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103 Palestinian prisoners died since signing of Oslo

Palestine Information Center – September 18, 2017

RAMALLAH – A report issued by a Palestinian human rights organization on Sunday revealed that around 110,000 arrests against Palestinians have been documented since the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993. Nearly 16,000 of the arrests recorded involved juveniles while 1,700 arrests targeted females.

Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Commission said in a statement on Sunday that the number of Israeli prisons has increased since the signing of the Oslo Accord, adding that new prisons were established and other old ones were re-opened.

The Commission affirmed that the Israel Prison Service has escalated its arbitrary and retaliatory measures against the Palestinian prisoners and pointed out that around 15 laws and bills violating the prisoners’ rights have been enacted.

The statement underlined that since the Oslo Accord was signed, 103 Palestinian prisoners have died inside Israeli jails either due to medical negligence, torture or direct killing.

It noted that the vast majority of the detainees are civilians who were arrested from areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

The Commission said on the 24th anniversary of the Oslo Accord that nearly 6,500 Palestinian prisoners are being held in Israeli jails, including 64 women, 350 children and 500 administrative detainees.

On 13th September 1993, the Oslo Accord was signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) under the auspices of the US in the White House.

Oslo was aimed at achieving a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but Tel Aviv exploited it to impose a new reality and activate its settlement expansion projects in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.

September 18, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Argentina Sentences 6 to Life in Prison for Crimes Against Humanity During US-Backed Dirty War

teleSUR | September 16, 2017

In a landmark ruling, Argentina’s Court of Tucuman sentenced 17 people with crimes against humanity — including issuing 6 life terms— for their role in ‘Operation Independence’ during the U.S.-backed Dirty War in Argentina in the 1970’s and 80’s.

The six given life sentences include Roberto “El Tuerto” Albornoz, Luis De Candido, Ricardo Oscar Sánchez, Miguel Moreno, Enrique del Pino and Jorge Omar Lazarte, all were top officials during the period.

The court charged the rest of the defendants with prison sentences ranging from 4 to 18 years, based on the crimes of torture, abduction, forced disappearances, and rape, in addition to issuing seven acquittals.

The 1975 operation was the first large-scale military operation of the Dirty War, launched to crush the People’s Revolutionary Army, known by their Spanish acronym, ERP, and other left-wing forces in the country. Authorized by Italo Argentino Luder, who served as acting President when the incumbent Isabel Peron fell ill, it was continued under the military dictatorship of General Jorge Rafael Videla.

The court’s ruling came after 16 months of debate and testimonies from nearly 409 witnesses, according to the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, a group of Argentine women whose children disappeared during the Dirty War.

There were 20 defendants at the beginning of the trial, three had died during the hearings.

Prior the ruling, hundreds of activists and the relatives of the victims gathered outside the court, demonstrating with personal items and photos of their family members who were kidnapped, tortured, killed or disappeared.

September 17, 2017 Posted by | War Crimes, Timeless or most popular, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

August 2017 report: 522 Palestinians arrested by Israeli occupation

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – September 16, 2017

Palestinian prisoners’ institutions released their monthly report on Palestinian prisoners and detainees of the Israeli occupation for August 2017. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission compiled the report below. Translation by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

In August 2017, Israeli occupation forces continued their policy of arbitrary detention against hundreds of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory and their ongoing practices which violate international humanitarian and human rights law.

Arrest Statistics

In August 2017, 522 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli occupation forces, including 130 children and 16 women.

According to the documentation of the prisoner support organizations, 194 Palestinians were arrested from Jerusalem, 70 from al-Khalil, 50 from Ramallah, 45 from Nablus, 38 from Bethlehem, 33 from Jenin, 27 from Tulkarem, 24 from Qalqilya, 19 from Salfit, 11 from Jericho, seven from Tubas and four from the Gaza Strip.

The total number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails reached 6300 prisoners, 64 of whom are women. Among them are 10 minor girls and 300 boys, 450 administrative detainees imprisoned without charge or trial and 12 detained members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

134 administrative detention orders were issued in August for imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial; 61 were new orders and 73 were renewal orders, as administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable.

