Islamic Jihad: PA launching war against our supporters in the West Bank

Image of the Palestinian Authority police forces violently intervening a protest against the trial of Basel al-Araj, who was killed during a raid by Israeli soldiers at his home, and his five friends in front of the Ramallah Minor Court in Ramallah, West Bank, March 12, 2017 ( Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency )

Palestinian Authority police force can be seen violently arresting a Palestinian man

Islamic Jihad has accused the Palestinian Authority of waging a “vicious war” against the movement and its supporters in the occupied West Bank.

Movement leader, Khader Habib, said during an interview with Quds Press yesterday that the Palestinian Authority’s security agencies have arrested a number of the movement’s members in the West Bank and cut their salaries.

“The Palestinian Authority exercises its policy of arresting political opponents which is not new despite long appeals to stop these practices,” he said.

He added that the Palestinian Authority is following a plan in the occupied West Bank which serves Israel’s security at the expense of the Palestinian people and resistance.

READ: Hamas condemns PA attacks on West Bank student activists

The PA security services have recently arrested a number of Islamic Jihad members and leaders in the occupied West Bank including freed leaders Ahmed Dar Nasr, 56, and Ahmed Hassan Nasr, 54, as well as leader Riyad Abu-Safiya, 54.

Several Palestinian factions in the West Bank including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine accuse the Fatah dominated PA of carrying out political arrests against members of opposition groups.

READ: Abbas’ commitment to the status quo and international legitimacy has failed Palestinians

(Source / 10.04.2019) 

Israel general: Israel was behind coup against Egypt’s Morsi

Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi, wearing an orange uniform while in prison on 18th August 2016 [Anadolu Agency/Facebook]

Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi, wearing an orange uniform while in prison

Israel worked to overthrow Egypt’s first democratically elected President, Mohamed Morsi, and to orchestrate a coup against him in 2013, Israeli army Brigadier General, Aryeh Eldad, wrote in a local paper.

The writer said in an article in Maariv newspaper that “the outbreak of the January revolutioncoincided with the Israeli security assessment that President-elect Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood man, intended to cancel the peace agreement with Israel and send more Egyptian military forces to the Sinai Peninsula.”

“At that stage, Israel was quick and willing to activate its diplomatic tools, and perhaps even greater means, to bring Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to power in Egypt, and convince the then US administration under President Barack Obama not to oppose this move.”

Eldad stressed that “contrary to all Israeli expectations, the Camp David agreement, which was made 40 years ago, has lasted for many decades despite the lack of real peace between us and the Egyptians, and despite the failure to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, because this conflict is not just geopolitical. We are rather having a religious war with the Palestinians and Arabs.”

He stated that “the stir caused by Israel’s sale of German submarines to Egypt in conjunction with the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Camp David agreement is a new indication that we adhere to having Egypt on our side. And today, 40 years after the Camp David agreement, we reached the conclusion that Israel is fighting shoulder to shoulder.”

READ: Israel, Hamas agree to truce via Egyptian mediators

Eldad pointed out that “it is too early to talk about the usefulness of the peace agreement with Egypt, 40 years after the signing of the Camp David agreement in 1979, and contrary to the expectations that were issued when it was made, the agreement was able to withstand and continue, but opponents of the withdrawal from Sinai were not wrong then, because we did not have a real peace with Egypt.”

He added that “the Camp David agreement is the first of its kind between Israel and a hostile Arab state, which was then the largest and most dangerous Arab country. It resulted in the withdrawal until the last millimetre according to the international border between Egypt and Israel, knowing that I did not expect that Sadat would fulfil his commitment to the peace agreement with Israel, but I was wrong, too.”

(Source / 10.04.2019) 

385 Dunams of Palestinian Land to Be Seized By Israeli Authorities

10 APR1:39 AM

Northern Jordan Valley residents Tuesday received notice from the so-called Israeli Civil Administration, that their agricultural land will be seized by Israeli authorities, according to Maan News Agency.

Local settlement monitor Mutaz Bisharat told Maan the Palestinians of the city of Tubas, northeast of Nablus city, in the Jordan Valley/Tubas district, as well as the towns of Tayasir and Tamoun were informed of Israel’s intent to dispossess them of 385 dunams (95 acres) of their land.

