young man called Sari Sabihat in Rumana town and interrogated his family members after forcing them out without any reported kidnappings.

Hamdan: a prisoner swap deal not possible without meeting resistance demands

[ 22/11/2009 - 10:05 PM ]

BEIRUT, (PIC)-- Osama Hamdan who is in charge of the foreign relations in the Hamas Movement said Sunday that his Movement was and still is concerned to achieve a prisoner swap deal with the Zionist occupation if it meets the humanitarian demands of the Palestinian resistance.
Although he refused to disclose the steps that the German and Egyptian mediators had achieved in this regard, Hamdan opined that the process might take more times due to the Israeli stubbornness.
“We are sincere in concluding the deal, but it seems that matters couldn’t be completely achieved 100% unless the Israeli premier submits to the conditions put forward by captors of Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit… we are not talking about results on the ground, but one thing I can say that we are keen on concluding this issue based on the objectives we put since the first day Shalit was captured,” underlined Hamdan in press release he issued Sunday.
However, he categorically rejected any link between the swap deal and the Palestinian factions agreement not to fire rockets on the Zionist entity, explaining that the agreement was made in order to give more attention to the PA government’s program to rebuild homes, government, and private institutions in the Gaza Strip destroyed during the 23-day Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip last December/ January.
Nevertheless, Hamdan underscored that the understanding to halt missile attacks from Gaza Strip shouldn’t be understood as a cancellation of the Palestinian right to resist the occupation if it attacks Gaza.
As far as the Palestinian national reconciliation is concerned , Hamdan explained that Hamas was and still is keen to make the Egyptian efforts succeed, adding, “Everyone knows that it was Hamas that revived the reconciliation file last September after it was almost buried last June after foreign parties interfered in the issue.
He stressed, “national reconciliation could only be achieved through harmony and not through coercion…. we have some reservations on the modified Egyptian paper for the reconciliation, and we urged the Egyptians to review those remarks and we told them that we were amenable to discuss the modified paper”, Hamdan emphasized.

IOA renews administrative detention of Dr. Fidda

[ 22/11/2009 - 05:08 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) renewed the administrative detention, without trial or charge, of Dr. Majeda Fidda for three months for the fifth time running, the international Tadamun institution for human rights said.
It added that Fidda, who was detained on 6/8/2009 was held for interrogation for a short period of time before holding her in administrative custody.
The pharmacist is a Nablus municipality council member.
Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 132 Palestinian West Bank workers for entering Palestine occupied in 1948 without permits over the past couple of days.
The arrests also included six Palestinians of the 1948 lands for assisting and sheltering a number of those workers.
The Israeli police, which arrests on average 800 to 1000 Palestinians workers per month, said that the arrests focused in central occupied Palestine.

Palestinian detainees to receive 550 Shekels for Eid

Ramallah – Ma’an – Palestinian prisoners will receive 550 New Israeli Shekels for the Eid Al-Adha holiday and for October and November, according to a statement released by Palestinian Minister of Prisoners and Ex-Detainees Issa Qaraqe on Monday.

Qaraqe added that the ministry was successful in raising prisoners’ canteen allowance to 50 NIS to allow detainees to purchase sweets during the Muslim Feast starting on Friday.

The ministry also raised 94,000 Shekels to provide winter tent covers for detainees held at the Negev prison, to protect them from winter weather.

According to the statement, Qaraqe accused the Israeli prison administration of delaying the approval of 350 Shekels for 900 Gazan detainees to buy clothes as their families have been banned from visiting for the last three years. The Palestinian ministry awaits Israeli approval, Qaraqe added.

Qaraqi’ further stated that 35,000 Shekels were sent to 34 detainees in poor health held at Ar-Ramla prison hospital, in addition to 225,000 Shekels for tuition fees. Another payment will be forwarded to prisoners following the Eid Al-Adha holiday, he said.

