Thursday, 31 May 2012

High Israeli official hints, we made the Flame virus

(code from the Flame virus)

From Mondoweiss

The Flame virus, which has infected thousands of computers mostly in the Middle East, is being described as the most pernicious and complex software ever developed. The existence of the malware was recently made public by Kaspersky Lab, which discovered the malicious program while investigating infected computers for the United Nations. The virus is believed to have been attacking computers for at least two years.

What is the origin of the Flame malware? Well, according to The Christian Science Monitor, experts say only four nations have the technical knowledge to build such a complicated program. They are the United States, Russia, and China and, as you might have guessed, Israel.

Like the Stuxnet and Duqu malware, which many believe to have originated in Israel, Flame exploits vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system. Also, the cyber-attack is mostly aimed at Iran; the second most targeted victim is the Palestinian Authority. Are those enough clues? more

Arab-Islamic convoy arrives in Gaza with medical aid

GAZA, (PIC)-- An Arab-Islamic aid convoy arrived in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening from Egypt through the Rafah border terminal carrying various relief material.

Rafah terminal sources said that 11 members accompanied the relief convoy sent by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Islamic Relief UK, and the Arab Doctors Union.

Mohammed Okasha welcomed the convoy on behalf of the government and the health ministry in a press conference held at the terminal. more

Thousands rally in Turkey to remember victims of Israeli attack on Mavi Marmara

ISTANBUL: Thousands of people rallied in Istanbul Thursday to remember the nine victims of a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on this date two years ago.

The crowd gathered in iconic Taksim Square under the banner of the pro-Islamic Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), one of the organisers of the flotilla that tried to break an Israeli sea blockade of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory.

The demonstrators, many of them women, chanted slogans and waved banners against Israel, once a strong regional ally of Turkey, and asked that the perpetrators of the raid be held accountable. more

Israeli activist imprisoned for trying to become Palestinian

Andrew Pshenichnikov, 23, has been in an Israeli prison for one week for trying to become a Palestinian citizen and give up his Israeli citizenship.

Two months ago Pshenichnikov moved to Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. The Israeli government was able to arrest him as Dheisheh is in Area A of the West Bank; Israeli citizens are banned by their government from leaving Area C and so his stay in Dheisheh was technically illegal. more

Ministry of Prisoner Affaris: Israeli authorities separating Gaza prisoners

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli prison authorities are transferring detainees from Nafha prison to other jails, the PA Ministry of Prisoner Affairs said Wednesday.

Prison officials have started to transfer 395 prisoners from Gaza to various detention centers, the ministry said in a statement.

Prisoners reject the move and say Israel is separating them as punishment for the recent mass hunger strike in Israeli jails, the ministry added.

On Tuesday, the ministry said detainees from Gaza had rejected an Israeli proposal to allow them one half-hour visit from their families every two months. more

Israel hands over remains of 91 Palestinians

AMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — Israel on Thursday handed over the bodies of 91 Palestinians killed during anti-Israeli attacks, some of whom died more than 40 years ago, officials on both sides said.

The transfer began before dawn, when Israel formally gave the bodies to the Palestinians at a location near the West Bank city of Jericho, with 79 of them immediately transferred to Ramallah, and the other 12 sent to Gaza.

"At 4:00 am (0100 GMT) today, we received the remains of 91 martyrs, 79 from the West Bank and 12 from Gaza who had been buried (by the Israelis) in an inhumane and unethical fashion in numbered graves in the Jordan Valley," said Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the Palestinian general committee for civil affairs.

"They will all be wrapped in a shroud and the Palestinian flag, they will be identified and have the last rites performed," he told AFP.

The Israel Defence Forces confirmed the first part of the transfer had taken place. more

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Israeli forces detain fishermen off northern Gaza coast near Beit Lahiya

AZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained four Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, witnesses said.

Israeli warships surrounded two fishing boats off Beit Lahiya, in northern Gaza, forcing the fishermen off the vessels and taking them to an unknown destination, a Ma'an correspondent said.

The fishermen were identified as Nour al-Sultan, 49 and his brother Hasan 39, as well as Jihad al-Sultan, 38 and his brother Zahir, 22.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said a Palestinian fishing boat "deviated from the designated fishing area," and failed to respond to calls to return, prompting forces to detain its crew. more

Egypt refuses to grant permission for Viva Palestina convoy to enter Gaza through Sinai

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - European activists have condemned the Egyptian rejection to implement the obtained regulatory approvals in order to reach the Gaza Strip through the Sinai Peninsula.

The General Coordinator of the convoy "right of return", Kevin Aovindan [Ovenden, ed], stated, in a press conference held in trade unions headquarters in Amman yesterday, that the lack of clarity and the contrast in Egyptian officials' positions prevented the arrival of the convoy to Gaza through the Egyptian borders.

Aovindan said that the President of the convoy, the British MP George Galloway was in Cairo until May 15, and he left after he had got the Egyptian official approval for the passage of the convoy to the Gaza Strip through Rafah crossing, however Egypt reneged on its approvals.

