Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Qalqiliya man released after 7-year detention

QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- Israel on Monday released Shadi Abu Shareb after detaining him for seven years.

Abu Shareb, from Qaliqilya, was held at the Negev desert prison in southern Israel. He was accused of affiliation to Fatah's armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Brigades.

Crowds of Palestinians and Fatah representatives waited at the entrance to Qalqiya to congratulate Abu Shareb on his release.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Abdullah Ameer was released from Israel's Ramon prison.

Ameer, from from Bal'a village in Tulkarem, completed a five-year sentence two weeks ago, but Israel's prison administration kept postponing his release.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

DCI-Palestine Detention Bulletin - Issue 16 - April 2011


DCI-Palestine's monthly bulletin on detention issues.

Detention Bulletin - Issue 16 - April 2011



ahmad-qatamishI hugged him then like I was meeting him for the first time and asked him to promise not to be gone for so long again. Being impeccably honest, he said: ‘I wish I could. They must first get out of our lives before I can make such a promise.’”
Haneen Qatamish
Date of birth: 1 April 1951
Place of residence: Al-Bireh
Occupation: Writer and political scientist
Marital status: Married with one daughter
Place of detention: Ofer Prison
Date of Arrest: 21 April 2011
Number of detention orders to date: 1
Days spent in detention without charge or trial: 35 and counting
Expected end of current detention order: 2 September 2011

At 2 a.m. on 21 April 2011, Ahmad Qatamish was arrested by the Israeli Occupying Forces at his brother’s home in Ramallah. One hour earlier, Ahmad’s wife, 22-year-old daughter and two other female relatives, including a 14-year-old child, were taken hostage by Israeli troops in his home in order to compel him to surrender himself. Shortly before 1 am, Ahmad’s daughter, Haneen, and wife, Suha, heard pounding on the door and found thirty to forty heavily-armed soldiers surrounding the house in combat formation. Ahmad was at his brother’s house, where he was spending the night. Haneen, along with her mother, went to alert her 69-year-old aunt and 14-year-old cousin who were sleeping to the presence of the soldiers. Their movement agitated the soldiers who had entered the house, and they ordered them to stop while aiming their guns at the two women’s heads. Some of the soldiers moved to the apartment directly above, whose owners were traveling abroad at the time. Inexplicably, they knocked down the door and ransacked the apartment.
Without yet mentioning any reason for the attempted arrest or producing an arrest warrant, the soldiers confiscated all phones and insisted they would not leave or release the family until Ahmad turned himself in. They then forced Haneen at gunpoint to call her father and demand his surrender. When Haneen reached him, one soldier grabbed the phone and ordered Ahmad to surrender, threatening to destroy the house and continue to hold his family if he did not comply. In response, Ahmad demanded that they leave his family out of his arrest. An hour after invading his house, a group of the soldiers went to arrest him at his brother’s home. Before leaving his house, the remaining soldiers continued to taunt and terrorize the four women with insults and threats.
Following his arrest, Ahmad was taken to Ofer detention center in Beitunia.


At 8:30 pm on 3 May 2011, the Israeli military authorities issued an administrative detention order against Ahmad, despite informing him and his lawyer only hours earlier that he would be released that day.
Certain that they would be reunited with him shortly, Ahmad’s relatives spent the evening of 3 May 2011 waiting for him at the gates of Ofer Prison, where he is currently held, after the Ofer Military Court informed Ahmad’s lawyer at 12:00 pm that his client would be released by 5:00 pm. At approximately 5:00 pm, Ahmad himself was also given the same news by the Israeli Prison Service. Only half an hour later, however, Ahmad’s lawyer was told that his client’s detention would in fact be extended and was asked to come to court. His lawyer immediately called the military prosecutor in Ahmad’s case, who contradicted this information, insisting that he was in fact going to be released. At 7:45 pm, after more than two hours of confusion and uncertainty, the military court informed Ahmad’s lawyer that a final decision would be made by 9 or 9:30 pm. At 8:30 pm, he was informed that the Israeli military commander of the West Bank had issued an administrative detention order against Ahmad but was given no further information. Ahmad’s lawyer and family had to wait until 11 pm to find out from the Israeli Prison Service that the period of his administrative detention had been set at six months. He was therefore left for at least 3.5 hours without a clear legal status, since his remand officially ended at 5:00pm.
In addition, the detention order issued against him on 3 May 2011 contained several errors. It called for an extension of his administrative detention, despite the fact that it is Ahmad’s first order in years, and referred to him being a suspected Hamas activist; this despite the fact that the authorities had originally given the grounds for his arrest as his membership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a claim which Ahmad has vehemently denied. It had also been tampered with using correction fluid to include Ahmad’s name, making it clear that this was actually a copy of someone else’s detention order. Furthermore, although the order was signed by the Head of the Central Military Command, Avi Mizrahi, as required under Israeli military legislation, it was stamped by a less senior Commander for the Region, Yair Kolam.
The Israeli military authorities issued a new detention order the following day in an apparent effort to correct the previous one; however it was once again stamped by Yair Kolam.
Finally, on 8 May at Ofer Military Court, the Military Judge requested that the previous detention orders be discarded and a new one be presented that was stamped and signed by Avi Mizrahi. The current one now states that Ahmad is being held for posing an unspecified security risk. The ISA was meant to present any secret evidence against Mr. Qatamish to the Military Judge, in order for her to decide whether to approve the administrative detention order, during a closed hearing on Thursday, 12 May 2011, which neither Ahmad nor his lawyer were permitted to attend. However, the ISA failed to turn up that day, and so the hearing was delayed until 15 May. Ahmad then waited another 4 days, until 19 May, before being told that his detention order was approved by the Military Judge. This unnecessary delay demonstrates one of the many flaws of the Israeli military order regulating administrative detention, which states that reviews of administrative detention should take place 8 days after the order is first issued at the latest but does not impose a limit on how much time a judge can take to reach a decision thereafter. The order was set for four months, due to expire on 2 September.
In the three weeks that Ahmad has spent in detention, he has only been interrogated once for 10 minutes, when he was first arrested on 21 April.


Ahmad was first arrested in 1992 in front of his three-year-old daughter. Following his arrest, he was detained for more than a year - during which time he was tortured - before being placed in administrative detention in October 1993, despite the Military Judge ordering his release. Ahmad’s detention orders were repeatedly renewed for the next five and a half years, despite a lack of evidence purported against him. Due to pressure from international campaigns, Ahmad was finally released in 1998, becoming one of the longest-serving administrative detainees held without charge in Israeli prison. His memoir, I shall not wear your tarboosh [fez], accounts his experiences of being tortured while in detention.


