Rights Group: Assad Regime Killed over 23,000 Women since March 2011

A total of 23,502 women have been killed in Syria since the start of the revolution in March 2011, a rights group said on Wednesday. Nearly 91 percent of the victims were killed at the hands of regime forces, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said.

In a report published on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, the SNHR said that at least 763 women were killed by regime snipers since March 2011. It pointed out that there are around 7,571 women detained in the prisons of the Assad regime or forcibly disappeared.

Member of the Syrian Coalition Ruba Habboush said that while women around the world celebrate this day, thousands of Syrian women are enduring unspeakable suffering in the prisons of the Assad regime.

Habboush paid a tribute to “Syrian women remaining steadfast in the face of the tyrannical regime and who are making immense sacrifices to regain their freedom.”

Member of the Syrian Dima Moussa paid a tribute to “all women on International Women’s Day, and in particular the Syrian woman who is still making huge sacrifices and remaining steadfast against injustice and oppression in all its forms.”

The Network noted that Syrian women actively participated in the Syrian revolution, adding that the Assad regime continues to deliberately target women in order to break their will and end their vital role.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 08.03.2017)

Palestinian sentenced to one year over social media postings

Khaled Mawasi

An Israeli court in Haifa city on Monday sentenced a Palestinian young man to one year in prison on charges of incitement and supporting a resistance group on social media.

According to Quds Press, the ruling was issued following a compromise between the defense lawyer and the Israeli prosecutor.

The indictment claimed that 20-year-old Khaled Mawasi, from I’billin village in the Galilee, published postings on Facebook and Instagram that incited to violence and terrorism (acts of resistance against the occupation) and supported Hamas.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, recently enacted legislation criminalizing anyone who incites against Israel on social media outlets and allowing the competent authorities to give orders to providers of social networking services to remove postings inciting against Israel.

There was also a special agreement last year between Facebook and Israel over disabling pages that antagonize Israel and incite against it.

More than 150 Palestinians had been arrested and jailed after they expressed opinions against Israel on their social media pages since the outbreak of the Jerusalem (uprising) in October 2015.

(Source / 08.03.2017)

IOF raids workshop, confiscates equipment in al-Khalil

Al-Khalil raids

The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Wednesday raided a lathe shop and confiscated some of its equipment in the southern district of al-Khalil city, south of the West Bank.

Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that Israeli soldiers stormed and ransacked a machine workshop belonging to Abdul-Shakur Ghanem in Wadi al-Hariya neighborhood, south of the city.

They added that the soldiers confiscated some heavy tools and machines from the shop.

The Israeli army repeatedly launches raids on foundries and machine shops in al-Khalil city at the pretext they are used to manufacture weapons.

(Source / 08.03.2017)

Mass abduction campaign by IOF rocks West Bank, Jerusalem

Massale raid WB

Several Palestinians were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at daybreak Wednesday in assaults launched across the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The Israeli army claimed responsibility for the abduction of 16 Palestinians from the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Reporting from the southern West Bank province of al-Khalil, a PIC news correspondent said at predawn the IOF rummaged into ex-prisoners’ homes and summoned a number of civilians to questioning.

Palestinian youth Shadi al-Atrash was kidnapped by the IOF from Abu Esneineh neighborhood, in southern al-Khalil, and dragged to an unidentified location.

The Israeli troops also broke into the homes of the Palestinian ex-prisoners Saad al-Qawasma, Abdul Karim al-Qawasma, and Mohamed Abeid.

At the same time, the IOF stormed the house of Palestinian citizen Abdul Ghani Taha and kidnapped his 18-year-old son, Alaa.

Meanwhile, Israeli army jeeps and troop-carriers rolled into the northern occupied West Bank province of Nablus at 2 a.m. and wreaked havoc on civilian homes in Balata al-Balad, to the east, before they kidnapped Thaer Issawi, 24, and Youssef Dweikat, 20.

Red Crescent paramedics rushed a Palestinian youth to a hospital so as to be urgently treated for rubber bullet injuries sustained in his leg during clashes that burst out in Nablus between the occupation army and the anti-occupation youth.

The IOF also stormed Tulkarem’s northern town of Balaa, in the northern West Bank, and cracked down on Palestinian civilians. A series of makeshift checkpoints was randomly pitched across the area.

The occupation soldiers broke into the home of the wanted Palestinian Mahdi Mer’i and kidnapped his father and brothers as a means to force Mer’i to turn himself in.

In the meantime, Palestinian young man Ashraf Awda, from Azzoun town, east of Qalqilya, turned himself in to the occupation army following threats to arrest his father and brother.

One day earlier, the IOF stormed Awda’s family home and detained his brother for hours.

22-year-old university student Ahmad Ezzedine Amarna, from Jenin’s southwestern town of Yabad, was also kidnapped by the IOF at a military checkpoint pitched on Nablus-Tulkarem road. The arrestee is the son of the Hamas leader Ezzedine Amarna.

The IOF further kidnapped a Palestinian youth from Tubas and another from Bethlehem.