He added that "the participants in the convoy have spent over 3 weeks in Aqaba to get from the Egyptian authorities the permission to cross into Egypt and then to enter Gaza.

Aovindan said, regarding the aid collected by the convoy, "it will be sent to Gaza through the Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization in coordination with the Jordanian Professional Associations".

Meanwhile, the Palestinian government in Gaza has received new commitments from its Egyptian counterpart to allow Qatari fuel to enter the besieged Gaza Strip during the next few days, after contacts between the Palestinian, Qatari, and Egyptian authorities.

The Palestinian foreign minister, Mahmoud Awad, said there are new Egyptian promises to facilitate the passage of Qatari fuel to the only power station in the Gaza Strip, according to Al-Arab newspaper.

The need for the Qatari fuel is increasing these days to operate the power station in Gaza and to alleviate the crisis in the electrical sector for more than four months.

Awad said that the Egyptian government had told them that the full procedures required to start pumping fuel into Gaza are completed, hoping that it will reach Gaza the next few days.

“In the last communications with various parties, we were told that the shipment will arrive in the coming few days,” Awad said, adding that there is no logical reason for the delay." more

'Flame' virus targets Middle East countries, Israel prime suspect

A computer virus running since August 2010 and reported to be the most complex in history, was discovered in thousands of computers throughout the Middle East.

The virus, named as “The Flame” was discovered by the Russian security software group Kaspersky, and primarily targeted Iran but also Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Palestine and some reported cases in Egypt.

The virus is considered to be a state sponsored cyber attack which aims to collect private data, alongside taking screen shots and keyboard inputs from secure government databases and private computers. more

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Medics: Palestinian hurt by Israeli fire in southern Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man was moderately injured Tuesday evening by Israeli fire east of Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip, medical officials said.

The man, 29, who was not otherwise identified, suffered an injury to his right leg, said Gaza medical official Adham Abu Salmiya.

An Israeli military spokesman said the army had no record of such an incident.

Earlier, witnesses said Israeli forces entered the southern Gaza Strip and razed land. more

Fuel crisis degrading water and sanitation services in Gaza

The current fuel crisis in Gaza, now in its fifth month, is causing extended power outages that severely disrupt the lives, health and livelihood of the region’s 1.6 million residents. It also severely affects the fuel-dependent fishing industry, already crippled by restricted access to Gaza's fishing waters imposed by Israel's blockade.

The Gaza Power Plant produced electricity at less than 30 per cent of capacity in April, causing severe disruption to basic services, including water, health and sanitation.

Oxfam's partner, the Coastal Municipal Water Utility says the situation is critical, with up to 40 per cent of the 1.6 million population under blockade getting water in their houses only once every four days.

The situation will get even more critical as summer approaches and demand for water escalates.

Without regular supplies of fuel to run pumps, water and sewage facilities, including water wells, sewage pump stations, wastewater treatment plants, desalination units and water lifting stations remain vulnerable to collapse, leaving entire towns exposed to all the ensuing public health risks.

Um Bader and her neighbours, citizens of al- Zarqa, are seriously worried. This neighbourhood outside Gaza City previously had no municipal water and sanitation services, but an Oxfam project recently connected houses to a sewage network and water supply.

But without sufficient fuel to power the pumps, they are afraid they will soon return to living without running water and with cesspits overflowing into the streets. more

Hunger striking Palestine team footballer Al-Sarsak frequently losing consciousness

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- After 72 days on hunger strike, prisoner Mahmoud al-Sarsak is frequently losing consciousness and has difficulty standing, a lawyer said Tuesday.

Fadi Ubeidat, who visited al-Sarsak in Israel's Ramle prison hospital, said the detainee was emaciated with low blood sugar levels, the PA Ministry of Detainee Affairs said in a statement.

Al-Sarsak told the lawyer he had been put in solitary confinement and urged the Palestinian Authority and Egyptian mediators to intervene.

A soccer player in Palestine's national team, al-Sarsak has been detained without charge for almost two years and is on hunger strike to demand his release. more

Monday, 28 May 2012

Appeal to save the life of Mamoud Sarsak, imprisoned by Israel for 3 years without charge or trial

Our brother and son, Mahmoud Sarsak, is a 25 years old professional footballer from Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, today entering his 67th day of hunger strike. We ask you to support Mahmoud and his demand for fair treatment. Your voice can contribute to saving his life and to a little victory against injustice.

Mahmoud has been imprisoned by Israel for the past three years, after being arrested by the Israeli military on 22nd July 2009 at the Erez checkpoint in Gaza while on his way to join the Palestine National Football team for a match in Balata refugee camp in the West Bank.

After his arrest he was transferred to Ashkelon prison where he was interrogated for 30 days, before being given a detention order on 23rd August 2009 under Israel’s “Unlawful Combatants Law”. Addameer, the Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights group, state that “in practice, the Unlawful Combatants Law contains fewer protections for detainees than even the few that are granted under administrative detention orders in the West Bank”, and allows the Israeli state to hold Palestinians from Gaza for indefinite periods without charge or trial.

