Friday, October 30, 2009

Palestinian sentenced to 20 years in jail on charge of resisting the occupation

[ 29/10/2009 - 11:18 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- An Israeli court sentenced a Palestinian citizen from Gaza called Juma’h Azzam to 20 years in prison on charges of involvement in military acts against Israel and his affiliation with the Movement of Hamas and Al-Qassam Brigades.
The court leveled several charges against Azzam including the firing of rockets from Gaza on Sderot settlement and planning to carry out attacks against Israeli targets and kidnap Israeli soldiers.
The Israeli occupation forces kidnapped Azzam along with another citizen in 2006 as they were traveling from Gaza to the West Bank.
In another context, the Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs said that prisoner Abdelmoneim Tima, 41, joined on Wednesday the list of veteran prisoners who spent more than 20 years in Israeli jails, adding that the number of detainees in this list rose to 109 Palestinians.
For his part, information director of the ministry Riyadh Al-Ashqar called on the armed wings of the Palestinian resistance factions to place the option of capturing Israeli occupation soldiers on the top of their agenda, stressing that the Israeli occupation understands only the language of force and would not release Palestinian captives except through this way.
Ashqar hailed the positions of Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, which pledged in recent statements to work hard on capturing more Israeli occupation soldiers to swap them for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
He said that such statements reflect Al-Qassam Brigades’ sense of responsibility towards its national issues especially the issue of prisoners in Israeli jails.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Abu Zuhri family reject Egyptian report on death of Yousef

[ 29/10/2009 - 10:00 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Abu Zuhri family refused to accept the Egyptian general prosecution's report on the death of Yousef Abu Zuhri in Egyptian jails that said he died of natural causes.
Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman and the victim's brother, said in a statement on Wednesday on behalf of his family that the report lied about according treatment to his brother in Alexandria university hospital, explaining that he (Yousef) was refused admission into that hospital two days before his death.
Abu Zuhri held the Egyptian state security responsible for the death of Yousef for its medical neglect, charging that the report only covered up for the criminals who tortured Yousef to death.
The spokesman said that the report would not close the case of his brother's death, adding that his family were preparing for filing a lawsuit before the Egyptian courts in cooperation with human rights groups.
For its part, the committee formed in solidarity with Ayman Nofal, who is held captive in Egyptian jails, expressed dismay at the Egyptian report.
The committee in a statement asked the Egyptian judiciary to prosecute those responsible for the crime and for the continued detention of Palestinians in Egyptian jails without trial topped by Nofal who has completed his third year in Egyptian jails

Bethlehem University Student is Blindfolded, Handcuffed, and Taken to Gaza by Force

Thursday October 29, 2009 23:36 by IMEMC & Agencies

As military lawyer gives false promise

featured image
Berlanty Azzam
Berlanty Azzam, 21, was arrested yesterday while crossing from one part of the West Bank to another – just because her address in the Israeli-controlled Population Registry is registered in the Gaza Strip.
The Military Legal Adviser's Office promised not to remove her to Gaza pending a court petition this morning by Gisha challenging the removal.

Despite the promise, Berlanty was blindfolded, handcuffed, and taken to Gaza by force late last night.

Thursday, October 29, 2009 – Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement is filing an urgent petition to the Israeli Supreme Court today demanding the immediate return to her studies of Berlanty Azzam, 21, a student at Bethlehem University who was arrested and removed to Gaza last night by the Israeli military. The removal took place even as the Military Legal Adviser's office promised Gisha's attorney that Berlanty would not be removed to Gaza pending an opportunity to seek judicial review.

Israel bans Palestinian residents of Gaza from studying at Palestinian universities in the West Bank, and it claims that Palestinians like Berlanty, originally from the Gaza Strip, have no right to remain in the West Bank. In recent weeks and months, the military has begun a campaign to search the West Bank for Palestinians whose ID cards are registered in Gaza and to remove them to Gaza by force.

Berlanty has been living in Bethlehem since 2005, after requesting and receiving a permit from the Israeli military authorizing her to travel through Israel to reach the West Bank. She is in her last semester of a Bachelor's Degree program in Business Administration, with a minor in Translation. She is due to complete her studies in just two months.

Yesterday afternoon, as she was returning to her home in Bethlehem from a job interview in Ramallah, the car in which Berlanty rode was stopped at a checkpoint. Seeing that her address was registered in Gaza, the soldiers detained her. Gisha Attorney Yadin Elam contacted the Military Legal Adviser's office and was told that the military intended to remove her and another Palestinian resident to Gaza. However, the military attorney promised that both individuals would be held in detention and not removed to Gaza until Gisha had an opportunity to petition the Supreme Court this morning, challenging the removal.

Despite that promise, Berlanty was blindfolded, handcuffed, and loaded onto a military jeep. The soldiers told her she would be taken to a detention facility in the West Bank, but instead – they brought her to Gaza late last night. The military now refuses to allow her to return to the West Bank. The second Gaza resident arrested remains in detention.

"Since 2005, I refrained from visiting my family in Gaza for fear that I would not be permitted to return to my studies in the West Bank", says Berlanty Azzam. "Now, just two months before graduation, I was arrested and taken to Gaza in the middle of the night, with no way to finish my degree."

"For years, Israel has prevented Palestinian residents of Gaza from studying in Palestinian universities in the West Bank", says Gisha Legal Director Yadin Elam. "Now, the military is arresting those already studying and removing them to Gaza by force – violating their right to freedom of movement and to access education."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Palestinian citizen of Israel demands right to conjugal visits

Bethlehem – Ma’an – An Israel court in Nazareth refused the petition of a Palestinian citizen of Israel, demanding his right to conjugal visits with his wife, denied since their 1999 marriage, lawyers with Adallah said.

