Sunday, November 28, 2010

Two Detainees In Israeli Prisons Start Hunger Strike

Sunday November 28, 2010 10:12 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

The Ahrar Center for Detainees’ Studies and Human Rights reported that Sheikh Jamal Abu Al Haija, 52, from the Jenin refugee camp, and detainee Ahed Abu Ghalama, 42, from Beit Forik near Hebron, started an open-ended hunger strike three days ago demanding to be removed from solitary and to be allowed visitations.
Fuad Al Khuffash, head of the Center, stated Saturday that the two detainees are demanding the prison administration to end its illegal practices against them.

Al Khuffash added that Abu Al Haija was placed in solitary confinement six years ago despite the fact they he suffers several health issues.

The prison administration has been moving him from one facility to another since last year, and continues to prevent his sixteen-year-old daughter, Sajida, from visiting him.

Also, detainee Ahed Abu Ghalama is receiving a renewed solidarity confinement order every six months, and is denied his visitation rights.

His wife, Wafa’, stated that insists to remain on hunger strike until he receives his legitimate rights, guaranteed by the International law.

Al Khuffash said that several detainees are considering an open-ended hunger strike to protest Israel’s illegal practices against them, and to demand that the Prison Administration ends all solitary confinement policies against all detainees, as this policy is a form of collective punishment targeting the detainees and their families.

He stated that there are 10 detainees, including Ahmad Al Mughrabi, Hasan Salama, Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Sadaat, and Abdullah Barghouthi, who are under permanent solitary confinement.

Dozens of detainees are currently under solitary confinement for various periods as the prison administration uses this policy as a form of punishment against them.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Detained Palestinian Legislator Released

Wednesday November 17, 2010 14:30 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies reported Wednesday that the Israeli Prison Authorities released, on Tuesday evening, one of the detained Palestinian Legislators, from the Tubas district in the central West Bank.
Legislator Ayma Daraghma -
Legislator Ayma Daraghma -

Ayman Daraghma, member of Hamas’ Change and Reform Bloc, was kidnapped from his home in March 2009 and never faced charged.

He was instead placed under Administrative Detention until he was sent, on Tuesday, to the Ofer Israeli Military court.

Last week, Israeli soldiers abducted legislators Mahmoud al-Ramahi and Hatem Qfeisha.

Meanwhile, detained Legislators Bassem al-Zaarir from Hebron, and Abdul-Jabbar Foqaha from Ramallah, received renewed administrative detention orders for the fifth consecutive time. Their detention was extended by four more months; no charges were presented against them.

Currently, the number of elected Palestinian legislators, imprisoned by Israel, stands at nine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Statistics Show 6700 Prisoners Including 283 Children, 35 Women

10.11.10 - 11:49 Bethlehem – PNN - Abdul Nasir Farwaneh, director of the statistics department of the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs, said 6700 Palestinians are in Israeli prison, including 283 children and 35 women. About 70,000 have been jailed since the 2000 al-Aqsa Intifada.
Since the beginning of the 1967 occupation, more than 750,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned including tens of thousands of women and children. Seventy thousand have been imprisoned since the beginning of the Second Intifada in September 2000, including 820 women and 8000 children.
Many of these prisoners, according to Farwaneh, are “deprived of their basic human rights, exposed to the dangers of death, injury, or various illnesses, clearly violating international treaties and laws.”
The 6700 prisoners are split among 20 Israeli prisons and include 192 imprisoned without charge under the “administrative detention” law, five Gazan “unlawful combatants,” and nine Palestinian lawmakers.
Of the prisoners, 82.5% are from the West Bank, 10.4% from the Gaza Strip, and 6% of other Arab nationalities. Eight hundred twenty are serving life sentences, 598 were sentenced to more than 20 years,  479 are serving between 15 and 20 years, 1782 are serving sentences between 5 and 15 years, and only 15 prisoners will live less than a year in jail.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gaza prisoners ass'n says detainees need coats

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Center for Detainees in Gaza City said Wednesday that they had received word from several inmates kept in Israeli detention centers that they were in dire need of warm clothing and blankets.

The complaints, the center said, came from the Ramon and Nafha prisons, in central Israel and the Negev dessert.

Because none of the relatives of the detained men and women from Gaza are permitted to receive family visits - with bans still in place for Gaza mothers and fathers wishing to see their detained children - families cannot deliver the necessary warm clothing that the prison service does not provide.

The statement appealed the Red Cross to intervene and allow parents and siblings in Gaza to visit their relatives in prison to bring warm clothing for the winter.

Hamas denounces political arrest of senior PLC member

[ 10/11/2010 - 04:26 PM ]

