Palestinian held in Ghana: ‘I was tortured for 35 days’

Mahran Baajour, Palestinian businessman who has disappared in Ghana [File photo]

Mahran Baajour, Palestinian businessman who has disappared in Ghana [File photo]

The Ghanaian authorities must open an investigation into the kidnapping and torturing Palestinian Mahran Baajour and bring those responsible to justice, Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) said in a statement today.

Thirty-nine-year-old Baajour has been subjected to enforced disappearance and torture in Ghana by security agents, believed to be Mossad agents, since his arrest on 13 December 2018 until his release in March 2019.

Baajour arrived in Ghana on 13 December 2018 on a business trip. He was arrested after leaving the airport of Ghanaian capital Accra, without justification. He was arrested along with two other Ghanaian nationals who were at the airport to receive him; they were taken to an unknown location. The two Ghanaian men were later released and they informed Baajour’s family of his arrest.

Mahran Baajour, after being kidnapped and tortured [File photo]

“He was detained at the airport and when the family asked about his whereabouts, the reply was that he wasn’t in their custody,” his brother Jehad Baajour told reporters.

READ: Ghana government attitude towards Mahran Baajour’s abduction repugnant – Minority

One of Mahran’s brothers who lives in Denmark subsequently flew to Ghana in a bid to locate him, but Ghanaian intelligence services again denied he was in the country.

AOHR UK confirmed that Baajour was “subjected to physical torture, beating all over his body, psychological torture, insult and verbal abuse by white-skinned officers speaking little Arabic”.

“Some officers’ clothes had Hebrew writings on it.”

In his statement to the organization, Baajour said: “As soon as I left the airport in Accra, four cars surrounded the car I was in.”

They arrested us without showing a legal warrant, without disclosing the agency they belong to and took us to another place, where they exchanged cars. They took me to an unknown place, I still do not know, and I was handcuffed the whole time.

“White-skinned men, who knew little Arabic, started investigating me. They were 14 men from different nationalities as they told me. I noticed on a coat, which belongs to one of them, Hebrew badges, Hebrew written papers, and some of them used Hebrew words like ‘Shekel’.”

“I was interrogated about the situation of the refugees in Lebanon, the Lebanese and Palestinian political forces, some terrorist activities and operations that were not related to me and I told them so. They tortured me in various ways for 35 days.”

Baajour added: “They detained me in a narrow room, 1×1 meters, deprived me of sleep for up to three consecutive days, poured cold water on me and beat me on the head strongly, in addition to handcuffing my hands and feet all the time. They threatened me with kidnapping my 12-year-old daughter and killing her, while verbally abusing me.”

READ: Arab League discusses Israel’s Africa charm offensive

(Source / 01.04.2019) 

Palestinian prisoner group calls on Israel to reveal details of detainees’ wherabouts

Palestinians demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, stage a demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Eastern Jerusalem on March 26, 2019. ( Faiz Abu Rmeleh - Anadolu Agency )

Palestinians demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, stage a demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Eastern Jerusalem on March 26, 2019

The international community and rights groups must work to get information about Palestinian prisoners who are being held in isolation in the Israeli occupation’s Naqab (Ketziot) Prison, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club (PPC) said.

In a statement, the PPC said that the Israeli Prisoner Services (IPS) isolated a number of prisoners after stripping them of all of their belongings and leaving them in “very dire conditions”, noting that they were banned from family visits and communicating with prisoners in other departments.

Some 120 prisoners were injured, including 82 in their heads and 76 who suffered bruising, due to the brutal crackdown on them, noting that the IPS used a new kind of bullet against the prisoners, the weapon creates greater damage to the victim’s body.

According to the PPC, the IPS held internal trials in the prison and imposed high fines on prisoners and stopped their access to medical treatment.

READ: Palestinian prisoners start hunger strike to protest Israel punitive measures 

Israel has been strengthening its crackdown on Palestinian prisoners in recent months. In February, Israel’s prison administration installed phone jamming devices at Al-Naqab and Ramon prisons. The devices produce powerful radiation and stop radio and television signals from penetrating into the area, in a bid to stop prisoners maintaining contact with the outside world.

In March it emerged that the prisoners were suffering from depression, headaches and fainting as a result of the radiation from the devices, with experts saying this can lead to “genetic deformities of human cells and cancer”. The Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association – better known as Addameer – issued a statement on Monday calling these crackdowns “systematic” and “opposed by all international conventions related to the protection of prisoners.”

Addameer estimates there are 5,440 Palestinian political prisoners being held by Israel. Of these, there are 497 administrative detainees, with almost 500 serving sentences longer than 25 years. Among these are 209 children, 46 of whom are under 16 years old, and 48 women.

