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Dagelijks archief 10 maart 2017

HRW: Deported Tunisian suspect linked to Daesh could face torture

Human Rights Watch

Human Right Watch (HRW) has condemned Germany’s deportation of a 24-year-old Tunisian man to Tunisia where he could face torture at the hands of authorities accused of “dirty work” in the North African country.

The Tunisian, named as Charfeddine T in the German press, was arrested in November last year in Berlin and sentenced on Wednesday after German courts found him guilty of membership with Daesh and planning to stage an attack in Germany.

After several judicial proceedings, German authorities agreed to deport the alleged suspect to his native country.

According to defence lawyer, Jonathan Burmeister, the accusations were disingenuous based on information from the FBI and the German domestic intelligence agency BfV.

The Tunisian authorities also said that the suspect belonged to Islamist circles, which is why we believe he will be sent directly to prison and can expect to be tortured, because that often happens in Tunisia when there is suspicion of Islamism.

HRW in Germany shared the lawyer’s concerns pointing out that the alleged Daesh member will be subject to torture once back home.

“From the German point-of-view it is clear you can’t deport anyone if this person is in danger of being executed or tortured, or even of not getting a fair trial,” HWR’s Wenzel Michalski told Germany’s Die Welt.

“If that is the case, the person should be tried here. It’s as simple as that.”

Tunisia has come under criticism by the UN and other human rights groups for subjecting suspects to inhumane treatment and for the surfacing of abuse cases similar to those common under long-time dictator Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, ousted in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring protests.

A Tunisian acting on behalf of Daesh was behind an attack on a Berlin Christmas market in December last year that killed a dozen people. Anis Amri was subsequently shot dead in Italy after fleeing the scene of the massacre.

(Source / 10.03.2017)

Israel continues to hold body of slain Palestinian activist Basel al-Araj

Basel al-Araj

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities postponed on Friday returning the body of slain Palestinian activist Basel al-Araj until further notice, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said in statement.

According to the statement, Israel had announced on Thursday to return al-Araj’s body at a checkpoint near his home town of al-Walaja, near Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank Friday afternoon.
Al-Araj, 31, was killed by Israeli forces Monday in a two-hour shootout at a home in the outskirts of the Qaddura refugee camp, where al-Araj was staying.
The activist had been on the run from Israeli authorities since September, when he was released from Palestinian prison after being detained without charges or explanation for five months, during which he joined a hunger strike amid reports of torture and mistreatment.
Israeli police had accused al-Araj of being the “head of a terrorist cell that planned attacks against Israelis and security forces.”
Al-Araj’s killing has sparked outrage as some Palestinians have raised questions about the Israeli police narrative that it would have been difficult for al-Araj to return fire for two hours, noting that the house was completely riddled with Israeli bullets, and have highlighted that the man — well known in his community as an intellectual and an activist — did not fit the typical profile of an attacker.
Prominent left-wing Palestinian writer Khalid Barakat said on Tuesday that al-Araj was a “representation of the soul of the Palestinian youth” and a “revolutionary intellectual” in a statement released by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Following al-Araj’s killing, protests erupted in Ramallah, with mourners holding up pictures of the slain activist while referring to him as the “martyr of security coordination.” According to Barakat, protests were also organized in Palestinian refugee camps across Lebanon, most notably in the Nahr al-Bared camp.
Though the Palestinian Red Crescent’s statement on Friday did not specify how long Israel planned on holding al-Araj’s body, Israeli authorities have dramatically escalated a policy of withholding Palestinian bodies killed by Israeli forces, claiming that funerals of Palestinians had provided grounds for “incitement” against the Israeli state.
However, the majority of bodies of Palestinians slain by Israeli forces have since been returned to their families, despite the Israeli security cabinet deciding in January that bodies of Palestinians affiliated with the Hamas movement who were killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis would be withheld indefinitely.
A joint statement released by Addameer and Israeli minority rights group Adalah last March condemned Israel’s practice of withholding bodies as “a severe violation of international humanitarian law as well as international human rights law, including violations of the right to dignity, freedom of religion, and the right to practice culture.”
(Source / 10.03.2017)

Adnan: The victory of al-Qiq, a new hit against admin. detention

Sheikh Khader Adnan

The Islamic Jihad leader Sheikh Khader Adnan said that the victory of the Palestinian captive, Mohammad al-Qiq, is a new hit against the illegal administrative detention.

