Wednesday, September 30, 2009

PSP Supports Kobi Snitz, an Israeli Activist Beginning Short Prison Term for Anti-Occupation Activity


Posted on September 21st, 2009.

Kobi Snitz, a long-time activist with the Israeli group Anarchists Against the Wall, and a personal friend of PSP, begins a 20 day prison term for an arrest in 2004 in which he tried to prevent a home demolition in the Palestinian village of Kharbatha, in the Ramallah District. He is the first Israeli activist to serve time for a demonstration in the Occupied Territories. His statement (from yesterday) is below:

Tomorrow I will start a 20 day prison term. It is a result of an attempt to prevent a house demolition in kharbatha. As you probably know 20 days is nothing compared to the time many Palestinian teenagers have to do. Unlike them, I did not have to do this. I refused to pay a fine and was therefore sent to jail.

throughout the long trial I had other opportunities to avoid prison but could not bring myself to admit guilt in any way or accept the sentence given me. I and the others who were arrested with me are guilty of nothing except not doing more to oppose the truly criminal policies of the state. To be forced to say otherwise is as demeaning as it is untrue. Compared to it 20 days in jail are a small price to pay.

The legal team headed by Gaby has been excellent as always and thanks also to Nir and Alon from Bimkom who supplied information about planning policies and regulations.

no pasaran!


Breakthrough in prisoners exchange deal

Breakthrough in prisoners exchange deal
30-09-2009,11:38
Al Qassam Website – Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, confirmed that in the framework of the Egyptian & the German efforts to release the Palestinian prisoners from all the Palestinian factions, an agreement was done to release 20 Palestinian female prisoners from the Zionist jails in the next few days in exchange to clarify the status of Shalit.
The Brigades indicated at a press conference for Abu Obeida, the spokesman of Al Qassam Brigades, on Wednesday in the courtyard of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza City that the prisoners will be as the following:
  • Four prisoners from Hamas.
  • Five prisoners from Fatah.
  • Three prisoners from the Islamic Jihad.
  • One prisoner of the Popular Front.
According to the geographical distribution, they are:
  • Three prisoners from Hebron.
  • Eight prisoners from Nablus.
  • Four prisoners from Ramallah.
  • Three prisoners from Bethlehem.
  • A captive and one of the Jenin.
  • Seven independent prisoners.
  • A captive and her child from the Gaza Strip.
Hamas movement declared the names of the female prisones whom will be released; they are:
Ayat qaysi
Rugena Riad Jnazra
Rima Abu Aisha
Heba As'ad Al-Natsha
Maymouna Jibreen
Jihad Abu Turki
Bara'a Milki
Laila Mohamed Bukhari
Fatma Zak, her baby Joseph
Nadine Dweik
Kefah Al Buhs
Linan Abu Ghalama
Shirin Hassan
Sana Saleh Hajajra
Manal Saba'na
Zuhoor Hamdan
Hiam Al Bayed
Naheda Al De'ra
Najwa Abdul-Jani

Abu Obaida said "The Palestinian factions which completed this step is confirming the steadfastness of its position and its commitment to make its best effort to complete the deal to release our prisoners from the Zionist jails.”
Al Qassam Brigades and other Palestinian factions captured the Zionist soldier Gilad Shalit almost three years ago in an operation as a response to the Zionist aggression on the Palestinian civilians in Gaza strip and the West Bank.

Israeli forces seize dozens of Palestinians from Jerusalem's Old City

Published yesterday (updated) 30/09/2009 09:48

 
Israeli police in the Old City

Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli forces raided the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday night and seized some 50 Palestinians allegedly involved in the confrontations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday.

According to Nasser Qus, head of Jerusalem office of the Palestinian prisoners’ society, Israeli forces stormed the neighborhoods of As-Sa’diyya, Al-Wad street, Hutta Gate neighborhood, and Silsila neighborhood, in addition to Silwan, Thuri, Damascus Gate, and throughout the Old City.

Israeli riot police used stun grenades and batons to disperse unarmed protesters at the Al-Aqsa compound on Sunday after Israeli settlers entered the area. Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam and a Palestinian national symbol.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Palestinians working in Jerusalem and within Israeli boundaries arrested during Ramadan and Eid

posted on PNN
23.09.09 - 11:59
Jenin / Ali Samoudi - Secretary-General of the Federation of Unions of Palestine, Haidar Ibrahim reports that the occupying Israeli authority arrested 440 Palestinian workers during Ramadan.
On the first day of Eid al-Fitr, another 50 people were arrested.
The workers were from the West Bank and were in Jerusalem and inside Israeli boundaries. Israeli forces raided several factories and checked work permits. Some 32 Palestinians that were holding the necessary permits were arrested regardless and prevented from returning to their jobs. In a sewing factory near Nazareth 18 Palestinians were arrested and fined heavily by an Israeli court in Afula.
According to Ibrahim the army targeted workers en route to their homes for the Eid al-Fitr feast. They were held until the holiday was over.

Arrest of Palestinian children on the rise

Mel Frykberg | The Electronic Intifada
25 September 2009
BILIN, occupied West Bank (IPS) – Eight children between the ages of 10 and 17 were arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers during military raids Monday night and Tuesday morning in the northern West Bank cities Nablus and Qalqiliya.
Defence for Children International- Palestine Section (DCI) has released a statement that the number of children detained in Israeli jails and temporary Israeli army detention centers this year has risen by 17.5 percent compared with 2008.
“The average number of Palestinian children held in Israeli detention in 2009 remains high, at 375 per month compared with an average of 319 in 2008,” says DCI.
“Disturbingly, 39 young children between the ages of 12 and 15 were detained in August 2009. This is up 85 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2008 of 21 children.”
Israel is a signatory to the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that “the arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.”
Nashmi Muhammad Abu Rahme, 14, from the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah was arrested and dragged from his bed at 3 am on 15 August after Israeli soldiers raided his home.
The village of Bilin has been involved in a protracted campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience against Israel’s building of a wall which cuts through village land, separating villagers and farmers from their agricultural fields.
The villagers successfully petitioned an Israeli court to have the wall re-routed several years ago, but the Israeli army has failed to comply with the court’s orders.
“My family was awoken by the sounds of Israeli soldiers yelling and starting to smash down the door. I was blindfolded and tightly handcuffed by the soldiers and then thrown into the back of a jeep,” recalls Abu Rahme.
“During the journey to the military base I was repeatedly slapped, beaten and kicked until I was bleeding. I was very scared,” Abu Rahme told IPS.
Israeli medics treated Abu Rahme for bleeding and contusions before he was brought before an interrogator, again blindfolded and handcuffed. His interrogation lasted three hours, during which he was accused of throwing stones at soldiers near the wall on Bilin’s agricultural land.
Abu Rahme was kept in jail for a week before he was brought before a military prosecutor. He was fined 5,000 shekels ($1,340) and released.
“We have had about 12 children from our village arrested and detained by the Israelis,” Hassan Moussa, a schoolteacher from the neighboring village of Nilin told IPS.
Under Israeli administrative detention, Palestinians can be held for six months without trial, and this can be renewed at the end of that period for another six months.
“It interrupts their education when they are detained for weeks and months without being brought to trial,” says Moussa.
Most Palestinian children are held for stone-throwing. Israeli Military Order 378 carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment for this, five years less than the average murder sentence in Israel.
“During interrogation, children as young as 12 years are denied access to a lawyer and visits from their families,” says DCI.
“While under interrogation children are subjected to a number of prohibited techniques. These include the excessive use of blindfolds and handcuffs, slapping and kicking, painful position abuse for long periods of time, solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, and a combination of physical and psychological threats,” says DCI.
Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem describes the tiny cells where Palestinian children are often held in solitary confinement.
These include the “lock-up,” a dark cell of 1.5 by 1.5 meters. The “closet” is a narrow cell the height of a person that one can stand in but not sit or move. The “grave” is a box closed by a door from the top and measuring approximately one meter by 60 cm with a depth of about 80 cm.
DCI has documented at least seven cases during Israel’s war on Gaza at the beginning of the year where Gazan children were used as human shields by Israeli soldiers.
“There is a big difference in the way Palestinian and Israeli minors are treated by Israeli law,” Khaled Quzmar from DCI Palestine told IPS.
Palestinian children as young as 12 years are prosecuted in the Israeli military courts and are treated as adults as soon as they turn 16, in contrast to the situation under Israeli domestic law, whereby majority is attained at 18.
The Israeli army announced in July that it would be setting up a separate military court for juveniles. Hitherto both Palestinian adults and children had been tried together.
“The good news is that after 42 years of occupation the Israelis have recognized that their legal treatment of Palestinian children has been morally indefensible,” says Quzmar.
“The bad news is that the changes are merely semantic. Children will continue to be tried by the same judges in the same jails. The only difference is juveniles will be tried at separate times,” Quzmar told IPS.
Previously, according to military law, there was no statute of limitations on offenses by Palestinians, even if the suspect committed the offense when he or she was a minor.
“While the new order ostensibly sets a two-year statute of limitations for offenses committed by minors, it also allows the military prosecutor to overrule this. The prosecution will generally be given the benefit of the doubt,” added Quzmar.