The Arrest of Human Rights Defenders

Article 1 of the Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders was approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1998, providing that: “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels.” Despite this, the occupation continues to arrest and prosecute activists and human rights defenders.

On 23 August, Israeli occupation forces arrested a human rights defender, Salah Hamouri, a field researcher for Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, after invading his home in the town of Kufr Aqab north of Jerusalem, ransacking it. Hamouri has been arrested more than once. He was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison in a plea bargain but was released in the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange in 2011. A few days after his arrest, he was initially released on several conditions:
1) House imprisonment in the village of Reineh in occupied Palestine ’48 for 20 days
2) Travel ban for 3 months
3) Expulsion from the city of Jerusalem for 90 days
4) Paying a bail of 10,000 NIS ($3,800 USD)
However, before he was to be released, he was instead issued a 6-month administrative detention order. When brought before the court for confirmation, he was instead sentenced to return to the remainder of his prison sentence from which he was released in 2011, approximately 3 months. The prosecution appealed this sentence, and his 6-month administrative detention order was reimposed.

The arrest of Hamouri is an example of the arbitrary detention targeting human rights defenders and human rights activists for imprisonment, with the goal of preventing them from playing their role in the community in raising awareness and defending the rights and freedoms of the people. It is notewirthy that Hamouri was arrested more than once, during which he was subjected to various forms of torture and ill-treatment, most recently in 2004, after which he was imprisoned for nearly 7 years before being released in the 2011 Wafa al-Ahrar agreement. During his detention in 2004, he was offered a plea bargain by the Israeli occupation authorities to deport him to France for 10 years, since he is a French citizen, instead of sentencing him, but he refused the offer and stayed in Palestine. After he was released, he was subjected to several arbitrary practices by the Israeli occupation forces. He was issued an order preventing him from entering the West Bank twice, and the period of his prohibition was a year and a half. In 2016, Israeli occupation officials deported his pregnant wife Elsa, a French citizen, and banned her from Palestine for 10 years, with their child, Hassan, who she is forced to raise away from his father. Finally, all of his requests for the right to family reunification have been refused as an arbitrary punitive measure against Salah and his family.

Extrajudicial Killings: The Case of the Martyr Raed al-Salhi from Dheisheh Camp

The policy of field executions and shooting to kill is not a surprising action committed by individuals, but is instead a deliberate and systematic policy approve at the highest levels of the occupying power. Statements made by the government officials of the occupation state in the media or directly in proposals from members of the government emphasized the need to reduce the legal requirements for the use of live ammunition against Palestinians, to the extent that it constitutes a breach of international law.

Since September 2015, human rights organizations have been monitoring and documenting cases in which occupation forces engaged in extrajudicial executions of Palestinian civilians, by shooting at the upper body with intent to kill (areas between the head and abdomen) during demonstrations and confrontations that broke out in most of the occupied Palestinian territories.

The occupation did not hesitate to use this method even during the implementation of its arrest raids and invasions carried out by the army in Palestinian camps, villages and cities. On 9 August 2017, in the early hours of the morning, the Israeli occupation forces invaded the Dheisheh refugee camp, east of Bethlehem city, in order to carry out a campaign of arrestts of youth in the camp.

Occupation forces opened fire at point-blank range on the young Abdel-Aziz Arafa, who was wounded in the left leg by live ammunition, and Raed Salhi, who was critically wounded after being shot six times during his arrest. He was martyred on 3 September 2017 as a result of his injuries. He was directly wounded in the liver and kidney by live ammunition, and through field testimony collected from the families of the youths and others, it was confirmed that the army deliberately fired live ammunition at him, carrying out a field execution.