DAMASCUS, (PIC)-- The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas strongly denounced Israeli authorities for the arrest of senior Palestinian Legislative Council official Mahmoud Al Ramahi Wednesday, calling for his immediate release.
The resistance group condemned in a statement it issued Wednesday the move as a “crime”, adding that Israeli authorities seek to silence “anyone who calls to protect and restore Palestinian national rights”.
The group said it holds the Israeli government fully responsible for the life and well-being of Dr. Ramahi, calling on the Palestinian Authority and Fatah parties to put an end to all forms of security coordination, “which grants the occupation a cover for more crimes against the land and people.”
PLC chief Dr. Aziz Dweik, addressing the media Wednesday, called on politicians the world over to stand in the face of Israel’s “disregard of the Palestinian people and their legitimate leaders”, also calling on decision-makers to uphold their responsibilities toward the Palestinian people and preserve their democratic choice when choosing their legal representatives.
Fouad Al-Khafsh, director of the Ahrar human rights center in Palestine, said Ramahi’s arrest demonstrates Israel’s complete denial of Palestine’s legitimacy, abuse of every sense of democracy,  and real disregard of all international conventions and norms, which provide elected politicians complete immunity, especially from foreign entities.
“This was the second time Dr. Mahmoud Al Ramahi was arrested while he was a member of the legislative council. He was abducted Aug. 20, 2006 and released March 31, 2009 after spending 33 months in detention; and it was the third time in Dr. Mahmoud al-Ramahi’s history, as he was placed in detention  Feb. 16, 1992 until Apr. 15., 1995.”
Ramahi’s wife told the Ahrar center that a large Israeli military force raided their Al-Beira home at 3:00am in the West Bank city of Ramallah Wednesday morning and took him to an unknown destination after requesting that he leave with them.
Khafsh added that Anas Halayeqa, son of PLC member Samira Al-Halayeqa, and PLC member representing Al-Khalil Hatim Qufaisha, MP Al-Za’arir, and Abdul-Jabir Fuqaha from Ramahllah were also recently detained by Israeli forces.
Rights groups in Palestine assert that Israel’s unjustified spree of arrests against politicians is aimed at impairing the PLC until it becomes unable to pass decisions.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said Ramahi was detained to deliberately exclude him form the outside world, adding that Israeli forces have abducted almost all West Bank and Jerusalem PLC members, especially those nominally allied under the title of “Islamic representatives”.
A total of ten PLC members have been placed in Israeli detention, seven of them belonging to the Change and Reform Bloc. They have been identified as: Hassan Yousef, Mohammed Abu Teir, Basim Al-Za’arir, Abdel-Jabir Al-Fuqaha, Dr. Ayman Daraghima, Dr,. Hatim Qufaisha, and Dr. Mahmoud Al-Ramahi. Fatah party MPs Marwan Al-Barghouthi and Jamal Al-Teirawi, and Popular Front MP Ahmad Saadat have also been detained.

Tadamun: Nassif suspends hunger strike

[ 10/11/2010 - 03:56 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Hamas detained leader Ra'fat Nassif has stopped his hunger strike, which he started nine days earlier, the international Tadamun institution for human rights reported on Wednesday.
Ahmed Al-Beitawi, a researcher at the institution, said that Nassif temporarily halted his strike after the Israeli prison services (IPS) promised to give him his full rights as an administrative detainee. Nassif threatened to return to his strike in the event the IPS did not live up to its promises, he added.
Beitawi noted that Nassif's health condition deteriorated during the strike as his body suffered shortage in white blood cells and acute fall in blood sugar level leading to repeated fainting. He said, however, that his condition stabilized after ending the strike.
The Israeli occupation authority arrested Nassif in his Tulkarem home on 19/3/2009 and was since then held in administrative custody, without trial or charge. He has thus served nine years in administrative detention on aggregate.
International laws prohibit administrative detention, but if present they stipulated special treatment and rights different from the ordinary prisoner. The IPS refuses to apply those rules to the Palestinian detainees.

Ahrar center slams IOF for kidnapping PLC secretary-general

[ 10/11/2010 - 03:53 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Ahrar center for prisoners' studies and human rights strongly denounced the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) for kidnapping at dawn Wednesday secretary-general of the Palestinian legislative council (PLC) Mahmoud Al-Ramhi from his home in Ramallah city.
Director of the center Fouad Al-Khafsh said that the kidnapping of MP Ramhi is a violation of all international laws and conventions that granted all parliamentarians full immunity against imprisonment, and a disregard for democratic values.
The wife of Ramhi told Ahrar center that a large number of Israeli troops stormed their house in Al-Bireh town at dawn today and asked both of them to leave the house before they rounded up her husband and took him to an unknown destination.
The IOF also kidnapped Anas Halaiqa, the son of Hamas lawmaker Samira Halaiqa. He is a student at the faculty of journalism at Al-Khalil university.
Two weeks ago, the IOF kidnapped Hamas lawmaker Hatem Kafisha and extended for the fifth consecutive time the administrative detention of Hamas lawmakers Basem Al-Za'arir and Abdeljaber Faqha.
For his part, first deputy speaker of the PLC Dr. Ahmed Baher, who is now on a pilgrimage visit to Makkah, also deplored the kidnapping of MP Ramhi and called on Fatah faction to take the initiative and open the closed headquarters of the PLC in the West Bank in response to Israel's crime against an elected Palestinian lawmaker.
Dr. Baher added that the kidnapping of Ramhi unveiled further the sadistic and barbaric face of Israel, and the creed of violence and terrorism that governs its existence.

Israeli police interfere in repairs at Aqsa Mosque, detain three of its guards

[ 10/11/2010 - 12:50 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Israeli police detained three Palestinian guards of the Aqsa Mosque after they prevented a group of settlers from making what they called repairs in the Islamic Khatuniya School at the Aqsa Mosque.
The police also summoned for interrogation engineers of the Palestinian ministry of religious affairs who are members of the Mosque's renovation committee.
The settlers resumed their work after Israeli policemen escorted them back to the School. The police deliberately intervene in renovation works at the Aqsa Mosque and still prevent the Palestinian ministry of religious affairs and its entitled Islamic institutions from carrying out repairs at the Aqsa Mosque's premises including this School.
Al-Khatuniya School is located behind Al-Aqsa Mosque's mihrab and there are a door and stairs leading to it behind this mihrab. It is part and extension of the old Aqsa Mosque and includes other sections and an Islamic library.
Sheikh Abdelazim Salhab, the head of the Islamic endowment council, condemned this Israeli act as an attack on the Aqsa Mosque and a violation of the jurisdiction of the ministry of religious affairs and its institutions, the only parties authorized to restore the Islamic holy sites in the occupied Palestinian territories.

