Thursday, February 24, 2011

Conference at UN headquarters to shift world attention to Palestinian POWs

[ 24/02/2011 - 11:32 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Fouad Al-Khafsh, director of the Ahrar human rights center in Gaza, anticipated that the widely participated conference on prisoner rights to be held March 11 at UN headquarters in Geneva is sure to shift the world's attention to the cause of Palestinian prisoners of war and politics.
In a recent statement, Khafsh expressed gratitude to organizers the Oslo-based European Network to Support the Rights of the Palestinian Prisoners (Ufree), Right for All in Switzerland and 21 North-South.
He said that although he had participated in many international conferences in 2010, this one has an attraction certain to expose Israel's crimes against Palestinian prisoners to the entire world.
"The venue is distinguished and will raise world attention, being the symbol of demands for human dignity...The Geneva Conventions constituted a lever for human rights in the world,” he said.
The conference is expected to have high-profile turnout, and will include the former Swiss president, the president of the Global Parliamentarians, Lord Sheikh from the UK, the former president of the Red Cross, attorneys and rights organizations, who will hold roundtable talks and listen to testimonies of ex-prisoners and their families.
"It is one of our top priorities to transmit the real image highlighting the suffering of Palestinian captives in Israeli prisons [especially] those in administrative detention and solitary confinement and who have grown old in prison,” Khafsh said.

Israeli court extends isolation of prisoner Assayed

[ 24/02/2011 - 11:41 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Ahrar center for prisoners' studies and human rights said that an Israeli court extended the solitary confinement of Palestinian prisoner Abbas Assayed for six additional months.
Director of the center Fouad Al-Khafsh stated on Wednesday that Assayed has been locked up in isolation cell for six consecutive months and has been in jail since 2003 after he received 47 life sentences.
Khafsh stressed Israel violates international law that criminalizes the imprisonment of prisoners in solitary rooms.
He appealed to international human rights organizations to necessarily intervene to end the suffering of about 10 Palestinian prisoners isolated in Israeli jails.
In a separate incident, the Israeli occupation forces at dawn Thursday kidnapped 13 Palestinian citizens during violent raids on homes in different West Bank towns and villages.

Relatives: None of Palestinian detainees in Egypt released

[ 24/02/2011 - 10:41 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Cairo authorities did not release any of the Palestinian detainees in Egypt, relatives of those prisoners in the Gaza Strip said in a statement on Wednesday.
They said that the first report from Egypt about the release of 14 detainees was not true, as they were released from jail then taken back to it.
They added that the reported nine other detainees to be released on Wednesday were among the earlier 14 and were still in custody.
The relatives denounced the Egyptian authorities for tampering with their feelings, affirming that 24 detainees in the Egyptian Aqrab jail in Hilwan had entered their fifth day of hunger strike.

Egypt: Palestinian prisoners enter 5th day of strike

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Family members of 24 Palestinian men detained in Egyptian prisons said relatives entered their fifth day of a hunger strike initiated when their promised release was delayed.

A statement released by the families said that detainees were political prisoners, and had been promised release under the new Egyptian leadership.

Earlier reports, the family members said, that nine Palestinians were released were false, the prisoners had reported, saying the nine were returned to the same prison hours after their apparent release.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sheikh Raed Salah detained in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli police on Tuesday detained Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Raed Salah in Jerusalem while he was visiting an East Jerusalem neighborhood, saying he was suspected of committing arson.

Israel's police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Salah was suspected of setting fire to a forest area in southern Israel two weeks ago.

Salah's advisor Sheikh Ali Abu Sheikha said the sheikh was detained after visiting a sit-in protest tent in Silwan, the site of frequent home demolitions.

Though he has been periodically barred from Jerusalem, Salah regularly visits families with home demolition and eviction orders in a show of support.

Salah was released from an Israeli jail in December, after serving five months for allegedly spitting at an Israeli policeman in February 2007, a charge he has always denied.

On his release from prison, he said he was the victim of political persecution.

He has been detained on a number of occasions.

