NYC protest demands freedom for imprisoned Palestinian women leaders Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin


Protesters in New York City gathered outside of the Best Buy electronics store in Union Square to demand freedom for imprisoned Palestinian leaders Khalida Jarrar and Khitam Saafin. Jarrar, a prominent Palestinian national leader and leftist parliamentarian, and Saafin, the president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, were both seized by Israeli occupation forces in pre-dawn raids on their homes on 2 July. Both are currently imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention.


The protest, organized by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, also included distribution of literature about the situation of Palestinian prisoners as well as engagement with Best Buy shoppers about the role of HP in occupied Palestine. Hewlett-Packard consumer products corporations produce printers, laptops, tablets, ink and other consumer computer electronics sold at Best Buy, while its enterprise and other spinoff companies provide IT support, services and technology to the most repressive mechanisms of the Israeli state, including the Israeli occupation armed forces and navy, the checkpoint and ID system that enforces apartheid and suppresses Palestinian life and the Israel Prison Service.


There is a growing movement for global boycott of HP products until the corporation ends its apartheid profiteering and cuts off its contracts with apartheid Israel. A growing number of churches and labor unionsinternationally are becoming “HP-free zones” in protest of the electronics corporation’s involvement in human rights violations in Palestine.


Participants in the demonstration carried Palestinian flags and signs highlighting the cases of Jarrar and Saafin. Jarrar was ordered to six months in administrative detention without charge or trial; she is one of 12 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council currently imprisoned, most held in administrative detention. Khitam Saafin was ordered to three months in administrative detention. The detention order against her expires on 1 October, but as administrative detention orders are indefinitely renewable, there remains a risk until the last possible minute. This demonstration came alongside other international events and actions highlighting Jarrar, Saafin and Palestinian women prisoners this week that also emphasize the international attention to Saafin’s case and demands for her immediate release.

Jarrar and Saafin, as prominent international leaders, have received support from international organizations and and political parties, including the Communist Party of Spain, the Landless Workers’ Movement of Brazil, the Hellenic Union of Progressive Lawyers, a number of European parliamentarians and the government of South Africa.


There are over 450 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention orders, among over 6,200 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails in total. These orders are issued for one to six month periods and are indefinitely renewable; Palestinians can spend years at a time jailed without charge or trial. Jarrar and Saafin are among 58 women prisoners in Israeli jails; both are held in HaSharon prison, where 10 minor girls are also imprisoned. They are two of five Palestinian women held under administrative detention, alongside Ihsan Dababseh, Sabah Faraoun and Afnan Abu Haniyeh.


During the protest, a graduate student at New York University stopped at the protest and interviewed participants for a video and essay hosted at his blog. The NYU student, a Palestinian from Gaza, had studied English several years before in a class in Gaza’s University College of Arts and Sciences taught by Joe Catron, Samidoun’s U.S. coordinator and a participant in the protest.

Passers-by were enthusiastic about the protest and a large number of flyers were distributed about Palestinian prisoners and about HP complicity in Israeli apartheid. Many stopped to have further conversation about the issues raised and find out more about the HP boycott.

Following the protest, a number of participants attended an event at NYU on the Balfour Declaration from the Perspective of its Victims, featuring a lecture by Prof. Rashid Khalidi, which focused on the situation of Palestinians for the past 100 years and the role of the British and U.S. empires in imposing Zionist colonial domination on occupied Palestine.


Samidoun activists are also working for international solidarity in multiple contexts. Christian Cobb of the Workers World Party, a weekly participant in Samidoun protests in New York City, will be traveling to Cuba for two weeks to participate in the “In the Footsteps of Che” international brigade. In addition to studying the history and legacy of Che Guevara and the Cuban revolution, including meeting with veterans of the revolution, participants will join direct hurricane relief volunteer actions to support the Cuban people’s rebuilding after the damage caused by Hurricane Irma.  Several other New Yorkers, including participants in Palestine actions and Samidoun protests, will also be joining the brigade.