Walid Daqqa was detained in 1986 for his affiliation with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and on charges of involvement in the capture of an Israeli soldier, Moshe Tamam, who was captured and killed in 1985.

Daqqa married his now 47-year-old wife, a human rights lawyer, in 1999, and has been denied conjugal visits with her since their marriage.

Adalah center lawyer Abir Baker said the organization had petitioned the courts several times on the matter, but were constantly rejected under the pretext that Daqqa would use the visits to “communicate with hostile organizations.”

Adalah called on the court to provide detailed evidence justifying their findings, but was told the information was confidential.

Salma Ashraf speaks out on the Egyptian government's detention of her father

Cairo, October 28, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- The daughter of Ashraf Abdel Ghaffar spoke with Bikya Masr, detailing her father's continued imprisonment in Egypt. Salma Ashraf, who has worked with the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) and who is currently residing in England, believes that her father's continued jailing has left many questions that must be answered by the Egyptian government.
Her father, Ghaffar, is the special Rapporteur fo the Human Relief Agency at Egypt's Doctors Syndicate and the Vice-Secretary-General of the syndicate as a whole.
According to the daughter, Ghaffar lived abroad for 15 years and only recently returned to Egypt where he was detained on charges of aiding the people of Gaza "through the Doctors Syndicate and money laundering and many other fabricated charges."
Ashraf revealed that her father had been on his way to Turkey in order to attend his son's wedding.
"He went voluntarily to the state security office in the airport to search his bags. They stamped the bags ok and sent it to the plane, but they decided at the last minute to keep him," she retells of his arrest last July. "He stayed for two days in the airport until they decided to involve him in this case."
Ghaffar is due at an Egyptian court on Tuesday, where he is expected to be handed his 9th detention renewal and remain in jail.
Ashraf says she was present when her father was carted away by police, waving at her in an emotional farewell. The daughter does not know if, or when, she will see her father again.
"They don't ask him anything or accuse him of anything and his lawyers ask the investigator to name charges so they can make their defense, but they say nothing. Instead, the investigator asks questions and answers it himself," the daughter said.
The Egyptian government is charging Ghaffar, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and others of illegally taking funds from foreign sources in order to buttress the Muslim Brotherhood. Ashraf says that her father and Aboul Fotouh - a top figure in the Islamic group and a leading reformer - were attempting to help people in Palestine and had no intentions of using money against the Egyptian regime.
Aboul Fotouh and Ghaffar have been detained now for months and a number of human rights groups have lashed out at the government for the treatment of political detainees in the country. Prison conditions, they say, are horrendous and are not suitable for maintaining the health of these men.
Ashraf believes that the Egyptian government is attempting to "hide" the situation in order to appeal to Western governments and media over their support for human rights.
"Egypt would respond and try to hide or lessen its human rights violations if the western media put it under the spot," Ashraf says.
A few prisoners in this case have been released in recent weeks due to pressure from human rights organizations, "however, we need more pressure through the media to stop this kind of violation in Egypt and to release all prisoners of conscious and all political detainees," Ashraf says.
The Arab Organization for Human Rights revealed in a report published last week that thousands of political prisoners remain detained in Egypt without charge.

Source: BM

Christoph Schult / Der Spiegel - Palestinians behind bars with no recourse to justice