In a press statement after journalist al-Qiq announced the suspension of his 33-day hunger strike after reaching a deal that stipulated his release on March 14, Adnan said “this victory proves the effectiveness of the hunger strike method”.

Sheikh Adnan who mourned martyr Basel al-A’raj in his statement hailed Palestinian prisoners and thanked all of those who support the detainees.

(Source / 10.03.2017)

Report: Israeli government funding illegal projects on private Palestinian land

Image of Israeli settlements under construction on Palestinian land in Jerusalem, on December 29, 2016 [Daniel Bar On/Anadolu]

Image of Israeli settlements under construction on Palestinian land in Jerusalem, on December 29, 2016

Israeli government funds Zionist body that has seized private Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank in recent years and established settlements on them, in direct contravention of the law, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper revealed yesterday.

    The Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization is a non-governmental body vested with government functions and powers to act for the establishment and development of settlements.

“Every year, the government allocates millions of dollars for the division which ends up in the end in favour of the settlements.”

According to the paper, in addition to the huge budgets, the division has enjoyed considerable weight with respect to forming the settlement policy in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli government has imposed a state of ambiguity on the division’s work, and refuses to discuss its activities, despite the Israeli opposition requests, and this indicates that the division is a back yard of the government, to carry out its illegal work

The Settlement division has used Palestinian land to create businesses, expand settlements, and transfer the lands’ ownership.

In a report, Israeli advocacy group Peace Now said the World Zionist Organisation “operate without authority and provide support and assistance to illegal activities. They also mislead the settlers themselves and give them the feeling that the construction is legal.”

“The government, for its part, helps the settlers by retroactively legalising the  illegal  construction in many cases.”

(Source / 10.03.2017)

Queen to Israel to mark Belfour anniversary

Queen to Israel to mark Belfour anniversary

Gaza, ALRAY – Royal family of Britain might accept an official invitation to visit Israel to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in a first visit of its kind since establishment of Israel, the Times reported.

Reuven Rivlin, Israeli occupation president, extended the invitation during a meeting with Boris Johnson in Jerusalem on Wednesday, noting that 2017 marked the centenary of the Balfour Declaration backing the establishment of a Jewish homeland.

“This is a very important year in the history of the relations between Israel and the United Kingdom,” Rivlin said. “We will mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration and I am greatly honoured to extend an official invitation to the royal family to visit Israel to mark this event.

According to the paper, it is expected that the royal family wiil accept the invitation this time. Such visits usually done upon recommendations of foreign ministry of Britain.

On November 2, 1917, Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour writes a letter to Britain’s most illustrious Jewish citizen, Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild, expressing the British government’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

(Source / 10.03.2017)

Jordan: Banning Muslim call to prayer violates peace treaty

Image of Palestinian Muslim worshippers attending Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

Image of Palestinian Muslim worshippers attending Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound

Jordan has rejected the Israeli Knesset’s passage of a bill that bans the use of loudspeakers for the call for prayer in mosques in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem saying it violates the peace treaty signed between the two countries.

Image of Jordanian government spokesman, Mohammad Momani [Youtube]

Government spokesman, Mohammad Momani, said the bill “is discriminatory and violates Israel’s obligations under international human rights laws and many charters and international conventions.”

“East Jerusalem falls under the provisions of international law and international humanitarian law, which state that the Jerusalem Awqaf Department is the only competent authority entitled to organise mosque Affairs in East Jerusalem, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif and affiliated mosques, including organising the athan [Muslim call to prayer],” the minister said .

He highlighted a clause in the peace treaty signed between Jordan and Israel which clearly states that Israel respect Jordan’s role in overseeing Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.

On Wednesday, the Israeli Knesset approved the first reading of a bill which bans the use of loudspeakers to call for Muslim prayer between the hours of 23:00 and 07:00. The reading was approved by a vote of 55 in favour and 45 against.

Arab members of the Knesset said the new law amounted to a “declaration of war on our identity”.

(Source / 10.03.2017)

University student detained in PA jails without charge

Yazan Merhi

The PA Preventive Security Service refused to release the university student Yazan Merhi who has been detained without charge for five days.

