Monday, February 23, 2009
On the 10th of February, the day of the elections for the Israeli Knesset, a new stage was reached in the blatant racist approach of the Israeli state toward the Arab Palestinian masses. One of the most violent and outspokenly racist mob leader of the Israeli lunatic right, Baruch Marzel, was nominated by the national election committee to be head of one of the election centers in Um elFahm, the second biggest Arab city in the 1948 occupied territories, which Israel claim to be "democratically" managed, in contrast to the 1967 militarily managed occupation.
Marzel and his gang openly advocate the expulsion of the Arab population and are known for organizing (admitably usually small) mob shouting "death to the Arabs". On Election Day, their mob was mostly the official police, with special border guard and mass oppression units, sent by the state to force Israeli Jewish sovereignty by bringing letting the fascists in.
On the early morning hours the masses of Um elFahm residents, with some solidarity delegations, were waiting to confront the fascist on all entrances of the town. The police decided to avoid mass confrontation and let Marzel go away. But some hours later, they entered by deceit one of his co-fascists, Knesset member Eldad, to "manage" the designated election center. As the news spread of his presence there, people gathered to protest around that center, and the police had to take Eldad out. In the confrontation around the election center, our Comrade Samieh Jabbarin, as well as another Um elFahm resident, Ibrahim Mahajne, were arrested, and are held in detention till this day.
Samieh Jabbarin, film and theatre director and lecturer, aged 41, was active in Abnaa elBalad from his youth in Um elFahm. He spent many years in Germany, combining left and democratic activity with his specialization in theater and films. He came back to Palestine to live in Yaffa, the historic Palestinian port city on the Mediterranean Sea, where most of the original population was expelled in the 1948 ethnic cleansing. Yaffa is now surrounded by Tel Aviv; its remaining Arab population was reduced to lives in poverty marginalized by Zionist Apartheid on the verge of the prosperous Jewish city. Samieh had a pivotal role in organizing Yaffa's poor Arab people against different attempts by the Tel Aviv municipality and various Israeli contractors to expropriate and expel them to make space for gentrification "development" plans for the rich Jewish elite. Samieh had an important role in organizing the Haifa conference for the right of return and a secular democratic state in Palestine (www.ror1state.org).
During the last massacres' campaign by the Israeli army against Gaza, on last December and January, the Arab Palestinians inside the 48 territories held many mass demonstrations against the war. Abnaa elBalad took part in organizing and leading these demonstrations all over the country. In Tel Aviv and Haifa we participated in forging an alliance with the truly democratic elements in the Jewish society against the war, while the Zionist left was busy giving excuses to the massacre. During this period Samieh was called for several "warning" interrogations. He was clearly warned that on the next occasion he will be framed up and arrested.
Since the Gaza war the Israeli police and courts cooperate to tighten the oppression against political protest of the Arab Palestinians in the '48 areas. Many demonstrators from the war period are still under arrest. When Samieh and Ibrahim were arrested on February 10th, many policemen forged the charges against them on the very same day. On February 12 they were indicted on the Khedera court and the police requested their detention till the end of the "legal" proceedings. The Judge decided to prolong their detention "until any other decision" without even allowing the defense to object.
Free Samieh Jabbarin and Ibrahim Mahajneh!
Free all Palestinian political prisoners and freedom fighters!
Ma'an 'Ala edDarb - Together on the road
Abnaa elBalad Movement
For international solidarity
Please distribute this declaration to whoever may be interested.
Please send your protest to the relevant Israeli embassies, with copies to us.
For Solidarity letters:
Yoav Bar – firstname.lastname@example.org
Lina Ghana'em - email@example.com
Attached a letter by Samieh Jabbarin from Jelemeh Prison – translated to English.
For more material in Arabic and some images:
Article and photos about the Um elFahm demonstration and the arrests (Samieh's with Che's hat with the star)
Abnaa elBalad demonstration in front of Jelemeh prison
Letter from the prison – and Samieh's image as he was arrested
The Palestinians were being held, according to the Israelis, as "illegal combatants" and therefore, they said, did not require the attention of the Red Cross or attorneys.
