One year of prisoner solidarity for Samidoun Gothenburg

The international Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes our comrades in Gothenburg, Sweden on one year of organizing together as a collective for the liberation of Palestinian prisoners – and the liberation of Palestine. We urge all to visit the Samidoun Gothenburg website in Swedish and read the Swedish original statement: https://samidoun.net/sweden/ett-ar-av-fangsolidaritet/

One-year statement 24/1

One year ago, January 24 2018, a few us started the initiative Free Ahed Tamimi Gothenburg (Frihet åt Ahed Tamimi Göteborg). We created a Facebook page and called to protest to bring attention to the detention by the Israeli occupation of the then 16-year-old Palestinian girl Ahed tamimi. By then, the case had already received substantial attention around the world, but Swedish initiatives were glaringly absent. To us, it was an unmistakable opportunity to highlight that Ahed’s crime, like that of so many other Palestinians, was to defy Israel, an apartheid regime maintained by military occupation. A regime whose settler colonial violence is tied up in other imperialist projects such as Fortress Europe and numerous Western military adventures in the Middle East and North Africa in what are labeled wars on “terrorism” and “extremism”. A regime, whose ethnic cleansing, oppression and exploitation are motivated by false ethnonationalist claims of being the homeland of all Jewish people. A regime, whose allies are not to be found among those who combat racism, xenophobia and antisemitism, but among the antisemitic government of Hungary, the Nazi-dominated Ukraine and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, who is prepared to sacrifice the jungles of the Amazon rainforest for private economic interests. With her “slap that was heard around the world”, Ahed Tamimi demonstrated that it is possible to resist, and with her words inside and outside the prison walls Ahed has recalled the necessity for all of us who struggle for liberation and a just future to connect our struggles in every way we can.

Since our first protest early last year, we have organized a number of other activities: More protests of different kinds, alone and together with others; letter writing evenings for Ahed Tamimi and other Palestinian prisoners; movie screenings and talks to advance our knowledge on Palestine and widen our understanding of how the struggle for a free Palestine is connected to so many other struggles for justice and liberation. We have established many connections locally and internationally through our work. Among others with the international network Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. After discovering many common standpoints, we decided with the release of Ahed and her mother Nariman Tamimi at the end of July 2018 to regroup as an autonomous local group of the network, Samidoun Gothenburg (Samidoun Göteborg).

Today, a year later, January 24 2019, we in Samidoun Gothenburg have just finished marking the international week of action for the freedom of the Palestinian prisoner and General Secretary of the PFLP, Ahmad Sa’adat. Together with many international groups and in many different ways, we have highlighted the question and always pointed to the connection between individual important Palestinian prisoners such as Ahed Tamimi and Ahmad Sa’adat on the one hand and all Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian liberation struggle and all international struggles for peace, freedom and justice on the other. We hope, and believe, that our work has contributed to generating interest, attention, engagement and hopes for the solidarity work for all Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian liberation struggle. In the near future, we support the work for a boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel as part of the international BDS campaign för an end to the occupation of Palestine, for an end to the apartheid regime and for the right of return for all Palestinian refugees. During February, we will also highlight the prominent Palestinian feminist and leftist parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar, who by the end February will have been held for 16 months of administrative detention as part of the Israeli attempts to suppress resistance by attacking resistance leaders. In both of these issues, we work with others and encourage others to contribute with even the smallest of means to the solidarity work with the Palestinian liberation struggle.

Finally, we continue to push important issues of imperialism and international solidarity with Palestine and Palestinian prisoners as the focus of our work. Our solidarity with Palestinian prisoners is simultaneously solidarity with the repeatedly punished, but persistently struggling, leadership of the Palestinian struggle for liberation as well as with the Palestinian masses who after 70 years of Israeli oppression and more than 100 years of international occupation and colonisation steadfastly persist in their defiant existence and creative resistance. We struggle with a radical conviction that the struggle for the liberation of Palestine is an indispensible struggle for all those around the world who struggle against oppression and exploitation and for peace, freedom and justice.

Free all Palestinian prisoners!

Free Palestine!

