HRW’s Bill van Esveld: “The main concern is over the fact that a person cannot simply be disappeared. That is against the norms of international law. That person’s family needs to know what has happened to them. They have to be able to have access to a defence attorney and their government needs to be informed to permit consular access.”
An Israel reserves soldier, who has refused to partake in army duty to protest Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, has gone on hunger strike in military prison, in what he said was a show of solidarity with Palestinian administrative detainees.
“When you grow up you will understand how injustice was brought upon your father and upon thousands of Palestinians whom the occupation has put in prisons and jail cells, shattering their lives and future for no reason other then their pursuit of freedom, dignity and independence. You will know that your father did not tolerate injustice and submission, and that he would never accept insult and compromise, and that he is going through a hunger strike to protest against the Jewish state that wants to turn us into humiliated slaves without any rights or patriotic dignity.”
“My beloved Lamar keep your head up always and be proud of your father, and thank everyone who supported me, who supported the prisoners in their struggle, and don’t be afraid for God is with us always, and God never lets down people who have faith and patience. We are righteous, and right will always prevail against injustice and wrong doers.”
The Israeli supreme court rejected this week the appeal of two Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for 70 days. The rejection was described as a death sentence by Physicians for Human Rights – Israel. In mid-April, the day Khader Adnan, a prisoner on s 66 day hunger strike, was freed, more than 1,600 Palestinian prisoners went on a mass hunger strike. In solidarity, hundreds protested outside Ramle Jail where high-profile Political Prisoner Ahmad Sa’adat is held. Israeli police attacked the protest, arresting 17. A local court forbids them to communicate with each other for 15 days, sentencing them to five day on house arrest.
Israelis are not satisfied with the various measures to worsen [Palestinian] prison conditions. When it comes to Palestinians, punishment is not enough. Prison must also be never-ending revenge that extends what Israel tries to do outside its walls as well: to break up the collective, to weaken the individual, to deter others from resistance to the foreign regime.
Khader Adnan: I ask God to move the consciences of the free people around the world. I thank them all, especially Ireland, for they have stood by my hunger strike. I ask them to stand in solidarity with all the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in the past, present and future, with our tortured and oppressed people who live under the injustice of occupation day and night.
References to Israeli soldiers murdering Egyptian prisoners of war, although never officially acknowledged by Israel, can be found in a variety of sources. This case is interesting because it provides details on a discussion with the young General Ariel Sharon, a senior commander during the the 1956 Sinai War. Sharon lies about both the cause and the timing of the murder of Egyptian war prisoners.
Imprisoned Fatah commander called on Palestinians to severe economic and security coordination with Israel, urged economic and diplomatic boycott: “It must be understood that there is no partner for peace in Israel when the settlements have doubled… It is the Palestinian people’s right to oppose the occupation in all means, and the resistance must be focused on the 1967 territories.”
After more than a month on hunger strike, Hanaa Shalabi is in “immediatemortal danger” and at “risk of coma” according to a Physicians for HumanRights doctor. Shalabi’s strike came at the heels of another high profile campaign by Khader Adnan who survived a 66 day hunger strike before the Israeli authorities decided to release him. Both were arrested under Administrative Detention, a military order that allows Israeli authorities to arrest anyone and hold them indefinitely, without charge or trial.
It is Amnesty International’s assessment that the reasons for Ahmad Qatamesh’s arrest and continued administrative detention are his peaceful expression, in his writing and teaching, of non-violent political views and the fact that he is considered a mentor for left-wing students and political activists, some of whom may be affiliated to the PFLP. As such, his detention may be part of the Israeli authorities’ strategy to put pressure on the PFLP organisation. Therefore, Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release.
Israel’s High Court of Justice scheduled a petitions hearing regarding the case of Khader Adnan on Thursday, 23 February 2012. The High Court of Justice was provided with a detailed medical report prepared on 14 February by an Israeli-accredited doctor on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel. Despite the elaborate medical report, which confirmed that Khader Adnan “is in immediate danger of death,” and that “a fast in excess of 70 days does not permit survival,” the Israeli High Court appointed the petition session for 23 February with no guarantees that a decision will be made on the same day. By then, Khader Adnan—if alive—will have reached the 68th day of his ongoing hunger strike.
