Friday, October 29, 2010

Prisoners at Nafha prison go on hunger strike

[ 29/10/2010 - 09:33 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Palestinian captives in the Nafha desert jail went on hunger strike to protest the campaign of harassment by the occupation prison authority against them, the latest incident of the campaign was last Saturday when all prison wards were raided and the prisoners were assaulted.
Head of the Mandela Foundation that caters for Palestinian captives, Buthaina Duqmaq, said after visiting the jail that an atmosphere of anger is prevailing amongst the prisoners as a result of the surprise raids and searches carried out by the prison administration at all times, day or night.
Captives told the lawyer that during these surprise raids and searches prisoners are taken out of their rooms and searched, rooms are ransacked, prisoners' belongings are damaged and even copies of the Quran are opened and searched.
Duqmaq further said that on her visit to the jail on Friday the prison administration carried out a search despite the captives' protests.
Duqmaq further reported that the prison administration moved the two Hamas leaders, Yahya al-Senwar and Muhammad Dukhan to Eshel prison and said that Dukhan was brought from Hadarim to Nafha prison two weeks ago, adding that Muhammad Nayfa Abu Rabiaa was also moved to the Nafha desert prison.

Palestinian female captive on hunger strike for the third day running

[ 29/10/2010 - 08:54 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Mandela Foundation that caters for Palestinian captives said that Lanan Abu Ghalma who is detained at Hasharon prison has started a hunger strike three days ago to protest the prison's administration refusal to unite her with her sister Tagrid who is detained in another Israeli occupation jail.
Head of the foundation, lawyer Buthaina Duqmaq, said in a statement on Friday that Nada Derbas, another Palestinian female captive, went on hunger strike in solidarity with Lanan.
Daqmaq further called on local and international human rights organisation to pressure the Israeli occupation to release the two sisters Lanan and Tagrid Abu Ghalma.
Lanan was arrested last April and placed under administrative detention and a heavy fine was imposed on her sister Tagrid on top of her detention.
Lanan was one of twenty Palestinian female captives freed in October 2009 in return for a two and a half minute video of Gilad Shalit in which he appeared to be fit and well both mentally and physically.

IPS offers treatment for woman prisoner in return for her isolation

[ 27/10/2010 - 06:17 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- The Israeli prison service (IPA) has offered medical treatment for a Palestinian woman prisoner in Damon jail in return for isolating her for three months in Ramle prison.
Ahmed Al-Beitawi, a researcher in the international Tadamun (Solidarity) institution said that the prisoner Wurud Qassem from the 1948 occupied Teira town was suffering from acute pain in her teeth and jaw to the extent that she could not speak or eat properly.
She asked the IPS for treatment but she was surprised with the prison's clinic response that she should serve three months in solitary confinement in Ramle in return.
Beitawi said that the prisoner refused the offer, adding that she preferred pain alongside her prison mates rather than treatment and isolation.
The researcher said that the IPS was exploiting the pain of prisoners to blackmail them, recalling that medical treatment was previously offered to Palestinian prisoners in return for confession or deportation.
Medical neglect and solitary confinement were and remain the prisoners' main points of focus in their past and present strikes and demands, Beitawi pointed out.
Wurud Qassem was detained since October 2006 and is serving a six-year sentence on the charge of resisting occupation. Two other Palestinian women from the 1948 occupied Palestine are serving other sentences namely Lina Jarboni, 18 years, and Khadija Abu Ayyash, 3 years.

National committee of prisoners: Shalit law is not frozen

[ 27/10/2010 - 11:38 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The higher national committee for the support of prisoners said that the Israeli prison authority still implements the law of Shalit which an Israeli government's committee approved in order to punish Palestinian prisoners especially from Hamas.
Information director of the committee Riyadh Al-Ashqar stated Tuesday that Israeli media claims that premier Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the freeze of Shalit law because of alleged developments in the prisoner swap deal are lies aimed at misleading the international public opinion and organizations.
Ashqar affirmed that Israel is really using this law against prisoners, where it still deprives them, for example, of family visits, education, reading books and newspapers, and watching television and steps up its policy of solitary confinement against them.
He appealed for necessarily sending an international human rights delegation to visit Israeli prison to see closely the poor incarceration condition of Palestinian prisoners.
The Israeli ministerial committee on legislative affairs had approved weeks ago a bill aimed at aggravating the conditions of Palestinian prisoners especially those from Hamas in a bid to pressure their Movement to accept the terms put by Israel for the release of its soldier Gilad Shalit.
The bill was to be brought to the Knesset for a preliminary reading, but Hebrew media outlets claimed on Tuesday that Netanyahu decided to freeze this law because its approval would be determinatal to the efforts made for the release of Shalit and the talks with Hamas in this regard.
In a related development, the Palestinian prisoner society said that the prisoners in Hawara jail suffer from a shortage of drinking water after it was suspended by the prison administration.
The society reported on Tuesday that the prisoners complained to its lawyer that they used to receive intermittently smelly dirking water from Israeli soldiers before the suspension, but now they are provided with one and a half liters of bottled water.
Hawara is a detention camp used by Israeli troops to detain Palestinian captives temporarily before transferring them to other prisons.
The Israeli administration of Hadarim jail also declined the requests submitted by 20 prisoners to allow them to pursue their academic studies in prison, claiming there were security reasons for its refusal.
The prisoners told the lawyer of the prisoner society that Hadarim administration approved the requests submitted by only five out of 25 detainees.

Radwan: Nothing new concerning prisoners exchange deal

[ 27/10/2010 - 10:23 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Dr. Ismail Radwan, a Hamas leader, has denied any new progress regarding the prisoners' exchange deal between Israel and the captors of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in Gaza.
He called for more steadfastness to restore Palestinian prisoners' rights, adding in a press release on Tuesday evening that the so-called freeze on the Shalit law is the result of those prisoners' struggle and resoluteness.
Meanwhile, relatives of Palestinian prisoners in Tulkarem district urged the Red Cross to immediately and seriously intervene to halt the Israeli occupation soldiers' practices against them at the Teyba roadblock.
They held a protest sit-in on Tuesday against the strip searches and humiliation of the Palestinian relatives.
One of the mothers of prisoners said she was forced last Sunday while en route to visit her son to take off her headscarf and external garment to be searched by a female conscript.
Another mother said that after crossing the road barrier they are forced to walk a long distance to reach the busses, which affect the health condition of those suffering chronic diseases, adding that she suffers from diabetes, hypertension, and heart ailment.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Palestinian Political Prisoner Ameer Makhoul to the World Education Forum Palestine


Tuesday, 26 October 2010 15:10 Ameer Makhoul
Brothers and sisters in the International Council of the World Social Forum

Brothers and sisters in the Palestinian National Committee of the World Education Forum
My greetings and yearning to you all,

First, I send you my warmest greetings and appreciation for all your efforts in preparation for the World Education Forum in Palestine. It is an honor for Palestine to host this forum, accompanied by such notable international mobilization and solidarity. However, it is also an honor for the World Education forum to be hosted by Palestine.