423 Palestinian kids suffering in Israeli jails

Mohammed Mar'i | Arab News
RAMALLAH: Palestinian Minister of Social Affairs Majidah Al-Masri said on Thursday that 423 Palestinian children are currently living in what she described as “difficult and painful circumstances” in Israeli prisons.
Accusing Israeli jailers of committing acts of psychological abuse and molestation, Al-Masri said that in addition to the strife of the children of Gaza, “the children in the West Bank are deprived from having a safe life due to the Israeli policy of uprooting and Judaization.”
Her remarks came during a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that prohibits the kind of punitive treatment Israelis have been accused of by human rights groups.
The convention states that imprisoning children is a measure of “last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.”
According to the Defense for Children International, Israel detained or imprisoned an average of 375 Palestinian minors (under 18) per month, including children as young as 12. This marks an increase from 319 children per month the previous year. Many of these children are arrested, blindfolded, interrogated, jailed and fined for rock-throwing incidents. In violation of the Geneva Convention, these detainees are held outside of the territory of occupation by a foreign force. Families of detained minors generally have difficulties entering Israel in order to visit their relatives.
“The children in Palestine are witnessing a dangerous situation due to Israeli violations in Palestinian society, which has 1.9 million children,” said Save the Children Foundation-Palestine spokesman Iyad Al-Aaraj. Al-Aaraj pointed out that Israel considers Palestinian children adults if they’re over the age of 16, so they can be tried as adults in Israeli courts. During security sweeps, the Israeli Defense Forces regularly target, detain or interrogate Palestinian males between the ages of 15 and 45.
In September, Israel began releasing 20 Palestinian women as young as 16 in exchange for a video of Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit proving he is still alive. Two of these young women – Barah and Samah – showed up at an Israeli checkpoint last year with kitchen knives in their backpacks. They showed the knives to the soldiers and were quickly arrested. When questioned they said they wanted to be arrested to get out of Ramallah and their oppressive parents; Samah was going to be forcefully married to a much older man. They were both charged and found guilty of attempted murder.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Israeli forces detain 3 more PA security officers

Qalqiliya – Ma’an – Israeli forces raided the West Bank town of Jayyus northeast of Qalqiliya on Saturday morning and detained five Palestinians including three Palestinian Authority Security Services officers, officials said.

On Friday, four officers and one commander with the Palestinian Intelligence Services were detained from the Salfit area. High-level talks between Israel and Palestine were held throughout the day, with alleged US pressure added shortly before noon. Palestinian security forces are trained by US General Keith Dayton.

The five men were released late Friday night, Palestinian security sources confirmed.

It was not clear whether the second round of detentions targeting PA forces was related to the first incident. The head of the Israeli civil liaison department said his Israeli counterparts denied knowledge of the detention of any PA security officers in Qalqiliya on Saturday.

Eyewitnesses in Jayyus said the invading Israeli forces entered an internet cafe and ransacked the site Friday night, temporarily detaining all the patrons inside. After midnight several military vehicles stormed the town under the cover of heavy gunfire and stun grenades. Locals said they believed the men were detained from their homes.

The officers detained in the Saturday morning raid were identified by Palestinian security sources as:

Ayyoub Khalid from the Palestinian National Security Services
Muhammad Shamasna from the Palestinian National Security Services
Anwar Mustafa from the Palestinian Authority Military Police

Two civilians were also detained, in what may be unrelated events. The civilians were identified as Jihad Shamasna and Nour Baydha.

All five of the men detained by Israeli forces were taken to unknown destinations.

Palestinian officials said they believe the actions were the realization of recent threats by Israel to take unilateral steps against the PA, likely as a response to government refusal to sit at the peace-talk table with Israel.

The Israeli news site Ynet said the men may have been detained for their involvement in investigations against a man suspected of collaborating with Israel. The site quoted an unnamed Palestinian security sources as saying the Israel demanded the suspected collaborator, resident of Dir Istia village where two of the security officers were detained, be released unharmed.