Abu Teir: Salah arrest aimed at silencing Jerusalemites
[ 23/02/2011 - 07:13 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Jerusalem's banished MP Mohammed Abu Teir condemned the arrest of Sheikh Raed Salah, calling it a new stab at ”silencing the voice of truth that defends Jerusalem”.
Salah, the leader  of the Islamic Movement in 1948-occupied Palestine, was arrested in the city's Sheikh Jarrah district Tuesday heading back from a festival in Silwan's Al-Bustan neighborhood.
Abu Teir told the Palestinian Information Center that Israel is seeking to “absent” Sheikh Salah for his role in exposing Israel's crimes against Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque.
The exiled MP stressed that the continued persecution of Salah and all other figures defending Palestinian rights would not deter defense efforts in Jerusalem, the Aqsa Mosque, and the Islamic and national constants, but would only motivate more efforts ”until all rights are returned to their people.”
Abu Teir called on the Arabs and Muslims to help Palestinians living in Jerusalem and 1948-occupied Palestine defend the city's holy sites from Israeli Judaization plots, and called upon Jerusalemites to ”firmly and strongly” be ready to stand up against and expose new transgression.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Detainee enters 22nd year in Israeli jail

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A detainee from Ramallah entered his 22nd year in an Israeli prison on Thursday, the Gaza government Detainees' Ministry said.

Hassan Yousef Mahmoud Ghafri, 40, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1990, accused of killing Israeli soldiers, ministry spokesman Riyad Ashqar said.

Ghafri received his high school diploma and learned English and Hebrew in prison, Ashqar said. He also excelled in writing poetry.

He enrolled at the Hebrew University but Israel's prison administration dismissed him from the program, the spokesman added.

Haneyya calls on released Qassam leader

[ 07/02/2011 - 10:39 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya on Sunday evening visited the Qassam Brigades commander Ayman Nofal who managed to get out of his Egyptian jail a few days earlier and headed back to Gaza.
Haneyya congratulated Nofal over his safe return after years in captivity, underlining that all Palestinians were pleased with the return of Nofal to his family and home.
The premier was accompanied by a number of ministers, senior officials, MPs, and Hamas leaders.
Nofal arrived back to his home in Nusseirat in central Gaza Strip on Saturday night after three years in Egyptian prisons with no charge being leveled against him. He was out of jail during the unrest that prevailed in the Egyptian streets demanding the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak.

Palestinians held in Etzion prison to announce hunger strike if demands not met

[ 07/02/2011 - 01:01 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Palestinians held in the Israeli Etzion prison are in the process of announcing a hunger strike in protest of inhumane treatment at the facility, the Palestinian Prisoner Society said.
The prison administration has yet to offer a reason for its stubborn refusal to allow blankets and clothes, the PPS's attorney said. The captives also complain of the poor quality and lack of food there.
Separately, prisoners jailed in Nafha have begun taking steps to see their demands are met.
They are demanding that university students there are permitted to complete studies, blankets, treatment for the sick and an end to degrading searches, the PPS said.
Meanwhile in the Eichel prison, administration has recently replaced the once large yard there for a restricted area with a concrete roof blocking the sun, another human rights group said in statements on Sunday.
Because of crowding, prisoners force the prisoners not to stay there more than ten minutes, the Tadhamon (Solidarity) rights group.
As the oldest Israeli prison, built in 1970 and holding 350 Palestinians, it is rife with abuses.
In addition to a food crisis, prisoners are medically neglected, many of them not provided medicines they require.
They have filed several requests for improvements on conditions, but the prison administration has yet to respond.


Group: Prisoners denied basic needs
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian detainees held in Israel's Etzion prison near Bethlehem are denied basic needs, Palestinian Prisoners' Society lawyer said Sunday.

The lawyer said Israeli authorities refused to allow the organization to bring blankets, clothing or food to detainees.

He said the prisoners were considering starting a hunger strike in protest at conditions in the facility.