Second, from behind the bars of an Israeli prison I welcome you to Palestine on both sides of the so-called Green Line of occupation. I also welcome you in the name of Ittijah -- the Union of Arab Community-Based Organizations in Palestine 48 -- and in the name of civil society and the Palestinian social movement here and in exile.

Together we marched forward and laid the foundations for the World Education Forum, and shoulder to shoulder we began our preparations internationally and in Palestine and the Arab World. It was during this process that I was arrested, in the beginning of May 2010 - an intimidation arrest that targeted us all. Five months have passed since then, but everything I face today – in the form of an unjust imprisonment, judicial procedures and trial – is no less oppressive than the physical and psychological torture I endured. However, what distinguishes us Palestinians is our free-will and steadfastness, which are used to resist oppression and the oppressors and their so-called justice. We are not deceived that there exists an Israeli justice; on the contrary, we view the court as an opportunity to consolidate the popular and international mobilization and struggle that already exists – these are the cornerstones of our defending of our rights and the tools that prevent their robbery by the occupation state.

Wherever we may be, we are brothers and sisters in values – the values of justice, freedom and human dignity. We share a common vision - that of the oppressed peoples, nations and individuals; of the victims of state terrorism, aggression and neo-liberalism and imperialism; of victims of all forms of exploitation, violence and discrimination; of all the wretched of this Earth – individuals and collectives - who yearn for dignity. We meet in Palestine, this nation and land that has become the meeting point of the free in spirit and of all those who believe that a different world is possible.

As I write you from Israeli prison, I permit myself to send greetings from this sector of the Palestinian people, that represents the entire Palestinian society - that of the prisoners of freedom in the prisons of occupation and apartheid. These 8,000 prisoners are in their homeland. Yet, at the same time, they are barred from this land. However, no matter how hard the walls of the prison may be, they will not stand between them and their right to have a nation. It’s important that you know that these 8,000 prisoners are not a just statistic or a number, but each and every one of them has a name, a dream, a father, brother, sister, son or daughter. Each has his or her own suffering, notwithstanding the collective one, and that of their families who endure the great and exhausting suffering of seeing their children on the other side of the wall. I don’t speak of that famous apartheid wall that we all know - this wall is less famous, for it is made of glass and prevents the Arab and Palestinian prisoners from touching their parents, allowing them to talk to their families only once every two weeks, for 45 minutes, through the phone receiver and the humiliation behind the glass barrier.

These prisoners are prohibited not only from freedom, but also from their families, Arabic newspapers, and all but a few books. They are prohibited from building a family, from obtaining an education, and from everything else but their dream of their coming freedom, which is the product of steadfastness and will: for in them lies the core of the hope and humanity of the oppressed that are targeted by the oppressor. The oppressor knows very well that he would lose the battle if the Palestinian will is not defeated.

There is an Israeli prisoner in Gaza, a soldier of the occupation and the forces of murder. The whole world knows his name and age, and feels the pain of his family. There is nothing wrong with that, of course. But where is the international community when it comes to the 8,000 Palestinian prisoners who are imprisoned for their struggle and human dignity, and the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian prisoners who were forced into Israeli prisons in the past? Do they not have a story too?

The globalization of the media, in addition to the hegemony of neo-liberal values, are what create the imaginary military and economic equality between colonization and its victims, an equation of “values.” Suffering becomes the share of the oppressor, while the oppressed becomes the accused, and, in the best-case scenario, a statistic without a name, story or suffering. After all, Palestinian suffering has been subjected the same fate as that of the land: confiscation.

However, social movements are capable of creating an alternative and another world. This is our dream, for we all share the dream of freedom, humanity and a world without oppression.

I urge you, my brothers and sisters, to come to Haifa on the day of my trial [Thursday, October 28th 2010] so that you can see for yourselves that the Israeli court and legal system are mere manifestations of the Israeli state’s injustice. Thus, we do not seek justice in these systems, but we choose to confront and resist them, and to accuse them to be instruments of oppression, not righteousness. A Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli prison can never be found innocent.

They target us, the 48 Palestinians, and our relations with our Palestinian brothers and sisters in the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip and in exile, as well as our relations with the Arab world. For according to the myths of Israeli security, these are considered to be “relations with the enemy.” However, our enemy is not and will never be any people or national, religions or ethnic group. As much as they would like to accuse us as such, the Jews are not our enemy. Our enemy is the enemy of humanity: the oppressor. Our enemy is the colonizing, racist Zionist project in Palestine in all of its forms; our enemy is imperialism, the hegemony of force and neo-liberal exploitation wherever it may be. Accordingly, I ask you to beware of the dangers of the aggression against Islam and accusing everything that is Muslim of terrorism; the aggression against everything that is Arab or Oriental, and against the peoples of the southern part of our Earth. The greatest terrorist operation that exists today is the globalized and internationalized state terrorism; it is the occupation and colonization of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan; it is neo-liberalism transcending continents. The greater the crisis of neo-liberalism becomes, the greater its exploitation, and the graver the consequences of its acts that aim to protect its profits, exploitations, thefts and hegemony over the riches of the Earth – riches that should belong to the peoples of the Earth.

The World Education Forum in Palestine is a special occasion and a wonderful demonstration of solidarity. The WEF forms part of the international campaign to lift the blockade on Gaza, Jerusalem and the Naqab, and to defend the rights both of Palestinians and of Palestine itself. The WEF constitutes a local and international mobilization in defense of justice; it is a source of hope, power, and steadfastness, confirming that Palestine is not yet forgotten and its people are not alone; this empowers and makes us stronger.

I salute you for choosing the road of freedom, justice and human dignity for the people of Palestine and all peoples of the world.

Another world is possible, and it is our duty to achieve it.

