Friday, December 31, 2010

On the Anniversary of the Israeli Offensive on Gaza, Addameer Calls Attention to the 686 Gazans Detained in Israeli Prisons

Ramallah, 27 December 2010

On the second anniversary of Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008–18 January 2009), Addameer reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the Israeli policy that has denied residents from Gaza detained in Israeli prisons family visits for over three years.

In June 2007, as part of its policy of treating the Gaza Strip as an enemy entity following the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, Israel implemented a total prohibition on family visits to prisoners from Gaza. In addition, starting in November 2009, Israel has effectively prevented these prisoners from receiving money from their families to buy basic necessities by requiring that transfers of money be conditional on the physical presence of a family member at an Israeli bank—an impossibility for families residing in the Gaza Strip.

As a result, the 686 Palestinians from Gaza currently detained in Israeli prisons are completely isolated from the outside world. They are largely unaware of the major events taking place in the lives of their families, including the deaths of close relatives. Similarly, their relatives are kept in the dark about their general detention and health conditions. These prisoners’ access to basic necessities is also severely limited since such supplies are usually brought by family members during visits or purchased by prisoners from the prison canteen with funds transferred from their families.

Israel’s policy has been condemned, among others, by Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict in its report on the 2008–2009 Israeli offensive. On 9 December 2009, however, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled against two petitions filed by Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations in 2008 protesting the legality of the ban on family visits. The court held that the right to family visits in prison is not within the “framework of the basic humanitarian needs of the residents of the Strip, which Israel is obligated to enable”.

Addameer continues to contend that this ruling contravenes international law protecting detainees’ rights. The right to family visits is an entrenched right in international law, expressly provided for in the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, the European Prison Rules, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and, in relation to child detainees, the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention obliges an Occupying Power to protect, inter alia, family rights. Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Israel is a party, the family is recognized as “the natural and fundamental group unit of society” and should be accorded the widest protection possible.

Moreover, Addameer submits that the absolute prohibition on family visits is designed to demoralize and punish prisoners’ families, and by extension the general population in Gaza, for their political choices in 2006, making the policy a clear case of collective punishment, a war crime for which Israel should be held responsible.

Israel, and particularly the Israeli Prison Service, should immediately allow family visits and phone communication to Gazan prisoners in accordance with its legal obligations. Addameer rejects any alternative solution to the complete reinstatement of family visits, such as allowing prisoners to make teleconference calls with their families, as proposed by Israel to the ICRC.

Addameer therefore calls on the members of the international community, particularly UN Member States and relevant UN bodies and agencies to:

·         Publically condemn Israel’s ban on family visits to Gaza residents detained in Israeli prisons
·         Immediately intervene with the Israeli authorities to pressure them to adhere to their international legal obligations by reversing the ban on family visits
·         Fulfill their binding legal obligation to ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions, in particular Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention on family rights
·         Raise the issue of prisoners from Gaza in all their relations with Israel
·         Reject any alternative solution to reinstating full family visits

For more information on the High Court of Justice’s 2009 decision, see Addameer’s response. For more information about Addameer’s work on behalf of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention, please visit our website, or contact us directly:

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
P. O. Box: 17338, Jerusalem
Tel: +972 (0)2 296 0446 / 297 0136
Fax: +972 (0)2 296 0447

PA: Israel detained 1,100 children in 2010

Published Wednesday 29/12/2010 (updated) 30/12/2010 18:18
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained 1,100 Palestinian children in 2010, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Detainees' Affairs said Wednesday.

The arrests were concentrated in East Jerusalem, where 500 children were detained, and in Hebron, the ministry found.

PA Detainees' Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqe said the high number reflected the Israeli policy to systematically pursue children, particularly in occupied East Jerusalem, where children were often put under house arrest.

In its report, the ministry said prisoners were routinely kept in solitary confinement in cells which resembled graves. Some prisoners, including Hasan Salameh and Ahmad Al-Mughrabi, have spent more than eight years in such inhumane conditions.

The Israeli intelligence service Shin Bet ordered 12 Palestinian prisoners to serve long sentences in solitary confinement, the report said.

Petitions to Israeli courts have failed as the policy is politically motivated, the ministry said, adding that it has requested that European politicians intervene.

Groundbreaking report details Israel's inhumane conditions for isolated prisoners

Report by Israel Bar Association, the first external review of the country's prisons, says some sections 'look more like a dungeon.'


By Tomer Zarchin

A classified report by the Israel Bar Association obtained by Haaretz provides a glimpse into the harrowing conditions prisoners separated from the main jail population must endure.
barghouti - Archive / Tal Cohen - December 27 2010 Marwan Barghouti
Photo by: Archive - Tal Cohen
According to the document, which is the first external review of the Prison Service, the isolation wings at the Ayalon and Shikma prisons are not fit for human habitation and "look more like a dungeon," while most solitary cells in prisons across the country are "crammed, rancid with smells of sewer and mold, and infested with insects."
"It's difficult to ignore the feeling that isolation as practiced today serves a function of punishment rather than imprisonment," wrote the authors of the report, Michael Atia - chairman of the prison service committee at the Israel Bar Association, and Moran Kabalo - chief of criminal law for the IBA.
"This is a unilateral instrument of punishment used primarily against organized crime groups," the report reads.
ron - Nir Keidar - December 27 2010 Ronny Ron.
Photo by: Nir Keidar
Atia and Kabalo carried out the year-long review as official inspectors delegated by the IBA to the prison service, visiting prisons and speaking to the inmates.
The report noted that prolonged stay isolated from the general prison population has profound psychological impacts. "Many isolated inmates testified to have developed paranoia, a tendency for uncontrollable fits of rage, and eyesight problems because of the lack of natural light through most hours of the day," the lawyers wrote.
The report was handed three weeks ago to Prison Service Commissioner Benny Kanyak, and was forwarded to the attention of the chair of the IBA, Yori Geiron, and the head of the IBA criminal forum, Rachel Toren.
ratzon - Moti Kimche - December 27 2010 Goel Ratzon
Photo by: Moti Kimche
The Prison Service Commission orders stipulate that isolation is to be used only as a last resort to reach clearly defined goals, such as "the security of the prison, preventing real damage to the discipline and normal life in the prison, protecting the well-being or health of the prisoner or of other prisoners, and protecting the security of the state."
The isolation wing is located in a separate part of the prison, with inmates incarcerated there divided into subgroups of prisoners with a high risk of escape, prisoners who may be hurt by other prisoners, and prisoners who might harm themselves and are kept under close and constant surveillance.
The report provides a rare insight into life in isolation wings. "Most such cells are windowless and are lit by cold fluorescent lights," the report says. "The meals are brought on trays and are inserted through a latch that is shut immediately afterwards, to prevent poisoning."
The lawyers noted that the Prison Service Commission orders explicitly prohibit keeping regular prisoners in isolation cells intended to house prisoners convicted in internal disciplinary trials. The report concludes that the use of the isolation cells as a routine "to hold isolation prisoners for extended periods of time is against the orders."
It also states that most of the isolation and solitary confinement cells in the Prison Service fail to live up to minimal standards and are unfit for human habitation. "Keeping human beings in such unreasonable conditions for extended periods of time, dangerous though they may be, deals a critical blow to the most basic human rights."
Prison Servic spokesman Yaron Zamir said in response that isolation was being carried out "under court monitoring and according to sheer necessity, while providing the appropriate conditions, rights and treatment." He also said that a multi-year plan by the Prison Service included a large investment in renovating the prisons, including the isolation wings, with work already having begun in a number of them.

