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Prisoners declare 3-day mourning following Oweisat’s death

Aziz Oweisat

The Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have announced a three-day mourning over the death of prisoner Aziz Oweisat, 53.

Head of the Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission, Isa Qaraqe, on Sunday said that tension has prevailed in most Israeli prisons after Oweisat was pronounced dead.

Qaraqe said that the prisoners, when they learned about the death of Oweisat, who died after his health deteriorated after he was assaulted by Israeli guards, started to bang on prison doors in protest at the “heinous crime”.

He called on the UN to immediately send an international commission of inquiry to the Israeli prisons to find out the real causes of this crime and make recommendations to the competent authorities to hold the perpetrators accountable.

The Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission pointed out that martyr Oweista suffered severe bleeding and a heart attack after being violently beaten by Israeli prison guards in Eshel prison on 2nd May.

According to the Commission, Oweisat entered a coma and was transferred to Ramle prison clinic then to Assaf Harofeh Hospital. His health deteriorated further, so he was taken to Tel Hashomer Hospital.

Oweisat was later returned to Assaf Harofeh, where he died, after the administration of Tel Hashomer refused to allow him to stay there despite his critical condition.

Oweisat, a resident of Jabal al-Mukaber town south of Jerusalem, was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Oweisat’s death brought the number of Palestinians killed while detained by the Israeli authorities since 1967 to 216, 75 of whom were executed, 72 died under interrogation, 62 died as a result of medical negligence, and 7 were deliberately shot by Israeli guards inside prisons.

(Source / 21.05.2018)

112 Palestinians killed by Israeli military on Gaza border in weeks

112 Pal's killed Gaza

The Palestinian Health Ministry kept record of the murder of 112 Palestinians by Israeli gunfire since the launch of the Great March of Return protests on the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel on March 30.

In a Sunday statement, the Health Ministry said 112 Palestinians, including eight minors below 18-years-old, were killed and 13,190 others wounded by the Israeli army since March 30.

The bodies of six more Palestinian protesters have been withheld by the Israeli occupation authorities.

According to the ministry’s data, 2,096 minors and 1,029 women have been left wounded in the protests.

The condition of 332 wounded Palestinians has been identified as critical.

The ministry also said 502 protesters were injured in their heads or necks, 283 in the chests or backs, 938 in their upper limbs, and 325 in their lower limbs.

At the same time, 32 protesters have undergone a limb amputation.

A Palestinian civil defense paramedic was killed and 37 ambulances were damaged, the ministry further pointed out.

(Source / 21.05.2018)

Bukairat warns of settlers’ desecration of Aqsa Mosque in Ramadan

Sheikh Najeh Bukairat

Sheikh Najeh Bukairat, director of the Islamic Waqf Authority’s Religious Education, has warned of Israeli attempts to impose a new fait accompli at the Aqsa Mosque through increasing Jewish settlers’ tours of its courtyards during the holy month of Ramadan.

“The Zionist occupation has overstepped all red lines and has no regard for Ramadan, Shaaban or Shawwal. It is trying to impose a new fait accompli [at the Aqsa Mosque],” Bukairat told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC).

Previously, he noted, the Jewish settlers had been banned from entering the Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.

He affirmed that the Aqsa Mosque becomes full of Muslim worshipers during Ramadan and Jewish settlers’ presence in its courtyards nowadays is considered a deliberate provocation to them.

The Palestinian official expressed his belief that “the settlers’ desecration of the Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan is intended to break the Muslims’ feelings and send a message that Israel is the master that controls everything.”

He described such Israeli violations against the Islamic holy site as “very serious” and called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to take action to protect the Muslims’ right to worship and put an end to the settlers’ break-ins at the Aqsa Mosque, especially during Ramadan.

(Source / 21.05.2015)

Palestinian female detainees enduring harsh conditions in Israel jails

Female prisoners

The Prisoners’ and Ex-Prisoners’ Commission raised on Sunday alarm bells over the dire conditions endured by 62 Palestinian women and girls in Israeli jails.

In a Sunday statement the commission quoted lawyer Hiba Ighbariyah as stating that the Israeli prison service at HaSharon jail decided to reduce the number and quantity of meals handed over to the detainees under the guise of new regulations.

The female detainees said the food handed over to them by the Israeli wardens is rotten and unfit for human consumption.

The commission also said Palestinian female detainees in Damon lock-up have been subjected to mistreatment during their transfer to and back from Israeli courts via the “bosta” vehicle, where they are often forced to seat, handcuffed, on metal chairs and prevented from drinking water and going to the toilet.