Nofal: We got out of jail against the will of the oppressors

Nofal: We got out of jail against the will of the oppressors

Al Qassam website- Gaza -Qassam Brigades leader Ayman Nofal told the PIC on Saturday night that the Palestinian prisoners got out of the Egyptian jail "against the will of the oppressors".
He expressed appreciation for all those who arrived to his home in Gaza to congratulate him on his safe return from Egyptian captivity.
He also thanked the media that displayed solidarity with his case and with all the Palestinians who took part in rallies demanding his release.
Nofal said that they came under intensive fire by jailors during the escape and that he was slightly wounded in the incident.
The Qassam commander said that relatives of Egyptian detainees stormed the jail, which led to their release from captivity.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Palestinian held by Israel sustains stroke upon hearing of son's death

[ 06/02/2011 - 07:16 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- A Palestinian man held in the Israeli Ramle prison sustained a stroke after hearing his 16-year-old son had died from cirrhosis of the liver.
Two months later, his family has no clue to his whereabouts or medical condition.
The man Fawzi Atiyya Abu Ghunaim like many other Palestinians jailed in Israel has been denied family visits and contact under the Shalit law imposed four years ago.
Abu Ghunaim, a  father of eight, was arrested in 2009 and has since been detained without sentence.
The Wa'id prisoner rights society in Gaza, who the family contacted after concerns peaked, said there are around 1,200 ill prisoners suffering medical neglect. Among them, 50 are in the Ramle hospital and have not received required treatment. Many of them need surgery, but the prison administration has been stalling.

Hamas commander back to Gaza

Hamas commander back to Gaza  

Al Qassam website - A senior Hamas commander returned to the Gaza Strip on Saturday after breaking out of a Cairo jail during the political upheaval in Egypt, sources in the Palestinian Islamist movement said.
They said Ayman Nofal had been arrested in the Egyptian Sinai in early 2008 inside Egypt.
Five other Palestinian citizens who had been held at Abu Zaabal prison in Cairo made their way back to Gaza this week.
A number of prominent prisoners have escaped from Egyptian jails over the last week as law and order collapsed when mass protests against President Hosni Mubarak began and police were temporarily withdrawn from the streets.
Also on Sunday, three Palestinian security prisoners reportedly escaped back to the Gaza Strip. Officials in Gaza said the three had fled during the upheaval and returned to the coastal territory.



Hamas militant arrives in Gaza after escaping Egypt jail
Published yesterday (updated) 06/02/2011 21:40
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A leader of Hamas' armed wing arrived in the Gaza Strip on Saturday after escaping from an Egyptian prison.

Thousands of prisoners broke out of jail in Egypt amid security chaos as ongoing anti-government protests spread across the country.

Al-Qassam Brigades militant Ayman Noufel returned to the Al-Buriej refugee camp in central Gaza, where he was received by his family and senior Hamas leaders.

Noufel was detained three years ago in El-Arish, when thousands of Palestinians broke out of Gaza through the wall on Egypt's border.

He was one of eight Palestinians who escaped from Egyptian jails, six of whom have returned to Gaza.

The whereabouts of the remaining two is still unclear, but their families said they received unconfirmed information that Egyptian forces detained them at a checkpoint near Sheikh Zweid, a city 15 kilometers from the Gaza border.

According to official statistics in Gaza, 39 Palestinians were in Egyptian prisons before the protests broke out. More than a dozen had court orders mandating their release, but Egyptian security insisted on keeping them in custody.

The oldest detainee to escape was Mu’tasem Al-Quka, who spent seven years in Abu Za'bal prison accused of affiliation with Hamas.

He added he did not know at first what he was charged with but was later told it was for being a member of a movement banned in Egypt.

Al-Quka said he was ill-treated in Egyptian prisons especially in Abu Za’bal prison. He said prisoners were able to flee the jail because Egyptians demolished its walls.

Palestinian prisoner hospitalized after health failure

[ 06/02/2011 - 05:23 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Family awaits the fate of Ahmed Hamid al-Najjar, 34, since he was transferred to the Israeli Sabe' prison hospital a week ago.

Najjar's wife phoned the Ahrar prisoner rights center expressing concern over a letter she received that her husband was spotted over a week back bound by the legs in the prison's hospital.

The Silwad native, who is also a US national, was arrested in December 2003 and later diagnosed with a vicious form of cancer that cost him his speech.

According to Ahrar center director Fouad al-Khafsh, Najjar was recovering but an opening in his neck that aided his breathing closed up leading to a deteriorating medical condition and breathing difficulties. He has since been receiving treatment.

