Syrian opposition fighters ‘assault’ Aleppo prison

Syrian opposition fighters assaulted a regime-controlled prison in Aleppo on Wednesday.

Syrian opposition fighters assaulted a regime-controlled central prison in the northern city of Aleppo on Wednesday, an NGO said.

The fighters launched an attack on the administration block of the prison which has been under siege for months, Agence France-Presse reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.

The assault is the first since the siege on the prison began and was carried out by fighters from the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front and another Islamist faction, Ahrar al-Sham, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman.

“Fighting is going on inside the building,” he was quoted as saying by AFP, adding that it “has not reached buildings housing prisoners.”

Abdel Rahman added that government aircraft were carrying out strikes on opposition fighters’ positions outside the prison which is located on the northern outskirts of the city.

(Source / 16.10.2013)

During his three months in Palestine, Derry man Sean Canning said he met the most hospitable people – even the winner of Arab Idol…

Sean Canning pictured in Jerusalem.

During his three months in Palestine, Derry man Sean Canning said he met the most hospitable people – even the winner of Arab Idol…

I applied to the International Citizens Service to volunteer abroad, having previously worked in both America and South Africa.

Following an interview I was placed with a group called International Service in York, England who gave me a place in Palestine – where my adventure began.

Arriving in Israel and travelling by bus to Palestine on our first day was something special. We landed in Tel Aviv which looks like any major city from around Europe, but no more than an hour away we crossed the border into Palestine, I was initially nervous knowing very little about the conflict apart from how it is portrayed in the media. The landscape as we passed through the armed checkpoint was a harsh contrast as instead of blue water and sandy beaches we were greeted by dry and dusty mountains with the odd shack In the distance.

I wasn’t sure if this was what Palestine was going to be like. We drove to Ramallah, the largest and richest part of the West bank which is where we would live for the next three months, dropped off our bags and headed out to explore.

On our first night we were in for a treat, Mohammed Assaf who was from Gaza and had only days before become the first Palestinian to win Arab Idol was in town to play a free concert.

We walked into the city of Ramallah and the whole place was buzzing, thousands of people all going crazy, cars driving and beeping everywhere for their idol.

The smell of ‘Falafel’ and ‘Shawrma,’ the Palestine national foods was everywhere. Wherever we went people stared and shouted ‘Welcome, welcome to Palestine’ not many spoke English, but everyone knew how to say welcome, which was very warming. On our second day we were shown to our work placement. I was placed with a media programme called ‘Voice of the Youth’ which aims to help spread the stories and problems facing the Palestinians through the occupation.

Over the course of three months I helped produce podcasts, articles and short videos covering music, sport, politics and women’s rights with Voice of the Youth.

My role enabled me to travel freely around the West Bank in order to collect materials. This allowed me to meet some truly inspiring people and hear their stories. One person we met was a man in the city of Hebron, a very troubled city which has been divided by illegal Israeli settlements.

He has lost his wife, a son and his two other children have suffered some terrible physical injuries due to the troubles with the illegal settlers, yet he still remains strong refusing to leave his land and home even though his life is under threat on a daily basis.

His harrowing story made the hairs on the back of my neck stand but his resolve and determination was something I admired,

Through my time in Palestine I integrated well with the local people, I spent the majority of my spare time playing football with the locals, and had the great honour to spend pre-season with one of Palestine’s leading professional teams Shabab Al-Amri. I also represented a few local sides in tournaments.

A personal highlight for me was playing for Arafat FC a little village on the edge of Ramallah. We did well and managed to get to a big final which wasn’t expected of the team. Before the match the manager gave a long and heartfelt team talk, getting the players pumped up. It was all in Arabic. All the players knew I spoke only minimal Arabic yet they were having this team talk like I could fully understand them, they were speaking directly at me so I would just nod my head and smile! We eventually lost the final 1-0 but it was a great experience. I was able to meet with the head of the Palestinian FA and Olympics committee and the head of the Players’ Union during my time away. I interviewed them for a podcast on sport and the trouble it faced due to the Israeli occupation.

The strict rules on travel had made it impossible for the 2012 Palestinian Olympics team to train together; the first time they were all in one place was at Heathrow Airport in London.