Sweets for Eid banned from entering Jalama, Salem and Huwara prisons

posted on PNN
23.09.09 - 11:40
Jenin / Ali Samoudi – The tradition sweets that are a part of Eid al-Fitr celebrations were banned in several Israeli prisons.
Palestinian political prisoners in Jalema, Salem and Huwara detention camps were not allowed Eid sweets despite efforts by the International Committee of Palestinian Prisoners.
Efforts were in vain for the delivery of a shipment of materials and sweets for Eid for Palestinians, which is part of a series of events that the prisoners’ organization says show a “complete disregard of all international norms and laws.”
The International Committee of Palestinian Prisoners said today that the occupying Israeli administration engages in violations of the basic rights of prisoners living under difficult circumstances.
The committee called on all pertinent organizations to put pressure on the Israeli authorities to rescind these types of decisions.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Israeli war crime in Gaza: Israeli soliders kidnapped Arab men for use as human shields, Jan. 2009

Conference in Jericho to address Israel's Palestinian prisoners

Published yesterday (updated) 26/09/2009 21:55



Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Prisoners Affairs will hold a three-day conference on the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails starting on 14 November in Jericho.

Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe announced the conference, titled “Liberty is a right not a tool for violations” will bring together 50 international dignitaries and human rights advocates at Jericho’s Intercontinental hotel.

Qaraqe called the conference “the year’s most important event,” the first of its kind in Palestine, which will try and mobilize international support for Palestinian prisoners in in an attempt to put pressure on Israel to stop human rights violations against detainees.

There are an estimated 10,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons

The major issues to be discussed at the conference are:

- Prisoners and international law.
- Detention of children.
- Torture and abuse.
- Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations.
- Israeli legislation violating human rights.
- Rehabilitation of prisoners, and reintegration into society.
- Prisoners in local, regional, and international media.
- Detention of women.
- Administrative detention.

Photos and videos about prisoners will be shown throughout the conference, and reports and studies about conditions in Israeli prisons will be distributed.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Israeli Police arrest 18 Palestinian female workers

Thursday September 24, 2009 08:00 by IMEMC News

The Israeli police arrested 18 Palestinian female workers under the pretext that they were working in Nazareth without obtaining entry and work permits in Israel.
israelipolice.jpg

The workers were detained after the Israeli police raided a Sewing factory in Nazareth.
All detained workers were transferred to an Israeli court in Afula, and the court imposed high fines on them.
Palestinian workers, devastated by closures and Israeli restrictions, are facing ongoing Israeli attacks and hundreds were detained and fined for working in Israel ‘without obtaining the needed permits’. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Urgent Call: A Girl Abused Sexually in Jail

Posted: 20 Sep 2009 06:29 AM PDT
The lawyer of the Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP), Taghreed Jahshan, is appealing to everybody from the international community, the European Union, Parliament members, governments, courts, judges, journalists, human rights organizations, peace activists, to rescue the life of a Palestinian girl who was abused SEXUALLY SEVERAL TIMES by an IDF jailer, a warden from the inhuman military jail of Hasharon. lawyer Jahshan stated that the victim is a minor and that the she lives under severe punishment in an isolation cell. Jahshan expressed her great concern after the victim was transferred to an unhealthy isolation cell after she complained formally against the sexual abuse by the warden. She said that the jailer spread the victims cell with poisonous chemicals and locked the door of the cell after five minutes.
The health of the minor is deteriorated after breathing the Majiodo Jail.chemicals. She is vomiting and suffering of constant headache. The inhuman situation and ill treatment which the minor suffers is a clear violation of the duties contracted by Israel by signing the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and other treaties of international humanitarian law. The incarceration of this minor is equally a violation of obligations acquired by Israel to protect civilians, as she is incarcerated and mistreated by Israel solely for being a Palestinian.
Read further information’s published by Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP) in English, Arabic as PDF, and Hebrew as PDFPDF.

19 Septmber 2009
Since the last month WOFPP has accompanied, with deep concern, the minor political prisoner who complained of sexual harassment by one of the guards in Hasharon Prison where she was held.
WOFPP's lawyer, Taghreed Jahshan, visited the prisoner many times during the recent period and has sent a very urgent letter, on 6 September 2009, to the Prisons Service Commissioner, with copies to the Central Area's Commander and other persons of the Service Prison staff and to the Chairman of the Bar Association's Prisons Committee.
Since there was no reply, another urgent letter was sent on 14 September, and again it had not been answered in writing.
The letter raised serious claims of the prisoner – verified by affidavit – according to which, following the complaint she has submitted, the Prisons Service harassed the prisoner, by transferring her to another prison to the isolation/separation wing in which criminal prisoners are being held, without any legal basis, and holding her in inhuman conditions: a stuffy, very damp cell, without any sunlight, without TV, ventilator, books (except one book she brought with her) and without handicraft materials. The prison authorities also had taken from the prisoner her head coverings. In addition, there were many ants in the cell that disturbed her sleep at night. In fact, the prisoner sat about 24 hours a day facing the walls without anything to occupy herself with.
All these details were reported in a letter to the Prisons Service Commissioner; however he did not see fit to reply in writing concerning these claims. Even worse, probably following the letter, insecticide was sprayed in the wing. The prisoner was taken out of her cell for a few minutes and, immediately after the spraying, she was returned. As a result, she was overcome by feelings of suffocation and dizziness for some hours, and she continued to feel chest pain.
Only on 15/9/09, after a month during which the prisoner was held in the conditions described above, she was transferred to a cell with reasonable conditions, but still in the same isolation/separation wing.
These last days, staff members in charge at the prison where the prisoner is detained, made telephone contact with attorney Jahshan and told her that the most senior ranks handle the matter of the prisoner, aiming to find a solution for her by transferring her from the wing which she is held in.
Our position is clear in this matter: a political prisoner should be in a political prisoners' wing – there is no other solution.
The same staff members promised attorney Jahshan to update her on Monday 21 September 2009. If the decision that will be taken will not meet the required objective, a plea in the prisoner's name will immediately be submitted to the court.
Regarding the prisoner's complaint against sexual harassment (attorney Jahshan represents her also in this matter): The prisoner says that she will continue to fight until the guard will get the punishment he deserves.
It should be noted that WOFPP is in close and continuous contact with the prisoner's family which is updated on every detail.
The minor prisoner has been held in isolation/separation for over a month and probably will have to spend the holiday of Eid-elFiter alone.
Isolation/separation is a kind of torture
Please write letters of protest to the Israel Prisons Service:
Prisons Service Commissioner
P.O. Box 81
Ramle 72100
Israel
Fax: +972-8-9193800

And to the Israeli embassy in your country.

