Woman from Jenin Now Longest Serving Female Prisoner in Israeli Detention

The Palestinian Center for Detainees stated Tuesday that Hana Al-Shalabi has now been in Israeli administrative detention for longer than any other female prisoner, according to sources at Ma’an News Agency.


Hana Al-Shalabi (Photo Credit: Maan News Agency)

Al-Shalabi was kidnapped and put in administrative detention in 2009. She has now been held in Hasharon Prison for two years.

She has not been permitted to have contact with her family at any time during her detention.

Israeli authorities have repeatedly postponed her trial, providing no legal justification each time.

Also, the Israeli Shabak refuses to tell her why she is being detained.

Administrative detention allows the Israeli government to detain individuals who pose a threat to national security without trial or sentencing. The detention is subject to a judicial review and renewal on a regular basis.

There are currently over 800 Palestinians being held in administrative detention according to prisoner rights group Addameer.

The practice is condemned by prisoner and human rights groups all over the world.

(www.imemc.org / 19.10.2011)

Concerns over Palestinian children in Israeli custody

GAZA CITY (IRIN) — While there have been emotional scenes after the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, concerns are being raised about the plight of 164 Palestinian children from the West Bank in Israeli custody.

They were either sentenced or are being detained, mainly for stone-throwing, according to the UN Children’s Fund which, along with other international NGOs, is appealing to the Israeli government to release all Palestinian children in Israeli military detention.

It is unclear whether the children will be part of the second wave of 550 releases in the coming two months.

“UNICEF calls on the Israeli Government to release Palestinian child detainees so that they can be reunited with their families,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF special representative in the occupied Palestinian territory. “As stated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the detention of children should be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time,” she said.

The Israeli Justice Ministry was unable to confirm the number of Palestinian children detained by Israel.

Rami AbuHaneieh, aged 14 and from Hebron, was arrested by Israeli forces one month ago for throwing stones. “I have not been permitted to see or speak with him since his arrest,” said his mother, Khloud AbuHaneieh, a primary school teacher. His lawyer was allowed to visit Rami once, said Khloud, adding that her son may be released as part of the second wave of the prisoner swap.

International NGO Defence for Children International-Palestine Section also issued an urgent appeal for the children to be freed.

According to the latest figures released by the Israeli Prison Service and DCI-Palestine, on 1 October there were 164 Palestinian children (aged 12-17) in Israeli detention facilities, including 35 aged 12-15. Seventy-six of these children have been sentenced, while 88 children are being held in pre-trial detention.

The number of Palestinian child detained in Israel fluctuates, said UNICEF spokesperson Catherine Weibel in Jerusalem. In 2010, on average 250 children were in detention each month, and in 2009 the monthly average reached 300, she said.

Military and civil courts

DCI estimates each year about 700 Palestinian children aged 12-17 from the West Bank are prosecuted in Israeli military courts after being arrested, interrogated and detained by the Israeli army, police or security agents. According to UNICEF, over 7,000 Palestinian children were arrested and detained by Israeli authorities over the past 10 years.

Sabri Awad, 16, from Beit Umr, near Hebron, was arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers three weeks ago. “Our family and his lawyer have not been allowed to see or speak with him,” said his 18-year-old brother, Yousif Awad, unsure why Sabri was arrested.

In 2010 two children were being held in administrative detention (detention without charge or trial authorized by administrative order rather than judicial decree) in violation of international law, reports UNICEF, although there are none at present.

According to UNICEF spokesperson Weibel, Palestinian children from East Jerusalem are tried in civil courts administered by the Israeli police, just the same as Israeli children. Palestinian children from the West Bank are tried in military courts.

Palestinians arrested by the Israeli army in the West Bank fall under the jurisdiction of Israeli “military legislation”. This is a separate military court system that applies only to oPt, according to the Israeli army.

Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN special representative for children in armed conflict says: “Juvenile justice standards are clear; children should not be tried before military tribunals.”

Since Israel’s “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Palestinians from Gaza detained by Israeli authorities are generally prosecuted in Israel under civilian security legislation, and not under military law.

It is a violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention to remove children under military occupation from occupied territory, said spokesperson Weibel, thereby prohibiting family visits.

The Israeli army admits that most Palestinian detainees are imprisoned inside Israel, but argues that removing Palestinians from oPt is approved by the Israeli High Court of Justice and is consistent with Israeli law.

Ill-treatment

According to DCI, reports of torture and/or ill-treatment during the arrest, transfer and interrogation stages in the system, when children may be pressured to sign confessions, have persisted for years.

“Ill-treatment starts at the moment of arrest, when many children report experiencing terrifying night-time raids on the family home, before being tied, often painfully so, and blindfolded,” reports DCI.

Also, children continue to be interrogated in the absence of a lawyer and/or a parent, and continue to be denied bail in around 90 percent of cases in violation of Article 37(b) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, according to DCI.

The Israeli Prisons Authority was unavailable for comment.

In 2010, there were at least 90 cases documented of the ill-treatment of Palestinian children while detained by Israeli authorities, says Weibel, and in 2009 there were at least 101 cases documented.

Hamas deputy foreign minister Ghazi Hamad, who participated in talks with Israel to broker the prisoner swap deal, told IRIN: “Nearly 200 children and medical patients being held prisoner may be part of the second wave [of prisoner releases].”

(www.maannews.net / 19.10.2011)

Shalit: Hamas treated me well

Cairo, (PIC)– The Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has told the Egyptian TV in an interview shortly after his release from Gaza on Tuesday that Hamas treated him well during his five years in captivity.

Shalit, who said he was dismayed at his government for leaving him in captivity for five years, said that he was in good health.

He said that he received news of his release a week ago, and added he could not describe his joy at being set free.

Shalit said that he would be happy if all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were freed and returned to their families.

(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 19.10.2011)

Journalist killed in Yemen

Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns the death of Al-Yemen TV cameraman Abd Al-Ghani Al-Bureihi, who was fatally shot yesterday when security forces opened fired on protesters during a massive demonstration in Sanaa to call for President Ali Abdallah Saleh’s resignation. Around 20 people were killed during the weekend protests.

Al-Bureihi’s death brings to six the number of journalists killed in Yemen since the pro-democracy protests began in February. It has again highlighted the dangers to which journalists covering these protests are exposed. Two other cameramen, including Salah Al-Hatar of Al-Jazeera, were reportedly injured during yesterday’s demonstration.

Reporters Without Borders offers its condolences to Al-Bureihi’s family, friends and colleagues and reiterates its appeal for an end to the violence against civilians, including journalists. The Yemeni authorities must answer for Al-Bureihi’s death.

Journalists and news media have been involved in several incidents in the past few days. Reporters Without Borders has learned that Abd Al-Karim Thail, the editor of the 3 February website, was arrested as he was leaving his Sanaa home in the company of the activist Hamir Al-Muqbili on 14 October. His website posts information about the uprising in Yemen.

The Sanaa headquarters of the privately-owned TV station Al-Saida caught fire during clashes between security forces and members of the 1st Armoured Division who are backing the protesters. The station sustained a great deal of damage and much of its equipment was destroyed.

Ever since President Saleh’s return from Saudi Arabia on 3 October, the pro-government TV stations have been waging a hate campaign against many journalists, accusing them of treason and espionage. This has triggered a wave of attacks and violence against a growing number of media personnel.

In a statement last week, the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate condemned the “carnage” and “relentless slaughter” of civilians and journalists by forces loyal to President Saleh and reiterated its call to the government to put a stop to the targeting of journalists.

(bikyamasr.com / 19.10.2011)

Dutch media kidnapped

Today i have phoned with the National Press Agency in the Netherlands (ANP) with the question why there is so much news about the Israeli military man who came free and his almost complete history and nothing about the Palestinian people who have suffered too. The only I have seen was a woman who has organized a bombing in Israel.

Let me say again I am against all violence against man and animal, against any murdering by which party it has done and I a regret all the people who are murdered. But I get really pissed off when the media and special the Dutch media who is talking only with the Israeli victims and the  possible perpetrator from Palestine, without giving news or talking with the victims in Palestine.

Every day is the same in the Dutch media and western media: all what we hear is news about the poor victims in Israel and never
about the poor people in Palestine.  In a program on Dutch TV we could hear about the inhuman time for the Israeli
military man in a white prison; it is a way to get him crazy and to break him.
And he has been in prison for 5 years. What the program and no Dutch newspaper has talked about is the Palestinian prisoner Nael Barghouthi, who get in prison when he was 19 and released at the age of 52. This man has been in prison for 33 years and for what, no one knows, he had not get an international court who was plead for him, no international lawyer who has seen his dossier. He had been sentenced for 1500 years … how many years do you say? Yes: 1500 years …


And Mr. Barghouti is not the only one, there are many Palestinians and still in prison, who got in prison maybe because of the fact that they were resistance fighters, but stayed in prison without trial.

And what is doing the Dutch media, nothing, nothing at all. No story about these Palestinians, no story about the family of the
murdered people in Palestine.

If the Dutch media is independent, they are great when they write also about the feeling of Palestinians and not only about the feeling of Israeli victims. If they cannot do so, I only can say that the Dutch media are kidnapped by Zionists, like everywhere and as in  politics.