IOF soldiers detain eldest son of MP Halaika

[ 10/11/2010 - 12:04 PM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) broke into the house of MP Samira Al-Halaika and took away her eldest son Anas in a pre dawn raid on Wednesday, the MP said in a press release.
She said that an IOF unit in four military vehicles and a white civilian car stormed the Qafan Khamis suburb east of Al-Shuyukh town in Al-Khalil district at 0300 am Wednesday and kidnapped her son Anas, 24.
She said that the soldiers locked up all her family members in one room and summoned her along with her husband and told them that they will take away their son Anas.
The lawmaker noted that her son was supposed to meet an Israeli intelligence official on Wednesday in Eztion on Wednesday morning.
Halaika held the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) fully responsible for any repercussions that might befall her son, who was released from the jails of security militias loyal to de facto Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on 5/9/2010 after 45 days in solitary confinement, which had a very bad psychological impact on him due to the continued isolation and cruel treatment.
She appealed to all human rights groups to intervene and demand an end to the suffering of her family due to the practices of the IOA and Abbas's militias.
The IOF had previously detained Anas in October 2005 and released him in November 2006 before Abbas's militias repeatedly summoned him before holding him in custody on 16/9/2009 for one month and apprehended him again on 21/7/2010 before his release on 5/9/2010.
Anas is studying journalism in Al-Khalil University. He is in the fourth grade.

Palestinian prisoners in Ramon jail on hunger strike after repressive acts

[ 10/11/2010 - 11:31 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Ahrar center for prisoners' studies and human rights said the Palestinian prisoners in Ramon jail went on hunger strike after the Israeli prison administration sent military units to storm some sections and took punitive measures against detainees.
Director of the center Fouad Al-Khafsh stated that a large number of heavily armed soldiers from Matsada and Nahshon units broke into section five in the prison and rounded up head of the section Musa Al-Akkari and his deputy Akram Al-Qawasmi after provocatively searching them.
Khafsh that the units afterwards transferred Akkari and Qawasmi to section three, while the prison administration imposed on section three what it calls the "behavioral punishment" and closed the section.
When Ramon administration uses this kind of punishment, it prevents prisoners from leaving their sections and rooms and turns off electric power.
The center director said that the prisoners refused these measures and repressive acts and announced they would go on hunger strike until the prison administration send Akkari and Qawasmi back to their section and end its behavioral punishment.
He added that the real reason behind the prison administration's uproar was a bully Israeli officer inside the prison, where he cursed God in front of prisoners prompting prisoners to file a complaint against him with the administration and warning it that this officer's life would not be safe if he entered the sections again.

Ramon prison is located on the Egyptian borders, and considered one of the notorious Israeli prisons in which the administration take severe punitive measures against detainees and deliberately harass them without reason.
In another incident, the Palestinian prisoners in all Israeli jails said in a letter sent to the prisoner center for studies by their leadership that the prison administrations are still waging a fierce repressive attack against them.
They added in the letter that the prison administrations deprived them of many rights and escalated its restrictions on them, especially regarding solitary conferment and family visits.
They affirmed they would not hesitate to go on open hunger strike if the prison administrations persisted in its violations against them.
For its part, Wa'ed society for detainees and ex-detainees deplored the Israeli unjust punitive measures taken against senior Hamas official Ra'fat Nasif in prison.
Wa'ed warned that the deterioration of Nasif's health after he went on hunger strike in protest at these measures and his detention without guilt would lead to serious consequences in all Israeli jails, especially since Nasif is a popular figure and highly respected by all prisoners.
It held the Israeli occupation authority fully responsible for Nasif's life and appealed to international human rights organizations to break their silence on Israel's violations against Palestinian prisoners and urgently intervene to have Nasif released from prison.

IOF soldiers detain MP Ramahi

[ 10/11/2010 - 09:59 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) took Hamas MP Dr. Mahmoud Al-Ramahi, the secretary of the Palestinian legislative council, at dawn Wednesday from his home in Ramallah.
Sources told the PIC that IOF soldiers encircled the home of Ramahi in the early morning hours before storming the house and arresting him.
Hamas deputies in the West Bank denounced the "crime", adding that the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) was insisting on its policy of abducting lawmakers despite its failure in achieving its goals of such practice in the past.
They charged that the IOA was trying to create confusion in the Palestinian political scene especially with the increasing talk about an imminent reconciliation success.
The MPs called on the world community to adopt a responsible stance that would bridle the "Zionist arrogance" and criminal practices against the elected representatives of the Palestinian people.
The Hamas-affiliated change and reform parliamentary bloc issued a similar statement in Gaza, affirming that apprehending Ramahi points to the IOA bankruptcy after repeating previous policies, which had proven their failure in blackmailing the movement into making concessions.
The IOA detention of the MP is another indication of the IOA war on democracy and denial of election results, which the entire world attested to its integrity, the statement added.
The IOA had released Ramahi on 30/3/2009 after 32 months in detention. He was among 40 deputies detained by the IOA more than three years ago.

IOA rounded up 33 children in Silwan last month

[ 09/11/2010 - 06:44 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has detained 33 Palestinian children in the Silwan town, in occupied Jerusalem, a report by the Wadi Hilwa information center said.
It added that most of the children were in the age category of 10 to 14 years old, noting that they were always subjected to harsh interrogation including beating and name calling.
The center pointed out that most of the arrests were made by Israeli security men in plain clothes who ambush children in streets and on their return from school.
Most of the released children are forced to spend a time under house arrest outside Silwan and with bails ranging from 2000 to 5000 shekels.
That same information center was the target of a raid by Israeli policemen on Tuesday where they took photos of stickers and statistics in addition to remains of gas canisters which the police force used against citizens in Silwan.
The police units also served unknown number of demolition notices to citizens in three suburbs in Silwan.
Another report by the land research center in cooperation with the civic coalition in defense of Palestinian rights in Jerusalem said on Tuesday that the Israeli forces launched 35 attacks against inhabitants of occupied Jerusalem in October.