25.10.09 - 11:16 Christoph Schult / Der Spiegel - Hundreds of Palestinians are kept behind bars in Israel without charges having been filed and with no access to a fair trial.
Not even their lawyers are allowed to look at the evidence. Some governments in the West have expressed their concern, but the Israelis haven’t budged.
The cell is only a few square meters in size and there are no windows. A mattress lies on the floor; a hole in the floor for prisoners’ needs, cynically called a “Turkish toilet” is next to it.
Mohammed Othman has been held in Kishon Detention Center in northern Israel for almost a month. But neither he nor his lawyer knows exactly what he is being accused of. Othman is locked up as an administrative detainee — called Maazar Minhali in Hebrew — and is one of around 335 Palestinians currently in the same position.
According to a report from the human rights organization B’Tselem, more than a third of such administrative detainees remain behind bars for longer than six months, a further third longer than a year. Eight percent stay locked up for at least two years. The Israeli army has confirmed the numbers, but emphasizes that they have been dropping in recent years.
Allegedly Incriminating Evidence
Nevertheless, the practice is problematic for a democracy such as Israel’s. Military judges decide if the detention will be prolonged — and for the most part they merely rubberstamp the motions filed by the military attorneys, who, for their part, received information from Shabak, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency. The allegedly incriminating evidence is not shared with the detainees or with their legal representation.
The material is secret and cannot be shared with the accused due to “security concerns,” an Israeli army spokesperson said. He acknowledged, however, that such military hearings “are without a doubt subject to error.” In other words, one cannot speak of a fair trial.
The Salem military court in the northern part of the West Bank has already extended Mohammed Othman’s detention three times. According to Israeli law, it is possible to imprison a Palestinian for 90 days without charge. And a judge in a military court of appeal can extend that period of detention for another 90 days.
The latest hearing in the Othman case was on Monday of this week. While Judge Eliahu Nimni did not give the intelligence agents the 23 days they had asked for to interrogate their prisoner, he did rule that the detention be extended by 10 days. After hearing Othman’s lawyer’s testimony, Judge Nimni said that these 10 days were necessary to clarify the “suspicions” against the Palestinian. Letting Othman go would be a security risk, he said.
Terrible Conditions
The organization Addameer arranged for Othman to have a lawyer represent him. The 33-year-old complained to his attorney about the terrible conditions in prison, and said he was interrogated for hours at a time. On one occasion, Oct. 15, he was grilled from 1:45 p.m. until 1:20 a.m. When Othman fell asleep on his chair out of exhaustion, his interrogators poured water over his head, he says.
Othman still doesn’t know what he is being accused of. He told his lawyer that he has not been confronted with any concrete dates, names or events. What do they have on him?
SPIEGEL ONLINE tried to find out from the domestic intelligence agency. “We cannot fulfil your request,” came the written reply. A telephone enquiry to ask how this lack of transparency could be compatible with the rule of law met with the reply by a spokeswoman: “It is all going according to law and order. Trust us!”
A number of Western embassies have had similar experiences. Sweden, which currently holds the six-month rotating president of the European Union, wasn’t even able to obtain a reason for the arrest. Sweden and other countries filed a protest.
The Israeli army stated that administrative arrests target terror suspects. But in the Othman case, that is highly doubtful. He was arrested on Sept. 22 as he attempted to travel over the Allenby Bridge from Jordan into the West Bank. He was returning from a visit to Norway where, among others, he met with Norwegian Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen.
‘Doesn’t Respect Peaceful Protests’
Several Western diplomats have vouched for his innocence. Othman is known for his strict policies of non-violence. In his hometown of Jayyous, he has organized protests against the construction of the security fence with which Israel is attempting to protect itself from terrorists. Othman and other activists have focused their protests against the route of the security fence, for which the Israelis have expropriated land that belongs to the Palestinians in Jayyous.
The fact that the Israelis have nabbed a supporter of non-violent protests has enraged some Western diplomats. “Many Palestinians are interpreting this as a sign that Israel doesn’t even respect peaceful protests,” a foreign observer said.
The government in Jerusalem has shrugged off the allegations. It isn’t even clear who has political responsibility for the policy of “administrative arrests.” After SPIEGEL ONLINE submitted questions to the Defense Ministry, it was referred to the prime minister’s office, which in turn told the reporter to ask the Justice Ministry, which then sent the reporter back to the Defense Ministry. In the end, the Defense Ministry provided no response.

Missing Palestinian fighter found alive in prison?

Published Sunday 25/10/2009 (updated) 26/10/2009 10:16
Bethlehem – Ma'an – Muhammad Issa Abu Ghaniyya, born in 1953, missing since 1969, and presumed dead for decades, may have been seen alive in an Israeli prison, according to his family.

Relatives told Ma'an on Sunday that several recently released prisoners swear they remember Abu Ghaniyya, who was left for dead during an operation near the northern Israeli town of Bisan (Beth Shean in Hebrew) in July 1969.

Abu Ghaniyya's family now believes he was held in Karmonid prison, between Ramla and Lod, before being transferred to Safad jail.

The family also said a former Palestinian prisoner, currently in Jordan, saw Abu Ghaniyya's photo, and insisted he saw the man in jail and spoke to him. The prisoner said Abu Ghaniyya was in a wheelchair and held primarily in solitary confinement for the past 40 years.

His relatives appealed to Palestinian factions, the Palestine Liberation Organization, to the Palestinian Authority, and to the Ministry of Prisoners Affairs to follow up with the case and return with a definitive answer.

Abu Ghaniyya was a fighter in the Palestinian Liberation Forces, a PLO member faction, where he was known as "The Sheikh."

IPU human rights committee denounces IOA continued detention of 25 MPs

[ 28/10/2009 - 08:39 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The human rights committee in the international parliamentary union condemned the continued Israeli occupation authority's detention of 25 Palestinian members of parliament for more than three years.
The committee in a statement on Tuesday expressed utter dismay at the IOA policy of retaining those deputies in jail even after concluding their unjustified prison terms.
It called on the IOA to stop such arbitrary measures against the people's representatives.
The committee also lashed out at the IOA for complicating regulations for visits of civilians to their detained relatives and their maltreatment, describing such behavior as an "unbearable savage act".
The committee's statement followed messages by the international campaign to release the kidnapped lawmakers which were sent to the IPA and world parliaments to create an international pressure lobby seeking the release of those deputies.

Israeli organizations working for Palestinian human rights say 335 prisoners are held without trial