Ahmad’s extensive detention and arrests have been extremely difficult for his wife, Suha, a board member of Addameer and the Palestine Red Crescent Society, and his daughter, Haneen, a university student at the American University in Cairo. Suha recalls of his most recent arrest, “A few days ago, when they arrested my husband, I found out that there are very deep marks on my daughter’s spirit. She was three years old at that moment [when they arrested her father in 1992], and the marks are still there. When the soldiers told her that [they] arrested her father again, she almost collapsed.” Suha and Haneen hope that Ahmad will be released before Haneen’s graduation next January. The event is very important to Ahmad, particularly because he feels as though he was not able to watch his daughter grow up for much of her childhood.
More than ten years after he was released from his previous detention, it had not occurred to Ahmad’s wife Suha that they might have to suffer through the same ordeal once again. The torment of his arrest is made even worse by the uncertainty of administrative detention and not being able to prepare for his release, as the family is already all-too-familiar with the prison authorities’ practice of renewing administrative detention orders every six months. She condemns his imprisonment as a prisoner of conscience, arrested for his ideas and political activism, and calls on the international community to continue to assert pressure on his behalf.
Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on secret evidence without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. In the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli army is authorized to issue administrative detention orders against Palestinian civilians on the basis of Military Order 1651. This order empowers military commanders to detain an individual for up to six month renewable periods if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.” On or just before the expiry date, the detention order is frequently renewed. This process can be continued indefinitely.


Here is how you can help Ahmad Qatamish:
  • Send Ahmad letters of support to his postal address in prison:
    Ofer Prison
    Givat Zeev
    P.O. Box 3007
    via Israel
  • Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand that Ahmad Qatamish be released immediately and that his administrative detention not be renewed.
    • Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit
      Military Judge Advocate General
      6 David Elazar Street
      Harkiya, Tel Aviv
      Fax: +972 3 608 0366; +972 3 569 4526
      Email: arbel@mail.idf.il; avimn@idf.gov.il
    • Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi
      OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
      Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
      Fax: +972 2 530 5741
    • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ehud Barak
      Ministry of Defence
      37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
      Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
      Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757
    • Col. Eli Bar On
      Legal Advisor of Judea and Samari PO Box 5
      Beth El 90631
      Fax: +972 2 9977326
  • Write to your own elected representatives urging them to pressure Israel to release Ahmad Qatamish and to put an end to such an unjust, arbitrary and cruel system of incarceration without trial.

Lord Dubs raises concerns for Palestinian child detainees in UK Parliament

May 11, 2011

[11 May 2011] – Following a visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territory in April 2011, Lord Dubs raised the issue of Palestinian child detainees in the UK Parliament on 4 May.
Lord Dubs:My Lords, I recently visited the West Bank; it was my first time there. Of course any solution must acquire security for Israel, but also dignity, self-respect and justice for the Palestinians.
As part of the visit I went to see the Israeli military courts in Ofer. I believe that the way in which these courts operate is an obstacle to achieving a just peace in the region. We went to see how children are treated by this system of military justice. Approximately 700 Palestinian children are prosecuted every year in these courts, and at the end of January this year some 222 were in jail. In the court we visited we saw a 14 year-old and a 15-year-old, one of them in tears, both looking absolutely bewildered. What shocked me as much as anything was to see that these young persons-children-had chains or shackles around their ankles while sitting in court. They were also handcuffed as they went into court. Although the handcuffs were taken off while they were in court, they were put on again as they left the court.
When being interogated these young people do not have the security of video recordings, lawyers or parents present. In fact, if parents want to visit, their permission might take 60 days to come through, by which time the young person might have served his or her sentence.
The court proceedings are in Hebrew, with translations of a doubtful quality. The verdicts are mostly based on uncorroborated confession evidence. The evidence against one young person that we saw was of throwing stones at an Israeli armoured vehicle, for which he is likely to get 60 days in custody.
I do not believe that this process of humiliation represents justice. I believe that the way in which these young people are treated is in itself an obstacle to the achievement by Israel of a peaceful relationship with the Palestinian people. I think that the Israelis should apply proper standards of human rights to the way in which they treat them.

Non-aligned states urge release of Palestinians


NUSA DUA, Indonesia (AFP) -- The 118-nation Non-Aligned Movement on Friday demanded Israel release a "substantial number" of Palestinian political prisoners as a "positive step" toward peace.

At the end of a ministerial meeting in Indonesia, the movement reiterated its support for the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, a position it shares with the United States but which is rejected by Israel.

In a joint statement, the ministers "reaffirmed the longstanding international consensus recognizing the Palestinian people as a nation and recognizing their inalienable right to self-determination and independence in their state of Palestine, with east Jerusalem as its capital."

They called on Israel to release Palestinian "political prisoners" including 300 under the age of 18 and 10 members of the Palestinian legislative council.

"The issue is a central one and a practical and effective benchmark in the construction of a just peace in the region," the statement said.

"The ministers stressed that the release of a substantial number of Palestinian prisoners ... could constitute a positive step towards fostering the climate of mutual trust necessary for the resumption of permanent status negotiations."

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono opened the meeting on Wednesday and warned of new strategic rivalries between states as the world deals with complex challenges including terrorism and climate change.

But in their declaration the foreign ministers referred only to the Palestinian issue and a long-standing call for nuclear disarmament.

"The ministers declare their firm commitment to work for convening a high-level international conference to identify ways and means of eliminating nuclear weapons at the earliest possible date," they said.

The declaration made no mention of specific events in member states such as Libya, Yemen or Bahrain, countries which are in the grip of violent turmoil as unpopular regimes try to cling to power in the face of unrest.

On the sidelines of the meeting on the resort island of Bali, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi told the official MENA news agency that he had met his Iranian counterpart to discuss re-opening diplomatic ties.

He said Egypt's next parliament, which will be elected in September, would review the establishment of diplomatic relations with Iran.

Iran severed diplomatic relations with Egypt in 1980 in protest at Cairo's peace treaty with Israel signed a year earlier, and the two states maintain only interests sections in each other's capitals.

But they have signalled they plan to mend ties in the wake of the Feb. 11 fall of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's regime.

Addameer Dismayed at Confirmation of Ahmad Qatamish’s Administrative Detention


Ramallah, 19 May 2011

On 19 May 2011, almost a month after his arrest on 21 April 2011, the Israeli authorities have confirmed the administrative detention order against Ahmad Qatamish, the renowned Palestinian writer and political scientist. The duration of his administrative detention has been set at 4 months, due to expire on 2 September 2011.
The confirmation came after a week of complete uncertainty as Mr. Qatamish’s administrative detention order was first reviewed on 12 May 2011 but no decision was taken until the afternoon of 19 May 2011. This unnecessary delay demonstrates one of the many flaws of the Israeli military order regulating administrative detention, which states that reviews of administrative detention should take place 8 days after the order is first issued at the latest but does not impose a limit on how much time a judge can take to reach a decision thereafter.
Addameer is utterly dismayed by the military judge’s decision and deems this to be a clear case of arbitrary detention motivated solely by the peaceful expression of Mr. Qatamish’s political opinions and activism. Addameer is particularly appalled by the military judge’s decision to confirm Mr. Qatamish’s order despite the outrageous mistakes that have taken place in the process of his detention. Although the military judge reduced the period of detention from 6 to 4 months on account of the aforementioned errors, she also argued that these were superficial and insufficient to render the order void. On the basis of secret evidence presented by the Israeli Security Agency, the military judge further claimed that Mr. Qatamish’s administrative detention was justified because he poses a “security threat” on account of his alleged connection to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a charge he has repeatedly denied. The precise nature of this “security threat” and of Mr. Qatamish’s alleged connection to the PFLP, however, were not elaborated in the decision and will remain secret, essentially leaving Mr. Qatamish without any real means to defend himself. Furthermore, in the 29 days that Mr. Qatamish has spent in detention, he has only been interrogated once for 10 minutes, casting serious doubts about the conclusiveness of the evidence against him and the level of “threat” he really poses to Israel.
Addameer calls on the international community, particularly representatives of the European Union, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and international human rights organizations, to follow Mr. Qatamish’s case closely and to intervene with the Israeli authorities to demand Mr. Qatamish’s immediate release given his status as a prisoner of conscience.