Mahmoud started a hunger strike on 19th March 2012 to protest being held without charge or trial, demanding to be informed of the reasons for his three year detention and to be allowed to defend himself, as is his most basic right under international law. After starting his hunger strike he was transferred to Naqab prison on 8th April and then moved to solitary confinement at Eshel prison. On 16th April he was transferred to Ramleh prison hospital as a result of his deteriorating health. He is now on his 67 day of hunger strike, an extremely dangerous milestone that could see his death at any moment.

He is one of over 4400 Palestinians held in Israeli jails in violation of Articles 49 and 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids the transfer of occupied peoples (Palestinians), to the territory of the occupier (Israel). Grave breaches of these Articles are considered war crimes in international law.

For us it is unbearable to see Israel has been awarded the hosting of the UEFA Under 21s football championship in 2013 and gears up to participate in the London Olympics, while it routinely arrests, tortures, imprisons and kills Palestinians, including football players, without consequence. This is not fair play. Sports should show solidarity.

As Mahmoud’s family, we call on all people of conscience to demand his immediate release, and to pressure governments and international organisations to force Israel’s compliance with the most basic standards of international law. In particular we ask fellow football players and athletes to speak out in support of Mahmoud – don’t be silent when Israeli cruelty and arbitrariness has destroyed the aspirations of a rising athlete and keeps thousands under inhumane conditions in their jails. We ask sports teams and anti-racist fan clubs to organize in support of Mahmoud and all the other Palestinian political prisoners. Your voice can contribute to saving his life and to a little victory against injustice.

It is time to end Israeli crimes carried out with impunity, and to demand the release of Palestinians held illegally by Israel, including our beloved Mahmoud, hunger striking for his dignity and freedom.

Mahmoud Kamel Muhammad Sarsak
Father of Mahmoud
go to link

Israeli soldiers prevent two members of election commission from entering Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Two members of the Central Elections Commission were denied entry into Gaza on Monday, as a delegation arrived to begin work in the coastal enclave.

Ahmad al-Khalidi and Shukri al-Nashashibi were prevented from entering Gaza by Israeli soldiers, executive manager of the delegation Hisham Khail told Ma'an.

The head of the Central Elections Commission Hanna Nasser told reporters at Erez border crossing that the CEC did not come to Gaza to fail, confirming that the commission would start work right away. more

Mavi Marmara massacre: senior Israeli officers face Turkish trial after court issues charges

A Turkish court has charged four senior Israeli military commanders over the killing of nine Turkish activists trying to reach Gaza in 2010.

Ex-military chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi and former heads of military intelligence, the navy and air force are expected to be tried in absentia.

The nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed after Israeli troops boarded their ship, the Mavi Marmara.

They had been hoping to breach Israel's naval blockade and deliver aid to Gaza.

A prosecutor at the court in Istanbul has called for each of the four Israeli officers to face nine life sentences, Turkish news agency Anatolia reported.

The other three commanders are ex-naval chief Vice Admiral Eliezer Marom, former head of military intelligence Major General Amos Yadlin, and former head of the air force Brigadier General Avishai Lev.

Israel has refused to co-operate with any prosecution of those who took part in the attack.

If they are convicted, the Turkish court could issue a warrant for their arrest. more

Outrage as Israeli firms win contracts for Gaza reconstruction work

A number of Israeli companies have recently won UN tenders for reconstruction projects in the Gaza Strip, enraging Palestinian contractors who claim they were outbid by the country that destroyed their infrastructure.

More than three years after Israel inflicted widespread damage on the infrastructure of the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead, an offensive aimed at curtailing relentless Hamas rocket fire into Israel, two Israeli companies won bids issued by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to construct water plants in Gaza, London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Thursday.

Osama Kahil, deputy head of the Palestinian Contractors Union, told the daily that a number of Israeli companies have contacted contractors in Gaza offering them half of the bids’ revenue to execute the projects.

“It is unreasonable for the Israeli occupation to be rewarded for its destruction of Gaza’s economy,” Kahil told Al-Quds Al-Arabi. “It waged a relentless war on our livelihood, and now our markets are being opened to its companies.”

Kahil said his union sent letters to all contractors in Gaza, warning them against cooperation with Israeli companies. more

Karem Abu Shalom crossing reopens after three-day closure

RAFAH, May 28, 2012 (WAFA) – Israel re-opened Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing with the Gaza Strip on Monday to allow entry of 240 trucks carrying products into Gaza as well as pumping fuel to the power station while allowing only one truck to leave the Strip, according to crossing officials.

Raed Fattouh, who heads a committee in charge of entry of products into Gaza, told WAFA that while only one truckload of Gaza tomatoes will be allowed to leave Gaza on its way to Jordan, between 230 and 240 truckloads of aid and various goods will be allowed in.

He said the goods include 30 new vehicles, 11 cement and steel shipments and 36 loads of gravel for projects carried out by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and 11 truckloads of cement for projects by the World Bank. more

South African relief agency to join convoy to Gaza

The Durban-based NGO, South African Relief Agency (Sara), will be flying in aid to help citizens of the besieged Gaza strip in June.

The 14-strong convoy, which includes religious leaders, university professors, advocates, lawyers, school principals, doctors, and therapists, will fly to Cairo on June 14, before joining a convoy of trucks carrying aid to Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

“We will be taking aid in the form of medical equipment – dental chairs, X-ray machines, 200 wheelchairs, air mattresses, five containers of incontinence pads, milk powder, three truckloads of nappies, three truckloads of stationery, 200 crutches, and clothing,” said the agency’s secretary-general, Sheikh Walid El Saadi.

“We will be distributing the aid ourselves and visiting hospitals, schools, the aged and disabled, as well as seeing to ongoing projects and supporting traumatised children and those most affected by the ongoing war.”

El Saadi said agency’s mission was to show solidarity with the people of Palestine.

“As citizens of a democratic and free South Africa that fought and defeated apartheid, we believe that it is up to us to ensure that their plight is brought to the world’s attention,” he said.

The agency was formed in 2006 as a response to pleas from Palestinians who required international help. more

Palestinian Airlines resumes flights after 7 years

MARKA AIRBASE, Jordan (AP) — Palestinian Airlines is back in the skies after being grounded for seven years by the deepening enmities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Once hailed as a symbol of Palestinian statehood dreams, the carrier is a tiny operation, with just two 48-seat turboprop planes, two weekly flights and a borrowed hub in Egypt.

But Palestinians say just being on the map again is what matters.

"My hands were shaking when I bought the ticket ... and it said the name of the carrier is Palestinian Airlines," said recent passenger Zuhair Mohammed, a 38-year-old teacher from Gaza.

The 15-year-old airline's fortunes have been closely tied to the quest for a Palestinian state.

In the late 1990s, when Palestinians appeared on the verge of a statehood deal with Israel, Palestinian Airlines operated from Gaza International Airport, flew tens of thousands of passengers a year to Middle Eastern destinations and planned to expand to Europe. more

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Election committee to start Gaza work this week

Palestinian election officials will begin work on updating the electoral register in the Gaza Strip on Monday in a key step to pave the way for elections, an official told AFP on Sunday.
On 20 May, senior Fatah and Hamas officials agreed that the Palestinian electoral commission would start work in Gaza on 27 May and that consultations to forum a new interim "government of independents" would start the same day.

But Jamil Khaldi, head of the Central Elections Commission (CEC) in Gaza, said work would only begin on Monday after the arrival of his West Bank counterpart, Hanna Nasser.

"Nothing will happen today. The CEC delegation led by Hanna Nasser will arrive in Gaza on Monday and we will all have a meeting with (Hamas) prime minister Ismail Haniya. Immediately afterwards, we will start our work," he told AFP.

Discussions over a new government were also expected to start on Sunday, with senior officials from both factions set to meet in Cairo, according to a posting on the Facebook page of top Hamas official Mussa Abu Marzuk late on Saturday.

"A meeting will be held tomorrow, Sunday 27 May, between Fatah and Hamas delegations to start consultations over forming a new government," wrote Abu Marzuk, deputy head of the Hamas politburo.

Fawzi Barhum, a spokesman for Gaza's Hamas rulers, had no immediate information about exactly when the meeting would take place.

Under the terms of a reconciliation deal signed by Hamas and Fatah in Cairo on 3 May, 2011, the two factions were to put together a caretaker cabinet of independent technocrats tasked with preparing for presidential and legislative elections within a year of the signing of the accord. more

Settlers attack villages near Nablus, resident wounded

Local sources in Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank reported Saturday that a group of armed Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian farmers in their lands in a number of towns and villages in the Nablus district, shot and wounded a local farmer.

Medical sources in Nablus reported that the wounded resident, identified as Najeh As-Safady, was hit by a live round in his abdomen and was moved to a local hospital.

Ghassan Douglas, Palestinian liaison official in charge of Israeli settlements activities at the Palestinian National Authority, reported that settlers of the Yitzhar illegal settlement, built on Palestinian lands south of Nablus, escalated their attacks against the residents, and burnt dozens of Dunams of farmlands that belong to residents of four Palestinian villages.

Douglas said that the settlers attacked Huwwara town, Madama, Einabous, Burin and Orif before torching farmlands planted with olive trees, fruits and vegetables.
Local sources in Orif village reported that clashes took place between the residents and the invading settlers, and that Israeli soldiers fired gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets at the local protestors; several residents were treated for the effects of teargas inhalation. more

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Israeli settler shoots Palestinian in West Bank

NABLUS (Reuters) -- An Israeli settler shot and wounded a Palestinian man on Saturday in a clash that began when a group of settlers set fire to fields belonging to a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank, officials said.

Residents said about 25 settlers, some of them carrying guns, set fire to wheat fields in the village of Orif, which is near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Some villagers came out to extinguish the fire and clashed with the settlers, said Nablus official Ghassan Daghlas.

During the clash, an Israeli settler shot and wounded one Palestinian, an Israeli military spokesman said, adding that security forces were sent to the scene to break up the violence. more

Friday, 25 May 2012

Video: racist Israeli mob demand Africans be expelled - if you disagree 'you deserve to be raped'

At a demonstration in south Tel Aviv demanding the immediately expulsion of all non-Jewish African asylum-seekers, a lone Israeli woman who does not agree with the rest of the crowd is shouted down with ferocity and told that she deserves to be raped. The worst of the racism and sexism starts at 0.45s.

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the OPT (17–23 May)

(An Israeli settler, escorted by Israeli soldiers, fire at Palestinian civilian in Southern ‘Assira village, southeast of Nablus)

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

IOF use force to disperse peaceful protest organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.
4 demonstrators, including two children and an international human rights defender, were wounded.

A Palestinian civilian was seriously injured at Etzion intersection, south of Bethlehem.

IOF conducted 90 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and two limited ones into the Gaza Strip.
IOF arrested 28 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children, an old man, the director of a television channel and an ex-prisoner.

IOF continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
IOF arrested two Palestinian civilians at various checkpoints in the West Bank.

IOF have continued efforts to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem.
The Israeli government allocated new budget to enhance settlement activities in Jerusalem.
A house was demolished in al-Tour neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
A Palestinian civilian was seriously wounded by Israeli settlers south of Nablus.
IOF razed 14 dunums[1] of agricultural land in the east of Hebron and confiscated a bulldozer and a truck in Jerusalem.
IOF tore down 6 tents south of Hebron and demolished a bird farm southwest of Ramallah.
Israeli settlers stormed Taqqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem, in the presence of IOF. more

Hamas students start hunger strike at Birzeit University to protest political detentions

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A group of students protesting political detentions by the Palestinian Authority went on hunger strike Thursday in Birzeit University.

The students, who are Hamas supporters, have been sleeping inside the university since May 5. They fear the Fatah-led PA's security forces will arrest them if they leave campus.

In a statement, the students said they would remain on campus until the issue was resolved with the PA, adding that they would escalate the strike if political detentions did not stop.

Students began sleeping on campus to avoid arrest during the exam period.

Saed Qasrawi, a 26-year-old engineering student, told the Associated Press that he had been enrolled for eight years but had been unable to finish his degree because PA forces kept arresting him. He said he was arrested at the start of final exams five times over five years.

The students are sleeping on mattresses on the floor, using university guards' showers and eating at the canteen, the AP said. more

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Army: Snipers injure Israeli soldiers near Gaza border

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian snipers on Wednesday opened fire at Israeli forces, injuring two, near the border of the central Gaza Strip. the Israeli army said.

An Israeli military spokesman said an officer and a soldier were transferred to hospital, adding that troops returned fire. more

Gaza fishing fleet being strangled by Israel and starved of fuel

By Nidal al-Mughrabi (Reuters)

GAZA, May 23 (Reuters) - Israeli gunboats and an Egyptian clampdown on fuel smuggling into the Gaza Strip are strangling the Palestinian enclave's little fishing fleet, slowly turning a generation of fishermen into fishmongers.

Since 2009, they have been unable to sail out beyond three miles because of Israel's strictly enforced blockade. This year they can hardly afford to go out at all because diesel has nearly tripled in price.

There are about 3,700 full-time fishermen in the Gaza Strip ready to serve a market of 1.7 million Palestinians. They used to export to Israel. Now Gaza imports about 80 percent of its needs from the Egyptians and the Israelis.

"Once we made enough to let us give away fish to the poor and needy people. These days we are begging for aid," said Mahmoud Al-Assi, 66, a fisherman most of his life and currently the chairman of Gaza's non-profit Fishermens' Society, which supports boat owners with tools, ice and fuel.

"Just like the fish, we will die if we're out of the water for too long," said Al-Assi. more

Turkey issues arrest warrants for Israeli officers that ordered Mavi Marmara massacre

Turkey has issued arrest warrants for four former senior Israel Defense Forces officers and plans to indict them over the deaths of nine Turkish nationals during a botched raid on a Turkish-sponsored flotilla to Gaza in 2010.

The officers in question are former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, former commander of the navy Eliezer Marom, and former head of air force intelligence Avishai Levi. The four are accused of giving the orders for the raid on the Mavi Marmara, in which nine Turks were killed after passengers brutally assaulted the naval commandos who boarded the ship.

According to the Turkish newspaper Sabah, the officers will be arrested if they ever set foot in Turkey.

Local experts in international law noted that Turkey could ask Interpol to issue a so-called "red notice" for the four, in which case they would be liable to be arrested any time they visited any country that is a member of Interpol. more

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Campaign: A message from Moira Jilani on behalf of her executed hubandd

From the International Solidarity Movement

My beloved husband, Ziad Jilani, was executed by Israeli Border Policeman, Maxim Vinogradov on June 11, 2010. There is undeniable evidence that my husband was lying unarmed and wounded on the ground, posing no threat when Israeli Border Policeman Maxim Vinogradov shot him point blank in the head. Despite the multiple contradictions, revisions and blatant lies in the testimony of the soldier who killed him, exposed by the autopsy, the Israeli authorities have closed the case against Maxim Vinogradov and his commander Shadi Kheir Al-Din.

