Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

Blogging From Gaza, Palestine

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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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Headlines From Palestine: July 26, 2015

Documents Prove Bedouin Village Slated For Ethnic Cleansing By Israeli Occupation Has Been Owned By Palestinians Since 1800’s

Sussia, the Palestinian village in which structures are slated for demolition, sits on private Palestinian land owned by local people, according to a document of the Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration obtained by Haaretz.

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Palestinian Detainees Suffer Abuse, Appalling Conditions In Israeli Occupation Prisons

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.    

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Palestinian Children Suffer Increasing Levels of Physical Abuse By Israeli Occupation Forces

Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank during the first half of 2015 suffered increasing levels of physical violence, according to Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) research.

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Injuries And Destruction As Israeli Occupation Attacks Worshipers At al-Aqsa Mosque

Dozens of Muslim worshipers Sunday were injured, while many suffocated by tear gas during clashes that erupted with Israeli police at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque compound, after groups of Jewish hardliners broke into the Islamic holy site to mark Tisha B’Av holiday, according to local sources and witnesses.

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Israeli Extremists Fill Ancient Palestinian Agricultural Water Well With Earth And Rocks Near Salfit

Israeli settlers filled up an ancient agricultural well in the West Bank village of Deir Istiya west of Salfit on Saturday, local farmers told Ma’an.Witnesses said that the settlers filled the well with earth and rocks using “primitive” tools.

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Palestinian Children Suffer Increasing Levels of Physical Abuse By Israeli Occupation Forces

RAMALLAH, July 25, 2015 (WAFA) – Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank during the first half of 2015 suffered increasing levels of physical violence, according to Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) research.

Data compiled by DCIP since January 2015 shows that ‘86 percent of Palestinian children experienced some form of physical violence during their arrest or interrogation, a 10 percent increase from 2014.’

The research, which was released on Friday, said that, “unlike their Israeli counterparts, Palestinian children have no right to be accompanied by a parent and, in the majority of cases, no access to legal counsel during interrogation.”

“Ill treatment of Palestinian children remains widespread and systematic in the Israeli military detention system as children arrested by Israeli forces arrive at Israeli interrogation centers blindfolded, bound and sleep deprived,” according to DCIP documentation.

It noted that, “Israeli forces used blindfolds and hand ties on almost all the children interviewed by DCIP, and in nearly 55 percent of cases they succumbed to strip-searches once in custody.” Children continued to report they signed documents during interrogation drafted in Hebrew, a language they do not understand.

DCIP documented four cases involving the use of solitary confinement for interrogation purposes by Israeli forces, a practice, which DCIP stressed, amounts to torture under international law.

For over a decade, ill treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system has been widespread and systematic,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP.

“Recent amendments to Israeli military law simply serve to improve the appearance of the military detention system and have failed to practically address the abuse of Palestinian children.”

Meanwhile, A UNICEF report released in February found that ill treatment of Palestinian child detainees remained widespread and systematic despite recent changes to Israeli military law.

According to the report, Israeli authorities have, since March 2013, issued new military orders and taken steps to reinforce existing military and police operating procedures related to the detention of Palestinian children. However, evidence collected by a UNICEF-led working group since 2013 shows continued and persistent reports of ill treatment against Palestinian children by Israeli forces.

Lawmakers in both the United Kingdom and United States have recently called on their respective governments to hold Israel accountable for ill treatment of Palestinian child prisoners.

DCIP reported that, “Of nine complaints filed by DCIP in 2014, one investigation was closed without charge and the other eight remain pending.”

Around 500 to 700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military detention system each year.

“The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones. In addition to physical and psychological abuse during arrest and detention, Palestinian child detainees are overwhelming denied bail and routinely held in pretrial custodial detention for up to several months.”

To be noted, International juvenile justice standards, which Israel has obliged itself to implement by signing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, demand that children should only be deprived of their liberty as a measure of last resort.

Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts that lack basic and fundamental fair trial guarantees.

DCIP said that, “Since the occupation of Palestinian territory in 1967 by Israeli forces, Palestinian children have been charged with offenses under Israeli military law and tried in military courts. Israeli military law is only applied to Palestinians even though Israeli settlers live in the same territory. No Israeli children come into contact with the Israeli military court system.”

“At the end of May, a total of 163 Palestinian children were imprisoned in the Israeli military detention system, according to the Israel Prison Service.”