 published on PNN 20.10.09 - 10:06
In a report issued by two Israeli organizations working for Palestinian human rights, it was noted that 335 Palestinians still being held without trial in Israeli prison; 29 of them from two to five years continuously.
In the report that HaMoked and B'Tselem published last week, the organizations severely criticized the Israeli detention of Palestinians without trial. The report states that the policy of extensive detentions breaches international law, which permits use of Administrative Detention only in very extreme cases.
During the second intifada, more than 1,000 Palestinians were held simultaneously in Administrative Detention. In recent months, there has been a steady decrease in the number of detainees: on 30 September 2009, the number stood at 335, among them three women and one minor. Of these, some 37 percent have been held from six months to a year and some 33 percent for one year to two years. 28 Palestinians have been in administrative detention for two to four years, and one has been detained for more than four and a half years.
The report, Without Trial, holds that the judicial review of the Administrative Detention proceedings presents a semblance of a fair judicial process, but in fact denies the detainees any possibility to reasonably defend themselves against the allegations made against them. In the vast majority of cases, the judges declare evidence privileged and rely on written reports by the Israeli Security Agency, which are submitted to them in the absence of the detainee or his attorney. Consequently, the detainees cannot refute the allegations or offer alternative evidence.
As a result of this process, among others things, most detention orders are approved by the court. Between August 2008 and and July 2009, military-court judges cancelled five percent of the orders brought before them for review and approved 95 percent. In 2008, the military appeals court accepted 57 percent of the prosecution's appeals and only 15 percent of the appeals filed by detainees.
In 2002, the Israeli Knesset enacted the Incarceration of Unlawful Combatants Law. The Law enables sweeping and swift detention without trial of many persons for long periods, and provides detainees with even less protections than the few granted detainees under the Administrative Detention Order that applies in the West Bank. Furthermore, an amendment passed in 2008 eased the use of the Law in the event of "wide-scale hostilities."
The Law was originally intended to enable the internment of Lebanese nationals whom Israel classified as "bargaining chips". To the best of B'Tselem's and HaMoked's knowledge, the Israeli administration has used it against 54 persons, holding some of them without trial for long periods – up to seven and a half years. Fifteen were Lebanese nationals who were subsequently released, and 39 were residents of the Gaza Strip. Most of the latter were detained during Operation Cast Lead in 2009 and have since been released. On 30 September 2009, Israel was holding nine Palestinians from Gaza pursuant to the Law.
HaMoked and B'Tselem call on the government of Israel to release the administrative detainees or to prosecute them according to the standards of international law regarding due process. The organizations also call on the government to immediately cease use of the Incarceration of Unlawful Combatants Law, and to act to repeal the statute.

Palestinian Broadcast Union calls for solidarity with Ahmad Saadat upon six months in isolation

20.10.09 - 09:51
Gaza / PNN – For six months leftist leader Ahmad Sa’adat has been in solitary confinement in Israeli prison, a situation that has grabbed the attention of most Palestinians, including the Broadcast Union.
Media outlets are beginning a new solidarity campaign with Sa’adat, the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Held in isolation for six months, the prominent leftist was kidnapped from the Palestinian Authority jail in Jericho in 2005.
Radio stations in Gaza are leading the latest charge for the release of Sa’adat from Israeli prison, or at least from solitary confinement. In a statement broadcast during new bulletins throughout the Strip yesterday, Thursday is being declared a day of solidarity with Sa’adat, and with all Palestinian political prisoners.
The radio stations carrying the message stressed that the efforts for the public information campaign were being made on a national level. The union asked that West Bank stations run the same message so that Thursday’s solidarity will have a wider reach.
The Palestinian Broadcast Union recently organized a day of action in solidarity with Al Aqsa Mosque.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Support Ezra Nawi in his sentence session

This week, Wednesday October 21st at 8:30AM (Israel time), Ezra Nawi's sentence will be read in the case against him in Ayalata Ziskind chamber, Jerusalem Court.
Judge Ziskind has convicted Nawi in police officer assault whilst two buildings were demolished in Umm-El-Cheir in February 2007.

The sentence reading was postponed from September after the Judge asked to review the possibility of "public service" as punishment. Ezra refused to attend the parole officer, continues tople a not-guilty, and refuses to accept the blind system's impositions
Together, we will stand in support of Ezra in court.

October 22: Take Action to End Isolation and Free Ahmad Sa'adat and Palestinian Prisoners!

Imprisoned Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa'adat is going to court on Thursday, October 22, 2009 to challenge isolation of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons. Join the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat and take action today to uphold Palestinian prisoners' rights and support Palestinian prisoners' struggle for freedom!

Ahmad Sa'adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has been held in isolation in Ramon prison in the Naqab desert for six months, when he was transferred from Hadarim prison in Asqelan after 14 days of isolation. Sa'adat has been targeted for isolation and abusive prison conditions alongside other Palestinian national leaders and popular prison leaders, and placed in special isolation units. Within these isolation units, Sa'adat has been placed further inside a separate isolation unit where he is confined without access even to the other prisoners in isolation, and deprived of basic human rights. His personal books have been confiscated and he is allowed access to newspapers only once or twice weekly.

He has been denied family visits - his wife, Abla, has been denied visits for three months - as well as legal visits, and barred from purchases at the prison canteen, including cigarette purchases. In the prison yard, Sa'adat has been held handcuffed and in ankle shackles and allowed only one-hour of exercise/recreation. All of this has been 'justified' by the occupation authorities as 'punishment' for giving two packs of cigarettes to another prisoner. The Prison Administration is attempting to criminalize the human and social relationship between fellow Palestinian prisoners, and between the prisoners and their families outside.

Sa'adat has led in the struggle against isolation, engaging in a nine-day hunger strike in July 2009 that was immediately followed by his transfer to Ramon prison. He is challenging isolation in court on October 22, 2009 and needs your support to challenge isolation of Palestinian political prisoners!


Events and activities are expected to be held in Palestine and around the world in support of Sa'adat from October 16-22, calling for freedom and justice for Sa'adat and all Palestinian prisoners. Join in these events in your town, city, or country:

Distribute the Free Ahmad Sa'adat flyer: in your town, city, event or location! Bring the flyers to events and activities, or hold a flyer distribution at a public place.

2. Call the Israeli embassy or consulate in your location( and demand the immediate freedom of Ahmad Sa'adat and all Palestinian political prisoners.

3. Write to the International Committee of the Red Cross and other human rights organizations to exercise their responsibilities and act swiftly to demand that the Israelis ensure that Ahmad Sa'adat and all Palestinian prisoners are freed from punitive isolation. Email the ICRC, whose humanitarian mission includes monitoring the conditions of prisoners, at, and inform them about the urgent situation of Ahmad Sa'adat.

4.Email the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat at with announcements, reports and information about your local events, activities and flyer distributions.