The closing of the case against Ziad’s killer is a clear message to Israeli soldiers: simply claim that you suspect a Palestinian is a terrorist and you will not be held accountable if you execute him or her. My daughters and I have appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court to demand Israel’s state prosecutor bring criminal charges against Ziad’s killer and his commander. We seek international support, not only to get justice for Ziad but also to save the lives of future potential victims by sending Israeli soldiers the message that they can be held accountable for killing innocent people. Help us change this message.

Sign the petition demanding that Israel’s state prosecuter press charges against Ziad’s killer!

Email if you can organize a memorial for Ziad in your city on June 11th.

Videos: Israeli soldiers stand and watch as settlers attack Palestinians

Israeli human rights group, B'Tselem, has released footage that shows Israeli soldiers standing by as settlers open fire on Palestinian villagers on Saturday 19th May.

The footage shows a group of settlers from Yitzhar descending on Asira al-Qibliya and a group of young Palestinians confronting them – rocks are thrown by both groups. It is important to note at this stage that there are no burning fields.

What happens next was filmed from two different angles. The footage now shows armed settlers – in white t-shirts – standing very close to the village and the Palestinian fields behind them are now burning. A group of Israeli soldiers can now be seen amongst the settlers.

One of the settlers can be seen armed with a 'Tavor' rifle which is only used by infantry soldiers, raising the suspicion that he is a soldier on leave.

The Palestinian youths start throwing stones at the settlers and two settlers respond by opening fire at a young Palestinian who falls to the ground. His fellow villagers rush out to drag him away.


The third video shows the same scene from a different angle. In this video we can see a third settler take aim and fire with a handgun. We can also see the Israeli soldiers make no attempt to stop or apprehend the settlers.

The injury sustained by the young Palestinian man can be seen more clearly in this video. The villagers rush to carry him back to the village, shouting in defiance. He was hospitalised after receiving a head wound which wasn't serious.

Video 3:


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Cash crops season ends on sour note in Gaza as electricity and water shortages bite

Gaza's crops season ended last week with dramatically reduced income for farmers as a result of the fuel crisis and ensuing water shortages.

The ongoing fuel crisis negatively impacted the otherwise relatively good season for export farmers, with carnation growers worst hit at the end of the season with 9 million flowers exported – 2 million less than last year. Strawberry exports allowed out of Gaza by the government of Israel were slightly better than last year's at 447 tons, while sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes registered dramatic increases from 6 and 7 tons respectively last year to 44 and 75 tons this year.

Oxfam partner Palestinian Agriculture Relief Committee (PARC), which manages Gaza's cash crop exports to the Netherlands, said the unusually cold weather throughout the season also impacted carnations and vegetables production, delaying it to the end of the season when the electricity crisis was at its height. Carnation farmers speaking to Oxfam at the end of the season said the fuel crisis forced them to leave their flowers in refrigerators that became in effect morgues of wilting flowers, as there was no electricity to keep them fresh for export. The lowered quality of the wilted flowers led to lost income, as PARC observed more than 2.5 million stems sold at a lower market price. more

Lawyer: Gaza engineer still in isolation despite deal

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A Gaza engineer kidnapped by Israel in the Ukraine last year is the last remaining prisoner held in solitary confinement, after the hunger-strike deal sought to end the practice, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Dirar Abu Sisi is still being held in an isolation cell in Ashkelon prison, while all others have been returned to normal wards, lawyer Karim Karim Ajwah said, noting his case was "kept secret in an unusual way."

Abu Sisi disappeared in February 2011 while traveling on a train in Ukraine and Israel later announced that it was holding him in a southern Israeli jail.

A former head of the Gaza power plant, he is accused of working with Hamas to improve its rocket technologies. more

Gaza paralympians escape siege to visit al-Aqsa mosque for first time

The Palestinian athletics coach Mousa Qadoum was so overcome by emotion upon entering the al-Aqsa mosque yesterday that he collapsed into silent tears.

It was a reminder of how rare it is for Gazans make it out of the territory to what for Muslims is easily the most sacred site in the Holy Land, a mere 48 miles away as the crow flies. After crouching alone by a pillar to compose himself, a still tearful Mr Qadoum, 31, from the eastern Gaza City suburb of Shejaia, explained: “I have only ever seen it in newspapers and on TV. I never imagined in my whole life that I would ever come to pray in al-Aqsa. I never imagined it until I die.”

It was thanks to the British Consulate General that a nine-strong party of Gazan paralympian athletes and coaches, including four competitors in London 2012, were able to make the coveted trip at all. Staff here worked hard for six weeks to persuade the Israeli authorities to grant the necessary permits for the Erez Crossing into Israel, which, eventually, they did for all except one wheelchair-bound competitor, refused on unspecified security grounds. more

Gaza's Ark - Building Hope: boat will be built in Gaza and sail out to trade goods

The Canadian Boat to Gaza, in cooperation, with international initiatives in the US, Australia and other countries, is launching a new initiative to challenge the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade of Gaza, the only Mediterranean port closed to shipping.