Israel re-arrests Palestinian MP Khalil al-Rib'i

[ 30/12/2010 - 12:10 PM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- Israeli authorities arrested Thursday morning Palestinian Legislative Committee representative Khalil al-Rib'i 13 months after his release from an earlier detention.
Troops blockaded Rib'i's home in the southern Al-Khalil city of Yatta before breaking down  doors and windows and apprehending the Palestinian lawmaker.
Rib'i previously spent 40 months jailed in Israel before he was set free 13 months back.
Israel has arrested in less than three months four more politicians from the Change and Reform Bloc, which represents Hamas in the PLC. 11 Palestinian government representatives from other parties are also being detained in Israeli jails.
The international campaign to free detained MPs condemned the repeated arrest, calling on parliamentarians the world over to break their silence over the violation of political rights.
The campaign also called on rights groups to take legal action against Israel over repeated violations of international law.
The repeated arrests signal Israel's failure to eliminate Palestinian representatives in light of their will of iron and people's support, the campaign said in a statement Thursday.

Hamas MP among 6 detained by Israel overnight
Published yesterday (updated) 31/12/2010 13:47
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained Hamas MP Khalil Ar-Rabai from his home in the southern West Bank town of Yatta on Thursday morning, bringing back up to ten, the number of elected Legislative Council members detained by Israel.

Family members of Ar-Rabai said troops surrounded then entered the home, then conducted a search of the building, causing damage to property.

The official, who was detained in 2006 from Ramallah during a mass arrest campaign targeting Hamas lawmakers, was released less than one year ago.

Israeli military officials said they were unable to comment as to the nature of his arrest, but confirmed that he was detained.

A statement on the military's Twitter page said "6 Palestinians wanted for terrorist activity were arrested overnight in the West Bank & taken for security questioning."

On Tuesday, troops arrested Hamas MP Mohammad At-Tal in a similar dawn raid on his home in the village of Zakariya, also near Hebron. Like Rabai, Tal was set free last year after a three-year stretch in jail.

On December 1, Israeli troops arrested Naif Ar-Rajub just months after he was freed after four years in prison. The former Palestinian minister for religious affairs had been released in June.

In the northern West Bank, local officials said five were detained from the village of Barta’a, south of Jenin.

Member at the village council Tawfiq Kabha told Ma'an that troops entered the area in the early morning, entering homes and shops, and confiscating goods.

Four residents and a fifth man from Jenin were taken by the invading troops, he said.

AFP contributed to this report

Detainees reveal how IOF soldiers shot at, wounded them

[ 30/12/2010 - 10:21 AM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) willfully shot at two Palestinians then arrested them while sitting in their car in Al-Khalil without any justification other than opening the window of their car.
One of the two Palestinian detainees, who were wounded in the incident last Thursday, relayed their story of what had happened.
Mohammed Al-Ja'bari said on Wednesday that he was sitting with his cousin in their car when four settlers approached their car and started harassing them.
One of the settlers asked them to open the window of the car, Ja'bari recalled, adding that when he did so IOF soldiers manning a nearby roadblock started firing at the car hitting him with shrapnel in the head while his cousin was hit with two bullets in the head and back. He added that his cousin remained unconscious for two days and was still in hospital.
The Palestinian prisoner's association, whose lawyer visited Ja'bari and conveyed his version of what had happened, held the Israeli occupation authority fully responsible for the lives of both detainees.

Dozens of prisoners injured in jailors' storming of their wards in Ofer

[ 30/12/2010 - 10:18 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Special forces of the Israeli prison service known as the Nahshon stormed the Ofer military prison on Wednesday night, beat up prisoners, and fired gas bombs at them hurting dozens.
Prisoners reported that more than eight of them suffered fractures and bruises as a result of the sudden storming operation and the beatings while tens suffered breathing problems.
They said that the operation focused on ward 14 during which surprise searches were made using dogs in the process after forcing prisoners to strip.
The prisoners in all wards of Ofer declared a state of alert as tensions ran high as a result of the storming operation.
The Ofer jail includes two main buildings and ten wards in which more than 1,200 Palestinian prisoners are held.

Eight Detainees Injured, Dozens Treated For Gaza Inhalation After Being Attacked By Soldiers

Thursday December 30, 2010 09:00 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
Undercover Forces of the Nahshon Israeli Military Unit, broke on Wednesday at night into the Ofer Israeli military detention center, and attacked Palestinian detainees wounding eight while dozens suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Ofer During Previous Attack - File
Ofer During Previous Attack - File
Eight Palestinian detainees suffered fractures and concussions after being violently assaulted by the soldiers who broke into their rooms, fully armored, fired gas bombs and attacked the detainees with batons and rifle-buts.

Although soldiers broke into several sections at the detention facility, the main attack was focused on section 14 as the soldiers searched the rooms, and forced the detainees to undress under the pretext of searching them.

The undercover forces also used dogs during the search but did not locate anything “unusual”.

It is worth mentioning that Ofer prison includes two main buildings that consist of 10 sections where more than 12000 Palestinian detainees are held.

Detainees in Ofer are mainly those who received administrative detention, orders in addition to those who were not sent to court, and the detainees who were sentenced by military courts but were not moved to other prisons.