Ahmad Sa'adat has been imprisoned since 2002 in the prisons of the Palestinian Authority, held under U.S. and British guard, until his abduction by the Israeli occupation forces on March 14, 2006 by an occupation military raid on Jericho prison. On December 25, 2008, he was sentenced to thirty years inside the occupation prisons. He is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and one of the foremost Palestinian national leaders held inside the occupier's jails.

Ahmad Sa'adat and nearly 10,000 Palestinian prisoners are daily on the front lines, confronting Israeli oppression and crimes. Today, it is urgent that we stand with Ahmad Sa'adat and all Palestinian prisoners against these abuses, and for freedom for all Palestinian prisoners and for all of Palestine!

The Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa'adat

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ex-prisoner: Administrative detainees experience tragic incarceration conditions

Ex-prisoner: Administrative detainees experience tragic incarceration conditions
[ 18/10/2009 - 04:20 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- Sa'ed Yassin, an activist and researcher in prisoners' affairs, has said that Palestinian administrative detainees in Israeli occupation jails were suffering from tragic imprisonment conditions.
Yassin, himself an ex-prisoner, told the lawyer of the international Tadamun society in a visit that most of the administrative detainees in Negev and Ofer prisons were being held in crammed tents that do not provide protection from winter cold or summer heat.
They are served poor quality and quantity meals and are deprived of many rights guaranteed by international agreements and laws, he elaborated.
Yassin charged the IOA with violating the international law with its policy of administrative detention.
He said that the IOA resorts to administrative custody as part of collective punishment against the Palestinians, noting that the administrative detainee could be held for long years without trial or charge and without being informed of reasons for his/her detention.

Farawana: No one has the real number of political prisoners who have given birth in Israeli jails

14.10.09 - 11:29
Gaza / PNN – Abdel Nasser Ferwana was once a political prisoner himself.
This is not surprising considering that some 85 percent of Palestinian males spend at least some of the moments of their lives being detained by Israeli forces.
What sets apart Ferwana, however, is that he has dedicated his life to researching the issue, to presenting as much information as possible to the public and to advocating.
Today he is challenging the validity and accuracy of human rights organizations and medial outlets that claim only four to eight political prisoners have given birth in Israeli jails. The researcher, who has official ties to the Palestinian Authority, said today that no one has the exact number of prisoners who have given birth in Israeli prisons since 1967 until today.
The reason behind the discrepancy, Ferwana said today, is the lack of documentation published on the subject before the Al Aqsa Intifada. “The research just isn’t there,” the prisoners’ affairs official said on Wednesday. “Agencies and institutions must be concerned to adopt a comprehensive strategic plan to document this important part of history and the feminist movement.”
Ferwana himself has already issued a study entitled, “Children See, Despite the Darkness of the Light of Cells”, in January 2008. “Palestine behind Bars” has circumstances of the births and available date. Various media outlets have also published information on prison births as they occurred.
Ferwana noted, “The cases of the birth of prisoners during the Intifada have received more attention and more accurate documentation than those cases that have been in prison before the start of the second Intifada in September 2000, and therefore we always ask whether we are sure that the published and documented information in inclusive and correct. All organizations support the number of four cases since the Intifada, and an additional four, but we are certain there are more.”

Ahrar center: Ofer court deferred trial of a female prisoner for the 7th time

[ 18/10/2009 - 10:17 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Al-Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies and human rights said Saturday that the Israeli military court in Ofer prison, near the occupied city of Ramallah, decided to defer consideration in the trial of female prisoner Nada Al-Jayyousi for the seventh consecutive time without setting a new date.
The center noted that Jayyousi appeared in Israeli courts many times over the last two years and every time, the Israeli prosecutor refused to release her or to make a deal with her lawyer.
The center added that the prisoner is exposed to severe psychological and physical torture inside Israeli jails and investigation centers, affirming that the Israeli intelligence failed to condemn her, so they tried to extract confessions by force through threatening her with the arrest of her elder daughter Tasneem.
For his part, director of the center Fouad Al-Khafsh said that interrogating prisoner Jayyousi every month in Beit Eil interrogation center is sufficient evidence to condemn Israel for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied Palestinian lands.
In another related context, the ministry of prisoners’ affairs announced that two Palestinian prisoners joined on Saturday the list of detainees who spent more than 20 years in Israeli jails.
Information director in the ministry Riyadh Al-Ashqar said that the list of those prisoners decreased in the past two days to 106 after the release of two Syrian detainees who were kidnapped in 1985, but it rose up again to 108 after new Palestinian prisoners called Magdi Ajuli and Mahmoud Jaradat exceeded their 20th year in prison.
Ashqar pointed out that the list of those prisoners rises almost every year, where there are hundreds of prisoners who have spent long years in prison and are about to join the list.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Abdul Qader: Undercover Israeli agents 'kidnapped me'

Published yesterday (updated) 14/10/2009 10:28

Hatem Abdul Qader [MaanImages]
Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli police released senior Fatah official Hatem Abdul Qader after arresting him at a military checkpoint on Tuesday night, while an Islamic Movement official remains in custody.

Abdul Qader said that he was released with an order that was to submit to further interrogation by Israel’s Shin Bet (General Security Service) at 10am on Wednesday.

The former minister of Jerusalem affairs said he was questioned by Israeli officers about the recent demonstrations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and relations between Fatah and the Islamic Movement, a Palestinian group Israel.

According to Abdul Qader, he and Islamic Movement leader Ali Sheikha were seized by undercover Israeli agents at the Qalandiya military checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah. He said officers disguised as motorists disabled his car and “kidnapped” the two officials. They were taken to Israel’s Russian Compound prison in West Jerusalem.