Many Samidoun activists will be joining the upcoming screening of “Kafr Kassem” in New York on 1 October, organized by the Open Committees of Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition. The classic 1974 film by Borhane Alaouie has been subtitled into English and will see its U.S. premiere at the Anthology Film Festival. It highlights the story of the massacre at Kafr Kassem with innovative film techniques that center the lives and experiences of Palestinians.

Samidoun will also participate on 30 September in a reception to honor the Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, released in June 2017 after 30 months in prison on trumped-up political charges. The reception is being organized by the International Action Center, New Abolitionist Movement and Free Mumia Coalition.

(Source / 27.09.2017)

Crowds pack European Parliament conference on Palestinian women with Leila Khaled, Sahar Francis and Ahed Tamimi


The European Parliament in Brussels was home to a conference on the role of women in the Palestinian popular struggle on Tuesday, 26 September, featuring Palestinian women actively engaged in the liberation movement: resistance icon Leila Khaled of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Sahar Francis of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and Ahed Tamimi of the Popular Resistance Committees.


It should also be noted that Francis and Addameer are the lawyers of imprisoned Palestinian leftist parliamentarian, Khalida Jarrar. Jarrar was a fellow invitee to this conference before she was seized by Israeli occupation forces on 2 July along with fellow prominent Palestinian woman leader Khitam Saafin, the president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. The images of Jarrar and Saafin, along with those of Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Marwan Barghouthi, imprisoned Fateh leader, were highlighted on the main banner at the event, which read: “Existir es Resistir: Freedom” (Existence is Resistance: Freedom).


A photo of Jarrar was placed on the main speakers’ table in front of an empty chair beside Manu Pineda of Unadikum, the chair of Middle East affairs of the Communist Party of Spain. Parliamentarians Angela Vallina and Javier Couso, both of Izquierda Unida, both spoke at the conference from the main panel.


The event was organized by the Spanish delegation of Izquierda Unida (United Left) as part of the GUE/NGL(European United Left/Nordic Green Left) bloc in the European Parliament and the Unadikum Brigades of Spain, along with Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Addameer and the BDS movement.


Hundreds of people, including Palestinian community activists in Belgium, solidarity organizers from a number of groups, organizations and campaigns and European parliamentarians attended the event. As Pour la Palestine, the website of the Plate-forme Charleroi-Palestine noted, the conference did not only highlight solidarity with Palestine, “but also with Venezuela, Cuba, and all peoples fighting oppression in the world.”  The ambassador of Venezuela, Claudia Salermo Calmera, participated in the event, as did MEP Martina Anderson, former Irish political prisoner and Sinn Fein representative.



During the conference, Leila Khaled emphasized the importance of building the international boycott of Israel and international isolation of the occupation. “We must unite the peoples of the world under the banner of freedom and bring together all popular movements that resist oppression. The Nazis were tried in Nuremberg for their crimes. Today, Israel is experiencing impunty. You must bring the war criminals to justice and tell your governments that they must cease all cooperation with the Zionist state,” she said.


Tamimi also emphasized the importance of the boycott, noting that “The world must recognize the Palestinian cause. The occupation is not only the theft of land. We oppose racism, Zionism, the entire system of occupation and not only the settlements. We do not want your pity, we want freedom!”


Francis spoke about the situation of prisoners, including the cases of Khalida Jarrar, Salah Hamouri and other imprisoned Palestinians, including parliamentarians and human rights defenders. She urged pressure on governments to take action for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

All of the speakers were greeted with a standing ovation, and multiple participants participated in the question-and-answer dialogue following the main presentations. Several MEPs as well as Tahsin Zaki of the Palestinian Community of Belgium and Luxembourg, Michel Collon of InvestigAction, Pierre Stambul of the French Jewish Union for Peace and others participated in the active discussion.


The conference had come under attack by Zionist organizations that attempted to demand that the European Parliament’s president silence the event; however, the event was large, filled to capacity and highly successful with strong interest from parliamentarians and advocates alike.


Leila Khaled will continue her visit to Europe and will speak in Madrid on 30 September at the Communist Party of Spain’s Fiesta at 6:00 pm, along with Manu Pineda and representatives of Spain’s BDS and Palestine solidarity movements.