The Palestinian Prisoner Society has followed the case closely while issuing reports when new information becomes available.
Ghazi Sobhi Al Attar is among those taken from the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces kidnapped the young man, along with his father and 17 year old brother, from their home in the north's Beit Lahiya on the third of January this year. It was just days after the major attacks began on 28 December.
In an eventual meeting with PPS lawyers Al Attar was able to give some of the details of his family's arrest. They were taken to an outdoor holding center near the border of the Strip with other Palestinians where they remained for a day and a night. The weather was cold.
The next day all of the prisoners were handcuffed and blindfolded and taken to a detention facility in the Tel Aviv area where they were successively beaten and tortured.
It was at this point that Al Attar lost track of the others. He was assaulted with rifle butts and kicked all over his body. His hair was yanked and burned. Soldiers held him on the ground and held a weapon to his head several times making it appear that they would shoot the young man.
After Al Attar's release from the investigators he was tied up with several other prisoners and thrown on a stone ground where they were told to sleep until morning. It was pouring rain and cold.
The Palestinian Prisoners Society lawyer who routinely deals with political prisoners in Israeli jails and who conducted the interview with Al Attar said the effects of trauma were very noticeable.
The man was taken next to the Zukim military detention center where he was forced to undress and remain in the cold until the early morning hours. He was taken to another investigation where he was assaulted. Soldiers beat him severely with rifle butts and again pulled his hair. The interrogator asked him about photos of people allegedly involved in the Hamas party and its armed resistance wing Al Qassam Brigades. Al Attar pointed out that he has impaired vision in both the right and left eyes.
After several more rounds Al Attar said he was taken to a large area that he guessed was three dunams and divided into two sections. It was there that he saw his brother Arafat again and learned of the death of his brother Amjad.
He was taken again into investigation where he was beaten and strangled repeatedly. The interrogator threatened to kill Al Attar if he did not confess to allegations against him. For three days and nights and man was tied by his hands and feet, bent forward, on a small chair in an interrogation room. He was not allowed food or water.
On the third day of his investigation the interrogator beat him in the face so severely that he lost several teeth and also consciousness. After two days he was in a prison barracks again with others taken from Gaza where soldiers fired tear gas into the room. Some prisoners were taken out for medical attention.
Al Attar was taken to Askalan where he was put in investigation again. For 24 hours he was not allowed to sleep, eat or drink. It was here he was told that if he did not give information about the Hamas armed resistance wing Al Qassam Brigades, the Israelis would kill his father and brother in front of him. He told them repeatedly that his right eye does not work and his left eye has limited capability.
The investigator did not believe him and continued the beatings and insults. All parts of his body were hit.
President of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, Qaddura Fares, said that by holding the Gaza residents as "illegal combatants" under Israeli law the occupying authorities can hold them indefinitely without trial and without allowing a defense.
This is similar to Administrative Detention which the Israelis use to hold Palestinians for renewable sentences without charge or trial.
Fares added that according to US and Israeli leaders the enemy or illegal combatant label was formed to violate all human rights, to use any methods of torture and harassment, without the need to come up with evidence.
The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits internationally such treatment.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Sunday, 22 February 2009
Samih Jabbarin is a member of the Palestinian movement Abnaa-El-Balad. He was arrested on February 10th on the backgrounds of the protests against the nomination of the known racist Baruch Marzel,by the national election committee to be head of one of the election centers in he Arab city of Um elFahm.
We, in Abnaa elBalad, always denied the democratic pretensions of this occupation entity. For long decades we put a lot of effort to expose this fake mask before our Arab Palestinian masses. But the majority of our masses became victim to political positions that try to convince them that this democracy is possible and hence we should participate in this “democratic” game in order to “serve” our steadfasting Arab Palestinian masses.
The bearers of those positions never stop trying to convince our masses that the fact that this entity is “democratic” allows us to change it from within, through its own mechanisms, to make it better.
In some stroke of destination, came the 10th of February, the election’s day, the most symbolic day for any bourgeois democracy, to hit those false claims and expose it in front of the reality which proves exactly its contrary.
The Israeli authorities decided to allow the fascist Marzel and his partner in fascism Eldad to enter Um elFahm, in a clear provocation, exactly in the election’s day, the “festival of democracy”. This is a clear indication that this entity knows no shame, but it shows contempt and stamps on the feelings and dignity of a million and a half Palestinians, women and men, which are nominally regarded, and only nominally, a part of this fake democracy.
This permission proves that the Zionist authorities as a whole not only allow the development of fascist ideology, as the ideologies openly displayed by Marzel and Eldad, but those authorities stand beyond the fascist ideologies and clearly strengthen them. All the proceedings around the state’s attempt to bring the criminal Marzel as “election overseer” to one of the voting centers in Um elFahm can’t be explained simply as “political openness” in “lawful state”. There is no place to doubt that this attempt is another step in the chain of systematic steps taken by the Zionists to terrorize and expel our steadfasting people from their land.
This is proved by the political background to this attempt. Only about two months ago, Tsipi Livni (Israel’s foreign minister and leader of its biggest party – Kadima) spoke about the possibility of distancing our steadfasting Palestinian people from within to the future Palestinian “state”, as she claimed to care for “solving” the national problem of this people. This was followed by another declaration by Bibi Netanyahu (the designated next Prime Minister from Likud) claiming that the internal Palestinian demographic problem is more dangerous from Hamas, Hisballah and even Iran. This was followed by a new law, proposed by Limor Livnat (Likud) to abolish the status of Arabic as an official language.
Beyond that, as we have witnessed on the election day, Israeli “security” forces were protecting the fascists and terrorize, beat and arrest those that made an effort to stop fascism. Those who resist fascism are criminals and whoever is fascist or support fascism receives all the protection.
We do not believe in such a fake democracy. Our first patriotic obligation is to expose it and than boycott it on principled grounds. By taking part in this game we give it some sort of legitimacy and help it to fix it fake mask. Even more dangerous, taking part in this game will inevitably lead to ignoring and forgetting other means of mass struggle that proved as effective and honorable in peoples’ revolutions over the years.
Throwing us in your cold detention centers, your attempt to isolate and terrorize us will not succeed. On the contrary, it will deepen the roots of our convictions and our resolve to carry on our struggle till victory. You have your fake democracy and we have our honorable struggle and our steadfastness.
My Comrades, thank you for your support and solidarity.
We will not surrender.
Ma’an ‘Ala edDarb - Together on the road
Your Comrade Samieh Jabbarin
(Middle of February, 2009)
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Sources close to the Hamas movement stated Tuesday that the movement added the names of twenty detainees from the Galilee and other areas in the north of the country to the list of detainees it demands to be freed under a prisoner swap deal with Israel.
The list was provided to Egypt and the Egyptian government handed the list to Israel.
The sources stated that the twenty names were submitted one week ago to the Egyptian mediators, but the Israeli negotiators rejected it, and said that this is considered an internal Israeli issue.
Hamas insists on its demands and said that these are the conditions that would guarantee extended truce talks, and a prisoner swap deal that would lead to the release of the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
An organization that defends the rights of Arab detainees in Israel said that Hamas also included the names of all detainees who were kidnapped by Israel before the first Oslo agreement was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1993.
Arab political sources said that a an initial truce deal and a prisoner swap deal were reached, and that a semifinal understanding was achieved before the Israeli Knesset elections, but the new demands of Hamas to release the Arab detainees, the release of prominent Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi and the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ahmad Sa’adat, obstructed a deal that could have been reached before the Israeli elections, according to the sources.
The sources added that Israeli leaders were competing amongst themselves to achieve a deal before the elections in order to increase their chances of winning more Knesset seats.