Ameer Makhoul

Member of the International Council of the World Social Forum

Member of the Palestinian National Committee of the World Education Forum

General Director of Ittijah- Union of Arab Community-Based Organizations in Palestine 48

Haifa activist accepts plea deal

By Jared Malsin

GAZA (Ma'an) -- Ameer Makhoul, the Palestinian activist from Haifa, accepted a plea bargain on Wednesday, confessing to espionage charges leveled by the Israeli state.

Makhoul, an Israeli citizen, was detained by authorities during a nighttime raid on his home in May. He and his lawyers maintain that the charges against him are political, and that he was tortured while in prison. Makhoul was also banned from seeing a lawyer for the first 12 days of his detention.

The charges include conspiring to assist an enemy, contact with a foreign agent and spying for Hezbollah.

Orna Kohn, one of Makhoul's lawyers from the legal rights group Adalah, said Makhoul decided to accept the plea deal after consultation with his defense team.

Under the deal, she said, the content of the indictment was reduced. The state is asking for 10 years imprisonment, while the defense is asking for seven, Kohn added.

Kohn said the decision to accept the deal was made after taking into consideration "the political climate now and the legal situation under Israeli law with so-called security charges, and given the history of rulings in Israeli courts dealing with such charges."

Kohn said she met Makhoul earlier on Wednesday. Asked about his condition, she said, "He's well. He's hopeful the court will rule for the minimal number of years."

"He understands his chances of being acquitted are slim," she added. She said the charges against him "in any other country should not have been basis for indictment."

A hearing is set for 5 December, when the court will decide whether to accept the plea deal reached between the prosecution and the defense.

Makhoul is the director of Ittijah, the Union of Arab Community-Based Organizations, and also chaired the High Arab Monitoring Committee's panel on defending Arab citizens' freedoms. He was arrested in May along with Omar Saeed, an activist with the Balad party.

The plea bargain was agreed upon in the Haifa District Court after being submitted on Tuesday.

A representative for the prosecution told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: "The plea bargain was approved by the highest ranking levels of prosecution, including the state prosecutor. Most importantly Makhoul, who claimed he was being politically persecuted at the beginning of this, now stands in front of the court and admits to the charges attributed to him."

Palestinian MP sentenced to administrative detention

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court on Monday sentenced a Hamas-affiliated member of the Palestinian Legislative council to six months of administrative detention.

Hatem Qafaish, elected to the Palestinian parliament in 2006 with Hamas' Change and Reform bloc, was detained after Israeli forces ransacked his home last Monday. The PLC member was detained on 6 November 2007 and placed under administrative detention until his release in 2009.

Administrative detention -- detainment without trial or charge -- is regularly handed down to Palestinians seized in the West Bank and is often prolonged without hearing or appeal.

According to Israel rights group B'tselem, Israel's use of administrative detention "blatantly violates" internationally-recognized restrictions on its use.

"It is carried out under the thick cover of privilege, which denies detainees the possibility of mounting a proper defense. Over the years, Israel has administratively detained thousands of Palestinian for prolonged periods of time, without prosecuting them, without informing them of the charges against them, and without allowing them or their attorneys to study the evidence," the rights group says.

Meanwhile, a top Shin Bet official on Monday asked the Knesset to extend a temporary order that allows the security service to detain Palestinian prisoners for four days without a hearing, Israeli media reported.

"The security situation in Israel has not changed over the past three years and there is therefore a need to extend the temporary order," the Shin Bet's head of investigations told the Knesset's legislative committee, Haaretz wrote.

According to the Ad-Dameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights organization, Qafaish had been detained by Israel five times prior to his latest detention. He was elected to the PLC in January 2006 after campaigning from his prison cell.

Qafaish was also among the more than 400 activists Israel deported to Marj Al-Zuhur in southern Lebanon in December 1992. After returning to the West Bank in 1993, he chronicled his experience in exile in a series of articles in the Al-Quds newspaper. He intended to eventually to publish a memoir, but the manuscript was confiscated by Israeli prison guards.

IOA holds MP Qufaisha in administrative custody
[ 26/10/2010 - 09:17 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Hamas MPs in the West Bank denounced the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) for holding their colleague MP Hatem Qufaisha, from Al-Khalil, in administrative detention for six months.
The Israeli military court in Ofer passed the sentence, which the Hamas lawmakers described as an evidence of the IOA inability to find a real reason or charge against the MP.
They issued a statement on Monday calling for an urgent international intervention to stop such arbitrary rulings against Palestinian detainees, especially when such verdicts are routinely renewed for many years without the detainees knowing the reason for their incarceration.
They said that remaining tight-lipped vis-à-vis such "criminal sentences" is a bigger crime than the verdicts themselves, lashing out at the world community and human rights groups for not budging to counter such practice, which they described as a violation of the international laws and norms.
The IOA had kidnapped Qufaisha, 49, from his home on 18 October and held him in Ofer detention center in Ramallah where the military court on Monday night decided to hold him in administrative detention.
Qufaisha, the father of six children, was held on many past occasions in IOA jails including three times after his election as member of the Palestinian legislative council in 2006.
He spent more than 110 months in IOA captivity since the mid eighties of the past century over separate intervals. He obtained the doctorate degree during his last detention at the Negev prison.

Monday, October 25, 2010

IOA renews isolation of Saadat despite his illness

[ 25/10/2010 - 06:09 PM ]

BEERSHEBA, (PIC)-- An Israeli military court has renewed the solitary confinement of Ahmed Saadat, the secretary general of the popular front of the liberation of Palestine, for the fourth time running despite his illness and the international condemnation campaign against his isolation.
The coordinator of the solidarity campaign with Saadat said in a press release on Monday that the court refused to discuss any appeals and quickly decided to renew his isolation until 21/4/2011 at the request of the Israeli security apparatuses, which asked for his isolation as long as he is in detention because he "poses threat to the security of Israel".
Saadat, who has been in isolation since 16/3/2009, is suffering from asthma and calcification in the neck vertebrae that prevent him from proper sleep. He is also deprived of family visits.
In a related context, the prison administration in Hadarim continued to impose solitary confinement on Hamas commander Zaher Jabarin for the 25th day running.
The Palestinian prisoner's association said that the isolation followed an inspection of his prison cell, adding that Jabarin, who has been in Israeli captivity for the past 19 years, is serving a life sentence.
Jabarin was "convicted" of planning to kidnap an Israeli soldier.