I found this shocking, and in no other situation or country would be placed in such a situation, yet in the 21st century the athletes of Palestine were being treated like terrorists, by Israel.

During my time in Palestine the Muslim Festival of Ramadan was on, where people aren’t allowed to drink or eat during the hours of sunlight. Even as a foreigner I was unable to eat or drink water in public and this was a real test.

Yet each night Palestine would come alive, people partying and eating beautiful foods celebrating the struggle they had just won.

It was a great experience, but a testing one.

The hospitality of the Palestinian people was something to be seen; they wouldn’t let you pay for anything and wanted to give you the world. The majority of the people I spent my time with were poor, yet they would share what little they had with you, which was very touching.

Palestine is a very religious place, where Muslim, Christian and Jews can all trace their heritage. I was able to visit the holy sites of all three religions during my time.

From the Jewish Walling Wall, The Dome of the Rock to the Nativity Church. The experience was amazing, and allowed me to gain an insight into different areas and sections of religion, especially Islam, which I knew very little about before.

In order to enter certain places in Palestine or to enter Israel you have to pass through heavily guarded checkpoints. On a day during Ramadan we headed to the Kalandia check point which separates Ramallah and Jerusalem.

This is the biggest and most protected checkpoint in the West Bank and a hotspot for clashes.

The dome of the rock and AlAqsa mosque are situated in East Jerusalem, the Muslim side of the city.

The Al Aqsa is the third most holy site in Islam and draws worshippers from all over the world to pray.

Yet stood less than ten miles away at Kalandia checkpoint with thousands of worshippers wishing to pass through and pray I felt anger and frustration.

People were being herded like cattle into various pens in order to try and gain entry into Israel in order to worship.

The attitude of the Israelis and the inhumane way in which people young and old were treated at checkpoints saddened me. Many of the IDF soldiers had little or no respect for any of the Palestinians trying to cross the checkpoint, treating them like dogs.

Palestine is struggling, and will continue to do so as long as Israel is allowed to steal land and perpetrate and kill people at will whilst Israeli allies such as the UK and America stand by and turn a blind eye.

Palestine is not at all how it is portrayed in the media and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back, or encourage others to go and visit. I assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised.

(Source / 16.10.2013)

Photos: Gaza supporters rally for Alaa Hammad, keep weekly vigil for Palestinian detainees

Palestinians rallied outside Gaza’s International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office Monday morning to support Alaa Hammad, a Palestinian-Jordanian on hunger struck since May 2 against the conditions of his detention by Israel, and other Palestinian detainees.

(Photo by Charlie Andreasson)

Families and supporters also continued a weekly sit-in inside the ICRC courtyard in support of Palestinians held by Israel.

(Photo by Charlie Andreasson)

Hammad, a Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship, is one of 26 Jordanian nationals held by Israel. The occupation has imposed a near-complete blackout on news of his 168-day hunger strike, so most information on his case is over two months old. “On 5 August Hammad fainted and remained unconscious for five hours, without the guards calling a doctor,” the ADDAMEER Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association reported two days later. ”After finally receiving treatment Hammad regained consciousness.”

(Photo by Charlie Andreasson)

Hammad and four other Jordanian-Palestinian detainees launched a group hunger strike on 2 May to demand the right to receive visits from their families in Jordan. The other four participants, Mohammad Rimawi, Hamza Othman and Munir Mar’ee, ended their strike on 11 August, citing the lack of international attention to their cases.

Israel proposes partial annexation


US Secretary of State John Kerry and Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas meet in the West Bank city of Ramallah on July 19, 2013 / photo: PressTVUS Secretary of State John Kerry and Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas meet in the West Bank city of Ramallah on July 19, 2013 / photo: PressTV

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday with good wishes for the Muslim holiday of Id al- Adha. Earlier, during a speech delivered at a Knesset ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Middle East War, Netanyahu mentioned briefly that Israel was working hard to come to an agreement with the Palestinians. Netanyahu, however,  bemoaned the PA leader’s “absence” as a peace partner. As examples of successful partnerships, he cited former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, as well as former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and former Jordanian King Hussein.