The prisoner, Bassam al-Salhi, the brother of Raed Salhi, said:

“On 9 August 2017 at 3:43 am, I was woken from my sleep by my mother’s voice screaming and crying, saying that the army is killing people and that they fired inside the house specifically. When I got up I went out to the living room and my mother was crying and screming. She told me that Raed is martyred, that he is wounded and is behind the wall behind our house. I was with my younger brother Mohammed and we went to try to save Raed, going out the door leading to the back wall. I jumped on the balcony to try to get to the back wall, because our houses in the camp are close together. And the occupation forces opened fire on the railings of our neighbors, the soldiers firing heavily. Then I saw a soldier lying on the railings of our home and it looked to me as if he was wounded. I later learned that the soldiers who fired at Raed hit the soldier, and all the soldiers concentrated on evacuating the wounded soldier. I thought I would take advantage of their preoccupation and jumped to the house of the other neighbors, where Raed was lying on the ground near their house, just behind ours. I saw Raed, who was lying on the ground and trying to walk and losing a lot of blood, and I approached him and extended my hand for him to take, but at this moment, one of the Israeli soldiers caught Raed in his laser sight. I dragged him by the hands quickly and his left leg was bleeding. He had a bullet in his leg and he was full of blood, we moved away from the place between the houses until we were settled away from our besieged neighborhood full of soldiers. Throughout this time, Raed was bleeding in large amounts and speaking to me about many things, as if he were dying. He was starting to spit up blood and after about 15 minutes a number of soldiers stormed the place, following the trail of blood. During this time, one of the soldiers asked me to move away from him but I refused, and then a soldier attack me. Another pulled out his gun and fired to frighten me but I did not move. Then the same soldier hit me on my right shoulder and leg and pushed me away by force from Raed. They took him away from me, and a soldier examined his pulse. I did not know what to do. Two soldiers then carried him by his arms and legs and I did not know where they took him after the army left the camp.”

The practice of extrajudicial executions and killings by the Israeli occupation forces is a war crime under international law, under article 8 (a)(i) of the Rome Statute. Murder is a war crime, and therefore the occupation bears full responsibility in this context of war crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.

Arrests and Heavy Fines Imposed on Children

In August, the Israeli courts issued sentences against 39 children and imposed heavy fines on child prisoners, amounting to more than 110,000 NIS ($31,200 USD).

Human rights organizations’ monitoring and documentation showed that in the past month, 59 children were taken to the “Cubs” section of Ofer prison. Of these, 40 were arrested from their homes, 10 on the roads, 3 at the military checkpoints, 4 after being summoned to interrogation and two for lack of possession of work permits.

Four children were arrested after being shot and 13 more were injured. They were beaten and harassed during their arrest and taken to interrogation centers. Sentences issued ranged from one month to 32 months.

The Palestinian institutions consider that the imposition of excessive financial burdens on child prisoners is a major constraint on the future of the child, a form of collective punishment and a major burden amid the prevailing state of poverty, which affects and violates other human rights for themselves and their families. During the prior month, these fines reached the amount of 87,000 NIS. ($24,700 USD).

Legal Concerns

Here, the Palestinian organizations introduce the international humanitarian and human rights law on the human rights of detainees and the legal guarantees it provides, as well as Israeli violations and the legal prohibitions against such violations, as follows:

1 – Legal safeguards relating to the prohibition of arbitrary detention of Palestinian civilians. These arrests violate international human rights law, including the article 9 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 9 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976).

2 – The policyof administrative detention by the occupation state, in which detention is carried out on the basis of secret evidence and without any charge against the detainee, violates internationally recognized rights to a fair trial according to the following:

a) It is contrary to Article 11 (1) of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that: “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.”

b) It violates articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1976, which guarantees everyone the right to a fair trial, to be informed of the charges against them and to be able to defend themselves.

c) The failure to disclose any charges against the person detained under the administrative detention order precludes every possibility of verifying the compliance of the occupying state with Article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which states that “If the Occupying Power considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security, to take safety measures concerning protected persons, it may, at the most, subject them to assigned residence or to internment.” It is impossible to verify whether this detention is permitted without knowing what the reasons have been and are.

d) Not to inform the detained person of the charges against them constitutes a violation of Article 71 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which obliges the occupying power to report charges without delay. They also constitute a violation of article 10 of the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons in Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment of 1988, which requires the same.

3. The killing of Raed al-Salhi by point-blank shooting is a violation of the right to life under Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The practice of extrajudicial executions and killings is a war crime under international law, pursuant to article 8 (2/a/1) of the Rome Statute. Murder is a war crime, and therefore the occupation bears full responsibility in this context amid the upsurge in war crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.

