WAFA: “17 Palestinians injured by occupation forces in Beit Dajan, Kufur Qaddoum”

NABLUS, Friday, January 07, 2022 (WAFA) – At least 17 Palestinians were injured today by the Israeli occupation army during the weekly protests against colonial Israeli settlement activities in the village of Kufur Qaddoum and Beit Dajan in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources.

In Beit Dajan village, in Nablus province, Israeli occupation soldiers fired rubber-coated rounds and stun grenades at the anti-colonization protesters, injuring at least twelve of them and causing many cases of suffocation from teargas inhalation. All the wounded were treated at the scene by local medics.

In the village of Kafr Qaddoum, in Qalqilia province, five Palestinians were injured from Israeli rubber-coated rounds during clashes with the Israeli occupation army in the village. Other cases of suffocation from tear gas inhalation were also reported.

Meantime in Hebron, south of the occupied West Bank, two Palestinians were injured by Israeli occupation soldiers and others sustained suffocation from teargas during clashes in the neighborhood of Bab al-Zawiya in the city. The two wounded were moved to the hospital for medical treatment.

(Source / 08.01.2022)

The Use and Abuse of Administrative Detention by Israel

By Professor Kamel Hawwash

The Palestinian people rightly saluted Hisham Abu Hawash as a brave man who was prepared to die in pursuit of his freedom. On 4 January, the occupation state of Israel agreed to his release following his almost five-month-long hunger strike. Images of Hisham’s frail, almost skeletal body were widely shared on social media, together with a video of Hisham’s children visiting and hugging their dying father, raising anger amongst human rights defenders.

Those who have experienced fasting, particularly for religious reasons, will readily acknowledge how challenging experiencing hunger is. At the end of just a day of fasting, they are ready to tuck into a feast. Imagine going without food for almost five months as Hisham did. Imagine also what would drive someone to do this.

I doubt that any of his captors would be brave enough to do what he did for freedom.

Hisham was held in administrative detention, which Israel uses and abuses at will with no accountability. A practice it uses to hold Palestinians for extendable periods without charge, on suspicion that they pose a security threat. Once it has designated the evidence as ‘secret’, it can apply repeatedly for renewal of detention, which the Israeli courts almost always uphold.

Abu Hawash is not the first and he certainly will not be the last Palestinian whose rights Israel abuses in this way with impunity. The Palestinians have Britain to ‘thank’ for this law, which Israel introduced in 1979, based on the British Mandate 1945 (Defence Emergency) Regulations.

In October, five Palestinians were on hunger strike demanding their freedom, moving UN experts to point out that calls on Israel to comply with its obligation have come to no avail. “In international law, administrative detention is permitted only in exceptional circumstances, and only for short periods of time. Israel’s practices exceed all of the international legal boundaries.”

All but one of the detainees succeeded in forcing Israel to release them within days of each other, except Abu Hawash who doctors warned last week was near death.

The international community which usually rushes to claim Israel has a right to defend itself against Palestinian resistance were tongue-tied and said nothing in opposition to the practice which UN experts called an “unlawful practice”.

While Abu Hawash will be released on 26 February, there are currently over 500 Palestinians, including six children being held under administrative detention.

The remaining detainees recently announced that they will boycott the Israeli courts’ system in protest at their detention.

It is left to individual detainees to fight for their freedom from administrative detention. Israel can and in 2022 will detain more Palestinians without charge or conviction. While some foreign missions in Palestine raised their ‘concern’ in Hisham’s case, none committed to taking a stand that would place enough pressure on Israel that would force it to end this practice.

The British Consulate in Jerusalem tweeted: “Gravely concerned about the deteriorating health condition of Palestinian #HishamAbuHawash who has been on hunger strike for 141 days to protest his administrative detention in an Israeli prison since October 2020. ½”, while the European Union Delegation to the Palestinians tweeted: “1/2 Seriously concerned about the critical health condition of Palestinian Hisham Abu Hawash, who has been on an extended hunger strike for 140 days to protest his administrative detention in an Israeli prison since October 2020.”

Gravely concerned about the deteriorating health condition of Palestinian #HishamAbuHawash who has been on hunger strike for 141 days to protest his administrative detention in an Israeli prison since October 2020.

Neither embassy in Tel Aviv tweeted or made any comments about the practice. Why this division of responsibility? The missions express concern in Ramallah but blindly support Israel in Tel Aviv? As for the US, well the US Embassy Twitter account was silent on the matter and in the absence of a US Consulate in East Jerusalem, it is difficult to judge whether the consulate which Biden promised but has thus far failed to reopen, would have said in the matter.

The reaction in Palestine to Hisham’s release was joyous but Palestinians questioned whether Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had raised the issue of Abu Hawash when he met Israeli Defence Minister Gantz at his home near Tel Aviv. However, a video circulating on social media, appeared to show Abbas being thanked by a member of Hisham’s family thanking the president for his efforts in releasing him. What is clear though is that Hisham gained his freedom through his own sacrifice and the support of people around the world rather than Abbas’ intervention.

In Israel, the reaction of a society that keeps moving to the right as it continually elects extremist leaders was of anger at the agreement to release Abu Hawash. However, their anger should have been directed at their government and the legal system which allows detention without charge. They would not accept this practice for their own family or friends.

The anger was exemplified by the extremist, far right Kahanist MK Itamar Ben Gvir who on hearing the news of the ‘deal’ attempted to break into the Abu Hawash’s room at the hospital but was prevented by Hisham’s family and supporters. Another far right Israeli attacked a Palestinian cameraman outside the hospital simply for reporting on the gathering.

Britain’s legacy since the Balfour Declaration and the Palestinian Nakba that coincided with the end of the British Mandate, continues to haunt Palestinians, with the practice of administrative detention which Israel adopted to suit its oppressive policies towards the Palestinians.

Successive administrative detainees have used hunger strikes as a last weapon to peacefully seek their freedom. In addition to labelling Palestinians ‘terrorists’ and their use of peaceful means of resistance as different variations of this, including ‘economic terror’, ‘political terror’, an Israeli leader is likely to couch a new phrase to label hunger strikes as a form of terror. Perhaps this could be ‘starvation terror’ or ‘hunger terror’. The alternative will be to label it as some form of ‘new anti-Semitism’, perhaps that the administrative detainees would not do this if they were detained by another country, ‘singling Israel out’ because it is what they claim to be ‘the world’s only Jewish state’. Mad as it sounds it would not surprise me in the least if Israeli leaders attempted to smear these brave detainees for fighting peacefully for their freedom.

The easier route for the oppressive state would be to end this practice. Detainees should either be charged or released if the state cannot bring charges.

While its at it, it could recognise the rights of Palestinians to freedom, justice and equality in their homeland, end its settler colonialist Apartheid policies and make peace with the Palestinians whose land it continues to exist on through the denial of their rights, including the right for the refugees to return, oppression and most importantly, through the barrel of the gun.

(Source / 08.01.2022)

Violence of Israeli Settlers in Occupied West Bank Sparks Israeli-European Tension

Days of Palestine – Jerusalem – The European diplomats lodged a joint formal protest over Israeli settlers’ violence against Palestinians in the West Bank resulted in an Israeli-European dispute breaking out, according to a report.

Hebrew media reported that diplomats and ambassadors from 16 European countries arrived at the “Israeli Foreign Ministry” in the occupied city of Jerusalem two weeks ago to hold a routine meeting with the head of the European Department at the Foreign Ministry, Aliza Bin Noun, regarding the situation in the West Bank.

The portal quoted three European and Israeli diplomats, without mentioning their names, as saying that the meeting was tense.

According to the report, representatives of the European countries, led by the UK, attended the meeting to lodge a joint official protest over “settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.”

Some European diplomats, who attended the meeting, were quoted as saying that they were interested in having a professional and non-emotional dialogue on the issues that concern them, but Bin Noun refused to engage in a substantive discussion.

“European diplomats said that the atmosphere at the meeting was very difficult and that it got out of control very quickly.”

European countries called on Israel to stop the expansion the illegal project of settlements in Jerusalem.

The EU believes new settlements in Jerusalem will eliminate the chances of a two-state solution by establishing a Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel.

Israeli and Palestinian estimates indicate there are about 650,000 settlers living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the West Bank, including in occupied Jerusalem.

Under international law, all Jewish settlements in occupied territories of Palestine are considered illegal.

(Source / 08.01.2022)

Israeli Forces Assault, Kidnap Sick Palestinian Minor in Occupied West Bank

Days of Palestine – Hebron – The Israeli occupation forces arrested, yesterday evening, Friday, a Palestinian boy suffering from heart and spinal diseases, after being assaulted, in the town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron Governorate.

A media activist in Beit Ummar, Muhammad Awad, reported that the Israeli occupation forces arrested the 16-year-old boy, Nour Ahmed Mahmoud Al-Alami, after beating him, while he was in a shop in the Asida area, and that the boy was suffering from diseases of the heart and spine.

It’s noteworthy mentioning that the kidnapped boy underwent several spinal surgeries.

He added that the Israeli occupation soldiers ignored the medical reports submitted by the boy’s father, and insisted on assaulting him, arresting him, and transferring him to an unknown destination.

(Source / 08.01.2022)

Israeli Forces Arrest 2 Palestinian Citizens in Occupied West Bank

Days of Palestine – Ramallah – In the late hours of Friday and Saturday morning, the Israeli occupation forces arrested two civilians from the occupied West Bank.

Local sources reported that the Israeli occupation forces arrested Moataz Adnan Badran, from Deir al-Ghosoun in Tulkarm, at dawn today.

The Israeli occupation forces arrested the 16-year-old boy, Nour Ahmed Al-Allami after he was severely beaten in the Asida area in the town of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, late on Friday.

The boy, “Al-Alami” suffers from diseases of the heart and spine, as he underwent several surgeries. The occupation soldiers ignored the medical reports submitted by the boy’s father and insisted on assaulting him, arresting him, and transferring him to an unknown destination.

According to Palestinian data, the Israeli occupation forces arrested about 8,000 Palestinian citizens during the year 2021, including more than 1,300 minors and children and 184 women.

The number of prisoners in the Israeli occupation prisons until the end of the past year 2021 reached about 4,600 male and female prisoners.

(Source / 08.01.2022)