“I am not under the illusion that this will be easy. I am determined to do my best to succeed. But this is not just dependent on the Israeli side, just as it was not only up to the five prime ministers who preceded me since the start of the Oslo process…. The other side is also needed,” he said.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have been meeting regularly since the end of July as part of a nine-month negotiation process toward a final-status agreement. Israeli sources complain that negotiations have not produced results thus far as the sides reiterate their positions with no attempt to bridge gaps. However, both sides fear to be blamed for an abrupt end of negotiations. Tel Aviv also fears that an American position paper will be submitted toward the end of this nine-month period with parameters that will be difficult for Israel to accept.

In this context, NRG, an Israeli online news magazine, reports that Tel Aviv is considering proposing to the Palestinian that Israel annexes certain areas of the West Bank while other West Bank areas will be delivered to the Palestinians.

According to NRG, while this is still only a general idea, Israeli sources are toying with the idea of annexing the Bethlehem-area settlement bloc of Gush Etzion while “giving” the northern West Bank area of Nablus to the Palestinians, as being realistic.

(Source / 16.10.2013)

Siege puts holiday tradition beyond reach of many Gaza families

Palestinians trade livestock in Gaza City ahead of the Eid al-Adha holiday.

Imad Affana looked out on his livestock yard. At this time of year, when Muslims all over the world are celebrating Eid al-Adha, the holiday marking the end of the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, it ought to have been full of people buying sheep or goats for the traditional sacrifice.

But there were few customers — even at Affana’s Beit Hanoun farm in the northern Gaza Strip, the largest trader in the territory.

According to Affana, this year has been the worst ever. “Since early morning, I have only sold one animal,” he told The Electronic Intifada.

“In previous years, we used to sell about fifty to sixty animals a day.”

In Muslim tradition, those who are able to afford it, slaughter an animal symbolizing the sacrifice made by the prophet Abraham.

By tradition, those who are better off distribute meat to those less able to afford it.

In previous years, Affana said, his stock would sell out to individuals as well as local and international charities who would buy animals, slaughter them and distribute meat to needy families over the four-day holiday.

Muhammad al-Kafarna, a 35-year-old Palestinian Authority employee and father of six from Beit Hanoun, was at the Affana farm looking to buy a sheep.

“I am looking for one that is quite cheap,” he said, explaining that this would be the second year he would pay for the animal in monthly installments as he couldn’t afford to buy it outright.

But even that option is not feasible for everyone.

Soaring prices

Abdelhafiz Abu Salem, 40, sat at his home in the the Abraj al-Nada neighborhood in northern Gaza a few days before Eid.

His youngest son, Fajjer, sat nearby looking at images of livestock on the Internet. Fajjer and his five siblings looked forward to the holiday.

“This is a very special occasion for us all, especially for the children,” Abu Salem said, “but my salary cannot meet this.”

“In the past three months, we had the holy month of Ramadan and then the start of the new school year and those occasions were very costly.”

“Prices of goods here have soared with the shutdown of underground tunnels,” Abu Salem explained. “Can you imagine, the price for one kilogram of tomatoes is about $1.80? Therefore I cannot afford a sheep, unfortunately.”

Abu Salem, also a government employee, said that his meager monthly salary could not stretch to cover the $300 price of a sheep.

The dire economic conditions in Gaza have worsened over the past three months, since Egypt’s destruction of almost all the trade tunnels under its border with Gaza. This move followed the 3 July overthrow of President Muhammad Morsi.

This has led to shortages of basic goods and a spike in prices.

Local media reports this week suggested that the Hamas-led government would pay partial salaries to some 50,000 civil and military employees ahead of the holiday.

Local and international agencies put Gaza’s unemployment rate at over 32 percent, and four out of five of the territory’s 1.7 million people are reliant on food aid from UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees.

Animals arrive through Israel

Imad Affana, who is a co-owner of the Affana company, said that his imports had not been affected by the closure of the tunnels.

Affana said that his company imports about 50,000 head of livestock annually and that it had not seen a dip, except in 2007-08 when Israel first imposed its siege.

The animals arrive through Israeli seaports, since Gaza ports are under an Israeli maritime blockade. “We now have a stockpile of 30,000 head in the Israeli port of Eilat,” Affana said.