Military court extends solitary confinement of PFLP leader
Published Sunday 24/10/2010 22:46
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court on Sunday extended the solitary confinement of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine secretary-general Ahmad Sa'adat until 21 April 2011, PFLP said.

Sa'adat has already been held in solitary confinement in Ramon prison in Israel for 18 months, PFLP officials said, adding that the latest court decision also renewed a ban on visits for a further three months.

The officials described the ruling as unfair, illegitimate and arbitrary, and said it affirmed Israel's policy of punishing leaders of the national movement in Israeli jails. The PFLP would continue their solidarity campaign and confront the decision inside Palestinian territories and internationally, officials said.

Sa'adat has been imprisoned since 2002, and was sentenced in 2008 to a 30-year sentence.

Nafha prisoners go on warning hunger strike

[ 24/10/2010 - 04:00 PM ]

RAMALLAH / JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Inmates in the Israeli Nafha prison went on a warning hunger strike on Saturday for one day in cooperation with all of the political persuasions in the prison, rights groups in Palestine said.
Sources said the strike was in protest of recent recurring night raids carried out by the prison administration on prisoners’ cells and the prison’s solitary confinement policy, and  to improve poor jail conditions.
The Prisoners’ Supporters organization quoted one prison leader there as saying that the strike was a warning message to the general directorate of the prison to change its policies against prisoners, stop abuse, and improve conditions.
“The conditions in the prisons are in a state of turmoil… The Palestinian community must move with its political and social components to stand by its war prisoners,” said Ramzi Al Najjar, vice president of the Prisoners' Supporters organization.
In other developments, Sunday marks nine years of detention for Ibtesam Mohammed Issawi, the Tadhamon (Solidarity) Foundation for Human Rights said.
Tadhamon researcher Ahmed Al Beitawi said Isssawi was taken by police from her home in Jebel Al Mobakkir near Jerusalem on Oct. 24, 2001 and was then transferred to several interrogation centers before being sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of resisting Israeli occupation.
Issawi’s parents are living in Jordan and have been prohibited from visiting her since the first day of her detention. The Israeli prison authority has denied several requests by her to talk to her parents on the phone.
Issawi, who languishes in the Damon prison, is a wife and mother of six children.
Three women from Jerusalem remain in Israeli jails. They have been identified as: Sina Mohammed Shahada, who is serving 3 life sentences and 30 years, Nada Ata Dirbas, who faces 6 years, and Sabirin Ismail Meshaal.

IOF soldiers detain Omar Barghouthi days after his release from PA jail

[ 24/10/2010 - 02:52 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Sunday arrested liberated prisoner Omar Al-Barghouthi, the brother of the longest serving Palestinian prisoner in occupation jails, only few days after his release from PA detention.
Local sources told the PIC that IOF troops had stormed the house of Barghouthi in Kuwair town, Ramallah district, after midnight a few days ago but did not find him and left him a summons to Beit El on Sunday. He went there and was arrested.
The PA in Ramallah had released Omar only a few days ago after his brother Na'el, who is still being held in occupation jails for 33 years, and his cousin Fakhri, the longest serving Fatah prisoner, and his son Shadi, who is serving 29 years sentence, declared a hunger strike in protest over his detention in PA jails.
Omar was recently released from occupation prisons after serving 22 years in captivity and his detention by the PA then the IOF reflected the growing security coordination between the two parties.

IOA refuses to release Palestinian prisoner after serving his term

[ 25/10/2010 - 11:40 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) is refusing to release Palestinian prisoner Shadi Abul Hussein despite ending his seven-year sentence on 31/8/2010, a Palestinian human rights group said.
The prisoners' center for studies said in a statement on Monday that Abul Hussein, 34, was living with his family in Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, at the time of his arrest. The IOA claims that he did not obtain a Palestinian identity card and thus could not return to the Strip.
It added that the Negev prison administration, where the prisoner is held, threatened him with solitary confinement or transfer to another prison in the event he continued his strike. The IOA proposed deporting Abul Hussein to other countries such as Yemen or Lebanon.
The center appealed to the Ramallah ministry of prisoners, the Red Cross and other official and non-governmental organizations to pressure the IOA into allowing him to return to his family.

New photos of Israeli soldiers humiliating Palestinian detainees disclosed

[ 25/10/2010 - 11:27 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- A Hebrew website unveiled on Sunday new photos showing sadist Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip humiliating and scoffing at blindfolded and handcuffed Palestinian prisoners, while Al-Ahrar center for prisoners' studies revealed a picture for a little girl being surrounded by another group of soldiers.
The website Walla said that the images were taken inside homes in Gaza and showing Palestinian prisoners being humiliated by Israeli soldiers. The photos were posted on Facebook website as souvenirs.
In one of these images two Israeli soldiers were pointing their weapons at a blindfolded detainee, while another one shows a soldier carrying his gun besides a Palestinian woman from Gaza inside a kitchen.
A third picture was taken for a soldier as he finished writing "we will come back soon" and below it he drew the star of David.
For its part, Al-Ahrar center was able to get a picture for a Palestinian girl blindfolded and handcuffed with her hand behind her back and her knees on the floor as four Israeli soldiers were pointing their guns and laughing provocatively at her.
Director of the center Fouad Al-Khafsh said that the picture proved how sadistic the Israeli soldiers are and how they find their great pleasure in the suffering of their detainees and appealed to the girl in the photo or anyone knowing her to contact the center so as to take legal action against the Israeli army.

Israeli Soldiers Continue Their Facebook Displays

author Monday October 25, 2010 00:51author by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies Report post
The Israeli Walla News Website published, on Sunday, several pictures by Israeli soldiers on Facebook showing “memories” while humiliating Palestinians during the war on Gaza.
The Website said that the pictures show Palestinian detainees in degrading positions as the soldiers posed next to them.

The pictures were taken inside Palestinian homes that were broken into by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip.

One of the pictures shows two soldiers pointing their guns at the head of a bound and blindfolded Palestinian, another picture shows a soldiers writing “We will be back” and drawing the star of David at the wall of a Palestinian home.

A third picture shows a soldier carrying his gun near a Palestinian woman inside her kitchen.

A spokesperson for the Israeli army stated that the soldier said that "he is sorry" because the Break the Silence Israeli group “continues to leak such pictures to the media instead of filing complaints to the army”.

He claimed that the Military Police will investigate the incidents and will submit its findings to the Military Prosecutors’ Office.

Several days ago, the Israeli army decided to ban the soldiers and officers from using social network sites in military bases.

Websites like Facebook, Twitter and Gmail were blocked in these bases not because the soldiers are publishing photos of abuse of Palestinians, but because the army of the military bases in question “have classified materials on their computers.”

This past August, photos of an Israeli female soldier posing in front of Palestinian detainees were posted on Facebook, were met with anger by Palestinians.

The photos were posted by Eden Abergil, a young Israeli woman who finished her military service over a year ago. They show the uniformed officer smiling and posing next to bound and blindfolded Palestinian men.

Abergil’s album that was posted on Facebook was titled "IDF...The best time of my life :)".
The image of the soldier posing in front of the handcuffed and blind folded Palestinians was compared to those of American soldiers posing in front of Iraqi prisoners being tortured in Abu Ghreib prison in Iraq few years ago.

When asked by a CNN host about this comparison, the former Israeli commando and author of a book Brotherhood of Warriors, Aaron Cohen said, what you see are “Palestinians who are handcuffed, sitting down and not stacked up on top of each other.” 


Prisoner committee appeals for allowing doctors to visit patient in Israeli jail

[ 25/10/2010 - 10:38 AM ]

JENIN, (PIC)-- The Palestinian prisoner committee appealed to all concerned organizations to pressure Israel to allow a specialist doctor to have access to patient Munir Hussein who lost his ability to walk normally due to an unknown illness.
The committee stated Sunday that the Negev prison administration refused to conduct medical tests on Hussein to identify his health problem.
The prisoner told the lawyer who was sent by the committee to visit him that two years ago, he started to complain of severe pain in his feet, but the prison administration as usual did not care until further complications affected his feet in particular and his health in general.
He added that whenever his health seriously deteriorates and is sent to the infirmary, the doctors there refuse to perform medical tests on him and make do with providing him with painkillers.
The committee expressed its deep concern over the life of the prisoner, affirming that he is being slowly killed by the Negev prison administration.
For its part, Mandela institute for human rights and political prisoners said that the lives of many Palestinian prisoners in Ohlikdar solitary prison are in grave danger and their difficult incarceration conditions are hidden from the media.
In a report issued Sunday, representative of Mandela institute Buthaina Duqmaq said she met with prisoner Ahed Abu Ghalma who was transferred to his isolation cell from Jericho prison in March 2006 and now he is serving a life sentence in addition to five years.
The prisoner told Duqmaq that many of the prisoners who are in solitary confinement in this prison are exposed to maltreatment and suffer from psychological problems.
He cited as an example what happened to isolated prisoner Mansour Al-Shahatit who was tied up from his legs and hands for two days because he only asked one of the wardens to bring him something.

Abu Ghalma also said that the prison administration ignores the deteriorating health condition of Shahatit and refuses to provide him with any medical treatment.
In another incident, Palestinian sources from inside Ramon prison reported that the Israeli Dror unit used to suppress Palestinian prisoners intensified its attacks against the detainees during this month, especially in rooms number 68, 69 and 70.
The sources added that more than 40 soldiers of this unit stormed these rooms many times during the month, dismantled doors, windows and cupboards, tampered with the prisoners' personal belongings and removed tiles and manhole covers in bathrooms at the pretext of searching for banned stuff.
The search raids started from 10 o'clock in the morning till six pm and the soldiers also used electronic devices to detect what they were looking for. 
The prison administration issued punitive measures against a number of prisoners and deprived many of them from going out of their solitary cells to spend their leisure time, according to the sources.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bil’in organizer sentenced to 18 months

21 October 2010 | Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Adeeb Abu Rahmah, a protest leader from Bil’in, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment by the Military Court of Appeals, for his involvement in organizing demonstrations. The decision dramatically aggravates the one-year sentence originally imposed in the first instance.
Judge Lieutenant Colonel Benisho of the Military Court of Appeals accepted the Military prosecution’s appeal in Adeeb Abu Rahmah’s case today, which demanded to harshen the already heavy-handed one-year sentence imposed on him by the prior instance back in July. The court sentenced Abu Rahmah 18 months of imprisonment with bail of 6,000 NIS and suspended sentence of 1 year. An appeal filed by the defense both on the severity of the punishment and on the conviction itself was denied.
Adeeb Abu Rahmah’s sentence is the first to be handed by the Military Court of Appeals in a series of recent trials against high-profile Palestinian anti-Wall grassroots organizers. The harsh and imbalanced decision is likely to affect other cases, most notably that of Abdallah Abu Rahmah – the Bil’in organizer declared human rights defender by the EU – who was too recently sentenced to a year in jail by the first instance of the military court.
Adeeb Abu Rahmah’s case relied heavily on the forced confessions of four minors arrested in nighttime raids by Israeli soldiers. The four attested in court to having been coerced into incriminating Abu Rahmah and other organizers during the course of their police investigations. They were also questioned unlawfully, denied consol and without their parents being presents and, in some cases, late at night.
The ruling in the appeal concludes 15 months of unfair legal procedures, held amidst a massive Israeli arrest campaign, which ended with an upheld conviction of incitement, activity against the public order and entering a closed military zone.
This precedent-setting decision is the first time in recorded history of the Israeli Military Court of Appeals in which a Palestinian is convicted with a charge of incitement. Even the original one year sentence dramatically exceeds precedents set by the Israeli Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals’ even harsher sentence highlights the lack of equality before the law between Israelis and Palestinians, who are tried before two different legal systems. For instance, in a case of a Jewish settler convicted of incitement to murder, the court only imposed an eight months suspended sentence.
Attorney Gaby Lasky (Defense): “Today the court of appeals has shown that it is serving as one more instance of political repression not as an actual court where justice is served. The court admitted what we all knew – that the entire system is trying to make an example of Adeeb in order to silence the entire Popular Struggle movement against Israel’s occupation.”


