Monday, June 13, 2011

Hebron detainee starts hunger strike in Israeli prison

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian detainee on Sunday went on hunger strike to protest his treatment by Israeli prison guards, a rights group said.

Israeli forces detained Atif Wureidat in 2002. Prison authorities have transferred him more than 30 times, Hebron prisoners' association director Amjad Najjar said.

Wureidat has heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, Najjar added.

He was first detained at the age of 16, and spent 11 years in prison between 1982 and 1993.

After the second Palestinian uprising erupted in 2000, he was wanted by Israeli forces for more than two years.

He was detained on May 3, 2002, and sentenced to 11 years and 3 months.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gaza prisoners complain of neglect

[ 12/06/2011 - 05:20 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- The Gaza prisoners in Israeli Shatta jail castigated the Red Cross as well as Palestinian institutions concerned with prisoners for ignoring their issue.

They told chairwoman of the Mandela foundation catering for prisoners lawyer Buthaina Al-Dakmak, who called on them on Saturday, that no one really cared about them.
The prisoners said that they are deprived of family visits and lawyers scarcely visit them, noting that they are allowed to phone their relatives once every two months, which, they said, is not enough.

Family of Jenin prisoner appeal for urgent medical treatment

[ 12/06/2011 - 05:18 PM ]

JENIN, (PIC)-- Family members of Palestinian prisoner Ahmed Abul Rub have said that their son held in the Israeli jail of Askalan was in very poor health condition and could die any moment.
Sabria Abul Rub, the prisoner’s mother, said in a press release that her son, 33, could no longer walk on his feet and that he was walking with the help of crutches while he was in very good health when he was first detained and did not complain of any disease.
She said that his condition started with pain that developed after the Israeli prison service refused to offer him proper treatment until he reached the stage of semi paralysis.
Despite the seriousness of his disease, as doctors said, the IPS refused to release him and was content with giving him sedatives, the mother said, noting that her son, who is serving a 15-year sentence, suffered a lot in solitary confinement imposed on him in Askalan jail.

Women's affairs ministry condemns 'humiliating' HaSharon strip search

[ 12/06/2011 - 08:35 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Gaza ministry of women's affairs has condemned the humiliating strip search of four women held in Israel's HaSharon prison.
The women affairs ministry held the Israeli government responsible for what happens to the women it holds prisoner and called on Palestinian rights groups to publicize Israel's crimes against them internationally.
The ministry also called on Palestinian factions to ”look at the crime with anger and consider a mechanism of response”.
A force of ten female and five male prison guards alongside security and intelligence officials raided Room 2 of the security prisoners section at HaSharon and carried out an intense search of the women and the room.
The women said they were strip searched in a ”humiliating, unethical, and immoral” manner, as the force was looking for a cell phone alleged to have been smuggled into the prison.
The cell that was raided was no larger than a square meter and was covered by a thin plastic curtain. The women reportedly nearly panicked as the female prison guards rushed in and the male guards stood by the entrance bracing to enter.

Relatives of prisoners demand end to humiliating search

[ 12/06/2011 - 08:26 AM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Relatives of Palestinian prisoners appealed to human rights groups to demand an end to the Israeli strip and humiliating search of them while on their way to visit their next of kin.
They charged the Israeli soldiers with deliberately delaying them at checkpoints.
The relatives said that they are forced to pass through electronic gates, adding that doctors and specialists have warned that those gates emanate harmful rays that could lead to cancer. They said that they are screened for mobiles by taking naked photos of them.
They charged that the searches were in violation of human rights and international agreements, urging the Red Cross to intervene and stop such practices.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hamas holds IOA responsible for safety of Qabaha

[ 11/06/2011 - 09:02 AM ]

DAMASCUS, (PIC)-- Hamas held the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) responsible for the safety of former minister Wasfi Qabaha, who was taken from his home in Jenin on Friday.
It said in a statement that Qabaha was detained for the 8th consecutive time, describing his arrest by the Israeli occupation forces as a new “crime” against the Palestinian people and their leaders.
Hamas urged the free people of the world and human rights groups to pressure Israel into releasing Qabaha, who suffers from chronic diseases, and into halting its crimes against the Palestinian people.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Israel extends detention of Fatah lawmaker

Published Thursday 09/06/2011 (updated) 10/06/2011 11:57
Correction appended

NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israel's Ofer military court extended the detention of Fatah leader Hussam Khader by 72 hours on Thursday, Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe said.