4. The detention of children violates Principle 13 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Juvenile Justice (the Beijing Rules), adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1985, which stipulated that pre-trial detention should only be used as a last resort and for the shortest possible period, as well as providing for protection and social, psychological, educational, professional and medical assistance, which are not provided by the prison administration. The Israeli judiciary imposes heavy fines on children in the framework of collective punishment, contrary to the rules of international humanitarian and human rights law.

Conclusion

This report sustains a number of findings, through our analysis of the practices of occupation authorities and the reality of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, as follows:

1) The occupying forces are continuing their grave breaches and systematic violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

2) These Israeli violations have resulted in severe suffering for Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.

3) The silence of the international community has encouraged the occupying power to increase their violations against Palestinian detainees.

4) The High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions did not play their roles and have in fact encouraged the occupation authorities to escalate their violations.

September 17, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Thousands of Palestinians march in mass funeral for slain imprisoned youth Raed Salhi

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – September 9, 2017

Thousands of Palestinians participated in a mass funeral on Saturday, 9 September for Raed Salhi, the Palestinian youth killed by Israeli occupation forces outside his home when they invaded Dheisheh refugee camp on 9 August in an “arrest raid.” They shot the unarmed youth nine times, left him to bleed in the streets of the camp and then imprisoned him under armed guard in the hospital for nearly a month until his death from his injuries on 3 September. The date of his funeral would have been Salhi’s 22nd birthday.

His body continued to be imprisoned by Israeli occupation forces until Karim Ajwa, Salhi’s lawyer who had been advocating for his release, filed an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court. Raed’s body was finally turned over to his family on Friday evening, 8 September, before the mass funeral on Saturday afternoon following noon prayers. The funeral was led by a group of Salhi’s young comrades from the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, carrying his body wrapped in a Palestinian flag and a PFLP banner, and all Palestinian political organizations – as well as masses of Palestinians – participated in the funeral.

His relatives, friends and comrades joined the massive procession from the Beit Jala Government Hospital to the family home in the camp to the boys’ school to the martyrs’ cemetery. The funeral was accompanied by a commercial and general strike in the city of Bethlehem which lasted until 3:00 pm. Salhi’s brother, Bassam, has also been imprisoned by occupation forces; they seized him in the camp one week after shooting Raed. He was ordered to four months in administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

The return of Salhi’s body was accompanied by the return of the body of Qutaiba Zahran, whose body had been held captive by the Israeli occupation since last month, when he was shot and killed by occupation forces at the Zaatara checkpoint south of Nablus, accused of attempting to stab occupation soldiers at the checkpoint. Qutaiba, 17, was also buried on Saturday in a funeral procession in Tulkarem.

When Salhi’s body was returned, it was met with hundreds of Palestinians who marched demanding justice and accountability for the assassination and extrajudicial killing of Salhi. Following Salhi’s funeral, intense protests broke out against occupation forces as Palestinian youth confronted occupation forces at checkpoints and military occupation sites around the city of Bethlehem.

Raed Salhi was remembered as a beloved and active member of his community. In an interview published in Middle East Eye, his brother Khaled spoke about both his love for animals and his political commitment. “Raed, whom his brother Khaled described as a cat lover who would rescue stray kittens from the street, much to his family’s displeasure, was described by several Dheisheh residents as loved by the community….Raed had also been a committed member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the main Palestinian leftist political party, since he was 15…and was imprisoned by Israel for around four months in 2014. ‘He was a good-hearted guy, he was always smiling and joking,’ Khaled said.”

“Raed was from one of the very poorest families in the camp… but he wanted to help the people as much as he could, and to educate them more,” said Naji Owdah, the director of Laylac Community Center in Dheisheh, to Middle East Eye.  Salhi was involved in a number of volunteer projects, including voluntary health days and a campaign to set up small libraries around the camp.

Salhi had been held under high security guard within Hadassah hospital, despite being unconscious and in a coma. His impoverished family members, including his mother, were denied family visits or the ability to see him, while his detention was extended several times by the Ofer military court as he lay in a coma, dying.