(Source / 27.09.2017)

Israeli forces injure 7 Palestinians amid clashes in besieged Jerusalem-area village

Palestinians injured Biddu

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces injured at least seven Palestinians during clashes that erupted early on Wednesday between hundreds of Palestinian youths and Israeli forces in the village of Biddu in the occupied West Bank’s Jerusalem district following an Israeli-imposed siege placed on the entire village.

According to locals, Israeli forces closed the main road, which is also the entrance of the village, between Ramallah and the surrounding villages and towns, causing clashes to erupt with Israeli forces.
Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Biddu was one of several Jerusalem-area villages placed under an Israeli military siege following a shooting attack carried out by a resident of the nearby Beit Surik village on Tuesday, which killed an Israeli border police officer and two Israeli security guards outside Israel’s illegal Har Adar settlement.
The seven injured Palestinians were treated at the al-Karmel Medical Center. Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the center searching for them. However, the reports did not mention whether any of the Palestinians were indeed detained.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the clashes and potential detentions in the village.
It is typical for Israeli forces to raid hospitals in order to detain Palestinians injured during clashes, forcing some doctors and medical staff to hide or rotate injured Palestinians between hospital rooms in order to properly treat them.
In July, Amnesty International called such Israeli practices “utterly deplorable” after Israeli forces raided the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem multiple times in order to detain Palestinians who had been seriously injured by Israeli forces.
Israeli raids into Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. After actual or alleged attacks on Israelis, villages are routinely sealed by Israeli forces, and raids are carried out on a nightly basis.
Due to the typically aggressive nature of the raids, clashes often erupt between local Palestinian youth who throw stones and are met in response with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.
(Source / 27.09.2017)

PCHR Calls upon Attorney General to Investigate into Death of Prisoner in al-Shuja’iyia Police Station

27 SEP
6:22 AM

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights: Third Case during this Month in GazaOn Sunday morning, medical resources at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, declared the death of prisoner (A. S. F), after he was referred to al-Shifa Hospital from al-Shuja’iyia police station.

The prisoner was serving a 1-year sentence in jail on grounds of theft. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses its deep concern over repeated death cases in the Gaza police stations and detention facilities in various circumstances.

PCHR is also concerned that these cases might be due to torture and degrading treatment that detainees were exposed to or resulting from negligence of providing them protection and security.

According to the victim’s brother, who was also arrested with him in the Shuja’iyia police station on grounds of another theft incident, at approximately 07:30 on Sunday, while his brother (A. S. F) was heading to the bathroom and before he entered, he fell on the ground and fainted. His body was trembling and his color changed into red. He added: we called the police, who responded after 10 minutes and took my brother to al-Surani Clinic. The al-Surani Clinic refused to admit him, so he was returned to the police station. The police then brought a doctor, who was detained on financial grounds, to check him up. The doctor confirmed that his health condition is serious, so he was transferred to al-Shifa Hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.

The Forensic Medicine Department at al-Shifa Hospital declared that (A. S. F) died due to Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The victim’s brother added that his brother was exposed to torture several times while he was in the prison. He also said that when my family previously visited my brother, he complained of pain in his chest and being maltreated and tortured by the police officers.

The Ministry of Interior and National Security in Gaza published a press statement on its website for Ayman al-Batniji, Spokesperson of the Palestinian Police in Gaza, saying that “the detainee (A. S. F), 30, from Gaza City, died after he fainted while he was in al-Shuja’iyia police station.

He also pointed out that the victim received first aid in the prison and was then taken to al-Shifa Hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds. Al-Batniji also said that the victim’s body was reffered to the Forensic Department to find out the death cause.

He confirmed that the victim had been detained since March on grounds of theft.

It should be noted that this is the third death in Gaza detention facilities. On 22 September 2017, medical sources in al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City, announced the death of M. S. (16) after he stayed in several hospitals due to being in clinical death since 02 September 2017. M.S. was detained in Beit Lahia police station, which is designated for adults, on 02 July 2017 on grounds of a personal dispute.