Higher national committee slams kidnapping of MP Attal

[ 29/12/2010 - 08:03 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The higher national committee for the support of prisoners strongly denounced the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) for re-kidnapping Palestinian lawmaker Mohamed Attal, saying his detention is a blatant violation of international law that provides immunity for all elected parliamentarians around the world.
The committee noted that with the kidnapping of Attal, the number of Palestinian lawmakers in Israeli jails rose to 10 MPs.
It underlined that the IOA in the last two months deliberately resumed the arbitrary detention of Palestinian lawmakers and kidnapped four of them, one of them was exiled after his imprisonment from occupied Jerusalem to the West Bank.
The committee highlighted that Israel adopted the policy of kidnapping Palestinian lawmakers after Hamas Movement won the legislative elections in 2006 and locked up 56 of them in its jails in an attempt to abort the democratic experience and the political system in the Palestinian arena.
The committee appealed to the European parliaments to have a clear position against such violation and pressure Israel to release all Palestinian lawmakers from its jails.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Palestinian female detainee on four weeks of hunger strike

[ 29/12/2010 - 10:25 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Linan Abu Ghulma has been on hunger strike for four weeks after the Israeli prison services refused to unite her with her sister Taghrid in the Damon jail, the Dhameer society for prisoners said.
It said in a press release on Tuesday that its lawyer Samer Samaan met with Linan in Hasharon jail where the Israeli prison authority and intelligence official were pressuring her and playing on her nerves.
He said that the officials were trying to compel Linan to end her strike especially after she started to vomit and to suffer acute pain.
The lawyer said that the prison authority repeatedly promised to unite her with her sister but backtracked citing various pretexts.
The prison authority finally agreed to move Linan from solitary confinement to the general wards after she said she would eat one meal a day, the lawyer said, noting that after her transfer she remained on hunger strike.
Samaan said that Linan wanted to visit Taghrid at least once before her release next week, adding that she would not end her strike until her demand was met.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

When the Exception Becomes the Rule: Incommunicado Holding of Palestinian Detainees


70 to 90 percent of GSS interrogees were denied meetings with an attorney for more than two weeks, in order to pressure them to confess
Many detainees reported torture, violence and abuse in interrogations while being prevented from meeting a lawyer
The new report by the Public Committee Against Torture reveals, for the first time, the extent and application of the prevention order exception, which to this date remains protected by official ISA secrecy
When the Exception Becomes the Rule.pdf1.06 MB

Israeli secret report on inhumane conditions of detainees disclosed

[ 28/12/2010 - 05:13 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Haaretz newspaper published a confidential report prepared by the Israeli association of jurists revealing the tragic and inhumane incarceration conditions which the Palestinian prisoners imprisoned in solitary cells are living in.
The report pointed out that hundreds of Palestinian detainees were locked up over the past years in solitary confinement and most of them were leaders of prisoners.
The Israeli activists who made the report worked as official inspectors sent by the association of jurists to visit Israeli prisons and meet with Palestinian detainees.
According to the report the isolation cells in all Israeli prisons, especially in Ayalon and Shikma jails, are like the cells of dungeons, small, infested with insects, smelly, cold, without windows and totally unsuitable for humans.
The report pointed out that the isolation of detainees from other prisoners in solitary for a long period of time has psychological effects on them and many of them develop mental problems inside these cells.
In another incident, the same newspaper said that about 90 percent of Palestinian prisoners being interrogated by the Shin Bet security apparatus are prevented from consulting with an attorney, according to a report published by the public committee against torture in Israel and the Palestinian prisoners' society.
The Shin Bet refused in the past to provide data on the numbers of prisoners who are prevented from meeting with a lawyer, but Haaretz quoted the Shin Bet as saying that it has legal clearance to keep certain detainees from lawyers.
According to this report, during prolonged periods when prisoners are kept from meeting with lawyers, the Shin Bet utilizes interrogation methods that run contrary to international law, Israeli laws and Israeli commitments to avoid such methods.
Among these interrogation methods are tying prisoners for a long time to a chair with their hands behind the back, sleep deprivation, threats usually of harming family members, humiliation and being kept for long periods in unsanitary cells.
The report said that the numbers of those whose right to an attorney was blocked between 2000 and 2007 ranged between 8, 379 to 10, 773 detainees.

IOF kidnap once again MP Tal from his home in Al-Khalil

[ 28/12/2010 - 11:00 AM ]

Al-KHALIL, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped at dawn Tuesday Hamas lawmaker Mohamed Al-Tal after a violent raid on his home in the occupied city of Al-Khalil.
Parliamentary sources told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that a large number of Israeli troops encircled the house of MP Tal before storming and ransacking it and then they rounded him up.
MP Tal is the fourth lawmaker who was kidnapped for the second time by the IOF.
For its part, the international campaign for the release of lawmakers warned of Israeli intents to kidnap anew the MPs affiliated with Hamas and called on the international community to break its silence towards the violations committed by Israel against them.
The campaign urged all parliamentarians around the world to stand by their Palestinian counterparts whose parliamentary immunity is being violated by Israel and called on human rights organizations to internationalize these violations and work on filing lawsuits against Israel.
For their part, Hamas MPs in the West Bank expressed deep concern and anger at the detention of MP Tal once again.
They charged that the act was in line with Israel's incessant attempts to paralyze the Palestinian legislative council, vowing that the policy would not change their insistence on defending national constants to which they were elected to protect.

Israeli forces detain Palestinian near Tulkarem

TULKAREM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces detained a Palestinian man from the Nur Shams refugee camp east of Tulkarem on Wednesday morning, family members said.

The parents of 21-year-old Yasser Mahmoud Abdul-Rahim said that Israeli troops surrounded the home in the early hours of the day, and waited for an intelligence officer to arrive, who entered the home with armed escorts. The soldiers ransacked the home, his parents said, and confiscated the family computer.

Abdul-Rahim has served a total of three years in Israeli prisons in more than four separate stints. He has never been charged and was last released on 28 September 2010 after serving a year in administrative detention.

Israeli military officials said in a statement that overnight forces "arrested 3 Palestinian suspects in the Judea and Samaria region," noting all three were taken for questioning.

Shin Bet tortures detainees & denies access to lawyers

Al Qassam website - As many as 90 percent of Palestinian detainees being interrogated by the "Shin Bet" security service are prevented from consulting with an attorney, even though civilian and military legislation state clearly that such prohibition should be rarely applied, according to a report published by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and the Palestinian Prisoners' Society.
Among the Zionist interrogation methods are tying detainees for a long time to a chair with their hands behind the back, sleep deprivation, threats (usually of harming family members), humiliation and being kept for long periods in unsanitary cells.
The "Shin Bet" has refused in the past to provide data on the numbers of Palestinian detainees who are prevented from meeting with a lawyer.
In the absence of official data, The Public Campaign and the Prisoners Society carried out research and cross-referenced their information with different sources in order to estimate the numbers of prisoners who are prevented from meeting with lawyers.
According to estimates, 11,970 Palestinians the Shin Bet interrogated between 2000 and 2007, the numbers of those whose right to an attorney was blocked ranged between 8,379 to 10,773.

