Palestinian women prisoners escalate struggle against repression

 

Palestinian women in HaSharon prison are continuing their protest against the imposition of surveillance cameras on 5 September in the prison yard. The placement of surveillance cameras also cover the collective kitchens, washing machine areas and prayer areas. Since that time, for 56 days, the women have refused to go out for recreation or enter the areas under surveillance until the cameras are removed.

The imposition of the surveillance cameras was one of the latest repressive actions initiated by Israeli minister Gilad Erdan‘s committee, charged with rolling back the accomplishments of the Palestinian prisoners won through years of struggle. Erdan, who is the Minister of Public Security responsible for the Israel Prison Service, is also the Minister of Strategic Affairs responsible for international campaigns against Palestine solidarity activists and the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

In addition to the activation of the surveillance cameras, the Israeli prison administration confiscated thousands of books and cut the amount of water that prisoners could access. Since the prisoners began their protest, the repression has only increased.

Women prisoners have been denied family visits; the hot water was cut off to the women’s section. Arab TV channels were removed from their television access. Women prisoners have been fined, excessively searched and the amounts of meat and vegetables they receive have been significantly reduced, prisoner advocates have reported. The surveillance cameras had previously been imposed several years ago, but were covered and deactivated after extensive protest.

Now, the prison administration is threatening to move all of the women prisoners to Damon prison. Palestinian women political prisoners are held in two Israeli prisoners – HaSharon and Damon prisons. There are approximately 31 women and girls in HaSharon prison and 20 in Damon prison. While the conditions in both prisons are difficult and repressive, Damon is even more notorious because of its distant location from the military courts in which the women are tried. Women prisoners have frequently cited the use of the “bosta” – a vehicle used to transport prisoners, where they are shackled throughout the journey which often takes hours upon hours due to repeated stops, security checks and other delays.

Dr. Raafat Hamdouna of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Center for Studies said that this action reflects the fact that the Israeli prison administration cannot handle the women’s protest for the past 54 days. By transferring the prisoners, the prison administration seeks to circumvent the protest and create a situation of confusion and instability. He noted that a mass transfer and the opening of new section requires substantial effort from the IPS in order to deny the women prisoners’ struggle. He called for widespread action to work to release the Palestinian women prisoners. h

In support of the women prisoners in HaSharon, male prisoners in Hadarim have announced a program of struggle for their demands. They have joined the women of HaSharon in refusing to go out to the prison yard. Two prisoners, Kifah Hattab and Khalil Abu Aram, launched an open hunger strike on 24 October; they are now on their 8th day without food. The ill prisoners in Hadarim have rejected medicine and clinic visits. In response, the prison administration has isolated five prisoners in solitary confinement cells, closed the kitchen and “canteen” (prison store) and threatened to transfer the prisoners collectively to isolation.

The protest was also sparked by repressive actions in Hadarim that began around 20 October, including the removal of all chairs and tables from the prison yard and forcing all prisoners to leave their rooms during a so-called “security check.” These actions also came as part of Erdan’s escalation against Palestinian prisoners.

As the women prisoners have continued their protests against repression, Khalida Jarrar, the Palestinian leftist leader and parliamentarian, was once again ordered to administrative detention without charge or trial. Jarrar has been jailed since July 2017 under repeated administrative detention orders

 

Asiya Kaabneh, 41 and the mother of nine children, was also sentenced to 42 months in Israeli prison; she has been jailed since 24 April 2017 when she was seized by Israeli occupation soldiers. She was charged with attempting to stab an occupation soldier at the Qalandiya checkpoint, and she was brought back to military court 15 times before being sentenced by the Ofer military court on 30 October.

 

In addition, Wafaa Mahmoud Mahdawi, 45, the mother of Ashraf Na’alwa, who is currently being pursued by occupation soldiers, was ordered detained again for an additional eight days on 30 October.  The entire Na’alwa family has been subject to collective punishment and repeated arrests in order to attempt to pressure Ashraf to turn himself in. Wafaa, who is held in the Jalameh interrogation center, has been detained since 17 October along with her son Amjad Na’alwa aand her daughter Fairuz.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands in solidarity with these women prisoners on the front lines of the resistance to repression and the battle for freedom. We urge broader international solidarity with their steadfastness and dedication in confronting occupation and oppression, to achieve their demands and to win their liberation.

(Source / 31.10.2018)

An Open Letter To Wife Of Palestinian Hunger-Striker

Palestinian hunger-striker Khader Adnan went on hunger strike protesting against being held in Israeli prisons without a trial

British activist Sarah Wilkinson sends a letter of solidarity and support to the wife of the Palestinian hunger-striker Khader Adnan, who spent a total of 11 years under administrative detention inside Israeli jails.

Dear Mrs Randa Adnan,

I write this letter to you hearing the news that your husband has ended his hunger strike after 58 days. I want to send my warmest wishes to you, for your pain and worry, and for the immense suffering which you, indeed all your family, have been through — not just for these last two months, but for the many years that you have endured this inhumane and unjust persecution at the hands of Israel.

I cannot truly imagine what you have had to contend with, but I have tried, and I kept each and every one of you in my thoughts throughout each day, from dawn till dusk.

As you continue forward, I will remain in steadfast solidarity with you and your cause for freedom, and I will remain forever at your side in spirit.

My voice is small, but it will never be silenced, or fade with time — and I know there are thousands, indeed millions, of equally committed voices of solidarity that will join me at your side.

Dear Mrs Randa Adnan, from one woman to another, I send you the courage of a thousand lions, the hugs of a thousand gentle bears, the healing of a thousand potions and the love of a thousand hearts. Forever in your service,

Sarah Wilkinson

(Source / 31.10.2018)

Israel Evades Demands To End The Gaza Protests And Reach A Truce

Israeli occupation is only buying time through its talks with the mediators who ant to sort out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel needs only to go ahead in its colonial projects.

Despite Palestinian attempts to calm the Great March of Return, Israeli occupation snipers stationed along the eastern fence of the besieged Gaza Strip escalated their crackdown on the protesters this weekend. During the 31st Friday of the Great March, Israel killed six Palestinians and wounded more than 230 others, including around 30 children and four paramedics.

Following this violent crackdown, Israeli fighter jets began the widest wave of airstrikes since August. Though there were no reports of human casualties, the heavy attacks caused severe damage to the Indonesian Hospital in the south of the Gaza Strip. Four major security service headquarters across the coastal enclave were also damaged, as well as several military bases belonging to the Palestinian resistance movement.

These killings and this wave of Israeli attacks came amidst the ongoing Egyptian discussions with the Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority (PA), Fatah officials in the occupied West Bank and Israeli officials. The Egyptian efforts – backed by the UN – should have achieved some progress, a senior Hamas leader in Gaza told MEMO.

An Islamic Jihad leader who attended the meetings with the Egyptians also confirmed that the ongoing truce efforts could be fruitful this time. Speaking to local newspaper Al-Ayyam, he said that the Israelis told the Egyptians they would lessen the 12-year-old siege imposed on Gaza, promising to offer more concessions in the future on the condition that the Great March of Return was reduced. The Palestinian factions refused and stressed that they first wanted to see the Israeli offer materialise on the ground.

However, the Islamic Jihad leader also said that the Palestinian factions worked with the High Committee for the Return and Lifting the Siege Protests in order to “reduce the human losses during the protests”. This means that, on the ground, the Palestinian resistance factions have responded to the Israeli demand and started to calm the protests. The Israeli occupation, however, did not uphold its end of the bargain. In order to justify its violation, the Israeli occupation army claimed that its attacks were meant to deter Syrian and Iranian interference in Gaza.

The Israeli army claimed that its airstrikes came in response to Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza. Meanwhile, Israeli newspaper Haaretz cited an Israeli army spokesperson blaming Iran and Syria for the attacks, claiming they “were led by the Islamic Jihad with clear guidance from Iran and the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force in Syria […] The entire incident was under Iran’s guidance through the Quds force that led the attacks”.

Where is Israel’s evidence that the rockets launched from Gaza were directed by Syria and Iran? Of course, it has no evidence! Yet if we argue that the main reason for firing primitive rockets from Gaza was continued Israeli aggression against the Palestinians and its violation of their rights, we will be able to provide an unlimited amount of evidence. The latest of this evidence is Israel’s use of lethal force against peaceful protesters in Gaza, which killed six Palestinians, as well as attacking protesters in the occupied West Bank the same day.

After a dreadful night Islamic Jihad, which responded to the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, said that the Palestinian factions had accepted Egyptian mediation and reached a new ceasefire with the Israeli occupation. It said this was in order to give the Egyptian efforts chance to achieve their goals, including lifting the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza and reaching a long-term truce with the Palestinian resistance. The real question now is whether the Israeli occupation will commit to this ceasefire and carry out the promises it pledged?

(Source / 31.10.2018)

PA’s social security law to come into force despite public outcry

Protests are held in the occupied West Bank on 29 October 2018 against the introduction of a news social security law which will see Palestinians’ earnings taxed

The Palestinian Authority is continuing in its plan to implement a Social Security Law which will see citizens paying taxes.

The cabinet stated on its last session yesterday that the law will come into force as planned tomorrow.

The cabinet, however, had decided to postpone imposing fines on those who fail to join the Social Security Corporation, by one month. For November, the law is mandatory applicable on entities with more than 200 employees.

Thousands of Palestinians have been protesting in Ramallah against the implementation of the law. On Monday, a mass protest and a public strike were carried out by thousands of Palestinians who oppose the law, to pressure the cabinet to review it.

Palestinians have called for a public strike tomorrow in conjunction with the launching of the new tax system which may believe will have a negative effect on citizens who are already struggling to survive under Israel;’as brutal occupation.

According to the current law, all workers are subject to the same percentage of contribution to the Social Security Corporation, with no clauses which provide for workers who receive minimum wage.

READ: Calls to oust PA labour minister over Social Security Law

Additionally, the families of Palestinians killed by the Israeli occupation may not be eligible to receive benefits from the Social Security Corporation which limits benefactors to those who have lost a family member to natural causes or “due to work injury”.

(Source / 31.10.2018)

Israel arrests Fatah official in Jerusalem

Palestinians take part in the celebrations of the 52nd foundation anniversary of the Fatah movement in Ramallah, West Bank on December 31, 2016

Israeli occupation forces yesterday arrested Fatah secretary in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Jabal Al-Mukabber Iyad Bashir as a result of him position against the municipal elections which were held yesterday, Quds Press reported.

Elections were held in 251 local councils, municipalities and authorities across the country, including 80 villages and cities with Palestinian majorities.

Fatah’s Secretary in Jerusalem Shadi Motawwar reported the detention of Bashir along with a number of other Fatah officials and members.

Motawwar reiterated that the Israeli occupation detained Fatah officials and members over their position against the Israeli municipal elections in the holy city.

He stated that their position, which opposed carrying out the elections in the holy city, stems from the religious and national stances.

A statement posted on social media stated that voting for any candidate in the Israeli elections legitimizes the occupation of Jerusalem.

Israel: Voting opens in municipal elections amid protests in occupied Golan Heights 

(Source / 31.10.2018)

Arab states reject Israel proposal to control Gaza

Israel strikes 80 sites across Gaza on 27-Oct-2018

Arab states reject Israel’s proposal to control the Gaza Strip, Israel’s Channel 7 television station reported yesterday

“Hamas had harsh attacks,” the Israeli channel claimed, “and the Israeli government is planning to strike Hamas with more attacks at the appropriate time.”

Israel, the report added, will “stop the demonstrations [at the Israel-Gaza fence] and the rocket attacks on the Gaza peripheries.”

“Israel lives a state between a truce and an escalation,” it added, stressing that it does not adopt the policy of “self-control” regarding Hamas.

“Israel hopes that its policy would lead to stopping the demonstrations, rockets, incendiary balloons and achieving calm,” the channel said, “therefore, it does not want to allow humanitarian crises to take place in Gaza or any explosion that leads to an offensive.”

To achieve this, Israel will cooperate with Egypt and the United Nations.

READ: Three faces from Gaza fuelling anger 

(Source / 31.10.2018)

Settlers Attack Palestinians near Ibrahimi Mosque

31 OCT
7:12 PM

On Wednesday, a group of Israeli settlers gathers outside the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron, and assaulted Palestinian citizens in protest against the broadcasting of the Azan (Muslim call to prayer) via loudspeakers used in the mosque.

Palestinian citizen Yacoub Abu Jihad said that the settlers beat him and held him for several hours. One of them threatened to kill him, sooner or later, and held him in a nearby shop for several hours before he was released.

He pointed out that the settlers harassed the people living in the area, playing loud songs through loudspeakers in the area, adding that, when he complained to the guard  about the inconvenience, she verbally assaulted him, before settlers ganged up around him and started beating him.

Palestinian shop owner Abdul Ra’ouf al-Muhtasib was also attacked by settlers who broke into his ceramics and crafts shop.

(Source / 31.10.2018)

Army Demolishes Two Residential Rooms Near Hebron

31 OCT
12:24 PM

Israeli soldiers invaded, Wednesday, the al-Birin area, in Yatta town, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and demolished two residential rooms.

Rateb Jabour, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Colonies in Hebron, said the surrounded the area before invading it.

He added that the soldiers demolished two residential rooms, owned by the families of Jahed and Fadel Barqan, for being built without a permit from the Israeli authorities, in the occupied West Bank.