Hamas official Nasif on hunger strike, IOA denies him visits

[ 09/11/2010 - 11:29 AM ]

TULKAREM, (PIC)-- The Palestinian prisoner committee said the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) refused to allow its lawyer to visit senior Hamas official Ra'fat Nasif who is going on hunger strike in protest at the arbitrary measures taken against him by the prison administration.
The committee added that Nasif decided to go on hunger strike because of maltreatment, his detention in Megiddo prison and depriving him of his right as an administrative detainee.

The committee expressed its deep concern for his life because of his insistence on not ceasing his hunger strike and appealed to the Red Cross to visit him immediately and follow up his health condition.

For its part, the higher national committee for the support of prisoners warned that any deterioration occurs to the health of prisoner Nasif as a result of the hunger strike could strain the situation in all Israeli jails and prompt other prisoners to escalate their protests in solidarity with him.

Nasif, 45, is a member of Hamas's political bureau, and has been in administrative detention since March 2009 without any charges leveled against him.

IOA extends administrative detention of wife of Hamas leader

[ 09/11/2010 - 10:33 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has extended the administrative custody, without charge, of Muntaha Al-Tawil, the wife of El-Bireh Mayor and Hamas leader Sheikh Jamal Al-Tawil, for three months.
Taghrid Jahshan, the legal advisor to the women society for female political prisoners, said that Muntaha was detained on 8/2/2010 for a six months period that was renewed for three months and now is facing a third renewal of three more months ending 8/2/2011.
The lawyer said that she was in contact with the Israeli Hasharon jail and received the news on the phone, adding that she contacted the woman's husband and told him of the new development. The lawyer expressed concern over the continued detention of Muntaha without charge and holding her away from her husband and four children.
Muntaha is studying social service at the open Quds University and is a member in many human rights groups that defend prisoners' rights.
The Israeli military judge approved the detention of Muntaha depending on the so-called secret file tabled by the internal security apparatus. The defendant and her lawyer are not allowed to read content of the file at the pretext of preserving sources of the information in it.
The prosecutor said that Muntaha was posing dangers on the security in her area of residence.

Israel expels two Swedes from occupied Palestine

[ 08/11/2010 - 06:22 PM ]

NAZARETH, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) detained and later expelled two Swedish citizens, one of them was a lawmaker, upon their arrival in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The two were participants in Freedom Flotilla aid convoy that were attacked on its way to the besieged Gaza Strip last May by the Israeli navy troops who killed nine Turks and wounded dozens of other passengers.
The Hebrew radio reported Monday morning that the IOA refused to allow Swedish lawmaker of Turkish origin Mohamed Kaplan to enter the occupied Palestinian lands upon his arrival last night, claiming that he did not hold a visa to Israel.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli foreign ministry affirmed that another Swedish citizen who came along with Kaplan was also denied entry, saying that both of them were expelled because of their participation in Freedom Flotilla convoy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Int'l jurist: Palestinian detainees are hostages under international law

[ 07/11/2010 - 10:04 AM ]

CAIRO, (PIC)-- International law expert Hasan Omar stated that the Palestinian detainees in Isreli jails are not prisoners, but they are hostages being held by the Israeli occupation state and they must be released according to the principles of international law.
In an interview published by the journal of Muslim Palestine, Omar explained that the prisoner under the third Geneva convention is the one who is captured by an adversary during military operations and thus he is subject to the provisions of this convention which governs his release after the end of military actions.
"The hostage is every person, whether civilian or military, being kidnapped during military operations and subject to the provisions of the New York convention issued in 1979 which identified the kidnapping as a crime of international terrorism and demanded the release of hostages and the prosecution of hostage-taker," the law expert added.
He pointed out that the Arab states should pay attention to the amendments which were made to the conventions related to prisoners.
"Based on the understanding of these amendments, they (Arabs) will realize fully that all Palestinians in Israeli jails are subject to one legal description that they are kidnapped hostages who have to be released immediately," the expert elaborated. 
The expert considered that the issue of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is different from the legal position of Palestinian hostages because he is a mercenary soldier and the Palestinian resistance has the right to capture him and extradite him to his native country France.
"The capturing of mercenaries is the resistance fighters' genuine right according to the provision of international law, which states that if the resistance fighters detain anyone of the occupation state's soldiers, their act will be legal and part of the resistance," he noted.

Rights group: Female detainees in Talmond denied medical treatment

[ 06/11/2010 - 04:52 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Several ill detainees in the female population of the Israeli Talmond prison have been denied medical treatment, a Palestinian rights group reported, adding that the prison administration has refused to allow a dentist into the facility.
The Mandela rights group head Buthaina Duqmaq, in statement she issued Saturday after visiting Israeli prisons, said female detainees in the Hasharon prison have been deprived of manual work materials and footwear from outside and have been thus forced to buy from the prison's canteen at exorbitant prices.
The attorney said she was unable to complete her visit and interview all of the prisoners because of an emergency alert inside the prison.
Duqmaq called on the Red Cross and other rights groups to pressure the prison administration to solve the prisoners' problems and guarantee medical attention and other basic needs of prisoners.

MK: Release Shalit regardless of the price

[ 06/11/2010 - 03:08 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Israeli Knesset (parliament) member (Kadima) Yisrael Hasson has said that Israel should pay the price for the release of captured soldier Gilad Shalit if it was unable to determine his location.
The Hebrew radio that reported the news noted that Hasson, a former deputy head of the general security authority the Shabak, was a member in the negotiating team over Shalit's case.
Yuval Diskin, the current Shabak chairman, is opposing the release of Hamas leaders charged with responsibility for the death of tens of Israelis in commando operations, claiming that they would return to their anti occupation activity after their release.