Family sources told the PIC reporter that Yazan, from Jenin, has been held in PA jails for five days without any charge.

Yazan, a student at Palestine Technical University – Kadoorie, was arrested only one day before his exams, the family pointed out.

(Source / 10.03.2017)

Mohammed al-Qeeq achieves victory in hunger strike, suspends strike after 33 days

On his 33rd day of hunger strike, Friday, 10 March, imprisoned Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeqannounced the suspension of his strike with an agreement for his release in mid-April, three months after his arrest on 15 January by Israeli occupation forces.

Fayha Shalash, al-Qeeq’s wife, said that he will begin a series of medically-supervised processes to lift his strike; he was transferred to Assaf Harofeh, a civilian hospital, on 8 March after severe deterioration in his health, especially considering his medical weakness following his 2016 strike.

Shalash specifically emphasized that al-Qeeq is dedicating this victory to the spirit of Basil al-Araj, the Palestinian youth activist shot down by Israeli forces on 6 March.

Lawyer Khaled Zabarqa reported that al-Qeeq’s three-month administrative detention order for his imprisonment without charge or trial will not be renewed. He launched his hunger strike on 6 February when he was ordered to administrative detention after 22 days of interrogation. This was his second major hunger strike against administrative detention; in 2016, he refused food for 94 days to demand his freedom, winning his release in May 2016.

Zabarqa said that the victory also came following a court hearing on 9 March in which he defended al-Qeeq’s activism and organizing, saying that the military prosecutor was required to return with further justification in the next court session and instead agreed the following day not to renew al-Qeeq’s administrative detention.

Khader Adnan, fellow long-term hunger striker and former prisoner, said that al-Qeeq’s victory is a new blow against the policy of administrative detention, emphasizing that “the victory of the heroic brother Mohammed al-Qeeq brings joy to our hearts after the martyrdom of our brother Basil al-Araj.”

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes Mohammed al-Qeeq once again on his steadfastness, struggle and success in confronting the policy of administrative detention and the political imprisonment of Palestinians. We urge all support for his fellow imprisoned Palestinians, including hunger striker Jamal Abu Leil on his 23rd day of hunger strike, and demand an immediate end to the policy of administrative detention and freedom for all Palestinian prisoners. We also echo the words of Fayha Shalash and Khader Adnan in linking the struggle of Mohammed al-Qeeq with the assassination of Basil al-Araj, and salute both of these dedicated strugglers for the freedom of Palestine, its land and its people. 

(Source / 10.03.2017)

Injuries reported in Israeli quelling of Nilin weekly march

Nilin

A Palestinian minor was shot and injured by a rubber bullet after Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Friday afternoon violently attacked the weekly march staged in Nilin town, west of Ramallah, against Israel’s segregation wall and settlement. A number of Palestinians along with foreign solidarity activists choked on tear gas as well.

The march kicked off after Friday prayer and headed to the separation wall. Participants raised the Palestinian flag and chanted slogans that demanded dismantling the wall and ending Israeli occupation.

Local sources said that the IOF soldiers showered the participants in the march with tear gas and rubber bullets resulting in cases of suffocation among the marchers and the injury of a 14-year-old boy with a rubber bullet in his foot. He was treated in the field,  the sources pointed out.

(Source / 10.03.2017)

Netanyahu pleads for Putin’s assistance to release Gaza captives

Gaza gevangenen bij Hamas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to the Russian President Vladimir Putin to assist Israel in freeing the Israeli soldiers held captive by the Palestinian Hamas organization, to which Putin agreed.

Following the meeting between Putin and Netanyahu on Thursday evening, the latter told reporters that he raised the issue of the bodies of the captive soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin and the two other captives being held by Hamas.

Netanyahu reportedly pleaded for Putin’s assistance, which the latter pledged to give.

The two parties also held a lengthy discussion on Iran’s intervention in Syria and its intent to establish a seaport in the country. Netanyahu expressed Israel’s rebuff of Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict.

In early April 2016, the armed wing of Hamas—al-Qassam Brigades—announced that four Israeli soldiers are being held captive by the group, vowing that none of them shall be released for free.

(Source / 10.03.2017)