Studies center: Illegal practices against children rampant in Israeli jails

[ 23/09/2009 - 10:29 AM ]


GAZA, (PIC)-- The prisoners' center for studies has said that around 400 Palestinian children held in Israeli occupation jails are exposed to illegal practices that require immediate intervention on the part of human rights groups.
The center in a statement on Wednesday said that the Israeli prisons authority (IPA) was violating all international norms and doctrines that protect those minors and necessitate dealing with them as children and not as "terrorists".
A freed child told the center that the IPA was violating the detained children's simplest rights. He added that Israeli jailors regularly beat those children, threaten them with banning family visits, cram them in crowded cells and isolate and terrorize them other than depriving them of education.
The center said that the children were lacking medical care and were held near to Jewish homicide convicts.

Free Mohammad Othman, Palestine’s first BDS Prisoner of Conscience!

On Tuesday, September 22, Mohammad Othman (33 years old)—a Palestinian human rights activist and advocate of the non-violent civil society campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)—was arrested by Israeli authorities at the Allenby Crossing, the border terminal between Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territory. He was returning from a trip to Norway—where he had been promoting BDSwhen he was detained, arrested and then moved to a prison where he is being held for a military hearing scheduled for next Tuesday.
While Mohammad is only one of the approximately 11,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons and detention centers, he has become the first Palestinian to be imprisoned by Israel in response to BDS advocacy activity. With BDS campaigns around the world gaining momentum, Israel has increasingly come under pressure to comply with international law and respect Palestinian rights. It is precisely the spectacular rise in the effectiveness of the BDS campaign and its successes in the Western mainstream that seems to have prompted Israel to take such a draconian measure against a prominent and indefatigable BDS activist.
Mohammad has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the defense of Palestinian human rights. His village, Jayyous, in the occupied West Bank, has lost most of its fertile agricultural land to Israel’s illegal Wall and colonial settlements. He has campaigned with the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign against the dispossession of Palestinian farmers and has urged for mechanisms of accountability for Israeli violations of international law and human rights, based on the Palestinian call for BDS, issued on 9 July 2005, a year after the International Court of Justice at the Hague had found Israel’s Wall and colonies illegal.
Mohammad’s trips to Norway—during which he met with senior officials including Finance Minister Kristen Halvorsen—reflect the increasing international support for effective mechanisms of upholding international law and Palestinian rights.  Norway’s state Pension Fund recently announced that it had divested from Elbit Systems, the Israeli company which provides both Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and other military technology for Occupation forces as well as security systems for the Wall and settlements. The decision came after representatives of the fund’s Ethics Council met with Palestinian and Israeli human rights activists, including Mohammad, who accompanied them on a tour of Jayyous and other West Bank villages affected by the Wall.
Since Israel’s illegal war of aggression on Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009 that killed over 1400 people, predominantly civilians, the BDS movement has grown exponentially and gained wide support among conscientious individuals, unions and international civil society in general, as well as among some governments. In the last two weeks, more countries have followed Norway’s example. The Brazilian Parliament has expressed itself against the ratification of a Free Trade Agreement with Israel until a Palestinian state is established, and the government of Spain denied settlement-based Ariel University College permission to participate in a high profile academic architecture competition. With the BDS movement making significant gains worldwide, human rights defenders like Mohammad are likely to be increasingly targeted by the Israeli government in its efforts to evade accountability for its ongoing violations of international law.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) calls on all those who support basic human rights, whether or not they endorse BDS, international solidarity groups and human rights organizations to act urgently to bring attention to this case and apply due pressure to achieve the immediate and unconditional release of Palestinian human rights activist Mohammad Othman.
It is crucial that the international community combat Israeli attempts to criminalize human rights activists adopting BDS or any other popular struggle aimed at ending violations of international law and upholding universal principles of human rights.
Recommended Actions:
  • Encourage others to join this campaign through petitions, demonstrations and / or letter writing / phone calling. Please provide them with contact information and details;
  • Urge your representatives at consular offices in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem/Ramallah to demand the immediate release of Mohammad Othman. (For your consular contacts, see: http://www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-in/Israel#11725);
  • Let the Israeli Embassy in your country know that you are campaigning for Mohammad’s release and for a just and lasting peace based on international law.
  • Bring the case of Palestine’s first BDS prisoner of conscience to the attention of local and national media outlets;
  • Follow the blog and facebook to free Mohammad Othman to see the latest updates and action alerts.