The campaign culminated in the abduction of Nour Areikat from his home in Abu Dis town, in east Occupied Jerusalem.

(Source / 08.03.2017)

PYD Militia Detain 42 Kurdish National Council Members in Northern Syria

Militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) continue to engage in repressive practices against political dissidents and activists in northern Syria. PYD militias have detained about 42 members of the Kurdish National Council (KNC) in the areas under their control over the past two days.

The Council said that these practices violate to the values ​​of democracy and freedom and are aimed at silencing all dissident voices.

Mahmoud Ismail, senior member of the KNC-affiliated Kurdistan Democratic Party, said that the PYD police force, known as the Asayish, have detained 33 members of the party, two members of the Kurdish Future Movement, one member of the Yeketi Party, a member of the local council, and a media activist in the past two days.

Mohsin Taher, representative of the local councils in the Kurdish National Council, confirmed the detentions, adding that only two have been released so far.

The General Secretariat of the Council condemned the repressive practices of the PYD militias against its members, stressing that these practices and policies are detrimental to the Kurdish cause as they violate the values ​​of freedom and democracy.

Last week, the PYD militias raided the offices of the Council in the town of Qamishli and set them on fire as well as detained many of its members.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies / 08.03.2017)

Hunger-striking journalist Mohamed Qiq transferred to hospita

Mohamed al-Qiq

The Israeli prison authority on Tuesday transferred hunger-striking journalist Mohamed al-Qiq to hospital after a sharp decline in his health condition, according to his family.

The journalist’s wife, Fayha Shalash, told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that her husband’s lawyer had been informed yesterday of his transfer to Assaf Harofeh Hospital after health complications.

Shalash said that hospitalizing her husband was an indication of his suffering from serious health deterioration, affirming that his current hunger strike would be different from the previous one.

“Mohamed has staged the current hunger strike while he is still tired and exhausted by the previous one, which lasted about 90 days,” she explained.

34-year-old Qiq has been on hunger strike since February 6 to protest his detention administratively, without indictment or trial.

The Israeli occupation army rearrested Mohamed Qiq on January 15, 2017 and decided to rejail him administratively for three renewable months.

In November 2015, he had staged a hunger strike for 94 days to protest his administrative detention before he extracted a decision to release him on May 19, 2016.

Qiq is a Palestinian journalist and reporter at the Saudi News Agency al-Majd TV Network. He is a father of two children and lives in the village of Abu Qash in Ramallah. He has a master’s degree in contemporary Arab studies from Birzeit University.

(Source / 08.03.2017)

IWD: Women an integral part to the Palestinian struggle

Palestijnse strijd

Every year on the 8th of march, the whole world celebrates women’s day.

On this occasion, and for tens of years under occupation, Palestinian women have proven themselves to be a major influencer who have a pivotal role in shaping the Palestinian struggle, whether socially, politically or intellectually.

Palestinian women have always been part of it that, alongside men, they have been activists, strugglers, workers, leaders, and were exposed to martyrdom, imprisonment, and pain of loss as well. In addition, they are the mothers, sisters and daughters in a suffering community.

According to Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, over the last 45 years, an estimated 10,000 Palestinian women have been arrested and/or detained under Israeli military orders.

At the moment, there are 56 Palestinian females in prison. 13 of them are underage. Three females are placed under administrative arrest.

The number of women arrested in 2015 has shown a 70% rise following the start of the third Intifada (uprising) in October. Since then, 285 Palestinians have been killed, 24 of them females, 12 of which are under 18.

According to the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission, one of the prisoners, Sabah Faroun, from Izzariyeh, east of Jerusalem, is serving time in administrative detention, which has been renewed for six months for the second time in a row.

Another prisoner, Lena Jarbouni, from inside Israel, is considered the oldest woman prisoner who is serving a 17-year sentence. She is supposed to be released in April.

Underage prisoners also recently received heavy sentences with Shatila Abu Ayyad, from inside Israel, and Shorouq Dwayyat, both sentenced to 16 years in prison, Maysoun Jabali, from Bethlehem, sentenced to 15 years in prison, and Marah Bakir, eight years and Marah Showbaki, six years, both from East Jerusalem.

In 2015, Palestinian women have had a major participation in the protests and demonstrations against the Israeli soldiers.


A Palestinian young woman from the Birzeit University holds stones during clashes with Israeli security forces in Beit El, on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah, on October 7, 2015. New violence rocked Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including a stabbing in annexed east Jerusalem, even as Israel and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas took steps to ease tensions

According to Addameer, the majority of Palestinian women prisoners are subjected to some form of psychological torture and ill-treatment throughout the process of their arrest and detention, including various forms of sexual violence that occur such as beatings, insults, threats, body searches,  and sexually explicit harassment.

A survey carried out last year by the Knesset Research and Information Center that dealt with perceptions of personal security among residents of Israel – from economics, to health, to employment, to feelings of safety in public spaces – found Palestinian women were by far the most vulnerable group.