@ KhamakarPress

‘Westerse landen leverden wapens aan Arabische regimes’

AMSTERDAM – Verschillende Europese landen, de Verenigde Staten en Rusland hebben grote hoeveelheden wapens geleverd aan regimes in het Midden-Oosten en Noord-Afrika.

Dit blijkt woensdag uit een nieuw rapport van Amnesty International.

De wapens zijn sinds 2005 vervoerd naar Bahrein, Egypte, Libië, Syrië en Jemen.

Het rapport vermeldt dat er regelmatig wapens geëxporteerd worden, ondanks het feit dat er volgens Amnesty voldoende bewijs is voor ernstige mensenrechtenschendingen.

“Deze resultaten benadrukken het falen van de bestaande wapenuitvoercontroles. Ook onderstreept dit de noodzaak om mensenrechten te handhaven”, vertelt Helen Hughes namens Amnesty International.

Demonstranten

 

Hughes voegt toe dat de geleverde wapens, kogels en militaire apparatuur zijn gebruikt om vreedzame demonstranten in Noord-Afrika en het Midden-Oosten te verwonden of te doden.

De belangrijkste wapenleveranciers zijn Oostenrijk, België, Bulgarije, Tsjechië, Frankrijk, Duitsland, Italië, Rusland, Groot-Brittannië en de Verenigde Staten.

Nederland

 

Verder blijkt uit het rapport dat Nederland een van de landen is die wapenuitvoer naar Jemen en Egypte toestond. Behalve wapens werden ook traangas en andere apparatuur verkocht.

Amnesty International erkent dat de internationale gemeenschap een aantal maatregelen heeft genomen om de wapenhandel naar Bahrein, Egypte, Libië, Syrië en Jemen te beperken. De organisatie voegt toe dat de landen dit in afgelopen jaren niet is gelukt.

“Er is een strenge beoordeling op wapenexport nodig, zodat de kans kleiner wordt dat de wapens worden gebruikt om mensenrechten te schenden”, zegt Hughes.

(www.nu.nl / 19.10.2011)

Nieuwe regering Libië erkent Syrische oppositie

De nieuwe regering in Libië heeft formeel de Syrische Nationale Raad erkend als de legitieme vertegenwoordiging van de Syrische bevolking. Libië is daarmee het eerste land dat de Raad, opgericht door de Syrische oppositie, erkent.

Leden van de Syrische Nationale Raad brachten vandaag een bezoek aan Tripoli om steun te zoeken voor de al zeven maanden durende opstand tegen het regime van president Bashar Assad. De raad is een parapluorganisatie waar de oppositie zich in heeft verenigd.

De Syrische regering heeft gedreigd met stevige maatregelen tegen landen die de oppositieraad erkennen.

(www.parool.nl / 19.10.2011)

Egypt’s Moussa fears anarchy if transition drags on

CAIRO (Reuters) — Presidential candidate Amr Moussa said Wednesday he feared a prolonged transition to civilian rule could plunge Egypt into anarchy caused by spiraling violence and economic hardship.

An uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February has hammered the economy and has sparked a wave of sectarian and other violence that the ruling army and its interim cabinet has struggled to control. Investors and tourists have fled.

Egyptians vote for a new parliament starting on Nov. 28 but no date has been set to pick a new president although the existing framework means it may not happen till the end of 2012 or later, leaving presidential powers with the army till then.

“My biggest fear is anarchy,” Moussa, 75, a front-runner to become the next president of the Arab world’s most populous nation, told Reuters at his campaign headquarters in Cairo, adding that he wanted a presidential election by mid-2012.

“A long transitional period is not in the interest of Egyptians nor Egypt,” he said, adding it would slow action to support the economy “and also will create an opportunity for all those who want to play havoc with the Egyptian society.”

Moussa, Egypt’s foreign minister in the 1990s and head of the Arab League for a decade until this year, said investors, tourists and institutions ready to offer soft loans would hesitate unless the nation’s political direction was clearer.

Consultancy firm Geopolicity said in a report that Egypt’s uprising had cost the economy $9.97 billion up to September.

Egyptians have also been rattled by a surge in tension between Egypt’s Christian minority and Muslims. Christians say churches have been attacked by Islamist groups Mubarak had repressed. Clashes with the army during a Christian protest in Cairo over one such attack left 25 dead this month.

“So economy and security, lack of them, would lead to anarchy,” said Moussa, who has said he would only serve one term if he wins the presidency.