The land, Bisharat said, will be allocated for the construction of new roads for Israeli settlers to travel through the occupied territories. He also observed that the planned roads would be built only meters away from the Palestinian elementary school in Tayasir.

All Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law, as stated in Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention, the occupying force, Israel, is forbidden to transfer its own population onto the land which it occupies.

Approximately 550, 000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied West Bank, in direct violation of the 4th Geneva Convention, while indigenous Palestinians are displaced.

(Source / 10.04.2019) 

Part Of One Of Biggest Colonialist Projects; Israel Issues Orders Illegally Confiscating 401 Dunams Of Lands Near Hebron

10 APR4:50 AM

The Israeli occupation authorities and the military have issued orders illegally confiscating 401 Dunams (99.0893 Acres) of Palestinian lands, to pave a new segregated colonialist road which will also lead to the confiscation of an additional 1273 Dunams (314.5 Acres), as part of a large colonialist project in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, including linking colonies with Gush Etzion Bloc, and occupied Jerusalem.

The planned road is intended to link Gush Etzion colonialist bloc with various illegal colonies in southern West Bank.

The Israeli authorities said that the new road would “serve the public’s interests,” and provide better commute and “security for both the settlers and the Palestinians,” which, in other words, means it is a segregated road.

The Palestinians were given 50 days to file appeals, a process which is usually eventually denied by Israeli courts that serve the interest of its occupation of the West Bank.

The Palestinians said that this road would lead to the isolation of the al-‘Arroub refugee camp and Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, in addition to the large areas of lands it will confiscate.

The road, which was dubbed as al-Arroub bypass road when Israel first announced it in the year 2003, will also pass through archeological areas and a natural reserve, and will lead to the destruction of the Palestinian orchards and farmlands.

It will also pass right near the graveyard of the al-‘Arroub refugee camp in order to link with Karmie Tzur illegal colony, and will lead to the closure of the northern entrance of Halhoul city, which will only have Nabi Younis road as entrance and exit.

The devastation and destruction this road would cause to the Palestinians are enormous, as it will pass through Natural Basin #2 in sections of the Palestinian communities of Khirbat Um Tala’, Khirbat Breqout, Beit Za’ta, Jabal Abu Souda, Freidis, Jabal al-Qarn and Wad ash-Sheikh.

It will also pass through Natural Basin #4, in sections of the villages of Wad al-‘Arroub, and Basin #8, which will lead to the annexation of nearly 740 Dunams of land owned by Beit Ummar residents, north of Hebron.

Also among the impacted areas by this segregated road are sections of Khirbat Um al-Kheiran village, al-Hawawer, Ras al-Qadi, Khirbat Um Daraj, Khirbat Beit Khraf, al-Jomjoma, Ein ash-Shonnar, Um Suleiman, ar-Ramouz, in addition to passing through Basin #10 and parts of Basin #11 in sections of Thaher al-Baw and Wardan, where it could lead to the confiscation of 530 Dunams from Halhoul town.

The path this road is planned to take includes vast areas of Palestinian lands planted with various types of trees, especially almonds and grapevines, in addition to large areas of lands belonging to the research center of the al-Arroub Agricultural College.

It also passes near the Al-Arroub graveyard, and the playground, and could pose serious risks to many Palestinian homes in the al-Arroub refugee camp, as Israel might plan to demolish them to “secure the road,” especially since the army has previously issued orders stopping the construction of homes in the western area of the refugee camp.

The Land Research Center said that the strategic importance of this road to Israel is linking the so-called “Greater Jerusalem” with Keryat Arba’ colonialist block and Karmie Tzur colony and added that the Palestinians would not be allowed to use it in the future.

It is worth mentioning that in the year 1997, the then commander of the Central Command of the Israeli army Illan Birn issued a decision denying the Palestinians access to the bypass road of the Israeli colonies in the area, and his decision was later “frozen” but was never voided.

In 2016, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a report about the Israeli plan to establish a new colony in the property of Beit al-Baraka, meaning “House of Blessing,” built 70 years earlier on a 38-dunam (9.5-acre) church compound located on the main road between Bethlehem and Hebron, opposite to Arroub refugee camp, and warned of humanitarian concerns resulting from his plan.