He added that the two rooms were demolished without a prior notice, or a warning, from the army.

On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, the soldiers invaded Khallet al-Mayya area in Yatta town, south of Hebron, and demolished a Palestinian home.

(Source / 31.10.2018)

Palestinian President: We Will Reasonably Execute Central Council Decisions

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas chairs the Higher National Committee meeting

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that recent Central Council decisions have been taken in order to confront the difficult circumstances facing the Palestinian cause.

“We are meeting today to follow up the implementation of the resolutions and all the issues that have been entrusted to us by the Council,” he said while chairing the first meeting of the Higher National Committee tasked with implementing the decisions of the Council.

Abbas asserted that the task is difficult given the most difficult and dangerous situation, but “we have the will to implement all decisions with all rationality and respect.”

The Central Council decided to end the obligations of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) towards its agreements with Israel, “mainly suspending recognition of the State of Israel until its recognition of the State of Palestine on the 4 June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Consequently, the Council announced the cessation of security coordination in all its forms and economic disengagement on the grounds that the transitional phase, including the Paris Protocols, no longer exists.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the implementation of the decisions would be gradual rather than direct.

“The proposals on the table now are not to withdraw directly from the Oslo agreement, but to disengage from its obligations as Israel does,” indicated the sources, noting that discussions now include a plan that may last for a year or more for the implementation of the decisions.

The Council deemed the US administration a partner to the Israeli occupation government and part of the problem, not the solution. It stressed the continuation of the severing of relations and contacts with the administration until it rescinds its illegal decisions on Jerusalem, refugees and settlements and its position from the PLO.

In addition, the Council held Hamas fully responsible for the failure to comply with the implementation of all signed agreements, the latest of which was the agreement on October 12, 2017, which was ratified by all Palestinian factions on November 11, 2017.

The Council affirmed its commitment to fully implement these agreements under Egypt’s supervision.

The Council reaffirmed that the truce with Israel is the national responsibility of the PLO, not factions, as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

The Central Council stressed that addressing the situation in Gaza in all its aspects stems from the political efforts to end the division, achieving national reconciliation and rejecting proposals made under the name humanitarian projects and sea and airports outside the borders of Palestine.

Secretary General of the Executive Committee of PLO, Saeb Erekat, revealed that the Higher National Committee will start implementing all the decisions gradually and without exception.

The meeting of the Higher Committee shows the absolute seriousness the president attaches to starting implementation, he added.

Regarding the decisions on Israel and the implementation mechanism, Erekat said that there are “69 issues in Palestinian-Israeli relations, which resulted in eight signed agreements with Israel from 1993 until 1999. The committee is the one charged with taking into account all these issues and points.”

Erekat stated that the leadership seeks to preserve the Gaza Strip as a part of the Palestinian national territory and as an integral part of the territory of the occupied Palestinian state. However, Hamas’ methods reveal that it is leaning towards separation.

He called on the movement to implement the 2017 Cairo agreement, stressing that US President Donald Trump is now focused on separating the West Bank from Gaza through implementing the so-called “deal of the century.”

Meanwhile, Hamas described the Council’s decisions as mere media stunts, according to spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

He said that Abbas’s decisions aim to cover his crimes against Gaza.

The movement described the Central Council as illegitimate and separatist, adding that it does not recognize its decisions.

In Israel, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon slammed the PA after the Central Council decided to suspend its recognition of Israel.

“This is a big mistake,” he said during a radio interview, adding: “Over the last year, Ramllah has become more and more extreme and is torpedoing any chance of an agreement. Their desire is to starve the Gaza Strip.”

(Source / 31.10.2018)

Israeli Army Fires A Missile Into Central Gaza

31 OCT
1:50 PM

An Israeli military drone fired, on Wednesday afternoon, a missile at Palestinians near the Great Return Camp, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza.

Media sources in Gaza said the missiles targeted five young Palestinian men, but did not cause any casualties.

The army claimed it targeted Palestinians “flying flammable balloons into nearby Israeli lands”.

The attack came hours after the Israeli navy fire many live rounds at Palestinian fishing boats, in Gaza territorial waters, in northern Gaza.

On October 29, 2018, a Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Abdul-Hai Abu Abada, 27, was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during the 14th Naval Procession in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

On October 28, the soldiers killed Abdul-Hamid Abu Thaher, 13, Khaled Bassam Mahmoud Abu Sa’id, 14, Mohammad Ibrahim Satri, 13, Yahia Bader al-Hasanat, 37, in the Gaza Strip.

Read More: Israel-Palestine Timeline The Human Cost of the Conflict

(Source / 31.10.2018)