“What we have in the market is quite enough for local needs,” Tahsin al-Saqa, head of the marketing department at the Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza City, told The Electronic Intifada.

“For the past two years we have banned the import of livestock through the underground tunnels because of the spread of some diseases.”

Yet, al-Saqa estimated that animals — sometimes at a rate of up to 700 per week — continued to come through the tunnels despite the ban.

Al-Saqa said that Israel began allowing some 2,000 head of livestock to enter Gaza daily through its commercial crossings.

The official explained that Gaza has more than twenty cattle traders, and prices are set by the government. One kilogram of calf meat, for example sells for between five and seven dollars.

Al-Saqa said that imports had been rising, as Gaza is unable to meet its own demand for meat. He expressed the hope that Gaza could use some of its available land to raise more livestock and reduce its reliance on imports.

For now, there are plenty of animals in Gaza. The problem is that there are not enough people able to buy them.

“I ask God to forgive me for not being able to perform the sacrifice ritual,” Abdelhafiz Abu Salem said.

(Source / 16.10.2013)

Gaza blockade and the bitter harvest


Nabil Al-Sahli‘The number of lorries being allowed into Gaza with commercial goods is less than 50 per cent of the required number to meet daily needs…’

Israel imposed a stifling blockade on the Gaza Strip after the success of the Islamic Resistance Movement in the 2006 Palestinian elections; its grip was tightened in the summer of 2007. The blockade controls the flow of fuel and electricity as well as everyday items such as food, fresh water and medicine; fishermen are prevented from sailing beyond a punishing 3 mile limit and the border crossings between Gaza and Israel are more or less kept closed.

Since 2007, Israel has only allowed 2 crossings out of 7 to open to any degree. It has kept the Karm Abu Salem crossing between Egypt, Gaza and Israel as the only route for commercial goods, through which it allows a severely limited number of trucks to enter Gaza. The Beit Hanoun-Erez crossing in the north of the Gaza Strip is the only passenger crossing kept open by the Israelis, and even that is limited, with permission to leave or enter restricted.

The leaders of the military coup in Egypt are helping to enforce the blockade by closing the Rafah crossing, Gaza’s only meaningful route to the outside world. Smuggling tunnels which have been used to take basic necessities, including fuel and medicines, into Gaza are being destroyed by the Egyptian army. These tunnels have been described by outsiders as “Gaza’s lifeline”.

Palestinian economists have pointed out that the cost of the blockade is estimated at $460 million. On top of that there is the food insecurity for almost 60 per cent of the population of Gaza, with 30,000 jobs lost since the coup in Egypt at the beginning of July. Unemployment in Gaza now stands at 43 per cent of the available work force. When all of this is added to the serious shortage of medicines, with around 50 per cent of the drugs on the Essential Drugs List unavailable due to the blockade, it can be seen that it is having very serious repercussions. Four hundred children under 15 years of age have died due to the lack of suitable drugs to treat them; they are testimony to the deadly nature of the siege.

Gaza is facing a humanitarian catastrophe. The demand for food by a rising population is not being met by the supply. The number of lorries being allowed into Gaza with commercial goods is less than 50 per cent of the required number to meet daily needs across all sectors, let alone food or building materials to rebuild after the destruction of Operation Cast Lead and subsequent Israeli attacks on the population and infrastructure.

Pressure needs to be brought to bear on the Egyptian authorities so that goods can be taken legally into the Gaza Strip, boosting the economy and making it less dependent on Israel and susceptible to Israeli blackmail and sanctions.

Various studies show that Israel’s economic policies have had serious effects on the living conditions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. For political reasons, the effects are more serious in Gaza due to the scarcity of various goods and materials there, not to mention the population growth and resultant pressure on the economy and job market. Of the 1.6 million people in the Gaza Strip, 52 per cent are children under 15 years of age. Data suggests that everyone in work in Gaza supports 5 people currently not working.

As the losses mount during the siege (estimated at $1.5m daily), GDP has fallen by 50 per cent and more than two-thirds of the Palestinians in Gaza live below the official poverty line of $2 per day. The average per capita income in 2012 was $1,200, a figure which is expected to fall below $1,000 by the end of this year.

A total collapse of the economic system has been avoided in part by the extent of social solidarity through Zakat Committees, neighbourhood centres and money transfers from abroad.

After looking into the effects of the Israeli blockade, the closure of the Rafah crossing and the destruction of the tunnels it has become essential to put in place mechanisms to ease the suffering of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. It may be best to entrust this task primarily to Arab financial institutions which have the potential to fund small and medium projects which can help to reduce the worsening unemployment in the territory and make people less aid dependent. Such a fund could also be used to help the fishing sector; around 40,000 Palestinians depend on fishing for their livelihood. They need up to 40,000 litres of fuel a day if they are to operate at anywhere near normal levels.

It remains to say that the situation requires pressure to be imposed by Arab countries on the coup regime in Egypt to keep the Rafah crossing open in both directions and stop the demolition of the tunnels. If all of these “lifelines” are destroyed, it will put the people of Gaza back to the first, dark, stifling days of the blockade. The Egyptian government has it within its control to limit the catastrophic consequences of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Will it take the opportunity to do so?

(Source / 16.10.2013)

Taliban address al Qaeda in Afghanistan

In a statement released on Voice of Jihad on Oct. 13, the Taliban took the rare step of mentioning al Qaeda in Afghanistan in their official propaganda (commanders such as Mullah Sangeen have spoken about the Taliban’s relationship with al Qaeda, but this type of statement is made outside of official Taliban channels; Sangeen’s statement was made to As Sahab, al Qaeda’s media outlet). The Oct. 13 statement addressed President Barack Obama’s speech at the United Nations, in which he all but declared victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban mocked Obama’s speech, and claimed he is actually hiding a US defeat.

In the opening paragraph, the Taliban noted that Obama said America’s primary goal in Afghanistan is “the demolition of ‘Al-Qaida'”:

In the annual session 2013 of the United Nations which was participated by nearly all heads of the states and the American president pronounced in front of all the participants that the demolition of ‘Al-Qaida’ was their main objective and since the Americans have achieved this target, therefore, the international coalition will bring the war inside Afghanistan to an end in 2014 and all the foreign forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan till the end of the following year.

After going on at length about how the Taliban have resisted the US and NATO for 12 years, the Taliban said that Obama was trying to “conceal his obvious defeat” by claiming al Qaeda was “dismantled”:

Obama said in his statement that we have achieved our objectives and have dismantled the ‘Al-Qaida’. Actually he was trying to blow the dust into his people’s eyes and to conceal his obvious defeat but it is all in-vain. He is trying to hide the sun with two fingers but it is impossible (A local adage).

The Taliban’s statement makes two points regarding al Qaeda:

1) The Taliban are saying that since the US used al Qaeda as a pretext to invade Afghanistan, Obama’s claim that al Qaeda is defeated gives the US an excuse to withdraw.

2) The Taliban are also stating, however, that the US has not only failed to defeat the Taliban, but has failed to “dismantle” al Qaeda.

As we’ve documented at LWJ for years, al Qaeda is far from defeated in Afghanistan. In fact, Kunar and Nuristan have been primary hubs for al Qaeda leaders, and(al Qaeda is present in other provinces as well. Before ISAF ended its operational reporting in June, it consistently reported on the targeting of senior al Qaeda leaders in the two northeastern provinces.

For more than three years, the Obama administration has maintained that between 50 to 100 al Qaeda operatives are in Afghanistan (the latest figure given is 75 al Qaeda fighters in country). Interestingly, the ballpark estimate of between 50 to 100 al Qaeda operatives in country has not changed, despite heavy targeting of the group.

(Source / 16.10.2013)

Chemical watchdog says has checked 11 of 20 Syria sites

An image grab taken from Syrian television shows inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons at work at an undisclosed location in Syria on Oct. 10, 2013
THE HAGUE (AFP) — The world’s chemical weapons watchdog said Wednesday its inspectors have checked 11 out of 20 sites identified by Damascus as it works to eliminate Syria’s banned weapons.

“The OPCW mission has now conducted verification activities at a total of 11 sites that are identified by Syria’s disclosure,” the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said.