(Source / 06.02.2019)

Mubarak: Hamas members from Gaza broke into Egypt prisons

Egyptian judge Mohammed Shirin Fahmi (background) listens to the testimony of former president Hosni Mubarak (front), who was ousted following a popular uprisal in 2011, during a session in the retrial of members of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood over charges of plotting jailbreaks and attacks on police during the 2011 uprising, at a make-shift courthouse in southern Cairo on December 26, 2018. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

Egyptian judge Mohammed Shirin Fahmi (background) listens to the testimony of former president Hosni Mubarak (front), who was ousted following a popular uprisal in 2011, during a session in the retrial of members of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood over charges of plotting jailbreaks and attacks on police during the 2011 uprising, at a make-shift courthouse in southern Cairo on December 26, 2018

Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak yesterday claimed that 800 members of Hamas broke into Egyptian prisons during the January 25 Revolution, Al-Watan Voice reported.

He claimed that they infiltrated the Egyptian border from the Gaza Strip in order to support the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mubarak was in court to testify as part of a retrial in which former President Mohamed Morsi and others are accused of orchestrating prison breaks and breaches of Egypt’s eastern border during the uprising that forced Mubarak from power in February 2011.

Quizzed on alleged infiltration by foreign militants, he said his head of general intelligence had told him on 29 January 2011 of hundreds of people crossing Egypt’s border from the Gaza Strip to support the Brotherhood.

“He told me that there are armed groups which have infiltrated the borders with great numbers, around 800 people,” he told the court.

But he declined to answer questions on the role of militant groups, so as not to discuss state secrets without authorisation. “I want permission to speak about this, I am requesting permission so as not to commit an offence,” he said.

During the trial Mubarak came face to face for the first time with Morsi, who became the country’s first democratically elected president after the revolution.

READ: Egypt’s Mubarak, Morsi come face to face in court 

(Source / 27.12.2018)

PA security forces detain Palestinian parliament speaker

Palestinian Authority Security forces raid a Palestinian home in the occupied West Bank [file photo]

Palestinian Authority Security forces raid a Palestinian home in the occupied West Bank [file photo]

Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces yesterday detained Palestinian Parliament Speaker Aziz Dwaik and a number of MPs to prevent them from reaching their office.

In a recorded statement sent to MEMO, Aziz Dwaik said: “We had a press conference to comment on the [decision of the Constitutional Court] to dissolve parliament. We were surprised with this detention.”

He added: “While we were at the checkpoint, we received a phone call from the intelligence agency which told us to bring two photographs and go to their office in Hebron.”

Dwaik said that the conference was coordinated with the different PA parties related, stressing it was permitted by the highest chief of the intelligence agency.

“About 30 to 40 security members detained us,” he said while inside a car along with three other MPs, adding that they were released after about one hour.

READ: PA continues ‘arbitrary’ detention of Palestinian man despite release orders 

“They treated us impolitely and with clear disrespect,” he said.

On Saturday, the Constitutional Court, which was formed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, issued a decision to dissolve parliament.

Chief of the PA Security Forces Adnan Al-Damiri said he would carry out the decision of the Constitutional Court.

Dwaik did not recognise this decision as it was issued by an “illegal” court, stressing that such courts, according to the Palestinian law, “must be approved” by him as head of parliament and this did not happen.

Hamas, which holds a majority in parliament, also rejected the decision.

Ahmed Bahar, a Hamas official and deputy parliament speaker, held a press conference in Gaza and said: “The decision of the Constitutional Court is illegal.” He called for carrying out presidential, parliamentary and Palestinian National Council elections.

(Source / 27.12.2018)

PA forces block press conference by PLC speaker

PA vs PLC

The Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces on Wednesday prevented a press conference by the speaker of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Aziz Dweik in Ramallah.

The PIC reporter said that Dweik was set to hold a press conference on the PA president Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to dissolve the PLC.

Local sources reported that the PA security forces deployed in the area around the PLC building and sent journalists away ahead of the scheduled press conference.

They further detained Dweik and other MPs for about an hour at a checkpoint near Bethlehem city as they were heading to Ramallah.

The same sources said that the PA forces handed Dweik a notice to appear before the Palestinian Intelligence Service in al-Khalil for interrogation.

Spokesman for the PA Security Service Adnan al-Damiri said that the press conference was illegal since the PLC dissolution “has come into effect” and “no one can say he is a speaker or member of the council”.

In his comments on the incident on behalf of other Palestinian MPs, Dweik said, “We don’t accept this treatment,” stressing that they have not received a legal and official order telling them that they are no longer members of the PLC.

Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday announced a unilateral decision to dissolve the PLC despite increasing warnings of its possible repercussions on the Palestinian situation.

The move was widely condemned by Palestinian resistance groups, notables, experts, and activists, and it was seen as a step toward a complete destruction of the Palestinian political system.

(Source / 26.12.2018)

Erdogan: Netanyahu is an ‘oppressor, cruel, at the head of state terror’

‘Palestinians are under Israeli pressures, violence and intimidation policies no less grave than the oppression done to the Jews during the Second World War,’ Erdogan said

Tensions between Turkey and Israel ratcheted up on Sunday as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an “oppressor”.

Netanyahu hit back in a speech later the same day, calling Erdogan an “anti-Semitic dictator” who is “obsessed with Israel”.

Speaking to a group of youths, Erdogan said: “Do not kick the enemy you have brought down to the ground. You are not a Jew in Israel,” in an apparent reference to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and siege of Gaza.

The comments did not go unnoticed in Israel, however, with Netanyahu later criticised Turkey over what he claims an occupation of northern Cyprus.

“Erdogan – the occupier of northern Cyprus, whose army massacres women and children in Kurdish villages, inside and outside Turkey – should not preach to Israel,” Netanyahu tweeted.

This was swiftly met by reply from Ibrahim Kalin, one of Erdogan’s top aides.

“Bashing Erdogan or using Kurds as a political chip will not save [Netanyahu] from his domestic troubles,” Kalin wrote.

The Israeli prime minister has recently seen his cabinet rocked by the departure of defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, with many analysts predicting Israel will soon be pushed towards elections as a result.

Netanyahu is also facing multiple allegations of corruption in several cases levelled against him.

Erdogan entered the fray again.

“You are an oppressor, cruel and at the head of state terror,” Erdogan told the Israeli prime minister in a televised speech in Istanbul.

Erdogan lambasted Netanyahu for “occupying Palestine” and committing “sins, crimes against humanity, massacres”.

On December 14, Erdogan said Palestinians were subjected to “pressures, violence and intimidation policies no less grave than the oppression done to the Jews during the Second World War,” referring to the Holocaust.

The Turkish president has previously called Israel “the world’s most fascist and racist state”.

In May, Ankara ordered the Israeli ambassador out of Turkey in response to Israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip.

Turkey is the only country in the world which has been frankly supporting the Palestinian cause and recognise the Israel is an occupation state. Current Turkish leaders do not accept forgetting the Israeli crimes against thousands of the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine.

(Source / 26.12.2018)

PCHR Strongly Condemns Israeli Knesset’s Approval of First Preliminary Reading of Bill to Expel Families of Palestinians Involved in Attacks

25 Dec 8:47 PM

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR): On Wednesday, 19 December 2018, the Israeli Knesset approved the first preliminary reading of a bill to expel families of Palestinians involved in attacks to other areas in the West Bank. Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) denounces in the strongest terms the approval of this bill, which violates the international law and human rights.

Under the above mentioned bill, in favor of which 69 Knesset members voted while 38 objected and the Arab Members of the Keenest were expelled for their objection, it allows “expelling families and relatives of Palestinians who carry out or are involved in attacks against Israelis from their hometowns to other areas of the West Bank within a week of the alleged attack.”

On Sunday, 16 December 2018, the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the bill, which was submitted by the “Jewish Home” right wing party headed by Minister of Education in the Israeli government, Naftali Bennett.

The bill was approved despite the opposition and objection by the Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit and the Israeli security services, out of their belief that it is illegal and would increase violence and tension in the area.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomed this bill and considered it as an “effective tool” and “the benefit of this bill is greater than its damage.” In preparation for this, on 13/12/2018, Netanyahu issued a decision to expedite the demolition of houses belonging to Palestinians involved in attacks.

Therefore, on 17 December 2018, the Israeli bulldozers demolished a house in al-Showika suburb, north of Tulkarm belonging to Ashraf Na’alwah, who was extra-judicially killed by the Israeli forces on 13 December 2018.

It should be noted that MK Ahmed al-Tibi described the bill as “a bill by war criminals, who shall eventually be internationally prosecuted”.

He stressed that the bill passed a preliminary reading and it is expected in light of the racism and fascism atmosphere that the bill will pass the readings and will be approved in first, second and third readings.

It is also expected that many racist bills would be enacted and settlement activities would increase as the Israeli elections will be soon held in mid-2019.

In light of the above mentioned, PCHR:

  1. Condemns this bill, which is part of the collective punishment policy practiced by Israeli forces against innocent Palestinians, which constitutes a blatant violation of international law and human rights law.
  2. Calls upon the UN, particularly the UNSC and General Assembly, to take practical measures to face Israel’s blatant violation of the international law rules and to put an end to treating Israel as a State above the law.
  3. Calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal obligations through taking measures to guarantee Israel’s respect for the convention.

(Source / 26.12.2018)

After 18 years in Israel jail, Palestinian man gives wife present he bought her

After 18 years, Imad Al-Din Al-Saftawi has finally been able to give his wife a mobile phone, the present he bought for her before he was in prison

After 18 years, Imad Al-Din Al-Saftawi has finally been able to give his wife a mobile phone, the present he bought for her before he was in prison

Eighteen years after he was detained while on his way back to Gaza through the Rafah crossing, Imad Al-Din Al-Saftawi has finally given his wife a present he bought her from a trip to Dubai.

Imad was detained on his way home from the Emirates in 2000 when he was detained by Israeli occupation forces. He kept the gift he bought his wife, a state of the art Nokia mobile phone, with him throughout his time in jail in the hopes of giving it to her.

After his release on 12 December he was handed back his possessions, including the phone.

His teenage daughter tweeted about her father giving her mother the gift and the story has since gone viral on social media.

READ: Israel army arrests minor near Ramallah

(Source / 24.12.2018)

Leftist Factions Unite to Form The Palestinian National Democratic Assembly

24 Dec 5:06 AM

Five leftist Palestinian political factions announced on Sunday the establishment of the Palestinian National Democratic Assembly, consisting of all five factions, in addition to senior social figures.

The assembly is composed of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI), the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), the Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA), and several independent political leaders.

The assembly aims to act as a united front in Palestine, and within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), as the sole representative of the Palestinian people in Palestine and everywhere in the world, and is open to participation of other factions and groups that would all act together as part of this united democratic coalition.

The assembly also affirmed its belief in national partnership and unity, and in democratic national elections that represent all Palestinians and all parties, and its strong belief in full partnership of all stakeholders in making decisions.

It also affirmed its rejection of the so-called “Deal of the Century” which U.S. President Donald Trump is trying to pass by ignoring and violating the basic Palestinian rights of liberty, independence, sovereignty, and the right to establish a continuous Palestinian State.

The assembly stated that the American positions and decisions violate international law and all related United Nations and Security Council resolutions, and that such hostile policies must be countered not only by words and by media statements, but by real measures that would impact U.S. interests in the Middle East.

Furthermore, the assembly said that the Palestinian people have the right to resist the illegal Israeli occupation, and to continue their popular resistance against it, its illegal colonies, the Annexation Wall, and the policies that target the existence of the Palestinian people in occupied Jerusalem, including the ongoing assaults against Al-Aqsa Mosque and all holy sites in occupied Palestine.

It stressed on the importance of ending the deadly Israeli siege on Gaza, and stopping Israel’s plans to annex the Palestinian lands in the West Bank as part of Israel’s apartheid policies that deny the existence of the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination, especially after the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) recently passed its racist, colonialist and segregationist “Nationality Law.”

It called on acting to fully end the illegal siege on Gaza, and to start reconstruction and rehabilitation projects, to improve and rebuild Gaza’s infrastructure, including services, sewage systems, electricity, water supplies and to significantly reduce poverty levels.

It also called on implementing all reconciliation agreements between the Palestinian factions, and the immediate formation of a Palestinian national unity government that does not exclude any faction or group, and for electing a new National Council based on the same principles and guidelines.

The assembly also called for the implementation of the decisions made by the National Palestinian Council and the Central Council of the PLO to rescind the recognition of Israel, and to withdraw from all signed agreements, including Oslo agreement, and Paris Protocol, in addition to ending all forms of coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

In addition, the assembly called for the immediate and strict implementation of the Palestinian Law regarding the complete boycott of Israeli colonialist products, and to pass laws that supports Palestinian products by re-evaluating and reducing taxes.

The assembly also completely supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and believes in its importance and the successes it achieved, especially since Israel continues to violate International Law and all related United Nations resolutions.

It also affirmed on supporting the Palestinians in the occupied capital, Jerusalem, facing escalating Israeli violations, and home demolitions, in addition to the apartheid Israeli polices that target their existence, in addition to the ongoing Israeli violations against the holy sites, and the basic rights of the Palestinian people, such as the right to own homes, lands, to receive education.

The assembly also stressed on the importance of defending freedoms, and to firmly counter all violations and abuses targeting the people’s rights, such as the Freedom of Speech, the Freedom of the Press, and political arrests.

