President Morsi Sentenced to 20 Years

Press Statement
Irvine Thanvi Natas Solicitors

Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi

Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi

21 April 2015

President Morsi has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in the first of his trials following his illegal removal from office in a military coup in 2013. Dr. Mohamed Morsi became the first freely elected President of Egypt following Egypt’s short lived 2011 revolution.

This sentence is symptomatic of the deepening human rights crisis in Egypt. It results from one of a series of political show trials in Egypt, in which due process and human rights norms are routinely ignored. These prosecutions, which result in either long prison sentences or the death sentence, are no more than a tool used by the regime to repress dissent. Read more »

TAKE ON HATE releases first independent study on anti-Arab hate, bigotry

PRESS RELEASE
TAKE ON HATE

TOH (400 x 321)

The Campaign to TAKE ON HATE today published the first study of its original White Paper Series, titled Many Faces of Hate: The Distinct Forms of Anti-Arab Bigotry and Violence. The paper aims to highlight the recent resurgence in anti-Arab bigotry and deconstruct the myth that anti-Arab discrimination is monolithic. Read more »

Israel must heed international calls to respect human rights of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons and end torture of detainees

PRESS RELEASE
The following statement on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day was issued jointly by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)

Joint Statement on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day: Israel must heed international calls to respect human rights of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons and end torture of detainees

Child visiting her father in an Israeli jail

Child visiting her father in an Israeli jail

On 17 April 2015, Palestinians around the world commemorate Prisoners’ Day in solidarity with thousands of Palestinian prisoners and detainees, including minors, held in Israeli prisons, and with those subjected to torture and ill-treatment.

To mark this important day, four human rights organizations – Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel – are issuing this joint statement to call upon the international community to urge Israel to heed international standards and recommendations to guarantee and protect the human rights of Palestinian prisoners and detainees at a time when torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (CIDT) is increasingly reported in Israel. The United Nations in particular has a responsibility to work towards the best interests of the child during conflict, including in preventing torture and CIDT. Read more »

On Prisoners Day, Addameer calls on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the grave violations against Palestinian political prisoners

PRESS RELEASE
ADDAMEER PRISONER SUPPORT & HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION

Prisoner (400 x 300)

This past year witnessed an unprecedented level of Israeli violence against Palestinians, including killing over 2,000 civilians in Gaza, demolishing 20,000 homes, displacing more than 500,000 Palestinian at the peak of the attack and arresting 8,000 Palestinians across historic Palestine.

Israel is committing nothing short of a modern-day ethnic cleansing before our eyes; in the continuing quest for full annexation of Palestinian land and the expansion of Israel’s colonial frontier.

The time is more urgent than ever for the international community to hold Israel accountable for its recurring and blatant war crimes against Palestinians, especially those held captive in the Occupation’s jails. Read more »

Meshaal: Resistance is the only way to liberate Palestinian prisoners

Middle East Monitor

Head of Hamas Political Bureau Khaled Meshaal spoke during a ceremony to commemorate the eleventh anniversary of former Hamas leader Dr Abdel Aziz Rantisi's assassination

Head of Hamas Political Bureau Khaled Meshaal spoke during a ceremony to commemorate the eleventh anniversary of former Hamas leader Dr Abdel Aziz Rantisi’s assassination

Head of Hamas Political Bureau Khaled Meshaal said his movement believes that resistance is the only way to liberate Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

In a recorded speech broadcast yesterday in Khan Yunis during a ceremony to commemorate the eleventh anniversary of former Hamas leader Dr Abdel Aziz Rantisi’s assassination, Meshaal said: “The blood of our martyrs reminds us always of the path of resistance and to stand strong.” Read more »

Operation Protective Edge: A war waged on Gaza’s children

PRESS RELEASE
Defense for Children International Palestine

Children in Beit Hanoun (Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman)

Children in Beit Hanoun (Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman)

Defense for Children International Palestine just released a report, Operation Protective Edge: A War Waged on Gaza’s Children, detailing the high price paid by children during Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer.

