Sunday, May 27, 2012

PCHR Weekly Report: 6 wounded, 30 abducted in 90 Israeli incursions this week

An Israeli settler, escorted by Israeli soldiers, fire at Palestinian civilian in Southern ‘Assira village, southeast of Nablus
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

IOF use force to disperse peaceful protest organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.
4 demonstrators, including two children and an international human rights defender, were wounded.

A Palestinian civilian was seriously injured at Etzion intersection, south of Bethlehem.

IOF conducted 90 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and two limited ones into the Gaza Strip.   
IOF arrested 28 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children, an old man, the director of a television channel and an ex-prisoner.

IOF continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
IOF arrested two Palestinian civilians at various checkpoints in the West Bank.

IOF have continued efforts to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem.
The Israeli government allocated new budget to enhance settlement activities in Jerusalem.
A house was demolished in al-Tour neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
A Palestinian civilian was seriously wounded by Israeli settlers south of Nablus.
IOF razed 14 dunums[1] of agricultural land in the east of Hebron and confiscated a bulldozer and a truck in Jerusalem.  
IOF tore down 6 tents south of Hebron and demolished a bird farm southwest of Ramallah.
Israeli settlers stormed Taqqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem, in the presence of IOF.


Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (17 – 23 May 2012):


During the reporting period, 5 Palestinian civilians were wounded by IOF in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  A 6th civilian was also wounded by Israeli settlers in the West Bank.  Additionally, a Palestinian civilian was stabbed by Israeli soldiers at Kfar Etzion checkpoint near Bethlehem. 

During the reporting period, IOF wounded 4 demonstrators, including two children and an international human rights defender, during the dispersion of peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the annexation wall and settlement activities in the West Bank.

On 19 May 2012, a number of Israeli settlers from “Yits’har” settlement attacked Palestinian agricultural areas in the southeast of Southern ‘Assira village, south of Nablus, and set fire to some of them.  A number of Palestinian civilians gathered to extinguish fire.  Soon, Israeli settlers threw stones and empty bottles at houses in the village.  When Palestinian civilians attempted to stop this attack, an Israeli settler fired at them.  As a result, a Palestinian civilian was seriously wounded by a bullet that entered the right eye and exited the left ear.  IOF were present in the area and did not intervene to stop the attack.  Video clips from the area showed two Israeli soldiers standing near an Israeli settler while he was firing at Palestinian civilians, which indicates that IOF support Israeli settlers in their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property.  Additionally, 5 Palestinian civilians were injured by stones thrown by Israeli settlers. 

On 20 May 2012, a Palestinian was seriously wounded near Etzion intersection, south of Bethlehem.  IOF claimed that he attempted to stab an Israeli soldier using a sharp tool, and quarrel erupted between him the soldier, as a result of which he fell onto the ground and the sharp tool entered his abdomen.  He was evacuated to an Israeli hospital and was put under detention.  He told a lawyer who visited him that a number of Israeli soldiers attacked him with a knife and they stabbed him in the abdomen. 

In the Gaza Strip, on 20 May 2012, a Palestinian civilian was wounded when IOF positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at al-Qarara village, northeast of Khan Yunis. 

During the reporting period, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats in the northern and central Gaza Strip.  No casualties were reported.


During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 90 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.  During these incursions, IOF arrested 28 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children, an old man, the director of a television channel and an ex-prisoner who was released in the context of the Shalit prisoners swap.  

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted two limited incursions into Palestinian areas, during which they leveled areas of land which they had already razed.

Restrictions on Movement:

Israel had continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

The illegal Israeli-imposed closure of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip. The illegal closure has caused not only a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of human rights and human dignity for the population of the Gaza Strip.  Measures declared recently to ease the blockade are vague, purely cosmetic and fail to deal with the root causes of the crisis, which can only be addressed by an immediate and complete lifting of the closure, including lifting the travel ban into and out of the Gaza Strip and the ban on exports. Palestinians in Gaza may no longer suffer from the same shortage of goods, but they will remain economically dependent and unable to care for themselves, and socially, culturally and academically isolated from the rest of the world.

IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Detainee On Hunger Strike Since 63 Days Determined To Continue

 author by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies Report post
Palestinian sources reported that detainee Mahmoud Kamel As-Sarsak, currently held at the Ramla Prison Hospital is determined to continue his hunger strike until his release or death.
Mahmoud Kamel As-Sarsak -
Mahmoud Kamel As-Sarsak -
Sarsak was kidnapped by the Israeli army more than three years ago, and never faced charges since then; Israel is holding him captive under the so-called “illegitimate combatant” that was used against Palestinians captured during the three-week war on Gaza.

He was moved, more than eight days ago, to the Asaf Ha-Rofe hospital for pancreas surgery, and is suffering from sharp pain in his stomach and passes out from time to time.

His brother, Imad, said that he also suffers from vision problems, dizziness and headache, and that he lost a significant amount of weight.

Sarsak is also refusing to receive vitamins and medications, his brother added.

Lawyer Jawad Boulos, stated six days ago that Sarsak is unable to walk and is suffering from law blood sugar in addition to sharp increase in his heart beats.

He was reportedly offered to be exiled to Norway for three months but rejected the offer and said that he accepts no partial solutions, adding that all detainees are united with their demands and will not break their strike without having these demands met, the Ahrar Wledna Website reported May 13.

The Ahrar Wledna (We Were Born Free) defines itself as that official website for Hamas political prisoners held by Israel.

Sarsak is determined to continue his strike until he is release and sent back to his family in the Shaboura refugee camp, in Rafah city, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

He was taken prisoner on July 22, 2009 at the Erez Terminal between while heading to participate in a soccer tournament. Israel held him under administrative detention, without charges, for six months, and renewed these administrative detention orders against his six consecutive times under the pretext of posing threat to the Israeli public.

Ahrar Wledna said that Sarsak is the only Palestinian detainee who is currently being held for being “an illegitimate combatant”, all administrative detention detainees never faced charges and are being held under what Israel dubs as “secret security file” that neither the detainees, nor their lawyers have access to.
 International Middle East Media Center

The Nakba: 2012 | by Richard Falk

The Nakba: 2012 

 The Nakba: 2012
by Richard Falk
17 May

The recent parallel hunger strikes in Israeli prisons reignited the political imagination of Palestinians around the world, strengthening bonds of ‘solidarity’ and reinforcing the trend toward grassroots reliance on nonviolent resistance Israeli abuses. The crisis produced by these strikes made this year’s observance of Nakba Day a moral imperative for all those concerned with attaining justice and peace for the long oppressed Palestinian people whether they be living under occupation or in exile. The Palestinian mood on this May 14th, inflamed by abuse and frustration, but also inspired by and justly proud of exemplary expressions of courage, discipline, and nonviolent resistance on the part of imprisoned Palestinians who are mounting the greatest challenge of organized resistance that Israel has faced since the Second Intifada.

The agreements ending the strikes were reached as a result of Israeli concessions, pledges to reduce reliance on administrative detention, abandon solitary confinement, and allow family visits, including from Gaza. Whether these pledges will be honored remains to be seen. Past Israeli behavior whether with respect to Israeli settlement activity or with respect to softening the impact of the blockade on Gaza that has been maintained for five years suggest that only careful monitoring will determine whether Israel abides by its commitments. The experience of Hana Shalabi is not encouraging. In an agreement that ended her hunger strike after 43 days in exchange for her release from administrative detention, she was not allowed to return to her West Bank home but sent to Gaza and ordered to remain there for three years.
Whether she was told about this condition at the time of her release has not been satisfactorily clarified, but it does strongly suggest that it is important to
Remember that there are two devils: one hangs out in the details, the other in the degree to which behavior corresponds with the pledges.