Khader is a long-time proponent of reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, and was taken from his home at 2 a.m. on Thursday one week ago.

Witnesses said 50 Israeli military jeeps arrived in the Balata refugee camp, surrounded the home and searched its contents before taking Khader to an unknown location.

At the time, Tayseer Nasrallah, member of the Palestinian National Council, said Khader's arrest was an attempt by Israel to disrupt the Palestinian reconciliation process.

Delegates from Hamas and Fatah continue to meet following the May 4 signing of an Egyptian-brokered unity deal that created the framework for the appointment of a single government in control of the West Bank and Gaza. The announcement of the composition of the government is expected on Monday.

(This version CORRECTS that the detention of Hussam Khader was extended by 72 hours, not six months.)

IOF kidnap former minister of prisoners affairs, Wasfi Qabaha

[ 10/06/2011 - 09:21 PM ]

JENIN, (PIC)-- IOF troops kidnapped Friday at dawn former Palestinian minister of prisoners’ affairs, Wasfi Qabaha from his home the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
Um Usama, the Qabaha’s wife, told PIC that a number of IOF patrols surrounded the building in which they live in the west of Jenin City and raided their apartment, adding that one of the officers told her husband that there was an order for his arrest and took him away.
 She added that her 50-year old husband was arrested by the occupation more than ten times and spent about 12 years in occupation jails in aggregate. The last time he was detained for three years under the so called administrative detention, without charge or trial, from which he was released in April last year.
She also said that the arrest of her husband was arbitrary and targets the Palestinian reconciliation and said that her husband suffers from several medical conditions which he developed as a result of prolonged periods of detention in occupation jails in very harsh conditions.
The IOF has launched a campaign of arrests against Hamas leaders, MPs and academics after Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo.

Israel detains Hamas leader from Jenin
Published Friday 10/06/2011 (updated) 10/06/2011 19:48
JENIN (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained Hamas leader and former minister Wasfi Qabaha overnight Thursday from his home in the West Bank city of Jenin, witnesses said.

Locals said soldiers surrounded Qabaha's home amid intensive shooting and took the 50-year-old to an unknown location.

In 2007, Qabaha was arrested by Israeli forces and detained without charge for three years under administrative detention.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said troops detained eight Palestinians overnight from the West Bank.

She could not immediately identify the detainees but said one man was detained in Jenin.

Locals in Hussan village west of Bethlehem said Israeli troops detained 22-year-old Muhammad Shusha in a dawn raid on his father's home.

Family of sick captive appeal to Red Cross to work for his release

[ 10/06/2011 - 07:42 PM ]

TUBAS, (PIC)-- The mother of Palestinian captive Abdul Salam Bani Oudeh from Tamoun handed a letter to the International Red Cross representatives calling for the release of her sick son from Israeli occupation jails.
The mother said that her son’s condition was worsening and held the occupation prison authority responsible for his life because they are not providing him with any medical attention.
The Shatta prison administration moved Bani Oudeh to Afoula prison hospital after a sharp deterioration in his health. He is still in a critical condition and so far not diagnosed.
Oudeh was arrested 9 years ago and is serving a 30-year sentence. He was well when he was arrested, but became ill inside the jail and to this day doctors have not been able to diagnose his condition or treat him.

Israeli jailor takes photos of Palestinian captive during a strip search

[ 10/06/2011 - 11:23 AM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) has strongly deprecated Thursday the Israeli occupation authority over the "strip search" policy it practices against the Palestinian captives in its jails.
Lawyer of the PPS revealed that an Israeli guard in Majeddo prison took some pictures of a Palestinian captive after he subjected him to a strip search prompting the captive to strongly protest this Israeli assault against him.
According to a statement issued by the PPS, the administration of the jail decided to transfer four Palestinian captives from Majeddo prison to Shatta prison abruptly prompting altercation between the captives and the jail guards.
One of the four, the statement added, was taken by the guards and was forced to strip down before taking pictures of him naked. The Israeli practice was meant to humiliate Palestinian captives and is a blatant violation of international laws and ethics on prisoners.
The captive went on hunger-strike for three days to protest the Israeli action against him. He was placed in solitary confinement before the guards forcibly transferred him and his three comrades to Shatta, the PPS pointed out.
In the Israeli Ramon prison, Palestinian captives decided to go on hunger strike Friday and Saturday protesting the Israeli strip search policy, saying that the IPA was provoking them and deliberately humiliating them by such policy, and vowed to resist such practices against them at all costs.
Palestinian records revealed that nearly 8000 Palestinian are still incarcerated in Israeli jails, many of them for decades now, in very miserable conditions. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

IOA moves detained MP & lecturer to Megiddo jail

[ 09/06/2011 - 12:08 PM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)-- The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) moved detained Hamas MP Ahmed Al-Haj and Najah University lecture Mustafa Al-Shinar from Hawara detention center to Megiddo jail on Thursday.
Ahmed Al-Tobasi, a lawyer with the Tadamun foundation for human rights, recalled that Haj and Shinar were taken from their homes on Tuesday.
He said that Haj was frequently detained by the IOA and spent seven years in aggregate in Israeli prisons.
Haj, who is in his seventies, suffer from a number of health problems, Tobasi said, adding that Shinar’s health condition was also precarious as he recently underwent a heart operation.

'Prisoner dean' released after four and half years in administrative detention

[ 09/06/2011 - 11:41 AM ]

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- ”The dean of administrative detainees” Ayed Dodin, 45, from Dora in Al-Khalil, was released Thursday after four and a half years in administrative detention, the Ahrar prisoner studies center said.
He was held most of the time in the Negev prison without an indictment.
In his lifetime, he has spent more than fourteen years in Israeli occupation custody, many of those years in administrative detention.
Dodin's lawyer battled with the Israeli occupation court as it insisted that Dodin should be banished from Al-Khalil as a condition ahead of his release. That was why the Israeli Prison Service kept him detained administratively.
Dodin is one the most prominent figures inside the Israeli prisons, said Ahrar center director Fuad Al-Khuffash. He represented the Negev prison population on several occasions and was the spokesperson for Palestinian prisoners.
Israel is holding some 200 Palestinians in administrative detention in the Ofer, Megiddo, and Negev prisons, Khuffash pointed out. He said that the only charges placed against them are that they are a ”danger to the region's security”.

Prison leader released after 4.5 years
Published Thursday 09/06/2011 15:49
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The detainees center in Gaza City reported Thursday the release from Israeli custody of 45 year-old Ayed Dudin from Durra village in Hebron following the end of a four-and-a-half-year prison term.

Dudin has spent a total of 14 years in Israeli prison. He spent at least two years jailed without charge or trial under administrative detention.

As the spokesman for Palestinian detainees at the Negev prison, the prisoners' center said Israeli officials had attempted to have him released into exile, offering an early release in exchange for the deal. Dudin refused, and was held past his sentence date, the center said.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cancer kids plead to see detained fathers

Published Wednesday 08/06/2011 (updated) 09/06/2011 10:57
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Asil is 10-years-old and suffers from leukemia. Just 40 days after she was born in the West Bank city of Hebron, her father, Jamal Qisiyeh, was detained by Israeli authorities and later sentenced to 13 years imprisonment.

Palestinian Detainees Minister in the West Bank visited Asil on Wednesday in a show of support for sick children and their families, with parents in Israeli jail.

Asil told Qaraqe that she hopes to get better and see her father. She has not been able to visit her father during his detention because of her illness.

In Hebron, the minister also visited 12-year-old Maram who suffers from bone cancer, the daughter of Muhammad Al-Za’aqiq who is also in Israeli jail.

Maram asks God to keep her alive until her father's release, in just six months, Qaraqe said. She cannot visit her father because of her condition, but sends him regular letters.

The minister was accompanied by members of the Hebron detainees’ center, and pledged to follow their cases and the treatment they receive.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Protest organizer on trial in Israeli military court

Israeli border police detain Ouday Tamimi in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh
on January 7, 2011. The trial of Bassem Tamimi, coordinator of the popular
committee in Nabi Saleh, commenced in an Israeli military court on Sunday.
Photo provided by Popular Struggle Committee [MaanImages/Bilal Tamimi, HO]

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Non-violence activist Bassem Tamimi appeared in Israel's Ofer military court Sunday charged with incitement and organizing protests in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

Israeli forces detained Tamimi, 44, from his home on March 24. The popular committee coordinator is accused of organizing and participating in "unauthorized processions," soliciting youth to throw stones and failing to attend legal summons.

Tamimi is also accused of disrupting legal proceedings for allegedly advising youth on how to act during police interrogation, the Popular Struggle Committee said.

Israeli forces have detained dozens of children from Nabi Saleh, which hosts weekly peaceful protests against illegal Jewish-only settlements built on village land.

The committee said police investigators also accused Tamimi of "consulting lawyers and foreigners to prepare for his interrogation."

In his statement to the court, Tamimi defended his right to organize peaceful civil demonstrations, and noted that international law guaranteed the right of people to resist occupation.

He also questioned the legitimacy of military laws imposed by an unelected occupying power.

"Despite claiming to be the only democracy in the Middle East you are trying me under military laws which lack any legitimacy; laws that are enacted by authorities that I have not elected and do not represent me."

Tamimi added: "Violent repression of our demonstrations and protests and your detention camps are not evidence of the illegality of our actions. It is unfair to be tried under a law forced upon us. I know that I have rights and my actions are just."

The military judge refused to allow Tamimi to read his full statement in court, the committee said,

Since protests began in Nabi Saleh in December 2009, Israeli forces have detained 71 residents, around 10 percent of the entire village.

Two of Tamimi's sons have been injured by Israeli soldiers at protests, and his wife has been detained twice. Israeli's Civil Administration has ordered the demolition of Tamimi's home, which was built in 1965.

The Popular Struggle Committee said Tamimi's arrest corresponded to "the systematic arrest of protest leaders all around the West Bank," pointing to similar detentions in Bil'in and Ni'lin.

Non-violence activist addresses Israeli military court


Bassem Tamimi on trial at Israel's Ofer military court near Ramallah. The
non-violence activist is charged with inciting and organizing "unauthorized
processions" in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Photo provided by Popular
Struggle Coordination Committee [MaanImages/PSCC, HO]

Non-violence activist Bassem Tamimi's address to Israel's Ofer military court during his trial for organizing protests in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. A military judge refused to allow Tamimi to read his full statement in court.

Your Honor,

I hold this speech out of belief in peace, justice, freedom, the right to live in dignity, and out of respect for free thought in the absence of Just Laws.

Every time I am called to appear before your courts, I become nervous and afraid. Eighteen years ago, my sister was killed by in a courtroom such as this, by a staff member. In my lifetime, I have been nine times imprisoned for an overall of almost 3 years, though I was never charged or convicted. During my imprisonment, I was paralyzed as a result of torture by your investigators. My wife was detained, my children were wounded, my land was stolen by settlers, and now my house is slated for demolition.

I was born at the same time as the Occupation and have been living under its inherent inhumanity, inequality, racism and lack of freedom ever since. Yet, despite all this, my belief in human values and the need for peace in this land have never been shaken. Suffering and oppression did not fill my heart with hatred for anyone, nor did they kindle feelings of revenge. To the contrary, they reinforced my belief in peace and national standing as an adequate response to the inhumanity of Occupation.

International law guarantees the right of occupied people to resist Occupation. In practicing my right, I have called for and organized peaceful popular demonstrations against the Occupation, settler attacks and the theft of more than half of the land of my village, Nabi Saleh, where the graves of my ancestors have lain since time immemorial.

I organized these peaceful demonstrations in order to defend our land and our people. I do not know if my actions violate your Occupation laws. As far as I am concerned, these laws do not apply to me and are devoid of meaning. Having been enacted by Occupation authorities, I reject them and cannot recognize their validity.

Despite claiming to be the only democracy in the Middle East you are trying me under military laws which lack any legitimacy; laws that are enacted by authorities that I have not elected and do not represent me. I am accused of organizing peaceful civil demonstrations that have no military aspects and are legal under international law.

We have the right to express our rejection of Occupation in all of its forms; to defend our freedom and dignity as a people and to seek justice and peace in our land in order to protect our children and secure their future.

The civil nature of our actions is the light that will overcome the darkness of the Occupation, bringing a dawn of freedom that will warm the cold wrists in chains, sweep despair from the soul and end decades of oppression.

These actions are what will expose the true face of the Occupation, where soldiers point their guns at a woman walking to her fields or at checkpoints; at a child who wants to drink from the sweet water of his ancestors' fabled spring; against an old man who wants to sit in the shade of an olive tree, once mother to him, now burnt by settlers.

We have exhausted all possible actions to stop attacks by settlers, who refuse to adhere to your courts' decisions, which time and again have confirmed that we are the owners of the land, ordering the removal of the fence erected by them.

Each time we tried to approach our land, implementing these decisions, we were attacked by settlers, who prevented us from reaching it as if it were their own.

Our demonstrations are in protest of injustice. We work hand in hand with Israeli and international activists who believe, like us, that had it not been for the Occupation, we could all live in peace on this land. I do not know which laws are upheld by generals who are inhibited by fear and insecurity, nor do I know their thoughts on the civil resistance of women, children and old men who carry hope and olive branches.

But I know what justice and reason are. Land theft and tree-burning is unjust. Violent repression of our demonstrations and protests and your detention camps are not evidence of the illegality of our actions. It is unfair to be tried under a law forced upon us. I know that I have rights and my actions are just.

The military prosecutor accuses me of inciting the protesters to throw stones at the soldiers. This is not true. What incites protesters to throw stones is the sound of bullets, the Occupation’s bulldozers as they destroy the land, the smell of teargas and the smoke coming from burnt houses. I did not incite anyone to throw stones, but I am not responsible for the security of your soldiers who invade my village and attack my people with all the weapons of death and the equipment of terror.

These demonstrations that I organize have had a positive influence over my beliefs; they allowed me to see people from the other side who believe in peace and share my struggle for freedom. Those freedom fighters have rid their conscious from the Occupation and put their hands in ours in peaceful demonstrations against our common enemy, the Occupation. They have become friends, sisters and brothers. We fight together for a better future for our children and theirs.

If released by the judge will I be convinced thereby that justice still prevails in your courts? Regardless of how just or unjust this ruling will be, and despite all your racist and inhumane practices and Occupation, we will continue to believe in peace, justice and human values. We will still raise our children to love; love the land and the people without discrimination of race, religion or ethnicity; embodying thus the message of the Messenger of Peace, Jesus Christ, who urged us to "love our enemy." With love and justice, we make peace and build the future.

PA: Israel detained prisoner's daughter during visit

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Guards at an Israeli prison detained a 13-year-old girl visiting her father, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Prisoners Affairs said Monday.

Prison guards detained Samah Majdi Musallam while she was visiting her father, who is serving a 13-year sentence in an Israeli prison in the Negev desert, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the girl was separated from her father by an iron mesh fence when guards rushed to detain her. She was accused of trying to smuggle something to her father, the statement said.

She was interrogated by Israeli police and tried at a court in Beersheva in southern Israel, the ministry added.

PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe said the case was not unprecedented.

"Several times prisoners' relatives have been detained during visits under trivial pretexts. In fact family visits have become a means of punishment and humiliation," Qaraqe said.

Gaza ministry: 370 Palestinians detained in May

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The Ministry of Prisoners Affairs in Gaza released a report Sunday, tallying a total of 370 detentions carried out by Israeli forces targeting Palestinians during the month of May.

According to the report, among those detained were 40 under the age of 15, five women, two lawmakers, and 20 international peace activists.

The detentions were carried out during 540 invasions and raids on Palestinians ares, the report said. In 2009, the UN cataloged an average of 103 arrest and raid operations per week in the West Bank.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Israel releases Hamas leader suffering from cancer

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israel has released a Hamas leader from Ofer military detention center because he has cancer, the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs in Gaza said Thursday.

Yasser Rajoub, 58, was detained on Jan. 17 and sentenced to six months administrative detention without charge or trial.

He was released after four months because he has advanced lung cancer, ministry spokesman Riyadh Al-Ashqar said.

Lawyer Tariq Barghouth, who works for the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Prisoners Affairs, said Wednesday that the prosecutor agreed to release Rajoub after his condition worsened.

Rajoub, from Hebron in the southern West Bank, had spent over 14 years in Israeli detention. The Hamas leader heads the Dura society for orphans.

He was among hundreds of Hamas leaders deported to Lebanon by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in the 1990s.

Rajoub's family hope to send him for treatment abroad, his lawyer said.

Female detainee suffers stomach ulcer in Israeli jail

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian detainees center reported Thursday that a female prisoner is suffering from a stomach ulcer and problems in her chest and teeth.

Amal Jum’a, held at Al-Damon prison, is from Nablus. She was detained in 2004 and banned from family visits except for one time each year. She was sentenced to 11 years.

Group: 26 from Bethlehem arrested in May

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israel arrested 26 residents of Bethlehem last month, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said Wednesday.

Abed Khalil, the head of the rights group, said arrests increased in May among minors.

The army destroyed property and used jeeps during the raids that arrested many schoolchildren, he said.

Israel to release detainee suffering from cancer

HEBRON (Ma’an) -- The Israeli military prosecutor at Ofer detention center has endorsed an appeal to release a Palestinian prisoner in administrative detention since Jan. 17, because he has cancer.

Lawyer Tariq Barghouth, who works for the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Prisoners Affairs, said Wednesday that the prosecutor agreed to release 58-year-old Yasser Rajoub from Hebron in the southern West Bank after his condition worsened.

The lawyer has submitted an urgent appeal to release Rajoub and attached a medical report with the appeal. The family, he said, wants to send Rajoub for treatment abroad once he is released.

Detainees groups protest Israel prison treatment

Published Wednesday 01/06/2011 15:04
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- A detainees group in Nablus said Tuesday that Palestinians in Israeli jails will protest their treatment in the coming days.

The jailed Palestinians, in Israel's southern Ramon prison, said the prison administration had stripped them in order to damage their emotional health, and put one detainee, named as Mohammed Dwekat, in solitary confinement when he refused to cooperate.

The prisoners "will take serious steps against the Israeli prison administration," the center said.

The detainees group said that there are over 600 Palestinians in Ramon prison alone.

Also Tuesday, a detainees center in Tubas welcomed the release of five locals from Israeli jail.

Ahmad Ma’mon Draghma, Ahmad Hussam Al-Deen, Moath Issa, Hamza Odah and Osama Mahasna, completed prison terms a week earlier, the center said, and attributed their eventual release to campaigning by families of the detainees and human rights organizations.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Family urges Amnesty Int'l to press Israel to release seriously-ill detainee

PIC [ 31/05/2011 - 10:10 PM ]
From Khalid Amayreh in Dura, Israeli-occupied West

The family and relatives of a Palestinian political detainee, who is seriously ill, are urging Amnesty International and other human rights organizations to press the Israeli government to release him "before it is too late."

Yasser Mahmoud Rajoub, 53 and  father of four daughters, was arrested by the Israeli occupation army on January 10, 2011 on seemingly frivolous and abstract charges stating that he posed a security threat to the state of Israel .

Such vague and nebulous charges are usually leveled against Palestinian individuals Israel wants to keep behind bars but lacks any real evidence that would indict them before a true court of law.

Rajoub, who is  brother  to  former Palestinian Authority strongman Jibril Rajoub, is suffering  from lung  cancer. According to a recent medical report, his overall medical condition was progressively deteriorating.

