Israel extends detention of student leader kidnapped from West Bank university

Omar Al-Kiswani, a Palestinian student leader, is on hunger-strike in protest of his detention, torture and interrogation without charges

An Israeli occupation military court renewed the detention of Omar Al-Kiswani, head of the Students’ Council, who was kidnapped by undercover Israeli forces from Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank, Al-Resalah newspaper reported yesterday.

Lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club Mamoun Al-Hashim said that Al-Kiswani stopped drinking water since Tuesday in protest against the harsh investigations he is undergoing at Al-Maskopia Israeli Detention Centre.

According to the lawyer, he is exposed to investigation sessions lasting for hours and he is prevented from sleeping.

This is the third time the Israeli military court in Ofer Prison has renewed Al-Kiswani’s detention, the lawyer said, noting that the court extended his detention for six days under the pretext of completing the investigations.

Read: New report demolishes Israeli claims over ‘reform’ of military detention for minors

He also said that Al-Kiswani is prevented by the Israeli occupation authorities from meeting lawyers until the first of April.

On 7 March, a group of Israeli occupation forces claimed they were journalists, raided the university and attacked Al-Kiswani before kidnapping him.

(Source / 29.03.2018)

Israel: Raed Salah can be released, placed under house arrest

Leader of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah (C) appears in court after he was taken into custody in Haifa, Israel on 28 March 2018

An Israeli court has ruled that Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, can be released from prison and put under house arrest.

The Haifa Magistrates’ Court issued the ruling yesterday seven months after Salah was arrested and held on charges of “incitement to terror”.

According to the terms of his release, Salah will wear an electronic tag, be prohibited from using the internet or mobile phones, be banned from holding public meetings or giving speeches and has had a travel ban imposed on him.

The mayor of Umm Al-Fahm, Salah has been arrested on numerous occasions as a result of his activism against Israeli efforts to Judaise Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Read: Israel court delays approval of conditional release of Raed Salah

Charges levied against him include that of “incitement”, channelling funds to Hamas and criticising Israeli policy on his Facebook account.

Sheikh Salah was arrested from his house on 25 August 2017 and was indicted nine days later by the Israeli Public Prosecution. He was accused of violating the law and inciting terror after he referred to three Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces “martyrs”.

Israel then accused him of inciting violence during the wave of protests against the authorities’ placement of metal detectors at the gates of the compound and their restriction of the vast majority of worshippers from entering.

An Israeli court in Haifa ordered that he remain in prison until the end of the judicial measures against him. His defence team appealed the ruling, but the appeal was turned down by the court.

Though the Haifa District Court’s decision was made yesterday, its will only be implemented once an appeal is heard today.

(Source / 29.03.2018)

3-year-old Palestinian briefly detained by Israel

Israeli occupation forces felt threatened by a Palestinian toddler who was carrying a ‘courgette corer’ and detained him.

Israeli occupation forces tried to arrest a three-year-old Palestinian child who was playing outside his home in the occupied West bank city of Hebron, a video posted online has shown.

According to Raed Abu Rumaila, who uploaded the footage, soldiers mocked and swore at the toddler as he played in the Ibrahimi Mosque neighbourhood of the city. The boy later went into his house and returned with a “courgette corer”. He was then detained by the soldiers.

Clearly distressed, the three-year-old was released after his brothers intervened and forced the soldiers to let him go.

Hundreds of Palestinian children are unlawfully arrested by Israel on an annual basis. According to Defence for Children International – Palestine 10,000 Palestinians aged between 12 and 17 have been arrested by occupation forces in the West Bank since 2000.

(Source / 29.03.2018)

Palestinians Prepare for Great Return March & Israel threatens

Great March Return

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates strongly condemns the Israeli threats against the Palestinian people ingeneral, and against our resilient people in Gaza strip in particular,especially on Land Day(March 30), wherePalestinians are planning a “Mass March of Return”, when thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are expected to stand on fences marking the borders with Israel, commemorating the Israeli expropriation of lands in 1976 in the Galilee; in which public threats of judicial killings were issued by Israeli officials, the most prominent of these threats is the statement of the Israeli Chief of General Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, Gadi Eizenkot.

Eizenkot bragged that he had given a death warrant to hundreds of snipers deployed on the border of the Gaza Strip and who to target unarmed Palestinian citizens participating in peaceful protests. Eisenkot justified this radical statement: “If the snipers feel the lives of Israelis is under threat”, which reminds us of the same statement that was authorized by the Israeli  government’s decision to allow Israeli soldiers to kill Palestinian citizens as they wish, which resulted in hundreds or even thousands of executions on the ground against our people. These executions, were later documented in videos that proved that these crimes against Palestiniansare done with premeditation, without causing any danger to the Israeli soldiers.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, bears full and direct responsibility for the consequences of this extremist criminal

The ministry affirms that this authorization to commit murders against Palestinians is a continuation of the fascist, racist and colonial ideologies that are based on violence and organized state terrorism. Therefore, Israeli officials publicly admit that they are preparing to commit a massacre on Friday against our people, and here we ask: What will the international community do? The Ministry assures that the failure to hold Israel accountable as an occupying force for its crimes and violations has encouraged Israeli politicians, military and security officials to continue to abuse, suppress our people, aiming to exterminate the national existence in Palestine.

The biased and unlimited American support for the occupation’s policies and measures,and the double standards of many countries in their foreign policy has encouraged the expansion of the colonial projects, in addition to escalating the mass murder of Palestinians.

The international community must realize, before it is too late, the magnitude of the catastrophic consequences of the colonial ideology of force and violence that lead to the repression and killing of unarmed Palestinian citizens solely for their participation in peaceful protests.

All major Palestinian factions have endorsed the planned rallies, during which demonstrators plan to converge en masse on the Gaza Strip’s roughly 45-kilometer-long eastern border with Israel.

While the event is meant to ratchet up pressure on Israel to lift its decade-long blockade of the strip, it is also intended to reiterate the Palestinians’ right to return to their homes in historical Palestine.

Last Monday Gaza-based members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) convened near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel in the run-up to a mass demonstration — dubbed the “Great Return March”  planned for Friday.

In a special tent erected for the occasion, PLC Deputy Speaker Ahmed Bahar declared: “We have convened an unprecedented session near the temporary border [with Israel] with the aim of reaching our lands occupied in 1948.”

Bahar described  meeting on the border as “an affirmation of the sanctity of Palestinian rights, which we will never forsake”.

He also stressed the PLC’s support for the planned Friday rallies, during which, he said, “Our children will set up numerous tents along the strip’s .”

The tents, he explained, “are intended to represent the many Palestinian towns and villages from which we were expelled 70 years ago”.

According to Bahar, the rallies are also meant to “raise awareness about Israel’s crimes” in hopes of “prompting the international community to bear its legal, moral and humanitarian responsibilities vis-à-vis the Palestinian people”.

The Hamas-run Gaza Strip has groaned under a crippling Israeli/Egyptian blockade since 2007.

The embargo has largely destroyed the enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities, including food, fuel and medicine.

(Source / 29.03.2018)

BDS calls for boycott of Israel’s ‘racist propaganda’ Netflix series

Fauda, an Israeli thriller show

The international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is leading a campaign against the hit Israeli series, “Fauda”. Denouncing the widely acclaimed series as “racist propaganda for the Israeli occupation army”, BDS called on Netflix, which bought the rights to “Fauda”, to remove the show or face legal action.

In its statement announcing the campaign to boycott “Fauda”, BDS claims that the series serves as propaganda for Israel’s political and security establishment. It notes that the “Fauda” cast, including the production team, were hosted by the Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, last month along with Israeli soldiers. The crew expressed gratitude to the Israeli soldiers and were described as a “source of inspiration” for the series while Rivlin expressed “gratitude” to the series’ producers.

Read: Fauda brings Israel’s ‘shoots and cries’ genre to the Netflix generation

Explaining the reasons for calling for the boycott, BDS said that “Fauda” celebrates secret Israeli military units which are known to have carried out numerous assassinations and extrajudicial executions, murder and the brutal arrest of unarmed demonstrators, including children. Yamas, for example, which is the Israeli border police unit, is accused of violating the sanctity of universities and hospitals, which constitute crimes of war under international humanitarian law, BDS campaigners have said.

“The celebration by the Israeli political and security establishment by Fauda,” stress the BDS group “reveals the contribution made by the series to Israeli propaganda efforts in concealing Israeli crimes, including ethnic cleansing, particularly in Jerusalem, the Negev and the Jordan Valley, the demolition of houses and the bulldozing of agricultural land and the siege of two million Palestinians in Gaza and the establishment of colonies.”

(Source / 29.03.2018)