(Source / 21.05.2015)

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas hospitalised – Officials

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds an urgent cabinet meeting in Ramallah, West Bank on 14 May, 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds an urgent cabinet meeting in Ramallah, West Bank on 14 May, 2018

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been hospitalised in the West Bank due to complications after minor surgery last week, a Palestinian official said on Sunday.

It was the third time Abbas, 82, had been hospitalised in a week. He underwent minor ear surgery on Tuesday and was hospitalised again briefly overnight on Saturday/Sunday, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

A Palestinian official in Ramallah said Abbas went back into hospital again later on Sunday because his temperature was high “so doctors advised that he go back into hospital.”

Two statements were issued by Wafa on Sunday. The first, half an hour after midnight, said Abbas had gone into hospital “for a checkup to review the surgery that he had in his middle ear a few days ago at al-Istishari hospital in Ramallah. At the end of the tests, the results turned out to be excellent,” the statement said, and Abbas left hospital.

A second statement carried by Wafa on Sunday afternoon reported the medical manager of al-Istishari hospital, Dr. Saed Sarahneh, said the results of the medical tests were “good” and that his medical condition was “reassuring.”

Abbas to Gaza: Keep children away from border protests

A Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the high temperature may have resulted from a failure of an ear inflammation to heal completely.

In February, Abbas was hospitalised in the United States for medical checks during a trip to address the UN Security Council in New York.

Abbas became Palestinian president after the death in 2004 of Yasser Arafat. He pursued US-led peace talks with Israel but the negotiations broke down in 2014.

He is also chairman of the executive committee of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation, a position to which he was re-elected unopposed on May 4.

Ahed’s generation: Why the youth in Palestine must break free from dual oppression

(Source / 21.05.2018)

Controversial hidden camera programme reveals Tunisian links with Israel

Tunisian flag raised up at Belvedere Park in Tunis on 20 March, 2017 [Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian flag raised up at Belvedere Park in Tunis on 20 March, 2017

A private Tunisian TV channel has gone ahead with the broadcast of a controversial hidden camera exposé programme. “Shalom” tackles the issue of normalisation with the Israeli occupation, Quds Press has reported.

Tunisna Channel explained that the programme shows a scenario whereby a politician or public figure is supposedly invited for an interview with CNN. It turns out, though, that the “interviewer” is actually an Israeli official offering the guest the opportunity to deal with Israel in exchange for financial and political support.

According to producer Walid Zribi, the “guests” have been putting pressure on Tunisna not to broadcast “Shalom”. The media expert explained that the programme “aims to expose Tunisian political figures who are willing to deal with Israel.”

The channel denied allegations that it was under pressure not to broadcast the programme and pointed out that the broadcast material does not meet the normal quality standards. It added that the current context of the Palestinian issue makes the content of the programme a clear provocation to viewers and a search for excitement in a subject that does not tolerate humour or derision. It added that those who were stung by the programme were “mainly a group of artists and politicians who have no authority or influence to exert pressure on any party.”

Tunisia bans Israel delegations from sports contest

According to the presidential foreign affairs adviser Anouar Al-Gharbi, “The idea of a hidden camera programme over the normalisation with the Zionist occupation at this time in particular raises many question marks.” He pointed out that Tunisians are fully in favour of the unarmed Palestinians who face the crimes of the Israeli occupation in the Great Return Marches.

“The crimes of the Zionist entity against Tunisia amount to more than a hidden camera,” Al-Gharbi told Quds Press. “They are facts on the ground, especially with regard to the events of Hammam Chott [bombed by Israel in 1985], the murder of [the PLO’s] Abu Jihad and the assassination of Engineer Mohamed Zouari.”

However, Ahmed Al-Kahlawi, the head of the National Association to support Arab resistance in Palestine and Iraq, said that regardless of the source of the programme it lets Tunisians know about Israel’s recruitment of public figures to serve its objectives… “even if the style of the programme needs to be discussed.” Al-Kahlawi told Quds Press that the Tunisian media is under the influence of the pro-Israel media and the advertising companies” associated with it. “Many media professionals may have fallen under the influence of these foreign companies, so Tunisia’s national security forces must put an end to this Zionist intervention which we see in tourism, culture and even security itself.”

Protest in Tunisia against normalisation with Israeli occupation

This was particularly evident, he added, when the Tunisian aviation engineer Mohamed Zouari was assassinated in front of his house in December 2016, and Israel’s Channel 10 had a reporter breaking the story from in front of Zouari’s house. “This was in addition to the broadcast of a later report from in front of the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior.”

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) accused Israel of assassinating Zouari, who was a member of Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the movement.

Al-Kahlawi pointed out that the Tunisian government is also “involved in normalisation” through what are called “pilgrimages” to the Ghriba Synagogue in Djerba. “They appear to be religious, but are, in fact, a Zionist breakthrough.”