This new initiative: Gaza’s Ark, will build a boat in Gaza, using existing resources. A crew of internationals and Palestinians will sail it out of Gaza carrying Palestinian products to fulfill trade deals with international buyers.

Gaza's Ark will be constructed in Gaza by Palestinian hands and expertise, with international assistance.

Gaza's Ark will help revitalize the dwindling ship building industry in Gaza and help ensure the transmission of this disappearing expertise (another effect of the blockade) to the younger generations.

Through Gaza's Ark and trade deals secured between Palestinian producers in Gaza and international businesses and NGOs a channel will be established to export Palestinian products from Gaza that are available despite the blockade.

Gaza's Ark will also provide training to Gaza's sailors in the use of up-to-date electronic sailing equipment and techniques which they have been denied for years as a result of the blockade.

Although it will help in a very limited manner to alleviate Gaza’s unemployment crisis by paying wages to the boat builders and providing business opportunities to traders, Gaza's Ark is not an aid project. It is a peaceful action against the blockade which Israel unilaterally and unreasonably imposes on Gaza.

Gaza’s Ark also stands in solidarity with the Palestinian fishery in Gaza whose ability to operate in territorial waters and to derive a livelihood is threatened by the same Israeli blockade which our campaign is challenging.

Gaza’s Ark challenges the blockade by building hope on the ground in Gaza, and affirms our confidence that the Palestinians of Gaza can rebuild their economy through outbound trade that threatens no-one’s security.

With your support, the work on Gaza's Ark will start this summer. You will be able to follow its progress with regular updates on the web (, on Facebook ( and Twitter (@GazaArk).

You can reach us by email at

Monday, 21 May 2012

Timetable for Palestinian reconciliation agreed between Hamas and Fatah, elections in six months

Elections should be held in approximately 6 months to form a new power sharing deal between rivals Fatah and Hamas officials have said.

Stalled efforts at reconciliation previously make it unclear if this deal brokered in Egypt would end in success.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have had divided political leadership after violent conflict broke out following Hamas' election victory in 2007. A unity deal was reached earlier this year but hung up over disagreements over whether Abbas should head an interim government that prepares for elections.

Azzam Ahmed of Fatah and Fawzi Barhoum of Hamas say the sides agreed Sunday that the interim government should be formed by the first week of June and remain in office for six months. more

Palestine Place - a place for workshops, discussion and action in support of Palestine 2-17 June

A place for workshops, discussion, and action in support of Palestine

In the first two weeks of June this year one of central London’s lost and abandoned buildings will be reclaimed and transformed into a radical centre for discussion, action, and education around the issue of Palestine. Palestine Place will be a squatted hub of activity from the 2nd-17th June running everything from film screenings, lectures, workshops and trainings to cultural, musical and culinary events (full programme to be released nearer the time).

It is mid-2012 and in Palestine the 64 year-long struggle against Israel’s political, economic, and cultural occupation and violence continues with an ever-increasing intensity. The state of Israel, supported by central London’s powerful political elite, continues to control the discourse on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Though it attempts to drown out the voices of millions across the world calling for an end to its racist programme of Zionism, grass roots activists the world over are fighting in solidarity with Palestine, to lay bare the workings of Israeli oppression and so to end it.

The politics of our action of solidarity is unified by the three basic demands of Palestinian civil society in their call for a boycott of Israel (BDS Movement):
• An end to the occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands occupied since 1967.
• Equal Rights for Palestinian Citizens of Israel (1948 Palestine).
• Respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

We are a working community of individuals with many different ideas and ideological frameworks, but we come together around these three core agreements that unite us. These are the foundations, but Palestine Place can happen anywhere; we call for all those who support Palestinians to create these places of resistance wherever they are.

We invite activists, NGOs, academics, and direct action groups as well as all other interested parties to bring their support and knowledge to Palestine Place: by joining us in organising, offering to put on a workshop/training/discussion, supporting us with equipment or finance, or by taking part in the space. Contact to inquire about running an event, to get involved with preparations, or to find out more.

Two people killed in past week over Gaza tunnels at Rafah border

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A man was killed in a tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border on Sunday, a medical official said.

Nader Omar Masraah fell inside the tunnel near the southern Rafah border in the Gaza Strip, emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said.

Another man was injured when he received an electric shock in the tunnel, and was transferred to Abu Yousef Al-Najjar hospital in Rafah, he added.

On Thursday, 18-year-old Jihad Barakeh died after suffocating in a smuggling tunnel beneath the border, medics said. more

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Medics: Farmer shot in south Gaza, moderately injured

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A young Palestinian farmer was shot by Israeli soldiers while working on his land in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, a medical official said.

Waheed, 22, is in a moderate condition in Nasser hospital after suffering a bullet wound in the thigh, emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said. more

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Israeli plans to construct 2100 new illegal settlement units on the West Bank

On Friday, 18th May, Committee of Israeli Internal Security revealed a project aims to seize lands from Qalqilya and Tul Karem to expand the settlement of Ariel, north of the West Bank.