The list provided by Hamas includes all detainees who were kidnapped by Israel more than 16 years ago; some of them were kidnapped more than 25 years ago.
The detainees who were added to the list were identified as; Waleed Doqqa, Ibrahim Abu Mokh, Saleh Abu Mokh, and Ibrahim Bayadsa, all from Baqa Al Gharbiyya, Sami Younis, Maher Younis, and Ahmad Abu Jaber, all from Msherfa village near Um al-Fahim, Mohammad Jabarin, Mahmoud Jabarin and Mohammad Tawfiq Jabarin, all from Um al-Fahim, and Mokhlis Borghal and Mohammad Zayed from Lod (Lydda), and Basheer Khateeb from al-Ramla.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Officers and guards are using arbitrary actions and new restrictions which have exacerbated the suffering of Palestinians.
The list of banned goods has been expanded, says the PPS, obliging Palestinians to purchase necessities from the prison store at exorbitant prices and a random schedule.
In a report issued after a visit by the PPS lawyer investigating transfers of detainees, several cases were taken into account.
Safwat Jibril Jabour was sentenced on 8 October 2002 to two life times plus 22 years. The 34 year old explained to the PPS that the general situation in the prison is “poor and chaotic in the absence of a director.” He said, “Officers administering the sections are imposing conditions and restrictions that are part of a new arbitrary system.”
The prison consists of two 18-room sections, the first being number 10 in which Fateh members are kept, while Section 11 houses Islamic Jihad and Hamas.
There is a complete separation of them by the Prison Department despite the absence of friction, says the PPS. “The jailers forbid any meeting between the political prisoners in Eshel,” said Jabour. There are representatives for the political prisoners, including Chris Bandak of Fateh.
The PPS lawyer reported today that no one has been able to solve the problem of the prison store, Al Cantina, imposed on the Palestinians. He met with a Salfit man, Ramzi Mohammad Abu Shemeh, who explained that families are forbidden to bring clothes. Other prisoners who are from Jordan and Gaza have not received their funds to use in the store and are obliged to go without the most basic essentials.
Khalid Ali is from Gaza and has been detained since September of 2007 along with his brother. They are banned from receiving visits by relatives or funds and supplies.
Thirty seven year old Hani Atta Al Zaanin is from northern Gaza’s Beit Hanoun. Imprisoned since 2006, he suffers heart problems which require surgery. However like thousands of Palestinian political prisoners he is refused medical treatment.
The conditions, already substandard, are worsening in this Beerseeba area prison, reports the Palestinian Prisoners Society which issued a call for the implementation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
There are, at present, about 63 women political prisoners in the Israeli jails: about 34 in Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond), about 27 in Damoon Prison (Carmel Mountain), and the rest in several detention centers.
The way from the prison to the court
The wardens' attitude towards prisoners during the journey from the prison to the court is very harsh and humiliating.
Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond)
The prisoners from Gaza
Israel continues to prevent visits from the Gaza Strip to political prisoners. During the war, when Israel attacked Gaza, the prisoners did not get any information from or about their families and were deeply worried at the news of thousands of dead, injured and homeless. WOFPP's lawyer, Taghreed Jahshan, made every effort to contact their families and to update the prisoners. After the prisoners requested again and again to speak with their families, the prison authorities allowed them, at the end of the war, to make one call to their families.
The conditions in the cells
The state of Israel sent an answer to "Mandela Institute" concerning the plea that was submitted on 1 December 2008: The answer stated that "Mandela Institute" does not have the right to submit the plea, and that the prisoners may submit the plea by themselves. Furthermore, the ridiculous claim was added that the prison authorities checked the conditions in the cells and came to the conclusion that the conditions were adequate.
The plea was based on prisoners' affidavits, and on the reports of the Public Defender and The Israeli Bar.
Recently, the prison authorities have prevented the women prisoners' families from handing over handicraft materials. The prison authorities also prohibit the women political prisoners to give their families handicrafts that they have made.