He reportedly lost a  lot of weight recently but the Israeli  prison authorities have so  far refused to allow him access to quality medical care. His administrative detention was recently extended for another six months for unexplained reasons.

In addition to carcinoma,  Rajoub is also suffering from diabetes and high blood  pressure.

According  to  treating  physicians, Rajoub  would die if no adequate medical  care was made available for him sooner than later.

Earlier this week, Rajoub's four  daughters, Ibtihal, Ala'a, Ayaat and Hanin, appealed to  " all kind-hearted men and women around the world to help save our father from the claws of death."

"Our father never hurt any person, never violated any law, or  committed any crime. He is being detained purely for his conscientious objections to the Israeli  occupation. His continued incarceration is an affront to justice, civility and human dignity. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

"In  all  countries, people are treated as innocent  until proven guilty. Here in Israel, a country that claims to be civilized and democratic,  people  are treated as guilty even if they are proven innocent.

"We therefore call on all  conscientious people around the world to intervene rather immediately to save our father from this cruelty and looming  death."

Yasser Rajoub was one of more than 400 Palestinian Islamic activists deported to southern Lebanon by the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin more than 21 years ago.

All in all, the former nurse spent more than 14 years in Israeli prisons and detention camps for his alleged political activism.

However, he was never convicted of any actual felony or crime warranting a lengthy prison sentence.

Rajoub's other twin brother Nayef, a former PA minister of Waqf and religious affairs, is also being held in administrative detention in an Israeli jail "for opposing the policies of the Israeli occupation regimes."

He, too, spent more than 10 years in Israeli jails for his purely political activism against the occupation.

An Israeli prison official said Rajoub was being treated as an "administrative detainee," meaning that his detention was first and foremost politically motivated.

The spokesman admitted that whatever objectionable activities Rajoub that may have led to his open-ended imprisonment, were completely peaceful.

However, the spokesman argued defensively that "we are not living in Sweden or Switzerland."

When this writer retorted that human rights were universal, the spokesman said rather laconically "I am not authorized to elaborate more."

In most administrative detention cases, which are in the hundreds, defense lawyers are barred from accessing whatever evidence justifying a prolonged  incarceration.

In most cases, administrative detainees are made to languish in jails and detention centers for long periods extending up to 10 years without charge or trial.

Human rights groups operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Israel's own B'tselem group, contend that the real rationale behind administrative detention is to torment and persecute a given Palestinian activist or suspected activist for his convictions and usually peaceful activities.

Israel arrests Hamas official Hussein Abu Kweik

[ 01/06/2011 - 09:01 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Israeli authorities detained noon Wednesday senior Hamas official Hussein Abu Kweik, 55, after summoning him for questioning to intelligence headquarters in the Israeli Ofer prison, Abu Kweik's wife has informed the PIC.
Witnesses told our correspondent they saw Abu Kweik cuffed and blindfolded at around 1pm as he was being led to an unknown destination.
Israel's intelligence agency Shin Bet called Abu Kweik's cell phone the night before and ordered him to appear at headquarters in the Ofer prison near Ramallah city.
The Hamas leader told the PIC before meeting with the Shin Bet officials that Israel is targeting Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials in a bid to suppress their influence in the West Bank and to torpedo the recent Palestinian reconciliation accord.
He said Israel also wants to thwart Naksa day protests and Hamas’s recovery in the West Bank after the reconciliation.
Abu Kweik has spent a total of 12 years detained in Israeli prisons. He survived an Israeli assassination attempt in 2002 that claimed the lives of his wife and three of his sons.
The night before, Israeli authorities nabbed Palestinian Legislative Council member Nazar Ramadan while passing through the Container checkpoint that divides central and southern West Bank.
The arrest came just hours after the arrest of PLC speaker Dr. Aziz Dweik and two more PLC members Anwar Zabboun and Bassem al-Zaarir for more than four hours. All have been released apart from MP Ramadan.
The legislators were kept in isolation while being held.

Report: Israel rounded up 1,200 minors since start of 2010

[ 31/05/2011 - 09:28 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- A report released Tuesday reveals a drastic escalation in friction between Israeli police and the Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem, especially those in the Silwan and Al-Issawiyya districts.
Issued by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the report documents that police since the beginning of 2010 rounded up 1,200 Palestinian suspected of throwing stones and kept some 760 of them in custody. About a third of those arrested were indicted and imprisoned until the end of the legal proceedings, the ACRI said.
“The large numerical gap between the youth who were questioned and arrested and those who were actually indicted speaks to the suspicions of Palestinians, who believe that most of these arrests and interrogations are intended solely to intimidate the minors,” the report says.
It details that in the past few months, wide-ranging clashes have erupted between Israeli police and Jerusalemites, where the police used excessive force killing one child in Al-Issawiyya after he breathed toxic gas that police hurled into residential areas.
The report also highlights the police's use of collective punishment, violence, and pressure against the Palestinian population when enforcing Israeli laws in Jerusalem. It adds that complaints that civilians file against Israeli occupation authorities have often gone ignored.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Administrative detention of Hamas lawmaker extended

HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities extended Tuesday the administrative detention of former minister and legislator Nayef Rujoub for an additional six months, two days ahead of the end of his current term.

The 53-year-old lawmaker elected to the Hamas party, has spent six months in administrative detention so far this year, and had been slated for release on 1 June.

In 1989, Rajoub was detained for affiliation with Hamas and was imprisoned for one year. In 1992 he was detained or six months and was deported to Lebanon along with a second Hamas member. He returned to Palestine and in 2005 he was again placed under administrative detention.

In 2006, when Rajoub was serving as Minister of Waqf, he was imprisoned for four years in retaliation for the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit weeks earlier by armed groups in the Gaza Strip. Rajoub re-imprisoned shortly after completing the sentence.

Under a 1979 Israeli military law, Palestinians can be detained without charge for a period of up to six months, a period of administrative detention that can be renewed indefinitely.

At last count there were 222 Palestinians being held under the law, two of whom have been detained without charge for more than 43 consecutive months.

Detainees groups protest Israel prison treatment

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- A detainees group in Nablus said Tuesday that Palestinians in Israeli jails will protest their treatment in the coming days.

The jailed Palestinians, in Israel's southern Ramon prison, said the prison administration had stripped them in order to damage their emotional health, and put one detainee, named as Mohammed Dwekat, in solitary confinement when he refused to cooperate.

The prisoners "will take serious steps against the Israeli prison administration," the center said.

The detainees group said that there are over 600 Palestinians in Ramon prison alone.

Also Tuesday, a detainees center in Tubas welcomed the release of five locals from Israeli jail.

Ahmad Ma’mon Draghma, Ahmad Hussam Al-Deen, Moath Issa, Hamza Odah and Osama Mahasna, completed prison terms a week earlier, the center said, and attributed their eventual release to campaigning by families of the detainees and human rights organizations.

Israel calls on Jihad, Hamas officials to surrender

JENIN (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Tuesday told Islamic Jihad and Hamas members in Jenin to surrender because they are wanted for arrest, Palestinian officials told Ma'an.

Israeli forces raided the house of Khader Adnan, an Islamic Jihad leader, in Arraba village southwest of Jenin and the house of Hamas leader Abdul Baset Al-Haj in Jalqamus village east of Jenin and handed out the notifications.

Earlier, Israeli forces detained 12 Islamic Jihad supporters during raids on six villages around Jenin in the northern West Bank, Palestinian security sources said.

The Israeli military said 12 "senior activists" in the movement were detained in a joint operation with the Israel security forces, coordinated with Israel's Civil Administration in the West Bank.

The army said the detainees were "suspected of providing guidance in planning terror activities as well as transferring finances and taking an active part in the rebuilding of terror networks in the region."

In Bethlehem, meanwhile, Israeli forces stopped a car carrying Palestinian lawmakers Aziz Dweik, Nizar Ramadan, Bassem Zaareer, and Anwar Zboun at a checkpoint, Hamas officials said.

Nizar Ramadan was taken to an undisclosed location and Dweik was freed, Hamas officials and the Israeli military said.

All four lawmakers represent Hamas in the Palestinian parliament.