Palestinian captive suffers loss of memory after 10 years in occupation jails

[ 29/05/2011 - 10:14 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Wadi’ Tamman (30), a Palestinian captive from the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, who suffers from epilepsy has lost his memory completely and no longer knows those around him, according to a Palestinian human rights organisation.
The prisoners and ex-prisoners society (Husam) said in a statement on Saturday that Tamman is serving a ten-year sentence, which he almost completed and that he was from the Nafha desert prison to the Negev prison, then after he suffered his memory loss he was transferred to Eishel prison.
The society further said that before his loss of memory, Tamman was suffering from depression and the prison administration failed to provide him with any treatment and now that he is suffering this loss of memory where he stopped recognising any of his colleagues in prison or remember his family the prison administration is completely neglecting him.

The Israeli Court Deferred the Sentence of Deportation to Next July

The International Campaign for Releasing the Abducted MPs states that the Israeli court  which is called “ Supreme   Court”  decided to appeal in the case of the Jerusalemite MPs in 26th of next July.
The campaign assured that postponing the sentence of the deportation is clear evidence  of the lack of justifications of the Israeli Minister of Interior  to confiscate their identities.
It stressed the need of the International stands to stop the arbitrary decisions of the occupation against the symbols of legitimacy.
It is worth mentioning that the Israeli occupation delayed the sentence of the Jerusalemite MPS ( Muhammad Totah and Ahmad Atoun ) and the former minister , Khalid Abu Arafah, during the session held four days ago.

Prisoners freeze hunger strike as negotiations begin

[ 28/05/2011 - 05:44 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Palestinians held in Israeli prisons have “temporarily” halted a wide-ranging hunger strike designed to aid the prisoners placed in isolation, the Asra prisoner studies center reported Saturday.
The decision came three weeks after the hunger strike began as prisoner leaders and the prison administration have begun talks discussing the demands.
The strike will resume should the talks fail or should the prison administration renege on gestures to solve the pending problems, the prisoners told Asra.
During the strike, inmates in four different prisons deserted food for two days out of the week. They were later joined by two more prisons amid demands ending solitary confinement of prisoners.

Israeli prisons charge Palestinian detainees for medical treatment

JENIN (Ma'an) -- Israel's prison administrations charge Palestinian detainees for medical treatment, a prisoners' center said Friday.

Ahmad Asfour was charged 700 shekels (around $200) for surgery on his hand and has to pay 1,500 shekels each month for medicine, the center said, adding that the detainee needed further surgery on his pancreas.

Asfour's father told the center he could not afford his son's medical bills.

Asfour was detained by Israeli forces in 2009 at Beit Hanoun checkpoint. He was on his way to Jerusalem for medical treatment.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Detainees marking 10 years in Israeli prison

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The Detainees Ministry in Gaza reported Wednesday that detainee Sana Shihadeh, 35, from Shu’fat refugee camp in Jerusalem has marked 10 years in Israeli detention.

Another detainee, Irina Paula Sarhaneh, 36, is also marking 10 years.

The ministry reported that Sana is sentenced to life at Hasharon prison and has teeth problems. The prison administration refuses to provide her with treatment for a dental problem, the ministry says. Her father suffers from cancer and she is afraid that her father will die without seeing her.

Detainee Irina is originally from Ukraine. She married a Palestinian called Ibrahim Sarhaneh and they lived in Ad-Duheisheh refugee camp. She was sentenced to 20 years on accusations of helping her husband transfer a suicide bomber to attack Rishon Litsion. Her husband was sentenced to life.

Irina has two daughters. One lives with her grandmother in Ukraine and the other daughter lives in Al-Duheisheh refugee camp with her grandparents.

Rights group: Family appeals for detainee's release

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The family of a Palestinian man detained in Israel on Friday appealed for his immediate release on medical grounds, a prisoners' center said.

Israeli forces detained Zamel Shalouf in 2008 and sentenced him to 15 years. He is being held in Ishel prison in southern Israel.

Shalouf, 31, was treated for a skin disease at Soroka Medical Center but has not responded to medication, his family told the center.

He cannot move his left hand and requires surgery, relatives added.

Bassem Tamimi: "Our destiny is to resist"

Max Blumenthal
2 May 2011

Bassem Tamimi at his court hearing in Ofer prison, 12 April 2011. (Oren Ziv/ActiveStills)
When I met Bassem Tamimi at his home in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh this January, his eyes were bloodshot and sunken, signs of the innumerable sleepless nights he had spent waiting for Israeli soldiers to take him to prison. As soon as two children were seized from the village in the middle of the night and subjected to harsh interrogations that yielded an unbelievable array of “confessions,” the 44-year-old Tamimi’s arrest became inevitable. On 25 March, the army finally came, dragging him away to Ofer military prison, a Guantanamo-like West Bank facility where he had previously been held for a 12-month term for the vaguely defined crime of “incitement.” His trial before a military court that convicts more than 99 percent of Palestinians brought before it is scheduled to begin on 8 May.
Like nearly all of his neighbors, Tamimi has spent extended time in Israeli detention facilities and endured brutal treatment there. In 1993, he was arrested on suspicion of having murdered an Israeli settler in Beit El. Tamimi was severely tortured for weeks by the Israeli Shin Bet in order to extract a confession from him. Tamimi said that during the torture he was dropped from a high ceiling onto a concrete floor and woke up a week later in an Israeli hospital. In the end, he was cleared of all charges.
With his wife, Nariman, and his brother, Naji, Tamimi has been at the center of Nabi Saleh’s popular resistance against the occupation since its inception in 2009. The village’s unarmed struggle has brought hundreds of Israelis and international activists to participate each Friday in boisterous and theatrical demonstrations that invariably encounter harsh Israeli violence, including the use of live ammunition against children. While other villages involved in the popular struggle have seen their ranks winnowed out by a harsh regime of repression and imprisonment, Nabi Saleh’s protests continue unabated, irking the army and frustrating the settlers of Halamish, who intend to expand their illegal colony further onto Nabi Saleh’s land.
Tamimi and I spoke amid the din of a stream of visitors parading in and out of his living room, from international activists living in the village to local children to a group of adolescent boys from the nearby town of Qurawa, who told me they came to spend time with Tamimi and his family “because this is what the Palestinian struggle is about.” Tamimi is a high school teacher in Ramallah and his professorial nature is immediately apparent. As soon as I arrived at his front door for what I thought would be a casual visit, he sat me down for an hour-long lesson on the history, attitudes and strategy that inform the brand of popular struggle he and his neighbors had devised during weekly meetings at the village cultural center.
Our discussion stretched from the origins of Nabi Saleh’s resistance in 1967 to the Oslo Accords, when the village was sectioned into two administrative areas (Areas B and C), leaving all residents of the Israeli-controlled portion (Area C) vulnerable to home demolition and arbitrary arrests. Tamimi insisted to me that Nabi Saleh’s residents are not only campaigning to halt the expropriation of their land, they seek to spread the unarmed revolt across all of occupied Palestine. “The reason the army wants to break our model [of resistance] is because we are offering the basis for the third intifada,” Tamimi said.