Nafha detainees gearing to go on hunger strike next week

[ 06/11/2010 - 10:07 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian detainees in the Israeli Nafha prison are gearing to go on hunger strike next week in response to rising unfair treatment by the Israel Prison Service (IPS), the “Prisoners’ Supporters” organization in Gaza said, calling on the Red Cross and other rights organizations to intervene to protect those prisoners against unbearable conditions inside the facilities.
The organization said in a statement it issued Friday that the IPS has been undertaking a campaign of constant raids and searches against prisoners with the ultimate goal of humiliating them and breaking their wills.
The organization stressed that IPS practices conflict with international laws and standards, adding that further steps to support prisoners are under way.
In the same context, senior Hamas official Raafat Nasif went on his eighth straight day of hunger strike to protest the prison administration’s brutal treatment of prisoners, detainees in the Israeli Megiddo prison informed the Center for Prisoners Studies.
The prisoners added that Shadi Mohammed Jadullah Abu Al-Hussain, 34, of Khan Younis, who was sentenced to seven years in Israeli detention, has gone into his fourth day of fasting to demand his freedom after his sentence was completed in mid-August. Sources said he was being held for not having a Palestinian identity.
In related developments, Israeli authorities are pushing for a new law depriving any Palestinian prisoner the right to meet with a lawyer for one year after his arrest. The current law allows prisoners lawyer visits 21 days after they are initially detained.
Senior rights groups in Palestine condemned the bill, arguing that it will obstruct outsiders’ awareness of torture methods the IPS practices against prisoners, particularly during the investigation process, when signs of abuse on detainees can clearly be detected.
Rights expert Riyadh Al Ashkar added that the bill, if passed, could make it difficult for lawyers to directly monitor the defendant’s case, thus not allowing for a proper defense. “This would allow for the IPS to single out the prisoner and impose the sentence it desires,” he said.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Detainee still in jail months after serving term

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Protesting a 3-month delay of his release, a Gaza man held in Israel's Negev prison went on hunger strike Monday, a prisoners support group reported.

Shadi Abu Al-Hussein, 34, from the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, was due for release on 31 August but has remained in an isolation cell.

An Israeli prison service spokesman confirmed that Abu Al-Hussein had completed his sentence but "is being held in legal custody awaiting deportation."

According to the prisoners center, he was being held because he does not have an Israeli-issued ID card, which acts as identification for the Israeli government, military and public services. The prison service spokesman was unable to confirm that this was the reason behind the delay.

Officials at Israel's Ministry of the Interior, where identity cards are issued, were not available for comment.

In 2009, estimates showed at least 5,000 people in Gaza were awaiting family reunification permits from Israel. Although Israeli forces withdrew from the Strip in 2005, taking with them 8,500 settlers, the military maintains strict control of the borders. Relatives are rarely allowed to visit loved ones in prison.

In recent months, prisoners with ID cards registering them in Gaza, but who had lived in the West Bank with their spouses or relatives, were deported to Gaza without recourse to the courts.

Israeli court sentences Gaza man

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Beersheba court sentenced a Gaza man to six and a half years in Israeli custody on Wednesday, the Center for the Study of Detainees in Gaza said.

Tareq Abed Rabbo, from the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, was born in 1976. He was detained in March, accused of affiliation to Islamic Jihad. The center said in a statement that Abed Rabbo was charged with "resiting the occupation."

Woman demands prison transfer

SALFIT (Ma’an) -- A woman in Israeli detention ended her hunger strike on Wednesday, after prison officials said they would examine her request to be transferred to a different institution, where her sister remains in custody.

The Salfit Prisoners Center said lanan Abu Ghilmah had initially planned on a 21-day protest, but halted the hunger strike early when guards said they would look into her previously ignored requests.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Soldiers Break Into Nafha Prison

Tuesday November 02, 2010 11:54 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

The Higher National Committee for Supporting the Detainees reported that Israeli soldiers, members of the Mitzada Unit at the Nafha detention center, broke on Tuesday at dawn into the detention facility and searched section 13 after forcing the detainees out of their beds and rooms.
Nafha Prison - Image Wattan News
Nafha Prison - Image Wattan News

Committee Media Director, Riyadh Al Ashqar, stated that the attack took place at four at dawn while the detainees were still sleeping, and that the soldiers violently woke the detainees up and forced them out of their rooms.

Soldiers then searched the rooms, and also searched the detainees who were rounded at the prison yard. The soldiers caused damage to the detainees’ property while ransacking their rooms.

Al Ashqar added that the soldiers damaged the walls of room number 64 after claiming that the detainees are hiding mobile phones that were smuggled into the prison compound.

He said that this is not the first time soldiers demolish walls on detainees rooms, especially in Nafha as the soldiers previously broke into rooms number 9 and 12 and placed the detainees in cells before demolishing two walls, removing the floor tiles and damaging the toilets.

The soldiers also claimed that the detainees are hiding mobile phones in their rooms but failed to locate any.

The Committee called on international human rights groups, especially the Red Cross, to intervene and protect the detainees as they are facing ongoing abuse and violations.

It also called for forming an international committee “to investigate crimes committed by the occupation against the detainees”.

Comrades Ahed and Linan Abu Ghoulmeh face isolation and repression in the occupation jails

 PFLP website

Comrade Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, imprisoned and in isolation, was transferred on October 29, 2010 to the isolation sector of the Ramle prison by the occupation authorities, while his sister, Comrade Linan Abu Ghoulmeh, entered the sixth day of her own hunger strike against the occupation prison authorities.

Abu Ghoulmeh, who was accused by the occupation of being the leader of the Abu Ali Mustafa, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in the West Bank, was abducted along with Comrade Ahmad Sa'adat, the General Secretary of the PFLP, from the Palestinian Authority's Jericho prison on March 14, 2006, where they had been held under US and British guard. He has been in isolation since January 14, 2010 and prohibited from family visits, including visits with his parents.

He is now being held in isolation with Sheikh Jamal Abu Al-Hija, to whose family Comrade Wafa Abu Ghoulmeh, Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh's wife, paid a solidarity visit during the week of action for Ahmad Sa'adat in mid-October. Wafa Abu Ghoulmeh said that "the occupation practices repression and racism against detainees, which is aimed to break their will and prevent them from exercising their human and national rights." She commented that these efforts inevitably fail in the face of the prisoners' steadfastness and defiance of Zionism and racism.

She called for intensified efforts to expose abuses of Palestinian prisoners, particularly those in isolation, praising the efforts of the campaign in solidarity with Comrade Sa'adat that organized numerous events and activities throughout Palestine and around the world, and saying that solidarity with a leader like Ahmad Sa'adat, of a national caliber, is solidarity with all prisoners, including her husband.

Comrade Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh's sisters, Comrades Linan and Taghreed Abu Ghoulmeh, are also imprisoned in occupation jails. Comrade Linan is currently on hunger strike protesting her separation from her sister. She has been on hunger strike for six days in Hasharon prison in protest of the administration's refusal to respond to her demands to be held in the same prison as Taghreed. Another prisoner, Nada Tawir, joined in the hunger strike with Linan, demanding the release of the Abu Ghoulmeh sisters.

The Union of Palestinian Women's Committees issued a statement condemning the crimes of Zionism against Palestinian prisoners, particularly Palestinian women prisoners. They declared that the occupation is responsible for the life of Linan Abu Ghoulmeh and denounced the targeting of her family. In addition to her brother and sister's imprisonment, she is the widow of Comrade martyr Amjad Mleitat, who was assassinated by the occupation authorities in Nablus.

She had previously been held for six years in the occupation prisons and was abducted and placed under administrative detention less than five months after her release. The UPWC called upon the international women's movement, feminist and human rights organizations, to pay attention to the struggle of Palestinian prisoners, particularly women prisoners, and defend their rights.

Christian Science Monitor: Israel arrested 100 children from Silwan in October

[ 01/11/2010 - 12:50 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Christian Science Monitor newspaper stated in a report that Israel arbitrarily arrested a 100 children, most of them under age 13 last month in Silwan district, east of occupied Jerusalem.
The Israeli police claims that only 40 people were arrested throughout east Jerusalem for allegedly throwing stones at policemen and engage in violence on their way to or from school, according to the newspaper.
A human rights group argued otherwise saying it received complaints that many arrests were conducted by undercover forces without any disturbance or stone throwing beforehand and that the children kidnapped as they were at the entrance to their homes or in adjacent roads and alleys that serve as their playground. Some other children were kidnapped from their homes at three or four o'clock in the morning.
"A disturbing picture arises of children being removed from their beds in the middle of the night and carted off to the police station in handcuffs without parents’ accompaniment,” the association for civil rights inside Israel stated earlier this week. “The children report violent and frightening interrogations conducted by regular police officers and not by child and youth investigators.”
In another incident, the newspaper said, a 10-year old boy was harmed by a group of Israeli plain-clothes forces who sprang out of an unmarked car and grabbed him off the street in Silwan.
In the view of Fakhri Abu Diab, a local resident active in the battle against house demolitions, the arrests are actually aimed at forcing parents out of Silwan, part of the holy city Israel claims as its undivided and eternal capital.
“They want to scare the parents so they will give up and leave this area,” said Diab, whose own home is slated for demolition.
In another development, a document published Sunday by the Israeli premier's office claimed that the Palestinian child Mohamed Al-Dura, who was killed by Israeli soldiers 10 years ago, was shot dead by Palestinian gunfire and his death was carefully planned by the Palestinians in order to show Israeli troops as bloodthirsty.
On September 30, 2000, Dura was along with his father when Israeli soldiers showered them with a barrage of bullets, although the father was calling on the soldiers to stop shooting. The crime was documented and photographed by France 2 channel reporters.

National committee: Release Gaza prisoners whose incarceration term ended

[ 01/11/2010 - 12:37 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The higher national committee for support of prisoners has asked international human rights organizations to immediately intervene with the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) to end its crime of detaining Gazan prisoners whose sentences had ended.
Riyadh Al-Ashqar, the committee's spokesman, said in a press release on Sunday that the IOA refuses to release 8 prisoners from Gaza Strip who had completed their sentences.
He named the prisoners, adding that one of them, Shadi Abul Hussein, was told that he would be deported to either Yemen or Syria because he does not have a Palestinian ID which made him go on hunger strike in protest over the decision.
Ashqar said that the continued detention of those Gazans without any legal justification was in absolute contempt of all international legal and humanitarian doctrines in addition to shedding light on the nature of the "Israeli judiciary" that provides a legal cover for IOA crimes against the Palestinian captives.
He asked the media to highlight the IOA violations and expose it before the world public opinion.

PFLP in Khan Younis declare solidarity with Sa'adat and prisoners

PFLP website

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Khan Younis organized a rally in solidarity with Comrade Ahmad Sa'adat, the imprisoned General Secretary og the Front, and all of the prisoners inside the occupation jails, on October 30, 2010, drawing large crowds of leaders, supporters and cadres of the Front. The rally was organized as part of the campaign in solidarity with Sa'adat, protesting his solitary confinement of over 500 days.

Comrade Mahmoud Al-Ras, member of the Central Committee of Gaza Branch, called upon the PLO and PA leadership to immediately end their reliance on the promises of the U.S. administration, end their absurd involvement in negotiations with the enemy and stop their harmful actions against Palestinian interests, emphasizing the need for national unity based on resistance and struggle. He saluted the prisoners as an example of national unity in action in confrontation with the occupation every day.

He said that the occupation has full responsibility for the life of Comrade Sa'adat, noting that the policy of occupation is meant to undermine his life.

Shafiq al-Bream, recently released from prison, spoke about Comrade Sa'adat, whom he had met in prison, and his steadfast refusal to surrender to the demands of the occupation. He called for a comprehensive solidarity campaign with Palestinian prisoners, particularly those who are in isolation, and demanded that the Palestinian leadership prioritize the prisoners' struggle and not allow their sacrifices to be ignored or forgotten.

Undercover police expel minors arrested at scene of alleged stone throwing

[ 31/10/2010 - 03:52 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- An undercover Israeli security unit assaulted and arrested a group of children at the scene of an alleged rock throwing incident and turned them in for questioning, locals reported.
The sources said despite being under 14 years of age, courts set NIS 2,000-3,000 bail bonds on a number of the children and they were placed on house arrest outside of their homes in Jerusalem’s Arab Silwan neighborhood.
Some of the children were sent to Al-Khalil and Shi’fat without regard for their scholastic obligations.
Commenting on the situation, one of the children’s guardians said Israeli police penalize children without consideration for their social or educational statuses, adding that Israel’s Jerusalem municipality does not provide cultural or recreational services to children in Silwan.
A parent of an underage arrestee said: What does the Israeli police expect from a child in Silwan when he sees how Israeli soldiers disrespect and insult his mother and spit on his father?
Undercover Israeli units have employed various methods to carry out arrests on minors. One boy Ahmed Hasouna, 13, was arrested by police pretending to harvest olives. He was then expelled to Al-Khalil where he has been serving house arrest.

Cuba launches campaign in solidarity with Comrade Sa'adat

 PFLP website

A campaign in solidarity with the imprisoned leader, Comrade Ahmad Sa'adat, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, launched in Havana, Cuba on October 15, 2010, with Arab, Cuban and international participants.

Alfonso Fraga, General Secretary of OSPAAAL, the Organization in Solidarity with the People of Africa, Asia and Latin America attnded the event, as did the editor of Tricontinental magazine and Gomez Abascal, Cuba's representative to the Arab countries. A representative of the Venezuelan embassy and of the Socialist Unity Party of Venezuela attended as did representatives of accredited foreign parties in uba, in addition to the Palestinian ambassador to Cuba, Dr. Akram Samhan, and Comrade Basil Ismail, representative of the PFLP in Cuba.

Comrade Ismail recalled the statements of Comrade Sa'adat, in particular his defense of the Palestinian people's right to resist the occupation and his defiance of the illegal occupation courts. He denounced any return to negotiations with Israel and demanded complete freedom for all Palestinian prisoners. The event also included a documentary film in Spanish dedicated to the Palestinian prisoners and the leader, Ahmad Sa'adat.

In addition, an International Conference on Political Prisoners was organized in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 22-25, 2010, with participants from around the world, including Comrade Dr. Maryam Abu Daqqa, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, Salah Salah of the Palestinian Cuban Friendship Association, and other Palestinian activists from the Arab world and the diaspora. Comrade Abu Daqqa gave the opening address, focusing on the struggle of Palestinian prisoners, particularly the case of Comrade Sa'adat, discussing his isolation for over 500 days.

Comrade Abu Daqqa emphasized the importance of Palestinian participation in such forums to raise the issue of Palestinian prisoners, a central part of the struggle to liberate Palestine. The conference discussed prisoners from Mexico to the Philippines, and screened a film on the five Cuban prisoners held by the United States, as well as a Danish film about Palestinian child prisoners. The conference concluded with a call to increase pressure on countries to release political prisoners on an international level.

Gaza farmers plant 500 olive trees to mark 500 days of Sa'adat's isolation

PFLP website

The Union of Agricultural Work Committees marked Comrade Ahmad Sa'adat's 500 days in isolation in Israeli prisons by planting 500 olive trees in Abed Rabbo, in the northern Gaza Strip. Comrade Sa'adat, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has been held in Israeli jails since his 2006 kidnapping from the PA's Jericho prison, and has been isolated for over 500 days, since March 16, 2009.

Farmers and citizens of the area participated in the event, stressing that olive trees are, like the prisoners, central to the Palestinian people and a bedrock of the national cause. Mohammed Bakri, director of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees spoke, discussing the steadfastness of Palestinian farmers and prisoners, bulwarks against occupation, holding fast to the land and to freedom despite a brutal occupation.

The 500 trees were planted particularly by women and children from farming families, expressing the unbreakable tie of the prisoners to the Palestinian people just as the olive trees are rooted in the land. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

B’Tselem report says Shin Bet questioning violate int’ law

Report based on testimonies of 121 Palestinians who were held in Shin Bet’s main detention facility in Petah Tikva throughout 2009.

  Palestinians detained for questioning by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) face cruel conditions, disgraceful hygienic conditions, sleep deprivation and physical abuse, according to a new report released Tuesday by B’Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, and HaMoked – Center of the Defense of the Individual.

The report is based on the testimonies of 121 Palestinians who were held in the Shin Bet’s main detention facility in Petah Tikva throughout 2009.

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Fifty-one percent of the witnesses were held in the facility for a week or more, and some for a month.

Of those questioned, 9% claimed they had been physically abused by interrogators during their interrogation. The report said that since 2001, Palestinians had filed 645 complaints with the Justice Ministry and against the Shin Bet, but not a single complaint had led to a criminal investigation.

According to the testimonies revealed in the report, the arrests were mostly carried out at night. In 30% of the cases, physical violence was used during the arrest or during the transportation of the detainee to the detention facility, witnesses said. A third of the Palestinians said they had been forced to crouch or lie on the floor of the vehicle rather than sit on a seat or bench.

During their detention, the detainees said they had spent their time either in the interrogation room or in their cells.

The cells, they said, were only slightly larger than the mattress on the floor. Most of the oneperson cells were windowless, so the detainees were not able to tell if it was day or night.

Twenty-six percent of the witnesses reported that cold or hot air flowed into the cells, and almost all said that a light bulb had been kept on in the cells at all hours of the day, making it extremely difficult to sleep.

According to the report, 35% of the detainees were not provided a change of clothing for long periods and, in some cases, even during their entire stay in the facility. Twentyseven percent of the witnesses were not allowed to shower, and several claimed to have suffered skin problems following their stay in the facility.

In addition, 36% of the detainees claimed that interrogators had used family members as a means of pressure.

In one case, a 63-yearold widow was allegedly held in the facility so that members of her family could see her suffering while under detention. The woman was released two days later.

“The means described in the report constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and, in some cases, torture,” the report stated. “All such acts are strictly prohibited, without exception. International law unequivocally states that no emergency situation may be invoked to justify these acts.”

In its response to the report, the Justice Ministry claimed that all of the interrogations had been carried out in accordance with Israeli law, “with the aim of thwarting illegal activity with the purpose of harming the security of the State of Israel.”

It added that “Shin Bet interrogations are carried out under the supervision of Israel’s independent legal authorities – the attorney-general, the state attorney, the Justice Ministry and the various court systems.”

The Justice Ministry noted that two petitions filed by Palestinians to the High Court of Justice in recent years had been rejected.

The ministry also rejected the report’s claim that complaints were not investigated. According to the ministry, from 2000 until 2007, 427 investigations were launched by the Military Police into allegations regarding IDF abuse of Palestinian detainees. In 2008, 211 criminal investigations were opened, and there were 140 in 2009.

New Scandals in Child Prisoner Torture: Soldiers Urinate on 13-Year-Old Boys

01.11.10 - 10:59 Bethlehem – PNN - Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqa’ said he has uncovered a new scandal in the treatment of child prisoners by Israeli soldiers, in which Israeli soldiers urinated on two 13-year-old boys and held them naked in a bathroom for two days.
Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqa' and two former child prisoners
Qaraqa’ said that he had contacted a lawyer on behalf of two detained children, Muhammad Tariq Abd al-Latif Mukhaymar and Muhammad Nasir Ali Radwan, both 13 and from Beit Awar. They were detained last July, when they were in the sixth grade.
Mukhaymar said that border guards arrested him and Radwan near the wall, on Street Number 443 near Beit Awar, beat them severely, bound their hands, blindfolded them, and transported them to the nearby settlement of Binyamin.
He said the soldiers then pushed them into a bathroom and forced them to take off their clothes. They said they were left naked in the bathroom for two days without food or water and that the soldiers set the air conditioning unit to blow cold air for the duration.
Mukhaymar said he was very thirsty and had to drink the toilet water and suffered from severe chills, and every time he and Radwan tried to sleep, the soldiers came into wake them up.
He said the worst thing that happened, however, was that when the soldiers came in they didn’t relieve themselves in the toilet, but urinated on the boys’ heads and faces instead. The soldiers then mocked and laughed at them while one took pictures.
After the two days in this cruel condition, said Mukhaymar, they were led into Binyamin settlement and interrogated from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m., then taken to Ofer Military Camp. They remained there for three months, then were transported to the youth prison in Rimonim. They were never arraigned in court.
Minister Qaraqa’ said, “The base inhumanity of the occupation soldiers has been on the rise lately. The Ministry of Prisoners will present a complaint against the Israeli soldiers that committed this abomination.”

Israeli Soldier Sentenced to Prison For Photos

01.11.10 - 11:11 Jerusalem – PNN – A military court sentenced an Israeli soldier to five months in prison for posing in a picture next to a Palestinian prisoner. ImageCorporal Yehuda Battalion was photographed posing with a prisoner in the Jenin area in January.  His cell phone was used to take the pictures; they were discovered after the soldier was arrested on suspicion of committing drug offenses.

Battalion was photographed, along with two friends, posing with his weapon pointed toward a blindfolded and bound Palestinian.  The indictment stated, “He posed for a picture with him while pointing a loaded and cocked weapon at the upper part of his body.  There was no point in directing the weapon at the detainee during the shot."

The three soldiers were indicted for abuse, illegal use of weapons and improper behavior.  Battalion was convicted of abuse and improper behavior and sentenced to five months in prison.

In August, former soldier Eden Abergil was arrested for posting pictures of herself next to Palestinian prisoners on Facebook.  The international condemnation has caused the Israeli military to be extra-sensitive in dealing with similar acts. 

Palestinian detainee held in isolation for going on hunger strike

[ 31/10/2010 - 10:04 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Israeli military court will hold Palestinian detainee Shadi Abul Hussein in solitary confinement on Sunday for going on hunger strike over the past four days, his mother told the PIC on Saturday.
She added that Abul Hussein was protesting the Israeli occupation authority's (IOA) refusal to release him despite completing his sentence almost two months ago.
The mother appealed to all concerned parties to stand alongside her son and demand an end to the oppression that had befallen him.
She asked all human rights organizations to visit her son at his request, adding that he told her that no one was visiting him and he needed such visits.
The IOA refuses to release Abul Hussein until finding a country that would accept him as a deportee.

500 Palestinian workers detained in October

[ 30/10/2010 - 10:15 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation police and border guards detained 500 Palestinian workers in the current month of October including 20 women for working in 1948 occupied Palestine without permits.
A statement for the Palestinian trade union in the West Bank said that 20 of those workers were held in custody for interrogation while 50 were sentenced to 3 to 6 months in jail.
It added that heavy fines were leveled against the rest before deporting them back to the West Bank.
West Bank laborers seeking sustenance for their families venture into the 1948 occupied lands seeking jobs and are always harassed and persecuted by the Israeli security forces.