The prison authorities still have not delivered a great part of the letters to the women prisoners. There are women who do not get the letters from their family or get them months after they were sent.
The prisoners from the Gaza Strip are particularly harmed by this policy, as letters are the only contact with their families who are not allowed to visit them in prison.
from Nablus, a member of the Municipality Council, was arrested on 5 August 2008. On 6 January 2009, the military court acquitted her, and the Israeli authorities placed her under administrative detention. She got an administrative detention order for six months, and it may arbitrarily be extended for an indefinite period.
Nawal elSa'adi, 45 years old, from Jenin Refugee Camp, was arrested on 6 November 2008 and was brought to Kishon Detention Center (Jalameh). She was held in a cell without windows, the prison authorities prevented her sister from handing over clothes, and she underwent interrogations. During the interrogations, her hands were tied behind her body, and the interrogators humiliated and cursed her. On 6 January 2009, she was transferred to Hasharon Prison.
Amal el'Abidi, from Jerusalem, an occupational therapy student, was arrested on 6 December 2008 and brought to the Russian Compound (Mosqobiyeh) Detention Center in Jerusalem. She was held in a dirty cell and underwent interrogations by 4 or 5 interrogators for many hours every day. During the interrogations her hands were tied behind her body, and the interrogators humiliated and cursed her. When WOFPP's lawyer came to visit her, the prison authorities tried to prevent the visit under various pretexts but at last she was allowed to meet her. In January, Amal was transferred to Hasharon Prison.
Bara'a Malaqi, 14 years old, from Jalazun Refugee Camp, was arrested on 2 December 2008 and brought to the Russian Compound (Mosqobiyeh) Detention Center in Jerusalem where she was held in the same wing as adult criminal detainees. At the end of December she was transferred to Hasharon Prison.
Samah Sma'ada, 14.5 years, old from Jalazun Refugee Camp, was arrested on 2 December 2008 and brought to the Russian Compound (Mosqobiyeh) Detention Center in Jerusalem where she was held in the same wing as adult criminal detainees. At the end of December she was transferred to Hasharon Prison.
Kifah 'Afana Bahash, 23 years old, from Nablus, was arrested on 3 January 2009 at an Israeli check point in the West Bank and was brought to Salem Detention Center. She underwent interrogations and, some days later, she was transferred to Hasharon Prison.
Randa Shhatit, 23 years old, from Dura, Hebron district. After she underwent interrogations in a detention center she was transferred to Hasharon Prison.
Maha el'Aradah, 33 year old, from Jenin district, was arrested on 5 February 2007 and released on 6 January 2009.
Damoon Prison (Carmel Mountain)
The women political prisoners request to have more books. The prison authorities allow each prisoner to have 2 books only. The families give the books to the prison staff, and the prisoners have to hand over the old books to the warden before getting the new ones. There is no library for the women political prisoners.
Samira Haniya Abu Shamala, an administrative detainee, 46 years old, from Jenin district, was arrested on 3 March 2008. All her family members were prohibited from visiting her. She had her first family visit in January 2009, when her brother visited her.
Salwa Salah , 17 years old, from Bethlehem district, administrative detainee, was arrested on 5 June 2008 and released on 1 January 2009.
Sara Siureh, 17 years old, from Bethlehem district, administrative detainee, was arrested on 5 June 2008 and released on 1 January 2009.
For your notice:
New bank account:
Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)
Account number: 471067
Daniel Frisch St. 3,Tel Aviv 64078, ISRAEL
IBAN number: IL 60-0125-3200-0000-0471-067
BIC (swift): POALILIT
Address of the person to receive the contribution:
Frug Street 30
Tel Aviv 63417, ISRAEL
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
The al-Quds al-Araby newspaper reported Tuesday that Israel presented the names of four Palestinian detainees who will not be freed under any prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel.
Hamas presented to Egypt a list of detainees it wants freed in exchange for releasing captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. Egypt, acting as mediator, presented the list to Israel.