Max Blumenthal: There are rumors that the Israeli civilian administration will demolish your home if you continue the popular resistance. Is there any truth to that and on what grounds can they carry out the demolition?

Bassem Tamimi: My house was built in 1964 when this area was controlled by Jordan. Back then it was easy for me to get a permit to renovate. Now when I want to add a second level to the house for my family of course I can’t get a permit from the Israelis so I am forbidden to build. In this way they are forcing the next generation of our village to move to Area B in the center of the village. Their goal is to carry out a form of indirect transfer that will make Nabi Saleh into a refugee camp in the near future. The village will then be nothing more than a hotel that provides workers for the Palestinian Authority, maybe with no school and definitely with no relation to our land, since we will be forced off of all the parts we can farm. In the future, Area C will be empty and all of us who live there will have to move to places like Birzeit which are located in Area A.
I wanted to build a wall around my garden and I didn’t do it. The reason I didn’t was that it would have only been demolished since I am not able to get a permit. I didn’t want to risk them demolishing my house. All the new houses built after Oslo were in Area B but we have not been able to build a single new house in Area C.

MB: How has the expansion of the nearby illegal Jewish settlement Halamish influenced the popular resistance in Nabi Saleh?

BT: In 1976, the settlers came to an old British military camp on our land. The next year they built a settlement called Halamish. I asked one of them what right he had to the land. He told me his right was in the Bible. The Labor government blocked construction of the settlement, but a year later when Menachem Begin and Likud were elected, they allowed it to go ahead. During the second intifada, the army made the whole area around our village a closed military zone. This allowed Halamish to expand even more onto our land. Then in 2008 the army demolished the second fence around our village, another step for more expansion. So we see the steps they are taking to push us out of Area C and off our land.
Our problem is not just with the settlement of Halamish. Our problem is the whole occupation. The settlement is merely a face of the occupation. In Bilin and Nilin they set specific goals like moving the separation fence to the green line [Israel’s internationally-recognized armistice line with the occupied West Bank]. That is a problem. Our only goal is to end the occupation. So if the American consul came to us and said, “I am Superwoman; I can immediately remove Halamish,” I would say, “Fine, but we want to end the whole occupation.”

MB: When did Nabi Saleh choose to wage an unarmed popular struggle and why?

BT: This village has a long history of resistance. It is part our culture. We have had 18 martyrs since 1967. Most of our youth are taken away to prison. I have been arrested ten times and placed under administrative detention.
We have experience in military resistance but we decided the best way to resist was nonviolent. We want to build a model that looks like the first intifada, an alternative to military resistance. Our village knows exactly what to do because we were involved in the intifada. And the reason the army wants to break our model is because we are offering the basis for the third intifada.
For my whole life most of the Israelis I met were soldiers and interrogators. But when we started the popular resistance in 2009 I began to see that there were some Israelis who had removed the occupation from their minds. Like Jonathan [Pollack], who was the main person to bring Israelis and internationals here in the beginning. So we became friends.
The occupation is continuous in Israeli society and this is why they lose — because they try to force us to accept them as an occupier, and that will never happen. We don’t have any problem with Jewish people. Our problem is with Zionism. We don’t hate them on the other side; we simply demand that they end the occupation of their minds. The separation between us is between different ways of thinking, not between land. If we change our ways of thought and remove the mentality of occupation from our minds — not just from the land — we can live together and build a paradise.

MB: Your demonstrations have been criticized by outsiders because the throw stones at the soldiers. Meanwhile, the Israeli army claims stone-throwing is an armed attack or a form of violence so the popular resistance is not really nonviolent. What do you make of these claims?

BT: We are building the popular struggle from our culture and our history. Only after we build an authentic struggle do we begin to debate our tactics. And throwing stones is a part of our culture. Historically we threw stones when something frightened us like a snake or a bear. Now, when a soldier comes into our village and shoots tear gas we won’t just sit there like a victim. They are protected from live bullets so we’re clearly not trying to take a life. With stones we are simply saying, “We don’t accept you here as an occupier. We don’t welcome you as a conqueror.”

MB: What is your relationship with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority like?

BT: We had an intifada based on popular struggle but the Oslo accords crushed it. Now the people are tired after the second intifada was crushed. So Fatah talks and talks but they can’t manage to bring [the popular struggle] across the West Bank. Fayyad wants to come here and be seen and use our struggle as a theater to have his picture taken. We know that Fatah could bring thousands of people here but they don’t want to. They don’t order their members to join the struggle. We want to ask them to make popular struggle everywhere. We do all that we can but without them, we can only do so much.

MB: Do you see any role for the peace process in ending the occupation?

BT: In thirty years the Europeans and the United States paid 5 billion dollars for normalization projects but they give us no steps towards a solution. If they want to do something to stop the occupation they should stop these initiatives that put people up in five star hotels to do dialogue. It’s not common sense! And all these academics who come here to study us and then go and write about how throwing stones is violent — that means nothing to us! Popular resistance is a way of life that means being close to the ground. I’ve been in the dialogue workshops and they are a complete waste of money. Both sides are suffering under the occupation but in a different way. [Israeli soldier] Gilad Shalit was captured but who sent him to occupy and kill? The normalization initiatives never address questions like this.

MB: One of the key differences between the demonstrations in Nabi Saleh and in a place like Nilin is the role of women. Every time I come here on a Friday the women are at the front of the protest while in Nilin they are not always that visible. Is this deliberate?

BT: From the beginning of our struggle the Israelis targeted the women of our village. For example, my wife, Nariman, was arrested and jailed for ten days. The army targets the women here because they know our culture; they know that we see women as 50 percent of our struggle and no less. Women [raise] our children. Women can convince people more easily than men. When our men see the women being brave, they want to be more brave. Women are in the center of our struggle because we believe women are more important than men. It’s that simple.

MB: What do you think army’s long-term objective is?

BT: The army is determined to push us toward violent resistance. They realize that the popular resistance we are waging with Israelis and internationals from the outside, they can’t use their tanks and bombs. And this way of struggling gives us a good reputation. Suicide bombing was a big mistake because it allowed Israel to say we are terrorists and then to use that label to force us from our land. We know they want a land without people — they only want the land and the water — so our destiny is to resist. They give us no other choice.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author working in Israel-Palestine. His articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, Al-Jazeera English and many other publications. He is a writing fellow for the Nation Institute. His book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Israeli court sentences teen to 6 months

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israel's military judges on Monday issued a six-month jail sentence to a teenager from Bil'in village near Ramallah.