(Source / 01.04.2019) 

Hamas awaits timeframe for implementation of Israel pledges towards Gaza

Ismail Haniyeh, senior political leader of Hamas, attends a rally at the anniversary march of the "Great March of Return" and "Palestinian Land Day" protests at Israel-Gaza border on March 30, 2019 [Motasem Dalloul / Middle East Monitor]

Ismail Haniyeh, senior political leader of Hamas, attends a rally at the anniversary march of the “Great March of Return” and “Palestinian Land Day” protests at Israel-Gaza border on March 30, 2019

Hamas said that it has been waiting for timeframe for the implementation of the Israeli pledges towards Gaza, spokesman Adul-Latif Al-Qanou said yesterday.

“We are waiting for a timetable to implement the ceasefire understandings with the Israeli occupation,” Al-Qanou said in a press release.

He added that new humanitarian projects would be set up and various measures to ease the Israeli siege on Gaza were due to take place in the near future.

In addition, he said: “These measures are related to Gaza’s electricity crisis, expansion of fishing zone, job creation projects for graduates and youth, freedom of movement, entry of the so-called good of ‘dual-use’, infrastructure projects into the besieged enclave.”

Abbas to Arab nation: ‘Palestinians will face hard times in the future. Do not give up on us’

The Hamas spokesperson added that if the Israeli occupation refused to abide by the ceasefire understandings, the Palestinian people would continue their popular and peaceful protests east of Gaza.

“Hamas, along with the Palestinian factions, is determined to make the Israeli occupation adhere to the understandings brokered by Egypt,” Al-Qanou continued.

He saluted all the Palestinian people for taking part in Saturday’s protests which marked one year since the launch of the Great March of Return and the 43rd anniversary of Palestine’s Land Day.

(Source / 01.04.2019) 

Israel introduces new crowd dispersal weapon against Palestinians

Israeli forces intervene Palestinians with tear gas during a protest within the "Great March of Return" and "Palestinian Land Day" demonstrations at Israel-Gaza border located near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on 03 March 2019. [Hassan Jedi - Anadolu Agency]

Israeli forces intervene Palestinians with tear gas during a protest within the “Great March of Return” and “Palestinian Land Day” demonstrations at Israel-Gaza border located near Al Bureij Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on 03 March 2019

Israel’s occupation army has introduced a new crowd dispersal weapon to be used against Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported on Sunday. According to Wallah,the weapon uses radio waves to make loud bomb-like sounds.

Apparently non-lethal, the weapon was developed in Israel. Soldiers using it on the first anniversary of the Great March of Return protests said that “it was very effective”.

During the latest Israeli crackdown on Palestinian protesters who are demanding their legitimate right of return to their land usurped by Israel since 1948, the occupation troops killed four people, three of whom were just 17 years old, and wounded 316 others. Those wounded included 86 children, 29 women, three paramedics and seven journalists.

Since the start of the Great March of Return protests on 30 March last year, Israel has killed around 280 protesters and wounded more than 30,000 others.

READ: Palestinian prisoner group calls on Israel to reveal details of detainees’ wherabouts

(Source / 01.04.2019) 

Gaza Crossings Opened after One-week Closure

01 APR4:44 AM

Israel has reopened two vital border crossings between the occupied territories and the blockaded Gaza Strip, about a week after it closed them amid escalating tensions with Palestinians in the enclave.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli ministry of military affairs, the unit that oversees the crossings said that the Erez crossing, for people, and the Kerem Shalom crossing, for goods, were reopened on Sunday morning.

They had been closed last Monday, when the Tel Aviv regime launched multiple strikes against Hamas positions in Gaza, following a purported rocket attack that reached deep into occupied territories.

The Kerem Shalom land crossing, between the southern Gaza Strip and the occupied territories, is the main export-import terminal for the inhabitants of the region.

The Erez crossing is situated at the northern end of the Gaza Strip. It indirectly links Gaza with the occupied West Bank.

The reopening also comes after thousands of Palestinians protested along the Gaza border with Israel, on Saturday, marking the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return and the Palestinian Land Day. Four Palestinians were killed during the latest protests.

More than 260 Palestinians have been killed and about 26,000 others injured, by Israeli forces, ever since the Great March of Return protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip, on March 30, 2018, PNN further reports.

Palestinians want an end to the Israeli occupation of their lands. They also demand the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homeland.

The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14 of last year, which coincided with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Gaza has been under Israeli siege since June of 2007, which has caused a decline in living standards.