UPDATED Israel’s Supreme Court moves up Khader Adnan’s hearing to 21 Feb, 2012.
The world watches as tragedy unfolds beneath its gaze. Khader Adnan is entering his 61st day as a hunger striker in an Israeli prison, being held under an administrative detention order without trial, charges, or any indication of the evidence against him. The Palestinian prisoner’s case is a microcosm of the unbearable cruelty of prolonged occupation.
Khader Adnan has already broken a Palestinian record for the longest solo hunger strike. Yesterday he passed his 50th day as a hunger striker, protesting what he regards as humiliating practices exercised by Shin Bet security service interrogators. Posters displayed at support rallies have above his portrait the statement: “Dignity above food”, a statement repeated in a Facebook page titled “We are all Sheikh Khader Adnan.”
Marwan Barghuti: “The conflict will be finished the moment the Israeli occupation ends, and there is a full withdrawal to the 1967 borders and a Palestinian state is established… I call on the great Palestinian people to embrace unity and cohesion and to establish a national unity government and also to embrace popular, peaceful resistance to end the occupation.”
In a letter penned in jail to the Palestinian people, commemorating his Fatah party’s 47th anniversary, Barghouti said peace negotiations with Israel are finished, “and there is no point to make desperate attempts to breathe life into a dead body… Fatah … should be in the leadership of the peaceful popular resistance now.”
Report shows the military appeals courts decidedly favor the prosecution, with judges accepting 67 percent of prosecution appeals, as opposed to only 33 percent of appeals filed by the defense.
The Palestinian people are under occupation. It doesn’t surprise me that the media has not raised the issue of the thousands of prisoners who are in prison. They have never given us any sense of value or consideration. It was Shalit who was the one who was oppressed. He was the one paying the price. The whole world was talking about Shalit. But no people can ever be victorious as long as the value of an individual is not respected. Up until now, we are worthless to the international community. Because it is westerners who have ‘value.’
Israeli forces overnight Sunday raided the homes of seven prisoners freed as part of the Oct. 18 prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel.
Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners Issa Qaraqe said the situation of Palestinian prisoners was worse than before the Oct. 18 prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas. The deal also included an end to solitary confinement and punitive measures, he said. Director of the parliamentary prisoners’ committee Khalida Jarar said Israel has detained 110 Palestinians since the deal was made.
In the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Israel’s prolonged occupation has led to astonishing detention statistics. Since 1967, over 700,000 Palestinians have been detained: this figure amounts to around 20 percent of the existing Palestinian population in the OPT, which consists of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Among the most egregious aspects of Israeli detention policy is its treatment of child prisoners.
A report by two Israeli human rights organisations, the Public Committee Against Torture (PCAT) and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), claims that medical staff are also failing to report suspicion of torture and ill-treatment, returning detainees to their interrogators and passing medical information to interrogators.
Israel has most explicitly devalued Arab life in the differentials it has been careful to maintain in the deaths and injuries its forces inflict and are prepared to sustain during conflict – Israel’s famous “deterrence”. According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, nearly 6,500 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since the outbreak of the second intifada in 2000, compared with 506 Israeli fatalities. And Israel increased that imbalance more than tenfold during its attack on Gaza in winter 2008, when 1,400 Palestinians were killed as opposed to nine Israelis.
News that Israel and Hamas had reached agreement on a prisoner exchange instantaneously displaced the PLO bid for full UN membership from the headlines in mid-October. Arguably, Hamas and Israel had a common interest in this regard. More importantly, the Palestinian Islamists, no longer relegated to the margins of the Palestinian UN initiative by the rival leadership in Ramallah, can now resume reconciliation talks from a position of relative equality.
While hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and Gilad Shalit return home, hundreds others go into exile, and thousands remain jailed in Israel.