Beit al-Baraka also used to serve as a hospital providing free treatment to people suffering from tuberculosis until it was shut down in 1983. Jewish settlers later bought the compound from the church, through a fake company.

It said that, in 2012, “a settler organization secretly purchased a property in this location from a Swedish Christian shell organization that had purchased it a few years earlier from a Presbyterian church. The property is known as “Beit al-Baraka” and consists of eight buildings on some 40 Dunams of land.”

Also Read: “Israeli Colonialist Settlers Secretly Establishing New Outpost On Church Compound” IMEMC – May 22, 2015

In October of 2015, the Israeli government decided to “adjust” the boundaries of Gush Etzion to include Beit al-Baraka and its lands.

It its report in April 2016, OCHA warned that “the population and/or operation of the settlement on a permanent basis are likely to result in the adoption of security measures, including restrictions on Palestinian access.

The area surrounding Beit al Baraka is privately owned by farmers from Beit Ummar village and is intensively cultivated with olives, grapes, almonds, apples and seasonal vegetables.”

“Based on common practice in other settlements, farmers have expressed concern about the possible installation of additional fences around the property and the imposition of restrictions impairing access to the area.

This is in addition to pre-existing concerns related to the paving of an alternative by-pass road to the section of Road 60 passing next to Al Arroub camp that may involve the expropriation of land and uprooting of trees.

Additionally, on 14 January 2016, the Israeli authorities demolished two barracks belonging to refugees from Al Arroub camp, previously used as chicken coops, on the grounds that they lacked an Israeli building permit.

|Settlers Demolish Palestinian Homes Built on Church Grounds Despite Court Order|

Two days later, the authorities demolished a concrete wall and a water cistern on the same grounds, and bulldozed a nearby plot of land, uprooting 85 olive, almond and grape trees. These incidents have triggered concerns about the potential demolition of existing structures and crops with outstanding demolition or evacuation orders following the opening of the settlement.

Risk of forced evictionA Palestinian refugee family of seven has lived in one of the compound’s structures for about 40 years under an informal understanding with the Presbyterian church, which employed the head of household in the compound.

Over the past few months, the family has been under pressure from the Swedish organization to vacate the building. On 6 February 2016, three family members (all adult siblings) were prevented by Israeli soldiers from entering their home, unless they signed several documents related to their eviction, which they refused to do. The soldiers also carried out a search of the house.

To date, two of the individuals are still denied access to the compound, while the remaining five family members continue to reside on the site. They live in a very tense environment due to the outstanding threat of eviction and the access gate being under the control of private security guards. The family recently petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court against their eviction and obtained a temporary injunction until a court decision is issued on their case.”

Nevertheless, nearly 18 months after OCHA issued its report, the Israeli government approved a colonialist project with a budget of 800 Million Shekels, to build new segregated roads, for the use of the colonists in the West Bank, including the al-‘Arroub bypass road.

On October 25th, 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a message to the heads of colonies in the occupied West Bank, informing that his government has approved the construction of many bypass roads, and that the budget will be part of the one planned for the year 2018.

However, the implementation was delayed due to the political situation in Israel, including the corruption investigation against Netanyahu, and he currently seems to be trying to win the vote of the colonists in the current election, through this project.

(Source / 10.04.2019) 

Remembering the Massacre at Deir Yassin

10 APR7:48 AM

On this day, 71 years ago, some 120 members of underground Jewish paramilitary groups invaded the Palestinian Arab village of Deir Yassin, killing between 100 and 250 people including men, women, children and the elderly.

With reports of mutilations, rapes and survivors being paraded through Jewish neighbourhoods before being summarily executed, the massacre remains one of the most brutal in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Seven decades later, Palestinians continue to be killed with apparent impunity, as ongoing events in the Gaza Strip demonstrate.

What: The massacre at Deir Yassin

When: 9 April 1948

Where: The village of Deir Yassin on the outskirts of West Jerusalem

What happened?

The massacre took place against the backdrop of the bitter conflict that preceded the end of the British Mandate in Palestine, Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency reports. Just months before, in November 1947, the UN had proposed the division of Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state, with Jerusalem administrated independently of either side by an international body. The Arabs rejected the UN proposal and the conflict became even more intense.

Deir Yassin was a peaceful village of around 400 people that had signed a non-aggression pact and was excluded from clashes elsewhere. Due to its proximity to West Jerusalem, it came under the UN Partition Plan as part of the independent Jerusalem area.

The Jewish forces that invaded Deir Yassin belonged mainly to two extremist, underground, paramilitary groups, the Irgun (National Military Organisation) and the Lehi (Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, also known as the Stern Gang), both of which were aligned with the right-wing Zionist movement; they have been described as “Jewish terrorist” groups. The two groups attacked the village in order to clear the road to Jerusalem of its Arab inhabitants, as well as send a message to the other Palestinians in the region. The Palmach, a unit of the Haganah (the forerunner of the Israel Defence Forces) whose leadership was aligned with the political left, also took part in the massacre to a lesser degree.

The attack force consisted of some 120 fighters, who met for a briefing on the morning before the massacre. Those present later described the atmosphere among the militants as festive, as they prepared to massacre Palestinians in their homes. They arrived at the edge of the village at 4:30am, where they took up positions and started firing at residents. Whilst the Jewish groups had expected the Palestinians to flee, the residents did not foresee the attack to be an attempt to kill them or drive them all away; they thought that it was just a raid, and refused to run.

The militias entered the village, shooting at those in the street and throwing hand grenades into houses, destroying buildings and killing the residents who were hiding inside. Eyewitnesses, including fighters from the Haganah, testified to seeing Irgun and Lehi troops pillaging houses and corpses, stealing money and jewellery from the survivors, and burning corpses. There were also multiple reports of rape and mutilation, as well as an account that villagers were killed after being taken on a victory parade through Jewish neighbourhoods in West Jerusalem.

What happened next?

The Arab emergency committee in Jerusalem learned of the attack at around 9am on the same day. Despite appealing for the British Army to intervene to protect civilians, the British Mandate authorities were not keen to face the Jewish militias; General Sir Gordon MacMillan, the commander of British forces in Palestine, stated infamously that he would risk British lives only for British interests.

Two days after the massacre, Jacques de Reynier, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation in Palestine, visited Deir Yassin. In his personal memoirs, published in 1950, he recalled seeing the bodies of over 200 dead men, women and children: “[One body was] a woman who must have been eight months pregnant, hit in the stomach, with powder burns on her dress indicating she’d been shot point-blank.”

On 14 April, Assistant Inspector-General Richard Catling of the British Palestine Police, conducted interviews with female survivors of the massacre taking refuge in the nearby Palestinian town of Silwan. In a subsequent report he concluded that there was “no doubt” that the Jewish groups had committed numerous sexual atrocities against the villagers.

“Many young schoolgirls were raped and later slaughtered. Old women were also molested. One story is current concerning a case in which a young girl was literally torn in two. Many infants were also butchered and killed. I also saw one old woman who gave her age as one hundred and four who had been severely beaten about the head with rifle butts.”

News of the indiscriminate killings sparked terror among Palestinians, causing many to flee from their towns and villages in the face of Jewish advances. With the news of other atrocities in Haifa and Yaffa, public anger in the Arab world rose to new heights over the following month as they demanded that their governments should take action. Consequently, on 15 May 1948, one day after the British Mandate ended and Israel declared its independence, several Arab armies invaded and the 1948 Arab-Israeli war began.

The aftermath

After the war ended in 1949, the Jewish neighbourhood of Giyat Shaul Bet was built on what used to be Deir Yassin, despite protests and requests that it be left uninhabited. Today, it is part of Har Nof, an Orthodox Jewish area.

Although the two main groups responsible for the massacre were considered underground, extremist militias, both of their leaders, Menachem Begin of the Irgun and Yitzhak Shamir of the Stern Gang, later became Prime Minister of the state of Israel.