"The center has received serious indications of an increase in prisoners diagnosed with cancer, those whose treatment was put off by Israeli authorities until the disease worsened and became difficult to cure," Khafsh said. "They are then treated with chemotherapy, which inflicts exhaustion and extreme fatigue on the Palestinian prisoner, who does not find any care."

European doctors denied access to Palestinians in Israeli prisons

[ 06/02/2011 - 01:08 PM ]

WEST BANK, (PIC)-- Israeli prison authorities have blocked European medical experts from carrying out inspections on several Palestinians prisoners.
The Palestinian prisoner committee said in a statement on Saturday that it requested permission from Israeli authorities for a board of specialists to conduct tests on Hamas leader Jamal Abul-Haija, Ahmed Saadat from the PLFP, Haitham Salihiyya and Zamil Shalouf, who have been diagnosed with various ailments so far untreated by the Israeli prison system.
Abul-Haija has been sentenced to nine life terms in solitary confinement in addition to 80 years. One of his hands was amputated after he was shot in a clash with Israeli forces. He has received no medical attention since his arrest.
Ahmed Saadat, a senior official in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, suffers pain in the neck and high blood pressure, but has not received treatment since his placement in isolation in 2009.
Zamil Shalouf, a 15-year prisoner from Beit Hanoun, has complained of pain from a device Israeli doctors planted in his body in 2008. The prison administration has yet to provide information on the device's nature.
Some prisoners reportedly have rejected test results taken by Israel.
The prison administration has banned entry of the medical team because of what it has called security risks.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Israeli forces detain dozens of Palestinian workers

[ 05/02/2011 - 10:18 AM ]

NAZARETH, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces detained and beat up tens of Palestinian workers over the past couple of days while trying to find jobs in the 1948 occupied Palestinian land, the Palestinian Workers Union said on Friday.
PWU added in a statement that the Israeli border police forces launched a campaign of arrests in lines of those workers despite some of them having work permits.
It said that Israeli intelligence officers confiscated work permits of some of those workers and prevented them from returning to their work places in 1948 occupied Palestine.
The Union warned of Israeli summary trials against those workers, adding that heavy fines were imposed on them.

Megiddo prisoners threaten to go on hunger strike over strip searches

[ 05/02/2011 - 08:40 AM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- The Megiddo prison administration could be exploiting the world's preoccupation with Egypt to impose heavier restrictions, prisoners say.

Prisoners have threatened to kick off an open-ended hunger strike to protest the escalation.

The prison administration has engaged in suppressive policies turning life into hell, prisoners wrote in a statement to the public on Friday, saying they are forced into strip searches, severe beatings and property damage during nearly everyday night raids.

They complained of prison transfers, hefty fines, denial of visits and canteen, and a critical shortage in books.

The administration has refused to respond to dozens of complaints.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ministry of captives condemns PA summoning of captive's wife in Ramallah

[ 04/02/2011 - 09:06 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The ministry of captives in the Gaza Strip has strongly condemned the PA security forces in the West Bank city of Ramallah for summoning wife of a Palestinian captive incarcerated in an Israeli occupation jail, describing such behavior as a stab in the back of the captives.
The ministry added, in a statement it issued in this regard, that the PA security forces summoned Palestinian citizen Fatima Shaker Al-Ajrab, wife of Palestinian captive Hussein Yakoob Al-Ajrab who is under administrative detention in occupation jails since 18 months. He spent several periods in occupation jails totaling ten years.
The ministry also explained that Mrs. Al-Ajrab was sick and suffered a stroke recently and described the summoning of her by the PA security as a "stab" in the back of the captives who sacrificed everything precious for their national issue and for the liberation of their country.
In this concern, the ministry urged all legal institutions and human rights organizations to condemn the PA attitude, saying that at least 157 Palestinian citizens were arrested at the hands of the PA security apparatuses moments after they were released from Israeli jails.