Report: 90% of Shin Bet Detainees Prevented from Seeing Lawyer
28.12.10 - 16:14
Jerusalem – PNN - According to study by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), up to 90% of Palestinian prisoners interrogated by the Israeli Shin Bet security team are not allowed to consult with their lawyers, a right guaranteed by international agreements.
Palestinian prisoners in an Israeli jail (PNN Archive).
 The Shin Bet claims it can refuse legal consultation to some prisoners in rare cases, but the high rate of refusal may point to different concerns, according to the study’s author, Dr. Maya Rosenfeld.
The PCATI study points to widespread use of illegal interrogation methods such as sleep deprivation, threats of violence, solitary confinement in unsanitary conditions, and tying prisoners to chairs with their hands behind their backs. The Shin Bet will not provide data of its own.
Of the 11,970 detained Palestinians who have been interrogated by the Shin Bet, between 8,379 (70%) and 10,773 (90%) are refused the right to legal counsel, according to the PCATI study. The results of prolonged interrogation and imprisonment without legal counsel include false confessions as well as physical and psychological abuse and other human rights violations.

Israeli Activist Jonathan Pollak Sentenced to 3 Months in Prison; Tells Judge “I’ll Go to prison With my Head Held High”

27 December 2010 | International Solidarity Movement

Pollak was sentenced to three months imprisonment this morning at the Tel Aviv Magistrates’ Court for his participation in a 2008 bicycle in protest of the siege on Gaza. He will begin serving his sentence on Januray 11th.
Tel Aviv Magistrates court judge Yitzhak Yitzhak convicted Pollak of illegal assembly for his participation in a January 2008 Critical Mass ride against the siege on Gaza and then sentenced him to three months imprisonment that will begin on January 11th, 2011. Pollak was the only one detained at the said protest, and was accused of doing nothing other than riding his bicycle in the same manner as the rest of the protesters. The conviction activates an older three-month suspended sentence, imposed on Pollak in a previous trial for protesting the construction of the Separation Barrier. An additional three months prison term was also imposed for the current conviction, which will be served concurrently.
On his conviction, Pollak argued for his sentence, saying “I find myself unable to express remorse in this case [...]. If His Honor decides to go ahead and impose my suspended prison sentence, I will go to prison wholeheartedly and with my head held high. It will be the justice system itself, I believe, that ought to lower its eyes in the face of the suffering inflicted on Gaza’s inhabitants, just like it lowers its eyes and averts its vision each and every day when faced with the realities of the occupation.” See Pollak’s full statement bellow.
On January 31, 2008, some 30 protesters participated in a Critical Mass bicycle ride through the streets of Tel Aviv in protest of the siege on Gaza. During the protest, Pollak was arrested by plain-clothes police who recognized him from previous protests and because, as claimed in court, they assumed he was the organizer and figurehead of the event. The protest was allowed to continue undisturbed after Pollak’s arrest and ended with no further incidents or detentions.
The arrest and consequent indictment appears to be the result of police vindictiveness, rather than of Pollak’s behavior at the time of the event; Pollak was but one in a group of protesters who behaved exactly like him, yet he was the only one to be singled out. Moreover, environmental Critical Mass events take place in Tel Aviv on a regular basis, but have never been met with such a response. Other protests, which have caused far more sever obstruction of traffic (e.g. the motorcade protest of thousands of motorcycles) did not result in arrests, and surely did not lead to the filing of criminal charges and imprisonment.
Adv. Gaby Lasky, Pollak’s lawyer: “The police not only singled out Pollak from a crowd of people who all did exactly as he did, but also singled out the entire protest for no reason other than its political alignment. Similar events regularly take place in Tel Aviv without police intervention, let alone arrests and indictments.”
Pollak’s sentencing argument:
Your Honor, once found guilty, it is then customary for the accused to ask the court for leniency, and express remorse for having committed the offence. However, I find myself unable to do so. From its very beginning, this trial contained practically no disagreements over the facts. As the indictment states, I indeed rode my bicycle, alongside others, through the streets of Tel Aviv, to protest the siege on Gaza. And indeed, while riding our bicycles, which are legally vehicles belonging on the road, we may have slightly slowed down traffic. The sole and trivial disagreement in this entire case revolves around testimonies heard from police detectives, who claimed I played a leading role throughout the protest bicycle ride, something I, as well as the rest of the Defense witnesses, deny.
As said earlier, it is customary at this point of the proceedings to sound remorseful, and I would indeed like to voice my regrets regarding one particular aspect of that day’s events: if there is remorse in my heart, it is that, just as I argued during the trial, I did not play a prominent role in the protest that day, and thus did not fulfill my duty to do everything within my power to change the unbearable situation of Gaza’s inhabitants, and bring to an end Israel’s control over the Palestinians.
His Honor has stated during the court case, and will most likely state again in the future, that a trial is not a matter of politics, but of law. To this I reply that there is hardly anything to this trial except political disagreement. This Court may have impeded the mounting of an appropriate defense when it refused to hear arguments regarding political selectiveness in the Police’s conduct, but even from the testimonies which were admitted, it became clear such a selectiveness exists.
The subject of my alleged offense, as well as the motivation behind it were political. This is something that cannot be sidestepped. The State of Israel maintains an illegitimate, inhuman and illegal siege on the Gaza Strip, which still is occupied territory according to international law. This siege, carried out in my name and in yours as well, sir, in fact in all of our names, is a cruel collective punishment inflicted on ordinary citizens, residents of the Gaza strip, subjects-without-rights under Israeli occupation.
In the face of this reality, and as a stance against it, we chose on January 31st, 2008, to exercise the freedom of speech afforded to Jewish citizens of Israel. However, it appears that here in our one-of-many-faux-democracies in the Middle East, even this freedom is no longer freely granted, even to society’s privileged sons.
I am not surprised by the Court’s decision to convict me despite having no doubt in my mind that our actions on that day correspond to the most basic, elementary definitions of a person’s right to protest.
Indeed, as the Prosecution pointed out, a suspended prison sentence hung over my head at the time of the bicycle protest, having been convicted before under an identical article of law. And, although I still maintain I did not commit any offense whatsoever, I was aware of the possibility that under Israeli justice, my suspended sentence would be imposed.
I must add that, if His Honor decides to go ahead and impose my suspended prison sentence, I will go to prison wholeheartedly and with my head held high. It will be the justice system itself, I believe, that ought to lower its eyes in the face of the suffering inflicted on Gaza’s inhabitants, just like it lowers its eyes and averts its vision each and every day when faced with the realities of the occupation.

Updated on December 28, 2010

Second Prison Term for Conscientious Objector Ajuad Zidan

New Profile

- Please distribute widely -CO Ajuad Zidan
Conscientious objector Ajuad Zidan was sentenced to 20 days of imprisonment for refusing to enlist to the Israeli army.