The OPCW has said that there are a total of 20 sites to be visited in Syria.

Since inspectors arrived in the country two weeks ago, activities have also included “critical equipment destruction at six sites as well as some Category 3 weapons destruction”, the organisation added in a statement.

The chemical watchdog, which last week was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, classifies Category 3 as “unfilled munitions and devices and other equipment specifically designed to aid the deployment of chemical weapons”.

The OPCW and the United Nations now have about 60 experts working in Syria to eradicate chemical weapons, around a month after the OPCW accepted President Bashar Assad’s application to join the Chemical Weapons Convention, in a bid to stave off a possible Western military strike.

The key convention came into force on Monday.

So far Syria has won rare praise for its cooperation with the inspectors, but the UN has stressed that key deadlines in the destruction of the war-ravaged country’s chemical weapons should be met.

This included verifying Syria’s disclosed chemical weapons, identifying key equipment, destroying production facilities and starting the destruction of Category 3 chemical weapons by November 1.

Inspectors have until June 30, 2014 to complete the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal.

Meanwhile in Syria, cooperation between UN and OPCW experts has been “excellent and the morale of the joint mission teams remains high,” the OPCW said.

The United States threatened a military strike after an August 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus in which hundreds died.

Under a disarmament plan that has been given added force by a UN Security Council resolution, Damascus now has until mid-next year to get rid of its reported stocks of sarin, mustard and VX gas.

Syria must give the OPCW a plan for destroying its estimated stockpile of 1,000 tonnes of chemicals by October 27 — one month after the Security Council Resolution.

By November 15, the OPCW will have set out a detailed plan with a timetable for the destruction of actual chemicals.

Russia and the Unites States, which drew up the disarmament plan, are still working with the OPCW on how to destroy the chemicals, diplomats said at the UN on Monday.

Russia has proposed building at least one furnace in Syria to burn it, they said.

However, OPCW and UN experts have doubts whether a furnace can be installed while the conflict, which has left more than 100,000 dead, rages on.

(Source / 16.10.2013)

The denial of the right of return is responsible for the shipwreck of hundreds of Palestinian refugees at sea

245678_345x230Those who have denied of the right of return to our displaced people are responsible for the sinking of a ship carrying hundreds of Palestinian  refugees at sea near Malta, said the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on October 14, 2013. The denial of the Palestinian people of their right of return to the homes from which they were displaced by Zionist forces and the occupation state is the fundamental cause of yesterday’s tragic suffering and the ongoing plight of Palestinian refugees. Numerous Palestinian refugees are missing at sea; their ship sunk as they were migrating and seeking safety, and millions are daily suffering, their human rights violated, harassed and oppressed by the occupation. The entire international community which supports this continuing injustice is complicit in the this tragedy and the catastrophe that has befallen the Palestinian people since 1948.

The Front expressed its deepest pain and sorrow at the loss of the sons and daughters of our people, innocents lost at sea, and expressed its deepest condolences to their families. There is no solution for our people, struggling to survive everywhere in diaspora and exile, but unity, solidarity, and upholding the rights of our people to return, liberation and self-determination. We must all stand united to confront this situation and bring about justice, for which so many have paid a deep price in blood, pain, and national and human rights on a daily basis.

(Source / 16.10.2013)

278 Palestinians arrested in September

Arrest in the city of Hebron, one third of the Palestinians detained, 81 persons, were from HebronArrest in the city of Hebron, one third of the Palestinians detained, 81 persons, were from Hebron

The Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights states in its September report that Israeli forces killed one Palestinian and arrested 278 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the month of September.

One third of the Palestinians detained, 81 persons, were from Hebron. 62 Palestinian were detained in Jerusalem, 32 in Nablus, 30 detainees from Bethlehem, 28 from Ramallah and 17 in Jenin. The remaining detainees were from Qalqilya, Salfit, and Tulkarem. Three Palestinians were detained in the Gaza Strip.

Nine of the detainees were children under the age of 15 and two were women, one of them arrested while visiting her brother in prison.

The Ahrar Center for the Study of Prisoners and Human Rights is a Palestinian organization that monitors Israeli violations of the Palestinian right to freedom and live.

(Source / 16.10.2013)