Before the raid in which Raed was fatally shot by invading occupation forces, he had been theatened by occupation forces, including the infamous “Captain Nidal,” the pseudonym used by the local Israeli occupation military official in charge of Dheisheh – specifically, that “Nidal” would “shoot [Raed] in front of [his] mother.”  Palestinian NGO Badil reported that Captain Nidal had threatened to “make all the youth of (Deheisha) camp disabled,” saying “I will have all of you walking with crutches and in wheelchairs.”

September 10, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Death of an Irish Hunger Striker

By Pauline Murphy | CounterPunch | September 8, 2017

One hundred years ago Thomas Ashe became the first Irish Republican to die on hunger strike. Ashe was imprisoned in Mountjoy Jail in Dublin for delivering a ‘seditious speech’ to a public gathering in County Longford. On the 20th of September Ashe decided to go on hunger strike when he was denied the status of political prisoner. Five days later on September 25th he was dead.

Although Ashe is considered the first Irish Republican prisoner to die on hunger strike, his death was not the direct result of starvation, instead it was caused by force feeding. This brutal act carried out by prison authorities involved inserting a tube into the mouth of the hunger striker and pushing it down into their stomach. Gruel was poured down this ghastly device which caused gagging, vomiting and for Thomas Ashe – death.

Austin Stack was also a Republican prisoner who went on hunger strike around the same time as Ashe. Stack also underwent force feeding but lived to recall the terrible technique used by the prison authorities: ” It was very painful. My eyes watered during the whole time so that I could see nothing. I vomited during and after the process so that not one half of the food entered my stomach. My clothes were covered with vomit. There was no attempt made to examine me.”

The act of refusing food is a powerful weapon used by those who have nothing else left to fight with. This tool of protest against injustice was first used in the early 1900s by imprisoned British and Irish suffragettes. It was also the first time force feeding was used to break a hunger strike.

In 1912 Suffragettes Gladys Evans and Mary Leigh became the first prisoners in Ireland to hunger strike for political status and receive the treatment of force feeding. They were jailed along with Lizzie Barter who flung a hatchet at British Prime minister Herbert Asquith while he was visiting Dublin. She missed Asquith but hit Irish Home Rule leader John Redmond instead!

Barter evaded arrest but was apprehended the next day when she was involved in a disturbance at Dublin’s Theatre Royal where the British PM was due to speak. Barter hurled a burning chair into the orchestra pit while Leigh and Evans were caught at the same venue attempting to set fire to the royal box.

The Suffragettes were jailed in Mountjoy for “having commited serious outrages at the time of the visit of the British Prime Minister”. Leigh and Evans went on hunger strike and were force fed until they were released months later.

In September 1913 Labour leader James Connolly was arrested after speaking at a mass rally with Jim Larkin outside Liberty Hall in Dublin city. Connolly was sentenced to three months imprisonment and was labeled a common criminal. Inspired by the Suffragettes, he went on hunger strike which lasted eight days before he was released. While Connolly came out of his hunger strike unscathed, the same cannot be said for James Byrne.

In October 1913 Labour activist James Byrne was arrested on false charges of intimidation and he was sent to Mountjoy jail. The 38 year old father of six from Dun Laoghaire was a secretary of the trades council and when he was denied political status in prison he followed the example set by Connolly just months previously and he went on hunger strike. Byrne also undertook a thirst strike and his health rapidly declined while imprisoned. The authorities released Byrne when his condition worsened and just under two weeks later he died of pneumonia. His funeral drew thousands of mourners and James Connolly delivered the graveside oration.

In 1917 the death of County Kerry native Thomas Ashe resulted in an inquest which revealed the barbarity of force feeding. The inquest also revealed that he had been stripped of his boots, bed, bedding and clothes. Ashe was left with a single blanket and the cold stone ground to lie on. The pathologist’s report revealed markings and bruising around Ashe’s mouth and jaw indicating the brutality of force feeding.

The verdict of the inquest declared that Ashe “died of heart failure and congestion of the lungs….. that his death was caused by the punishment of taking away from the cell, bed, bedding and boots and allowing him to be on the cold floor.” British authorities refused to accept the result of the inquest and many copies of it were burned by order. The copies that survived ensured the truth was revealed and the act of force feeding was later abandoned but, the act of hunger striking for political status would remain a staple of protest for Republicans throughout the rest of the 20th century. Following the death of Thomas Ashe 100 years ago, 22 more Republicans would die in prison in the following years and decades after 1917.

Pauline Murphy is a freelance writer from Ireland.

September 10, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Atlanta cops run suspect over in case of mistaken identity

RT | September 5, 2017

An Atlanta police officer was placed on leave after he was accused of running over a man he wrongly thought was a suspect.

Warren Hill said he was run over in the parking lot of a mall last week. “It hurt bad,” he told WSBTV. “My head, my neck, my back, my whole body. You get hit by a car, what do you think is going to happen?”

Hill said he ran away from the approaching police because he was “scared of the cops.”

“They thought I was the suspect and ran me down like a dog or an animal,” he said.

Hill said after the police realized they had mistaken him for a domestic violence suspect, they arrested him for an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court for a broken taillight.

The Atlanta Police Department told WSBTV the officer is now on leave and that its report or further details on the incident are not yet available.

“The officer has been relieved from duty pending the outcome of the OPS investigation,” Atlanta police spokeswoman Officer Stephanie Brown told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

READ MORE‘We only kill black people’: US cop reassures female driver during routine stop

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , | 1 Comment

Fadwa Barghouthi banned from visiting her husband in Israeli prison until 2019

Palestinian Fatah Movement leader Marwan Barghouti
Ma’an – September 5, 2017

BETHLEHEM – Fadwa Barghouthi, a Palestinian lawyer and the wife of imprisoned Fatah movement official Marwan Barghouthi, said that Israeli authorities have told her that she is banned from visiting her husband in prison until 2019.

Fadwa told Ma’an that after having being denied permission to visit Marwan since he led a mass prison hunger strike more than four months ago, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) facilitated a one-time permit for her to see Marwan last week.

However, after she left to visit her husband along with other relatives of Palestinian prisoners on Monday and waited outside the prison from between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Israeli forces eventually informed her that she would not be allowed to visit him until 2019, and that the permit issued to her had been a mistake.

Other reports said that the ban prevented her from visiting all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel as well.

Fadwa said that the decision to deny her the visits was a punishment directed at her, not at her husband, for her actions during the hunger strike that started last April, presumably referring to her own activism and participation in numerous solidarity protests throughout the 40-day strike.

By Tuesday evening, an IPS spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment sent on Monday regarding the ban placed on Fadwa.

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Dirar Abu Sisi once again ordered to six months in isolation

Gazan engineer Dirar Abu Sisi, AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – August 26, 2017

Imprisoned Palestinian engineer kidnapped from Ukraine, Dirar Abu Sisi, had his isolation extended for another six months by the Israeli occupation on 26 August. Abu Sisi’s health has recently deteriorated and he is suffering from severe pain in his lower back; he has been held in long-term solitary confinement repeatedly since he was abducted from a train by Israeli intelligence forces.

Abu Sis, 47, i is an engineer from Gaza who was abducted from the Ukraine on 19 February 2011 by the Mossad. He is married (to a Ukrainian citizen), the father of six children, and holds a graduate degree in electrical engineering. He was the deputy engineer of Gaza’s power plant. From Gaza, Veronika Abu Sisi, his wife, has continually advocated for his release and an end to his isolation.

“We won’t give up until Dirar Abu Sisi is released,” Veronika Abu Sisi said in 2013. “They steal our land, they put us in jail, but we have the right to live here. This is our home. I just hope my husband will be back soon with me and our children.” The family has six children. Abu Sisi is now serving a 21-year sentence on charges of participating in the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and continues to be subject repeatedly to solitary confinement and isolation.

August 26, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces detain Addameer field researcher during overnight raid

French-Palestinian activist Salah Hamouri. [Photo: twitter.com | salah_hamouri]
Ma’an – August 24, 2017

BETHLEHEM – A field researcher for prisoners’ rights group Addameer was detained during an overnight raid on Wednesday from his home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kufr Aqab, according to the group.

Salah Hammouri, 32, who holds dual Palestinian-French citizenship, was detained and transferred to Israel’s interrogation center at the Russian compound, where his detention was then extended until Sunday.

An Israeli police spokesperson told Ma’an that he was “not familiar” with the case.

According to Addameer, Hammouri was a former prisoner of Israel for seven years, and was released as part of the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoners exchange deal in 2011.

Addameer added that the East Jerusalem resident was banned from entering the occupied West Bank until Sept. 2016, and that his wife is currently banned by Israeli authorities from entering Palestine or Israel.

The group said it considers the detention “an attack against Palestinian civil society organizations and human rights defenders.”

“It also constitutes one arrest in the context of continuous arrest campaigns against Palestinians,” Addameer said, before demanding Hammouri’s release and the release of all Palestinian political prisoners.

Hassan Safadi, a Palestinian activist and media coordinator for Addameer, has also been held in administrative detention — Israel’s controversial policy of imprisonment without charge or trial — for more than a year.

Safadi has been held by Israel since May 1, 2016 after being detained at the Allenby Bridge between the occupied West Bank and Jordan, when he was interrogated by the Israeli army for 40 days.

Israeli authorities later sentenced the 25-year-old Palestinian to six months of administrative detention in June 2016, and has since renewed the administrative detention order twice — once in Dec. and a second time in June this year.

Israel’s widely condemned policy of administrative detention allows internment without charge or trial in maximum six-month long renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,128 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of July, 450 of whom were held in administrative detention. The group has estimated that some 40 percent of Palestinian men will be detained by Israel at some point in their lives.

August 24, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

After being blocked from entering Gaza Aid convoy to return to Algeria

Palestine Information Center – August 23, 2017

Head of the relief department of the Algerian Scholars Association, Yahya Sari, said on Tuesday that negotiations with Egyptian authorities to allow the Algerian humanitarian convoy to enter the Gaza Strip have reached a dead end.

Sari told Quds Press that the convoy is preparing to return to Algeria as soon as possible so that the medicines are not damaged due to heat.

He pointed out that Egyptian authorities have given their reasons for preventing the entry of the convoy into Gaza, but he did not disclose them.

The 14-truck convoy, carrying medical aid worth over $4 million, contained medicines, medical supplies, ambulances and electricity generators urgently needed for Gaza’s hospitals.

The convoy named (Algeria-Gaza 4) arrived on Wednesday at the Egyptian side of Rafah crossing in preparation for entering the Gaza Strip, but it was asked on Friday evening to return to the Egyptian city of Port Said despite having all the documents required to deliver aid to Gaza.

Ammar Talbi, the deputy head of the Algerian Scholars Association, appealed two days ago to Egyptian authorities to expedite the entry of the Algerian convoy into the coastal enclave fearing that some medicines may deteriorate due to the high temperature.

Talbi said in a statement that the convoy was purely humanitarian and that it left Algeria after obtaining the approvals of both Algerian and Egyptian authorities in early February.

August 23, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 2 Comments

Mossad accused of assassinating Palestinian in Sweden

MEMO | August 23, 2017

The Israeli intelligence service Mossad has been accused of assassinating a Palestinian man living in Sweden, according to Israeli daily Haaretz.

Mohammad Tahsin Al-Bazam, a former Gaza resident, was found shot in the head in the Swedish town of Limmared on Saturday. His family is believed to have ties to Hamas, prompting Palestinian sources to suspect Israeli involvement in his death.

A statement released on Sunday by the Swedish police confirmed that as yet they could not ascertain a motive for the intrusion.

“Reports said several people wearing masks entered the apartment through a balcony and shot the man inside. They disappeared after the shooting as quickly as they arrived.”

After the shooting Al-Bazam was taken to a local hospital, and then flown to a larger facility in Gothenburg, but died of his injuries.

Al-Bazam’s brother served in Hamas’ military wing and as a bodyguard to the group’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. His father is currently the spokesman for Hamas’ Homeland Security Office in Gaza, but stated in an interview that his son had been living in Sweden for over a decade and was not involved in political activity.

Hamas believes Mossad to be responsible for the deaths of numerous of its members over the years, including the assassination of a senior member, Mazen Fuqaha in March. Israel has never confirmed or denied reports but states that it reserves the right to fight alleged terrorists even beyond its borders.

August 23, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Another Palestinian, an American Citizen, Deported. No Homeland.