For more information contact: freemohammad@bdsmovement.net

How Israel silenced its Gaza war protesters

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1116114.html

Akiva Eldar
Haaretz -- September 22, 2009

 
A new report from Adalah shows how the courts and police attempted to stamp out opposition to Operation Cast Lead. "This is a time of war, and every incident harms the people's morale."
This was not a sentence in a right-wing journal, but rather a statement by an Israel Police representative during Operation Cast Lead seeking to persuade the Tel Aviv District Court to block anti-war protesters from the city.
Around the same time, in a Haifa Magistrate's Court hearing on extending the remand of minors, Judge Moshe Gilad stated: "Anyone who enables remarks denouncing the state and backing its enemies, even as they rain missiles upon its citizens, must obey its laws, and certainly is prohibited from attacking police who come to impose order. It is similar to a person spitting in the well from which he drinks."
Here are some of the pearls in Adalah's new report: "Prohibited protest - how the law enforcement authorities limit the freedom of expression of opponents of the Gaza military attack." The document, being published for the first time here, was written by attorneys Abeer Baker and Rana Asali. They reviewed and analyzed hundreds of rulings and detention requests, interviewed dozens of human rights activists who were arrested and threatened during the Gaza attack, and documented the behavior of Israeli academia during the moments of truth last winter.
The Adalah report was completed a few days before the Goldstone report was released. It harshly criticizes the damage to freedom of expression and the lack of tolerance for protests, primarily by Arab Israelis, against the attack on Gaza's civilian population. The report shows that enforcements officials did not learn from the October 2000 riots, and did not internalize the Or Commission recommendations.
The authors wrote that while they worked on their report, President Shimon Peres accepted the recommendation by former justice minister Daniel Friedmann to pardon 59 citizens who committed criminal offenses during protests against the disengagement in August 2005. The president stated that the pardons were being granted out of an understanding for the young people's protests, and awareness that this was an unusual, historic event.
The Arabs (and a handful of Jews) protesting against the bloody incidents that took hundreds of lives did not receive a fraction of that understanding.
"In all court decisions we reviewed, the authorities did not mention the reason for the anger of war opponents," they stated. "The hundreds of dead, the injured, the destruction, the tragedy and the damage the Israeli army brought upon Gaza's residents are not mentioned anywhere in any remand decision. The detainees were presented as lawbreakers and criminals who should be treated harshly due to 'the situation,' unconnected from the political climate of their protest."
The war mobilization went up to the Supreme Court. Of seven appeals submitted regarding the detainment of suspects until the completion of proceedings, the court sided with the state in every case. Supreme Court Judge Asher Gronis stated in ruling in favor of the detention of a minor until the end of the proceedings: "Of course, when times change, the matter of detentions will be reconsidered." He added, "When I say 'change in times,' this refers to the end of the military operation in the Gaza Strip and fewer violations in the Northern District."
The researchers note that the "change in times" clause disconnects the detention from the circumstances of the suspect, and makes this a matter of a community's behavior. They note that the detention law was intended to provide uniform tools regarding the revocation of freedom and does not differentiate between war time and peace.
Detentions as a goal
The Adalah researchers found that detentions during fighting became a goal in and of themselves. The police and the State Prosecutor's office vehemently refused to consider releasing even minors from detention or restrictive conditions.
The state's representatives in effect confirmed the detentions were designed "to send a deterrent message to the public as a whole and to the rioters in particular." During another remand extension hearing, they acknowledged this effort was aimed at 'deterring the protesters with force and detaining them until the end of the proceedings in order to convey a message to the public that such behavior is unforgiveable."
These comments were made in a detention motion that the court found was not supported by any factual, evidentiary basis. Somewhat ironically, the police again defined the protests against the war as "a disruption of the peace."
The prevailing trend around the world, including in Israel, is to try minors under proceedings that take into account their needs, welfare and well-being. Despite this, during the operation, hundreds of minors spent weeks behind bars awaiting trial. A review of several decisions regarding "daily detention" indicates how the police inflated the suspicions against the detainees, in order to lengthen their detention.
For example, on December 29, 2008 the Hadera Magistrate's Court received a police motion to hold for another seven days two people suspected of rioting and interfering with a policeman carrying out his duties. The police representative argued that the suspects burned tires, threw stones at policemen and called for Jews to be killed. The court ordered them freed, stating, "The request to extend the detention is baseless and inflated, and it would have been better if some of the remarks in the motion had never been written."
Under its obligation to uphold freedom of speech, specifically in times of conflict, the police used force to try to silence protest. Adalah found numerous testimonies indicating a widespread phenomenon of people being arrested merely because they were present at an incident. Average individuals were accused of serious violations, spent a night in detention and were brought to court handcuffed. At many protest vigils, large numbers of police showed up and dispersed the gathering with force, under the pretense that the gathering was illegal. The testimonies clearly indicate that not all the protests required a police permit.
In some cases, the police conditioned the release of protesters on their not taking part in more protests. Police used harsher threats to disperse legal anti-war protest vigils when there were also right-wing protesters there voicing support for the operation. In these cases, the police officials claimed that as few as three people is enough to justify crowd dispersal, declare the protest illegal and deem all the participants rioters. Protests were dispersed violently, and protesters sometimes suffered serious bruises. Buses en route to protests were commandeered and forced to turn around.
The Shin Bet General Security Service also took part in silencing protest; the police summoned activists, but when they arrived at the police station, they were questioned by Shin Bet investigators. Some activists said their interrogators asked political questions and threatened to persecute them and make them responsible for every violation that occurred during the demonstrations. The attorney general supported the Shin Bet's questioning and threatening methods, saying that it was meant to calm the atmosphere.
The report accuses intellectuals and academics of standing by during the violence in Gaza and overlooking the collective arrests of peace activists. Only a few lecturers mustered the courage to publicly protest the military operation. Academics who protested the collective arrest of settler teens did not speak out against the suspected IDF war crimes and the collective detainment of protesting minors. Academic institutions hung banners and took out newspaper ads voicing support for the war. They stood by while the Shin Bet and the police charged at Jewish and Arab students protesting the operation.
For instance, at the height of the operation, the University of Haifa released the following announcement despite its many Arab students: "As a show of solidarity with IDF soldiers fighting in Gaza and residents of the south, the University of Haifa has made its central tower into a national flag ... the university is not an ivory tower and is inseparably connected to the community. With this symbolic act, it expresses its great appreciation for the residents of the south and its support for the IDF's soldiers."
The ministry responds
The Ministry of Justice spokesman responded: "During Operation Cast Lead there were serious nationalistically motivated gatherings and rioting, occasionally accompanied by real disturbances including stone throwing and road blockades, and in some cases there was risk to human life and public welfare, similar to the events of October 2000 (albeit not on the same scale and not at the same intensity).
"Alongside police efforts to enforce the law and restore order, the prosecution needed to increase steps to enforce the law and prevent the spread of the phenomenon. This was done via increased enforcement, insisting on detention until the conclusion of proceedings, based on the reasons for the detention (primarily endangerment) and carrying out the law to the fullest regarding criminals, subject to the specific circumstances of each case.
"Court rulings, through the October 2000 events, called for detaining rioters - including minors - who were involved in nationalistically motivated disturbances that posed a threat to passersby and security forces, based on the specific danger posed by each detainee. The Supreme Court on more than one occasion determined that a person who throws stones at government agents seeking to restore order or at innocent bystanders may continue to endanger public safety and even human life.
"That the actions stem from ideological fervor, and take place in large and heated gatherings, make them more dangerous. This is a phenomenon that builds on itself. Once it became part of the agenda of those rioters, the court ruled that the threat to human life cannot be ignored.
"In cases involving the detention of minors, the prosecutors were instructed to ask courts to begin proceedings as soon as possible and to handle the cases quickly."
The Report  http://www.adalah.org/features/prisoners/protestors%20report.pdf

Three injured, 15 Bedouins arrested over land confiscation protest

Published yesterday (updated) 23/09/2009 14:26
Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Fifteen Bedouins were arrested on Wednesday near the Beersheba-area Goral Junction, according to the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

The paper said the Bedouin arrestees were trying to stop work by the Jewish National Fund, a pro-Israel corporation owned by the World Zionist Organization, on land they said was privately owned by local residents.

Two Bedouins were hurt by tear gas, the paper said, as well as a police officer who suffered light injuries. Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service treated the three, it added.

Israeli army storms Gaza shores, 5 fishermen arrested


  
gaza_port_021Palestine, September 23, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-Official sources reported that five Palestinian fishermen have been arrested today on Wednesday morning and seized their boats near the coast of Gaza City.
The sources added that the fishing boats have been surrounded by Israeli gunboats, questioned the fishermen, and then took them and their boats to an unknown destination.
It is noteworthy that the Israeli boat set only a distance of 3 miles access for the fishermen to sail and get their livelihood. This very limited area of fishing has been gravely affecting the fishermen to fish good quality of fishing.
One boat which was confiscated, was related to the family of Zaki Abu Oa'dwa. He lives in the north of Gaza, Al Swdania district. Eyewitnesses reported that the boat of Zaki Abu Oa'dwa was in the allowed area of fishing and the Israelis forced him and arrested his boat.
Additionally, it is reported that the Israeli gunboats fired some missiles toward the fishermen but with no casualties, which forced them to get back and stop fishing.
It is worth mentioning that the Gaza fishermen experience daily violation and aggression on their access to get their livelihood.
From Ayman Quader
PT reporter in Gaza

Israeli navy kidnaps five Palestinian fishermen off Gaza City shores

  Wednesday September 23, 2009 15:40 by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News & Agencies 
Israeli navel forces kidnapped on Wednesday midday five Palestinian fishermen off Gaza City shores.

Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza City May 2008 Wissam Nassar - MaanImages
Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza City May 2008 Wissam Nassar - MaanImages
Local sources reported that navy boats intercepted a fishing boat while people inboard were fishing and kidnapped all five of them and took them to an Israeli nearby port.

The director of the Palestinian fishermen union, Nizar Ayash, told reporters that the Israeli military attack Palestinian fishing boast while in the Palestinian territorial waters.

He added that the Israeli military is trying to minimize the distance that Palestinian fishermen can reach to fish.

PA: Israelis detain nine in village raids, beat man near Bethlehem

Published yesterday (updated) 23/09/2009 17:43
 
[MaanImages]
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces invaded villages in the West Bank on Wednesday morning, breaking into homes and detaining five men, according to the Palestinian Authority police's public information office.

Police said that in the north at Kfar Ra’i village south of Jenin soldiers detained Abdul-latif Basel Shibani, 23, Issa Hasan Shibani, 23, Abdul Karim Zuheir Nimir Jarar, 27, Mahmoud Zuheir Nimir Jarar, 25, and Baha Sami Husni Diab, 24.

In the south at Arraba village near Hebron soldiers detained three brothers, Kutaiba, Kaidar, and Khuthaima Muhammad Khalaf, 40, 30 and 28. The soldiers also broke into the house of Fadi Adam Obedo and seized him, according to police.