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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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Headlines From Palestine: July 23, 2015

Israeli Occupation Forces Murder 53-year-old Palestinian , Second Incident In Two Days

Israeli forces shot and killed a 53-year-old Palestinian and injured his two sons during an arrest raid in the town of Beit Ummar in northern Hebron early Thursday, witnesses said.Falah Hammad Abu Mariais the 17th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces this year, three of whom have been killed since the beginning of this month.

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Israeli Occupation Demolishes Two Bedouin Homes In The Negev

Bulldozers under the armed guard of Israeli forces demolished two homes in the Bedouin villages of Hura and Khashem Zanna in the Negev on Wednesday, local sources said.The Israeli Land Authority did not immediately respond for comment.

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

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.

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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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Headlines From Palestine: July 5, 2015

Hamas Reopens Gaza Offices Of Mobile Provider After Illegal Closure

The Palestinian phone company Jawwal on Sunday reopened its offices and showrooms across the Gaza Strip less than a week after they were closed by Hamas over accusations of tax dodging.

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Israeli Occupation Navy Opens Fire On Gaza Fishermen

Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen in several locations off the coast of the Gaza Strip with no injuries reported, witnesses said.

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Israeli Extremists Attack Palestinian Vehicles In Jerusalem, Injure Woman

A Palestinian woman was injured Saturday evening when right-wing extremists threw stones at Palestinian vehicles in occupied East Jerusalem.

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Israeli Occupation Troops Targeted Journalists With Teargas

Israeli soldiers last Thursday targeted journalists working for Jordan’s Ro’ya TV with teargas while they were covering a peaceful Palestinian demonstration near Jaba, a village north of Jerusalem.

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Israeli Occupation Committed 184 Violations Against Holy Sites In Two Months

At least 184 violations by Israeli authorities against the holy sites in East Jerusalem and Hebron were reported in the recent two months, Sunday reported Yousef Id’ies, Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs.

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Israeli Occupation Troops Targeted Journalists With Teargas

RAMALLAH, July 5, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers last Thursday targeted journalists working for Jordan’s Ro’ya TV with teargas while they were covering a peaceful Palestinian demonstration near Jaba, a village north of Jerusalem.

The demonstration was held to mark the first anniversary of the death of Mohamed Abu Khudeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian who was burnt to death in a wood near West Jerusalem.

Ro’ya TV posted a video online showing Palestinian Territories bureau chief Nebal Farsakh and cameraman Mohamed Shousha being targeted although they were wearing bulletproof vests marked ‘Press.’ They were taken to a hospital with facial burns.

Alexandra El Khazen, the head of the Reporters without Borders Middle East and Maghreb desk said, “The Israeli security forces must respect the physical integrity of journalists who are just doing their job by covering demonstrations.”

“We remind them that the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in March 2014 recognizing that journalists play an essential role by covering protests.”

The incident was not the first time Israeli forces target journalists in recent months. On May 17, Israeli police used force to prevent a crew with Russian TV station RT from filming during Jerusalem Day, which commemorates Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem and the Old City during the 1967 War.

Although they had accreditation, RT reporter Dalia Nammari and cameraman Muhammad Aishuwere were manhandled and their camera was broken. They have filed a complaint.

Nidal Ashtiyeh, a Palestinian photojournalist working for the Chinese news agency Xinhua, was covering a Palestinian demonstration near Nablus on May 15 marking the 67th anniversary of the Nakba when he was badly injured in an eye by a rubber-coated bullet fired by an Israeli soldier. He has not yet recovered his sight in the eye and needs to receive special treatment.

The Israel army also stopped a peaceful demonstration by the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 2 (the eve of World Press Freedom Day). The demonstrators had planned to march from the edge of the city to an army checkpoint but were stopped by teargas and flash grenades.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, says, “This type of abusive behavior has gradually become a part of everyday reality for Palestinians of the occupied territories. On occasion there are also cases of more serious violence, which Israeli authorities condemn but often do not take real measures against the perpetrators.”

“Most cases involve a ‘small dose’ of ill-treatment such as a slap, a kick, an insult, a pointless delay at checkpoints, or degrading treatment. These acts have become an integral part of Palestinian life in the Occupied Territories. From time to time, however, cases of severe brutality occur.”