Israel arrests female Palestinian activist days after releasing father

Palestinian journalist and activist, Bushra Al-Taweel,

Palestinian journalist and activist, Bushra Al-Taweel, 15 April 2016

On Wednesday morning Israeli occupation forces arrested Palestinian journalist and activist, Bushra Al-Taweel, just one week after her father was released from an Israeli prison, Safa Press Agency reported.

Al-Taweel is a Palestinian journalist and activist, who reports on Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli prisons.

Her father, Jamal Al-Taweel, was released only one week ago from an Israeli prison, after spending 20 months under administrative detention.

Bushra Al-Taweel was detained several times by the Israeli occupation, and was arrested at her home in the West Bank city of Al-Bireh.

READ: 557 Israeli violations against Palestinian media

When the Israeli occupation forces raided the city for her arrest, they ransacked her home along with many other Palestinian homes.

During the raid, Palestinian youths clashed with the Israeli occupation forces, throwing stones at them. While the Israeli occupation forces used gas canisters, live ammunition and steel coated with rubber bullets against the youths.

(Source/ 12.12.2019)

Palestinian journalist being held without charge by Israel

Palestinian journalist Sameh Al-Titi

Palestinian journalist Sameh Al-Titi, 9 December 2019

Israeli authorities have been urged by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) to immediately release Palestinian journalist Sameh Al-Titi or to disclose any charges against him.

Al-Titi, a reporter for the Hebron University-affiliated broadcaster Radio Alam, was arrested at home in Al-Arroub refugee camp by Israeli occupation forces on 9 December.

According to CPJ, Al-Titi is being held at the Petah Tikva interrogation facility, near Tel Aviv, adding that “authorities have not disclosed any reason for his arrest or any charges against him”.

On Wednesday, Sameh’s brother Alaa “posted on Facebook that a military court prevented his brother from meeting with a lawyer, and extended his detention for an additional eight days while authorities conduct an investigation”, CPJ reported.

“We are very concerned about the arrest of Sameh al-Titi given Israel’s frequent use of legal measures, including administrative detention, to keep journalists in jail without bringing any charges against them,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Representative Ignacio Miguel Delgado.

READ: 600 Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists in 2019

“Israeli authorities should immediately explain why they are holding al-Titi or let him go”.

Alaa al-Titi also described on Facebook how Israeli forces seized his brother’s laptop and mobile phone during the raid.

CPJ added that “one day before his arrest, al-Titi published an article on the Quds News Network’s website criticizing the Israeli government for using sports to bolster its international reputation”.

CPJ noted that Israeli occupation authorities had not replied to the group’s request for comment.

Freedom of Expression in Israel - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

(Source / 12.12.2019)

Hamas officials arrested ahead of founding anniversary

Hamas celebrate their 31st anniversary on 17 December 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Supporters of Hamas come together to celebrate their anniversary in Gaza on 17 December 2018

Israeli soldiers have arrested top Hamas officials in an overnight raid in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

The arrests were a pre-emptive measure in preparation for the anticipated Palestinian celebrations over the weekend to mark the anniversary of the founding of Hamas in 1987.

Hamas was founded on December 14, 1987, by its late leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by Israel in 2004.

Israeli forces arrested former member of the Legislative Council Muhammad Jamal Al-Natshah, former minister Issa Al-Jabari, Sheikh Abd Al-Khaleq Al-Natshah, Sheikh Jawad Bahr Al-Natshah, Mazen Al-Natshah, and Omar Al-Qawasmi, in pre-dawn raids in Hebron on Thursday, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported, citing local sources.

The arrests also came amid ongoing discussions on a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel, which is reportedly close to being struck.

Hamas spokesman Adbel Latif Al-Qanou told the Gaza-based news site Sawa that the arrests constituted “an abortive attempt to harm [Hamas’] young people and base and break the will of its leadership.”

READ: Israel arrests female Palestinian activist days after releasing father

He emphasised that “these arrests will not stop their role [which is] to confront the occupation’s plans” and that “arrest and abduction is one of the most important tools for the occupying regime in making this attempt.”

As a result, Israel is also preparing for protests along the occupied West Bank and Gaza border perimeter fence, and therefore decided to reinforce the areas with troops, in preparation for unrest expected over the coming days, Hebrew-language broadcaster Channel 12 reported.