Having served his original one-year prison term in full, Adeeb Abu Rahmah should have been released immediately after hearing the sentence. The military prosecution, which hoped for an even harsher sentence as part of its ongoing efforts to use legal persecution to suppress the Palestinian popular struggle, petitioned the Military Court of Appeals, asking that Abu Rahmah remains incarcerated despite having served his sentence.
In a clearly politically motivated decision, Judge Lieutenant Colonel Benisho of the Military Court of Appeals decided to remand Abu Rahmah until a decision in the appeal, saying that “This is an appeal filed to set the proper punishment in a unique case regarding which a general punishment level has not yet been set.” The judge chose to completely ignore the punishment level set forth by the supreme court in similar and even harsher cases. Benisho also ignored a supreme court precedent instructing the courts to only extend the remand of convicts past the time they were sentenced to in very extreme situations.
Updated on October 21, 2010

PCHR weekly report 14/10 - 20/10/2010: 8 Palestinians arrested during incursions including 1 child and 1 MP, 3 Palestinians and 2 Israelis arrested during demonstrations, 1 Palestinian arrested at checkpoint

extracts from PCHR weekly report 14/10 - 20/10/2010:

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 continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank.

- IOF arrested 5 demonstrators, including two Israeli human rights defenders. 

 IOF conducted 34 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and 5 limited ones into the Gaza Strip.  
- IOF arrested 7 Palestinian civilians, including a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Israel has continued to take measures aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem. 
 IOF arrested a Palestinian child who was run down by an Israeli settler in Silwan village.

   Israel has continued to impose a total siege on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
- Israeli troops stationed at military checkpoints and border crossings in the West Bank arrested at least one Palestinian civilian.

Thursday, 14 October 2010  

· At approximately 01:25, IOF moved into Seilat al-Harthiya village, northwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mahmoud Mas'oud Jaradat, 48, and arrested him.

· At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Tammoun village, south of Tubas. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Jawad Matar Bani 'Ouda, 40.

· At approximately 01:45, IOF moved into al-Yamoun village, northwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mohammed Qaher Fraihat, 21. 

Monday, 18 October 2010

· At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Harayiq neighborhood in the southwest of Hebron. They besieged a 3-storey apartment building belonging to the family of Hatem Rabah Qaffisha, 50. They raided Qaffisha's flat and arrested him. It is worth noting that had been detained by IOF several time. The last time, he was released from Israeli jails in November 2009.

· At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They raided a house belonging to Ahmed al-Hamshari, and from it, they threw stones at a neighboring house belonging to Sufian Ahmed Staiti, 38. When Staiti got out of his house to check what was going on, IOF arrested him. 

Also at approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Far'a refugee camp, south of Tubas. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested Mohammed 'Ali 'Abbas, 24, a university student.  

Tuesday, 19 October 2010 


 Also at approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of 'Aayed Mohammed Braighaith, 20, and arrested him. 

 Also following the Friday Prayer on 15 October 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, in protest against land confiscations in the Wad al-Raya area between the villages of Nabi Saleh and Deir Nizam. When the demonstrators attempted to reach areas of land seized by Israeli settlers near "Halmish" settlement, Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 'Omar Saleh al-Tamimi, 21, was hit by a tear gas canister to the right foot. A number of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation. Israeli undercover units that were deployed among the demonstrators arrested two Israeli human rights defenders, but released them later. They also arrested 3 Palestinian civilians: Mohammed 'Atallah Tamimi, 21; Mahdi 'Abdul Wahab Tamimi, 19; and Malek Talal Tamimi, 21. 

Arrests at Military Checkpoints

· At approximately 08:00 on Thursday, 14 October 2010, Israeli soldiers stationed at a checkpoint near the western intersection of Yatta village, south of Hebron, arrested 'Aadel 'Abdul Fattah 'Amru, 29, from Dura village southwest of Hebron. 

At approximately 05:00 on Sunday, 17 October 2010, IOF moved into Wad Hilwa area in Silwan village to the south of the old town of Jerusalem. They raided a house belonging to the family of 'Omran Mufeed Mansour, 12, who was run down by an Israeli settler on 08 October 2010, and arrested him. IOF interrogated the child and detained him until 13:30, when an Israeli court ordered his release, but placed him under house arrest and ordered his family to pay a fine of 2,000 NIS (approximately US$ 550). According to the child's parents, the child has been suffering from extreme fear a tension since the time he was run down by the Israeli settler. He have been suffering from psychological problems, including isolation and forced urination. 

Palestinian prisoners in Negev complain of their incarceration conditions

[ 24/10/2010 - 11:14 AM ]

NEGEV, (PIC)-- Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli desert prison Negev have complained of their incarceration conditions after the Israeli prison administration tightened its repressive measures against them.
In a message leaked out of jail on Saturday, the prisoners said that the administration serves them poor quantity meals and impure water in addition to blocking entry of new clothes for them.
They also complained of poor medical treatment, adding that prison doctors treat all health complaints with the Acamol pill only as if it was the magic medication for all illnesses.
The prisoners said that the prison jailors daily storm their wards under trivial security pretexts just to destabilize them.
They said that they suffer scorching heat in summer and severe cold in winter, adding that they mostly fear the proximity of the Dimona nuclear reactor and the possibility of developing cancer as a result in future.

PA security arrests preacher two weeks after release from Israel

[ 24/10/2010 - 09:58 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- PA intelligence arrested Islamic preacher Majid Hassan “Abu Obeida” after interviewing him for the third time since his release two weeks back after serving three years in administrative detention in Israeli prisons.
Abu Obeida was reportedly arrested by Israeli forces from his home in Ain Misbah on Nov. 12, 2007 at the same time that his wife Nada Al Jayyousi was being held in the Israeli Talmond prison for women in wait for a verdict from the military court.
He was released on Thursday Oct. 7, 2010 and less than four days later summoned to the general intelligence headquarters in Ramallah and questioned for hours about the role and activity of Al Wahdawi in the Israeli Negev prison. His ID card was confiscated to guarantee his return on Saturday Oct. 16, when he was quizzed again for another six hours before intelligence asked him to return on Oct. 23, when he was arrested.
Majid Hassan is a prestigious religious figure in Ramallah noted for his high patriotism and interest in national unity. He played a key role in bridging the gap between Palestinian factions in 2004-2005.
Born in Deir Sudan, 20 km northwest of Ramallah, on July 20, 1963, Hassan graduated from the Bir Zait University majoring in accounting. His wife Nada Al Jayyousi, also a known preacher, has been summoned and harassed by PA security forces in Ramallah on several occasions.
Abu Obeida was detained five times in Israeli jails, the first time on 1991, and has spent a total of eight years in Israel detention centers.
Hassan was also previously arrested by PA security forces for the first time in 1998 and a second time in 2001.