Today, Israel continues to kill Palestinians with apparent impunity; outrage from the international community is generally limited to condemnations on global platforms. As the Palestinians mark 70 years since the Nakba (“Catastrophe”, the creation of Israel in Palestine) next month, the lives and rights of those in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to be trampled upon, with millions across the world denied their legitimate right to return to their homes. The massacre at Deir Yassin is a reminder of the inhumanity and brutality at the heart of the ongoing occupation and refugee crisis.

(Source / 10.04.2019) 

Army Abducts Seven Children, Close Bab Al-‘Amoud, In Jerusalem

10 APR10:01 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, seven Palestinian children from their homes in Silwan and Jabal al-Mokabber, and closed Bab al-‘Amoud area, in occupied East Jerusalem.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) said dozens of soldiers invaded Silwan and Jabal al-Mokabber, after surrounding and isolating them, and initiated violent searches of homes.

It added that the army abducted Khader Mohammad Odah, 13, Jihad Jawad Abu Ramouz, 15, Mohammad Jawad Abu Ramouz, 15, Sultan Sarhan, 14, Mohannad Zeid Mashahra, 17, Omarein Suleiman Mashahra, 17, and Odai Adnan Gheith, 17.

The children were heading to their schools, when the soldiers stopped and abducted him, in addition to assaulting two of them, causing various cuts and bruises.

Dozens of soldiers and police officers have been deployed in Bab al-‘Amoud and Sultan Suleiman Street, and sealed them after alleging finding an explosive charge in a plastic bag, and later announced that the suspected explosive was just barrage dumped in the area.

The Israeli measures were carried out as hundreds of students, employees and workers were trying to reach their work places and educational facilities.

(Source / 10.04.2019) 

Israel Holds Palestinian MP Under Administrative Detention

An Israeli court yesterday placed Palestinian MP Hassan Yousef under administrative detention for six months, the Prisoners’ Information Office reported.

Hassan Yousef, 63, was arrested on 2 April from his house in the neighbourhood of Bitonya, near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

Yousef was released from the Israeli occupation’s prisons in October last year after spending ten months under administrative detention.

He has spent a total of approximately 14 years in Israeli jails, most of them under administrative detention.

Administrative detention is the arrest and detention of individuals by the state without charge or trial. It is applicable on a renewable six month term.

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 (Source / 10.04.2019)

Israeli Army Bulldozes Lands, Opens Fire At Workers In Gaza

Days Of Palestine [ Gaza ] –  On Wednesday morning, the Israeli occupation bulldozers infiltrated into a border area in the Gaza Strip, while soldiers opened fire at Palestinian workmen in Rafah south of the Gaza Strip.

Local sources reported that four armored bulldozers left a military post in the east of Rafah and entered a border area to level lands.

They added that Israeli soldiers also opened fire at a group of Palestinian workers as they were collecting aggregate in a border area to the northeast of Rafah, with no reported casualties.

(Source / 10.04.2019) 

The Unfinished Gaza War: What Netanyahu Hopes To Gain From Attacking Palestinian Prisoners

The current violence targeting Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails dates back to January 2. It was then that Israel’s Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan declared that the “party is over.”

“Every so often, infuriating pictures appear of cooking in the terrorist wings. This party is coming to an end,” Erdan was quoted in the Jerusalem Post.

Then, the so-called Erdan’s Committee recommended various measures aimed at ending the alleged “party”, which included placing limits on prisoners’ use of water, banning food preparations in cells, and installing jamming devices to block the alleged use of smuggled cell phones.

The last measure, in particular, caused outrage among prisoners, for such devices have been linked to severe headaches, fainting, and other long-term ailments.

Erdan followed his decision with a promise of the “use of all means in (Israel’s) disposal” to control any prisoners’ protests in response to the new restrictions.

The Israel Prison Service (IPS) “will continue to act with full force” against prison “riots”, he said, as reported by the Times of Israel.

That “full force” was carried out on January 20 at the Ofer Military Prison near Ramallah, in the West Bank, where a series of Israeli raids resulted in the wounding of more than 100 prisoners, many of whom sustaining bullet wounds.

The Nafha and Gilboa prisons were also targeted with the same violent pattern.

The raids continued, leading to more violence in the Naqab Prison on March 24, this time conducted by the IPS force, known as the Metzada unit.