Ali Sheikha is still being held and likely interrogated, Abdul Qader said.

Israel’s Minister of Internal Security, Yitzhak Aharonovich, a member of the ultra-right-wing Israel Beiteinu party called on the Knesset last week to arrest Abdul Qader and the leaders of the Islamic movement for their role in the Jerusalem protests.

The two officials were both arrested earlier this month during the Palestinian protests against reported Israeli intrusions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Sheikha was one of the more than 100 Palestinians who barricaded themselves in the Al-Aqsa Mosque last week in an attempt to protect it from rumored Israeli attacks during the Jewish holidays.

Israeli forces arrested Abdul Qader in March when he released hundreds of balloons in during the festival Al-Quds Capital of Arab Culture celebrating the Palestinian history of Jerusalem.

Troops Kidnap 16 Residents, Issue Orders Targeting International Activists

Tuesday October 13, 2009 10:46 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Tuesday at dawn 16 Palestinians in different parts of the West Bank, and issued orders against housing international peace activists.
Nablus invasion - Image
Nablus invasion - Image
The sixteen Palestinians were kidnapped in several parts of the West bank. They were all kidnapped after the army broke into their homes and searched them, local sources reported.

Meanwhile, official sources in Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank, reported that the Israeli Authorities started a campaign against international peace activists living in the West Bank.

Ghassan Douglas, in charge of settlements files in the northern part of the West Bank, said that the army waned the residents of southern Nablus villages not to house international supporters.

The decision, not new in nature especially since Israel deported dozens of activists and denied entry to others, was made particularly to sabotage the olive harvest season as activists visit the West Bank to help the villagers in harvesting their Olive trees, and in an attempt to protect them from settler attacks.

Douglas said that this decision is very serious as it comes to manipulate the truth as the activists bear witness to the ongoing settler attacks.

He added that the new order includes several villages that the subjected to constant settler attacks.

Israeli soldiers invaded several villages on Monday at night and informed the residents that housing international activists 'is illegal and results in arrests”.

Douglas stated that this order is like granting extremist settlers a free hand to carry attacks and crimes against the residents far away from the eyes of the activists and the media.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PCHR weekly report 1-7/10/2009: 46 Palestinians arrested including 5 children

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

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

IOF arrested 46 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children, in the West Bank. 

Thursday, 01 October 2009
·      At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Eastern Barta'a village, southwest of Jenin.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 4 Palestinian civilians:

1.    Majdi Husni Qabaha, 45;
2.    Ramadan 'Abdullah Mas'oud, 33;
3.    Bassem Mohammed Qabaha, 45; and
4.    Bassem Fakhri Qabaha, 38.

·      Also at approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Taffouh village, west of Hebron.  They raided and searched a number of houses and summoned 6 Palestinian civilians for interrogation.

·      At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into 'Azzoun village, east of Qalqilya.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child:

1.    'Odai Sameer Abu Haniya, 20;
2.    Sufian 'Abdul Hafiz Abu Haniya, 42;
3.    Mustafa Hassan Salama, 16;
4.    Makram Mohammed Dahbour, 20; and
5.    Wissam Sa'id Hussein. 18.

·      Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

1.    'Ali Hamdan al-Badawi, 26; and
2.    'Omar Swaileh, 25.

·      Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-'Ouja village, north of Jericho.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mahmoud Suleiman Ka'abna, 20.

·      At approximately 16:30, IOF moved into al-Za'farana area in the east of Shyoukh village, northeast of Hebron.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians.  They released two of those civilians later, but kept Ahmed Jom'a Warasna, 26, in custody.

·      At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into Izbat al-Tabeeb villahe, east of Qalqilya. They held and violently beat three civilians for nearly an hour:

1.    Yazeed Jasser Tabeeb, 21;
2.    Ja'far Rebhi Tabeeb, 21; and
3.    Jihad Khaled Tabeeb, 20.

Friday, 02 October 2009
·      At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into Beit 'Awa village, southwest of Hebron.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

1.    'Abdul Majeed al-Swaiti, 27;
2.    Mujahed 'Abdul Rasoul al-Swaiti, 22; and
3.    Mo'ayad Kazem al-Swaiti, 20.

·      At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into 'Ein al-Sultan refugee camp.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians, including a child:

1.    Ziad 'Abdul Qader 'Owaidat, 18; and
2.    Majdi 'Abdul Qader 'Owaidat, 17.

·      At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Madama village, southeast of Nablus.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 4 Palestinian civilians:

1.    Asadallah Wajeeh al-Qut, 18;
2.    Thabet Nassar Nassar, 33;
3.    'Ammar Yassin al-Qut, 32; and
4.    'Omar Shareef Nassar, 45.

·      At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Masliya village, southeast of Jenin.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Ayman Faraj Abu al-Rub, 25. 

Saturday, 03 October 2009
·      At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Far'oun village, south of Tulkarm.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 'Abdul Hakim Mohammed Mousa, 42. 

Sunday, 04 October 2009
·      At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Beit 'Awa village, southwest of Hebron.   They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 7 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children:

1.    Isma'il Mohammed al-Swaiti, 15;
2.    Ma'ath Jihad al-Swaiti, 15;
3.    Anas Shaker al-Swaiti, 15;
4.    'Abdul Jabbar Fawzi al-Swaiti, 15;
5.    Jihad Hashem al-Swaiti, 23;
6.    Salem Ibrahim al-Swaiti, 23; and
7.    Mohammed 'Abdul Hadi al-Swaiti, 22.