On 02 September 2017, the police stated that M. S. committed suicide in Beit Lahia police station using his undershirt. He arrived in a state of clinical death at the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia and then was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in al-Shifa Hospital.

After that, M. S. was transferred to al-Quds Hospital to be announced dead. The victim’s family said to PCHR that his son complained about the maltreatment he received in the prison when they visited him on the day of his death. They added that they received a phone call from the police informing them that M. S.  had a fight and was wounded and transferred to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia. They said that their son was not moving and the doctors put him on the cardiopulmonary resuscitation device. There were signs of incised wounds on the abdomen and shoulders and a swelling in the neck.

On 19 September 2017, the Public Prosecution announced the death of a detainee after he jumped out of the investigation room’s window in the 4th floor in the Gaza Prosecution building. The Public Prosecution added that KH. H. sustained serious wounds and was then transferred to the hospital to be announced dead. On 17 September 2017, KH. H. was detained in al-‘Abbas police station, after accusing him of stealing. He was brought before the Gaza Prosecution on the next day morning in its head office on al-Shifa Street near al-Shifa building in the center of Gaza City.

According to the statement of the victim’s father to PCHR’s field worker, “At approximately 12:00 on Tuesday, 19 September 2017, I received a phone call from the neighbors telling me that my son died. My brother then called me to tell me that there is news spread on the websites about my son’s death. When I headed to see the body, I found a bruise on my son’s left eye and beating signs on his feet and throughout his body. After that, I went to the office of the Attorney General and demanded not to bury my son until I know the circumstances of his death. I told them that my son would never commit suicide. The Attorney General advised me to bury my son. My son was buried, but the Attorney General assured me that he will open an investigation into the incident and will not tolerate any person involved.”

This incident and the previous ones require the Attorney General and officials in the Gaza Strip take serious action and reveal the facts, particularly the arrest circumstances and torture cases.

The human rights organizations annually receive many complaints of torture, which are only a small part of the torture reality in the investigation centers.

PCHR confirms that the Public Prosecution and the detention facilities are responsible for the life and safety of the arrestees.

Thus, PCHR calls upon the Attorney General to open a serious investigation into the incident and publish the results on public.

PCHR also stresses to take in consideration the tort liability of the Public Prosecution as although it is not the first incident of its kind, no precautionary measures were taken.

PCHR calls upon the Attorney General and decision makers in the Gaza Strip to take serious action to end the deteriorating status of the detention and investigation facilities, seriously work to stop using torture in the prisons and comply with the Palestinian Basic law and Palestine’s International obligations, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) under which Article 10 stipulates that: “All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.”

(Source / 27.09.20017)

Syrian Coalition: Russia’s Military Escalation Serves Terrorist Organizations

The Assad regime and Russian forces continued the intensified aerial attacks on most towns and villages in the liberated areas, targeting mainly residential areas, medical and services centers. The Syrian Coalition stressed that this serious escalation serve only the terrorist organizations.

According to figures compiled by the Coalition’s Media Department, the Assad regime and Russian air forces raided over 47 towns and villages across Syria. At least 500 airstrikes hit the liberated areas in the period between 20-26 September, killing more than 280 civilians, including women and children.

The Coalition’s Media Department indicated that the Russian jets bombed nine hospitals and medical centers, leaving them either completely destroyed or damaged. Russian jets also targeted three centers of civil defense and 10 vital civilian centers in various areas across Syria.

Member of the Coalition’s political committee Yasser Farhan stressed that Russia bears full responsibility for the crimes being committed against the Syrian people. He said that Russia’s actions serve “the Iranian expansionist sectarian project and encourage the growth and spread of terrorism in the region.” Farhan called for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence and escalation against civilians, slamming the Assad regime and Russia’s insistence on committing more systematic, genocidal war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Farhan accused Moscow of working with the Assad regime to thwart any political solution in Syria and of preventing the implementation of any agreement that would stop the targeting civilians and put an end to the bloodbath in Syria. He called on the international community to assume its responsibilities and take urgent action to save the Syrian people. Farhan warned of total collapse of the values of international justice and human values as they are being violated by Russia and the Assad regime on a daily basis in Syria.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 27.09.2017)

IOF arrests minor girl in al-Khalil for alleged knife possession

16-y girl arrested

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) rounded up on Wednesday evening a 16-year-old Palestinian girl near al-Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of al-Khalil after allegedly finding a knife in her possession.