Metzada is IPS’ ‘hostage rescue special operation’ force and is known for its very violent tactics against prisoners. Its attack on Naqab resulted in the wounding of many prisoners, leaving two in critical condition. Palestinian prisoners fought back, reportedly stabbing two prison-guards with sharp objects.

On March 25, more such raids were conducted, also by Metzada, which targeted Ramon, Gilboa, Nafha and Eshel prisons.

In response, the leadership of Palestinian prisoners adopted several measures including the dismantling of the regulatory committees and any other form of representation of prisoners inside Israeli jails.

The decentralisation of Palestinian action inside Israeli prisons would make it much more difficult for Israel to control the situation and would allow prisoners to use whichever form of resistance they may deem fit.

But why is Israel provoking such confrontations when Palestinian prisoners are already subjected to a most horrid existence and numerous violations of international law?

Equally important, why now?

On December 24, embattled Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and other leaders of Israel’s right-wing government dissolved the Knesset (parliament) and declared early elections on April 9.

A most winning strategy for Israeli politicians during such times is usually increasing their hostility against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, including the besieged Gaza Strip.

Indeed, a hate-fest, involving many of Israel’s top candidates kicked in, some calling for war on Gaza, others for teaching Palestinians a lesson, annexing the West Bank, and so on.

Merely a week after the election date announcement was made, raids of prisons began in earnest.

For Israel, it seemed like a fairly safe and controlled political experiment. Video footage of Israeli forces beating up hapless prisoners, accompanied by angry statements made by top Israeli officials captured the imaginations of a decidedly right-wing, militant society.

And that’s precisely what took place, at first. However, on March 25, a flare in violence in Gaza led to limited, albeit, undeclared war.

A full-fledged Israeli war on Gaza would be a big gamble during an election season, especially as recent events suggest that the time of easy wars is over. While Netanyahu adopted the role of the decisive leader, so determined to crush the Gaza resistance, his options on the ground are quite limited.

Even after Israel accepted Egyptian-mediated ceasefire terms with the Gaza factions, Netanyahu continued to talk tough.

“I can tell you we are prepared to do a lot more,” Netanyahu said about the Israeli attack on Gaza during a video speech beamed to his supporters in Washington on March 26.

But, for once, he couldn’t, and that failure, from an Israeli viewpoint, intensified verbal attacks by his political rivals.

Netanyahu has “lost his grip on security,” the Blue and White party leader, Benny Gantz proclaimed.

Gantz’s accusation was just another insult in an edifice of similar blistering attacks questioning Netanyahu’s ability to control Gaza.

A poll, conducted by the Israeli TV channel, Kan on March 27, found that 53% of Israelis believe that Netanyahu’s response to the Gaza resistance is “too weak.”

Unable to counter with more violence, at least for now, the Netanyahu government responded by opening another battlefront, this time in Israeli prisons.

By targeting prisoners, especially those affiliated with certain Gaza factions, Netanyahu is hoping to send a message of strength and to assure his nervous constituency of his prowess.

Aware of the Israeli strategy, Hamas’ political leader, Ismail Haniyeh linked the ceasefire to the issue of prisoners.

We “are ready for all scenarios,” Haniyeh said in a statement.

In truth, the Netanyahu-Erdan war on Palestinian prisoners is foolish and unwinnable. It has been launched with the assumption that a war of this nature will have limited risks, since prisoners are, by definition, isolated and unable to fight back.

To the contrary, Palestinian prisoners have, without question, demonstrated their tenacity and ability to devise ways to resist the Israeli occupier throughout the years. But more importantly, these prisoners are far from being isolated.

The nearly 6,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails represent whatever semblance of unity among Palestinians that transcends factions, politics and ideology.

Considering the direct impact of the situation in Israeli prisons on the collective psyche of all Palestinians, any more reckless steps by Netanyahu, Erdan and their IPS goons will soon result in greater collective resistance, a struggle that Israel cannot easily suppress.

(Source / 10.04.2019) 

Israeli forces invade prison cells of Palestinian leaders Ahmad Sa’adat and Walid Daqqa

Israeli occupation forces invaded the rooms of Palestinian prisoners and national leaders on Wednesday, 10 April. Repressive forces from the “Yamar Dror” units invaded the rooms of Ahmad Sa’adat, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Walid Daqqa, the longest-held PFLP prisoner and a widely published Palestinian writer.

The invasion came after Daqqa was arbitrarily and suddenly transferred from Ramon prison to Hadarim prison; both Sa’adat and Daqqa were targeted in retaliation for their role in the “Battle of Dignity 2,” the mass hunger strike now on its third day in Israeli occupation prisons. Sa’adat, who is held in Ramon prison, is part of the prisoners’ coordinating committee for the strike. There are reportedly approximately 400 Palestinian prisoners taking part in the strike, with more scheduled to join in batches on 11 April, 13 April and 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.

From Baqaa’ al-Gharbiyeh in occupied Palestine ’48, Walid Daqqa has spent over 32 years in Israeli prisons, accused of kidnapping and killing an Israeli occupation soldier. Daqqa has become a prominent figure inside Israeli prisons and in the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, writing about his experience and that of fellow prisoners and gaining his masters’ degree.

The staging of a play that reflects Daqqa’s stories and experiences, “A Parallel Time,” in Haifa’s al-Midan Theater in 2015, sparked attempts by the Israeli state to defund the theater and other Palestinian cultural institutions. Daqqa also wrote a children’s book that was published last year, “The Story of the Secret of the Oil.” The book won awards at Arab festivals, while Israeli officials attempted to suppress its publication and distribution. A launch event for the book in the town of Majd al-Kurum was shut down by far-right Israeli minister Aryeh Deri.

The Palestinian prisoners’ strike was launched in response to escalated repression inside the Israeli prisons directed by the minister of internal security Gilad Erdan (also directing international attacks against BDS organizing and Palestine solidarity and working to suppress freedom of expression around the world in his role as the Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs.) Erdan, a far-right minister of the Likud party, has also used the attacks on the Palestinian prisoners as a plank in his Israeli electoral campaigning, a campaign that has been marked by competition over war crimes, apartheid and racism.

The prisoners’ demands include:

  • Installation of public telephones in the prisons and removal of the cell-phone “jammer” devices installed by the occupation, which reportedly have negative health effects
  • An end of the collective punishments imposed by prison authorities since 2014 and especially the sanctions imposed recently on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails after the repressive attacks in Negev and Ofer prisons.
  • Cancellation of a ban on family visits imposed on hundreds of prisoners and return to a normal (twice-monthly) schedule of family visits for all prisoners.
  • Ending the policy of medical negligence and dull access to medical treatment for injured, wounded and ill prisoners
  • Ending isolation and solitary confinement
  • Improved conditions and freedom for the child prisoners
  • Improving the conditions on the “bosta” for prisoner transfer and addressing violations of Palestinian women prisoners’ human rights.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its strongest support for the Palestinian prisoners’ movement as it launches this critical battle for dignity and justice. We urge people around the world to take action to support the prisoners’ strike and join their struggle. The Palestinian prisoners will not be isolated or left alone! International solidarity is critical to building support, attention and pressure to help them achieve their demands. 

Take Action!

1) Organize or join an event or protest for the Palestinian prisoners. From today, organize demonstrations, actions and events and join in the Prisoners’ Week of Action from 17 to 24 April 2019! You can organize an info table, rally, solidarity hunger strike, protest or action to support the prisoners. If you are already holding an event about Palestine or social justice, include solidarity with the prisoners as part of your action. Send your events and reports to samidoun@samidoun.net.

2) Write letters and make phone calls to protest the violation of Palestinian prisoners’ rights. Demand your government take action to stop supporting Israeli occupation or to pressure the Israeli state to end the policies of repression of Palestinian political prisoners.

Call during your country’s regular office hours:

• Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marise Payne: + 61 2 6277 7500
• Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland: +1-613-992-5234
• European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
• New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters: +64 4 439 8000
• United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt: +44 20 7008 1500
• United States President Donald Trump: 1-202-456-1111

3) Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Join the BDS campaign to highlight the complicity of corporations like Hewlett-Packard and the continuing involvement of G4S in Israeli policing and prisons. Build a campaign to boycott Israeli goods, impose a military embargo on Israel, or organize around the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

(Source / 10.04.2019)