According to AlJazeera, The survey, conducted in February and released in March 2016, found that overall women’s sense of personal security was lower than men’s. It divided the Israeli population into four groups: Israeli-born Jewish citizens, Russian immigrants, Haredi and Arabs. Among women, Arabs were found to feel the least secure, with 73 percent of Palestinian women fearing discrimination due to their identity, followed by Haredi women at just over 30 percent.

Addameer says that upon arrest, women detainees are not informed where they are being taken and are rarely explained their rights during interrogation. These techniques of torture and ill-treatment are used not only as means to intimidate Palestinian women detainees but also as tools to humiliate Palestinian women and coerce them into giving confessions.

While Israeli prison authorities and military forces recruit women soldiers to detain, and accompany women prisoners during transfers, the female soldiers responsible for these procedures are no less violent towards Palestinian detainees than their male counterparts. In January 2010, Breaking the Silence, an Israeli NGO which collects anonymous testimonies from Israel’s occupation forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, released a 122-page booklet documenting the increasing levels of violence inflicted upon Palestinians by Israeli women soldiers. The testimonies compiled in the study reveal that the Israeli women soldiers deploy violent methods of control against Palestinian men and women in an effort to seek respect and recognition from male soldiers and their superiors.

(Source / 08.03.2017)

Israel approves bill barring entry to foreigners calling for Israel boycott

Wording of approved bill enforces ban even for boycotters of areas only under Israel’s ‘control’

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators carrying a sign reading BDS march against US aid to Israel

The Israeli Knesset on Monday gave final approval to a bill forbidding entry to the country by those who called for a boycott of Israel or settlement products in the occupied West Bank.

Individuals who call for economic, cultural or academic boycotts of either Israel or the settlements will be forbidden entry visas or residency rights, though the interior ministry would be able to make exceptions in special cases.

The Knesset interior and environment committee approved the final wording of the boycott bill, which will ban any person “who knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel that, given the content of the call and the circumstances in which it was issued, has a reasonable possibility of leading to the imposition of a boycott – if the issuer was aware of this possibility.”

Notably, the ban applies to those who call for boycotts of any “area under its control”, meaning that the ban would apply to those calling for a boycott of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem – both illegally annexed – or the settlements under Israeli control in the occupied Palestinian territories.

According to Haaretz, the Israeli Justice Ministry urged the committee to make exceptions for Palestinians with temporary residency in Israel, arguing it would make it easier for the law to withstand scrutiny by the courts.

But the committee reportedly rejected the idea.

“Why should I bring someone into my house who demonizes and undermines the state?” asked panel chairman David Amsalem, a member of the Likud party.

“We’re not afraid of criticism, but we have national pride. Someone who has already received temporary residency from us and is being considered for permanent residency, who comes and harms us, as a guest, why should we let him stay?”

Sponsor Roy Folkman, an MK from the centrist Kulanu party, emphasised that the ban would not simply apply to anyone who ever signed a petition against, for example, purchasing wine made in the settlements and noted that that the definition contains several restrictive requirements.

“It doesn’t cover any individual who ever said something,” he said.

“It’s aimed mainly at organisations that work against Israel.”

(Source / 08.03.2017)

IOA bans event on women’s day

Women's Day

The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) prevented on Wednesday holding an event for the International Women’s Day in occupied Jerusalem.

The director of Women for Life and Democracy association, Zuhour Abu Mayyala, said that the IOA abruptly prevented organizing the women’s event based on a decision issued by the Israeli Minister of Public security, Gilad Erdan.

Abu Mayyala affirmed that the decision is “groundless”, especially that the event is a women’s cultural event that doesn’t have any political nature.

In a statement to Quds Press news agency, Abu Mayyala said that she was subjected to interrogation by the Israeli Intelligence on the event which was supposed to mark the International Women’s Day and include recreational and cultural activities to honor Jerusalemite women and “draw a smile on their faces.”

She pointed out that this Israeli act conveys a message to the international community on the suffering of Jerusalemite women under the Israeli occupation and its practices which “clamp down on everyone in occupied Jerusalem”.

Erdan claimed that the event lacked the approval of the Israeli authorities according to Article 3(A) of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1994 about censoring activities.

He said that efforts have been made lately by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to strengthen their presence in Jerusalem by organizing multiple events, adding that what is happening is “a Palestinian attack against the Israeli sovereignty over the city”.

(Source / 08.03.2017)

MP assassinated outside his home in Morocco

Image of Abdellatif Merdass, the Moroccan MP who was shot dead outside his home on 8 March 2017 [Youtube]

Image of Abdellatif Merdass, the Moroccan MP who was shot dead outside his home on 8 March 2017

A Moroccan member of parliament has been shot dead in front of his house in Casablanca yesterday.

Abdellatif Merdass, a member of parliament representing the Constitutional Union (UC), was shot dead at the entrance of his home in the district of California in Casablanca, according to news source Alyaoum24.

According to reports, an unidentified person knocked on the politician’s door and when Merdass appeared he was shot several times. The politician died immediately.

Police have since cordoned off the area with no details of the crime revealed or the motivation behind the attack yet determined.