Operation Protective Edge, which lasted 50 days between July 8 and August 26, claimed the lives of 2,220 Palestinians, including at least 1,492 civilians, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

DCIP independently verified the deaths of 547 Palestinian children among the killed in Gaza, 535 of them as a direct result of Israeli attacks. Read more »

Weakening and Discrediting the UN: The Mission of Israeli QGOs

Global Justice in the 21st Century
by Richard Falk

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There are no better texts for assessing the damage done to the role and reputation of the UN by the Israeli Lobby than to consider Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent statements boasting about the U.S. success in protecting Israel from criticisms arising from its non-fulfillment of responsibilities under international law and as a member of the United Nations. It should be understood that the lobby does not act in a vacuum, and its leverage is greatly enhanced in global settings to the considerable extent that its priorities overlap with the strategic and economic interests of the United States in the Middle East.

Despite the tensions with the White House associated with Netanyahu’s March speech to Congress, Kerry proudly informed an ABC TV news boradcast: “We have intervened on Israel’s behalf..a couple of hundred times in over 75 different fora.” [“This Week,” Feb. 28, 2015]. And then when addressing the Human Rights Council Kerry included a statement that could just as well been drafted by AIPAC or Israel’s ambassador to the UN: “It must be said that the HRC’s obsession with Israel actually risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization.” And further, “we will oppose any effort by any group or participant in the UN system to arbitrarily and regularly delegitimize or isolate Israel, not just in the HRC but wherever it occurs.” [Remarks, Palais des Nations, Geneva, March 2, 2015] What is striking about these kinds of statements by our highest ranking government officials dealing with foreign policy is the disconnect between these reassurances of unconditional support and Israel’s record of persistent disregard of its obligation under international law and with respect to the authority of the UN. In addressing an AIPAC gathering a few weeks ago, Representative Lindsay Graham curried favor by telling the audience that as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, “I’m gonna put the UN on notice” that he would go after its funding if the Organization takes any steps to ‘marginalize’ Israel. Read more »

Has the PA become redundant?

Palestinian Information Center
By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine

PA security (400 x 297)

Last night, Israeli occupation troops swooped on the northern West Bank town of Nablus, rounding up as many as 30 Palestinian activists and community leaders, including intellectuals, university professors, college students and business people. As always, the sweeping detentions were carried out in coordination with PA security personnel who looked on passively as crack Israeli soldiers raided homes, vandalized property and beat innocent people.

Israel didn’t give convincing reasons for the latest campaign of arrests; apart from saying the measure was preventive and mainly intended to prevent Hamas from undermining the PA regime. Read more »

Euro-Mid report documents Israeli harassment at Erez border crossing

Press Release
Euromid Observer

Erez (400 x 231)

An increasing number of Palestinian businessmen are being detained while attempting to cross into Israel via the Erez checkpoint for routine trips, reports Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights. The number of businessmen detained while traveling into Israel has reached 19 to date in 2015, compared to only one during the same period last year.

While two of the businessmen were released, says the Geneva, Switzerland-based organization, 17 were still in detention at the time of publication. Read more »

Abbas’ silence on prisoners astounding, says UK’s Baroness Tonge

by Julie Webb-Pullman

Mohammed Al Ghoul, Ahmed Bahar, Jamil Mashdalawi and Mohammed Radwan at the seminar to highlight Israel's detention of Palestinian MPs

Mohammed Al Ghoul, Ahmed Bahar, Jamil Mashdalawi and Mohammed Radwan at the seminar to highlight Israel’s detention of Palestinian MPs

In a telephone link-up with Gaza today Baroness Jennifer Tonge told members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) she was astounded at the silence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLC regarding the Israeli kidnapping of PFLP member of parliament Khalida Jarrar on April 02, 2015.

“I was horrified at her detention, especially considering her age and poor health,” said Baroness Tonge.

Noting that Abbas is responsible for security, she slammed him for also saying nothing about children taken from their beds in the middle of the night to be thrown into Israeli jails. Read more »

Israel’s use of administrative detention against Palestinians draws concern of UN rights office

UN News Centre

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. Photo: UN Multimedia

OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. Photo: UN Multimedia

10 April 2015 – The United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) today expressed concern by the continued and increasing use of administrative detention by Israeli authorities against Palestinians, who are being held without charge or trial, often on the basis of secret evidence, for periods of up to six months.

Briefing reporters in Geneva, OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said that detainees were also often transferred to prisons inside Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Most recently, Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Khalida Jarrar was arrested on 2 April 2015 and subsequently detained pursuant to an administrative detention order issued by an Israeli military commander in the West Bank on Sunday 5 April.

Ms. Jarrar remains in administrative detention in a prison in Israel. The order is currently under review by the Ofer Military Court in the West Bank and if confirmed, Ms. Jarrar will be subjected to six months detention, without charge or trial, renewable indefinitely.

This is not the first time Ms. Jarrar had been subject to administrative orders by the Israeli military commander in the West Bank, said Ms. Shamdasani. On 20 August 2014, Ms. Jarrar received a military order giving her 24 hours to move from Ramallah, where she lived, to the district of Jericho where her movements would be restricted for six months. On appeal, an Israeli court reduced the restriction to one month.

According to the press release, the Israeli practice of administrative detention has been condemned on numerous occasions by the UN Human Rights Office and the Human Rights Committee that oversees implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Israel has ratified.

However, as of February this year, there are reportedly 424 Palestinians held under administrative detention orders – more than double the 181 held at the same time last year, said Ms. Shamdasani.

OHCHR reiterates it call on Israel to end its practice of administrative detention and to either release without delay or to promptly charge all administrative detainees and prosecute them with all the judicial guarantees required by international human rights law, she said.

Investing in human rights

PRESS RELEASE
American Friends Service Committee

New tool helps investors identify human rights violators in Palestine

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 10, 2015) The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has launched a new online tool designed to help investors align their investment policies with their values. This investment screening tool includes previously unpublished information about companies directly complicit in serious on-going violations of human rights. The website can be accessed here.

The first issue the tool addresses is Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory. The next phase will focus on the U.S. for-profit prison industry. “Human rights are universal. Companies that consistently and knowingly participate in violations of international law and war crimes cannot be regarded as responsible investments” said Dr. Dalit Baum, AFSC’s Director of Economic Activism. Read more »

Deir Yassin to Yarmouk and beyond

by Mazin Qumsiyeh

Deir Yassin

Deir Yassin

On 9 April 1948, my mother’s friend in school (both 18 at the time in teacher school in Jerusalem) chose to go back to her village of Deir Yassin. That was the last time my mother saw Hayah Balbisi was dead in a massacre.

April 9th is a day before good Friday on our Eastern Christian Traditions. My mother, now 82 years old, told me not to travel and that she has been having bad dreams. I reassured her even though my own heart sends me negative signals.

Deir Yassin was not the first or the largest massacre committed by Zionist forces during that era of
ethnic cleansing. But it was prophetic and emblematic for us because its deliberate effect was magnified to scare the villagers (even some survivors were paraded in the streets of Jerusalem and loudspeakers told of more impending massacres).

Dozens of massacres were indeed committed just in the six weeks leading up to Israel’s creation and more after. 534 villages and towns were depopulated in the bizarre 20th century attempt to transform a multicultural/ multireligious Palestine to become the “Jewish state of Israel”.

67 years later massacres are still being committed whether in Gaza last year or in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk. Read more »

Haniyeh asks Malaysia to help stop bloodshed in Yarmouk camp

Palestinian Information Center

Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman

Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman

Ismail Haniyeh, deputy chairman of Hamas political bureau, asked the Federation State of Malaysia to intervene to halt the bloodletting in Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in Syria.

Over a phone call on Tuesday evening, Haniyeh offered his condolences to Malaysian premier Dato Najib Razak over the death of his office director along with other staff in the Malaysian recent plane crash, according to a statement issued by Haneyya’s office. Read more »

Erez trap: A tighter grip on the Gaza Strip

Palestinian Information Center

Erez (400 x 236)

It has been three months since the Israeli authorities arrested Akram Yassin, a 35-year-old businessman from Gaza, as he passed through Erez Crossing in the north of the Gaza Strip.

Yassin is a Palestinian businessman from Gaza. He is a transporter of food and feed with an Israeli commercial permit to pass through Erez Crossing. Yassin was arrested at Erez Crossing, like 30 other Gaza businessmen who have been arrested since the start of 2015, in a new Israeli means to suffocate the Strip economically. Read more »

Hamas calls for an end to clashes in Yarmouk

Middle East Monitor

Before the Syrian civil war began, Yarmouk had a population of approximatey 150,000

Before the Syrian civil war began, Yarmouk had a population of approximatey 150,000

Hamas called on Saturday for an immediate end to armed clashes in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk on the outskirts of Damascus. The deputy leader of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement said that the organisation is following the situation in Yarmouk “closely and with deep concerns”. Ismail Haniyeh called for the refugees in the camp, and other Palestinians in Syria, to be side-lined from the ongoing civil conflict.

Another member of the Hamas political bureau, Izzat Al-Reshiq, condemned the “vile aggression” against Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk, which “aggravates” an already dreadful situation. “This adds to the suffering and pain caused by hunger and thirst, disease, bombing and murder,” he insisted. He called for an international effort to save the refugee camp from the ongoing attack and lift the lengthy blockade. Read more »

Bahar demands Palestinian response to kidnapping of MP Jarrar

Palestinian Information Center

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Deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Ahmed Bahar strongly denounced the kidnapping of MP Khalida Jarrar from her home in Ramallah and called for an immediate response by ending the security cooperation with Israel.

In a press release on Thursday, Bahar stated that Israel’s detention of Palestinian lawmakers in its jails is aimed at obstructing their parliamentary work and isolating them from their Palestinian society. Read more »

Danes demand release of Palestinian parliamentarian siezed by Israel

PRESS RELEASE
www.internationaltforum.dk – the Middle East Group

Immediate Release of Palestinian Freedom Fighter Khalida Jarrrar

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Today, April 2, in the morning, over 60 Israeli occupation soldiers raided the home in Ramallah of Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar and arrested her.

Khalida Jarrar is a well known Palestinian human rights advocate and feminist and a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. She has been a visible participant in the West Bank demonstrations last summer – in support of the Palestinians in Gaza, denouncing the Israeli killing of more than 2000 Palestinians. Read more »

The Global siege on Israel: a report from the World Social Forum

NEWS
Free Palestine Movement

Zim

In June, 2010, when Israeli forces attacked unarmed aid ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, killing ten passengers (including one who died this year from injuries), dockworkers around the world refused to unload or load Israeli ships or cargo. In the port of Oakland, California, hundreds of activists picketed, and members of the ILWU Local 10 dockworkers union refused to cross their picket line. A Zim cargo ship sat at the port for 24 hours before being unloaded.

The Israeli attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014 similarly brought activists and Local 10 dockworkers together in Oakland to stop another Zim ship, but this time the picket held for more than four days, and the ship was forced back to sea without unloading or loading most of its cargo. Everyone wondered if it would be the only success of its kind or the start of something bigger. Read more »

PFLP condemns US-supported aggression on Yemen

PRESS RELEASE
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

yemen (400 x 240)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine condemns the US-backed aggression on Yemen, in a statement released March 29, expressing concern about the implications of these developments and their inherent risks at all levels.

The PFLP emphasizes:
1. its condemnation of the US-backed aggression on Yemen, rejecting any interference in its internal affairs.
2. the adoption of dialogue as a means to resolve internal issues and for a path of democratic and peaceful change determined by the Yemeni people.
3. that it is the duty of the Arab nation and the Arab League to instead assist Yemen to resolve the crisis in order to achieve the aspirations of the Yemeni people for democratic governance, protect the freedoms of all, and protect them from sectarian or tribal conflict. Read more »