It affirmed the importance of keeping the Justice System independent, and for reforming the Constitutional Court in order to ensure a fair and democratic rule, and called for ensuring the rights of Palestinian women as equal partners, especially since women in Palestine have been leading various legal, social, cultural and political organizations. Therefore, the statement argued, Palestine must elect more legislators ensuring these rights, especially since Palestine is a signatory to The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Furthermore, the assembly called for supporting the role of Palestinian youths, who are the core of the society and must have unequivocal rights in leadership and decision making, in addition to their important role in the economic, political, social, cultural and athletic sectors of all organizations.

It called for a comprehensive socioeconomic policy that would combat unemployment and poverty, and advocate for complete social justice, including the rights of the working class, the basic right of every Palestinian to live in dignity and security, and to be provided with a comprehensive health insurance and services.

It called for complete tax reform, and for a fair implementation of the tax system that would fairly apply to all sectors of the society, and to distribute the revenues to departments that help the people, such all the health departments, education, agriculture and development.

The assembly also affirmed the unalienable rights of the detainees, and wounded Palestinians who suffered disabilities, and support for Jerusalem and all areas threatened and impacted by Israel’s apartheid policies, especially the Annexation Wall and the colonies.

It called on strongly countering the American and Israeli attempts to void the legitimate cause of the Palestinian refugees, and to pressure the International Community to implement its own obligations towards all signed agreements that ensure the rights of refugees, especially the Right of Return to occupied Palestine after being displaced in 1948 when Israel was established in the historic land of Palestine after various massacres and the destruction of hundreds of villages and towns.

It said that United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, which was adopted on December 11, 1948, ensures the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees, and called on supporting UNRWA so that it can continue to provide basic services to the refugees, and ensure their rights to education, employment and services.

The Assembly also called on the PLO to perform its duties in serving the refugees, in various countries, and ensure their participation in the decision making process, and stressed on the importance of rebuilding the war-torn and destroyed refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria, such as al-Yarmouk, Nahr al-Bared, Handarat, and Dar’a.

(Source / 24.12.2018)

Gaza resistance groups vow to response Israeli crimes against Palestinian protesters

GAZA, PALESTINOW.COM — The Palestinian resistance Joint Operations Room in the Gaza Strip on Saturday announced that consultations are underway to decide its response to the Israeli crimes against the Great March of Return protesters.

This was voiced in a statement following the Israeli army’s recent killing of four Palestinians in the Great March of Return.

The Israeli occupation army on Friday heavily opened fire at peaceful protesters on Gaza border, killing four and injuring dozens of them.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, the martyrs were identified as Mohammed Jahjouh, 16, Abdulaziz Abu Shari’a, 28, Maher Yasin, 40, and Ayman Shbeir, 18.

(Source / 23.12.2018)

Family of slain Palestinian teen demands full investigation

Qassem al-Abbassi, 17, was killed by Israeli forces while he was in a car with his friends in occupied West Bank

A Palestinian teenager was shot and killed at the Bet Il checkpoint at the northern entrance of the occupied West Bank city of al-Bireh.

Qassem al-Abbassi, 17, was killed by Israeli forces on Thursday night while he was in a private vehicle with his friends who were attempting to pass the checkpoint.

Abbassi is from the town of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem. His body has been withheld by the Israeli army.

On Friday, Abbassi’s family contested claims by the Israeli military that he had attempted to ram his car into the soldiers.

In a press statement, family elder Moussa al-Abbasi said that what happened to Abbassi is murder, and demanded a full investigation into the shooting.

The family also called for an autopsy to be carried out on, and for Abbassi’s body to be returned to them in order to conduct a proper burial and funeral.

Maan, a local Palestinian news agency, reported that Mohammed al-Abbassi, a relative of the slain teen, was with him in the car at the time of the shooting.

“We were on our way to Nablus when we reached the checkpoint,” Mohammed said.

He said an Israeli policeman approached to tell them the road was closed.

“As we attempted to go back to the main road, we were chased by either Israeli soldiers or settlers,” he continued. “We could barely see as there were not enough lights and it was very dark.”

It was at that point, Mohammad said, they came under a heavy barrage of gunfire from all directions. 

A spokesman for the Israeli army told the AFP news agency that “soldiers opened fire in the direction of a vehicle which was attempting to break through a military barrier in the Ramallah region, killing one of the occupants”. An investigation has been opened, the spokesman added. 

In a separate incident, armed men opened fire at Israeli soldiers stationed by the illegal Jewish settlement of Ofra, east of Ramallah, late Thursday. The men managed to flee the scene.

Israeli media reported that shots were fired at the Israeli army and that soldiers responded with fire.

(Source / 23.12.2018)