North of Hebron near Bethlehem soldiers attacked Abdul Min’em Karram, 25. He was transferred to the Beit Jala Hospital to be treated for injuries, the public information office said.

Israel reports detention of Gaza man found escaped in Ra'im


Published yesterday (updated) 23/09/2009 11:49

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces reported the arrest of a Gazan man who attempted to escape the Strip by climbing the border wall on Tuesday evening.

The sources said the young man was detained near Ra’im village and he was taken to investigations by Israeli security forces.

Israeli forces detain 14, including eight children

Published Tuesday 22/09/2009 (updated) 23/09/2009 16:29


Israeli forces hold a child at the Beit Iba checkpoint near Nablus, November 2008
[MaanImages]
Nablus – Ma’an – Eight children between the ages of 10 and 17 were detained by Israeli forces during West Bank raids Monday night and Tuesday morning, four Palestinian citizens of Israel were also detained.

Palestinian Authority Police department said Israeli troops overran the village of Azzun near the city of Qalqilya and detained 15-year-old Qusay Shaher Salim, 13-year-old Yousef Saqer Salim, 17-year-old Eid Jamal Salim, 18-year-old Hussein Ghassan Swidan, and 15-year-old Thaer Bayan Tabib.

An Israeli raid on the village of Madama south of the West Bank city of Nabls saw the detention of nine Palestinians including an eight, 10 and 12 year-old boy and four citizens of Israel.

A member of the village council Hassan Zyadeh said the troops raided the Khasha area of the village, which is considered to be a Palestinian historical site, and seized the residents there.

Those detained were identified as 50-year-old Amer Abdel Latif Hassan Nassar along with his sons 14-year-old Muhammad, 12-year-old Mahmoud, 10-year-old Gheith, and 8-year-old Muhammad Nafez Zyadeh. Four other men, all Palestinian citizens of Israel were also detained but their identities were not released.

A third Israeli force near Jericho seized Ibrahim Khalil Abu Al-Asal from the Aqbat Jaber Refugee Camp.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Israeli troops detain five Palestinians in West Bank cities



Published yesterday (updated) 18/09/2009 21:27

 
[MaanImages Archive]
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli troops detained five locals from the Nablus, Tubas and Jericho regions, taking all to unknown locations for questioning following the dawn detentions.

Palestinian police said Israeli troops overran Qabalan village southeast of Nablus and raided the house of Salim Salameh Az’ar and detained his 18-year-old son Salameh, then took 33-year-old Jihad Salah Hamad from a second home.

Troops stationed at the Huwara checkpoint detained 18-year-old Adham Omar Sheirif Hamdan from Asira village, accusing him of possessing a knife.

In Jericho, the troops overran the city center detaining Gaza-born Shafiq Saleh Ar-Rawagh after raiding his house. Palestinians with Gazan identity cards are often targeted by Israeli soldiers.

In Tubas, soldiers detained 22-year-old Samer Izzat hamed Abu Arrah from Aqaba village, he is a student at An-Najah University in Nablus.

Arrested for failure of prisoner exchange talks, Minister of Education returning from Israeli prison

18.09.09 - 12:01
Nablus / PNN – The Palestinian Minister of Education is being released from prison. He is not the first Palestinian official to be imprisoned by the Israeli government that has specifically targeted Legislative Council members.
“Where on the planet could you get away with arresting someone else’s members of Parliament,” asked a Palestinian Legislative Council member as his colleagues were being dragged off to Israeli prisons upon election.

Dr. Nasser Al Sha’er, in addition to being Education Minister, is also the Deputy Prime Minister. But these titles no longer necessarily apply in the mainstream Palestinian government in Ramallah where many positions have been replaced.
The 48 year old was elected in June 2006 on the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform Bloc. He has been held for six months by the Israeli government in Administrative Detention, meaning without charge or trial, in the prisons of Megiddo and Al Naqab.
Release procedures for Dr. Al Sha’er were hampered as the official was being transported from the Al Naqab Desert to a drop off point in the southern West Bank’s Hebron for Palestinians being released from Israeli prisons.
After a prison visit a few days ago, his lawyer told the International Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights, “The prisoners in Israeli prisons live worse than in earlier stages where ill-treatment by the prison, the imposition of heavy fines and denial of family visits are commonplace. This is in addition to the punishment of solitary confinement.”
Dr. Al Sha’er has been arrested from his Nablus home four times. Most recently it was in mid-March that he and a number of other Hamas officials and deputies in the PLC were arrested after the failure of talks to exchange prisoners for the captured Israeli soldier.

Former Al-Aqsa fighters granted amnesty by Israel

Published yesterday (updated) 18/09/2009 22:59


 
[MaanImages]
Nablus – Ma’an Exclusive - Thirty former Al-Aqsa fighters with Fatah’s armed wing will be partially or fully pardoned Friday by Israeli military personnel, informed Palestinian sources confirmed.

Most of those set for pardon will be released from the Juneid prison west of Nablus. The former fighters voluntarily joined an amnesty program where they signed an agreement swearing off armed struggle against Israel and handed in their weapons in exchange for a promise from Israel that they would no longer be pursued.

The names will be announced officially after consultation with a US mediator, but preliminary names are released below. Of the 30, 10 were partially pardoned, 11 can sleep at their houses but must check in at PA headquarters according to a schedule, 7 are still under probation before being totally pardoned and 2 are totally pardoned.


1 - Alaa Nabil Ekob
2 - Salah Shaher As-Saka
3 - Nafez Mohamed Abdel-Hamid
4 - Hassan Ali Hassan Adas
5 – Muhammad Saber Marshoud
6 - Hosni As-Salaj
7 – Hassan Araisheh
8 – Mu’tasim Abdel-Gawad
9 - Hani Halawa
10 - Ghassan Abu Ar-Rish

Those who can sleep in their homes are:

11 - Amjad Anbatawi
12 - Maher Al-Fares
13 - Napoleon Abdo
14 - Mehdi Ekob
15 - Louay Aklik
16 - Omar Ekob
17 - Annan Sobh
18 - Shaukat Ba’arh
19 - Allam Ar-Ra’y
20 - Fahmi Raihan
21 - Ammar Ekob

Those with a semi pardon:

23 - Muhammad Al-Khalili
24 - Mahdi Abu-Ghazaleh
25 - Mohammed Jamil As-Sadr
26 - Siyam Kandil
27 - Ragheb Kaddoumi
28 - Fouad Al-Masri

Those fully pardoned include:

29 – Mu’tasem Abul Rabb
30 - Saber Al-Massimi

Two additional Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine member, Bilal Al-Ahmar and Ahmed Al-Mansi, received pardons as well but it was not clear what kind of pardon it would be.

Palestinian girl sexually assaulted by Israeli prison guard

[ 18/09/2009 - 11:59 AM ]


GAZA, (PIC)-- An 18-year-old Palestinian girl, imprisoned at the Israeli occupation jail of Hasharon, was sexually assaulted by an Israeli prison guard, according to a statement by the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners Affairs.
Reyad al-Ashqar, head of the information office of the ministry said on Thursday that the victim was detained six months ago and that she was being held in a solitary cell.
Two weeks ago, an Israeli prison guard called the prisoner at 3:00 in the morning and asked her to get close to the door of the cell because he had an important message for her, as she stood close to the door, he put his hands through the hatch used to pass food for the prisoner and held her hands, pulled her closer to the door and tried to grope her.
The victim tried to free her self from his grip and  started shouting forcing him to let her hands free, but he threatened her with sever punishment if she told anyone about the assault and said that he would recommend that she does not leave her solitary cell if she complained.
The girl was frightened and did not make a complaint to the prison's governor.
A convicted prisoner in the same section saw what happened and informed the count officer.
The victim was then called by the prison's authority and was questioned about the incident. She was told that the incident will be investigated and that the concerned prison guard was given leave until the conclusion of the investigation.