Earlier this year, Hamas and Israel reached an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire after exchanges of fire. However, Tel Aviv has since violated the truce several times by conducting air strikes against the strip.

Last Friday’s Great March of Return protest saw thousands of Palestinians demonstrating along the Gaza border following a three-week hiatus.

At least 14 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire, four of them with live gunshots, according to the health ministry in the besieged enclave.

READ: Hamas denies interference in UK elections

(Source / 12.12.2019)

Canada’s latest UN stance fails to affirm commitment to Palestinians’ political rights

Canadian activists gather in support of Palestine outside the Canadian Parliament, Ottawa, Canada [Tony Webster / Wikimedia]

Canadian activists gather in support of Palestine outside the Canadian Parliament, Ottawa, Canada on 31 August 2019

By Ramona Wadi

UN resolutions on Palestine are given more prominence than the Palestinian people themselves. What happens within the UN premises sets an agenda that is difficult to challenge, mainly because international consensus rarely makes it beyond resolution texts to implementation. As a result, an unexpected shift from the predictable votes, particularly if perceived as an affront by Israel, ends up becoming the focus of both scrutiny and illusions.

Canada’s vote in favour of Palestinian self-determination last November was the subject of much pondering over whether President Justin Trudeau was promoting a change in his country’s foreign policy. However, this week Trudeau set the record straight – there is no shift in Canada’s support for Israel.

“The government felt that it was important to reiterate its commitment to a two-states-for-two-peoples solution at a time when its prospects appear increasingly under threat,” Trudeau stated. “We will continue to stand out strongly against the singling out of Israel at the UN. Canada remains a steadfast supporter of Israel and Canada will always defend Israel’s right to live in security.”

In explaining its vote, Canada departed from the two-state paradigm. It was careful to assert that Israel is “unfairly singled out for criticism” at the UN. Palestinian self-determination and the two-state compromise are merely catchphrases at the UN, which means that Canada’s vote in favour was a mere embellishment lacking commitment to Palestinian political rights.

Undoubtedly, it signified opposition to the US unilaterally trampling over Palestinians’ rights, in particular with its latest statement declaring settlements are not illegal.

READ: Displacement of Negev Bedouin an ‘attack on dignity’

But the vote in itself changes nothing except a departure from the usual formalities. Canada could have abstained, yet its choice to vote against has not signalled any change for Palestinians, other than temporary jubilation at the news. The point of contention is not whether Canada voted for or against. The country’s anti-BDS stance and its upholding of Israeli security narratives even when war crimes were being committed against Palestinians in Gaza are indicative of allegiance to Israel – much more than a single departure from its usual voting patterns regarding UN resolutions on Palestine.

Activists attend a pro BDS march [Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr]

In addition, Trudeau has clearly reaffirmed his government’s support for the Zionist colonial project, in much the same way as the rest of the international community voting in favour of UN resolutions have done countless times. The difference is minimal and the outcome is the same. As long as the two-state framework is promoted and, within the current developments, not only as the only purported option but also in opposition to the US deal of the century, the fact remains that international action against Palestine has overshadowed any resonance that resolutions might have had for Palestinians.

Hence, the ineffectiveness of UN resolutions has far greater impact, in particular since the US has clearly shifted itself out of international consensus. For decades, UN resolutions have not contributed to a change in Palestine’s quest for its political rights. On the other hand, political passivity about Palestine has enabled Israel to extend an interim period to an interminable presence and this is what Canada is committed to supporting, regardless of a one-time change in its voting preferences.

READ: Recognising Palestine

(Source / 12.12.2019)

Addameer: On International Human Rights Day, Palestinian People’s Suffering Continues

By Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

Palestinians mark International Human Rights Day following a year of nonstop violence and widespread human rights violations by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF), against the Palestinian population used, as a form of collective punishment and a method to control Palestinian society. These consistent and systematic policies by the occupation include, extrajudicial executions and issuance of discriminatory legislations, mass arrests campaigns, torture, administrative detention, and medical negligence against Palestinian political prisoners.

Arrests of Palestinians
Under Article 3 and Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all human beings have the right to liberty and the right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention. Palestinians, however, have suffered from a widespread policy of arrests and use of arbitrary detention by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) for decades.

In 2018 alone, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested around 6500 Palestinians, including 1080 children, 133 women, 6 PLC members and 17 journalists. Additionally, they issued 912 administrative detention orders, 398 of which were new.

