Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Freedom shock’ after 23 years in Israeli prison

‘Freedom shock’ after 23 years in Israeli prison

Freedom shock’ after 23 years in Israeli prison

After 23 years in an Israeli prison, Halid Asakre, one of the Palestinian prisoners, returned to his homeland and was welcomed as a hero.

Israel has released 26 Palestinian prisoners as part of a deal ahead of the resumption of peace talks. Many prisoners, who were freed despite their sentences of life imprisonment, went back to their families who had lost all hope for their sons’ return. After 23 years in an Israeli prison, Halid Asakre, one of the Palestinian prisoners, returned to his homeland and was welcomed as a hero.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Derar Abu Sisi on hunger strike

Written by Hamza Deirawi

في ظل التطورات المحيطة في الشرق الأوسط, تستغل إسرائيل الفرصة لتبقي الأسير#ضرار_أبوسيسي في العزل الانفرادي, وقد دخل اليوم يومه السابع في اضرابه المفتوح عن الطعام وأن اسرائيل تهدده من قبل محاميه أنها لن تخرجه من العزل الانفرادي الا ميتا...
مع العلم أنه حاصل على شهادة دكتوراه في الهندسة الكهربائية وهو متزوج من امرأة أوكرانية مسلمة تعيش في غزة وهو أب لستة أبناء... ويذكر أن الموساد الاسرائيلي اختطفه من أوكرانيا بتاريخ 19/2/2011 ومنذ ذلك الحين لم يزره أهله وهو معزول عن بقية الأسرى في السجون الإسرائيلية...مع العلم أنه يعاني من أمراض ومشاكل صحية متعددة... مع العلم أنه الأسير الوحيد المتبقي في العزل الانفرادي...

In light of the surrounding developments in the Middle East, Israel exploites the opportunity to keep the detainee #Derar_AbuSeci in solitary confinement. Today, he has entered his seventh day in open hunger strike and Israel is threatening him through his lawyers that he will not be released out from solitary confinement unless he is dead ...
Knowing that he holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, and he is married to a Ukrainian Muslim woman living in Gaza, and a father to six children ... It is noteworthy that the Israeli Mossad kidnapped him from Ukraine on 19/2/2011 and since then no one of his family have ever visited him, and he is isolated from the rest of the Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails ... with the knowledge that he is suffering from multiple diseases and health problems ...
Just to reimind you that #Derar_AbuSeci is the only Palestinian detainee who is left isolated in sloitary confinement. 
Read more at http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9275:pchr-is-concerned-over-the-life-of-prisoner-derar-abu-sisi-kept-in-solitary-confinement-in-ashkelon-prison&catid=36:pchrpressreleases&Itemid=194


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Failing to abide by regulations, Israeli soldiers inflict serious injuries to Palestinian children

Failing to abide by regulations, Israeli soldiers inflict serious injuries to Palestinian children

Israeli forces are prohibited from firing rubber-coated metal bullets at women and children. Where firing rubber-coated metal bullets is allowed, police and military procedures state that they must only be fired from a distance of 50-60 meters (165 – 195 feet) and at the legs of people.The regulations prohibit directly targeting demonstrators with tear-gas canisters.

Despite these regulations, at least 24 children have been shot and injured by live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets or tear-gas canisters since January 2013, including two that died from their wounds, according to evidence collected by Defense for Children International Palestine (DCI-Palestine). While Israeli forces regulations allow the use of these weapons for crowd control in certain narrow circumstances, only a third of these cases involve children directly participating in demonstrations where clashes with Israeli forces later occurred.

Read the full report by Defence for Children International here

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Prisoner hugs his paralysed mother

From Shahd Abusalama-

This is in a special visit coordinated for a detainee in Israeli prisons to meet his sick paralyzed mother without a barrier. Such visits are rarely allowed for prisoners. 
This man is the father of the young man whom I shared this photo from.
In the description he wrote, "My dear father, thoughts are flooded inside my mind while watching the released prisoners hugging their mothers and wiping their tears. I can almost see you in every one of them. I can smell you on their clothes. I can hear your voice in either their laughs or sighs. I miss you my dad and I am longing for your warm lap. Your freedom will mean life to me. You will restore it one day, God willing!


In the Prisoners' Diaries, Abdulrahman Shehab describes his father's reaction when the jailer opened the door to allow him and the family to take a family photo with his incarcerated son, after 17 years of only communicating through a glass barrier. He was so overwhelmed he had almost fainted.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Release of Palestinian prisoners is long overdue

UFree Network to defend the rights of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees welcomed the release of a number of Palestinian prisoners. The network considered the step as late, long overdue that is used to cover up its the Israeli ugly image perceived worldwide through showing “real” intention of peace seeking.

Monday, August 12, 2013

How NY Times helps Israel milk prisoner release for emotional propaganda

From Electronic Intifada, an article by Ali Abunimah referring to the impending release of long term prisoners by the israelis.

"....But what’s most striking – and unremarked – about all this is that Israelis are, by and large, the only ones who have the opportunity to bewail the release of prisoners held for decades for killing their loved ones as some sort of great sacrifice and injustice.

Due to the systematic and near-total impunity that protects Israelis from consequences for killing or injuring Palestinians, there is just no parallel on the Palestinian side.

Going back to the creation of Israel, Palestinians have almost never seen the killers of their children receive appropriate punishment.

Notoriously, Colonel Issachar Shadmi, the brigade commander who ordered themassacre of 47 villagers at Kafr Qassem in 1956, was found guilty of a mere “administrative error” and fined one penny.

The examples of crimes where there has been a total absence of accountability and justice are simply too numerous to list, but they include the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres of thousands of Palestinians during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, and more recently more than 1,400 Palestinians killed in Gaza in 2008-2009 duringOperation Cast Lead.

In one particularly horrific example, on 4-5 January 2009, Israeli occupation forces herded 100 civilians into the house of Wael al-Samouni, mostly women and children, and then deliberately shelled the house"

Read the whole article here:

How NY Times helps Israel milk prisoner release for emotional propagandahttp://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/how-ny-times-helps-israel-milk-prisoner-release-emotional-propaganda

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Omar Barghouti released from administrative detention

Israel released Omar Barghouti, the currently longest-serving Palestinian administrative detainee on Wednesday, August 7, after 34 months of imprisonment without charges or trial.

Barghouti, age 60, is from the town of Kobar near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

The Ahrar Center for Prisoners’ Studies and Human Rights notes that Barghouti had spent nearly 26 years of his life in Israeli prisons in repeated arrests.

Omar Barghouti’s brother is the former longest-serving Palestinian prisoner, Nael Barghouti, who spent 34 years in occupation jails. Omar is the father of four children; his son Asim is currently serving an 11-year sentence in prison.

Nael Barghouti had related his experience of imprisonment in The Prisoners' Diaries.

Jordanian prisoners suspend hunger strike following agreement on family visits


Jordanian prisoners suspend hunger strike following agreement on family visits after 100 days

The Palestinian prisoners holding Jordanian citizenship have suspended their hunger strike following concessions from the Israeli prison authorities to allow them regular family visits from their family members in Jordan. This was reported in a press conference held in Amman by family members of the prisoners on August 11, 2013.

The five Jordanian hunger strikers are Abdullah Barghouthi, Mohammad Rimawi, Muneer Mar’i, Hamza Othman al-Dabbas and Alaa Hammad. They have been striking since May 2, 2013, for 100 days.

The first visit will take place on August 27, and will be for four hours, without glass or bars between the prisoners and their family members. After this, the visits will be available on a monthly basis for two family members per prisoner. An agreement has been signed to this effect, which will also apply to fellow Palestinian prisoner Ibrahim Hamed, whose wife is in Jordan. Barghouthi had not seen his family for 13 years; Rimawi has been denied family visits for 5 years.

There are reports that Alaa Hammad is still on open hunger strike and has not suspended his strike as part of this agreement.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Land of the Sad Orange by Ghassan Kanafani

In the letter by social activist Hassan Karajah, which was posted earlier, he refers to the land of the sad orange.

Ghassan Kanafani was born in Akka Palestine in 1936 and died, as a result of an
Israeli bomb planted to his car on 8th July 1972. His Danish wife Annie, described the
event saying: “…We used to go shopping together every Saturday morning, on that
day he accompanied his niece Lamees. A few minutes after they left, I heard the sound
of a huge explosion. I ran but only saw remanence of our exploded small car. Lamees
was a few meters away from the spot, but I could not find Ghassan. I hoped to find
him injured, but I only found his left leg. I was devastated, and our son Fayez, started
knocking his head against the wall. Little layla was crying: Baba…Baba…I gathered
his remains, the Beiruti escorted him to his last resting place at the Shuhada
Cemetery where he was buried next to Lamees who loved him and died with him“

Kanafani is a prominent literary figure in the Arabic Literature and worldwide. His
works were translated to many different languages. During his short life he enriched
the Arabic library by with valuable collection of publications, varying from novel to
short story to literary researches and political essays. “The Land of the Sad Orange”
is one of his early stories that depicts the influence of the deportation on the
Palestinians when the Israeli troops took over their country in 1948.

Hassan Karajah’s letter from inside occupation prison: I will greet you with the single word, “freedom”

From the website Samidoun http://samidoun.ca/2013/08/hassan-karajahs-letter-from-inside-occupation-prison-i-will-greet-you-with-the-single-word-freedom/

Hassan Karajah is a Palestinian youth activist, the Youth Coordinator of the Grassroots Campaign to Stop the Wall, and a human rights defender with a long record of organizing and public activism with the Partnership for Development Project, an umbrella group for Tamer Institution, Ma’an Development Centre and Bissan Centre for Research and Development, and the Arab Thought Forum. He gave an interview before his detention in which he saluted political prisoners’ struggle, saying that “their struggle has given us a model of steadfastness and the certainty that if we stand up united, we can win, step by step, our freedom and national self-determination.”

Imprisoned after a late-night raid on his home in January 2013, he is nowfaced with political charges (of membership in a prohibited organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and connections with the Lebanese resistance) based on event attendance and travel to Lebanon.

He worked closely with international solidarity activists as part of Stop the Wall, and called for people of the world to act for Palestine: ”We do expect a lot from the people around the world. We know that many understand and support our struggle. We need to work closer together and ensure that our actions are better coordinated and we grow stronger and more effective in pressuring companies and governments around the world to stop their complicit silence and their support to Israel, whether at an economic, political or cultural level.” On July 30, Addameer released his letter, below, addressed to the free world (here, in Arabic):

To all of my friends everywhere in the world….to each person in solidarity… to all who care about the cause of prisoners…to all who believe in the justice of our cause, Palestine, who cherish peace, love, the steadfastness of the prisoners, and the sweet scent of freedom, I say:

“The wheat, when it is spread on the land, some will be crushed by feet and die, some will be eaten by birds, and some makes it to the earth, and then rain comes, and with the first appearance of the sun, the wheat comes as a positive omen of the continuation of life.”

Dear all, know that I miss you and I’m eager to see you all. What prevents me from this is the Zionist occupation’s detention, whi

ch it uses against me as it did against the sons and daughters of our people 65 years ago. However, if this is for the freedom of Palestine, our land and our rights, I am prepared to bear this, and I am sure that you are willing to continue in the same way.

In these moments, when I am writing to you and imagine all of your souls around me as my soul greets you, I do not exclude any of you. I cannot say each of your names for one reason – we have a shortage of stationery in the prisons, such as pens and paper. By these shortages, the prison administration intends to besiege the prisoners and deprive us of education. You know that this is a drop in the sea in terms of the practices of oppressing us and attempting to break our steadfastness – which they will never do. I wrote to you special notes in notebooks, but those are confiscated by the prison administration before they reach you, so I send you my smile each day with the sun to welcome it.

If you ask me, I am fine and healthy, despite the denial of proper treatment and medical negligence practiced against all prisoners without exception. But morally, my morale soars above the wind, for which there is one main reason: you have always stood beside me.

I have not forgotten all of my friends everywhere, although I do not see you at this time, but your images have not been erased from my mind. Your principles will not be separated from mine, our convictions are united, and what you believe is what I believe. The walls of the prison have not changed this; they did not and will not be able to stop me from loving you more. I still meet with you in the land of sad oranges*; Um Sa’ad is still our mother**; and I am sure that you will still hear banging on the walls of the tank*** that will not cease until all of the refugees return to their homes, and the homes of their grandfathers. We will not stop pounding on the walls of the tank and other walls – until every friend will be able to visit Palestine, its land, water, air and the entire national soil.

This period will not last long. We will keep this belief, because belief generates hope, hope generates work, and work is the road to freedom – the freedom that has no equivalent but itself.**** This work must be collective, and no matter how small, will have an impact. Small steps, once they are together, become an army, and a noble morning. We have a noble army, an army of an idea, the army that trusts its people as much as I trust in our people and their limitless potential.

We come from inside our cells and the prison walls to the world through books. We read, and become part of the characters that tell those stories and novels, and they make doors that take us out of the darkness of the prison. This is why the occupation attempts, by various practices, means and procedures, to prevent books from being introduced to the prisoners.

When I received the news that many of my ideas and dreams have become reality because you have done the work, I am certain that I have not yet been imprisoned. I see the continuation of my work in your existence. I saw my freedom in your eyes. I heard my voice in yours. They have imprisoned the body, but they could not jail the idea and will not be able to do so.

Here, we draw our energy to continue from you. We, the newly detained prisoners, our hearts are full of happiness when, while being transported from prisons to court, we meet prisoners we have heard about for decades, whose photos and posters we have carried in the streets, prisoners from whom we learned our readiness to struggle since childhood.

In conclusion, I affirm to you that they will never be able to bring about our end. We are stronger than they are able to weaken us. We are higher than they are able to lower us. We are deeper than they are able to reach us. We continue.

I say to you at the end of this message – I will see you soon. I will come out as you have known me and better, and I will greet you with the single word, “Freedom.”

Hassan Karajah – occupied Beersheba Prison

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The footballer who went to prison for being talented

Mahmoud Sarsak was arrested as he was leaving Gaza to join the national football team . He spent 3 years in an Israeli prison without charge, tortured in order to extract a confession, and was only released after he went on a hunger strike which created uproar throughout the world.


IDF legal adviser: Detention of 5-year-old Palestinian boy was legitimate

The Israel Defense Forces' detention of a five-year-old Palestinian boy in Hebron earlier this month was a legitimate step in order to “thwart the threat posed by the activities of a minor,” the IDF’s legal adviser in the West Bank has ruled.

IDF legal adviser: Detention of 5-year-old Palestinian boy was legitimate - Diplomacy & Defense - Israel News | Haaretz