Amjad Ayed Abu Rahma, 15, was sentenced at Ofer military court near Ramallah, local activists said.

He was detained in January for participating in Bil'in's weekly non-violent protests against the separation wall.

Villagers have demonstrated every Friday since 2005 to protest against the wall, which runs deep inside the West Bank and confiscates around 60 percent of Bil'in's land.

The village has become a symbol of non-violent protests in the West Bank, and hosts annual conferences on non-violent resistance.

The Israeli military regularly shuts down the rallies, firing tear-gas canisters and sound grenades, and conducts frequent night raids to detain teenagers and protest organizers from the village.

Free Bassem and Naji Tamimi

18 May 2011 | Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Recent events have once more proven the potency of civil resistance, and its ability to bring about change and end injustice. From the Arab Spring to the recent demonstrations commemorating the Nakba, ordinary people are affecting change. While Abdallah Abu Rahmah is finally out of Israeli prisons, a new wave of repression is underway in the West Bank, and more protest leaders have been rounded up as Israel once more is set to suppress civil resistance to the Occupation. We need your help to stand by them.
Recently, two leading protest organizers have been put behind bars. Naji and Bassem Tamimi from the village of Nabi Saleh were jailed on equally dubious grounds to Abdallah Abu Rahmah. They were arrested based on confessions from teenagers who were themselves seized in midnight raids, denied legal counsel, and beaten. This is not justice. We must raise our voices again to secure their quick release.

The case against both Naji and Bassem is based on coerced confessions of teenagers taken at gunpoint from their beds in the middle of the night by Israeli soldiers. The main “evidence” against them is the testimony of a 14 year-old who was beaten up on his arrest, denied legal counsel, denied his right to have his parents present during his questioning and instead of being told by his interrogators of his right to remain silent, he was told that “it is better you tell the truth”.
Please consider making a donation towards Bassem and Naji Tamimi’s legal defense and/or use the templates in the following links to send an email to your Minister of Foreign Affairs and ask that your government acts for their release.

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Updated on May 18, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Activist: 25 arrested after Nakba protests

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israel's army has arrested 25 Palestinians from the West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Hebron in the aftermath of protests marking the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe, officials said Thursday.

Jacqueline Al-Fararjeh, during a visit to Etzion prison, said Abed Al-Aziz Ash-Shuweiki and Amjad Husein Hadad were harshly beaten by more than 20 soldiers causing injuries in Amjad’s head.

Others were left without food or water for hours with their hands and feet shackled, she said.

Those detained from Bethlehem were identified as Raji Husein Suleiman, Naser Maher and Mazen Mahmoud Issa, Ahmad and Ma’mun Yasin Marzuq, and Nadim Adam Marzuq and Abdallah Jalal Shalash.

From Hebron: Ahmad Mohammad Babeyah, Abed Al-Fattah Jrewie, Ahmad Ash-Shuweiki, Ala’a Dweik, Fadi Shawer, Khalil A’wad, Awad Hadush, Musa Jabarin, Ahmad Mustafa, Mohammad Al-Jebri, and Mohammad Abu Madi, Hesham Jaradat, Ramzy Tabakhi, Abed Al-Fattah Mutawer and Raed Ash-Sharif.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Families of captives call for an end of strip searches

[ 20/05/2011 - 01:21 PM ] 

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Families of Palestinian captives in Israeli occupation jails called on local and international human rights organisations to pressure occupation authorities to end the policy of strip searching captives’ relatives during prison visits.
The families said that prison administrations deliberately insult captives and their families by insisting on thorough offensive searches to the extent of complete strip searches under the pretext of looking for mobile phones.
The families further called for popular protests similar to those marking the Nakba day in support of the captives and to pressure the occupation to stop its practices against them.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hadarim prisoners face harsh sanctions after mobiles found in searches

[ 19/05/2011 - 08:36 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Heavy sanctions have been imposed on Palestinians held at the Israeli Hadarim prison after mobile phones were seized during search raids.
Sanctions were harsh, the Palestinian Prisoner Society said. They included crackdowns and isolation as well as the closure of the public laundry, reduction in recreation time, and restrictions on movement within the prison.
The PPS also received complaints of surprise night inspections and strip searches where the prisoners' property is left damaged.
The prisoners emphasized that they would not surrender to the sanctions and would take appropriate action.
Relatives of prisoners held in Hadarim have complained of not knowing their prisoners' whereabouts following the crackdown. The prison has refused to disclose that information.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

IPS refuses court order allowing prisoner to phone her family

[ 18/05/2011 - 07:53 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- The Israeli prison service (IPS) has refused to comply with a supreme court order allowing prisoner Ahlam Al-Tamimi to contact her parents in Jordan by telephone.
Tamimi had filed a case at the supreme court demanding her right to contact her parents on the phone since all her family members live in Jordan and visits are only allowed for first degree relatives.
The court approved of the phone call as her right but the IPS refused and did not accept even to discuss it.
Tamimi was arrested in 2001 and is serving 16 life sentences on charges of aiding resistance fighters.

IPS refuses to free a Palestinian mother despite court order

[ 18/05/2011 - 10:26 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Israeli prison service (IPS) has refused to release a detained Palestinian mother of six despite a court order to the effect, the Ahrar center for prisoners' studies and human rights said.
Fuad Al-Khafsh, the Ahrar director, added in a statement on Tuesday that Samha Hijaz, 37, was detained while on her way to visit her two detained brothers Yasser, who is serving a life sentence, and Hisham, who is serving 10 life sentences.
He said that Samha, from the Ramallah village of Mazra Sharqiya, was detained on 8 February 2011 and charged with planning to smuggle mobile phones to her brothers.
Samha categorically denied the charge but was kept by the Israeli intelligence in custody and was subjected to cruel interrogation rounds then taken to prison with homicide convicts before being transferred to Hasharon jail.
Khafsh said that an Israeli military court decided last Sunday that Samha should be released but the IPS refused.
The Ahrar director urged human rights groups and international organizations to demand the release of Samha without any further delay and let her return to her husband and six children.