Bil’in: Undercovers arrest Palestinian youth at his workplace

Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
19 November 2009
In an escalation of the recent arrest campaign conducted by the Israeli military in attempt to crush the popular struggle against the Wall in the village, an undercover army unit invaded Bil’in this morning and arrested a local youth, 19 year old Mohammad Yassin.
In the morning hours of Thursday, 19 November 2009, a civilian Isuzu pickup with undercover soldiers dressed as Palestinians, drove into the village of Bil’in, searching for residents suspected of organizing and participating in the village’s weekly demonstrations. At around 9am, the soldiers arrived at the garage where Yassin works and arrested him. The arrest involved the beating of Yassin himself, as well as of his brother and his mother, who assumed that the disguised soldiers were just random by-passers attacking their kin.
The use of the undercover army units to capture ‘wanted’ people that are suspected of nothing else than participating in and planning of grassroots demonstrations, represent an escalation of the arrest campaign the army is conducting against the residents of the village. In addition to Yassin, another 27 Bil’in residents were arrested for their involvement in the demonstrations since the 23 June 2009. Among them is Adeeb Abu Rahma, who has been held in detention for more than four months under a charge of ‘incitement’ – a euphemism for organizing demonstrations.
Recently, attorney Gaby Lasky, who represents Bil’in’s detainees, was informed by the military prosecution that the army intends to put an end to the demonstrations through use legal procedures against demonstrators. Lasky stated today that “This is a blatant example of political persecution using legal means, because the charges and the arrests are being carried out not for legal purposes but with political motivations. It is important to remember that it is the state that is in contempt of a High Court of Justice ruling, which affirmed two years ago that it is the demonstrators who have justice on their side, and instructed to move the route of the Wall in the area – something that has not been done yet.”
The secretary of the village council and member of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, Mohammed Khatib, stated that “the Army is determined to crush the popular resistance but we will continue to demand our rights even if we are all forced to do so from inside military prison cells. Even the Israeli court ruled that the Wall on our land is not legal and has to be dismantled. Despite this, not only has the Wall not moved even an inch, but the Army comes to imprison us for struggling for our land, while it itself is breaking the law – its own law.
Updated on November 21, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cats Are Illegal; A Potential Terrorist Threat

Thursday November 19, 2009 16:30 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

The Israeli Prison Administration at the infamous Negev detention camp decided to banish and punish wild cats for befriending Palestinian political prisoners and providing them with light services.

File -
It seems that imprisoning the detainees under conditions that violate the international law and the Fourth Geneva conventions is not enough, it seems torture, medical negligence and solitary confinement is not enough, an issue that pushed the prison administration to punish cats for befriending the detainees, and ‘providing them with some services.

The detainees in the Negev detention camp are taking care of some cats that entered the detention camp, in the Negev desert, through the barbed wires, and are feeding them although they do not have sufficient food.

The fact the detainees have some cats as ‘wild pets’ or ‘friends’ bothered the Prison Administration to the level of decided that cats are not allowed.

Israeli soldiers manning the detention camp even placed a cat in solitary confinement for a while after suspecting it was helping them, and of course for befriending them.

The cats might be guilty to some extent as they reportedly carry some foods and light stuff between the cells, providing some comfort, maybe some food, to the detainees in solitary confinement.

The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees in Gaza said that the Ahrar Woledna “We were born free” Website reported that the prison administration in the Negev Detention Camp decided to act against those cats that befriended the detainees.

But there are dozens of cats walking around the tents and rooms in several Israeli prisons and detention centers, especially the open-air detention camps like the Negev.

No matter what the punishment is, maybe ‘anti-cat fences’ or cat traps, or I really don’t want to know what else, the simple fact here is that the Israeli Prison Administration has been working hard to keep the spirits of the detainees low, to keep them isolated and deprive them from anything that would draw a smile on their faces.

Free Mohammad Othman.

Update 19 Wednesday 18 November 2009

Dear all,

On Sunday, the ban on lawyers visits for Mohammad has been lifted and the lawyer is now allowed to see him again.

On Monday, 16 November, a court hearing at Kishon (Jalameh) interrogation center extended Mohammad Othman’s detention period for another eight days. It has been 57 days now since Mohammad was arrested. To date, no charges have been laid and the court continuously contends that Mohammad’s detention is necessary for further interrogation.

On Tuesday 17 November, Addameer filed an appeal to challenge the court’s decision to extend Mohammad’s detention. Considering that, 57 days after Mohammad’s arrest, Israeli authorities have still been unable to cite any legitimate suspicions or allegations to justify his detention, Addameer and Stop the Wall believe that Mohammad’s arrest was arbitrary and therefore illegal under applicable international law, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

In terms of lobbying, we are working now to ensure that:

a) diplomatic missions to attend the appeal hearing
b) I believe that especially European states could consider following the example of the UK and raise the issue at ministerial level.

c) a special push to the US diplomatic mission to join the EU position
d) a special push for the Norwegians to get up to the level of the UK position (raising the issue at ministerial level and attending the hearing)
e) Bret and OMCT: it would be great to see the relevant UN Special Rapporteurs taking action

it would be great if you could help us....

Thanks a lot
To reply to this message, follow the link below:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ministry of detainees: Israel intends to deport a Palestinian prisoner

[ 18/11/2009 - 06:17 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs said Tuesday that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) intends to exile Palestinian prisoner Hammad Abu Amra from occupied Palestine to another undetermined country.
Information director of the ministry Riyadh Al-Ashqar stated that prisoner Abu Amr was kidnapped in 2003 when he was aboard a ship coming from Lebanon to visit his relatives in the Gaza Strip.
Ashqar added that the IOA sentenced Abu Amr to six years in prison on allegations of smuggling weapons to Gaza and was released in 2009, but immediately after his release he was kidnapped by the Israeli intelligence at Beit Hanoun crossing when he was en route to Gaza.
The official noted that the prisoner is married and has a number of children living in a refugee camp in Lebanon.
He underlined that this policy violates the international law which criminalizes and prohibits, in accordance with article 49 of the fourth Geneva convention, any individual or mass forcible transfers.
In another related context, newly released prisoner Sa’id Yassin, a human rights activist and the former director of the society of prisoner’s supporters, said that the incarceration conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are so difficult under the policy of abuse and harassment pursued by the Israeli prisons authority (IPA).
In a press statement to the Palestinian information center (PIC), Yassin, who spent 44 months in administrative detention, affirmed that the IPA escalated lately its restrictions and arbitrary measures against prisoners in its jails.
For its part, Wa’ed society for detainees said Wednesday it would give one million Jordanian dinars for the capture of an Israeli soldier in order to swap him for Palestinian prisoners.
Wa’ed added that Israelis are also invited to compete for this financial reward.
It highlighted that the blood, lives and money are cheap compared to the freedom of Palestinian prisoners.

IOF soldiers arrest Palestinian woman for refusing strip search, beat up child

[ 18/11/2009 - 10:10 AM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained a Palestinian women on Tuesday night in downtown Al-Khalil after she refused to strip for search.
Local and press sources said that the IOF troops ordered Om Wisam Duvesh to take off her clothes for search and when she refused, even when the soldiers tried to force her to do that, she was arrested.
Duvesh, in her forties, was beaten by the soldiers and taken to a police station in Kiryat Arba settlement east of the city.
Meanwhile, IOF soldiers beat up a 10-year-old child in Deir Al-Ghussun village, Tulkarem district, and detained him for 11 hours at the pretext he participated in an anti-wall march.
Local sources said that Hussam Mihana, 10, returned to his family home with bruises all over his body, and told his parents that two soldiers severely beat him up.

Samieh is out of House-Arrest‏

Good news! Some days ago, our friend Samieh Jabbarin was released from the house-arrest he had been held under for nearly ten months. He is back into his own life-routine, and to the ongoing struggle at court, where he is to be tried for the fabricated charges of assaulting a police officer at Um Al Fahm on the Knesset Election Day, February 2009.
His trial opens in January 2010.
Samieh's letter follows:

Dear Friends,

For a start, I would like to thank every one of you personally for manifesting your solidarity with me while I was being held under house arrest. I often think that the impact of this solidarity on me goes way beyond mere gratitude. Especially because your letters and phone calls have, more than anything else, imparted sincerity and honesty. There is no doubt in my heart that having and feeling you around was a severe blow to the solitude I was meant to feel and experience during these long months.

Some of you I do not even know personally - a fact that has touched me all the more, knowing that personal acquaintance must not necessarily stand as a condition for human and political solidarity. Moreover this has opened a great door for new friendships and acquaintances. To say the least, considering that among the motivations standing behind imprisoning me and later putting me under house arrest was an attempt to isolate me from my friends and others, your solidarity has neutralized this repressive objective and given me a rather warm feeling of being free and among friends. Thank you for that.      

Nevertheless, I was just one among thousands of Palestinians who more often than not, are prosecuted and harassed for no crime but claiming their natural right to practice protest against occupation, racism and discrimination.

Mohammad Othman, a Palestinian activist, was detained on 22 September 2009 at the Allenby Crossing as he attempted to return home to the Occupied West Bank from Jordan. To this day there are no official or specific charges against him except for the fact that he is a prominent Palestinian activist and an outspoken advocate of the nonviolent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in Palestine. In about a week it will be two months since he was arrested.

Thinking of the great solidarity I have been privileged to experience, I cannot think of any reason why other victims of political harassment should not get the same acknowledgement and recognition. In a way, they stand in the dark and cold for our sake. It is they who are punished, humiliated and tortured for trying to generate a change and a better reality. It is exactly that which makes them “dangerous” for the system. It is they who get thrown in cages where there are no rules but the rule of breaking the human spirit.