·      At approximately 10:00, IOF troops positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northwest of Beit Lahia town fired at Ashraf Bassam Abu Suleiman, 16, from Jabalya refugee camp, wounding him with a bullet to the neck.  They then took him into Israel.  In the evening, they handed him to the Palestinian liaison near Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing.  He was transferred to the intensive care unit at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where medical sources described his wound as serious.  According to the Palestinian liaison, the child told him that he was at the beach when he chased and threw stones at a dog, so IOF troops thought he was throwing stones towards them and fired at him. 

Monday, 05 October 2009
·      At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Qalqilya.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians:

1.    'Abdul Rahim Mahmoud Khalil, 46;
2.    Hatem Mahmoud Khalil, 41.

·      At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into 'Azzoun 'Atma village, south of Qalqilya.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mo'ayad 'Ali al-Sheikh, 25. 

Tuesday, 06 October 2009
·      At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Nablus.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 'Imad al-Wadi, 50.

·      At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into North 'Assira village, north of Nablus.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Hisham Bassam Shouli, 21.  

Wednesday, 07 October 2009
·      At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit 'Awa village, southwest of Hebron.  They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested two Palestinian civilians, including a child:

1.    Majdi 'Aqil al-Swaiti, 16; and
2.    Sa'ed Helmi al-Swaiti, 23.

Leftist leader entering his sixth month of solitary confinement in Israeli prison

10.10.09 - 10:14
Ramallah / PNN – Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Sa’adat is entering his sixth month in solitary confinement.
The campaign in solidarity with the leftist leader is calling for a day of action against what is being referred to as restriction and deprivation.
Events and activities are planned to take place simultaneously both locally and abroad on the twenty-second of the month, the date that will mark a full six months of solitary confinement in Israeli prison.
Israeli forces stormed the Palestinian Authority jail in Jericho in 2005 where Sa’adat was being held. After kidnapping the PFLP leader and several colleagues, Israeli forces have held him ever since.
A call has been issued to Palestinian embassies and diplomatic missions working in the West Bank and beyond to raise the issue of the conditions of the continued detention of Sa’adat.
The solidarity campaign is also inviting the Legislative Council and the National Council to send letters to legislative bodies worldwide asking that pressure be put on the Israelis.
A press conference is planned for 20 October, two days before the international day of action.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sit-in calls for increased solidarity with political prisoners, particularly medical cases

09.10.09 - 09:23
Nablus / PNN - In Nablus dozens of Palestinians held a sit-in out of solidarity for Akram Mansour and other Palestinians held in captivity.
The northern West Bank resident is one of thousands of political prisoners in Israeli jails.
The sit-in included Director of the Ministry of Prisoners, Samer Smaroa, representatives of the factional coordination committee, and officials from the Palestinian Prisoner Society. The group of 100-plus raised banners demanding freedom for all prisoners as talks of exchanges and possibilities come and go.
Director of PPS in Nablus, Ra’ed Amer, asked for increased public support for Palestinian prisoners, while stressing the importance of the role of families.
Of particular concern are medical patients such as Mansour who are not receiving adequate treatment.
The Prisoner Society said during the demonstration that under no circumstance will any Palestinian detainee be abandoned. While speaking to the crowed, Amer stressed the importance of full participation in all activities undertaken in solidarity with the prisoners/
Among demonstrators was Khalid Kandakji who submitted a memorandum to the Red Cross where he underlined the need to provide treatment for Akram Mansour whose life is at risk due to medical neglect.
Protesters were demanding that the Red Cross assume responsibility for the rapid intervention to save the lives of other sick prisoners in Israeli jails.