As of now, the outcome of these hunger strikes have been justly celebrated as a victory for Palestinian resistance, and a further demonstration that at this stage the political struggle against Israeli occupation depends on the will and creativity of the people, and not on the diplomatic skill of the leadership. Inter-governmental diplomacy of the sort associated with ‘the Oslo peace process’ and ‘the Quartet’s road map’ have provided a smokescreen to divert attention from Israeli expansionist ambitions for the past twenty years without moving the two sides one inch closer to a sustainable and just peace.

Perhaps, the other good news for the Palestinians is the further decline of Israel’s global reputation. According to a BBC poll only Iran and Pakistan are viewed more unfavorably than Israel among the 22 countries ranked, suggesting the utter failure of the expensive Israeli propaganda campaign. Even if Europe the unfavorable ratings associated with Israel are strikingly high: 74% Spain, 65%, France, 69% Germany, 68% Britain. What calls for explanation is why these European governments and the European Union ignore such a mandate from their own citizens, and continue to pursue policies that are unconditionally pro-Israeli.

There are other signals of a shift in the diplomatic balance of forces. According to another new poll 61% of Egyptians want to cancel the 1979 Treaty with Israel. This is reinforced by the resentment of Egyptians toward the United States’ role in their country in the Middle East generally. 79% of the 1000 Egyptians interviewed expressed their unfavorable view of the United States.

Where are the Israeli ‘realists’ hiding? Instead of loose talk about attacking Iran isn’t time to give weight to such recent developments? The writing is on the wall. Military superiority and political violence do not ensure security in the early 21st century. Legality and legitimacy matter more than ever. It is Turkey that exerts regional influence, not because it throws its weight around, but because it has, despite some serious flaws, pursued a path that has brought greater prosperity at home, acted independently and effectively in fashioning its foreign policy, and achieved a governing style reflective of its cultural identity. These achievements generate a Turkish Model that is attractive, overlooking unresolved acute problems with minorities and a clumsy kind of unwillingness to respect dissenting voices.

Reverting to the Palestinian epic hunger strikes that continue to deserve our attention and admiration. It all started when a lone prisoner, Khader Adnan initiated a hunger strike to protest his abusive arrest and administrative detention on December 17th, which happens to be the exact anniversary of the day that the Tunisian vendor, Mohammed Bouazizi, set himself on fire, his death leading directly to a wave of uprisings across the region that became known throughout the world as the Arab Spring. Adnan gave up his strike after 66 days when Israel relented somewhat on his terms of detention, and this was the same length of time that Bobby Sands maintained his hunger strike unto death so as to dramatize IRA prison grievances in North Ireland. It is not surprising that the survivors of the 1981 Irish protest should now be sending bonding messages of empathy and solidarity to their Palestinian brothers locked up in Israeli jails.

What Adnan did prompted other Palestinians to take a similar stand. Hana Shalabi, like Adnan a few weeks later experienced a horrible arrest experience that included sexual harassment and was sent to prison without charges or trial four months after she had been ‘released’ in the Shalit prisoner exchange in October 2011. She too seemed ready to die rather than endure further humiliation, and was also eventually released, but punitively, being ‘deported’ to Gaza away from her West Bank village and family for a period of three years. Others hunger strikes followed, and now two types of hunger strike under way, each influenced by the other.

The longer of the strike involves six protesting Palestinians who are in critical condition, with their lives at risk for at least the past week. Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh who have now refused food for an incredible 76 days, a sacrificial form of nonviolent resistance that can only be properly appreciated as a scream of anguish and despair on behalf of those who have been suffering so unjustly and mutely for far too long. It is a sign of Western indifference that even these screams seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

The second closely related hunger strike that has lasted almost a month is an equally an extraordinary display of disciplined nonviolence, initiated on April 17th Palestinian Prisoners Day. By now there are reported to be as many as 2000 prisoners who are refusing all food until a set of grievances associated with deplorable prison conditions are satisfactorily. The two strikes are linked because the longer hunger strike inspired the mass strike, and the remaining several thousand non-striking Palestinian prisoners in Israel jails are already pledged to join the strike if there are any deaths among the strikers. This heightened prisoner consciousness has already been effective in mobilizing the wider community of Palestinians living under occupation, and beyond.

This heroic activism gives an edge to the 2012 Nakba observance, and contrasts with the apparent futility of traditional diplomacy. The Quartet tasked with providing a roadmap to achieve a peaceful resolution of the Israel/Palestine conflict seems completely at a loss, and has long been irrelevant to the quest for a sustainable peace, let alone the realization of Palestinian rights. The much publicized efforts of a year ago to put forward a statehood bid at the United Nations seems stalled indefinitely due to the crafty backroom maneuvers of the United States. Even the widely supported and reasonable recommendations of the Goldstone Report to seek accountability for Israeli leaders who seemed guilty of war crimes associated with the three weeks of attacks on Gaza at the end of 2008 has been permanently consigned to limbo. And actually the situation is even worse for the Palestinians than this summary depiction suggest. While nothing happens on the diplomatic level other clocks are ticking at a fast pace. Several developments adverse to Palestinian interests and aspirations are taking place at an accelerating pace: 40,000 additional settlers are living in the West Bank since the temporary freeze on settlement expansion ended in September 2010, bringing the overall West Bank settler population to about 365,000, and well over 500,000 if East Jerusalem settlers are added on.

Is it any wonder then that Palestinians increasingly view the Nakba not as an event frozen in time back in 1947 when as many as 700,000 fled from their homeland, but as descriptive of an historical process that has been going on ever since Palestinians began being displaced by Israeli immigration and victimized by the ambitions and tactics of the Zionist Project? It is this understanding of the Nakba as a living reality with deep historical roots that gives the hunger strikes such value. Nothing may be happening when it comes to the peace process, but at least, with heightened irony, it is possible to say that a lot is happening in Israeli jails. And the resolve of these hunger strikers is so great as to convey to anyone that is attentive that the Palestinians will not be disappeared from history. And merely by saying this there is a renewed sense of engagement on the part of Palestinians the world over and of their growing number of friends and comrades, that this Palestinian courage and sacrifice and fearlessness will bring eventual success and, in contrast, it is the governmental search for deals and bargains built to reflect power relations not claims of rights that seems so irrelevant that its disappearance would hardly be noticed.

By and large, the Western media, especially in the United States, has taken virtually no notice of these hunger strikes, as if there was no news angle until the possibility of martyrdom for the strikers began at last to stir fears in Israeli hearts and minds of a Palestinian backlash and a public relations setback on the international level. Then and only then has there been speculation that maybe Israel could and should make some concessions, promising to improve prison conditions and limit reliance on administrative detention to situations where a credible security threat existed. Beyond this frantic quest by Israel to find a last minute pragmatic escape from this volatile situation posed by both hunger strikers on the brink of death and a massive show of solidarity by the larger prison population, is this sense that the real message of the Nakba is to underscore the imperative of self-reliance and nonviolence and ongoing struggle. The Palestinian future will be shaped by the people of Palestine or nothing. And it is up to us in the world, whether Palestinian or not, to join in their struggle to achieve justice from below, sufficiently shaking the foundations of oppressive structures of occupation and the exclusions of exile to create tremors of doubt in the Israeli colonial mindset. And as doubts grow, new possibilities suddenly emerge.