Hadarim and Gilboa prisons join wide-ranging hunger strike

[ 18/05/2011 - 10:14 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinians held in the Hadarim and Gilboa prison have joined four more Israeli prisons in a wide-ranging hunger strike that has progressed intermittently for the past five days, the Gaza prisoner affairs ministry has declared.
The actual number of prisoners that joined is 620. The prisoners are discussing lately going on an open-ended strike this July, a strike that would include all prisoners from various parties.
They seek to pressure the prison administration into responding to demands to release the prisoners held in isolation and to end daily violations against them, and more.
The prisoners enjoy high spirits, and they are determined to continue striking until demands are met, despite punitive measures taken against them in response by the prisons, said the Gaza ministry's media director Riyadh al-Ashkar.
Since the strike, some prisoners have been denied visits for two months, and recreation time has been declined from three to one hour. Restrictions were also placed on canteen and television rights.
Separately, the Palestinian Prisoner Society has reported that two prisoners from the Gaza Strip held at the the Shatta prison have gone on hunger strike for the past several days demanding to be moved to the Negev prison.
One of the men is seriously ill, and the food strike is a life-threatening risk.
Another prisoner has been infected with a virus in the face, which has cost him his speech and sight in the right eye, rights groups in Palestine have reported.
They said he was taken to the Ramle hospital but now has returned to the Shatta prison.
Meanwhile three men under threat of being banished from occupied Palestinian territory have been set free on NIS 30,000 bail bond and on condition of house arrest.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Prisoners on hunger strike in honor of nakba anniversary martyrs

[ 17/05/2011 - 12:30 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Palestinian ministry of prisoners' affairs in Gaza said that the Palestinian prisoners decided to go on hunger strike on Tuesday in honor of the martyrs who were killed by Israeli troops on the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe).
The Israeli occupation forces killed and wounded on Sunday dozens of Palestinian and Arab protestors in peaceful marches held to commemorate the anniversary inside their national territorial border areas in Syria and Lebanon as well as the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Spokesman for the ministry Riyadh Al-Ashqar stated that the Israeli administration of Ashkelon jail took further punitive measures against the Palestinian prisoners because of their declared intention to participate along with three other prisons in open and gradual hunger strike
Ashqar added that the prisoners intend to continue their hunger strike until the prison administrations stop their violations against them and meet their just demands.

Family says Israeli jailers poured boiling oil on its son

[ 17/05/2011 - 12:25 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- A Palestinian family said its son, Raf'at Bani Odeh, was exposed by Israeli jailers to excruciating physical and psychological torture at the time of his six-year detention.
The family added that its son spent most of his imprisonment term in solitary confinement and boiling oil was once poured on him by Israeli interrogators, so he suffers from serious physical and psychological scars as a result of that.
The family also appealed to all concerned parties to provide its son with appropriate medical treatment for his condition.
The Palestinian prisoner society also confirmed that Bani Odeh suffers from serious mental problems a result of his exposure to torture and medical neglect in prison and thus he is in dire need of urgent treatment.
In another incident, the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Monday released two prisoners affiliated with Hamas, Atef Hassan and Saad Yazji after it procrastinated over their release for a long time.
Both prisoner completed their prison terms a long time ago, but the IOA delayed their release twice once at the pretext of Jewish festivals and the second time without any reason.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Israel postpones release of 3 Gaza prisoners

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel postponed the release of three Gaza men from prison was without explanation, a prisoners support center in Gaza City told Ma'an on Monday.

The men were due for release on Sunday, but were instead transferred from the Negev prison to the Ashkelon prison, a statement said.

Atif Ata Muhammad Hassan from the central Gaza Strip has served 18 years, while Ahmad Jalal Ahmad Hussein from Rafah and Sa’d Khalil Rajab Al-Yaziji from Gaza City have both completed 7-year sentences.

Officials at the prisoners' support center said the release may have postponed due to widespread protests on Sunday as Palestinians marked the 63rd anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba of 1948.

Rallies on Sunday commemorated the expulsion of 760,000 Palestinians from their homes during fighting that came alongside the creation of the state of Israel.

Nakba Day marks the dispossession of those refugees, and the continued demand for their right to return. According to UN statistics, Gaza's population is three-quarters refugees.

Israel detains Islamic Jihad leader without charge or trial

JENIN (Ma'an) -- Israeli military authorities on Monday sentenced an Islamic Jihad leader to six months in prison without charge or trial, a detainees' center said.

Sheikh Bassam Al-Sadi will be held at Ofer military prison near Ramallah under administrative detention, the center said.

Al-Sadi was detained immediately after Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo, the center noted, adding that he was detained only two months after finishing an 8-year sentence in Israeli prisons.

The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem has recorded thousands of cases of administrative detention in which Palestinians have been detained "for prolonged periods of time, without prosecuting them, without informing them of the charges against them, and without allowing them or their attorneys to study the evidence."

Israeli military officials can hold detainees in administrative detention for up to six months, but the term is indefinitely renewable.

Detainees can spend years in Israeli prisons without ever knowing what they are accused of. Their lawyers are not told what the charges are, undermining their ability to defend their clients.

"In practice, Israel breaches international law, while misusing the powers given to military commanders in the Administrative Detention Order," B'Tselem says.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Urgent Appeal: Addameer Demands Annulment of Ahmad Qatamish’s Administrative Detention Order


Ramallah, 4 May 2011

At 8:30 pm on 3 May 2011, the Israeli military authorities issued an administrative detention order against Ahmad Qatamish, the renowned Palestinian writer and political scientist, despite informing him and his lawyer only hours earlier that he would be released that day. Addameer is outraged by this decision and deems Mr. Qatamish’s arrest to be a case of arbitrary detention motivated solely by his opinions and peaceful activism.
On 4 May 2011, Addameer obtained a copy of Mr. Qatamish’s administrative detention order, which disgracefully appears to be a copy of someone else’s detention order that has been tampered with to include Mr. Qatamish’s name. This is clear evidence that these orders are not actually issued by the Israeli military commander of the West Bank after careful review of all the evidence against the suspect in question, but rather orchestrated by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) and the military prosecution, in this case to keep Mr. Qatamish in prison despite lack of evidence against him. Furthermore, the order actually calls for an extension of his administrative detention, despite the fact that this is Mr. Qatamish’s first administrative detention in years. It also states that Mr. Qatamish is suspected of being a Hamas activist, a gross misrepresentation since he has historically been associated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The claim is all the more absurd since only last week, the ISA itself accused Mr. Qatamish of currently being a PFLP member, a claim that he denies.
Certain that they would be reunited with him shortly, Mr. Qatamish’s relatives spent the evening of 3 May 2011 waiting for him at the gates of Ofer Prison, where he is currently held, after the Ofer Military Court informed Mr. Qatamish’s lawyer, Mahmoud Hassan, at 12:00 pm that his client would be released by 5:00 pm. At approximately 5:00 pm, Mr. Qatamish himself was also given the same news by the Israeli Prison Service. Only half an hour later, however, Mr. Hassan was told that his client’s detention would in fact be extended and was asked to come to court. Mr. Hassan immediately called the military prosecutor in Mr. Qatamish’s case, who contradicted this information, insisting that Mr. Qatamish was in fact going to be released. At 7:45 pm, after more than two hours of confusion and uncertainty, the military court informed Mr. Hassan that a final decision would be made by 9 or 9:30 pm. At 8:30 pm, however, he was informed that the Israeli military commander of the West Bank had issued an administrative detention order against Mr. Qatamish but was given no further information. Mr. Hassan and Mr. Qatamish’s family had to wait until 11 pm to find out from the Israeli Prison Service that the period of Mr. Qatamish’s administrative detention had been set for six months, but no date for the detention order’s review has been set yet. Because administrative detention is a form of detention without charge or trial, it is likely that Mr. Qatamish and his lawyer will never know what the evidence against him is.
Sadly, Mr. Qatamish’s family was not the only victim of the Israeli authorities’ manipulations and complete disregard on 3 May 2011, as other prisoners and detainees due to be released that day were made to wait until a decision was reached in Mr. Qatamish’s case before being reunited with their families waiting for them at the prison gates.
Mr. Qatamish was arrested by the Israeli Occupying Forces at 2 a.m. on 21 April 2011 and his detention was extended on 28 April 2011 for six days and set to expire on 3 May 2011. In the two weeks that Mr. Qatamish has spent in detention, he has only been interrogated once for 10 minutes, when he was first arrested. This supports Addameer’s conviction that Mr. Qatamish is only being targeted for his writings and peaceful activism and not for any imperative “security” reasons as claimed by the Israeli authorities and as is necessary to justify the use of administrative detention under international humanitarian law.
Addameer calls on the international community, particularly representatives of the European Union, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and international human rights organizations, to intervene with the Israeli authorities to demand Mr. Qatamish’s immediate release.

* * *

For more information, please contact:
Addameer Prisoner and Human Rights Association
Tel/Fax: +972 (0)2 296 0446/+972 (0)2 296 0447
Email: info@addameer.ps Website: www.addameer.info

Rights group: 1,500 detainees need medical treatment

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A detainees' center said Monday that over 1,500 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails needed medical attention.

A lawyer from the center visited one of Israel's desert jails in Beer Sheva, and found that prison authorities punished detainees by refusing them medical attention.

He said the jail's administration had refused treatment to Bilal Badra, who suffered severe pain from a kidney infections. Badra was detained in 2002 and sentenced to 18 years.

The center called for an investigation into Israel's practice of denying Palestinian detainees medical treatment, and said it was common across the country's prisons.

The number of sick detainees was increasing and many had life-threatening illnesses, the center added.

Jenin woman enters 10th year in Israeli jail

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian detainee Qahira Al-Sadi entered her 10th year in an Israeli jail on Sunday, the Ministry of Detainees' in Gaza said.

Al-Sadi, 35, was sentenced to life imprisonment accused of affiliation to Islamic Jihad and aiding a suicide bomber, the ministry said.

Al-Sadi, from Jenin, has four children, but only two of them are allowed to visit her in Hasharon prison. Israeli authorities banned her two children aged over 16 and her three brothers from visiting her.

The ministry said she has lost several teeth but the prison authorities have refused to allow her dental treatment.

Prisoner strike secures eye surgery for inmate

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A successful prisoners strike saw a Palestinian detainee in Israel receive eye surgery, which friends and relatives said was long overdue, Hussam Detainees' Center said.

Sufian Al-Zibda, from Gaza City, had an operation on his left retina at the Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, the center said.

A prison doctor had reportedly said the detainee needed urgent surgery but Israel's Prison Service had refused to allow his treatment.

Prisoners launched a strike in protest of the decision.

Al-Zibda was detained in 2010 by Israeli forces at the Erez crossing, as he tried to leave Gaza to go to the West Bank. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Addameer Quarterly Update on Palestinian Prisoners - April 2011

Addameer’s periodic report on violations against Palestinian political prisoners, containing up-to-date news and statistics. (pdf file ~,2 M)

Bethlehem man marks 20 years in prison

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The Gaza City detainees center announced Thursday the upcoming 20th anniversary of a Bethlehem man in Israeli custody.

Adnan Al-Afandy, 40, from the Ad-Duheisheh refugee camp, was detained on May 13, 1992. He has another 10 years to serve on his sentence, on charges of belonging to the Islamic Jihad movement and of stabbing two settlers during the First Intifada.

His first 70 days of detention were spent in interrogation, during which period he was kept in solitary confinement

He has served most of his time at Israel's Ramon prison.

According to family, Al-Afandy completed his BA in prison, where he is a prominent leader.

UN Special Rapporteur on torture to give expert opinion on the arrest of minors in Israeli military court

10 May 2011 | Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
The Special Rapporteur’s expert opinion will be filed to the Ofer Military Court by the defense next Monday in a pre-trial hearing in the case of 14 year-old Islam Dar Ayyoub who was taken from his bed at gun-point by Israeli soldiers in the middle of the night and questioned unlawfully.
14 year-old Islam Dar Ayyoub was arrested on January 23 by a large group of soldiers who stormed his family’s home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh in the middle of the night. He was taken from his bed at gunpoint , beaten up by the soldiers who arrested him and denied him sleep. His arrest, only a week after a previous military night-time raid on his house, is in line with a common Israeli tactic of callously arresting minors in order to use their confessions against many others in the quest to suppress anti occupation demonstrations.
In addition to the report prepared by the Special Rapporteur in regards to such unjustified arrests of minors in night-time military operations, defense witnesses will also include Adv. Lymor Goldstine on the denial of legal counsel, a psychiatrist’s expert opinion on the psychological effects of such arrests, as well as the testimony of the 14 year-old himself.
Despite being a minor, Dar Ayyoub was questioned by the Israeli police the following morning for nearly five hours, without being allowed sleep since his arrest. He was denied his right to legal counsel even while his lawyer was present at the police station, as well as his right to have a parent present during his questioning.
During a previous hearing in the defense’s motion to declare his confession inadmissible, it was proved that Dar Ayyoub was not informed of his right to remain silent, and even told that “It would be best to tell the truth” by his interrogators. It was also acknowledged that only one of his four interrogators was qualified as a youth interrogator.
Due to the fundamental flaws in Dar Ayyoub’s interrogation, the court has ordered his release from custody on April 4th. While no longer behind bars, the military prosecution refuses to drop the charges against him, apparently because his confession is used as the main evidence in the trials of many others.
During his interrogation, Dar Ayyoub confessed to having thrown stones at Israeli soldiers during the weekly demonstrations against settlement expansion in his village, Nabi Saleh. He also implicated many others in committing similar offenses. Among those incriminated by his confession are grassroots organizers Bassem Tamimi and Naji Tamimi. Dar Ayyoub told his interrogators a fictitious story alleging that the two organized groups of youth into “brigades”, each with its own responsibility during the demonstrations: some have allegedly been in charge of stone-throwing, some of blocking roads, others of distracting the army and so on. The two have been arrested and indicted mostly based on his statement, and are currently awaiting trial.

Updated on May 10, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Detainees protest solitary confinement

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinians detained in Israeli jails declared a hunger strike Saturday to demand the release of prisoners from solitary confinement, the Ministry of Detainees in Gaza said.

The ministry said detainees would go on a two-day hunger strike every week until Israeli prison authorities released Palestinians from solitary confinement, some of whom had been isolated for many years.

Ministry spokesman Riyad Al-Ashqar said 2,000 prisoners were participating in the strike in Eshel, Ramon, Ashkelon and Nafha jails.

Israel's prison administration had already punished prisoners in Ramon prison for the strike by banning them from family visits for one month, Al-Ashqar added.

In a statement, the ministry urged Palestinians to protest in support of the detainees.

Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike

04 May 2011 | PressTV

Palestinian political prisoners in Israel’s Nafha jail have gone on a hunger strike to protest the inhumane treatment of detainees by the Israeli prison administration.
Hundreds of Palestinian inmates held in the Israeli military detention center in northern West Bank took part in the one-day event on Tuesday, said Rafat Hamduna, director of the Palestinian Prisoners Study Center. The hunger strike came after Israeli guards, led by military officer Shimon Martislio, orchestrated humiliating raids and searches at the detention cells last week, the Palestine News Network reported. Hamduna warned that the hunger strike would spread to more Israeli jails if the inmates’ very basic rights are not met.
The Prisoners Study Center also called on the Red Cross and other local and international human rights groups to help put a stop to the suffering of Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails. The Israeli prison administration is accused of using the policy of humiliation, pressure and punishment under the guise of security in its jails. Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli detention camps are continuously subject to lengthy solitary confinements, sudden night raids and torture. The Israeli prison administration also deprives Palestinian political detainees of the simple right of bathing, access to clean clothes and family visits.
The hunger strike is one of the few methods of nonviolent resistance available to Palestinian prisoners in jails. The protesters in Nafha are also taking action against the poor quality of food and the lack of medical attention. Israeli prisons have been facing such criticism for years. The situation is nothing new, except that it is worsening, according to human rights organizations.
Some 11,000 Palestinian prisoners and detainees, including women and children, are currently held in Israeli jails. Many of them are held without charges, leaving several families with no breadwinner.

Updated on May 5, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

IOF kidnap MP Romanin from his home

[ 03/05/2011 - 12:27 PM ]

JERICHO, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped at dawn Tuesday Hamas lawmaker Ali Romanin from Jericho city.
His wife told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that dozens of Israeli troops stormed Awja village, north of Jericho, at about one o'clock in the morning and violently raided their home.
She added that once the troops saw Romanin, they rounded him up and took him to an unknown destination.
Romanin was released five months ago from Israeli jails after he spent four and a half years in administrative detention.
Nine other Palestinian lawmakers affiliated with Hamas is already in Israeli jails, namely, Mahmoud Al-Ramhi, Hatem Kafisha, Nayef Al-Rajoub, Khalil Al-Raba'ee, Mohamed Attal, Omar Abdulrazeq, Mohamed Annatsha, Azzam Salhab and Mohamed Badr.

Israel extends detention of Palestinian without charge or trial

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Monday renewed the administrative detention of a 29-year-old prisoner from Gaza, the Hussam detainees' society said.

Raed Abu Mughsib was sentenced to six years imprisonment in 2003, but he was not released after serving the sentence.

Israeli authorities have held him in administrative detention - without trial or charge - since 2009.

The Hussam center called for Abu Mughsib's immediate release.

The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem has recorded thousands of cases of administrative detention in which Palestinians have been detained "for prolonged periods of time, without prosecuting them, without informing them of the charges against them, and without allowing them or their attorneys to study the evidence."

Israeli military officials can hold detainees in administrative detention for up to six months, but the term is indefinitely renewable.

Detainees can spend years in Israeli prisons without ever knowing what they are accused of. Their lawyers are not told what the charges are, undermining their ability to defend their clients.

"In practice, Israel breaches international law, while misusing the powers given to military commanders in the Administrative Detention Order," B'Tselem says.

Addameer condemns continuing detention of Ahmad Qatamish


Ramallah, 28 April 2011

On 28 April 2011, Ahmad Qatamish, a Palestinian writer and political scientist, was told at Ofer military court that his detention would be extended for another 6 days whilst the Israeli police continue their investigations. Addameer condemns the decision of the military court, and fears that Qatamish’s extended detention will lead to lengthy interrogation and possibly administrative detention.
At 2 a.m. on 21 April 2011, Ahmad Qatamish, a Palestinian writer and political scientist, was arrested by the Israeli Occupying Forces at his home in Ramallah. An hour earlier, Qatamesh’s wife, 22-year-old daughter and two other female relatives, including a 14-year-old child, were taken hostage by Israeli troops in another apartment to compel him to surrender himself. He was led to “Ofer” detention center in Beitunia.
Addameer is gravely concerned about Mr. Qatamish’s continuing detention, as it suggests that he is still being targeted for his writings and peaceful activism and not any ’security’ reasons as claimed by the Israeli authorities. In the 8 days Qatamish has spent in detention, he has only been interrogated once for 10 minutes, when he was first arrested. At Ofer Military Court on 28 April, the Israeli police claimed that recent developments in their investigations require them to detain him for a further 11 days for interrogation. Although this timeframe was rejected by the Military Judge on the grounds that the evidence that he has so far received is not sufficient to justify prolonged detention, it was still decided that Qatamish would remain in detention for another 6 days to allow the Israeli police to continue their investigations.
The Israeli police’s request for an extension to his current detention is based on their claim that Mr. Qatamish in recent months has become an active member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a claim which Mr. Qatamish denied at Ofer court on 28 April. He highlighted that the last time he was detained was in 1998, and since then has spent his time writing books and articles and lecturing at universities, and has never feared to make his opinions known regarding the arbitrary practices of both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. Mr. Qatamish has been the target of the Israeli authorities before on numerous occasions, notably spending five and a half consecutive years in detention without charge or trial in the mid-1990s.
Mr. Qatamish was first arrested by the Israeli authorities in 1969 and held for a few months. He was then rearrested in 1972, this time spending 4 years in prison. After his release, Mr. Qatamish spent 17 years in hiding from 1976 to 1992 to avoid re-arrest. On 2 September 1992, however, he was arrested once more, in the presence of his then 3-year-old daughter, and was subjected to torture and ill treatment during 100 days of interrogation, an experience which he vividly exposed in his prison notes entitled I Shall not Wear Your Tarboush (fez). He was placed in administrative detention, a form of detention without charge or trial that is based on secret information made available to the Military Judge, and which can be renewed indefinitely. For the next five and a half years, Mr. Qatamish’s detention order was renewed every six months, making him one of the longest held administrative detainees. He was finally released on 15 April 1998 after an extensive international campaign on his behalf, but has been prohibited from traveling outside the occupied Palestinian territory by the Israeli authorities ever since. After his release in 1998, Mr. Qatamish completed his studies in political science and devoted his life to writing and lecturing, notably founding the Munif Barghouti Research Center and teaching a course in 2010 at the School of Humanities at Al-Quds University.
At Ofer Military Court on 28 April the Addameer lawyer representing Ahmad Qatamish requested that he be released from his current detention. Mr. Qatamish’s detention will be reviewed on 3 May, and Addameer will continue to closely follow his case and publish further information accordingly.

Relative: 11-year-old detained in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces detained Friday an 11-year-old boy from a village northwest of Jerusalem, a relative said.

Muhammad Hushiyeh was walking in the Qatanna village when youths threw stones at Israeli soldiers, his cousin Lubna told Ma'an.

She said soldiers arrested the stone-throwers and swept up Muhammad as well. He was not involved beforehand, she insisted.

The boy is already in a difficult situation; his father was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers a year earlier, Lubna pointed out.