Mohammad Othman is one of the new numerous tragic cases of the harsh and inhumane reality that Palestinians experience day by day. There are more than 11,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. I think they all deserve our deep and consistent solidarity. Let us not stand aside and watch while human rights and human dignity get trampled.

Our solidarity will surely give Mohammad Othman and the other prisoners a real feeling of not being alone in their struggle. Let us be the ones who give them hope and strength to go on struggling for a better and a just reality.

Last but not least, I have to thank the great guys whose huge efforts made this solidarity campaign possible. It was rather a pretty small group but with amazing energies, conviction and vision. They have worked very hard to make my case widely known and recognized.

I owe them very much for that. So, Ira Avneri, Nurit Yaari, Tal Itzhaki, Tal Haran, Avraham Oz, Lena Ghanayem, Igal Azrati, Ofra Yeshua-Lyth thanks very much.

Let us raise our voices loud,

No Pasaran,

Your friend and comrade,

Samieh Jabbarin        

Yafa, Palestine

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Israeli forces detain 252 Palestinian workers

Published today (updated) 15/11/2009 11:18

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli border guards detained and deported 252 Palestinians working without the required permits in Israel during the weekend, it was reported on Sunday.

The Palestinians arrested for residing and working in Israel illegally have been transferred to the West Bank.

Sixteen Israeli employers were also detained and questioned on charges of hiring Palestinian workers without the required permits.

IOF Kill Child; Arrest Four by Gaza Border. Al Mezan Condemns IOF Violations; Call for International Protection of Civilians


Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights condemns the murder by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) of a child and arrest of four civilians; all of whom are 17 and 18-year-olds near the Gaza border with Israel. IOF opened fire at seven children and youths as they were new the border in the Wadi Gaza village, south to Gaza City. The children were unarmed and did not pose any danger on IOF.

According to information collected by Al Mezan Centre, at approximately 9.30am on Friday 13 November 2009, IOF opened machinegun and artillery fire towards a group of seven children and youths who were near the solid waste dump, which is located northeast of Wadi Gaza village. One child, 16-yearold Mustafa Mohammed Wadi, was killed from IOF fire. Another child, 17-year-old Ahmed Sa'doun, was injured. A force of IOF ground troops entered the area and chased them and arrested four of them.

According to an affidavit given to Al Mezan Centre by 18-year-old Ahmad Salman Al-Makadma, 18, who was among the group, the seven children and youths left their neighborhood in Block 9 in the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the early morning hours on a horse-laden cart and headed to the Friday Market in Gaza City. On their way back, they passed by the solid-waste dumb in Wadi Gaza village. Five of them saw stray dogs and chased them near the border. Israeli forces saw them and opened fire at them, killing one and injuring another. Ground troops then entered the area and arrested four. Another two; managed to escape; Ahmed and his brother Saif Al-Makadma, 7.

Al Mezan knew that those who were arrested were:
-          Mohammed Khader Sa'doun, 18;
-          Ahmed Khader Sa'doun, 17; (who was also injured)
-          Nidal Rajab Abu Hajar, 18; and
-          Bakir Sa'eed Al-Makadma, 18.

Ahmed Al-Makadma informed Al Mezan that he called the emergency services when he escaped from the area. Sources in the Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported that two of the Society's ambulances reached the area after ICRC coordinated for them with the IOF. The ambulances team found the body of the murdered child laid on the ground approximately one kilometer from the border fence.

Al Mezan Centre strongly condemns the continued acts of killing by the IOF in the Gaza Strip, which more than often target children. These acts reflect that IOF continue to act without regard to the rules of international law, which prohibit any attacks against civilians but also taking measures to ensure their safety and well-being.

Al Mezan also notes that most of these acts occur near the border fence in the north and east of the Gaza Strip; an area that is declared as a 'buffer zone' by IOF. However, this entire area is located inside the Gaza Strip and it is not precisely defined. IOF informed farmers and residents in certain areas as close to the border as 300 meters that that area was part of the 'buffer zone'. Nevertheless, many attacks on farmers and children occurred in areas over a kilometer from the border fence, and in times when there were no disturbances in these areas.

Al Mezan Centre calls on the international community to take prompt actions to ensure due protection of Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt); particularly children who continue to take the brunt of IOF's attacks and the collective punishment measures. Al Mezan asserts that these continued acts by IOF require urgent actions by international community to enforce the mechanisms of accountability against those who violate international law in oPt. The prevailing culture of impunity has only served to encourage violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and must be challenged and stopped without delay.