Israel’s Channel TV7 was wandering around the country, and then reported the statements of the Mufti of Tunisia, Othman Battikh, about the International Symposium on Dialogue among Religions and Civilisations, which was recently organized in Djerba. “The Mufti of Tunisia would not do this without the permission of the government,” he insisted, “especially since the Zionist rabbis, whose hands are stained with the blood of Tunisians, Palestinians and Arabs, and who toured Tunisia, would not have entered the country without receiving official invitations from ministries in the Tunisian government.”

(Source / 21.05.2018)

Israel publishes list of Hamas ‘most wanted’

Members of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas, take part in a military parade on the third anniversary of Israel's attacks on Gaza in Khan Yunis, Gaza on 20 July 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Members of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas, in Gaza on 20 July 2017

Israel has published an updated “most wanted” list of Hamas leaders in the besieged Gaza Strip, Israeli Reshet news site reported.

The site, which has previously published a list of wanted persons, some of whom were assassinated during Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza, said that the commander-in-chief of the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Deif, heads the list.

According to the site, despite being injured from a previous assassination attempt, Deif remains Hamas’ military commander and manages the Qassam Brigades.

His deputy, Marwan Issa, also appears on the list, while Ahmed Al-Ghandour, who heads the brigades’ northern branch, is also to be targeted. According to the site, Al-Ghandour had a hand in the capture of Israeli occupation soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.

Israel arrests Birzeit students due to ‘links’ with Hamas

The list also includes the commander of the Khan Yunis Brigade, Muhammad Al-Sunwar, has been a member of the Qassam Brigades since the 1990s. Al-Sunwar has survived six assassination attempts and has previously been detained by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Alleged members of Hamas who live abroad are also included on the list. Amongst them is Maan A-Khatib in Malaysia as well as Mahmoud Atoun and Musa Akkari who both live in Turkey. Israel accuses the men of transferring money to Gaza and the West Bank for military purposes.

(Source / 21.05.2018)

Detainee ‘Oweisat Dies From His Serious Wounds Inflicted by Israeli Soldiers

21 MAY
3:22 AM

The Palestinian Detainees’ Committee has reported that detainee Aziz ‘Oweisat, 53, died at an Israeli hospital from serious complications after he was assaulted by several Israeli soldiers in the prison, who claimed he attacked an officer with a sharp object.

The Committee said ‘Oweisat, from Jabal al-Mokabber in occupied Jerusalem, was taken prisoner on March 24, 2014, and was sentenced to a life term.

The Committee added that he suffered brain hemorrhage and a heart attack after the soldiers continuously assaulting him in Eshil Israeli prison, on May 2, 2018, and went into a coma before he was moved to Ramla Israeli Medical Center.

Later, the detainee was moved to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center due to the seriousness of his condition, but he suffered further deterioration, and was transferred to Tal HaShomer Medical Center.

On May 10th, 2018, he underwent heart surgery at Tal HaShomer Israeli Medical Center, and lasted for nearly three hours.

Despite his serious condition, he was returned a few days ago to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, after the Administration of Tal HaShomer refused to keep him hospitalized at their facility.

The Detainees’ Committee said he died at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, due to the seriousness of his condition.

It is worth mentioning that the Detainees’ Committee filed an urgent appeal with an Israeli court asking for his release so that he could receive steady medical attention, and the court scheduled the hearing for May 25th. He did not make it to the hearing, however, since he died on May 20th.

The detainees in Israeli prisons and detention camps declared a three-day mourning period, and demanded that Israel be held accountable for its violations and crimes.

For its part, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) held Israel fully responsible for his death, especially since the Israeli Prison Authority refused to release him despite its knowledge of his serious condition.

It added that seven Palestinian detainees have died in the last five years after being denied medical attention, in addition to ‘Oweisat.

The PPS also said that 216 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons and interrogation centers since Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Golan and East Jerusalem, in 1967.

It added that 75 detainees were executed after the soldiers arrested them, 72 died while being tortured during interrogation, 7 were killed by the soldiers in prisons, and 62 died after being denied medical treatment.

The head of the Palestinian Detainees’ Committee, Issa Qaraqe, accused Israel of deliberately killing the detainee, and called for establishing an international committee to investigate Israeli crimes and violations against the detainees.

On Sunday night, dozens of Palestinians held a procession in Jabal al-Mokabber neighborhood, before the soldiers invaded the area and engaged in an excessive use of force against them.

The soldiers fired several live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs, while many youngsters hurled stones at them.

(Source / 21.05.2018)

10-year-old child injured in hit-and-run attack by Israeli settler

Hit and run child Hawara

A Palestinian child was injured on Thursday evening in a hit-and-run attack by an Israeli settler driving in Hawara town, south of Nablus.

Activist Ghassan Daghlas said an Israeli settler rammed his car into 10-year-old Ayman Oudeh in Hawara and ran away, leaving the child bleeding.

The child was evacuated to a local hospital so as to be treated for the moderate wounds sustained in the attack.

(Source / 19.05.2018)

Deadliest day in Gaza since 2014: devastating injuries and medics under attack

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is greatly saddened by the high loss of life and further mass casualties in Gaza this week and outraged that the safety of medical workers in Gaza was once again endangered as they carried out their vital humanitarian functions.

Monday 14 May was the deadliest day in Gaza since 2014. According to the Ministry of Health, 60 Palestinians were killed, including eight children and one health worker, and 2,771 injured after the use of live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas by Israeli forces targeting demonstrators. Of those hospitalised, 1359 suffered gunshot wounds.

Medical teams in Gaza also came under attack. Paramedic Musa Abuhassanin was fatally shot in the chest and 18 health personnel were injured, including Canadian-Palestinian doctor Tarek Loubani who was shot in both legs. Seven ambulances were damaged after they were targeted with tear gas canisters.

The following day, on the 70 anniversary of the Nakba, two Palestinians were reported to have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, and 417 injured. Multiple demonstrations also took place today across the West Bank, in commemoration of the Nakba. Initial figures from UN OCHA indicate that at least 166 Palestinians, including four children, were injured.

Since the Great March of Return demonstrations began on 30 March, at least 102 Palestinians, including 12 children, have been killed by Israeli forces during the course of the protests and more than 12,271 injured. 6,760 Palestinians have been hospitalised, including 3,598 (53 %) by live ammunition. More Palestinians have been injured in the demonstrations (12,271) than during Israel’s 51-day military offensive on Gaza in 2014 (11,231).

On Monday 14 May one Israeli soldier was lightly wounded and taken to hospital for treatment, the first Israeli casualty reported to date. There does not appear to have been any threat to them or to others that could have justified the widespread use of lethal and other excessive force.

Speaking to the New Statesman from Gaza this week, MAP CEO Aimee Shalan said:

Our UK programme director and senior surgeons, here as part of an orthoplastic team, have all been in conflict zones before, but they say they have never seen injuries on the scale they saw yesterday [Monday 14 May]. Ambulances, triage areas, emergency rooms and theatres were all full.

I have visited Gaza many times, and I have never seen the situation this bad before – in terms of morale, it is rock bottom. The people here are exhausted by Israel’s closure and blockade, which has lasted 11 years.

Dr Andy Ferguson, MAP’s Director of Programmes, described the devastating injuries he saw in Gaza’s hospitals:

MAP is responding directly to help local teams treat the injured through the provision of essential medical supplies including medicines, disposables and equipment for orthopaedic surgery. We also supported three medics, orthopaedic surgeon Graeme Groom, consultant plastic surgeon Tom Potokar and plastic and reconstructive surgeon Ghassan Abu Sitta, who were in Gaza this week working alongside local teams to treat the large number of complex limb injuries as a result of the use of live fire. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of supporters who have made our rapid response possible. Thank you.

Find out more about MAP’s emergency response

MAP’s team in Gaza have reported that the health system is near breaking point after receiving so many devastating and disabling injuries. Chronic shortages in medicines and disposables have spiked in recent months and are particularly acute for cancer, cardiac and dialysis patients. In addition, hospitals suffer from severe shortages of fuel to keep generators running and services open and are functioning on just four or five hours of mains supply of electricity a day.

At a press conference at Al Shifa Hospital, the Ministry of Health called for international support to prevent the complete collapse of the healthcare system in Gaza.

The blockade of almost 2 million people in Gaza has been labelled “collective punishment” by the UN Secretary General, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory and by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Collective punishment is prohibited under international law.

11 years of closure, three major offensives by Israeli armed forces, 51 years of occupation and chronic fuel shortages have together pushed Gaza to the brink of being an “unliveable” environment, as the UN warned several years ago.

MAP repeats its call to the UK Government and the international community to:

  • Support and actively work toward credible, independent investigation into Israel’s use of force against protesters in Gaza and ensure that suspected wrongdoers are held to account;
  • Provide immediate support to Gaza’s health system, which is fast running out of supplies to treat the wounded;
  • Reiterate a commitment to strengthening international law pertaining to respect for and protection of medical personnel and facilities, including by promoting adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 2286 (2016);
  • Demand an end to Israel’s 11-year closure and blockade of Gaza; and
  • Make a public statement which re-iterates the relevant international law with regards to the situation in Gaza

(Source / 19.05.2018)