Israeli guards 'humiliated inmates'





A group of female former Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails have accused prison guards of carrying out "humiliating" internal body searches in violation of Israel's prison code.
In an exclusive report, former detainee Sabreen Abu Amara told Al Jazeera's Nour Odeh that she spent six years living in fear of intrusive and degrading treatment at the hands of Israeli guards.
Abu Amara said the guards strip-searched female prisoners, sometimes forcing them to squat and undergo a thorough internal examination.
One lawyer is now collecting evidence from 10 female prisoners who say they were strip-searched in an effort to lodge an official complaint.

Dr Mahmoud Saiwail, the director of a treatment and rehabilitation centre for victims of torture in Ramallah, said he believes the alleged treatment of the women constitutes a form of torture.
"Usually victims of torture are reluctant to seek help from professionals," he said.
"We approach them because shame is a cardinal symptom. They don't come to us.
"What worries us is not the immediate consequences of torture, [it's] the remote consequences of torture [that] might appear after many years in the form of social and family problems."

The Israeli prison authority later responded to the allegations, telling Al Jazeera that its searches on prisoners were conducted according to regulations.
'Violating international law'
Leah Tsemel, an Israeli lawyer who has been representing Palestinian prisoners, told Al Jazeera the main issue facing female prisoners was that they were being held captive in Israel, rather than the West Bank or Gaza.

"They are also being brought to trial inside Israel and not in the occupied territories as they should according to the Geneva convention"
Leah Tsemel, lawyer for Palestinian prisoners
"The major problem is that they are classified as security prisoners and not as political prisoners as they should be, and they have less rights than any criminal prisoner. "They are being shifted from their places in the West Bank or in the Gaza Strip into Israel, which is totally in contradiction to international conventions, such as the Geneva convention.
"People in occupied territories should be held in their own territories.
"They are also being brought to trial inside Israel and not in the occupied territories as they should according to the Geneva convention," she said.
"They can hardly have family visits and they cannot have any conversations on the phone. Even the family visit, once it occurs, is behind glass and one has to talk over the phone with the relative. So there is a total condition of intimidation."
She also said women prisoners who have children in jail will have them taken away from them once the child reaches two years old.

 Source: Al Jazeera 

Al-Qassam member released after 3 years in Israeli prison

Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli forces released member of Hamas' military wing the Al-Qassam Brigades 26-year-old Hassan Muhammad Al-Kafarneh from Beit Hanoun, marking the end of his three year detention.

Hassan was arrested in an Israeli raid on Beit Hanoun in 2006. He will travel back to the Gaza Strip Friday, where friends and family from Beit Hanoun are gathered to receive him.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Palestinian youth from Bil'in turned in at Ofer prison on 10.09.09‏

By -ffj
A Palestinian youth from Bil'in turned in at Ofer prison on 10.09.09 

Interview with Sheikh Suleiman Yasseen Mohammed Burnat on 13.09.09


According to Sheikh Suleiman Yasseen Mohammed Burnat, the father of Hamaza Burnat (age 16), his house has been invaded at night five times so far within the past three months, usually around 3am. It was raided twice two months ago, and three times within the last two weeks. At every invasion, the soldiers left a military order at the home stating that Hamaza was wanted. He was wanted for allegedly throwing stones during the weekly demonstrations in Bil'in. The occupation forces had not succeeded in arresting him because he was never home at the time of the raids. However, while searching the home, the soldiers confiscated the ID cards of his father, his mother, and his brother and have not returned them yet.

During the latest raid on 08.09.09, the soldiers appeared disguised with masks and black combat paint in their faces as usual, according to Sheikh Suleiman. They brought with them a long crow-bar to break open the door in case he would not be awake and open it. The soldiers armed with heavy weaponry came from all sides of his house surrounding it completely while some of them entered it very quickly. They literally burst into the rooms giving the family no time to get dressed properly for the presence of strangers. Sheikh Suleiman shouted at them to leave the house and not to shame the women. His family was very frightened.

In the course of the week prior to this raid, the Shabak commander (Shabak is the common name of the Israeli Security Agency in Palestine) had called Sheikh Suleiman six times telling him that Hamaza was wanted, that as long as he did not sleep at home, they would invade the house every night. The commander also said that he knew that Hamaza was coming home during the day, and that he was going to school. So, he told his father that if Hamaza would not come home to sleep, he would send the Special Forces to his school to arrest him there. Sheikh Suleiman's angry response was, why was it so important to arrest Hamaza? If the commander wanted the Sheikh to leave the West Bank, then he will leave.

The Shabak commander demanded that Hamaza turn himself in to Ofer prison on Sunday, 13.09.09 at 10am. Sheikh Suleiman, however, responded that he cannot tell Hamaza to go before discussing the issue with the Palestinian Authority (PA). He would let the commander know of the outcome of the conversation on Thursday, 10.09.09. Sheikh Suleiman also told the commander that if he would not agree with him, he would leave the West Bank. The Shabak commander agreed to wait until Thursday.

The response from the PA was that Hamaza had not done anything serious by throwing stones. They said that not sleeping at home, however, may be dangerous for Hamaza since the Israeli Army may kill him when they spot him anywhere. The Shabak commander had also told his father that Hamaza's offense was not serious, and that he may only be given prison time of some four months, and then be released again. The commander had also assured his father that Hamaza will not have any problems, and that no one would touch him while in prison. However, if Hamaza was not turned in to Ofer, he was liable to be beaten if any soldiers saw him anywhere. 

Based on these conversations, the family decided to take Hamaza to Ofer prison on Thursday, 10.09.09.

Sheikh Suleiman confirmed that his son will meet with the Shabak this day Sunday, 13.09.09. As there is no permanent Shabak presence at Ofer prison, they visit the institution every few days to meet with recently arrested people.

Although the Shabak commander was trivializing Hamaza's arrest as not a serious issue, i.e. that the most he would get in prison would be a few months, this is in fact serious. It means that the boy will miss school, which will disrupts his path of education and most likely affect his future.

For now, the occupation forces are keeping the three ID's of Hamaza's father, mother, and brother to verify if they have a clean record, according to Sheikh Suleiman. In fact, it is a means of harassment, to make life difficult for them. They are now unable to leave the village for fear of being arrested if found without any legitimate identification at checkpoints. Such harassment is absurd. Sheikh Suleiman is well-known for always helping the injured during the weekly demonstrations by administering first-aid. Bil'in does not have any Ambulance Car available nor any trained Red Crescent personnel. 

The story of Hamaza and his family is only one example of what is happening to a great number of youths in the village of Bil'in. It illustrates the utter terror and intimidation the occupation forces exercise on a regular basis. Within the past three months, 11 children under the age of 20 have been arrested, and most of the prisoners incarcerated since the beginning of the resistance against the apartheid wall five years ago are children.

Members of the Bil'in Popular Committee against the Apartheid Wall are going to court on a regular basis in support of the many prisoners on trial.

www.bilin-ffj.org

Bil'in 16.09.09


http://www.bilin-ffj.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=191&Itemid=1

Thank you for you continued support,

Iyad Burnat- Head of Popular Commitee in Bilin
co-founder  of Friends of Freedom and Justice - Bilin

Email- bel3in@yahoo.com
Mobile- (00972) (0) 547847942
Office- (00972) (2) 2489129
Mobile-
(00972) (0) 598403676
www.bilin-ffj.org

Hundreds of protesters east of Gaza city demand release of prisoners

[ 17/09/2009 - 04:58 PM PIC ]


GAZA-- Hundreds of Palestinian citizens participated in a protest organized by the popular committee against the siege on the Palestinian side of Al-Shujaiya (Nahal Oz) crossing, east of Gaza city, to demand the release of Palestinian prisoners and the opening of crossings.
The Palestinian protest coincided with another one organized by Israelis on their side of the crossing to call for tighter blockade on Gaza and the release of Israeli captive soldier Gilad Shalit.
Spokesman for the popular committee Ali Al-Nazli said addressing the Israeli protesters that their demonstrations would not solve the problem and would not get Shalit released, calling on them to pressure their government to abandon its intransigent attitude in this regard.
Spokesman Nazli called on the international community to save the situation in Gaza and renounce its timid attitudes through imposing sanctions on Israel for its crimes against the Palestinian people.
 