For this reason, the Nakba should become important for all persons of good will, whether Palestinian or not, whether in Israel or outside, as an occasion for displays of solidarity. This might mean a global sympathy hunger strike as is being urged for May 17th or an added commitment to the BDS Campaign (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) or signing up to join the next voyage of the Freedom Flotilla. Certainly the Nakba is a time of remembrance for the historic tragedy of expulsion, but it is equally a time of reflection on what might be done to stop the bleeding and to acknowledge and celebrate those who are brave enough to say “this far, and no further.”

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The arrest of Al-Asir TV channel's director and employees

JENIN,(PIC)-- IOF stormed at dawn Thursday different parts in Jenin city and raided the house of Al-Asir (the Captive) TV channel's director and arrested him with one of the channel's supervisors and took them to an unknown destination.
Local sources told PIC that the IOF raided Marka town and stormed the house of Baha Mousa, the managing director of the TV channel that has been launched recently, arresting him with one of the channel's supervisors and taking them to an unknown destination.
The sources stated that the detentions were linked to the opening of the channel after the office in Jenin was equipped ready to start broadcasting,  pointing out that Mousa has two detained brothers sentenced to life.
Meanwhile, occupation forces have erected a number of checkpoints at the entrances of Arrana, and Jalbun, Deir Abu Daif, and Zububa, searching the citizens' vehicles.The arrest of Al-Asir TV channel's director and employees

Israeli soldiers open fire, 8 injured

GAZA, May 17 (UPI) -- Israeli soldiers opened fire near the Karni border crossing in northern Gaza Thursday, injuring eight civilians, Palestinian authorities said.
The soldiers opened fire at armed Palestinians approaching the border crossing, despite repeated warnings, Israeli Army Radio said. The troops suspected the approaching group wanted to place explosives at the compound.
Medical sources in Gaza told Haaretz two people sustained serious wounds because of rifle and shell fire. Three of the injured were elderly, medical personnel said.
Thursday's incident occurred after Israeli forces last month fired at a group of demonstrators that approached the security fence on the Israel-Gaza border to protest what it said was Israel's plan to create a security buffer zone around the Gaza Strip

Israeli soldiers open fire, 8 injured -

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Medics: 80 Injured in Nakba Protests Near Ramallah

  by William Temple - 1 of International Middle East Media Center Editorial Group 
Ma'an News reported Medics as saying that over 80 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces near Ramallah on Tuesday, as protesters commemorated the Nakba, or catastrophe, of their exile in 1948.
Palestinian Woman with Key to Her Old Home
Palestinian Woman with Key to Her Old Home
After a mass rally in Ramallah's clock square, protesters headed to Israel's Ofer Detention Center and the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem to commemorate the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the founding of the state of Israel.

Medics said 63 Palestinians were injured outside Ofer prison and 21 were hurt at Qalandiya as Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces used riot dispersal means at protesters hurling rocks.

In Gaza City, thousands of demonstrators from all factions headed to UN Headquarters carrying Palestinian flags.

Hamas lawmaker Musheer al-Masri told protesters the right of refugees to return "will not be forgotten or bargained for because it is a right for all Palestinians."

"Sixty-four years after the Nakba, we stand here while occupation is still sitting heavily on our land committing massacres against our people," al-Masri said.

He also recalled Britain's historic role in the Nakba and accused the US of complicity in continuing the tragedy by its repeated vetoes of resolutions in the UN.

Senior Fatah leader Zakariyya Al-Agha also called for the right of return: "The Palestinian people insist on their right to return to the Palestinian territory occupied in 1948," he told demonstrators.
International Middle East Media Center

Video: Palestinians mark Al-Nakba 15.05.2012 By

Monday, May 14, 2012

Detainee will not end fast until he is freed

  • Image Credit: AP
  • Missadeh Diab, 65, holds a picture of her son Bilal Diab at her home in the West Bank village of Kufr Rai. Diab was arrested last August and held without charges since. He has been on a hunger strike since February 28.
Ramallah: Palestinian hunger striker Bilal Diab told his family that he will not end his fast until he is released from prison. Israeli authorities permitted Diab to make a six-minute phone call to his family, a rare luxury for a Palestinian serving administrative detention.
"His voice was very weak but he said he will only end his hunger strike at his own home," Diab's brother, Bassam told Gulf News.
"Bilal is ready to reject any offers from Israel," he said. "So far, there have been no proposals."
The Israeli military detained Diab and sentenced him to a six-month administrative detention order which was renewed with another six-month order, when he started his protest hunger strike.
No visit permit for family
Since his detention, the Israeli authorities have refused to grant Diab's family members even a single visit permit.
Currently, Diab's sick mother has applied for a permit to visit her son through the Red Cross, but the Israeli authorities have rejected the request.
Yesterday, AFP reported that Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails were weighing a package of measures easing their conditions in exchange for ending their protest.
"The prisoners are looking at the deal that was agreed in Cairo. Only the prisoners can decide," a Palestinian source close to the Egyptian-brokered negotiations with Israel said.
"It's the leaders of the prisoners who have the key, to say yes or no."
Some 1,550 Palestinian prisoners are on hunger strike, including two detainees who yesterday entered their 76th day without food.
Prisoner demands
They are calling on Israel to ease restrictions on family visits and prisoner education, and an end to both solitary confinement and the use of administrative detention, a procedure under which suspects can be held indefinitely without charge.
Late on Sunday, a source confirmed to AFP that a deal regarding their demands had been hammered out in Cairo. gulfnews : Detainee will not end fast until he is freed

Hunger striker will not stop until freed

Palestinian hunger striker Bilal Diyab told his family that he will not break his fast until he is released from prison
Ramallah: Palestinian hunger striker Bilal Diyab told his family that he will not break his fast until he is released from prison. Israeli authorities permitted Bilal to make a 6 minute phone call to his family, a rare luxury for a Palestinian serving administrative detention. "His voice was very weak but he said he will only end his hunger strike at his own home," Bilal's brother, Bassam told Gulf News. "Bilal is ready to reject any offers from Israel," he said. "So far, there have been no proposals." The Israeli military detained Bilal Diyab and sentenced him to a six months administrative detention order which was renewed with another six months order, where he started his hunger strike in protest. Since his detention, the Israeli authorities refused to grant Bilal's family members a single family visit permit. Currently Bilal's sick mother has applied for a permit to visit her dying son via the Red Cross, but the Israeli authorities rejected the request.  Hunger striker will not stop until freed

Palestinian minister: Hundreds of prisoners held by Israel agree to end hunger strike

RAMALLAH, West Bank - The Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs says a deal has been reached with Israel to end a weekslong hunger strike by hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.
Issa Qaraqe said the Palestinian prisoners signed the deal on Monday afternoon at an Israeli prison in Ashkelon.
He did not have details of the deal, and Israeli officials had no immediate comment.
At least 1,600 prisoners held by Israel have been on a hunger strike since mid-April, demanding better conditions. A handful of prisoners have been refusing food for as long as 77 days, and are said to be in critical condition.

ADDAMEER - Visits Bilal Diab, Hassan Safadi and Omar Abu Shalal in Ramleh Prison Medical Clinic Today

Ramallah, 14 May 2012 – Bilal Diab’s health continues to deteriorate dramatically, according to Addameer lawyer Mona Neddaf, who visited him and two other long-term hunger strikers in Ramleh prison medical clinic today. Along with fellow administrative detainee Thaer Halahleh, Bilal Diab is on his 77th day of hunger strike today. Both Bilal and Thaer have yet to be hospitalized in a public hospital, despite being at immediate risk of death.
Bilal is currently experiencing frequent loss of consciousness and very low oxygen, hemoglobin and blood sugar levels. He is also suffering from hair loss, pain in his joints, and blood in his stool. After losing consciousness yesterday, Bilal was transferred to Assaf Harofeh hospital. However, during his transfer and while in the hospital, Bilal reported being shackled by all of his limbs and subjected to additional ill-treatment. He considered this a breach of medical ethics and therefore refused any treatment at the hospital. He requested to be transferred to a different hospital under humane conditions and was then sent back to Ramleh prison. A similar incident also occurred last Friday, 11 May, when he was transferred to Assaf Harofeh and refused to accept treatment there due to his mistrust in the doctors as a result of how he has been treated throughout his hunger strike.
In an attempt to further exert pressure upon Bilal, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) yesterday used communication with his family as a bargaining chip to compel him to accept treatment. After agreeing to take glucose yesterday and today, in addition to one vitamin pill today, the IPS allowed him to make a phone call to his family last night, for seven minutes only. He has been denied all family visits up to this point in his hunger strike. Bilal further reported to Ms. Neddaf that he had refused to meet with the IPS medical ethics committee last week when they attempted to pressure him to take vitamins and other minerals.
Ms. Neddaf was also able to visit Hassan Safadi, currently on his 71st day of hunger strike, and Omar Abu Shalal, currently on his 69th day of hunger strike, in Ramleh prison today. According to Ms. Neddaf, both are in critical condition. Hassan has very low blood sugar and received medication today for infections in his body. He is also taking vitamins to support his heart muscle. Omar also agreed to start taking minerals and salt two days ago. Both of them continue to demand their immediate release from administrative detention.
Nine additional prisoners on hunger strike have also been newly transferred to Ramleh prison medical clinic. Today is the 28th day of Palestinian prisoners’ mass hunger strike.
Addameer renews its demand for the immediate transfer to independent hospitals for all hunger striking prisoners whose medical conditions are deteriorating. Addameer holds the Occupation responsible for the lives of all prisoners on hunger strike and urges the international community to continue exerting pressure on Israel in the strongest manner possible to save their lives.

Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association - ADDAMEER - Addameer Visits Bilal Diab, Hassan Safadi and Omar Abu Shalal in Ramleh Prison Medical Clinic Today

Activists stage sit-in before Red Cross

Activists stage sit-in before Red Cross:
NABLUS, (PIC)-- Palestinian activists staged a sit-in in front of the Red Cross office in Nablus on Monday in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners.

The activists said that the sit-in is also in protest at the Red Cross negative position toward the issue of those prisoners, who have been on hunger strike for 28 days.

They demanded a more active role for the Red Cross and toward the prisoners’ demands.

The activists said that their protest steps would escalate in the few coming days in the event the disregard continued toward those prisoners on the part of various institutions, adding that they would close down those institutions in the coming stage including the Red Cross.

The strike leadership: We either achieve prisoners' demands or martyrdom

The strike leadership: We either achieve prisoners' demands or martyrdom

The Central Committee of the Leadership of the Strike in occupation prisons confirmed that there is no choice for them but achieve their demands or martyrdom.
The committee stated in a statement that they are in a very critical period in which the prison service is trying to force them to accept partial settlements to bring an end to this epic humanitarian struggle for justice.
It has confirmed that the prisoners are insisting not to go back till achieving their demands, “We are waiting for martyrdom for the sake of our dignity, and we have prepared ourselves to confront our only two options – the victory of our humanitarian rights and our dignity, or our martyrdom while fighting for those just demands.”

The committee confirmed that the prisoners are insisting to continue the battle of empty stomachs whatever the cost may be, "until we achieve the minimum of our demands, particularly the immediate end to the horror of solitary confinement and isolation, and to allow prisoners from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank who have been denied family visits to receive them, and to return prison conditions to their pre-2000 state."
The committee has expressed its appreciation of the Egyptian role "with regard to compelling “Israel” to implement the second part of an agreement and fulfilling its commitments and we are confident that Egypt is an Arab leader that will not leave us to face this battle alone. We also affirm categorically that we will not end our strike without promptly achieving our demands. We are confident of the depth of support in our nation and particularly in Egypt,” according to the committee's statement.
Finally the committee stated "we are ready for martyrdom. We are not amateurs in hunger. Death is easier than disrespect for our dignity, so we swear we will live with dignity or die."

Video: Noam Chomsky Discusses Palestinian Prisoner Hunger Strike on Democracy Now!

Published on May 14, 2012 by - Democracy Now! interviews world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky, asking him about the ongoing Palestinian prisoner hunger strike. An estimated 2,000 jailed Palestinians have gone without food to pressure Israeli prison authorities to end the use of solitary confinement and ease a wide range of restrictions. "The hunger strikes are a protest against violations of the elementary human rights," Chomsky says, who is Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of dozens of books, most recently, "Occupy."

See many other Democracy Now! interviews with Noam Chomsky in our playlist:

For additional reports on this case, or to watch the complete independent, weekday news hour, please visit

Video: Ma'ale Adumin, West Bank, 13.05.2012 By haithmkatib

Published on May 13, 2012 by
Action for Palestinian prisoners, Ma'ale Adumin, West Bank, 13.05.2012
]Pro Palestinian demonstrations continued today as Palestinian activists, International and Israelis activists blocked the entry to Ma'ale Adumim settlement. Two Palestinian activists were arrested as the road/entrance to the settlement was blocked to oncoming vehicles for a good hour and traffic was stalled for over a mile. Today's rally was in solidarity with the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners.
In the last few weeks, thousands of Palestinian prisoners have been on a hunger strike while in detention at Israeli jails, and several are at risk of death. The hunger strike is in protest of their administrative detention without trial, restrictive visiting rights, limited access to educational materials and unjust treatment. Many prisoners have carried on the hunger strike for over 60+ days, while Pro Palestinian activists join the protest outside of jail in may cities along the West Bank and Gaza in hopes to bring world wide attention to the treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli government.

Empty Stomachs, Clenched Fists: How Palestinians Are Fighting Israel's Unaccountable Prison System

Israeli policy toward Palestinian prisoners is now facing unprecedented scrutiny due to a mass hunger strike aimed at ending administrative detention and other harsh policies.

Khader Adnan, whose 66-day hunger strike galvanized Palestinian society, marching in solidarity with the mass Palestinian hunger strike in Nablus, West Bank.
Photo Credit: Ahmad Al-Bazz / ActiveStills

Thaer Halahleh, a resident of the Palestinian city of Hebron, is a father. But his 2-year-old daughter Lamar only knows him through photographs.
In the middle of the night on June 26, 2010, 50 Israeli soldiers raided Halahleh’s home in the occupied West Bank. After forcefully knocking down his door and demanding that the women and children in his family step outside while they ransacked his home, the Israeli authorities arrested him. The Israeli military gave his family no reason for his arrest other than the claim that Halahleh was a “threat to the public.” He was taken from his family that night, and transferred to the Etzion Detention Center in Israel, where he was placed in “administrative detention.”
Almost two years later, 33-year-old Halahleh is still in prison. His family has only been allowed to visit him once.
Israeli policy toward Palestinian prisoners is now facing unprecedented scrutiny, as Halahleh and a host of other prisoners continue an open-ended hunger strike focused on ending the practice of administrative detention and other harsh prison practices. The hunger strike has galvanized Palestinian society, leading to weekly protests outside Israeli prison walls. The hope is that Israeli authorities will be forced to negotiate with the hunger strikers to meet their demands.
Currently, 322 Palestinian prisoners are being held under administrative detention, a military process Israeli authorities use to arrest and detain Palestinians without trial or evidence. Many of them have been in prison for years. None of them have had their cases heard in court. Most, like Halahleh, were violently arrested and taken away in the middle of the night, and to this day don’t know the exact charges they face aside from vague accusations. To the Israeli authorities, a “security threat” can be someone who is a semi-active member of a political organization, or someone who frequents nonviolent demonstrations.
Although an administrative detention order can technically be given for a maximum of six months, it can be renewed indefinitely. Since Thaer Halahleh was arrested almost two years ago, his detention order has been renewed eight times. Halahleh is now fighting back.
On February 28, Thaer Halahleh and Bilal Diab, another administrative detainee, began an open-ended hunger strike. In addition to administrative detention, they were also protesting the punitive measures the Israeli authorities impose on prisoners, such as solitary confinement and restrictions on family visits. In March, both men had to be transferred to Israel’s Ramleh Medical Prison. Despite being in critical medical condition, neither patient has been permitted to see a doctor independent from the medical prison.
Over two months later, Halahleh and Diab are still on strike, nourishing themselves through salted water alone. On May 7, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected appeals by Halahleh and Diab against their administrative detention orders. Still, more than 2,500 other prisoners have joined the hunger strike in solidarity--more than half of all Palestinian prisoners.
“I am a man who loves life, and I want to live in dignity,” Thaer Hahlahleh testified to a small group of advocates who attended the court hearing to appeal his detention order. “No human should accept being in jail for one hour without any charge or reason.”
Hahlahleh's and Diab's plights are by no means unique. In Palestine, the injustice surrounding incarceration has personally touched almost every member of the population. Since Israel began its occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in 1967, Israel has imprisoned 650,000 Palestinians—around 20 percent of the population, and 40 percent of all males. Despite the Fourth Geneva Convention explicitly stating that transferring detainees to the occupying power’s territory is illegal, all 4,500 Palestinian prisoners are held in Israeli jails.
In some ways, the occupation regime in Palestine has been used to further deny prisoners their rights. Palestinians living under occupation are not allowed the right to freely move between cities and cannot visit Israel without permission from the Israeli military. This approval process can take weeks—and most applications are rejected. For prisoners, family members that try to visit are often denied permits. Furthermore, Palestinian lawyers are unable to see their clients, leaving most Palestinian prisoners without any legal representation.
The Palestinians who do receive trials are tried in military courts, not civil courts. Israeli military tribunals are presided over by three judges appointed by the Israeli military. Some have no legal training or background. These military tribunals have a 99.7 percent conviction rate. In other words, although they may go through all of the motions of a trial, the verdict has already been decided.
In the past, these policies have been protested in the streets as parts of larger, popular demonstrations against the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Prisoners’ rights were part of a string of grievances ranging from checkpoints and restrictions on movement to illegal settlement building and home demolitions. Despite the continued presence of protests and resistance being an integral part of Palestinian culture, this daunting host of issues had begun to produce a malaise towards the goal of ending what seems to be a perpetual occupation.
Now, inspired by Khader Adnan’s 66-day hunger strike beginning in December, and later Hana Al Shalabi’s 43-day strike during the month of February, resistance has reached new heights of courage and desperation. Rather than protesting the mass of grievances Palestinians face under occupation, activists’ focus has been reoriented toward prisoners. In what is now referred to as the “War of Empty Stomachs,” prisoners are using the last tools of resistance still available to them to fight for their own—and Palestine’s—basic human dignity.
Israel has a choice to make. As in the cases of Khader Adnan and Hana Al Shalabi, Israel can release prisoners as their health deteriorates. However, releasing two prisoners and releasing 2,500 prisoners are very different things—and would represent a huge defeat for Israel. The other option is to let the strikers die in prison, and face the inevitable consequence of massive popular demonstrations of outrage throughout the occupied territories. In either instance, the strikers will experience a victory: more prisoners will be released, or Israel will encounter a public relations disaster as the hunger strikers’ deaths further focus the international spotlight on administrative detention and other policies.
Most Palestinian hunger strikers—particularly those being held on charges of administrative detention—were never significant threats to the state of Israel during their civilian lives. However, now that they are behind bars they have organized into a very real threat to the state of Israel. At long last, mass resistance is drawing international attention and outrage to Israel's harsh and unaccountable prison system.

Empty Stomachs, Clenched Fists: How Palestinians Are Fighting Israel's Unaccountable Prison System | World | AlterNet

Prisoner Abu Ghulma vomiting blood

Prisoner Abu Ghulma vomiting blood:

 RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- A message from the Israeli dungeons revealed that prisoner Ahed Abu Ghulma was vomiting the water he was consuming along with a yellow substance.

The message received on Sunday from Hassan Salame, another prisoner in isolation, said that Abu Ghulma was vomiting blood in the past couple of days and the prison administration was refusing to transfer him to hospital.

He said the prison administration only gave him injection to infuse water into his body.

Salame asked the media to shed light on Abu Ghulma’s condition, and urged human rights groups to pressure the Israeli prison authority to transfer him to hospital.

He underlined that Abu Ghulma has lost more than 15 kilograms of his weight, but despite seriousness of his condition was adamant on continuing in the hunger strike.

Heavy armed forces spread in the area after the attack on settlers posts

Heavy armed forces spread in the area after the attack on settlers spots « Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Silwan, Jerusalem:
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) -- Many armed Israeli forces are spreading around Silwan as continuity of the confrontations that started in Battn al Hawa area after the Molotov cocktails and the fireworks attack on the settlements, the fire reaction from the Bet Yonatan settlement also increased and the atmosphere was tensed till the confrontations started again in Beer Ayoub where the Israeli forces surrounded the area and focused their forces above the highlands and the plateaus of Silwan, but the youth managed to reach another settlement in the Ein Silwan street between the Bustan area and Wadi al Hilweh and throw towards it stones and fireworks, a reaction of fire was heard and the testimonies says it came from the settlements guards.
Silwan is still witnessing a tensed period; the Israeli forces are using flares, and confrontations with the settlers doesn’t stop, last Friday, a few hours before the prayer a settler tried to provoke one of the kids and the locals jumped to protect the kid so the settler decided to run away in his car.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

video: Activists Seal Off Settlement in solidarity with hunger strikers

Israel agrees to deal to end Palestinian strike

 JERUSALEM (AP) — An Egyptian official says Israel has agreed to a proposal that would end a mass hunger strike by Palestinians in Israeli jails.

The official says the Egyptian-drafted proposal still needs to be approved by the prisoners.

Some 1,600 Palestinians held in Israeli jails are striking, most for a month, but two men have refused food two for more than 70 days.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Sunday that under the deal Israel will move prisoners currently in solitary confinement to regular cells.

Israel also will soften its "administrative detention" policy, under which prisoners deemed a security risk can be held without charges.

Israeli officials would not comment.

Israel warned of volatile situation as Palestinian hunger strikers near death | World news | The Guardian

Palestinian men protest in solidarity with hunger strikers at the International Committee of the Red Cross HQ in Gaza. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza in support of about 2,000 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike are escalating amid efforts by Egyptian mediators to broker a deal to avoid protests spiralling out of control if a detainee dies.
Two prisoners, who have refused food for 77 days, are thought to be close to death with another six in a critical condition, say Palestinian groups. The Israeli prison service (IPS) says no one's life is at risk.
In an unusual intervention, Tony Blair, the representative of the Middle East quartet, urged Israel to "take all necessary measures to prevent a tragic outcome that could have serious implications for stability and security conditions on the ground". He said he was "increasingly concerned about the deteriorating health conditions" of hunger strikers.
Earlier, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said the situation was "very dangerous". He told Reuters: "If anyone dies … it would be a disaster and no one could control the situation." Abbas has appealed to Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, to intervene.
Jamal Zahalka, a member of the Israeli parliament, told a solidarity rally in Jaffa: "If one of the striking prisoners dies, a third intifada [uprising] will break out."
According to Physicians for Human Rights, there is no previous recorded case of anyone surviving without food or supplements for more than 75 days. IRA hunger strike Bobby Sands died after 66 days in 1981.
Israeli security forces have responded to protests and marches in towns and villages across the West Bank with teargas, rubber bullets and water cannon. In Gaza, protests and rallies have been held and the hunger strike has featured in sermons at Friday prayers. About 50 people, including former prisoners and activists, have started a sympathy hunger strike.
"The protests are getting bigger every day," said Hurriya Ziadi from Ramallah, whose brother is on hunger strike after 10 years in jail. "The Palestinian people are very angry because these are our brothers and sisters who are asking for basic human rights. This touches every Palestinian."
The prisoners' protest was "feeding a wide range of nonviolent protests all over the West Bank," said former presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouti.
"A hunger strike is one of the most effective forms of nonviolent resistance. But if there is a death, it will spark a lot of anger."
Egyptian negotiators are trying to head off that scenario by brokering a deal to end the protest. Some progress had been made, said Palestinian officials. Egypt mediated a deal last autumn which saw captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit released in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
The detainees' key demands are an end to imprisonment without trial or charge, known as "administrative detention"; an end to solitary confinement; allowing families from Gaza to visit prisoners in Israeli jails; access to educational materials; and an end to strip searches and night-time raids on cells.
The issue of prisoners' rights has strong resonance among Palestinian families, many of whom have seen relatives jailed. According to the Addameer, a prisoners' rights organisation, on 1 May there were 4,635 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including 308 on administrative detention, seven women and 218 children.
Palestinian human rights group say about 2,500 prisoners have joined the hunger strike since it started as a mass protest on 17 April.
The IPS says 1,550 prisoners are on hunger strike under medical supervision. Four prisoners were moved to hospital last week, Two prisoners had been removed from solitary confinement, an IPS spokeswoman said, including Mahmoud Issa who was in isolation for more than 10 years.
In a letter addressed to "my beloved Lamar", Tha'er Halahleh, who has refused food for 77 days, asked for forgiveness from his daughter who was born two weeks after he was imprisoned 23 months ago and whom he has never seen.
"When you grow up you will understand how injustice was brought upon your father and upon thousands of Palestinians whom the occupation has put in prisons and jail cells, shattering their lives and future for no reason other then their pursuit of freedom, dignity and independence," the letter said.
"You will know that your father did not tolerate injustice and submission and that he would never accept insult and compromise, and that he is going through a hunger strike to protest against the Jewish state that wants to turn us into humiliated slaves without any rights or patriotic dignity."
Bilal Diab, who has been held under an administrative detention order since last August, sent a will to his family two days ago, requesting celebratory sweets be distributed at his funeral.
"We will have victory, but only through martyrdom or immediate release – not any partial solution," he wrote. "On the 75th day of my hunger strike, I am still determined, patient and focused."
Israel says both men are members of Islamic Jihad and their detention is necessary on security grounds.
 World news | The Guardian

:Erdan: Cut Gaza power supply to avoid shortages in Israel

 JERUSALEM - Israel should consider cutting its supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip this summer if it finds itself experiencing power shortages, Israel's environment minister Gilad Erdan said on Sunday.
Erdan, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, outlined the proposal in a letter to ministers, who were scheduled to discuss the issue during their Sunday cabinet meeting.
"If there are power shortages in Israel this summer, the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip should be halted... It represents 4.5 percent of Israeli production," the letter said.
"Electricity production will be less than demand this summer," Erdan added, in an interview with Israeli military radio on Sunday.
"We are looking at using production methods that are more polluting and alternative energy sources like solar but we may still have to have electricity outages."
"If we are in that situation it would be absurd for Israelis to be the first ones affected while at the same time we continue to provide electricity to Gaza, while they are not paying," he said.
In a statement, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said Erdan's "threats... exposed the true face of the occupation."
"What is required from the Arab countries, and Egypt in particular, is the creation of an Arab, Egyptian safety net for the residents of Gaza in light of the Zionist blackmail," he added.
Israel's energy generation is heavily dependent on natural gas supplies from Egypt, which have been interrupted multiple times since the Egyptian revolution.
Attackers have frequently blown up the pipeline that supplies Israel with Egyptian gas, and Egypt in April annulled the bilateral contract governing the supply, saying Israel had failed to meet its conditions.
The Gaza Strip experienced its worst electricity crisis in memory this year, as the supply of fuel smuggled from Egypt dwindled, forcing the closure of the coastal territory's sole power plant.
The crisis led to power cuts of up to 18 hours a day, but has eased somewhat after a deal between Gaza's Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank, which agreed to supply Gaza with fuel purchased from Israel.
Middle East Online

Video: Nabi Saleh 11.5.12

Saturday, May 12, 2012

VIDEO: Broke out late Friday in violent clashes in Silwan - مواجهات بئر أيوب سلوان 12-5-2012

Published on May 12, 2012 by
اندلعت مساء أمس الجمعة مواجهات عنيفة في سلوان بعد ألقى شبان مقدسيين زجاجات حارقة على بؤرة بيت يونتان الاستيطانية في الحارة الوسطى وتصاعد الدخان منها بكثافة، وتوسعت المواجهات بعدها لعدة أحياء كانت أشدها في بئر أيوب حيث أطلق الشبان المفرقعات ألقوا الزجاجات الحارقة باتجاه الجيبات العسكرية التي اقتحمت بئر أيوب وتخلل المواجهات هتافات لحرية الأسرى وفي نفس الوقت قام شبان آخرون برشق البؤرة الاستيطانية في عين سلوان بوابل من الحجارة والزجاجات الحارقة والمفرقعات
وقام جنود الاحتلال وبعد الانتشار الكثيف في أماكن مرتفعة واقتحام الأحياء بإطلاق العديد من القنابل المضيئة في محاولات لملاحقة الشبان ، كما وسمعت أصوات إطلاق للرصاص الحي لم يعرف مصدرها.
مواجهات عنيفة في سلوان
12-5-2012 السبت
كتابة وتصوير أمل ثائر -- مركز سلوان نت

Son Of Late PPP Secretary-General Assassinated In Albania

 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News 
In a press release, the leftist Palestinian People’s Party (PPP) announced that Engineer Anwar Fuad Riziq, from Beit Jala City near Bethlehem, was assassinated on Wednesday, by a bomb that was implanted in front of his home in Tirana city, in Albania.
Anwar Riziq - Image Palestinian People
Anwar Riziq - Image Palestinian People
Albanian media sources reported that the attack took place at 8 a.m.; Anwar was leaving his apartment, close to the American Consulate, and once he opened the main door, the explosive charge went off leading to his death. Initial sources said that the charge was operated by a remote control.

The Albanian Police said that the assailants likely monitored Anwar for a while, studying his daily routine, and that he drove his two children every day to school.

Riziq was the manager of a cement factory; the police opened an investigation while some sources stated that he might have been killed by assassins hired by a competing company.

The Police also asked the American Embassy to provide them with surveillance materials hoping to find something that would help the investigators.

On Friday, Albanian Foreign Minister, Bujar Nishani, sent his condolences, and the condolences of the Albanian government, to the family of Riziq, and to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Nishani vowed to closely follow-up the investigation until the assassins are apprehended and prosecuted, adding that several suspects have been apprehended. He also said that a private investigation corporation is also part of the investigation.

Nishani stated that he does not believe the attack was politically motivated, but added that he “will not exclude any venue”.

Fuad Riziq, the father of Anwar, served as a member of the Palestinian National Council and the Central Council of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). He was one of the founders of the Palestinian Communist, and served as its first Secretary-General.
 International Middle East Media Center

Immediate and adequate healthcare needed for hunger strikers – WHO

  by Sean Mohan - 1 of International Middle East Media Center Editorial Group 
Israel has been urged to give quick and sustainable health care to Palestinian hunger strikers including their transfer to civilian hospitals.
Some 1,600 Palestinian prisoners are currently refusing food in protest against solitary confinement, detention without charge and restrictions on family visits, education and various privileges.

They have stated their concern regarding one of the strikers who is suffering from thalassemia a blood condition and has “refused his regular lifesaving blood transfusions in addition to food.

The hunger strikers have gained international attention within Europe and the rest of the world. Two of the protestors Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla marked their 73rd day without food on Friday however the Red Cross and various rights groups say that several prisoners who are also close to death.

Some progress has been reported on some demands that the prisoners have asked for regarding visits from families but other issues regarding case by case reviews of solitary confinement have not been as fruitful.
International Middle East Media Center

Settlers Take Over Land near Bethlehem

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA 
 BETHLEHEM, May 12, 2012 (WAFA) – A group of settlers Saturday took over Palestinian-owned land in the town of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, according to a local activist.

Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements Ahmad Salah told WAFA that a number of settlers took over six dunums of land west of al-Khader.

He said that the land owner was shocked to find one Israeli settler in his land plowing it in order to plant it. He tried to enter his land but the settler threatened him.

Salah pointed out that the same settler took over 300 dunums a while ago, unleashed vicious dogs at farmers, stole their equipments and poured waste water on the crops.

Progress in talks on Palestinian prisoners: Hamas

Progress in talks on Palestinian prisoners: Hamas
 Israeli and Egyptian officials are making progress in attempts to end a mass hunger strike by Palestinan prisoners, some of them close to death, Gaza’s Hamas prime minister said on Saturday.
“There was progress in talks between Egypt and Israel,” Ismail Haniya said in a statement. “This is an important development concerning the demands of the prisoners.”
Close to 1,600 Palestinian prisoners are currently refusing food in protest against solitary confinement, detention without charge and restrictions on family visits, education and various privileges.
Egypt helped broker a deal in which Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was freed in October after more than five years of being held by Gaza militants in exchange for the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons.

Palestinian deportees mark 10th anniv of expulsion

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Demonstration in Ramallah in support of the striking prisoners

Demonstration in Ramallah in support of the striking prisoners

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Dozens of activists and families of the two detainees Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh have closed the main road in front of the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, demanding the PA president Mahmoud Abbas to work immediately for their sons' release who went on hunger strike since 71 days.
The activists sat down on the ground, carrying the pictures of detainees and banners calling on the PA to press on the occupation for the prisoners' release and to stop all forms of security coordination with the occupation.
The Activists closed the street leading to the center of Ramallah, blocking the passage of hundreds of vehicles, and demanding the Palestinian people to carry on with their support for their striking prisoners who are dying in occupation prisons.
Halahleh's father said that the authority's effort at the international level are important but it came too late as it has no effects until the moment, adding that his son who went on hunger strike protesting against his administrative detention is facing death while the official actions abroad are so slow.
Dozens of activists, who had joined the prisoners' families, called on the PA to restore resistance and to pressure the occupation to release the prisoners and called on the shops and restaurants in Ramallah to close their doors in solidarity with the striking prisoners in occupation prisons since at least 22 days.

Long-term hunger strikers refuse Israeli offer to deport them to Gaza

Long-term hunger strikers refuse Israeli offer to deport them to Gaza
 Palestinian human rights sources have revealed that Bilal Diab, Thaer Hlahalah and Jaafar Izz al-Din, who have been on hunger strike in an Israeli prison for more than two months, have refused an offer to deport them to Gaza or beyond the occupied Palestinian territories. The men have insisted on continuing their struggle until their demands are met by the Israeli authorities.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs commented, "The prisoners are demanding that the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the UN Security Council protect the laws and regulations that they endorsed and ensure the prisoners' right to return to their homes and their families alive and free."
According to ministry lawyer Fadi Abedat, "The conduct committee in the Israeli prisons' administration threatened Mr. Hlahalah by force-feeding him liquids." Abedat noted that the prisoner hasn't received any salt for two weeks. Hlahalah also told the lawyer that he fainted recently but wasn't transferred to the prison hospital.
Hlahalah's family confirmed that his hunger strike will now enter a new stage. His protest has lasted 71 days and he will now be refusing water and medicine after the Israeli Supreme Court rejected his appeal against the administrative detention ruling. His health has now deteriorated so badly that he was transferred to the hospital on Monday evening.
Aziz Hlahalah, the detainee's father, explained that the Supreme Court's decision last week basically condemned his son and fellow prisoner Bilal Diab to death. He confirmed that his son "has abstained from taking any water or medicine as of today in protest against the court's decision."
Human rights sources have denied rumours that Hlahalah is now clinically dead. His family are waiting for news from Red Cross officials about his actual state of health.

In Palestine non-violent resistance comes of age

The Hindu : News / International 

An example set by a Palestinian prisoner, who fasted for 66 days has snowballed into a mass campaign of non-violent resistance, which has uniquely challenged Israel's 45-year-old occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as well as the five-year siege of the Gaza Strip.
The pioneer of this agitation is Khaden Adnan, who began his fast towards the end 2011. Mr. Adnan silent revolt was against the practice of “administrative detention”— a particularly undignified form of arbitrary confinement, which can keep detained inmates in prison without trial for an extendable period of six months.
In an article posted on his blog, Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights has recorded in graphic detail the circumstances which led Mr. Adnan to pursue the hunger strike: “Dragged from his home in the village of Arraba near Jenin by a night raid by dozens of Israeli soldiers, humiliated and roughed up in the presence of his two and four year old daughter, carried away shackled and blindfolded, roughly interrogated, and then made subject to an administrative decree for the eighth time in his young life, Adnan's inner conscience must have screamed ‘Enough!' and he embarked on an open-ended hunger strike.”
Mr. Adnan, in turn seemed to have inspired, Hana Shalabi, a young Palestinian woman from the village of Burqin, near the Palestinian town of Jenin, who was also picked up in the middle of night and faced a string of humiliations. Her arrest came in as a huge shock for she had been released from prison only a few months earlier as part of the prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit, the lone Israeli captive. Ms. Shalabi's ordeal lasted a full 43 days, before she was released.
The precedent setting actions of the two, nevertheless, have not been complete successes. Like Mr. Adnan, Ms. Shalabi has been released, but will not be united with her family in her ancestral village.
Instead, her conditional freedom means that for three years, she would stay away from home in the besieged Gaza Strip. On Sunday, around 100 people holding her pictures, including officials from the militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, received Ms. Shalabi in Gaza city. In a statement, she said: “To my dear family and my people and all the free people in the world, I thank you for your efforts and I appreciate everything you did for me and for the prisoners.” “I hope that you will understand my position and my decision, which was taken freely.”
However, despite the limitations imposed in the deal, around 1,500 prisoners are now on hunger strike. They are demanding an end to administrative detention, excessive solitary confinement, humane living conditions, and access to educational materials — in other words, stable and assured conditions for dignified existence.
Among the striking prisoners, conditions of two — Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh — is worrisome They have not taken food since February 28, and have recently been taken to hospital, where Mr. Halahleh announced that he would not consume water or agree for medication.
Some analysts are of the view, that with the hunger strike gathering ever greater intensity, a “Gandhian moment,” has been achieved in the Palestinian struggle, which may now, increasingly, pursue a non-violent path.

Illegal Settlements encroach on Bedouin land and culture.

 by George Rishmawi - 1 of International Middle East Media Center Editorial Group Report post
In their urgency to “resolve” a perceived problem with the Bedouin population, it has been proposed that 2,300 Bedouins be relocated from hills surrounding the Palestinian town of As Sawahra on the edge of a dump at al Abidal.
Further plans are currently being pressed forward through the Israeli parliament for 90,000 further Bedouins from their ancestral land in the Negev desert to more government planned townships. At the moment it is reported that up to 250 Bedouins live on the edge of As Sawahira near the al Abidal dump where the smell of rubbish is already quite potent. They were moved by the Israeli Government 15 years ago where the dump has grown since then while the land they vacated is now home to the Illegal Ma’ale Adumim settlement.

Israeli administration has claimed that the plans for resettlement of these communities are for their own good as the Bedouins live at a level of unacceptable poverty. However the Bedouins themselves claim that their centuries old culture and traditional ties to the land itself is being sacrificed for more Illegal Settlements.

The growing crisis was explained by resident Abu Jahilin with regard to the prospect of more Bedouins being forced into the area “They will wall off the whole area so there will be no place to graze our animals. I’ll probabl;y end up feeding them at home. Ive had to sell off most of my flock (sheep) already to pay for animal feed” From an original flock of 200 he is only now financially capable of tending to 40 sheep.

Major Guy Inbar, spokeman for the Israeli Administration confirmed it is awaiting reports of an investigation into the “health impacts of living on that site”

However Bedouin Groups have historical ties dating back to the 16th century in the Negev desert and while officially classified as Israeli citizens they are not treated as such with only 11 of 46 villages being officially recognised by the Israeli government. The result of this being basic services such as water, electricity, healthcare and education are not provided in any way. This might shed some light on why the poverty level is deemed unacceptable.

The Bedouins are currently receiving assistance from Oxfam with some of their experts suggesting that with the right assistance and co-operation from the Israeli authorities some Bedouin families could earn up to NIS 105,000 however a major sum of this money is now spent on feed for the animals and associated housing costs under these new restrictions.

This contradictory quote was given by Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister "The pockets of poverty and neglect in Bedouin communities must end.

One [Negev] village is right next to a terrible, polluted dump. No one should be living next to a toxic dump," Regev says. "The solution is that all Bedouin[s] live in recognised communities where they receive the services they deserve."

It is hard to predict the long term futures for these historical communities as what chance to they have of planning and adapting for the future when those in charge of implementing these programs are at odds themselves as to what the plans actually are.
- International Middle East Media Center

Serious Health Situation in Gaza Strip

 Dr Ashraf Kodra, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman, warned of the serious health situation in Gaza due to lack of medicines in the ministry's warehouses, pointing out that 202 types of medicines considered essential are currently out of stock in the Gaza Strip such as drug protocols for cancer treatment and blood, heart, and kidney diseases.
Serious Health Situation in Gaza Strip
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - He added that 120 other types of medicines run out in ministry warehouses during the next two or three months. This means that patients will be deprived of 320 of essential medicines.

The health situation in Gaza has once again reached catastrophic levels, which made things difficult and bitter for the patients and the medical staff efforts in relieving the patients, he said.
Kodra called on, in a press release on Monday, everyone to bear his humanitarian, national and moral responsibility and to break the silence to press on those responsible for this catastrophic situation and to save lives of patients who are in deep need for treatment, condemning the continuous violation of Gaza patients' right to treatment.
He renewed his call on international and Arab organizations and institutions for urgent intervention to put an end to this catastrophic situation that has a serious impact on the Palestinian citizen's health and life.
Serious Health Situation in Gaza Strip

Israeli authorities demolish building in East Jerusalem

Maan News Agency

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities demolished an under-construction house in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina on Wednesday morning, witnesses said.

Forces blocked off the Al-Mouroha district and broke into the house, demolishing its foundations, the owner Waleed Sadeq Idkedek said.

Idkedek said the demolition took place without prior warning, and called on human rights organizations and the Red Crescent to intervene in the continuous forced displacement of Palestinians in Jerusalem.

On April 18, Israeli police forcibly evicted 14 members of the Natsheh family after an Israeli court ruled in favor of settlers, who moved into the property.

The incident was the first eviction in the Palestinian neighborhood Beit Hanina, but settlers have taken over several homes in nearby Sheikh Jarrah.

EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah slammed the eviction in Beit Hanina, saying they were "deeply concerned by the plans to build a new settlement in the midst of this traditional Palestinian neighborhood."

UNRWA's director in the West Bank Felipe Sanchez said the forced evictions broke international law.

"We urge the Israeli authorities to find an immediate solution to enable the Palestinian population of the occupied West Bank, to lead a normal life, in full realization of their rights," Sanchez said.

Rights Group Establishes ‘Situation Room’ on Prisoners

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA 

TEL AVIV, May 9, 2012 (WAFA) - Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) has established a situation room for the mass hunger strike by Palestinian detainees and prisoners held in prisons inside Israel, a statement said on Tuesday.
“The situation room will operate around the clock and work to gather and distribute any relevant information and to enable a public campaign for supporting the demands by the prisoners to respect their human rights,” it said.
The PHR-Israel situation room will gather and provide the maximum information to the families of hunger striking prisoners, their attorneys, physicians, and local and foreign human rights organizations, local and foreign diplomats, national and international media, and the public at large, it added.
Some 1600 prisoners started April 17 a mass hunger strike demanding end to isolation of prisoners, family visitation for Gaza prisoners and better prison conditions.
There are eight hunger-striking administrative detainees who are in very advanced stages of the strike, most of whom are more than 45 days into their hunger strike.
The long on hunger strike are Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, who started their strike on February 28; Hassan Safadi started hunger strike on March 5; Omar Abu Shalal on hunger strike since March 7; Jafar Izz el-Din since March 21; Ahmad Ali Ahmad’s exact date for hunger strike is not known but believed to be on his 16th day of hunger strike; Muhammad Suleyman, administrative detainee suffering from Thalassemia who has been refusing medical treatment, but not food, since April 2; Mahmoud Sarsaq, held under the Unlawful Combatants Imprisonment Act law used to imprison residents of the Gaza Strip in a procedure similar to that of administrative detention, is believed to be on his 46th day of his hunger strike.