Haneyya: Prisoners issue must be made international

[ 23/10/2010 - 04:09 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneyya announced he will assume all expenses of an Arab-international tour by a delegation from the families of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention aimed at publicizing their cause to the world.
Speaking at the international Palestinian POW conference held by the “Innovation” foundation for consulting and training in part with the Palestinian prisoners ministry Saturday morning in Gaza, Haneyya called on Arabs to turn the prisoners issue from a Palestinian issue into an Arab, Islamic, and international issue.
Liberation is the goal
“All of the Palestinian factions work for one goal, which is to free the war prisoners in Israeli jails, and this conference comes in this context: to serve the cause and discuss all of the means to achieve this goal,” Haneyya said.
“It is true that we are looking for a decent life for prisoners and their families, but this is a secondary goal, and the major objective is to achieve freedom and liberation for these heroes,” he added.
“We cannot feel full freedom and dignity unless these heroes are freed,” he went on to say.
Political arrests in the West Bank
The Prime Minister said it is shameful that there are Palestinians imprisoned over politics, and resistance.
Haneyya called on the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to free political prisoners detained in their jurisdiction over politics or for affiliation with Palestinian resistance groups.
“It is a shame to talk about war prisoners in Israeli jails, while there are hundreds of them in the [Palestinian] Authority jails, among them women,” the Palestinian PM said.
“There must not remain any Palestinian person in any prison over his work for the sake of Palestinian liberation, especially since our security is part of Arab security, and we do not have any thought of meddling with Arab security.”
Internationalization of the issue

“Every delegation from Western countries who comes to Gaza talks about Shalit to resistance factions. In contrast, who speaks about the 8,000 Palestinian prisoners?”

“How can one captured soldier be given worldwide attention, and the issue of 8,000 prisoners be ignored?”
Haneyya said it his government’s responsibility to turn their issue into an issue of international concern.
He announced the government will assist travel of this delegation to other countries to clarify the war prisoners’ cause.
Release of prisoners
The Palestinian Prime Minister decided today to free a group of detainees in Gaza in honor of the Lifeline 5 humanitarian aid convoy that came to break the Gaza siege and take part in the international conference for war prisoners.
Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Ihab Al Ghusein told the PIC by phone that the Palestinian government in Gaza decided to free 20 prisoners in Gaza in honor of the convoy.
Ghusein said the government will hold a press conference at 3:00pm Saturday to implement the Prime Minister’s decision to the prisoners who served two-thirds of their full sentences.
“The government’s objective is only to detain people as much as would give them guidance and direction,” the interior spokesman said, expressing hope that the detainees have benefited from the time they served.
He assured that there are no political prisoners in Gaza jails, and that the prisoners who were released were detained for legal violations.

Haniyeh: World must act to free prisoners

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Gaza government Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Saturday called on the international community to act on the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

At a conference in Gaza City, the Hamas leader noted that every visitor to the Gaza Strip talked about captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit but ignored more than 8,000 Palestinian prisoners detained by Israel.

Haniyeh said there were no detention centers in Gaza for political prisoners and that there never would be. He appealed to Arab leaders, in particular Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, to release Palestinian prisoners detained in Arab countries for their political affiliation.

"It is shameful that political prisoners are held in Palestine and in Arab countries while we demand that Israel releases our prisoners," Haniyeh said.

The Gaza premier called on his government's Prisoners' Affairs Ministry to form a delegation of detainees' relatives to visit Arab and European countries as advocates for prisoners' rights at an international level. The delegation should include families of Palestinian detainees and those detained in other Arab countries, he said, adding that his government would fund all expenses for the tour.

Prisoner Abu Shakhdam almost lost eyesight due to medical neglect

[ 23/10/2010 - 02:17 PM ]

Al-KHALIL, (PIC)-- The Palestinian prisoner society said that Palestinian prisoner Firas Abu Shakhdam is in serious health condition and almost lost his eyesight as a result of the deliberate medical neglect policy pursued in the Israeli Negev prison and Ramla hospital.
The prisoner told the society that he is suffering from serious problems in his eyes and not provided with proper medical treatment, adding that the doctor in Ramla hospital told him he needs cornea transplants, although the medical devices he used to examine him were very old and its results are undependable.
He added that he became deprived of reading and writing because of his eye problems resulting from the medical neglect.

The prisoner also suffered from acute pain in his abdomen after one of the Israeli doctors proscribed him a medicine without medical tests which led to an acute rupture of his intestines and caused him to bleed a lot of blood and yellow pus.
The prisoner said he asked the prison administration many times to have his stomach x-rayed but to no avail, which made his health condition badly deteriorates.
The society considered the policy of medical neglect as part of an Israeli plan aimed at killing Palestinian prisoners and undermining their steadfastness.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Freed Prisoner Kifah Afaneh: Full-body Searches Routine for Female Prisoners

19.10.10 - 13:51

Mustafa Sabri – PNN/Exclusive - Recently released prisoner Kifah Afaneh said in an interview that female detainees like her often risk being strip-searched in prison. They fear the interrogation room, she said, where they are stripped in front of hidden cameras as part of procedures at the central prison.

Afaneh added that female prisoners, like other Palestinian detainees, first faced military courts before being transferred from one prison to another. Female jailers then demand that they remove all their clothing piece by piece before examining them thoroughly, often provoking or insulting them in the process.

“It’s a horrific scene,” said Afaneh. “We’re scared they’ll take pictures of us with hidden cameras or cell phones. Ehsan Dababseh was with me in one room before she was released and that dancing video was made with the soldiers’ camera phones.”

“The occupation always says these are isolated incidents,” she continued, “but I’m certain these things happen on a daily basis, and the prison directors know about every one. What is preventing these jailers from making us undergo this treatment, from taking pictures of us naked and putting them on YouTube? It is to break the will of the prisoners and our dignity and to humiliate our families. The occupation knows what it will mean for our honor as Palestinians and Muslims.”

Afaneh said inspections happen suddenly at night, without warning, whereupon they are split into groups and forbidden from covering any part of their bodies. Each one is isolated, tortured, and beaten, she said, and many have their hair pulled.

Afaneh said how important it was to expose the occupation’s practices and stop strip-searches, particularly of women. The prison authorities, she said, didn’t have any humanitarian standards or moral guidelines in their treatment of Palestinians.

The International Solidarity Movement recently released findings showing that seven prisoners came from Nablus, six from Ramallah, four each from Hebron, Tulkarem, and Jerusalem, three from Jenin, and two from Bethlehem.

Report: Barghouthi to be freed in Shalit deal

Published yesterday (updated) 19/10/2010 21:40
MEDINA, Saudi Arabia (Ma'an) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to release Fatah strongman Marwan Barghouthi in a prisoner swap deal for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit when finalized, a Saudi Arabian newspaper reported Tuesday.

According to Al-Madina, quoting sources, the German mediator told Hamas that Barghouthi would be freed but other prisoners on the Islamist movement's list would not.

Barghouthi's wife Fadwa told a German anti-nuclear war delegation visiting Ramallah that she too had also received word that her husband would be released in the prisoner swap deal.

The Fatah leader, convicted in 2004, has been on the list of nearly 1,000 prisoners Hamas hopes to release in exchange for Shalit but the Israeli government has previously refused to concede. Many on the list are high-ranking Palestinian factional leaders.

Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid in 2006. Previous talks collapsed when Israel refused Hamas' demand that it released prisoners "with blood on their hands."

In early October, an Israeli minister said his government should consider the release of such prisoners if it would secure Shalit's return.

The report follows confirmation on Sunday by the Israeli government that talks on the prisoner swap deal have resumed after months of stalemate.

However, the soldier's grandfather Zvi Shalit told the Army Radio that Netanyahu's claims were false, and that the premier was killing Gilad by failing to secure his freedom, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

On the same day, Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said that the German mediator had visited Gaza to discuss a prisoner swap deal, but said no progress had been made on the issue.

The visit did not signify a resumption of talks on the deal, Taha said, describing the mediator's visit as "exploratory," in an interview with Ma'an Radio. The mediator brought no new information, he said at the time.

DCI Detention Bulletin - Issue 09 - September 2010

October 12, 2010

Detention Bulletin - Issue 09 - September 2010

DCI-Palestine's monthly bulletin on detention issues.
Detention Bulletin - Issue 09 - September 2010

Hamas MP Romanein released after four-and-a-half year detention

[ 20/10/2010 - 09:22 AM ]

JERICHO, (PIC)-- Change and Reform bloc representative in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Ali Romanein from the West Bank city of Jericho was released Tuesday night after serving four and a half years in Israeli detention.
Romanein is one of the most prominent Hamas activists in Jericho. He was arrested June 26, 2006 and sentenced to four and half years in prison.
Six other Hamas representatives in the PLC remain detained in Israeli occupation since the occupation's fierce arrest campaign in wake of the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Palestinian resistance factions.
The international campaign for the release of MPs in Israeli jails said Israel has “failed miserably in its attempt to get rid of MPs by abducting them ever since they were elected as legal representatives in fair elections.”
The campaign congratulated Romanein on his release in a statement it made Tuesday night, calling it a victory for the representatives of the Palestinian people.
The campaign added that Israel has not achieved its objectives by taking away the people’s representatives, but only increased the people’s rallying around their representatives. Israel has not prospered in suppressing their positions, for the sake of which they sacrificed years in prison.
The imprisonment of elected lawmakers without legal justification is a blatant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Hamas MP released after 4 years in prison

 JERICHO (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities on Tuesday released a Hamas-affiliated lawmaker who served 54 months in prison.

Ali Rumanin of Jericho was seized in 2006 as a bargaining chip following the capture of an Israeli soldier in Gaza.

Without accusing them of involvement, Israel arrested 45 Hamas lawmakers in the aftermath of the abduction in June 2006.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to release Fatah strongman Marwan Barghouthi in a prisoner swap deal for the captured soldier, a Saudi newspaper reported Tuesday.

According to Al-Madina, quoting unnamed sources, a German mediator told Hamas that Barghouthi would be freed but other prisoners on the Islamist movement's list would not.

Barghouthi's wife Fadwa told a German anti-nuclear war delegation visiting Ramallah that she too had also received word that her husband would be released in the swap deal.

The Fatah leader, convicted in 2004, has been on the list of nearly 1,000 prisoners Hamas hopes to release in exchange for Shalit but the Israeli government has previously refused to concede. Many on the list are high-ranking Palestinian factional leaders.

Gilad Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid in 2006. Previous talks collapsed when Israel refused Hamas' demand that it released prisoners "with blood on their hands."

In early October, an Israeli minister said his government should consider the release of such prisoners if it would secure Shalit's return.

The report follows confirmation on Sunday by the Israeli government that talks on the prisoner swap deal have resumed after months of stalemate.

However, the soldier's grandfather Zvi Shalit told Army Radio that Netanyahu's claims were false, and that the premier was killing Gilad by failing to secure his freedom, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

On the same day, Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said that the German mediator had visited Gaza to discuss a prisoner swap deal, but said no progress had been made on the issue.

The visit did not signify a resumption of talks on the deal, Taha said, describing the mediator's visit as "exploratory," in an interview with Ma'an. The mediator brought no new information, he said at the time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Prisoners advocate says detainee's life in jeopardy

TUBAS (Ma’an) -- The detainees’ center in Tubas called human rights organizations and the Red Cross to intervene and save a sick detainee whose as his illness progresses in detention at Israel's Ramon prison.

Imad Al-Masri was detained 20 years earlier when he was sentenced to life in prison. Detainee advocates have accused the Israeli Prison Service of failing to offer adequate treatment for the undisclosed illness.

The head of the detainees’ center Mahmoud Sawafta said Israel was responsible for the man's life.

Rights group calls for immediate release of prisoner in critical condtion

[ 18/10/2010 - 01:03 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- The International Tadamun (Solidarity) Foundation for human rights said the Israeli prison authority continues to detain Kifah Awni Qatsh despite her critical health condition.
Ahmed Al-Beitawi, a researcher at the foundation, said that Qatsh, a sufferer of immunodeficiency, has developed a case similar to gangrene, that has begun to eat away at her hand. Several of her fingers were amputated due to lack of blood to the limbs.
“Qatsh was diagnosed with severe narrowing of the limb arteries ten years back. The disease moved from her chest to the mouth and gums, causing her to lose some of her teeth. The disease then traveled to her limbs resulting in the amputation of her fingers. The prisoner has also sustained other illnesses, such as rheumatism, stomach ulcers, and a breathing crisis,” Beitawi added.
The researcher called for the immediate release of Qatsh based on her health condition, which requires doubled attention, especially as the winter approaches, when her health is expected to worsen from the cold and lack of care.
Qatsh, who is a wife and mother of one boy and a girl, was arrested from her home on August 1, 2010 before she was transferred to the Israeli Hasharon prison to serve 4 months of administrative detention.