Three of the four detainees Israel refuses to release under any circumstances are sentenced to multiple life-terms after being “convicted” of planning suicide bombings that led to the death of dozens of Israelis.
The fourth is Ahmad Saadat, secretary-general of the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
The al-Quds al-Araby said that Israel refuses to release Abbas Al Sayyid, head of the Hamas armed wing in Tulkarem, in the northern part of the West Bank.
Al Sayyid is believed to be behind a bombing in Netanya in which 29 Israelis were killed. After the bombing, the then Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, invaded the West Bank and besieged the late Palestinian President. Yasser Arafat, in his Ramallah headquarters.
The second detainee is Abdullah Al Barghouthi who was sentenced to 67 consecutive life-terms as Israel believes that he is responsible for a series of bombings in which, according to Israel, 66 Israelis were killed and at least 500 were wounded.
He is also believed to be the master-mind of a bombing at a restaurant in Jerusalem in August of 2001, in which 15 Israelis were killed and dozens were wounded.
The Israeli prosecution also claim that he was behind a bombing at the Hebrew University, and a bombing in a Night Club in Rishon Letzion in which 35 Israelis were killed, and 370 were wounded.
The third detainee is Ibrahim Hamed, age 41, who is believed to be the mastermind of several attacks that led to the death of 60 Israelis and the injury of hundreds of other Israelis.
The fourth detainee is PFLP secretary-general, Ahmad Saadat, who was sentenced to multiple life-terms after he was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers who raided the Jericho Palestinian Prison that was supposed to be monitored by European guards.
Israel claims that Saadat is behind the assassination of the then-Israeli tourism minister, Rehavam Ze'ev at a Jerusalem Hotel in October of 2001.
Senior Palestinian sources reported that Turkish officials, who are also mediating in the talks, promised Hamas to try to convince Israel to alter its decision, and release the four detainees along with the rest of the detainees who would be freed in the anticipated prisoner-swap deal.
Monday, February 2, 2009
PNN exclusive / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh – Half of his family is in prison and all of them are kept apart. Mohammad Attoun has six sons, three are in prison and the other three are forbidden to visit.
On Sunday Attoun took his daughter in law and grandchildren to the Israeli Askalan Prison.
Ahmed Attoun is a political prisoner. His “punishment is extended to his parents, his wife and children,” as is reported. Not his wife, nor aging father, brothers or his own children are allowed to see him.
Hajj Mohammad was eager to see his boy, the family said today. “It’s been two months, but what was surprising is that he was suddenly banned.”
Ahmed is now in solitary confinement and is denied the right to visits or to use the Cantina store where political prisoners normally purchase items such as soap and food.
The Palestinian official had given a speech on Friday in which he referred to “the steadfastness of the people of the Gaza Strip in the face of Israeli aggression.” The Israeli administration grabbed Ahmed and threw him into solitary.
Ahmed Mohammad Attoun is a deputy in the Palestinian Legislative Council, arrested on 29 June 2006 along with dozens of other officials during that time period. The Israeli administration went on a major arrest campaign after the PLC elections in which those running on the Change and Reform ticket won. The bloc was affiliated with the Hamas party and the Israelis, along with the United States, did not accept the choice made at the ballot boxes.
Ahmed Attoun was sentenced to a period of 42 months in prison. He is married with four children between the ages of five and 10 years. On 30 June 2006 the Israeli Interior Ministry revoked his Jerusalem residency by claiming he owed allegiance to the state of Israel but having won in the elections showed that he had allegiance to the Palestinian Authority.
The second son in the family is Iyad, imprisoned a year and two months ago. He is in Jalboa Prison, sentenced for two years. This married father of four already spent six years in Israeli prisons and is prohibited from seeing his father or family members.
The third son, Mahmoud Attoun, has spent 16 years in Israeli prisons. Currently in Nafha Prison, he was banned from seeing his father for five years. He is charged with armed resistance activities.
Their aging father Mohammad Attoun has contacted legal institutions to intervene and end the ban on visits between the separated halves of his family.