Detainees are following the Egyptian revolution

Detainees are following the Egyptian revolution
Qassam website 

Palestinian captives in the Negev desert prison are following closely the progress of the Egyptian people’s revolution and the news emanating from the Tahrir Square in Cairo through whatever media means available to them in Jail.
In a letter leaked out of prison the captives said that despite the very cold weather at night captives of different political persuasions are following closely events taking place in Egypt and pray for the success of the people’s revolution.
The captives said in their letter that the Egyptian people were always an inspiration to other people and a source of pride for the Arabs, adding that the Palestinian cause was always in need of the support of the Egyptian people without obstacles to stop Zionist encroachments in Jerusalem and the West Bank and end the siege on the Gaza Strip.
The captives said that most of them, even Fatah’s captives, support the demands of the Egyptian protesters.

Center: Detainee's wife banned from visits

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israel's prison administration has banned a detainee's wife from visits for one year because she refused to be strip-searched, a detainees' center said Thursday.

Mahmoud Al-Qawasmi's wife was accused of trying to smuggle a cell phone to her husband during a visit.

She denies the charge, and said she is banned because she refused to submit to a strip-search.

Al-Qawasmi was detained in 2004 and sentenced to 21 years accused of resisting the occupation.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

More Palestinians escape Egypt prisons

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Four more Palestinians who were held in an Egyptian prison returned to the Gaza Strip on Sunday.

Mu’tasem Al-Quka, jailed than seven years in Abu Za’bal prison, said, “I was detained while I was on my way to Egypt, on the accusations that I am an affiliate in Hamas movement.”

He added he did not know at first the charge against him was but later told it was for being a member of a movement banned in Egypt.

Al-Quka stressed that he was ill-treated in Egyptian prisons especially in Abu Za’bal prison. He said that the prisoners were able to flee the prison as the Egyptians demolished its walls.

He said many Palestinians were with him in the prison, eight of them from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

A spokesman for prisoners held in Egypt, Imad As-Sayyid, identified the four who escaped from Abu Za'bal as Mu’tasem Al-Quka, Omar Sha’th, Muhammad Abdul Hadi, and Kom’a At-Talha.

The prisoners made their escape when thousands broke out of jails across Egypt amid an absence of police and chaos sparked by nationwide riots demanding the end of Hosni Mubarak's regime.

Among those who returned Sunday was Mohammed Al-Shaer, a big name on the cross-border smuggling scene, arrested six months ago, and Hassan Washah, who served three years of a 10-year term for unspecified security offenses.

Other prisoners were said to have reached Egypt's port city of El-Arish and were expected to reach Gaza later, official sources said.

Although they managed to enter by tunnel, most other movement of goods ground to a halt on Sunday, sparking fears of a fuel shortage in the Israeli-blockaded territory.

Abu Abed Alwahab, a Hamas border guard, said, however, that tunnel workers were being allowed into the frontier zone. "Our mission is to protect the border," he said.

"We prevent anyone from coming near, except for some workers in the tunnels."

AFP contributed to this report.

Palestinian prisoner escapes Egyptian jail

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian held in an Egyptian prison has returned to the Gaza Strip, his family said Sunday.

Relatives of Hassan Washah said he returned to the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the fate of dozens of other Palestinian prisoners in Egyptian custody is still unclear. Egyptian state security recently arrested seven Palestinians from Gaza, including a student accused of inventing a hi-tech surveillance system.

Spokesman for relatives of Palestinians held in Egypt Imad As-Sayyid said Egypt is holding 39 Palestinians, and that 11 escaped from Abu Za'bal prison on the desert road between Cairo and Alexandria.

As-Sayid said his brother Muhammad was among those who escaped, and that he was on his way home.

The spokesman added that his brother had been detained for 21 months despite an official decision to release him earlier.

The wife of Ayman Nofal, a prominent member of Hamas’ military wing Al-Qassam Brigades detained in Egypt, said she had not received any news about him. She could not confirm that he escaped from Al-Marj prison.

As-Sayid could not confirm media reports that Muhammad Ramadan Ash-Shaer escaped prison and returned to his home in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Ash-Shaer is a notorious smuggler, known in Gaza as the "King of tunnels," and "Al-Far," (the mouse).

Egyptian authorities detained Ash-Shaer six months ago when he returned from Saudi Arabia. He was traveling on his brother's passport.