CO Ajuad Zidan, 18, from the town of Beit Jann, a Palestinian member of the Druze religious community, was sentenced to 20 days of imprisonment on 14 Dec for his refusal to enlist in the Israeli military. This is his second term in prison (he was earlier sentenced to 10 days in prison on 30 Nov., although he was released a few days early following the evacuation of Military Prison no. 6 during the fire on Mt. Carmel earlier this month). He is currently held in Military Prison no. 4.
Members of the Druze community, unlike most other Palestinian citizens of Israel, are conscripted into the Israeli army. Explaining his refusal to enlist Ajuad Zidan stated to the press that “the loneliness of the prison cell is one thousand times better than standing in front of my people while pointing a gun at them, or imposing a curfew on them”. On top of that, Ajuad has also stated his refusal to carry weapons or be part of any military force in general.
Ajuad is due to be released on 30 December, and is likely to be imprisoned again afterwards. We have only received full information on his case (and an explicit authorisation to publish it) at this late stage, so, currently sending him messages directly to prison will not make much sense (he will be out by the time they arrive). However, letters of support and encouragement can still be sent to him via e-mail to: (hitting “reply all” to this message will send the message to the same address), and they will be printed out and delivered during either on a visit or shortly after his release.
Recommended Action
First of all, please circulate this message and the information contained in it as widely as possible, not only through e-mail, but also on websites, social networks, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.
Other recommendations for action:
1. Sending Letters of Support
Please send Ajuad Zidan letters of support to
2. Letters to Authorities
It is recommended to send letters of protest on the objectors’ behalf, preferably by fax, to:
    Mr. Ehud Barak, Minister of Defence, Ministry of Defence, Hakirya, Tel-Aviv 64743, Israel. E-mail: or Tel.: ++972-3-6975540 or ++972-3-6975423 Fax: ++972-3-6976711
Copies of your letters can also be sent to the commander of the military prison at:
    Commander of Military Prison No. 4, Military Prison No. 4, Military postal number 02507, IDF Israel. Fax: ++972-3-957-52-76
Another useful address for sending copies would be the Military Attorney General (note updated fax number):
    Avichai Mandelblit, Chief Military Attorney Military postal code 9605, IDF Israel Fax: ++972-3-569-45-26
It would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-HaShomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether an objector is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee:
    Gadi Agmon, Commander of Induction Base, Meitav, Tel-HaShomer Military Postal Code 02718, IDF Israel. Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52
For those of you who live outside Israel, it would be very effective to send protests to your local Israeli embassy. You can find the address of your local embassy on the web.
Here is a generic sample letter, which you can use in sending appeals to authorities on the prisoners’ behalf. Feel free to modify this letter or write your own:
    Dear Sir/Madam, It has come to my attention that Ajuad Zidan from the town of Beit Jann, a conscientious objector to military service, has been repeatedly imprisoned for his refusal to become part of the Israeli army, and is held in Military Prison no. 4 near Tzrifin. The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Ajuad Zidan is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals. This is especially clear in cases, such as Zidan’s, in which conscientious objectors are being sentenced more than once for their self-same decision to refuse enlistment. I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Ajuad Zidan, without threat of further imprisonment in the future, and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future. Sincerely,
3. Letters to media in Israel and in other countries
Writing op-ed pieces and letters to editors of media in Israel and other countries could also be quite useful in indirectly but powerfully pressuring the military authorities to let go of the objectors and in bringing their plight and their cause to public attention.
Here are some contact details for the main media outlets in Israel:
    Ma’ariv: 2 Karlibach st. Tel-Aviv 67132 Israel Fax: +972-3-561-06-14 e-mail:
    Yedioth Aharonoth: 2 Moses st. Tel-Aviv Israel Fax: +972-3-608-25-46
    Ha’aretz (Hebrew): 21 Schocken st. Tel-Aviv, 61001 Israel Fax: +972-3-681-00-12
    Ha’aretz (English edition): 21 Schocken st. Tel-Aviv, 61001 Israel Fax: +972-3-512-11-56 e-mail:
    Radio (fax numbers): Kol-Israel +972-2-531-33-15 and +972-3-694-47-09 Galei Zahal +972-3-512-67-20
    Television (fax numbers): Channel 1 +972-2-530-15-36 Channel 2 +972-2-533-98-09 Channel 10 +972-3-733-16-66
We will continue updating on further developments.

Medical neglect at Ha Likdar prison endangering lives of detainees

[ 27/12/2010 - 11:20 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Mandela Foundation in Jerusalem is denouncing the Israeli prison system for medical neglect in the Ha Likdar prison, calling on relevant parties to intervene in saving the lives of the sick.
Riyadh Dakhlullah al-Amour, an 11-time life prisoner from Bethlehem's Tekoa district, sustained two bullet wounds, one of the bullets removed from his body, and the other moving about at times, said foundation head Buthaina Duqmaq after visiting the prison and interviewing Amour.
Amour suffers a heart condition, Duqmaq added. He was fitted with a base maker when he was free. After being arrested, investigated, and taking a blow to the chest, the device suffered a gliche. It was later changed and placed on the other side of his chest.
“I feel today like I felt before the device was put in. Sometimes, my heart beat stops for half a minute or more. This requires attention from outside and an attempt to introduce a specialist. I also suffer from pain in the teeth,” Amour said.
Duqmaq expressed concern over the prison administration's decision to end prisoner Emad Zu'rub's hospital treatment and place him back in the Halikdar prison population before his recovery.
Zu'rub, also a life prisoner from Khan Younis who has been incarcerated since April 1993, suffers from cancer and more ailments and requires daily follow-up. His return to the prison is endangering to his life in light of his toppling medical condition.

Six Fishermen Kidnapped Near Israeli Shore

Tuesday December 28, 2010 07:21 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli military sources reported on Monday at night that six Palestinian fishermen were detained by the Navy after their approached an Israeli shore close to the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
File - Maan Images
File - Maan Images

The sources added that the Navy is currently interrogating the fishermen and claimed that they dropped an unknown object near the shore.

The army claimed that the boat was dragging the object before cutting it loose into the sea.

The object was discovered by special underwater sensors the Israeli Navy uses. It's nature remained unknown until the time of this report.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Israeli Army Arrests 9 French Nationals In The West Bank

Sunday December 26, 2010 16:13 by George Rishmawi - IMEMC News

The Israeli troops operating at the military checkpoint of Qalandia, north of Jerusalem arrested nine French protestors and assaulted others at the checkpoint, Sunday at noon.
Protestors at Qalandia Military Checkpoint (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)
Protestors at Qalandia Military Checkpoint (Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma)
The nine arrestees were taking part in a protest at the checkpoint expressing their solidarity with the Palestinian people and their rejection to the closure of Jerusalem by the Israeli authorities.

The protest started around 9:30 Sunday morning during which over 100 Palestinian and International protestors attempted to enter Jerusalem without permission from the Israeli soldiers.

Eyewitnesses told IMEMC over the phone that Israeli troops assaulted the protestors and beat them up with their batons and rifle buts wounding a number of them, including those who were arrested.

A major part of the protestors are part of a french delegation who came especially for a week of nonviolent activities over the Christmas week in coordination with a number of local organisations directly involved in popular resistance activities, in Beit Sahour and Bethlehem.

On Saturday three members of the group were arrested when they joined Palestinians to protest the closure of Al-Shuhada street in the city.

They also joined Palestinians in Al-Walaja village near Bethlehem on Friday to protest the ongoing settlement activities in the village.

4 Palestinian Security Officers Detained Near Hebron

Friday December 17, 2010 14:42 by Alessandra Bajec - IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli forces detained, on Thursday, four Palestinian officers at the entrance of Yatta village, near Hebron, Press TV reported.
(photo from Press TV)
(photo from Press TV)
Four Palestinian security officers were detained despite having shown their valid identity cards to Israeli soldiers, eyewitnesses said. No explanation was provided for the arrests.

Soldiers reportedly took the four to the local Israeli Civil Administration headquarters.

Such arrests are said to be common, not only amongst civilians but even with Palestinian officials, according to local sources.

An Israeli military spokeswoman made no comments on the detentions.

Palestinian Women Suffer Harsh Violations in Israeli Jails

Friday December 17, 2010 17:00 by Alessandra Bajec - IMEMC & Agencies

The P.A. spokesman in Gaza denounced, on Thursday, Israeli jailers for their treatment of Palestinian female prisoners, who suffer harsh and systematic violations, the Palestinian Information Centre reported.
(photo from the Palestinian Information Center)
(photo from the Palestinian Information Center)

Riyadh al-Ashqar, spokesman of the P.A. ministry of prisoners and ex-prisoners in Gaza City, commented on the sever treatment against Palestine women held captive in Israeli jails during an open forum organized by the independent bureau for human rights in Gaza City. He added that 36 Palestinian women are detained in the Israeli Hasharon and Damoun prisons.

Al-Ashqar described Israeli measures taken against female detainees including deprivation of family visits, solitary confinement, malnutrition, denial of adequate medical care. He argued the inhumane measures are aimed to prevent steadfastness and resoluteness of the captives.

A former prisoner named Fatima al-Zaq told, at the forum, her experience in an Israeli jail reporting that she was put in a dirty solitary confinement room while she was pregnant. Furthermore, Israeli doctors prescribed her wrong and unknown medicine a number of times, trying to abort her pregnancy.

Another ex-detainee, Fayrooz Arafa, narrated about her suffering while incarcerated in Israel's jails saying that the Israeli Prison Authority officials inflicted the worst psychological and physical torture on Palestinian female captives with the intention to kill their will.

Jamil Sarhan, director of the Bureau for Human Rights, criticized the punishment methods adopted in Israeli jails against Palestinian prisoners, including women and children, pointing out that international laws and conventions prohibit such measures.

Sarhan also condemned the poor health state of female captive Linan Abu Ghalamh. Abu Ghalama has been on hunger strike for 16 days so far after Israeli prison officials refused to join her with her sister Taghreed detained in another prison.

Shin Bet to Compensate PFLP Member After Torture

Friday December 17, 2010 12:43 by Alessandra Bajec - IMEMC & Agencies

The Shin Bet security service agreed to compensate a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine for torturing him in what the Haaretz daily newspaper called "an unusual move," sources reported on Friday.
(photo from
(photo from
The Palestinian man, reportedly identified as Jamal al-Hindi, is due to receive an undisclosed amount of compensation for partial disability resulting from, he claims, torture by Shin Bet agents 15 years ago.

Al-Hindi, a PFLP member from Qalqilyah, was detained by the Shin Bet in 1995 under suspicion of being behind the shooting deaths of three Israeli settlers swimming near Jericho. He had previously served three prison terms his involvement with the leftist party and for kidnapping Palestinians who allegedly collaborated with Israel.

After the investigation, according to Haaretz, al-Hindi claimed he gave a false confession under duress, explaining that he had told interrogators what they wanted to hear in order to make them stop the torture. The Palestinian man added saying that his employers confirmed he had been at work, in the settlements of Alfei Menashe and Tzofim, at the time of the murder.

The allegation of murder was therefore dropped, and he spent six months in prison for belonging to the PFLP.

In a lawsuit filed after the interrogation, Hindi described the torture he underwent consisting of handcuffing, deprivation of sleep, shaking and slapping, threats of death and destruction of property.

One year later, a doctor who examined him, reportedly testified that the victim suffered a 30% psychiatric disability as a result of the torture.

After fourteen years, Haaretz paper said, the Shin Bet has finally agreed that compensation will be provided though without admitting wrong or accepting responsibility. The court would not disclose the details of the agreement.

Palestinian prisoners of Assabea to go on hunger strike in protest at violations

[ 27/12/2010 - 10:48 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Ahrar center for the prisoners' studies and human rights said that the Palestinian prisoners in Assabea prison on Monday may go on hunger strike in protest at their inhumane incarceration conditions and the violations committed against them by the prison administration.
Lawyer Mohamed Abdeen told Ahrar center on Sunday that over the past week, the prisoners refused to have many meals and warned the prison administration that they would take protest steps if it persisted in not answering their just demands.
The lawyer who was able to visit prisoner Imad Al-Sharif, sentenced to life imprisonment, said that the administration of Assabea prison tightens the noose around prisoners and neither provide them with their basic needs nor let them to buy anything from the store inside the prison.
The prisoners cannot run electric appliances because the electricity is very weak and the administration did not solve this problem, the lawyer affirmed, adding that they are also allowed to leave their rooms only for 50 minutes to stroll in a very small area.
Director of Ahrar center Fouad Al-Khafsh appealed to international human rights organizations and the media outlets to highlight the issue of Palestinian prisoners and expose the violations committed against them by Israel.
For its part, the Israeli prison authority decided on Sunday to suppress 250 Palestinian prisoners in the Negev prison and transfer them to a number of central jails.
It intends to send troops from Nahshon unit to forcibly evacuate the sections of the prison after the prisoners expressed their rejection of this arbitrary decision.
The Negev prisoners said they would take protest steps in response to the decision which violates the agreements reached with the Israeli prison administrations on the need to inform the prisoners about their transfer one week earlier.
In a related context, the prisoners' center for studies reported that the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are exposed every year to more than 780 inspections and search raids by Israeli troops and jailers.
The center affirmed that the military units specialized in inspections, some of them are known as Masada, Nahshon, and Dror, carry out every year about 60 violent search raids in every prison.

Director of the center Rafat Hamdouna stated that the strip search is also one of the most problematic violations the prisoners are exposed to, especially during their transfer to another prison, court, or hospital.

The Palestinian ministry of prisoners' affairs said in a report published by the Palestinian information center (PIC) that Israel is holding in its prison 36 Palestinian women in harsh imprisonment conditions.
The ministry stated that the female prisoners are imprisoned in Damon and Hasharon prison and among them 13 women suffering from deliberate medical neglect. The health conditions of some female detainees are described as very serious.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

800 Israeli troops raid flashpoint section of Nafha prison

[ 26/12/2010 - 04:42 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- 800 Israeli troops raided Sunday the 11 section of the Israeli Nafha prison, the Wa'id  prisoners society said, adding that the move was the most recent of a string of attacks amid rising administrative aggression in the facility.
“During the night raid, the prisoners were directly assaulted and all 12 of the section's cells were emptied, and the detainees were taken to old, abandoned sections which are missing the bare necessities of life. They remained there for 48 hours, suffering the cold desert weather.”
The Wa'id society called the attack unprecedented, adding that the nature of the attack, the equipment used, and the circumstances set a dangerous precedent.
The society is calling on the Red Cross and all other rights groups to immediately intervene in putting a stop to violence against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, saying that the danger that lies in such crimes is that they never reach the media in their true form.
He also called on the media to make stronger efforts to expose the terrorist acts that transpire inside Israeli prisons.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Palestinian captives in Hawwara go on hunger strike

[ 24/12/2010 - 12:41 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- Palestinian captives at the Hawwara detention centre started an open ended hunger strike on Thursday to protest the harsh detention conditions they are kept under at the notorious centre.
Raed Amer, director of the Palestinian Prisoners Society in the northern West Bank, said that this step was taken by the captives to protest the harsh conditions Palestinian captives suffer inside Israeli occupation jails and detention centres as they are not given the minimum of their rights, not even suitable water and food.
This protest is part of a series of protest measures started by Palestinian captives in a number of Israeli jails, to protest their conditions and the escalation of the prison authorities against the captives in those jails.

Friday, December 24, 2010

IOF troops storm Negev prison, confiscate captives’ winter clothes

[ 24/12/2010 - 11:03 AM ]

Gaza, (PIC)-- The National Supreme Committee for supporting Palestinian captives in Israeli jails said on Thursday that the Israeli occupation troops stormed the Negev desert jail and wreaked havoc on it before confiscating coats and winter clothes of Palestinian captives there.
Riyadh Al-Ashqar, the information officer of the committee, said in a statement he issued in this regard that the storming operation lasted for several hours where the jail guards backed by IOF troops assaulted the captives and confiscated their coats and dress they use for the biting winter season. The jail is located in the desert of Negev, which is known for its extreme cold climate during winter.
According to Ashqar, the Israeli prison authority alleged that the captives own mobile phones and other communication devices, and that they videoed parts of the party they held in the prison to celebrate Hamas 23rd founding anniversary and distributed it to media outlets.
He added that the IPA used such fabrications to transfer a number of the captives to different Israeli jails, accusing the Israeli occupation authority of deceiving the world by trying to show that Palestinian captives in Israeli jails live in luxury.
"In fact, the IPA wants out of such allegations to suppress the captives further, to confiscate all the achievements they have made while in prison, to deny them their legal rights, to justify imposing fines on them, and to send them to solitary confinement", Ashqar pointed out.
He urged all human right institutions to protect the captives against the "barbaric" Israeli occupation measures against them.
Commenting on the matter, Palestinian lawmaker MP Salah Al-Bardaweel of the Hamas change and reform bloc described the Israeli storming of the prison as "criminal" and a form of the Israeli extortion of the Palestinian people.
He also said in a statement he issued on Thursday that the practices of the Fatah militia against the Palestinian people and the political prisoners in Fatah jails in the West Bank have encouraged the Israeli occupation to escalate aggression against the Palestinian captives in Israeli occupation  jails.
"It seems that they [the Israeli occupation and Fatah militia] are sharing the roles in blackmailing the Palestinian people and squeezing the Palestinian resistance", Bardaweel underlined.
He also called on the Palestinian factions as well as human rights and institutions to consolidate efforts to protect the captives and to expose the Israeli crimes against them.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

National committee holds Israel responsible for life of detainee Asfour

[ 23/12/2010 - 12:09 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The higher national committee for prisoners held the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) fully responsible for the life of patient Ahmed Asfour imprisoned in Ramon jail and now hospitalized in Ramle prison hospital after his health condition critically deteriorated.
Spokesman for the committee Riyadh Al-Ashqar stated that prisoner Asfour is in a serious health condition after he sustained very serious shrapnel wounds during the last Israeli war, which led to the amputation of all his fingers and caused him to lose his pancreas and large parts of his intestines.
Asfour has become diabetic after he lost his pancreas and he is unable to relieve himself, have his meals or change his clothes alone without help from others, Ashqar added.
Despite his indescribable suffering, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped him at Beit Hanoun crossing on November 24, 2009 as he was being escorted by someone from his family to receive medical treatment in a hospital in occupied Jerusalem after his entry was approved by the IOA, the spokesman noted.
He affirmed that sudden health deterioration happened to Asfour a few days ago as a result of diabetic complications and consequently he started to have repeated comas, adding that his life has become threatened especially in light of the very poor health care given to him in jail.
The committee appealed to all international human rights organizations to urgently intervene to secure the release of patient Asfour who needs a pancreas transplant and a surgery for his damaged nerve cords.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Israel releases former Palestinian minister

JENIN (Ma’an) -- An Israeli military court decided Friday to release former Palestinian minister of prisoners affairs Wasfi Qabaha due to his deteriorating health condition, the Ahrar Center for Prisoner Studies reported after the final hearing.

Director of the center Fuad Al-Khafsh said the judge made the decision following a review of Qabaha's medical files detailing the worsening of his diabetes. He was detained one week earlier, on 10 December, and had yet to be charged.

Qabaha has served seven years in Israeli prisons. He was last released on 21 April 2010, after serving three years of Administrative Detention, without being charged, after his detention on 23 May 2007.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ofer court holds appeal hearing over administrative detention of MP Ramhi

[ 15/12/2010 - 02:12 PM ]

WEST BANK, (PIC)-- The Israeli court of Ofer military camp held a hearing to listen to the appeal filed by Palestinian lawmaker Mahmoud Al-Ramhi against a previous decision to detain him administratively for six months.
The lawyer of MP Ramhi said he lodged an appeal on behalf of his client after an Israeli military judge decided two months ago to keep the administrative imprisonment term issued earlier against the lawmaker by the Israeli army.
According to the lawyer, the Israeli military commandership justified the administrative detention of Ramhi by saying that he is a Hamas activist and leader who is involved in activities posing a threat to the security of Israel and the region.
The lawyer rejected these Israeli claims, affirming that MP Ramhi is a noted popular figure and his political activities cannot be used legally to justify his arbitrary detention.
In a separate incident, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed and ransacked at dawn Wednesday a number of Palestinian homes in the cities of Tulkarem, Jenin and Ramallah and kidnapped seven Palestinians during the raids, according to the Hebrew radio.

PFLP prisoners mark anniversary in occupation jails

PFLP website

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's organization of comrades in the prisons organized a series of cultural activities inside the occupation prisons to mark the 43rd anniversary of the PFLP.

In the Naqab prison, the comrades organized a series of addresses to their fellow prisoners on the history and programs of the Front, and also discussed how to rehabilitate and build the resistance of the Front.

Elsewhere, the comrades held discussions about the upcoming Seventh Conference of the Front, discussing ideas and proposals related to the settlements, Jerusalem and the return of refugees.

Furthermore, the prisoners organized clandestine celebrations of the anniversary involving Palestinians from all factions, together celebrating this important occasion in the history of the Palestinian national movement. 

Comrade Abu Daqqa addresses prisoner support conference in Vienna

PFLP website

Comrade Dr. Maryam Abu Daqqa, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP, and the president of the Palestinian Women's Studies and Development Association, participated as a main speaker in Vienna, Austria at the International Platform Against Isolation symposium on December 4-5, 2010. The annual international conference focuses on support and solidarity for political prisoners around the world, particularly those facing isolation and solitary confinement.

She spoke about the siege on Gaza and the imprisonment of 1 1/2 million Palestinians, as well as the fascist practices of the occupation against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. She discussed the ongoing denial of family visits to prisoners and medical neglect faced by Palestinian prisoners, as well as the leadership of the Palestinian prisoners movement, including by those subject to the isolation cells, like PFLP General Secretary Ahmad Sa'adat. She noted the Israeli policy of jailing Palestinian national leaders like Sa'adat, Marwan Barghouthi and Raed Salah.
She called for a larger and broader international campaign to support Palestinian prisoners and their families, demanding their release and the release of all political prisoners in the world. Furthermore, she emphasized that the Palestinian people will continue resistance until liberation, emphasizing that it was the duty of all international progressive forces to do their utmost to support that struggle.

The conference welcomed Comrade Abu Daqqa's speech warmly, cheering at the mention of Comrade Sa'adat's name. It issued a statement calling for freedom for prisoners in Palestine, Iraq, Turkey, and all over the world.

While in Vienna, Comrade Abu Daqqa also organized another lecture at the Palestinian community center in Vienna, discussing Palestinian national unity and the status of Palestinian women, as well as celebrating the 43rd anniversary of the PFLP.

Comrade Ibrahim Salem sentenced to 26 years in occupation prisons

PFLP website

Comrade Ibrahim Salem, from the Ein Beit Ilma refugee camp west of Nablus, was sentenced to 26 years in Israeli prisons by the occupation military courts on December 5, 2010.

He was accused of being a member of the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the PFLP, and has been "wanted" by the occupation since the Second Intifada. Attorney Mahmoud Hassan of Addameer foundation for Human Rights denounced the sentence and the ongoing illegal occupation capture of Palestinian political prisoners for struggling for the independence of their homeland.

He said that this was part of a war on Palestinian prisoners, as did Myassar Atiani, a longtime prisoner advocate who herself has been subject to administrative detention by the occupation.

Israeli Forces Stormed Palestinian MP House

Wednesday December 15, 2010 14:39 by Alessandra Bajec - IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli soldiers raided, on Tuesday, the house of Palestinian MP Halaika in Hebron, the Palestinian Information Center claimed.
(photo from Press TV)
(photo from Press TV)
Hamas lawmaker Samira al-Halaika said Israeli military raided the house at noon on Tuesday in the district of Shuyukh, in Hebron, erected a barrier in front of her house and stopped tens of cars questioning all people inside.

MP Halaika further reported that the Israeli army arrived in four vehicles breaking into her house, and gathered her along with her son Osama. One soldier told Halaika that they came to tell her "Happy Eid", however the lawmaker rejected the wishes replying that it was not Eid and that it was a provocative move.

Last month, Israeli forces raided Halaika's house overnight, locked up her family members in one room and abducted her eldest son Anas. The Hamas politician warned she would hold Israel responsible for any consequences that might affect her son.

The preventive security of the Ramallah authority summoned, on Monday and Tuesday, hundreds of Palestinians in Hebron including MP Halaika' s husband on the 23rd anniversary of the founding of Hamas. Her son Anas is still held captive for the 34th day in Jalama interrogation center.

Local sources estimate over 11,500 Palestinians are currently detained in Israeli jails under harsh conditions. Overall, 270 of the detainees are under the age of 18 and 33 of them are women.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners, almost half of the 315 prisoners arrested before the Oslo Agreement have been in Israeli jails for more than 20 years.

IOA isolates prisoner for persisting in hunger strike

[ 15/12/2010 - 09:41 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said that the Israeli occupation authorities had isolated prisoner Linan Abu Ghulma in Hasharon jail.
The PFLP in a statement on Tuesday night said that the solitary confinement was imposed on Linan two days ago after returning from a court hearing.
It added that the health of the PFLP cadre was deteriorating after 14 days of hunger strike in protest over the IOA refusal to put her and her sister Taghrid in one prison namely that of Damon.
The Front held the IOA fully responsible for the health condition of Linan.
It urged the Palestinian masses to display solidarity with the Abu Ghulma family that has been constantly targeted by the Israeli occupation forces, noting that the two sisters have a brother, Ahed, also held in IOA jails.

PA sends winter provisions to prisoners of Israel

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Prisoners Affairs sent Tuesday a shipment of warm winter clothing and blankets to the 2,200 Palestinian detainees rendered shelter-less at Israel's Negev prison in the wake of a wind-storm that knocked down the tent-homes of prisoners.

The ministry said the blankets and clothing cost 150,000 shekels ($41,713), and was being sent to the detainees after a series of reports from lawyers visiting the centers about the near freezing temperatures and inadequate resources being provided by the Israeli prison service.

In addition to the resources for detainees in the Negev, the ministry said, Gaza residents at the Ramon, Ashkilon and Beesheba prisons whose families are prohibited from making visits and bringing clothing would be handed blankets and warm sweaters from the fund.