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Archive for the ‘Revolution Palestine’ Category

Palestinian on hunger strike over solitary confinement

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A top leader of the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas, serving life in an Israeli prison, has started an open-ended hunger strike, a Palestinian prisoner support group says.

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said on Sunday that Ibrahim Hamed staged the strike in protest against his solitary confinement.

The group added that around 200 other Palestinian detainees spread across numerous Israeli prisons would join the fast, taking it in turns to each refuse food for limited periods to show their solidarity with Hamed.

The Palestinian prisoner was placed in isolation three months ago for what was described as “suspicion of involvement in forbidden activity.”

Some 1,550 Palestinian prisoners ended a successful hunger strike in Israeli jails in May 2012. In the incident, the inmates wanted visits from relatives in Gaza and removal from solitary confinement.

More than 4,500 Palestinian prisoners are held in Israeli prisons, many of them without charge or trial.

Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been subject to human rights violations such as the use of torture during interrogation by prison authorities.

Human rights groups often criticize Israeli prison authorities for rampant rights abuses in jails and reports of mysterious deaths of inmates in custody.

(Source / 13.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 13, 2014 at 7:39 pm

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Health conditions of captives al-Aqra and Abu Maria continue to deteriorate

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Waheed Abu Maria
 

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The health conditions of the two Palestinian captives Nahedh al-Aqra and Waheed Abu Maria have been deteriorating, in light of the policy of medical neglect in the occupation prisons.

A lawyer at the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) stated the prison doctors decided to conduct a fourth surgery for prisoner Nahedh al-Aqra, who has been held in Ramle prison clinic after undergoing several amputations in his legs.

He added that al-Aqra is suffering infections in the place of the amputation, which caused him fever, and said that the doctors decided he needs a new surgery as soon as possible as the infection reached the bones.

Al-Aqra has lost his two legs in the occupation prisons due to the systematic policy of medical neglect, while the Israeli prison administration has continued stalling in providing him with the appropriate health care.

The captive called on the humanitarian and international institutions to take immediate actions to save his life, and expressed concern that the infection may spread to all his body.

Meanwhile, the family of prisoner patient Waheed Abu Maria, aged 47 from the city of al-Khalil, appealed through the Ahrar Center for the Studies of prisoners and human rights for saving Waheed’s life as his health condition has seriously deteriorated.

The wife of captive Abu Maria, who is currently held in Wilson Hospital, expressed deep concern over the health status of her husband, who started to vomit blood and who is having heart problems in addition to his inability to stand up.

The occupation authorities have also been preventing Abu Maria’s family members from visiting him since he declared an open hunger strike on 9 January 2014.

For his part, director of Ahrar Center Fouad Khuffash said that the prisoner Wahid Abu Maria, who was arrested on the 30th of October, 2012, has been on hunger strike in protest against the continuation of his administrative detention, which has been extended for more than four times, without trial or charge.

Khuffash added that Abu Maria announced he will continue to refuse meals until the occupation authorities meet his demand and put an end to his administrative detention.

(Source / 13.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 13, 2014 at 6:53 pm

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PA forces assault journalists, arrest protesters in Ramallah

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RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority security forces late Saturday assaulted journalists and arrested four youths in Ramallah during a protest against normalization with the Israeli occupation, witnesses said.

Palestinians were protesting against an Indian band scheduled to perform at the Cinematic Ramallah al-Kasaba, the witnesses said. The band had performed in Tel Aviv days earlier. During the demonstration, Palestinians accused the band of normalization with the Israeli occupation.

PA security forces broke up the protest, assaulting journalists and cameramen and confiscating their cameras, witnesses said.

The forces also arrested Zayd Shuaybi, Fajr Amoud, Amoud Hamayil, and Fadi Quraan.

The ministry of culture initially said it had cancelled two shows the band was schedule to play in Bethlehem and Ramallah. However, at the request of high-profile PA officials, the ministry said it would allow the band to perform.

(Source / 13.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 13, 2014 at 4:44 pm

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Mahmoud Abbas vs Mohammed Dahlan

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When late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was confined by Israeli soldiers to his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Mohammed Dahlan reigned supreme. As perhaps the most powerful and effective member of the ‘Gang of Five’, he managed the affairs of the ruling Fatah movement, coordinated with Israel regarding matters of security, and even wheeled and dealed in issues of regional and international affairs.

That was the period between March and April 2002 and it was a different time. Back then, Dahlan – a former Palestinian Authority (PA) minister, a former National Security advisor and a former head of Gaza’s PA Preventative Security Service (PSS)- was king of the hill. All of his rivals were conveniently or by chance out of the picture. Arafat was then imprisoned in his office in al-Muqata’a, and Dahlan’s toughest contender, Jibril Rajoub, leader of the West Bank PSS, was discredited in a most humiliating fashion. During the most violent Israeli crackdown of the Second Palestinian Intifada (2000-2005), Rajoub handed the PSS headquarters to the Israeli army with all of its Palestinian political prisoners and walked away. Since then, Rajoub’s star faded into a dark chapter of Palestinian history. For Dahlan, however, it was yet a new start.

This is not exactly the kind of history the Fatah leadership, Dahlan included, would like to remember. Such history is simply too dangerous as it underscores the reality that engulfed, and to a large degree, continues to shape the ruling class of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah whose reach has touched upon every aspect of Palestinian life.

The second uprising, starting in Sep. 2000, unlike the first Intifada of 1987, resulted in much harm. The latter revolution seemed to lack unity of purpose, was more militarized, and allowed Israel to rearrange the post-Intifada and post-Arafat political scene in such a way as to privilege its trusted allies within the Palestinian camp. Dahlan, and the current PA president Mahmoud Abbas, elected in 2005 to a five-year-term, were obviously spared the Israeli purges. Hamas, on the other hand, lost several layers of its leadership, as did the Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which like other socialist groups suffered massive crackdowns and assassinations. Even Fatah activists paid a terribly heavy price of blood and imprisonments because of the leading role they played in the Intifada. For Abbas and Dahlan, however, things were not too bad. In fact, at least for a while, the outcome of the Intifada was quite beneficial for some Palestinian leaders who were at one point relegated to minor roles. Thanks to Israeli schemes, and American pressure, they were brought back to the limelight.

12 years later both Abbas and Dahlan are still the center of attention. Abbas, 79, is an aging president of an authority that has access to funds but no real sovereignty or political leverage (aside from what Israel finds acceptable); and Dahlan, 52, is in exile in the UAE after his supporters were chased out of Gaza by Hamas in 2007, and then the West Bank by his own party in June 2011. This occurred after he was accused of corruption and the poisoning of Arafat, on behalf of Israel, during the Israeli siege. But Dahlan, aided by some strong friends around the region – and of course, his old intelligence contacts in Israel and the US – is unmistakably plotting a comeback.

Abbas knows well that his rule is approaching a sensitive transition, and not only because of his old age. If the John Kerry peace mediation deadline of April 29 results in nothing substantial, as will most likely be the case, it would not be easy for Abbas to keep Fatah’s various competing cliques under control. And since Dahlan is sagaciously finding and manipulating gaps to reassert his relevance in a political milieu that continues to reject him, Abbas is lashing out in anticipation of a possible showdown. Interestingly enough, Dahlan is answering in kind by using the generous space given to him by private Egyptian media. Fatah is in crisis once more, and, by its sheer political dominance, Palestinian political institutions in their entirety are likely to suffer.

Even after being banished by both Hamas and Fatah, Dahlan’s name continued to be associated with bloody conflicts in the Middle East. In April 2011, Libya’s Transitional National Council accused him of links to an Israeli weapons cache that was allegedly received by former Libyan leader Muammar Ghaddafi. Muhammad Rashid was another name mentioned by the Libyans, as he was also a member of the ‘Gang of Five’ and Fatah Central Committee.

But things got even uglier when a Hamas leader, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, was assassinated in Dubai in January 2011. While Hamas maintains that the Mossad was behind the assassination (as shown on video footage), two of the suspects who were arrested in Dubai for their purported involvement and for providing logistical aid to the Mossad hit team- Ahmad Hassanain and Anwar Shheibar – work for a Dahlan-owned construction company in Dubai. The men’s intriguing resumes also link them to a death cell under Dahlan’s command that operated in Gaza, and was dedicated to suppressing any dissent among Palestinian groups.

The ongoing Abbas-Dahlan spat is inadvertently confirming all suspicions of Fatah’s detractors regarding the leadership role in conspiring with Israel to destroy the resistance and its leaders. Yet, strangely, both Abbas and Dahlan continue to present themselves as the saviors of Palestinians, while each accuses the other of being an Israeli collaborator and an American stooge. Many Palestinians are not amused, and it has gone to the extent that Mousa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas member, called on Abbas and Dahlan “to refrain from exchanging accusations that serve only the Israeli interests,” reported the Middle East Monitor on March 20.

Abbas’ laundry list of accusations against Dahlan (first delivered to the Fatah Revolutionary Council on March 10, then publicly two days later), included Dahlan’s role in the assassination of a top Hamas and resistance leader, Salah Shahadeh, along with his family and some of his neighbors in an Israeli airstrike in 2002. Abbas went further by suggesting a Dahlan role in the poisoning of Arafat in 2004. The PA president made a reference to ‘three spies’ who worked for Israel and carried out high profile assassinations. Aside from Dahlan, the ‘spies’ included Hassan Asfour, who is another member of the ‘Gang of Five’.

On March 16, in an ‘interview’ with privately owned Egyptian Dream 2 satellite channel that lasted hours, Dahlan was granted uncontested space to articulate his political agenda as he saw fit. Dahlan called Abbas a “catastrophe” for the Palestinians. “The Palestinian people can no longer bear a catastrophe like Mahmoud Abbas. Since the day he came to power, tragedies have struck the Palestinian people. I may be one of the people who bear the blame for bringing this catastrophe upon the Palestinian people.”

The saga continues with all of its unpleasant details. Fatah supporters who are neither loyal to Abbas nor Dahlan, know well that there movement must fight for and reclaim its revolutionary identity, the very reason behind its existence in the first place.

(Source / 12.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 12, 2014 at 9:03 pm

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Palestinian Ambassador Calls to Boycott Settlement Goods

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The Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, has made a call to the international community to boycott products from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour (Photo: UNMultimedia.org)
Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour

During a meeting of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Tuesday, Mansour said “You have to get ready to start adopting laws in order not to accept or allow anything that comes from settlements, because what comes from an illegal thing is illegal.”

According to the Alternative Informaiton Center (AIC), Mansour called on countries to follow Europe and South Africa, also referring to the Netherlands, where he said five banks are not doing business with Israeli banks because they deal with settlements.

“We expect all banks in your region… to take such steps,” he said.

On March 28, in a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, 29 members of the European Parliament called for an action to discourage European companies from trading with firms based in Israeli settlements.

The EU lawmakers say that any economic relations with Israeli firms involved in settlement construction will contribute to Israel’s violation of international law and human rights abuses.

(Source / 11.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 11, 2014 at 8:39 pm

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Switzerland: Palestinians Join Geneva Conventions on War

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The Palestinian Authority has signed up formally to the Geneva Conventions, which set down the rules of warfare and humanitarian operations in conflict zones, the treaties’ guardian Switzerland confirmed Friday.

(MaanImages/file)

GENEVA (AFP/Ma’an) — Swiss foreign ministry spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger told AFP that the Palestinian Authority had declared itself party to the conventions on April 2.

This was registered formally by Switzerland on Thursday, he added.

The step is part of a new diplomatic drive by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, coming as peace talks with Israel are close to collapse.

Abbas said he had received a letter from the Swiss president confirming the registration, and praised it as “an historic day for the Palestinian people,” a senior Palestinian official said.

The Palestinians had pledged to freeze all moves to seek membership in UN organizations and international conventions — a stepping stone to recognition of their hoped-for state — during the talks in return for Israel’s release of veteran Arab prisoners.

Israel has meanwhile made a new bid to expand settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

The original Geneva Conventions were crafted in the 19th century under the auspices of the Swiss-based International Committee of the Red Cross, and recast after World War II.

Over the subsequent decades, optional protocols were added to take into account the developing realities of war and its impact on civilians.

The Palestinians have also submitted requests to the United Nations to join 13 other international conventions and treaties, and the world body said Thursday that the move was legal.

The treaties include the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, the convention on the rights of the child, the convention against torture and an anti-corruption accord.

(Source / 11.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm

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Jazz guitar legend John McLaughlin plays for Palestine

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Jazz guitar legend John McLaughlin played in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday.

The Palestinian territories are rarely a destination for jazz musicians let alone stars of an art form that is more at home in big cities such as New York and Chicago.

Which makes the performance of jazz guitar legend John McLaughlin before a packed auditorium in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday night all the more remarkable.

McLaughlin toured areas of the West Bank before enthralling the mostly local audience who attended his “solidarity concert” for Palestinians with a fusion of Western and Eastern sounds.

The 72-year-old British musician, who has recorded with the likes of late jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, said proceeds from the concert would go to a local NGO.

“People here are isolated… and the situation is such that since very few people can leave, it’s important that people from the outside come in,” he told AFP.

Palestinians “don’t have freedom, they don’t even have passports… it’s lamentable that an entire people are in such a situation. So I feel it incumbent upon myself to make other people aware of it,” McLaughlin said.

The concert was the second that McLaughlin has performed in Ramallah after an appearance in 2012 in support of Al Mada, a charity which uses music therapy to help traumatized and marginalized Palestinians.

“I am personally aware of how marvelous the power of music is. It has fantastic healing qualities,” McLaughlin said.

“We’re not making some gigantic contribution like building a dam or a reservoir, we’re just playing music. But music to me is… very powerful,” he told local reporters on Tuesday.

Wednesday’s concert, which featured a heavy influence of Indian music for which McLaughlin is known, enraptured those who attended.

“It was excellent, I love jazz and there’s not much live jazz here,” said Ramallah resident Nabil Turjman.

“It’s wonderful that someone this well-known comes from so far, it shows great support for and solidarity with Palestinians,” said Turjman’s wife, Rana.

McLaughlin, who arrived Tuesday from India on the final leg of his Asia tour, also sat in on Al Mada therapy sessions.

Al Mada, which seeks to encourage both adults and children to open up about traumatic experiences through music, was received with suspicion when founded in 2009, according to its co-director Rim Abdel Hadi.

“At the beginning it was a bit challenging,” Abdel Hadi said.

Many Palestinians “found it a weird concept, as music is (thought of) as being a luxurious activity and limited only to those who can afford it,” she said.

But since the organization started, the concept has gained ground and is supported and funded by various international agencies including the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA.

Even in an environment where there is so much need for physical development, the psychological effects of art therapy are just as essential, she insists.

“Palestinians are not only either victims or terrorists … they are normal people who have a life, have ambitions and dreams.”

(Source / 10.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 10, 2014 at 8:14 pm

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Haniyeh urges Lebanon refugees against inter-Palestinian violence

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Gaza (DRAH.ps ) – Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Monday phoned a Hamas representative in Lebanon to check in on refugees in Mieh Mieh camp, a day after clashes between Palestinians killed nine.

Haniyeh offered his condolences to families of the victims of the clashes and wished the injured a speedy recovery, a statement said Tuesday.

The leader urged all Palestinian factions in Lebanon to avoid further inter-Palestinian disputes, and never to allow disputes to escalate into violent clashes.

Nine Palestinians were killed Monday in clashes between two armed groups in the Palestinian refugee camp based in southern Lebanon.

A Palestinian source in the camp said the groups involved in the clashes were not officially affiliated with any major faction.

He named them as the Ansar Allah group, led by a former member of President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement, and the Shuhada al-Awda group, whose leader is close to another former Fatah member, Mohammed Dahlan.

A Palestinian official said Shuhada al-Awda’s leader and two of his brothers were among those killed. Another three fighters from the group also died, as well as two gunmen from Ansar Allah.

A Palestinian working for an emergency association was killed while trying to transport one of the more than 20 people wounded in the fighting.

A Fatah official for southern Lebanon said the dispute between the groups began several weeks ago as a personal disagreement between their members.

He said the clashes had stopped and efforts were under way to restore calm in the camp.

More than 400,000 Palestinians, mainly descendants of refugees from the 1948 war that attended the creation of Israel, live in camps throughout Lebanon.

Under a long-standing agreement, Lebanese security forces do not enter the camps, where armed Palestinian groups regularly clash with each other.

(Source / 09.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 9, 2014 at 8:42 pm

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Gaza families shut down PLO offices protesting unpaid allowances

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GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Gaza families who lost members in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on Tuesday shut down the PLO’s main office in Gaza City protesting unpaid allowances.

A spokesman of the Martyrs’ Families in the Gaza Strip group told Ma’an that angry families closed a PLO-affiliated office in charge of allowances and donations for families of Palestinians killed or injured in the course of the conflict.

Additionally, offices of Fatah-affiliated lawmakers as well as senior Fatah leader Zakariyya al-Agha were also shut down by the protesters. Some protesters attempted to break into the office of member of Fatah central committee Nabil Shaath.

“We have been asking for our rights in a civilized manner for 13 months, but nobody in the leadership has replied and now we became impatient,” Alaa al-Barawi, the spokesman, said.

He urged President Mahmoud Abbas, members of Fatah’s central committee and members of the movement’s revolutionary council to work out a solution for the families who haven’t received their allowances for five years.

(Source / 08.04.2014)

Written by altahrir

April 8, 2014 at 8:31 pm

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Abbas arrives in Egypt for Arab FM meeting

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CAIRO (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Egypt on Tuesday for an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers.

Abbas was greeted at Cairo airport by Egyptian minister of civil aviation Hussam Kamal and a Palestinian diplomatic delegation led by ambassador Barakat al-Farra.

He was accompanied by chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and foreign minister Riyadh al-Malki.

They were scheduled to meet Arab League secretary-general Nabli al-Arabi later Tuesday.

(Source / 08.04.2014)

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April 8, 2014 at 8:09 pm

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