ISM Nablus visits Linan Yosif Abo Gholbi on her release from prison

5 October 2009
On Monday, October 5, 2009, a group of ISM’ers visited Linan Yosif Abo Gholbi in her extended family’s home near Nablus, at the invitation of Tanweer, a grass roots organization based in Nablus. She is one of the 20 women prisoners who were recently released from Israeli prisons in exchange for a video from Hamas proving that Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured in 2006, was still alive.
Generations of Linan’s family have been fighters and PFLP activists in the Palestinian struggle for justice. Many have died, many have been imprisoned. Her parents have spent years visiting their children in various prisons and at the moment one of her brothers is in jail.
Linan’s husband Amjad Mletod was killed in a battle with Israeli soldiers in 2004 and shortly after that Linan was arrested and their home demolished. Although they were married for 5 years, they were only able to live together for a year since Amjad was a wanted man.
Linan was held in an interrogation centre, where for 20 days she was questioned, tied for hours to a chair and bound hand and foot, a form of torture. She was sentenced to 4 years in prison for her activities in the PFLP but in revenge two more years were added, one for her husband’s activities as a fighter and one for her brother’s who had also been killed. She was sent to Ramla, a prison for Israeli women criminals, and soon after to Al-Sharon prison for 3 and a half years. She spent the last 2 years of her imprisonment in Demon, a former stable for horses during the British Mandate period. All of the women incarcerated there suffered from the dampness, filth and insect infestations, many becoming ill.
Linan spoke eloquently and movingly of the deprivations and abuse that prisoners suffer and about the harsh treatment that is especially endured by women prisoners and is no less harsh than that of the male prisoners in Israeli jails. They are harassed verbally and physically, often arbitrarily punished by having their cells tear gassed or water sprayed into it; dogs have been set upon them in their cells; punishment may mean being put in an isolation cell; physical punishment such as beatings or being dragged about by their hair, is administered by male guards. Such procedures are a constant and are often administered for contrived reasons as part of a regime of extreme sadistic abuse and cruelty.
When prisoners are brought to court and when they leave, they are strip searched. They are not allowed to talk to or make signs to their parents, acts for which they can be punished. Punishments can consist of their personal effects being taken away such as blankets, money and books. When Shalit was captured, study privileges were taken from them and prisoners from Gaza were singled out for the collective punishment of not being allowed visitors.
There is no privacy – 14 inmates live in one cell and sleep on thin mattresses. Bathrooms are outside the cells and women must ask for permission to go to them. In addition, they are not given adequate medical treatment, even for very serious illnesses.
Although Linan’s young brother and nephew were in the same prison as she was, they were not allowed for ‘security’ reasons to see them or make contact in any way and for years they fought heroically but unsuccessfully for their right to do so.
When asked how she deals with her tragic, undeserving past and what she wants for the future, she said that she keeps her smile on her face and will continue to be strong in her resolve to participate in the struggle. She is very proud of her family’s steadfast history and that of her husband’s. The thought that she could be arrested again does not deter her. Her 5 years in prison have only strengthened her resolve to continue in her activities in the battles for Palestinian liberation.
One of Linan’s main concerns is the fate of those Palestinians who languish in Israeli prisons, possibly as many as 11,000 prisoners, some held in indefinite preventative detention for years without charges brought against them. She also expressed the hope that international human rights organizations and grass roots groups will work more vigorously to see that justice is done and that the prisoners, incarcerated for exercising their right to resist oppression will be released.
Arrests, detentions and incarceration are one of the most important weapons in Israel’s all-out war against the Palestinian people. These actions constitute a violation of the rights of occupied people, are designed to reach the largest number of people, affect all segments of society, and thereby  break the will of the Palestinians to resist the occupation. To find out more and what you can do, go to: – Addameer is a prisoner support and Human Rights association
For more information on Palestinian female prisoners, their detention conditions, access to health care and education, please refer to Addameer’s “Protection of Palestinian female prisoners and detainees” project website at: – Defense for Children International Palestine Section – The Palestine Prisoners’ Club
Addenda: from Addameer’s “Protection of Palestinian female prisoners and detainees” Project:
•    Given their small number in the total of Palestinian prisoners, Palestinian women are usually detained in harsher conditions than men in jails dating back to the British Mandate period (1922-1948), lacking modern day infrastructure or gender-sensitive health care. Humid, unhygienic, deprived of natural sunlight and overcrowded, these facilities have been designed for men and by men and rarely do they meet women’s needs.
•    While interrogated, women are often subjected to such forms of cruel treatment as humiliation, intimidation, shouting, sleep deprivation, prolonged shackling in painful positions, isolation in cells and even beatings. According to ex-prisoners accounts, psychological pressure is the most preferred technique used towards Palestinian women by Israeli interrogators. Threats of house demolitions, arrests of family members, forced collaboration, rape or other forms of sexual abuse and harassment are thus an often practice.
Lack of gender sensitive health care and hygiene standards
•    Due to insufficient and poor quality nutrition cooked for Palestinian female prisoners by Israeli criminal offenders, women suffer from loss of weight and hair, general weakness, anemia and iron deficiency. Their diet is not changed or improved when they fall ill, are pregnant or breast-feeding.
•    Poor ventilation, lack of fresh air, moisture and the presence of cockroaches and insects in the cells contribute to the development of dermatological diseases. Additionally, the lack of movement, the unavailability of sports equipment and a spacious recreation area as well as uncomfortable iron bed frames and only 3 to 5 centimeters thick mattresses cause women back and joints pains.
•    Huge mental pressure, the lack of appropriate nutrition and isolation through the denial of family visits contribute to the perturbation of women’s menstrual cycles, whereas older women suffer from psychological and physical difficulties caused by menopause. However, the Israeli Prison Service does not provide them with specialized gynecological health care. While it should be applied as a preventive measure, gynecological health care is only offered to those women in need of hospitalization.
•    Additionally, rooms at Damon, one of the prisons where more than 30 Palestinian women are detained do not include showers making women’s hygiene requirements hard to fulfill during both menstruation and menopause.
Denial of Family Visits
•    At least 10 Palestinian women are prevented from family visits as a punitive measure. An additional, 6 female prisoners are allowed to receive visits only from minors, namely children under the age of 16, either their younger siblings or their own kids as adult members of her families are barred from permits on “security grounds”. As minors are allowed to visit by themselves only once a month, these women are subjected to further isolation.
•    Mothers of minors are subjected to the same restrictions as men in terms of access to family visits even though international regulations on women in prison give precedence to the maintenance of strong family ties giving them the opportunity to serve their sentence close to home upon their request and making visits as often and flexible as possible.
•    Palestinian female prisoners are only allowed to have open visits and thus physical contact with those of their children who have not reached the age of six. However, research on female prisoners worldwide proves that the lack of adequate and sufficient contact with children and family members is a key source of anxiety for women in jails. Such feelings are translated into depression, anger and guilt and lead to the deterioration of the overall mental state and health condition of the woman.
•    Communication with the outside world in general is very restricted. Phone calls are permitted only in exceptional or humanitarian cases depending on the record of the prisoner. Letters are delivered to prisoners after huge delays, creating thus a huge disincentive for families to communicate with women in prison in such a way.
•    Importantly, the isolation of female prisoners reduces their chances of an easier reintegration into the society and the family upon their release.
For more information on Palestinian female prisoners, their detention conditions, access to health care and education, please refer to Addameer’s “Protection of Palestinian female prisoners and detainees” project website at: