Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

Blogging From Gaza, Palestine

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Palestinian Prisoner Held In Solitary Confinement Since April 2014 By Israeli Occupation

RAMALLAH, August 26, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli prison authorities placed a Palestinian prisoner in solitary confinement back in April 2014, and continues to detain him until this moment in cruel conditions, according to the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs (CPA).

Prisoner, Issam Zain Eddin, 31, from Nablus, has now been in solitary confinement in Asqalan prison since April of last year, and has been forced into a cell that lacks the basic humanitarian standards, according to his attorney, Kareem Ajwa, who was recently allowed to visit him.

Zain Eddin, who is suffering stomachache and skin rashes, has also been denied medical healthcare as well as family visitation rights by the prison authorities, Ajwa added. Zain Eddin was arrested back in 2006 and is serving a life sentence.

The prisoner has requested to enjoy his right in family visits, but was denied repeatedly. According to Zain Eddin the prison administration transfers prisoners placed under  solitary confinement from one prison to another regularly and on purpose to build on their sense of instability.

Borrowing the description of Zain Eddin, solitary confinement cells resemble graves. The prisoners, who are cut off from the world, have to endure the unbearable living conditions and lack of connections with the outside world.

CPA, Chairman Qaraqe Issa, said some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are serving a sentence of +15 years in prison, including 30 prisoners serving a 20-year jail sentence.

He stressed, in a statement Wednesday, that any political or peace initiative shall include the release of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.

To be noted, solitary confinement is widely used in Israeli prisons against Palestinian political prisoners, and has at times led the prisoners to go on hunger strikes.

Detainees in solitary confinement are held in empty cells containing only a mattress and a blanket, and rely on the Israeli Prison Service to address all other needs.

Adalah, a Haifa-based human rights group, says that “solitary confinement of Palestinian political prisoners who are classified as “security prisoners” is doubly harsh because of the restrictions imposed on their contacts outside of prison, even when they are not held in isolation.”

“All types of solitary confinement in prison should end, given its severe impact on the physical and psychological health of prisoners,” Adalah adds.

“Solitary confinement constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment and thus violates the International Covenant Against Torture (CAT) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Israel Medical Association and Ministry of Health should strongly oppose its use as a method of imprisonment.”


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Israeli Occupation Doctors Refusing To Force Feed Palestinian Hunger Striker (Small Victory)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli hospital doctors on Sunday refused to force feed a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike more than 50 days, an international rights group said.Physicians for Human Rights Israel tweeted on Sunday afternoon: “Hunger striker Muhammad Allan’s hospital doctors refuse to treat him against his will.”The rights group could not be reached for further comment and the claim could not be verified.Israeli authorities on Saturday declared their intention to force feed prisoner Muhammed Allan, who on Sunday marked his 56th day on hunger strike.If carried out, it would be the first case since the adoption last month of a new Israeli law permitting the practice.The International Committee of the Red Cross warned Friday that Allan, who has been held without trial since November, was “at immediate risk” of death after fasting for 50 days.Allan’s attorney Jamil al-Khatib said he had informed Allan of Israel’s plans to force feed him, but said that it had not changed “his intention to continue his strike.”He added that Allan was placed in intensive hospital care when his body became unable to absorb drinking water.Palestinian health minister warned Saturday that the force feeding procedure itself would endanger Allaan’s life.Allaan, himself a lawyer, is being held under a procedure allowing indefinite internment without trial or charge.On July 30, the Israeli Knesset approved a law allowing prisoners on hunger strike facing death to be force fed, sparking criticism from rights groups and doctors.The Israeli Medical Association called the law “damaging and unnecessary,” stressing that its doctors would “continue to act according to medical ethics, which prohibit doctors from participating in torturing prisoners.”In 2014, the association issued guidelines for the treatment of hunger strikers, saying that all treatment must be carried out “in accordance with the patient’s free will.”It added: “In accordance with generally accepted ethical principles in Israel and abroad, forced medical treatment, including force-feeding, is forbidden.”The UN issued a statement on Sunday condemning the new law, saying that it was a violation of the “fundamental human right” to peaceful protest.The ICRC also opposes forced feeding, saying: “It is essential that the detainees’ choices be respected and their human dignity preserved.”International guidelines for physicians, particularly the Tokyo Declaration, state that prisoners capable of rational judgement “shall not be fed artificially.”

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Israeli Occupation Issues Administrative Detention Orders Against 32 Palestinian Prisoners

RAMALLAH, August 3, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders against 32 Palestinians, Monday reported the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC).

PPC said while three prisoners received administrative detention orders for the first time, the remaining 29 prisoners received renewed administrative orders.

Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.

Israel routinely uses administrative detention against Palestinians. Statistics show that over the years, thousands of Palestinians have been held in Israeli custody as administrative detainees for extended periods of time.

The Israel human rights group B’Tselem says that, “International law stipulates that [administrative detention] may be exercised only in very exceptional cases – and then only as a last possible resort, when there are no other means available to prevent the danger.”

“Israel’s use of administrative detention blatantly violates the restrictions of international law. Israel carries it out in a highly classified manner that denies detainees the possibility of mounting a proper defense.”

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest their illegal administrative detention and to demand an end to this policy which violates international law.

Currently, there are two Palestinian prisoners on an open-ended hunger strike against Israel’s practice of administrative detention. They are identified as Mohammad Allan, an attorney from Nablus, and Abdul-Majid Kderat from Tubas in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, prisoner Khere Daraghmeh, is hunger striking against medical negligence by the Israel Prison Service.

In April 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) expressed concern by the continued and increasing use of administrative detention by Israeli authorities against Palestinians.

There are around 500 detainees serving administrative detention in several Israeli jails. 18 of the Palestinian Legislative Council members are currently held in Israeli detention without charge or trial, including the most recent arrest of Khalida Jarrar.

“The Israeli practice of administrative detention has been condemned on numerous occasions by the UN Human Rights Office and the Human Rights Committee that oversees implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Israel has ratified, said the UN News Center.

“OHCHR reiterates it call on Israel to end its practice of administrative detention and to either release without delay or to promptly charge all administrative detainees and prosecute them with all the judicial guarantees required by international human rights law,” OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said.

To be noted, in July 30, The Israeli parliament, Knesset, cast its approval on its second and third reading of a legislation allowing the force-feeding of hunger striking Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails.

“Force-feeding constitutes a serious violation of human rights and the right of a person to do as they wish with their body,” said the group. “International human rights groups and health organizations took a position based on ethics, morality, and science. This law asks doctors to violate a centuries-old oath,” said a statement issued by Joint List oppositionist Arab group in the Knesset.

Following are the names of the 33 detainees who received administrative detention orders:

Ra’ed Sharabati Hebron Three months
Munther Abu Atwan Hebron Four months
Imad Ismail Hebron Four months
Shaher Abu Ghalyon Hebron Four months
Ra’ed Jabari Hebron Four months
Ghassan Ibrahim Ahmad Bethlehem Four months
Mohammad Hrebat Hebron Four months
Ahmad Hremi Bethlehem Four months
Fares Masalmeh Hebron Four months
Alaeddine Jalboush Jenin Six months
Adnan Azayzeh Jenin Six months
Mohammad Fayeq Ata Ramallah Four months
Qusai Abu Allan Hebron Three months
Zaid Abu Fannar Hebron Four months
Hejazi Qawasmeh Hebron Four months
Names of Prisoners  City Sentence length
Sa’adi al-Atrash Hebron Six months
Rami al-Iwawi Hebron Six months
Izz Ed-Din Sirfi Nablus Four months
Osama Shahin Hebron Four months
Ibrahim Abu Srour Bethlehem Four months
Hirbi Ajloni Hebron Four months
Tha’er Samada’a Ramallah Six months
Mohammed Asi Ramallah Four months
Shadi Abu Ikr Bethlehem Four months
Moneer Manasra Hebron Four months
Abd al-Qader Sharawneh Hebron Four months
Rami Abu Sharkh Ramallah Six months
Rasim Til Hebron Four months
Mohammed Mimeh Jericho Six months
Mohammed Hrezat Hebron Six months
Yasir Banat Hebron Four months
Nader Taqatqa Bethlehem Four months



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Israeli Occupation Forces Detain 21 Palestinians, Summon Three From West Bank Districts

BETHLEHEM, August 4, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces detained early Tuesday 21 Palestinians and summoned three others from various West Bank districts, said security sources.

Israeli forces raided ‘Aida refugee camp to the north of Bethlehem, where they detained six Palestinians after breaking into their houses.

The detainees were identified as Hazem Abu ‘Aker, 22, Srour Abu Srour, 18, Muhannad Ja‘ara, 18, Ahmad al-Mashayekh, 22, Samed Hammad, 20, and Layth Nasrallah, 18.

Forces also proceeded to summon two minors during the predawn raid. Both Ahmad Ja‘ara, 15, and ‘Abdullah Hammad, 16, were handed notices ordering them to turn themselves to Israeli intelligence in the ‘Gush Etzion’ detention and interrogation center.

Forces also raided Ash-Shawawra village to the east of the city, where they summoned a Palestinian.

Muhammad Ad-Dar‘awi, an ex-detainee who was recently released from an Israeli prison following a 13 year imprisonment, was handed a notice ordering him to appear before Israeli intelligence.

Meanwhile in East Jerusalem, Israeli police detained nine Palestinians, including six Islamic-Waqf appointed guards and two minors, from inside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The detained guards were identified as Majdi al-‘Abbasi, Fadi Bakir, Ra’ed Zughayir, Majd ‘Abdin, Ahmad Abu ‘Alya and Husam Bader

The other three detainees were identified as Radwan ‘Amr, Manuscripts Director as well as two minors Amir Bilbaisi and Muhammad al-Hashlamun.

This came as tensions rose in the holy city as police assaulted Palestinian Muslim worshippers and Islamic Waqf-appointed guards, injuring two guards identified as Suleiman Abu Mayyala and Hamad Badran.

Abu Mayyala and Badran were assaulted after they confronted a group of settlers who forced their way into the Mosque compound via al-Maghariba (Moroccan) Gate. Among the group was a settler who attempted to hoist the flag of Israel inside the compound and chant racist slogans. Police intervened and escorted the settler out of the holy place.

In the meantime, forces raided Nablus city, where they detained a Palestinian after breaking into and ransacking his house in ‘Iraq At-Tayeh area. The detainee was identified as Fadel al-Masri, 20.

Furthermore, forces stationed at Huwwara military checkpoint to the south of the city stopped and detained a Palestinian. The detainee was identified as Anas Darawsha, 26, coming from ‘Awarta town to the south of the city.

Forces also stormed Madama village to the south of the city, where they detained a Palestinian after storming and ransacking his house. The detainee was identified as Anas Ziadeh, 20.

In the meantime in Hebron district, forces detained three Palestinians after breaking and wrecking havoc into their houses in al-Fawwar refugee camp to the south of the city.

The detainees were identified as Suhayb aT-Titi, 18, ‘Izzat and ‘Ala al-‘Azza.

Israeli forces also stormed the Yatta locality of Khirbet Shi‘ib al-Butm, where they cur barbed wire fence erected around plots of land belonging to local Palestinians.

One of the Palestinian landowners was identified as Yousef al-Jabbarin.

Israeli soldiers raided several Hebron neighborhoods and set up checkpoints at the entrance of the old city neighborhood of Tal‘at Abu Hadid, the northern entrance of the city as well as Sa‘ir to the northeast of the city, where they stopped and examined Palestinian registered vehicles and inspected passengers’ identification cards.


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Palestinian Detainees Suffer Abuse, Appalling Conditions In Israeli Occupation Prisons

RAMALLAH, July 23, 2015 (WAFA) – The health condition of two Palestinian detainees, including a hunger-striking detainee, is deteriorating as a result of mistreatment and miserable conditions in Israeli detention centers, said Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC) and the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Committee.

The health condition of hunger striking detainee Muhammad ‘Allan, 30, a lawyer from the Nablus village of ‘Aynabus, who has been hunger striking for 36 days in a row, has deteriorated and he is being mistreated by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) in Eshel prison, said PPC.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network (Samidoun), which identifies itself as a network of organizers and activists, based in North America and working to build solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in their struggle for freedom, ‘Allan has been held under administrative detention without indictment and trial or access to the evidence leading to his detention since November 16, 2014.

‘Allan began a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment and demand an end to his administrative detention which has been renewed.

The association noted that ‘Allan has been constantly suffering from vomiting, respiratory distress (asthma) and acute headache. He doesn’t take anything except for water.

‘Allan was moved by the Israeli Prison Service from Ayala prison to Eshel in reprisal for his hunger-strike and as a measure intended to coerce him to undergo medical examinations. There, he is imprisoned in a very narrow and poorly-maintained cell lacking sufficient ventilation and proper sanitation facility. All of his belongings have been confiscated except for the clothes he is wearing and a 2-cintimeter-thick mattress.

In a letter published by PPC, ‘Allan slammed the treatment he receives from the Israeli prison service and described it as ‘savage’. He further said that such treatment would not “break his spirit.”

In a related issue, the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Committee attorney Tareq Barghouthi, said the Yasser Tarwa, 18, a Palestinian from the Hebron town of Sa‘ir, is placed under tight Israeli custody in the Israeli hospital of Ein Karem since he was detained on June 21.

Barghouthi described Tarwa’s health condition as ‘serious’ and ‘worrying’ as it keeps worsening.

Tarwa, a Palestinian from Hebron, woke up from a coma two days ago after being unconscious for 30 days, since he was first detained.

He was shot and critically injured by Israeli border guards near Jerusalem’s Nablus main road on June 21 after he allegedly attacked a Border Police officer with a knife. At least seven bullets were shot at him, causing him critical injuries throughout his body.

The attorney noted that after regaining consciousness, Tarwa has not been able to speak and has been suffering from an infectious skin disease with an ulcerated body. He suffers from limps’ fractures and is always shackled to his bed. The attorney added that despite not being interrogated, Tarwa is being tried in absentia.

Barghouth affirmed that the committee will exert serious efforts to present Tarwa ahead of a special committee in the Israeli Prison Service to demand his release because of his critical health status.


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Palestinian Prisoner Held In Solitary Confinement For Over 4 Years By Israeli Occupation

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian prisoner Dirar Abu Sisi is still being held by Israeli authorities in solitary confinement since his detention began over four years ago, a prisoners’ rights groups reported.The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said Wednesday that Abu Sisi told his lawyer that Israeli authorities are imposing several sanctions on him, including preventing him from receiving family visits in the Nafha jail where he is currently detained.PPS added that an Israeli court had recently sentenced Abu Sisi to 21 years of jail.In March, a Beersheva District Court reportedly convicted Abu Sisi in a plea bargain arrangement wherein the prosecution was set to ask the court for the 21-year sentence after several initial charges were dropped.PPS head Qadura Fares could not give further information regarding the recent sentence.Abu Sisi, 42, was an engineer and former technical director at Gaza’s sole electricity plant. He reportedly disappeared from a train in Ukraine in February 2011, and Israel later announced he was being held by Israeli authorities. According to a summary of charges given by Israel, Abu Sisi was on trial for “activity in a terrorist organization, hundreds of counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and arms production offenses” as a member of Hamas.His Israeli lawyer, Smadar Ben-Natan, said following his detention that her client had made confessions “under very heavy duress which I would characterize as torture.”Israeli media reported at the time that Abu Sisi admitted to assisting the Hamas movement in improving its rocket capabilities.Hamas has denied that Abu Sisi had any connection to the organization.In order to end mass hunger strikes by prisoners held in Israeli jails in May 2012, Israeli authorities had pledged to move 19 prisoners held in long-term solitary confinement for so-called security reasons, one of whom was Abu Sisi, according to prisoner’s rights group Addameer.While all but Abu Sisi were moved from solitary confinement during the deal, Addameer warned following the agreement that continued use of the practice shows that “Israel’s use of isolation for punitive reasons as a policy remains unchanged.”Solitary confinement and isolation are both reportedly used in Israeli prisons. Detainees in solitary confinement are held in an empty cell containing only a mattress and a blanket, and rely on the Israeli Prison Service to address all other needs.Following the May 2012 deal, Abu Sisi said that “keeping me in solitary confinement is a practice of revenge by the Israeli prison service to satisfy the public in Israel.”

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Daily Arrests Continue: Israeli Occupation Forces Detain Three Palestinians From West Bank Districts

JENIN, July 16, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces early Thursday detained three Palestinians, including a minor, from multiple West Bank districts, said security sources.

Israeli forces raided early Thursday Rummana, a village to the west of Jenin, where they proceeded to detain a Palestinian after breaking and wrecking havoc into his family’s house, sparking clashes with villagers.

The detainee was identified as Mahmoud Abu Sayfin, 21, who is a student studying Shari‘a studies in a local college.

Meanwhile in East Jerusalem district, army units raided Abu Dis town to the east of the city, where they proceeded to detain a Palestinian after breaking into and ransacking his family’s house. The detainee was identified as 20-year-old Salama Hdaidun.

In the aftermath of these raids, clashes erupted between Israeli troops and Palestinian locals. Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades at youths who hurled stones and empty bottles at them in return. No injuries were reported.

Moreover, a Palestinian young woman fainted after suffocating from tear gas fired by Israeli forces in the East Jerusalem town of al-‘Izzariya. Forces raided the town early Thursday, sparking clashes with local youths who confronted them.

During the clashes, soldiers extensively fired tear gas canisters at Palestinian local houses, causing the woman, who remains unidentified, to suffocate and faint.

In the meantime in Hebron, forces detained Wednesday evening a Palestinian minor from Hebron’s neighborhood of Tal Rumeida. The detainee was identified as Muhammad Abu Haykal, 11.


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Palestinian Government Condemns Israeli Occupation Prison Policies

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – In light of the upcoming Muslim holiday, Eid al Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, the Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs condemned Israel’s policies and practices in regards to Palestinian prisoners.

The committee highlighted in a statement that thousands of Palestinians will be unable to spend Eid al-Fitr with their families due to such policies.

Around 6,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in 18 Israeli jails and detention centers.
Among those held in Israeli jails 24 are women, five of whom are married and have children.
The committee emphasized that eight democratically-elected Palestinian lawmakers are still serving in Israeli custody, including jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi and secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Ahmad Saadat.Also among the Palestinians in Israeli custody there are 1,500 security officers employed through different PA security services, and 484 Palestinians being held under administrative detention, an Israeli practice that allows Palestinians to be held indefinitely and without trial.
Two hundred and fifty Palestinian teens are also currently held, the prisoners’ committee added.
According to the committee, 51 prisoners have served over 20 years in Israeli custody of whom 16 have served more than 25 years, emphasizing that 480 prisoners are serving life sentences.
The longest-serving prisoners are Karim Younis and his cousin Mahir Younis. Both have so far served 33 years in Israeli jails.

Eighty-four percent of the prisoners are from the West Bank.

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Israeli Occupation Detained 550 Palestinians From Hebron In Just 6 Months

HEBRON (Ma’an) – Israeli forces have detained 550 Palestinians from the Hebron district of the occupied West Bank since the start of 2015, the Palestinian Palestinian Prisoners’ Society’s Hebron branch reported Thursday.The group of detainees included seven women and 105 teenagers, head of the Hebron branch Amjad Najjar told Ma’an, adding that 225 of the detainees were sentenced without trial through Israel’s frequent use of administrative detention. Among the detainees, according to Najjar, were 78 patients “who faced a real life threat as a result of detention” due to not receiving “any medical treatment at all” in Israeli custody. Najjar highlighted regular humiliation of Palestinian detainees by Israeli forces, who treat the detainees in a “savage and inhuman way during detention.”The PPS report comes as rights groups claim that Israel indiscriminately detains Palestinians living throughout the West Bank without sufficient evidence for detention.Many of those detained in the Hebron district since the start of 2015 were from the town of Beit Ummar, where over 60 residents were detained between January and March, nearly half of whom were minors.When asked last month about the reason for the detention of a 15-year-old resident of the town, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an: “The reason is like every arrest, either illegal activity or violence against civilians, or involvement in terrorism.” The Hebron district was targeted heavily by Israeli forces during an arrest campaign last summer known as “Operation Brother’s Keeper,” which was allegedly carried out in search of three missing teenage settlers last summer and left hundreds of Palestinians detained in Israeli jails, including several Hamas-affiliated members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

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Israeli Occupation Forces Arrest Two Palestinians In Hebron

HEBRON, June 20, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Saturday arrested two Palestinians, including a minor, from the district of Hebron in the southern West Bank, according to security sources.

Sources informed WAFA that forces arrested Nader al-Natsheh, 15, and Mahmoud al-Rajabi from the Hebron neighborhood of Tal Remedeh. They were taken to an unknown destination.

The Israeli authorities have arrested 1545 Palestinians since the beginning of 2015 year, reported Abdel Nasser Ferwana the director of the Bureau of Statistics in the commission of detainees’ affairs.

The rate of arrests since January till April is 9.6% which exceeds the rate documented for the same period last year, said Ferwana.

A total of 258 Palestinian under the age of 18 are among the arrested in addition to 77 Palestinians women, the statement reported.