Friday, 7 October 2011

Israel punishing Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike with solitary confinement and no lawyers

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli prison authorities are cracking down on Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli jails, a prisoner rights group said Thursday.

Strikers protesting worsening conditions have been transferred to different facilities, denied visits by lawyers, and put in solitary confinement, a release from Addameer said.

At Ofer prison, 12 hunger strikers were held in two isolation cells meant for four detainees each and forced to walk around the prison overnight, the group said. Hunger strikers at Ofer and Ashkelon prisons have been beaten by prison authorities, it said.

Detainees' lawyers said they were turned away from jails due to a "situation of emergency" declared by Israel's prison service, the group added.

One lawyer was able to meet PFLP leader Ahmad Saadat and Palestinian parliamentarian Jamal Abu Hija on Thursday, the statement said. The men told the lawyer Israeli authorities removed all electrical items from their cell, and barred cigarettes and salt, in response to their hunger strike.

Saadat, who has been isolated in jail for three years, and whose treatment sparked the first strikes on Sept. 27, was fined 228 shekels ($61) and his ban on family visits extended for taking part, the group said. more

Médecins Sans Frontières doctors assist with specialist medical treatment for Gaza war victims

In July 2010, MSF signed an agreement with the Gaza health authorities and opened a reconstructive surgery programme. Several times a year, MSF teams composed of surgeons, operating room nurses and anaesthetists conduct ad hoc missions, during which they work closely with surgeons and hospital teams from Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Our patients have complicated injuries or severe burns that affect the normal use of their limbs. After their surgery, they receive rehabilitation treatment (bandages and physical therapy) in one of MSF's two clinics in Gaza. The objective is to ease their pain, help them to recover adequate mobility and, to the extent possible, reduce the social and psychological impacts of their wounds.

In September 2011, a French hand surgeon joined the MSF programme. Over five days, the joint team operated on 24 patients suffering from the after-effects of burns, hand wounds, skin contracture (axillary, elbows and hands), finger amputations and syndactylism (a congenital malformation characterised by attachment and the partial or complete fusion of two or more fingers or toes).

This kind of joint programme also provides an opportunity for MSF staff and Gaza doctors to exchange and share medical, surgical and anaesthetic techniques, particularly with regard to treating young children. more

Miles of Smiles aid convoy arrives in Gaza with 10 tons of medical supplies

The Miles of Smiles convoy arrived in the Gaza Strip late on Wednesday through the Rafah Border Terminal in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and received popular and official welcome ceremonies.

Security sources at the Rafah Terminal stated that 41 human rights activists managed to cross into the Gaza Strip after completing all necessary coordination procedures with the Egyptian Authorities. The remaining activists will be allowed into Gaza soon.

The convoy carries 10 tons of medical supplies, including medications that have been unobtainable in Gaza, and a number of ambulances.

Dr. Younis Al-Astal, member of the Hamas parliamentary bloc, welcomed the activists and acknowledged their relentless efforts to enter Gaza and deliver the humanitarian supplies.

Convoy members said that trips to deliver medical and humanitarian supplies will continue until the illegal Israeli siege is fully lifted without any preconditions. more