Samidoun mourns Manolis Glezos, lifelong struggler and symbol of Greek resistance to fascism

Manolis Glezos speaks in Athens on 20 December 2017, with Mohammed Khatib, Samidoun’s Europe coordinator

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network mourns the passing of Manolis Glezos, 97, a lifelong champion of liberation, a legendary anti-Nazi resistance fighter and a dedicated friend of a free Palestine. We remember his commitment to continue to resist all forms of exploitation and oppression, from the European Union’s plundering of the resources of the Greek people to the Israeli apartheid regime in occupied Palestine. His example of revolutionary commitment to people’s liberation will continue to stand as an inspiration and an example to all who struggle for radical change and a different, better world.

Glezos became a symbol of the Greek resistance to Nazi occupation and invasion when he climbed the Acropolis with his comrade Apostolis Santas, tore down the swastika flag. He was arrested and tortured repeatedly for his involvement in the resistance, and he was sentenced to death in absentia while the Nazis did not know his identity. After he returned to Greece following its liberation from Nazi occupation, Glezos returned to Greece, where he continued to fight against the right-wing government and later the dictatorship. For his work as a journalist and his activism, he faced multiple arrests and imprisonments, including three death sentences, until his final acquittal in the general amnesty of 1971. He was convicted 28 times for his political activity and served 11 years in prison. He was forced into exile for 4.5 years during the Greek military junta.

He worked as editor-in-chief of the newspaper Rizopastis and later, directed the newspaper Avgi. After the fall of the dictatorship in 1974, he served as president of the United Democratic Left (ECHR), a member of parliament for the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and then a member of European Parliament with SYRIZA, from 2014 to 2015. He left SYRIZA after its acquiescence to the demands of the European “troika” of capital, resigning from his position to assert the rights of the Greek people.

Throughout his life, he was committed to a vision of liberation that was fully inclusive of the Palestinian people. He participated in protests inside the European Parliament to stand with the Palestinian people under Israeli attack in Gaza and called for freedom for Khalida Jarrar and other Palestinian political prisoners. In 2002, Israeli occupation forces blocked him and his colleagues from marching to Ramallah under siege.

On 20 December 2017, at an event organized by Samidoun in Athens marking 50 years of struggle of the Palestinian revolutionary left, two Palestinian youth presented him with a kuffiyeh and a map of Palestine to honor his lifelong commitment to liberation and his many years of struggle. Glezos addressed the event, speaking about his own history with Palestine solidarity and today’s situation, with Trump recognizing al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel. Glezos noted that Trump does not represent the people of the United States but himself and the ruling class, emphasizing that he has no right to decide to whom al-Quds belongs and that it is the rightful capital of the Palestinian people.

Glezos said that in his analysis, the Palestinian leadership has made major mistakes over the years, first and foremost the recognition of the Israeli state and secondly the decision to stop the Palestinian armed struggle outside Palestine. He concluded by emphasizing continuous and ongoing solidarity with the Palestinian people until the total liberation of Palestine.

(Source / 31.03.2020) 

Israel renews administrative detention for female Palestinian journalist

Palestinian journalist Bushra Al-Tawil, 30 March 2020 [Hannibal Carthage/Twitter]

Palestinian journalist Bushra Al-Tawil, 30 March 2020

Israeli authorities renewed on Sunday the administrative detention of the female Palestinian prisoner Bushra Al-Tawil, 27, from the occupied West Bank city of Al-Bireh, Quds Press reported.

According to the Prisoners’ Media Office, Quds Press said this was the second round of administrative detention for Al-Tawil and it has been renewed for four months.

Al-Tawil has spent several terms inside Israeli jails in 2011, 2014 and 2017.

On 11 December 2019 the female journalist, a specialist in prisoners’ issues, was arrested from her house and on 16 December 2019 the Israeli Army Commander of the Central Command issued a military order to put her in administrative detention for four months.

According to rights groups, there are about 5,000 Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails, including 43 girls and women.

READ: British Palestinians commemorate Land Day

(Source / 31.03.2020) 

China delivers 10,000 coronavirus kits to Palestine

COVID-19 tests are being carried out in the city of Ramallah, West Bank on 16 March 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

COVID-19 tests are being carried out in the city of Ramallah, West Bank on 16 March 2020

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry has had 10,000 coronavirus test kits and ventilators delivered from China, according to Wafa news agency.

The chief of the PA’s General Intelligence Service Majed Faraj arranged for the shipment to arrive from China to contain the spread of the virus in their territory.

“Before these test kits arrived, we only had hundreds left,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Times of Israel.  “Now, we have a significant amount.”

Palestinian medical institutions have only 295 respirators – 175 in the West Bank and 120 in Gaza – a report published by the PA on March 26 said.

READ: China mulls sending medical convoy to Palestine

The PA adds that they have increased their medical teams with 51 additional doctors and added to the nursing staff in hospitals.

PA Health Minister Mai Kaila thanked the General Intelligence Services for the kits, according to the PA Health Ministry.

In addition, the Chinese ambassador to Palestine Guo Wei stated that, following an official Palestinian request, his country was exploring the possibility of dispatching a medical team to Palestine to help Palestinian medics address the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to Palestine TV, the Chinese ambassador said that China is supporting the state of Palestine in its battle against the coronavirus.

Coronavirus is affecting the whole world, will it unite us - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

He also said that Chinese assistance to the Palestinians “is ready,” pointing out that the assistance includes donations from NGOs.

READ: $120 million needed to face coronavirus crisis as Palestinians warn of its economic impact

Meanwhile, PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh called on Palestinians to “reflect” on their expenses, as he warned that the PA did not know what would transpire in the coming months.

Following two new cases overnight, 117 people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have tested positive for COVID-19.

(Source / 31.03.2020) 

COVID-19 State of Emergency: Powers and Restrictions Under Palestinian and International Law

 The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR): Introduction: On 05 March 2020, the Palestinian President issued a decree declaring a 30-day state of emergency to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Palestine. The Presidential decree bestowed upon the Prime Minister and relevant authorities the powers to “take all necessary measures to combat the threat of COVID-19, protect public health and achieve security and stability.” In suit, the Prime Minister announced several measures that included shutting educational institutions and other official institutions; restrictions on the freedoms of movement and expression; restrictions relevant to mandatory quarantine; and other relevant restrictions.

Through this paper, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) endeavors to demonstrate the Extraordinary powers the state of emergency grants the executive authorities, and the freedoms and rights that cannot be infringed upon during this period. The argument presented herein is based upon Palestine’s international obligations under human rights treaties, particularly the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); and the 2003 Palestinian Basic Law (PBL), particularly Title Seven – State of Emergency Provisions. In this regard, PCHR reiterates a general principle that permits the use of Extraordinary powers in the narrowest terms, without abuse against political opposition or to harm citizens or their properties.

This paper intends to raise awareness among the public, governmental and executive bodies of the powers and restrictions entailed in the state of emergency through answers to the following questions:

  1. What is a state of emergency?

It is an exceptional state declared by the competent authorities in the State when a threat is present on the security of the nation, allowing the state, in the narrowest terms, to enforce measures that may not necessarily fulfill its human rights obligations.

  1. What are the conditions for a state of emergency under ICCPR and PBL?
  2. To be in accordance with the laws regulating the state of emergency (Title Severn of PBL);
  • Does not exceed 30 days, renewable with the approval of 2 thirds of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC)[1]

NB: The Palestinian Presidents’ acts in place of the PLC after its dissolution, as per Article 43 of PBL.

  • The decree declaring a state of emergency shall state its purpose, the region to which it applies and its duration[2];
  • The Legislative Council shall have the right to review all or some of the procedures and measures adopted during the state of emergency, at the first session convened after the declaration of the state of emergency or in the extension session, whichever comes earlier, and to conduct the necessary interpellation in this regard.[3]
  • It is not allowed to impose restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms when declaring a state of emergency except to the extent necessary to fulfill the purpose stated in the decree declaring the state of emergency.[4]
  • Any detention must be reviewed by the Attorney General within 15 days of the detention  date, and the detainee have the right to appoint a lawyer.[5]
  1. To be in in the narrowest scope in terms of space, time and exceptional procedures.
  2. Not to take measures that contradict with Palestine’s other international obligations.
  3. ICCPR  States Parties shall be informed of the causes, duration and location of the state of emergency.
  4. Do not involve any discrimination on grounds of race, color, gender, language, religion or social origin.
  5. These measures shall not infringe upon certain rights, notably:
  • Right to life (with the exception of the death sentence case issued after a fair trial by a competent court that meets the proper procedures, emphasizing PCHR’s absolute rejection of this inhuman punishment).
  • Right not to be tortured.
  • Right not to be imprisoned merely for failure to fulfill a contractual obligation (Example: A contractor is imprisoned because they have not constructed or repaired a building, after having an agreement with his owner).
  • Right to enjoy guarantees of non-retroactivity of crimes and penalties, and there is no crime and no punishment except those enshrined in the law. (A person shall only  be punished or criminalized in accordance with a published and enforced law).
  • Right to recognize legal personality (a person is recognized before the official authorities in carrying out any legal behavior such as contracting, litigation, and obtaining official documents).

III. What are the most prominent rights that may be restricted and the scope of this restriction?

  1. The right to proper penal procedures: Powers and Restrictions.
  • Exceptional  powers granted in the state of emergency
  • Detention powers without a judicial warrant;
  • The power to arrest and search without a judicial warrant
  • Restrictions on powers:
  • Detention decisions are reviewed by the Attorney General within 15 days of its occurrence.
  • The arrest or search procedure should be absolutely necessary to achieve the declared goal in the state of emergency.
  • These powers shall not be used  to suppress opposition or freedoms that are not relevant to the state of emergency.
  • The detained person has the right to appoint a lawyer of their choice to attend the procedures.
  • Detainees should be protected from getting infected with the coronavirus.
  1. Right to movement: powers and restrictions.
  • Extraordinary powers granted in the state of emergency
  • Prohibition of movement in Palestine (between governorates) or between it and other countries.
  • Imposing curfews and force people to stay at home as required by preventive measures against the spread of the pandemic.
  • Detention of anyone who violates these procedures, in case of extreme necessity.
  • Powers and Restrictions:
  • The restriction must be by a clear decision or law, that was published to the public.
  • Enable the public to obtain their needs of food, drink, medicine in addition to other living necessities.
  • Non-discrimination in imposing procedures, except for the categories whose movement is essential to meet the needs of the public (for example: health workers, security personnel, workers in bakeries, fuel stations, and foodstuff merchants)
  1. The right to freedom of expression: limitations and powers
  • Extraordinary powers authorized in the state of emergency
  • Impose restrictions on freedom of expression, based on the public health protection standard.
  • Prevent the dissemination of certain information even if it is correct, and its dissemination is permitted in non-emergency, e.g. ban on publishing names of persons infected with COVID-19.
  • Detainment of anyone who violates these procedures, in the case of extreme necessity.
  • Limitations on Powers:
  • Restrictions shall be by a clear decree or law, published to the public.
  • No distinction should be made in applying these restrictions on any grounds.
  • Restrictions should not apply to well-intended criticism and opinions on governmental measures, e.g. well-intended criticism means that the person does not belong to anti-state actors and does not aim to provoke riots.
  1. The right to peaceful assembly: limitations and powers
  • Extraordinary powers authorized in the state of emergency
  • Prohibition of all peaceful assemblies, whether in public or private places, open or closed, as necessary to combat the spread of the pandemic.
  • Prohibition of calls for peaceful assemblies, whatever their purpose.
  • Breaking up peaceful assemblies, even with proportionate force, and detaining the violators.
  • Limitations on Powers:
  • Any decision to restrict shall be by a clear decree or law, published to the public.
  • No distinction should be made in applying these restrictions on any grounds.
  1. Right to property
  • Private property shall be protected and may not be expropriated except in the public interest and for fair compensation in accordance with the law or pursuant to a judicial ruling.[6]
  • There are no provisions in international or domestic law regarding the permissibility of the temporary use of private property. Accordingly, and as per Article 21 od PBL,  general rules, and international standards that protect the right to property and its importance for the national economy, the measures to control any private property for the purposes of preventive quarantine require the following:
  • The facility should not be used for housing.
  • The use of the facility should be in agreement with its owner as far as possible.
  • The use of the facility should be in exchange for fair compensation.
  • The use of the facility should not be intended to harm the owner.
  • The government shall be responsible for compensating the owner for any damage inflicted in the facility.
  • The facility should be completely sterilized before it is returned to the owner.

(Source / 31.03.2020) 

Israeli Troops Abduct Four Palestinians in Pre-Dawn Raids

Israeli troops reportedly abducted on Tuesday four Palestinian residents in the West Bank city of Ramallah and the town of Albeira, after invading their towns and their homes.

Local media outlets, quoting witnesses, reported that among the four abducted was a local lawyer, and that the abduction occurred in the early morning hours when Israeli forces invaded the Palestinian district of Ramallah.

Witnesses added that Israeli forces broke into the home of the al-Barghouti family and vandalized the home itself, before they abducted Omar al-Barghouti, the father of the late Saleh, who was killed by the Israeli military, and Asem, who is currently imprisoned by Israeli authorities. They also abducted the man’s son, Mohammad.

The family lives in Kober village, north of Ramallah city.

In a concurrent incident,  Israeli troops invaded Badras village, west of Ramallah city and broke in the home of Mahmoud Marar and abducted Mahmoud himself.

In the town of Albeira, witnesses told media outlets that the Israeli army broke into the home of Ja’far Erbash and abducted J’afar.

As Israeli troops invaded the Palestinian-populated areas, dozens of locals took out to streets in protest, with no casualties reported.Israeli army abductions of Palestinian residents occur on an almost-daily basis in different parts of the occupied West Bank. Despite the 1993 Oslo Agreement that declared that these areas would be under the control of the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli military continues to occupy and govern all Palestinian areas and dictate all aspects of the lives of the Palestinian people.

(Source / 31.03.2020) 

Israeli Colonial Settlers Raze Palestinian Farm Lands near Nablus

Israeli colonial settlers on Tuesday, razed vast areas of Palestinian-owned farm lands in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

Local media outlets said that the lands razed, are located near the illegal Israeli colonial settlement of Shefout Rahel.

The sources confirmed that today’s bulldozing caused widespread harm to tens of olive trees, owned by local Palestinian farmers from Nablus city.

Previously, Israeli defense minister, Naftali Bennett, announced his government’s plan to expand the Shefout Rahel colonial settlement with another nearby colonial settlement, called Shelo.

In the area, where the bulldozing took place, there are a number of illegal colonial settlements, including Shelo, Aadi Aad, Codeish, Keda and Ahya.

Israeli colonial settlements on Palestinian-owned lands has been Israeli systematic policy, initially announced in late 1970’s for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Over the past decade, Israel has accelerated settlement building in a way that has strangulated Palestinian-populated cities, towns and villages in the West Bank which includes occupied East Jerusalem.

Back in 2005, Israel unilaterally dismantled 17 Israeli colonial settlements in the tiny coastal Gaza Strip and two years later, it enforced a crippling blockade on the territory, in place now, for 13 years.

Israeli colonial settlement construction is deemed illegal by international law and United Nations Security Council’s resolutions, 242 and 338, given the fact that Gaza Strip and the West Bank are Arab-Palestinian lands, which Israel occupied by force, back in 1967.

(Source / 31.03.2020) 

Israeli bulldozers demolish more structures in Tulkarm

Tulkarm (QNN)- Local sources said that Israeli forces and bulldozers demolished structures in Khirbet Jubara in southern Tulkarm today.

The Israeli army demolished a room and an under-construction wall, belonging to Khaled Hussein.

The occupation state has increased demolition operations in the West Bank and Jerusalem during the coronavirus crisis. 678 buildings were demolished by the occupation state in 2019.

(Source / 31.03.2020) 

Islamic Waqf says ‘Israel’ exploits coronavirus crisis to impose full control over Ibrahimi mosque

Occupied Hebron (QNN)- The Israeli forces on Monday closed the Ibrahimi mosque in occupied Hebron and prevented its guards and custodians from entry.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs said that “closing the mosque is an attempt to impose full control over it. A step that could continue even after the coronavirus crisis.”

“The Israeli measures came following orders by the Ministry to close the mosque for visitors and worshipers as a part of the preventive measures from the coronavirus. The Ministry decided, however, to allow the mosque’s guards and custodians to continue their work in order to protect the mosque from any Israeli attack”, the statement added.

The Ministry called on “the international community to prevent the occupation from implementing its plans of turning the mosque to a synagogue, flouting the Muslims’ exclusive ownership of the mosque.”

(Source / 31.03.2020) 

In Video| Israeli forces attack Palestinian father in front of his son in Issawiyyeh

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- The Israeli police on Tuesday attacked worshipers in Issawiyyeh neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem.

QNN reporter said that Israeli cops stormed the neighborhood and deployed in its streets.

She added that the cops attacked worshipers at the Arb’een mosque and arrested one worshiper after beating him in from of his child.

Local sources stated that the man, who was beaten and arrested, has been identified as Mar’i Dirbas. He was taken to an interrogation center in the occupied city.

The neighborhood of Issawiyyeh has been seeing violent confrontations, repeated raids, arrests, attacks, and assaults against its locals on a daily basis.

(Source / 31.03.2020) 

Israeli settlers level land near ‘Shivot Rahil’ illegal settlement

Nablus (QNN)- Locals sources stated that Israeli illegal settlers leveled large areas of the villages of Jaloud and Qariout in southern Nablus on Tuesday.

The sources added that the targeted land, which is planted with olive trees, is close to the illegal settlement of Shivot Rahil.

The Israeli Minister of War, Neftali Bennet, had decided to expand the aforementioned illegal settlement and connect it to the illegal settlement of Shilo.

The area is surrounded by illegal settlements and outposts, which swallow large areas of the West Bank Palestinian villages.

(Source / 31.03.2020)