Local sources revealed that the detained minor was identified as Fatima Abu Ermaileh. She was stopped and searched by IOF soldiers at Barrier 160 opposite al-Ibrahimi Mosque at the pretext of carrying a knife.

The detained minor was transferred to one of the Israeli detention centers in the Old City of al-Khalil to be questioned, the sources added.

(Source / 27.09.2017)

Israeli army fences off Palestinian lands south of Jenin

Fence Jenin

The Israeli occupation army on Wednesday morning fenced off Palestinian lands south of Jenin province, in the northern occupied West Bank.

Palestinian citizen Mohamed Abu Shamleh said the occupation soldiers have set up a 300-meter barbed-wire fence around Palestinian lands located between Yabad and Mreiha towns, in Jenin.

Abu Shamleh said the local Palestinian farmers will no longer be able to reach their land lots as a result of the barrier.

Sometime earlier, the Israeli army set up concrete blocks to demarcate the lands.

The fence also prevents Palestinian landowners from reaching their lands near Mabo Dotan illegal settlement outpost.

Recently, the occupation forces closed off the main road between Yabad and Mreiha, home to 400 Palestinians.

Such moves aim to dismember Palestinian villages and sever the ties between Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

(Source / 27.09.2017)

Israeli forces order self-demolition of 10 Palestinian facilities

Orders for self-demolition

The Israeli occupation forces on Wednesday morning notified the demolition of 10 Palestinian facilities in Ramallah’s northeastern town of Silwad.

Silwad Mayor, Abdul Rahman Saleh, said the occupation forces threatened to demolish 10 Palestinian structures, including homes, two aluminum and iron factories, and a carwash.

Saleh added that the Israeli soldiers ordered the demolition of the targeted buildings by their own owners in no more than seven days, threatening to subject the owners to steep fines in case they do not abide by the verdict.

The notifications were issued under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Sometime earlier, the owners appealed to an Israeli court to cancel the demolition orders.

(Source / 27.09.2017)

Israel’s chief of staff shaves prison term of killer soldier

Murderer terrorist

Israel’s military chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot has reduced the prison sentence of soldier Elor Azaria convicted of cold-bloodedly shooting an incapacitated Palestinian attacker last year and killing him.

Azaria started an 18-month prison term in August after he was found guilty of manslaughter.

Eisenkot said in a letter published Wednesday that he was reducing Azaria’s sentence by four months, citing “mercy considerations.”

The March 2016 shooting in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil was caught on video by a human rights group and spread widely online.

It showed a Palestinian young man called Abdel al-Fattah al-Sharif lying wounded on the ground, shot along with another Palestinian Aziz al-Qasrawi, after stabbing and wounding a soldier, according to the army.

Some 11 minutes after the initial shooting, Azaria, a military medic at the time of the incident, shot him in the head without any apparent provocation.

(Source / 27.09.2017)

Israeli police raids house of Nimer Jamal, takes its measurements

Raids house Nimer Jamal

Israeli police forces at dawn Wednesday stormed the house of 37-year-old Nimer Jamal, who carried out, the day before, a shooting attack on Israeli soldiers, west of occupied Jerusalem, and was killed in the process.

The Israeli forces broke into and ransacked his house in Beit Surik village, west of occupied Jerusalem, and took its measurements as a prelude to demolishing it.

Israeli police said permits to Jamal family allowing them to work in Israel would be withdrawn as part of Israeli authorities’ collective punishment policy.

A complete curfew has been imposed in the village while several military checkpoints were erected in the surrounding areas.

Palestinian traffic has been blocked from and to the village.

Earlier Tuesday, violent clashes broke out in the village following the shooting attack. 27 Palestinians were injured during the confrontations.

(Source / 27.09.2017)