Moussa said the parliamentary poll would not resolve the political uncertainty as it was unlikely to hand a majority to any single group, not even Islamists who are viewed as among the strongest contenders in the poll.

“We will have a fragile system under the next parliament, a fragile system with fragmented political groups,” he said.

Skilled diplomat

Diplomats say Moussa is, for now, probably the leading contender for the top job because he is the most high-profile candidate and was popular in office for his criticism of Israel and the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Moussa’s rivals include Mohamed ElBaradei, a former top UN diplomat who many say spent too much time abroad to have broad public support, and Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh, viewed as a moderate Islamist who some say is Moussa’s strongest competitor.

Detractors say Moussa, a skilled diplomat who played a mediation role in Palestinian and Israeli peace talks in the 1990s, is tainted because he served in Mubarak’s cabinet.

Moussa dismisses this, saying he was never a member of Mubarak’s now defunct ruling party and should be judged on how well he served in office.

The army has faced increasing public anger over its handling of the transition. Many Egyptians suspect the military is using delaying tactics to secure its privileges, safeguard its broad economic interests and prepare to keep hold of key levers of power even after handing over day-to-day government.

“There is a lot of talk of that kind but I don’t think that driving a wedge between the people or the system and the army is in the interest of anybody,” Moussa said, when asked about talk that the army wanted any new constitution to protect its status.

The army insists it has no desire to hang onto power.

“We can always discuss things in a reasonable way and it is not the state versus the army. This is the wrong approach. The army and its command are all part of Egypt and we have to take into consideration whatever worries they have,” he added.

Moussa and other presidential candidates have called for a presidential poll on April 1 before a new constitution is drawn up. Under an existing army timeline, the new parliament must choose a body to write the new constitution before such a poll. That could put it back to the end of 2012 or early 2013.

Moussa said a president could be elected even without a new constitution and writing a new constitution should be swift.

“We need to prepare the second republic very soon, and we can do it, in order to start the real business, our real work, our real task, to rebuild Egypt,” he said.

(www.maannews.net / 19.10.2011)

Diplomats: UN bid to be decided in November

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — The quest for UN membership is likely to come to a head on or around Nov. 11, when Security Council ambassadors plan a final meeting to decide their response, diplomats said on Wednesday.

The date represents a delay in dealing with the Palestine application, submitted by President Mahmoud Abbas on Sept. 23, amid hopes that indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks scheduled for next week could get a peace process off the ground.

The Nov. 11 meeting could result in a vote by the divided council, diplomats said.

The United States, which supports its ally Israel in strongly opposing the membership bid, is considered certain to veto it but the PLO may seek a vote anyway if it can show majority support in the council.

The PLO has long held the status of an “observer entity” at the United Nations, but that does not allow it to vote. It says it has now acquired the effective attributes of a state and merit the full UN membership that Israel has.

Membership is formally approved by the 193-nation General Assembly but that requires a Security Council recommendation.

“The 11th (of November) will probably be the end of the Security Council consideration process, one way or the other,” a senior council diplomat said following a meeting of envoys on Tuesday that agreed to a timetable. “If the Palestinians want a vote, there will be a vote.”

Such a request would be channeled through Lebanon, the sole Arab state currently on the 15-nation council.

Under UN rules for applications, council diplomats are currently discussing technical issues of whether Palestine is a state, is “peace-loving,” and willing to fulfill the obligations of the UN charter — all requirements for membership.

But members are expected ultimately to vote on political grounds.

Timetable

Diplomats said indications so far were that the PLO would push for a vote next month, but that could change if prospects improved for peace negotiations.

International mediators will meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials on Oct. 26 in Jerusalem to try to revive direct peace talks that ended more than a year ago.

“If they were to make progress, and there were to be further meetings over the following few days, then obviously that could affect the Security Council timetable,” said the senior diplomat, who asked not to be identified.

Many analysts, however, think a breakthrough is unlikely, with the PLO continuing to reject direct talks unless Israel halts settlement activities in the West Bank and Israel refusing to do so.

While the application looks certain to fail in the council, Abbas has made a major effort to attract nine votes in support — which would oblige the United States to use its veto and be seen by Palestinians as a moral victory. To pass, council resolutions need nine votes and no vetoes.

Diplomats currently expect eight council members to back the Palestinians and six to vote against or abstain. There is uncertainty over Bosnia, the three members of whose collective presidency — Muslim, Serb and Croat — disagree over which way to vote, diplomats say.

If the application fails in the council, the Palestinians could ask the General Assembly to upgrade their status to “nonmember state” observer, which would not require council endorsement. That would imply UN recognition of statehood and could help the PLO join international bodies.

(www.maannews.net / 19.10.2011)