Israel has launched three major wars against the enclave since 2008, killing thousands of Gazans and shattering the impoverished territory’s already poor infrastructure.

(Source / 01.04.2019) 

Illegal Israeli Colonists Write Racist Graffiti, Cause Damage To Cars, In Jerusalem

01 APR10:23 AM

A group of fanatic illegal Israeli colonists infiltrated, on Monday at dawn, into a neighborhood in Beit Hanina, northern of occupied East Jerusalem, before writing racist graffiti, and caused damage to several Palestinian cars.

The colonists smashed the windows, including the windshields of several cars, and punctured their tires.

They also write racist graffiti on several parked cars, and walls, in the neighborhood before fleeing the scene.

The graffiti includes “death to Arabs,” and call for removing the Palestinian from the country.

Such attacks and violations are a common occurrence in several parts of the occupied West Bank, especially in Jerusalem.

Source / 01.04.2019) 

Israeli Tanks Strike Targets in Gaza following Alleged Rocket Fire

01 APR4:34 AM

Israeli tanks have shelled the Gaza Strip after alleged rocket fire from the blockaded coastal enclave, into the occupied territories.

The Israeli army said that its tanks had hit “a number of positions” belonging to the Hamas movement, in Gaza, early on Sunday morning. The shelling, it claimed, came hours after five rockets were fired at the southern occupied lands from Gaza and triggered sirens in the Eshkol regional council.

A spokesperson for the council claimed, according to Press TV/Al Ray, that the rockets had landed in open territory and no casualties or damage had been reported.

This new act of Israeli aggression followed the regime’s deadly crackdown on a mass protest in Gaza, on Saturday, which marked the anniversary of the Great March of Return and Palestinian Land Day.

Four Palestinian youth were killed and 316 others were injured during the demonstration. Another Palestinian was also shot and killed early Saturday morning, near the Gaza fence, before the rally.

The Tel Aviv regime carries out regular attacks on the Gaza Strip, often claiming that it is hitting positions belonging to Hamas. The coastal strip has been under a crippling siege, by Israel, since 2007, and witnessed three wars with the occupying state since 2008.

Gaza has also witnessed serious tensions since March 30, 2018, which marked the start of the March of Return protests, during which participants have been demanding the right to return for those Palestinians driven out of their homeland due to various forms of Israeli aggression.

The Israeli violence, against the protesters in Gaza, has left at least 266 Palestinians dead and over 30,000 others wounded, over the past year, according to the Gazan Health Ministry. Khalil al-Hayya, a Hamas figure, has stressed that the Palestinian people are determined to continue their protests until their demands are met.

(Source / 01.04.2019) 

IOF abducts two Palestinian teens in Hebron

HEBRON, PALESTINOW.COM — Israeli soldiers abducted, Sunday, two Palestinian teenage-boys in the al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

Media sources said several army jeeps invaded the refugee camp, before the soldiers stormed and ransacked homes.

They added that the soldiers abducted two Palestinian teens, identified as Adam Mohannad Abu Sham’a, 16, and Ismael Maher Sharif, 16, from their homes and took them to an unknown destination.

The soldiers also interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

(Source / 01.04.2019) 

Jewish illegal settlers open fire at Palestinian homes in Hebron

HEBRON, PALESTINOW.COM — An armed illegal Israeli colonialist settler opened fire, on Sunday evening, at several Palestinian homes in the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

Eyewitnesses said the colonist stepped out of its car near the main entrance of the refugee camp and fired several live rounds before fleeing the scene.

The attack did not lead to casualties, while Israeli soldiers invaded the area, and fired many rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades at Palestinian protesters and many surrounding homes.

(Source / 01.04.2019) 

The Authority And President Abbas Gave Me My Son’s Lifeless Body On Mother’s Day

The mother of the assassinated Mahmoud al-Hamlawi: They gave me my son’s lifeless body on Mother’s Day

The mother of the victim, Mahmoud Rashad al-Hamlawi, 32, described the details of the torture and execution of her  son at the hands of  the Palestinian Authority under the control of Mahmoud Abbas’s  prisons in Ramallah.

Al-Hamdawi’s mother said her son left the Gaza Strip to the occupied West Bank to seek a living.

According to the victim’s family, five people attacked his apartment on March 14, kidnapped him under beatings and took him to prison.

The family accused Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and the police of being behind the killing of their son under torture in its prisons.

Meanwhile, a group of “human rights organizations” condemned the crime of torture and murder of young Mahmoud al-Hamlawi by members of the Preventive Security forces before he was handed over to Bitounia prison in Ramallah in a critical health condition that led to his death last Wednesday.

(Source / 01.04.2019)