The spokesman also stressed that the file of reconstruction is humanitarian and related to the civil rights of the Palestinian people and should not be linked to other political files.

Former Deputy PM Ash-Sha'er to be released from Israeli prison

Published yesterday (updated) 17/09/2009 11:56

 
Nasser Ash-Sha`er[MaanImages]
Gaza - Ma’an - The Israeli army is expected to release Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Naser Ash-Sha’er, an Israeli High Court decided Wednesday.

Ash-Sha’er has been in administrative detention for two consecutive three month periods and was held without charge in the Magido and Negev prison facilities. A court decision said the period of detention would not be renewed, and the lawmaker, popular with both Fatah and Hamas, is expected to be released in the coming days.

On 19 March Israeli forces conducted sweeping raids across the West Bank targeting Hamas leaders and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in a seeming attempt to push forward negotiations over the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Ash-Sha’er was detained along with nine others.

Ash-Sha’er is well known for his continued efforts to achieve Palestinian internal conciliation, he was one of a number of Palestinian figures who carried out campaigns calling for the end of political arrests, the guarantee of public freedoms, and the restoration of human rights in the Palestinian territories.

Ash-Sah’er is also known for his pragmatic views, and has been well received as an envoy representing Palestine to foreign delegations former US president Jimmy Carter. He has been arrested five times since the 2006 elections when he became Minister of Education. Each arrest he was put under administrative detention and held without charge.

Report: "23 legislators, three ministers, still imprisoned by Israel"

Saturday September 12, 2009 01:02 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees reported Friday that after Israel previously released 10 legislators, including PLC head Dr. Aziz Dweik, the Israeli occupation is still holding captive 26 Palestinians legislators and three former ministers.
Israeli previously released 10 legislators, including legislator Fadel Hamdan, who was released just a few days ago.
Riyadh Al Ashqar, head of the media department at the Ministry of Detainees under the dissolved government of Hamas in Gaza, stated that Israeli courts sentenced all detained legislators and ministers to different periods that range between 40 months and several life-terms.
One Legislator of Fateh movement, Jamal Tirawy, is still imprisoned without prosecution as the Israeli courts delayed looking into his case 38 times.
Five legislators are imprisoned under administrative detention orders without any charges or trial.
Al Ashqar also said that 22 of the detained legislators were sentenced to 40-50 months imprisonment, and four legislators were sentenced to high terms, including Marwan Barghouthi of Fateh who was sentenced five life-terms, and legislator Ahmad Saadat who was sentenced to 30 years.
Legislator Jamal Al Natsha was sentenced to 8.5 years and legislator Hasan Yousef was sentenced to 5.5 years.
Israel is still holding captive three former ministers; former minister of detainees Wasfi Qabha, Minister of Education Nasser Al Shaer, and Minister of Local Government, Issa Al Ja’bary.
Al Ashqar said that kidnapping and imprisoned the ministers, legislators and elected officials is a direct violation to the International law, and slammed the idleness of the international community.

PPS interviews: in Jilboa prison there is no Ramadan, no education

16.09.09 - 16:51
Jenin / PNN – Political prisoners in the Israeli Jilboa Prison were unable to obtain provisions for Ramadan when daily fasting changes dietary needs, the Palestinian Prisoner Society reported today.
In separate interviews conducted by PPS, it was revealed that living conditions imposed during the month were particularly difficult in the northern prison.
Mohamed Ahmed is sentenced to life in prison. He told a PPS lawyer, “The Jilboa prison administration did not provide prisoners allocations for the holy month of Ramadan, although it is near its end.” The Jenin Refugee Camp man added during a meeting with the lawyer, “The atmosphere of Ramadan for prisoners is very difficult for the lack of needs and requirements.”
In another interview with PPS, prisoner Sawafta from Tubas added that registration for the new academic year at Al Quds Open University was blocked. Sentenced by a military court to life in prison on the third of March, 1991, Sawafta implored, “It is crucial that all stakeholders follow up the issue of registration of prisoners at the Open University because there are a number of them still deprived of this right. This means the loss of another full academic year.”
Yasser from Qalqilia, arrested on 10 October 2002, said that detainees are being denied matriculation exams in Jilboa. “This requires following-up,” he told a PPS lawyer, “so that it will not be repeated.” The young man added that there are a high number of people who intend to pursue their educations and sit for exams this year.
In the southern West Bank, Prisoner Society lawyers visited Etzion, a detention facility housed inside a settlement built on Bethlehem Governorate lands. The PPS noted that Ramadan provisions were lacking, but not as badly as in Jilboa. Sweets for the breakfast were allowed, but the meal quality and quantity both remained poor.

Palestinian dies of wounds sustained in August

Sunday September 13, 2009 22:05 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Palestinian sources reported Sunday that resident Obaida Al Qudsy Al Dweik, 25, died on Sunday of wounds suffered on August 26, 2009, after being shot and critically injured by Israeli military gunfire.
File - Image PCHR
File - Image PCHR
Obaida was moved to an Israeli hospital and remained in a critical condition until his death on Sunday.
His family told the Maan News Agency correspondent in Hebron, that their son would be buried after Monday prayers at the Al Ansar Mosque in the city.
Obaida was shot after Israeli troops claimed that he attempted to stab a soldier at the entrance of Al Shuhada Street in Hebron. The soldiers fired several rounds of live ammunition at Obaida's chest and feet. 
Mo’taz Al Qudsy, the brother of Dweik, demanded an official probe into the incident, and voiced an appeal to the International Red Cross to be more involved in detainees’ issues, especially since his brother was arrested after he was shot by the army, and was later on moved to the Israeli hospital where he remained in a critical condition for 20 days. 
Obaida obtained a degree in Journalism and Media in Malaysia, and returned to the Gaza Strip to prepare for his M.A Degree in Journalism at the Islamic University in Gaza.
Hamas spokesperson, Fawzi Barhoum, described the death of Al Qudsy as an “ugly crime committed by the Zionist forces who executed Obaida of kidnapping him”.
Barhoum added that Israeli leaders must be prosecuted for war crimes, and said that such crimes should at least catch the attention of the International Community to closely observe the daily suffering of the Palestinian people.  
“Regional and international Idleness and silence while such crimes continue is granting Israel a green light for further violations”, Barhoum said, “There should be a stronger language and effective measures to stop the crimes”.
The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees reported Sunday that the number of Palestinian political prisoners who died in Israeli prisons since 1967 is more than 197. The Ministry added that 70 detainees died during interrogation after being violently tortured by the Israeli interrogators and the soldiers.
It added that 70 more detainees were executed after they were kidnapped by the army, and 49 detainees died after being denied access to proper medical treatment.
Israeli soldier and undercover units also shot and killed seven detainees after breaking into a number of prisons and detention centers.

Scottish MP slams Israel for kidnapping Palestinian lawmakers

[ 16/09/2009 - 03:24 PM ]


EDINBURGH, (PIC)-- Scottish lawmaker HughO'Donnell, the spokesman for the liberal democratic party, strongly denounced the arbitrary policy of kidnapping Palestinian lawmakers and their detention in Israeli jails for more than three years.
O'Donnell, in a letter addressed to the Israeli ambassador in Britain on Tuesday, expressed his strong condemnation of Israel’s clear violation of international law and the fourth Geneva convention through detaining Palestinian lawmakers in its jails.
He stressed in the letter that the kidnapping of lawmakers is not only a violation of democracy, but also a contempt for the will of the Palestinian people and their voice.
The letter demanded the Israeli ambassador to answer a number of questions about the reasons behind the detention of lawmakers, and the charges leveled against them as well as the expected time of their release.

Ramadan iftar in Megiddo Prison: five pieces of potato for every 10 people

17.09.09 - 13:03 Jenin / Ali Samoudi for PNN - Five pieces of potato for every 10 prisoners is the Ramadan breakfast, iftar, at Megiddo, says Hilal Zidan who was released yesterday after spending seven months in the Israeli prison.
He told PNN that portions are meager at best during the holy month.
The 27 year old said that despite the warm reception he received at his family’s house in Jenin, he felt a sadness that even his mother’s evening meal could not fix. “I have a bitterness and pain that is lingering from the days of my detention, particularly those of Ramadan. I felt sad when I saw the food because my brothers in prison are deprived of everything.”
Zidan reports that the food provided by the Prisons Department is not of sufficient quantity or quality, particularly during Ramadan. Representatives of Palestinian political prisoners held extensive contacts with the Israeli prison administration to provide the needs of Ramadan, but basic requests were denied and conditions worsened. He described a Ramadan meal as consisting of five pieces of potato per 10 people and a piece of chocolate. Any additional needs are to be purchased at the prison store at exorbitant prices.
Zidan was arrested at his home in Jenin on 26 February of this year along with his nephew Nasser Mohammad Zidan. After 48 hours of interrogation Zidan says he came down with a stomach ulcer, but the Israeli prison administration refused treatment. “I lived for seven months without medication,” he told PNN. For 18 days he was kept in a small, narrow space. He was not allowed to communicate with counsel or the Red Cross. “The psychological pressure was designed to coerce me to plead guilty of belonging to the Fateh movement.” He was taken to Megiddo but submitted a request to spend his sentence at Al Naqab Desert prison where his nephew is, but the administration refused. For the first four months of detention he was denied visits by his family while clothes from his family and the Red Cross were banned.
The threat of orange uniforms remains on the horizon, noted Zidan, who said that the Department of Prisons at Megiddo said it would impose them immediately after Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that comes at the end of the month of Ramadan.

Ministry of Detainees: Jerusalemites crucial part of nonviolent struggle in Israeli prisons

15.09.09 - 12:59 Jerusalem / PNN – With the approach of Eid al-Fitr comes the passage of 17 years in Israeli prison for four Palestinians.
A new report was issued today by the Director of the Department of Statistics in the Ministry of Detainees and Ex of the Palestinian National Authority, Abdel Nasser Farawana. According to research conducted by the department, four Jerusalem citizens are entering the eve of 17 years in captivity.
Hamdan Mohamed Suleiman is 33 years old. He has been detained since 25/9/1993 and is serving a life sentence plus 60 years. Thirty-five year old Na’el Rafik Ibrahim Salhab was taken to prison on the twenty-seventh of September, 1993. Thirty-eight year old Fahd Sabri Alchlody has been detained since 29 September, 1993 and is serving a life sentence. Marwan Mohammad Ayub Abawarmila is 38 years old. He has been imprisoned since 30 September 1993 and is serving a life sentence plus 20 years.
In addition to the four Jerusalemites on the eve of 17 years in Israeli prison, there are approximately 300 Palestinians from Jerusalem is the jails. Among them are 45 detained from before the Oslo Accords and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority.
Ferwana described the Jerusalemites as “partners in the struggle”. He said, “The brothers are an integral part of the national movement in captivity and have participated in the nonviolent struggle against the Department of Correctional Services, fighting in dozens of protests and hunger strikes.” He added that 14 citizens of Jerusalem have died in Israeli prisons since 1967 and noted that they need no longer be excluded from prison swap arrangements and “gestures of good will.”

Jordanian prisoner of Israel returns home following release

Published today (updated) 17/09/2009 15:56

 
[MaanImages]
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Sa’d Lathem Aiesh, a Jordanian prisoner of Israel, arrived at his home in Amman Wednesday after being released by the Israeli military last weekend.

The number of Jordanian nationals held in Israeli prisons is now 27 with a further 29 seized individuals missing.

Zbaidi brothers denied visits in Israeli prisons: family targeted for detention

14.09.09 - 18:39 Jenin / Ali Samoudi for PNN – It had been years since Daoud Zbaidi was allowed to see his brothers.
As a political prisoner in the Al Naqab Prison, Zbaidi was banned from visits by three brothers under the pretext of security. He was released three months ago, but his brother, Jibril, remains inside the prison. Zbaidi said he could not believe it when the Red Cross told him that the Israeli administration had granted him permission to visit Jibril who was recently transferred between Al Naqab and Jilboa.
Zbaidi describes years of difficult conditions under occupation including “all forms of punishment and retaliation”: separation from family, the destruction of the family home, and the targeting of his mother and siblings. Both his mother and brother were killed.
Daoud and Jibril are the brothers of Zakaria Zbaidi, a leader of the Al Aqsa Brigades, the armed resistance wing of the Fateh party in Jenin.
It was with feelings of joy and happiness that Daoud received the news from the Red Cross that he would be allowed to visit Jibril, particularly as all of the other family members were refused. Daoud was not allowed visits himself during his 20 months of detention, not even by his wife.
The night before the visit Daoud says he did not sleep a wink. He said that his family has not had a Ramadan breakfast together, and instead lives in sadness and pain during the month due to the loss of their mother. She was killed by Israeli forces in March of 2002, while brother Taha was killed a month later during the battle of Jenin Refugee Camp.
Brother Yahya was arrested in April 2002 while Jibril was sentenced in 2005 to 12 years. Daoud says that during Ramadan he spends time with his wife and child, but that the joy is missing because of the pain his family is in. This Ramadan, however, was different, he said, because of the impending visit to Jibril.
On Sunday morning Daoud set out from his home in the northern West Bank’s Jenin Refugee Camp. He said he felt happy for the first time in years. Friends had been over late into the night and no one slept in anticipation of the visit. Inside the prison Jibril had not slept either waiting to see his brother.
At the Jalama Checkpoint, Zbaidi was stopped along with all on the visitation bus. He gave his ID to the soldiers at the checkpoint who took him into a heavily guarded room. He was put through screening and inspection several times. Daoud described an officer as saying he was dangerous and should be closely monitored. “Since all of the visitors were passing easily, I felt concerned that I would be deprived my visit,” Daoud told PNN.
But he did make it through and was back on the bus where he said he forgot about being detained, and instead dreamed of the moment he would arrive at the visiting room in Al Naqab Prison.
Like the rest of the families there for visits Daoud handed his ID to the guards. He says he fell into a state of shock when he was told that despite his papers for a visit, he would not be allowed to see his brother. Daoud asked to speak to prison administrators for a review of the issue, but nothing changed.
“I cannot describe the agony of having meters separating me and my brother who was also waiting on pins and needles for the visit,” Daoud told PNN.
Jibril Zbaidi is deprived of visits from his family both during Ramadan and the rest of the year.
“Our sorrows will continue through his detention,” added Daoud.

Israeli forces detain three Palestinians entering West Bank settlement

Published today (updated) 17/09/2009 15:37

 
[MaanImages]
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces detained three Palestinian youth when they entered the Israeli settlement of Mezad, Israeli sources reported, alleging all three youth were also carrying knives.

An Israeli report said the youth used the knives to cut the fence surrounding the guarded settlement, which is deep in the West Bank northeast of Hebron. The youth were taken in my the Israeli forces guarding the settlement, and transferred to an unknown location for interrogation.