By Barbara Nimri Aziz | Radio Tahrir | August 20, 2017

Rasmea Odeh is either on an airplane out of her country. Or she’s in a federal holding cell in Detroit or New York awaiting deportation from the USA.

Odeh’s departure marks the end of a bizarre life, one that can evoke admiration. As a young Palestinian, Odeh fought against Israeli oppression. Now after a valiant legal battle in this country, her new homeland, she is departing (by force).

Some Americans may recall with satisfaction their support for Russian dissidents in the 1950s and 1960s when the Soviet Union exiled its critics. If they were not sent to Siberia, opponents of the USSR were denied residence in their homeland, involuntarily banished. However much the US and UK welcomed them and even lionized them, banishment is a hard punishment to bear. Today’s Russia no longer metes out such penalties; which is not to say Russia is completely tolerant of dissent.

In the US, one hardly hears of Americans being banished from these hallowed shores. However rare, it does occur. Often Palestinian Americans are the target of this injustice, with Israeli authorities (somehow, usually) involved in legal cases brought against those Palestinians in U.S. courts.

Perhaps the most widely publicized case is that of Professor Sami Al-Arian. Starting in 1993, after a long, noble struggle against false accusations, years in jail, support from an international campaign determinedly led by his own family, continued harassment from the US government, Al-Arian finally succumbed and left the country in 2015. Before him, his associate Mazen Al-Najjar also spent years attempting to secure justice before he too was deported. [I myself interviewed both men on several occasions between 1993 and 2003 on Radio Tahrir (www.RadioTahrir.org), WBAI, 99.5 fm. While Al-Arian’s case is well documented, Al-Najjar’s history is almost completely scrubbed from the public record.] Both men were brave advocates for US justice and for Palestinian rights.

Rasmea Odeh’s treatment is a troubling reminder that this happens to US citizens who have never committed a crime in this country and never threatened anyone in the US.

Odeh is the latest Palestinian banished from this country. Now 69, she moved to the US (where her father resided) and settled in the Chicago area in the 1990’s. She was pressed to leave her home in the Occupied Territories like countless Palestinians over the past half century, dispossessed people who lost homes, family and hope. They left under duress in search of peace and dignity.

In 1994 Odeh applied for an immigration visa, later for US citizenship. Unlike many immigrants, she dared to become a community leader. Any immigrant, whatever their background, who arrives here quickly learns to keep their head down and their mouth shut—civil rights-be-damned. Just join the American dream for a job and a house.

The long arm of Israeli injustice followed Odeh however, and perhaps because of her visibility, her history with Israeli authorities was disclosed. (Many years earlier, Odeh was convicted for involvement in an attack on Israelis. She was released in a prisoner exchange after serving ten years.) Her American crime? She’d failed to report that conviction in her immigration application, a serious oversight. So when her history came to light in 2013, US authorities brought a charge of “immigration fraud” against Odeh. In her defense a major campaign was launched, and in 2015 the conviction was set aside. Forces determined to destroy her stepped up the attack however and she faced yet another trial, set for May 2017. Although there was considerable public support for her, in March Rasmea’s defense team advised a plea deal. She would serve no jail time, but her citizenship was revoked and she’d be deported. Thus the court’s announcement last week of her removal.

While this conclusion was hardly noted in the regular US press, the Jewish press, in USA and in Israel, hailed the decision, using the news to highlight her 1969 terrorism conviction and to draw attention to a ubiquitous threat of Palestinian terrorism.

Such tactics are part of the ever present Israeli campaign coursing through US culture, a threat that smothers dissent, intimidates and drives academics out of the universities, and in response to the success of the BDS movement, is pressing ahead with S. 720– a bill in the US Congress, to prohibit Americans who will not countenance Israeli injustice– from participating in any boycott of Israeli products and institutions.

All the more reason to support vocal critics, including journalists, and American community leaders like Linda Sarsour

There will always be funds for shelter-less and malnourished children in refugee camps. Today, in the face of stepped up Israeli surveillance and political pressures, immense courage in needed to pursue justice for Palestine and free speech on behalf of their rights. Many Americans (including journalists), nameless and known figures–Arabs and non-Arabs— have moved into obscurity after years of threats and intimidation. Somehow new champions emerge to continue a just cause.

 

August 22, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment