Archive for May, 2017

How Palestine Disappeared from US Media Coverage

Article – Ramzy Baroud

As if he has, overnight, been transformed into a master politician, Donald Trump’s 27-hour trip to Israel has left many analysts mystified. Read more »

Palestinian prisoners’ victory in Israeli prisons

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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The spokesperson of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, Fawzi Barhoum has stated the following:

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas hails the incredible steadfastness of the Palestinian prisoners inside the Israeli prisons after claiming victory in a real battle which they had fought to extort their basic rights from their jailers and in which the Israeli Prison Authorities had no choice but to succumb to the prisoners’ just demands.

This victory serves as an evidence that by unity, will, and steadfastness Palestinians can achieve even the impossible missions in their struggle against the unjust occupation.

We as well thank the prisoners’ families, all the Palestinian people, and the free world for devoting the time and effort to keep this humanitarian issue alive. Their efforts and support rallies drew the world’s attention to the prisoners’ ongoing plight, and revealed the ugly face of the Israeli Occupation of being a blatant violator of the Palestinians’ human rights.

We take the opportunity to stress that the prisoners’ issue will remain a core one, and the ultimate goal of setting them free will never be forgotten.

Two Sides of the Palestinian Coin: Hunger Strike/Gaza

OPINION
Richard Falk

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The Palestinian hunger strike protesting Israeli prison conditions was suspended on May 27th after 40 days, at a time when many of the 1000 or so strikers were experiencing serious deteriorations of health, most were by then hospitalized, and the holy period of Ramadan about to commence creating continuity between the daytime fasting of the faithful and the prior desperate protest of the strikers. What was perhaps most notable about this extraordinary gesture of a mass prolonged hunger strike was that it was treated as hardly worthy of notice by the world media or even by the United Nations, which ironically is regularly attacked by diplomats and the media in the West for being overly preoccupied with Israeli wrongdoing.

It needs appreciating that recourse to a collective hunger strike is a most demanding form of political resistance, invariably provoked by prolonged outrage, requiring courage and a willingness to endure hardship by participants, as well subjecting their will to as harsh a test as life offers. To continue foregoing food for 40 days is a life-threatening and heroic, a commitment never lightly undertaken. Read more »

Gazans march to condemn Trump’s description of Hamas as “a terror organization”

Press Statement
HAMAS

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The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, organized a mass rally in northern Gaza Strip condemning statements made by US President, Donald Trump, which described Hamas as a “terror organization”.

Leader of the movement in the northern Gaza Strip, Mohammed Abu Askar, said mockingly that Hamas is described as a “terror organization” simply because it defends the remaining dignity of the Arab nation, and refuses to bow to the dictates of America.

Abu Askar stressed that Hamas will not disregard any of its principles, nor will it give up an inch of Palestine, indicating that those (Fatah) who surrendered 78% of historical Palestine don’t represent the people.

“Trump who described Hamas as a (terror organization) and visited the Western Wall in his first term in office wanted to humiliate the Islamic nations while showing his full support of the Israeli Occupation and giving it the green light to practise more of its terror on the Palestinian people”.

Regarding the on-going mass hunger strike, He said that the prisoners’ strike is a simple mean of resistance, stressing the solidarity of the resistance with the prisoners until their demands are met and their freedom is gained.

He also pointed out that the prisoners will only be released through honourable exchange deals like Wafaa Al-Ahrar deal which took place in 2011.

Abu Askar also weighed on the conspiracies being plotted against Gaza saying, “These plots will only increase the adherence of the Palestinian citizens to the principles of resistance and freedom”.

Hamas on Trump’s speech in Jerusalem

Press Statement
HAMAS

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The spokesperson of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, Fawzi Barhoum has stated the following:

The American president’s speech in Jerusalem is racist par excellence, and aims to lay the foundations for a new Israeli Apartheid regime and to promote hatred against the Palestinian people. Trump’s speech about alleged historical ties between Jews and Jerusalem is a lie and contradicts the UNESCO and ISCWA’s resolutions that both confirmed Palestinians right in Jerusalem and denied any relation between Jews and the holy city.

This biased American policy encourages the Israeli Occupation to further commit crimes and violations against the Palestinian people and its holy shrines, and constitutes danger for our people’s national rights.

This should be confronted by unity around a national strategy in which everyone can defend Palestinians’ rights. It should be crystal clear that relying on the American administration to achieve justice for Palestinian people is a delusional decision.

Mass march in Gaza declares: Donald Trump, US imperialism not welcome in Palestine!

PFLP

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine organized a mass march and rally in Gaza City on Tuesday, May 23, from Palestine Square to the prisoners’ support tent for the hunger strike, in rejection of the visit of the war criminal, US President Donald Trump, in our occupied homeland Palestine.

Thousands of comrades, leaders, representatives of national and Islamic forces and of the Front, led by members of the Political Bureau, the cadres of the Progressive Student Labor Front and the Union of Progressive Palestinian Youth, marched, carrying banners and signs in support of prisoners and condemning the visit of Trump to occupied Palestine.

Marchers set photos and an effigy of Trump on fire, challenging U.S. imperialism, and rejecting U.S. attempts to brand resistance as terrorism. Read more »

Open Letter to the UN Secretary General Urging Israel to Respect the Human Rights of Palestinians Held in Israeli Prisons on Hunger Strike

Press Release
Center for Constitutional Rights

May 23, 2017

The Center for Constitutional Rights and four other civil society organizations wrote an open letter to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, on the 37th day of a hunger strike by Palestinians in Israeli prison. The letter urged the UN to call on Israel to respect the human rights of the hunger strikers. The demands of those on hunger strike include calls for Israel to: end the use of administrative detention; permit more family visits; ensure adequate medical services (including specific services required by women); end the use of solitary confinement; install public phones to improve telecommunications with families; and improve access to education and other services. The prisoners’ strike arises in the context of Israel’s 50-year occupation of Palestinian territory and its transfer of thousands of Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territory into prisons within Israel, in violation of international humanitarian law. CCR submitted the letter together with the International Association for Democratic Lawyers, the International Federation for Human Rights, the National Lawyers’ Guild, and Palestine Legal. The letter is published in full below. Read more »

Legal Characterization of Palestinian Hunger Striking Prisoners’ Demands in the Israeli Jails

Legal Submission
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Message to the Free World from the Committee of Palestinian Prisoners’ Families and Prisoners’ Committee of Islamic and National Factions

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22 May 2017

Introduction

Around 1,700 Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails have been on an open hunger strike since 17 April 2017. Dr. Marwan al-Barghouthi, the hunger strike leader, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and prisoner in the Israeli jails, announced the strike aims at “Confronting violations of prisoners’ rights guaranteed by the international law.” He added in a message addressing the parliamentarians all over the world a week after the strike started, “We resorted to this hunger strike after months of exhausting all efforts and attempts to claim our legitimate demands relevant to mass arbitrary arrest, torture, punitive measures, deliberate medical negligence, family visitation and communication, and the right to education all practiced against prisoners. These are the basic rights we should enjoy.”

Many human rights reports and lawyers emphasize that around 6,300 Palestinian prisoners are subject to inhumane and degrading conditions in the Israeli jails outside of the occupied territory.[1] Imprisonment of persons in prisons outside the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 is itself a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, where Article 76 stipulates that, “Protected persons accused of offences shall be detained in the occupied country, and if convicted they shall serve their sentences therein. They shall, if possible, be separated from other detainees and shall enjoy conditions of food and hygiene which will be sufficient to keep them in good health, and which will be at least equal to those obtaining in prisons in the occupied country.” These facts raise questions about Israel’s fulfillment of its international obligations and accordance of hunger strikers’ demands with these obligations. Read more »

Twenty-Seven Hours: Donald Trump in Israel

Article – Binoy Kampmark

It was time to do the Zionist boogie within a mere period of 27 hours, and anyone wishing to see two muggers of history enjoying each others company found themselves peering at Donald Trump of the United States, and Israels Benjamin Netanyahu, … Read more »

Trump in Bethlehem

OPINION
Mazin Qumsiyeh

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President Trump is in Saudi Arabia where he will instruct his puppets then go to apartheid Israel to get further instructions from his masters.

He will do a token visit to Bethlehem Tuesday and desecrate the city of the Prince of Peace with his entourage of racist Zionists. I wish I was there to join demonstrations against this symbol of hypocrisy (I am still in Europe).

Everyone now knows that the US government, Israel, and the Saudi regime have been the biggest perpetrators of terrorism and genocide in the world. This is to serve one interest and one interest only: money.

Just to emphasize this, the US arms industry (owned largely by Zionists) will get a 110 billion deal (bribe) from the Saudis. Read more »

“No end in sight” after five decades of Israeli occupation

Press Release – UNHCHR

No end in sight, says UN human rights expert after five decades of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory Read more »

THE PALESTINIAN HUNGER STRIKE: “Our chains will be broken before we are..”

Richard Falk
Opinion

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On April 17th at least 1500 Palestinian prisoners launched a hunger strike of indefinite duration, responding to a call from Israel’s most famous Palestinian prisoner, Marwan Barghouti. It also happens to be that Barghouti is the most popular political leader, far more liked, trusted, and admired that the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. Barghouti is serving a series of lifetime terms for his alleged role in directing an operation during the Second Intifada in which five Israelis were killed.

Barghouti who has been in prison for fifteen years, gave his reasons for the strike as “torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, and medical negligence,” as well as a failure to abide by international legal standards pertaining to prison conditions during a military occupation. Even the normally timid International Committee of the Red Cross acknowledged prisoner demands by issuing a public statement asserting that the denial of family visits and moving Palestinian prisoners and detainees outside of the occupied territory to Israeli jails were violations of international treaty norms set forth in the Fourth Geneva Convention governing belligerent occupation. Read more »

Full details of Mazen Fuqaha assassination

HAMAS

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The Ministry of Interior in the Gaza Strip held a conference Tuesday in Gaza city to give full details regarding the assassination of top Hamas commander, Mazen Fuqaha who was killed last March.

The security campaign has resulted in capturing 45 collaborators with the Israeli Occupation, which constituted a breakthrough and dealt a blow to the Israeli intelligence. Gaza officials reiterated their stance of holding the Israeli Occupation fully responsible over the assassination and all the subsequent consequences arising from it.

The ministry added that the killer was apprehended along with two other people who had main roles in the assassination. Those collaborators admitted that they had received direct orders from Israeli military officers, and that planning the murder had taken 8 months. Read more »

UN Special Rapporteur on OPT calls on Israel to comply with international law on detention

PRESS RELEASE
Office of the High Commissioner
United Nations Human Rights Council

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GENEVA (16 May 2017) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk, today urged Israel to comply with international law and international standards for detention.

The expert’s call comes as the ongoing hunger strike by approximately 1,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails enters its second month. They are requesting better and consistent access to health care, more liberal family visit policies, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention.

“I am particularly concerned with Israel’s use of administrative detention, which involves imprisonment without charge, trial, conviction or meaningful due process, as well as the possibility of unrestricted renewal of their detention,” the human rights expert said, highlighting that administrative detainees are imprisoned on secret evidence that neither they nor their lawyers can review or challenge.

“Israel’s use of administrative detention is not in compliance with the extremely limited circumstances in which it is allowed under international humanitarian law, and deprives detainees of basic legal safeguards guaranteed by international human rights law,” Mr. Lynk said recalling his first report to the UN General Assembly. The Rapporteur noted that there are approximately 500 Palestinian administrative detainees. Read more »

Hamas on 69th anniversary of the Nakba

PRESS RELEASE
HAMAS

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In the name of Allah the most Merciful

Press release

Issued by the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas”

On the 69th anniversary of the Nakba

Our people reject guardianship, and will not accept the liquidation of the case

After sixty-nine years of Nakba (catastrophe), massacre, displacement and years of suffering behind bars, different parties are still trying to destroy the Palestinian conscience and control the minds of the great Palestinian people, either by intimidation, starvation or siege. They are willing to remain in power for another year or two at the expense of the Palestinian case, while being assisted from the regional geopolitical crisis and the unprecedented rush to normalize with the savage Israeli Occupation. All this is being carried out while Judaization and expansion of illegal settlements is taking place in Jerusalem and the West Bank, while Gaza is still under siege and is being destroyed , and diaspora camps are being targeted, displaced and destroyed.

After sixty-nine years the conspiracies and schemes still aim to tighten the grip on the Palestinian issue vying to succumb its resistance and defenders to surrender. However, righteous doing, resistance and the liberation of Palestinian will remain as our number one priority on our national agenda as long as our hearts beat with love for our homeland. Therefore, the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, during this painful anniversary, rapid geopolitical changes and imbalances, emphasizes on the following: Read more »

Addameer visits hunger-striking political leader Ahmad Sa’adat

PRESS RELEASE
ADDAMEER

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Addameer’s attorney Farah Bayadsi visited hunger-striking political leader and Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Ahmad Sa’adat today, 14 May 2017, in Ohli Kedar prison. Addameer’s attorney was previously denied visitation, but received approval following a High Court petition submitted on 10 May 2017. Since the beginning of the strike, 17 April 2017, Addameer requested several visits from Israeli Prison Service (IPS) to visit hunger-striking prisoners and detainees, but the IPS either did not respond or rejected the requests. Read more »

Statement of the PFLP on the 69th commemoration of al-Nakba

Press Statement
PFLP

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On the 69th anniversary of the Nakba, we mark the uprooting of the Palestinian people, forcing them to seek refuge and asylum in all corners of the earth, in a massive colonial crime of the twentieth century. The Zionist movement, with the support of the Western colonial powers, established its “statehood” on the ruins of 480 Palestinian destroyed villages, their people uprooted and displace, through the exercise of the worst forms of terror, torture and massacre. Read more »

Call from PFLP Prison Branch in the Battle of Dignity

PRESS STATEMENT
PFLP Prison Branch

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The following statement was issued by the leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine branch in Israeli prisons, and read over Al-Mayadeen Arab TV satellite channel on May 11

To the masses of the Palestinian people, the Arab nation, and the forces of freedom in the world…

Today, the Palestinian prisoners’ movement is locked in the battle of freedom and dignity for the 25th day, with ever more determination to continue until the achievement of its goals. It is armed with the weapon of its will, the unity of the prisoners’ movement and the justice of our cause, with the support and embrace of the masses of the Palestinian people, the Arab nation and the forces of freedom in the world. The prisoners face, after their declaration of the battle of the strike, a bloody war and ferocious Zionist repression that has intensified in recent days and in various prisons. Dozens of leaders are isolated for participating in the strike, including Ahmad Sa’adat, Marwan Barghouthi, Abbas Sayyed, Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Kamil Abu Hanish and dozens of others. This repression is reinforced by the prevention of legal visits in an attempt to cover up their situation and the circumstances of their confinement, while the occupation intelligence agencies continue to use techniques of psychological warfare in order to break the strike. This has only made the prisoners even more determined to continue the battle and confront these Zionist attacks.

To the Palestinian and Arab masses…

The Zionist occupation prisons are prisons of horror. There are tens of severely ill prisoners, some engaged in the strike and currently barred from treatment, suffering from the policy of medical neglect. The clinics that are supposed to be places of treatment and alleviation of pain are instead sites of abuse and suffering. The declaration of the occupation of the establishment of so-called “field hospitals” is either an attempt to better its image in the media, or to create sites of pressure on the prisoners to attempt to break the strike and carry out threatened forced feeding. A number of measures against the prisoners have recently escalated, including the closure of prisons, conversion of whole sections to collective isolation sections, massive bans on family visits and the imposition of thousands of shekels in fines on strikers.

Despite all these measures, we have also promised to you that we will not break or give in, and so from the womb of our suffering and despite the severity of repression, we will continue this battle until victory. Read more »

New Charter: Should Hamas Rewrite the Past?

Article – Ramzy Baroud

Now that the Palestinian Islamic Movement, Hamas, has officially changed its Charter, one should not immediately assume that the decision is, in itself, an act of political maturity . Read more »

Open letter to Gerry Brownlee

Press Release – Te Tau Ihu Palestine Solidarity – TeTIPS

We the undersigned were dismayed and alarmed when you, as a newly appointed Foreign Minister, described Aotearoas co-sponsorship of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 (UNSCR 2334) as premature. Moreover we find your retraction … Read more »

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