In 2019, the IOF continued its policy of arbitrary detention of Palestinians; by the end of November 2019, the IOF arrested around 5190 Palestinians. The month of November 2019 ended with around 5000 prisoners including 185 children, 38 women, 8 Palestine Legislative Council (PLC) members. Additionally, there are 460 administrative detainees, and around 700 prisoners with health issues needing urgent medical attention. There are also 26 long-term prisoners who were arrested before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993; including the two longest serving prisoners, Karim and Maher Younis, who were arrested in 1983.

Administrative Detention of Palestinians
The IOF detains Palestinians without charges or trial which prevents the detainee and his/her lawyer from knowing the reasons for detention, and prevents the possibility of building an effectivve defense. The administrative detention order can be renewed indefinitely, effectively indefinite detention. It is issued through the executive, and not the judiciary authority, which violates the principle of a fair trial. The systematic, widespread, and arbitrary use of administrative detention by the Israeli occupying state, without guaranteeing the basic standards of a fair trial, is a form of psychological torture, a violation of international humanitarian law, and a war crime.

The number of administrative detainees in Israeli prisons, at the end of November 2019 reached around 460 detainees, including 5 PLC members, 2 female prisoners and 2 children.

Imprisonment of Palestinian Children
Under International Human Rights Law, children must be afforded special protection and their best interest should always be a primary consideration. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was ratified by Israel in 1991, prohibits the arbitrary detention of children and stipulates that the detention and imprisonment of children should only be used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. Palestinian children, however, are regularly subjected to arrests and detention by the Israeli occupation. Children often undergo ill-treatment at the hands of IOF forces and are subject to a wide array of violations. Arrests usually take place in night invasions and are often physically and verbally abused during arrest, transfer and detention.

As of November 2019, the number of Palestinian children in Israeli occupation prisons, is 185 children, including 2 held under administrative detention.

Torture and Ill-Treatment
Despite the absolute prohibition against torture, enshrined under article (2) of the International Convention against Torture and ratified by Israel on 3 October 1991, Israeli torture against Palestinian detainees is systematic and widespread. Affidavits and documented cases gathered by various human rights organizations in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, have shown that the Israeli occupation authorities use torture as a first measure for extracting statements from Palestinian detainees, in violation of their rights to bodily integrity, physical safety, and basic dignity.

Torture and ill treatment has continued throughout 2019 Addameer has documented an escalation of the use of violence and excessive force against Palestinians during arrest and detention. Several Palestinian were arrested after being shot by IOF forces in the aftermath of alleged attacks. Many of those who were arrested after being shot were subjected to field interrogations while bleeding, interrogations during treatment in hospitals while chained to bed as well as being subjected to harsh interrogations shortly after release from hospitals. Torture methods include, traditional physical violence, such as, harsh beatings, sleep deprivation, stress positions, deprivation of food and water, physiological torture, such as threats against family members, threats of sexual violence, and threats of administrative detention without charge or trial.

Addameer is particularly alarmed at the case of Samer Arbeed, who was arrested on 25 September 2019. Samer was tortured nearly to the point of death, and was transferred to the hospital on 27 September 2019, following 2 days in interrogation at Al-Mascobiyya Interrogation Center, due to life-threatening injuries.

Medical Negligence
Medical negligence continues to be a policy, with not only specialized medical care, but also the minimum standards for medical care are unavailable to prisoners and detainees. The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has adopted a policy of deliberate medical neglect against prisoners and detainees. Human rights organizations estimate that since 1967, 222 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including 67 prisoners that died as a result of medical negligence. In 2019 alone, 5 prisoners died in Israeli prisons, 3 out of those 5 died as a result of medical negligence, as in the case of Sami Abu Diak.

Human Rights Defenders
In 2019, the (IOF) continued its crackdown and repression of human rights defenders. Currently, Addameer faces gag orders against around 40 of the cases they represent, who are in interrogation. The gag order prohibits us from releasing any information to the public regarding their detention status, or face grave consequences.

In the early hours of 19 September 2019, the Addameer office in Ramallah was raided, and essential equipment, including laptops, memory cards, books and publications were stolen by the (IOF), and have yet to be returned. Indeed, civil society organizations and their staff are targeted for doing the work of upholding and being vocal about human rights violations. Several of Addameer’s staff have travel bans that prevent them from traveling outside of Palestine. Moreover, Addameer’s legal coordinator, Ayman Nasser has been under administrative detention since September 2018 without charge or trial. His administrative detention order has been renewed for three times since the end of his first detention order.

On the International Human Rights Day, Addameer calls for an end to ongoing violations by Israeli occupation forces in the form of mass arrest campaigns, rapidly increasing use of administrative detention, continued denial of fair trial, and illegal torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees.

Addameer calls on members of the international community, particularly UN Member States and UN bodies and agencies, to hold Israel accountable for its ongoing violations against the Palestinian occupied population.

Addameer believes Israeli mass incarceration of Palestinians is an inextricable part of the ongoing violence of the occupation. Tearing at the fabric of Palestinian society, recent arrest campaigns seek to suppress the Palestinian people’s ability to endure in their struggles against the occupation.

It is important that on this day, we all stand united to call for an end to Israeli violations of Palestinian rights and an end to the Israeli occupation. As Israel acts with ever growing contempt for international law and the will of the international community, action is now needed more than ever.

(Source / 12.12.2019)

Army Abducts A Woman, Invade Many Homes, Near Jerusalem

Israeli soldiers abducted, Wednesday, a Palestinian woman from Beit Doqqo village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem; her detention comes just a few days after the soldiers abducted her husband.

Local sources in Beit Doqqo said the soldiers abducted Zakiyya Ali Hussein, 30, when she headed to an interrogation center after she was ordered to go there.

They added that the soldiers also stormed and ransacked more than twelve homes in Beit Doqqo, and assaulted many Palestinians.

The home invasions, the violent searches and the abducted of the Palestinian woman led to protest across the village, and the soldiers fired live rounds, gas bombs, and rubber-coated steel bullets.

It is worth mentioning that the invasion is part of a series of violations targeting Palestinian villages, northwest of Jerusalem, especially after the soldiers installed roadblocks on roads leading to Biddu, Beit Iksa, and al-Judeira villages.

On Friday at dawn, the soldiers shot a Palestinian medic and abducted thirteen other Palestinians, including a university student, in several parts of the occupied West Bank.

(Source / 12.12.2019)

Israeli occupation forces kidnap 14 Palestinians in West Bank, including MPs

During the raids, the Israeli occupation forces opened fire at Palestinians, wounding several including a paramedic

Israeli occupation forces kidnapped on Thursday night 14 Palestinians across occupied West Bank, including MPs and former ministers, Palestine Prisoners’ Society (PPS) reported.

In a press release, the PPS said that the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped seven Palestinians, all former prisoners, from the southern West Bank city of Al-Khalil (Hebron).

One of the seven detainees was identified as former Minister of Local Governance Issa al-Ja’bari, and another as lawmaker Mohammad Jamal al-Natsheh.

Local sources said that the Israeli occupation forces also raided the towns of Sa’ir and Dura, located to the southwest and east of Al-Khalil, where soldiers ransacked seven houses, turning them upside down.

Meanwhile, the PPS said that two Palestinians were kidnapped from the central West Bank district of Ramallah.

Israeli forces kidnapped a female undergraduate student from her family’s house in Ramallah neighbourhood of Ein Misbah, and another Palestinian from Beitunia, west of Ramallah.

The predawn raid into Ein Misbah neighbourhood triggered confrontations, during a paramedic was injured from Israeli military gunfire and several others suffocated from tear gas.

Israeli occupation forces frequently raid Palestinian houses almost on a daily basis across the occupied West Bank under the pretext of searching for “wanted” Palestinians, triggering clashes with residents.

According to Palestinian figures, roughly 5,700 Palestinians — including numerous women and children — are currently languishing in Israeli detention facilities.

(Source / 12.12.2019)

Even at the ICC premises, Palestine artwork stolen to hide Israeli crimes

The ICC’s administrators immediately launched a search and found artwork stored away in another location, still inside the building

A Palestinian art exhibition was stolen last week during the 18th session of the Assembly of the States Parties of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

Hosted by the State of Palestine and Palestinian Human Rights Organisation Al-Haq, the exhibition featured MEMO’s Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Sabaaneh’s artwork as part of an initiative on the impact of the criminal policies and practices of the Israeli occupation on the victims in Palestine.

According to the International Middle East Media Centre, Sabaaneh’s graphic political masterpieces were removed without authorisation from the hallways of the World Forum, sparking widespread condemnation.

The State of Palestine has been a member of the ICC since 2015 and has brought several key cases before the court.

Al-Haq and its partners have also submitted a file on Israeli crimes committed in the West Bank, including Jerusalem.

Following the disappearance of the artwork, the ICC’s administrators immediately launched a search and found them stored away in another location, still inside the building.

The 20 panels featuring his work were put back on display under police protection to prevent any further vandalism.

In a statement, the Ministry said: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemns in the strongest terms this hateful act. We view it as a desperate attempt to silence the voices of Palestinian victims, which were so powerfully reflected in the exhibition.”

“We have been formally informed that the court is currently conducting an investigation into this grave incident. We expect this investigation to be thorough and transparent and that strong measures will be taken following its conclusion.”

Palestine’s ambassador to the Netherlands and the ICC Rawan Suleiman, was concerned that such a violation could take place within the ICC’s own premises.

She took to social media and wrote: “…The work documented the crimes of the occupation in Palestine, which fall within the legal jurisdiction of the Rome Charter, a work condemned by all standards. We expect the court, as we have been informed, to conduct a transparent investigation leading to strict measures.”

“You can imagine, my friends, the hostile environment that we face in our work from some people who aim to hinder any action that might contribute to reaching a result that we all seek, which is achieving justice and accountability.”

“I feel wounded on behalf of my friend, creative artist Mohammad Sabaaneh.”

(Source / 12.12.2019)

IOF attacks Palestinians including three journalists, arrests seven in West Bank

WEST BANK, PALESTINOW.COM — Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, seven Palestinians from several parts of the occupied West Bank, after the army invaded and searched many homes, and injured many others, in addition to attacking journalists and confiscating two cars.

In Ramallah governorate, in central West Bank, the soldiers abducted five Palestinians, including a woman who is a former political prisoner.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said the soldiers abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Bushra Tawil, in addition to Laith ‘Aassi Tarifi, from their homes from the al-Biereh city.

It added that the soldiers also abducted Ahmad Kayed from Beitin town, Kamel Nakhla from the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, and Ahmad Abdullah as-Saher, from Silwad town.

The soldiers also caused dozens of Palestinians to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, during protests that erupted after the army invaded Birzeit city and the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, in addition to the neighborhoods of Ein Misbah and Um ash-Sharayet.

Medical sources in Ramallah said the soldiers shot a young man with a rubber-coated steel bullet in his leg, and prevented many journalists from documenting the invasions, before assaulting of them, identified as Mohammad Turkman, Ali Dar Ali and Karim Khamaisa.

Furthermore, the soldiers abducted Mahmoud Bajes Aqel and Nayef Abdullah Shatreet, from their homes in Halhoul town, north of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

The soldiers also searched and ransacked the homes of Eyad Bajes Aqel in Halhoul town, and Ezzeddin al-Ja’bari, from Hebron city.

In Bethlehem, south of occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers invaded Marah Rabah village, south of the city, and confiscated a car owned by a local resident, in addition to storming and searching homes in ‘Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem.

In ‘Azzoun town, east of the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, the soldiers invaded and searched the home of Ahmad Qassem Sheikh, and confiscated a car, owned by another resident.

Also in Qalqilia, the soldiers fired live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs at Palestinian protesters.

Protests also took place in the al-Basateen area in Qalqilia, where some protested hurled Molotov cocktails at the invading army jeeps.

In Nablus, in northern West Bank, the soldiers searched two homes, and attacked locals protesting the invasion.

Media sources in Nablus said a protester hurled a Molotov cocktail at an army jeep during the invasion.

In occupied Jerusalem, the soldiers searched homes and abducted a young man, identified as Husam Abu Mayyala, and his father, from their home in Shu’fat refugee camp, north of the city, and fired many gas bombs at protesters.

(Source / 12.12.2019)

Palestinian lady detained, after her husband kidnapped by IOF days before

OCCUPIED AL-QUDS, PALESTINOW.COM — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Wednesday arrested a Palestinian woman after summoning her for interrogation in Beit Duqqu village, northwest of Jerusalem.

Local residents reported that Zakia Ali Husein, 30, was arrested once she arrived for questioning by the IOF.

They said that Zakia’s husband was kidnapped by the IOF only a few days ago.

According to eyewitnesses, IOF soldiers in large numbers stormed Beit Duqqu village, raided a number of Palestinian homes, wreaked havoc on them and handed Zakia an interrogation order.

(Source / 12.12.2019)