According to the project that holds the number 11134/M, Ariel settlement will be expand on two stages; to construct 700 new settlement units on the lands of Kufur village that is located between Azoun and Jensafoud villages in Qalqilya, and constructing another 1400 new settlement units on the lands of Baqat al-Hatab, Izzbat Abu Hamada and Kufur Aboush in Tul Karem.

This settlement project is the biggest project since 2010, Israel will seize lands from the villages of Jayous and Kufur Jamal to bind the new settlement units with B'Tselem settlement that was built on the lands of the villages: Jaljoulyeh, Al-Nabi Elias and Jayous. more

Denmark moves against illegal settlement produce with new labelling scheme

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (Ma'an) -- Denmark is set to introduce a labeling system to denote products made in Israeli settlements, Danish media said Friday.

"This is a move that will clearly show consumers that this produce has been produced under conditions that not only the Danish government, but also the European governments have rejected," Danish Foreign Minister Villy Sovndal was quoted as saying by Danish online news-site Politken.

"Then it is up to consumers whether they are prepared to buy the produce," he added.

The Danish FM said that stricter controls and labeling of settlement produce should be seen as part of the European Union's support for a two state solution.

Enforcing controls on settlement produce also shows the Palestinians that the world is against illegal settlement building.

The move targets illegal settlements and not Israel, the Danish FM added. more

Friday, 18 May 2012

Three Palestinian prisoners still on hunger strike

On Thursday, 17th May, a report issued by Palestinian Prisoners' society revealed that three Palestinians still continue with their hunger strike since 17th April, despite the signed agreement between the Israeli prisons' administration and Palestinian prisoners. The striking-prisoners are: Mahmoud Sarsak, Akram al-Rekhawi and Mohammad Abdul Aziz, who are now in the hospital of al-Ramlah Israeli prison.

Israeli authorities had made a deal with Mahmoud Sarsak, a Palestinian detainee who is on his 61 days of Hunger Strike that he would be released on 1 July, yet Israel subsequently broke the deal, so he never broke the hunger strike.

The two other prisoners, Akram al-Rikhawi and Mohammad Abdul Aziz's demands were that they would be allowed to be presented again before the Military Court.

Sarsak is from Gaza Strip, who was detained in 2009, Akram al-Rikhawi is from Gaza and was detained in 2004, and Mohammad Abdul Aziz Abu Labdeh is also from Gaza and is in Israeli prison since 2000. more

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the OPT (10–16 May)

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

IOF use force to disperse peaceful protest organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.
16 Palestinian civilians, including 3 journalists, were wounded in peaceful protests organized in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
30 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were wounded in peaceful demonstration organized on the 64th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba.
Dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.
IOF arrested 5 demonstrators, including a Polish human rights defender.

IOF conducted 41 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
IOF arrested 13 Palestinian civilians, including two children.

IOF continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.
IOF arrested two fishermen and confiscated their boat.

Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world.
IOF arrested two Palestinian civilians at various checkpoints in the West Bank.

IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.
Israeli settlers uprooted 15 grape saplings and seized 6 dunums of agricultural land in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem.
Israeli settlers uprooted 14 trees in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron. more

Ansar 2 and Miles of Smiles solidarity convoys enter Gaza

The “Ansar 2” and the “Miles Of Smiles 12” solidarity convoys managed to enter the Gaza Strip, on Thursday evening, via the Rafah border terminal on the Gaza Egypt border, the Quds Net News Agency reported.

Convoy members were welcomed at the terminal by delegates of the Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza, headed by Ghazi Hamad, and several political and social figures in the coastal region.

Hamad thanked convoy members for their ongoing support and solidarity with the Palestinian people, and for challenging the illegal Israeli siege on the coastal region.

The Quds Net News said that several Arab and European physicians, lawyers and businessmen are part of the two solidarity convoys.

Head of the Ansar 2 convoy, Wael As-Saqqa, stated that the convoy will be establishing a fund for supporting small projects that would help eliminate unemployment in the besieged and impoverished coastal region. more

Thursday, 17 May 2012

EU denounces Israel’s destruction of aid projects in West Bank

BRUSSELS (IPS) - All 27 foreign ministers of the European Union this week criticized Israeli demolitions in the occupied West Bank. Since the beginning of 2011, no fewer than 60 EU-funded projects have been demolished while 110 others are currently at risk. Several analysts claim the Israeli authorities are specifically targeting EU-funded projects.

The demolitions have taken place in Area C, which comprises about 60 percent of the West Bank and is under full Israeli military and civilian control. The EU’s focus on this area is a consequence of reports that show an increase in Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes and infrastructure, including projects paid for with European taxpayer money.

The EU’s foreign ministers called on Israel this week to remove restrictions on Palestinian construction and economic development projects in Area C. They also denounced Israeli settler violence against Palestinians and asked the Israeli government to prosecute such actions.

Against the background of the foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels, anti-poverty groups in the West Bank compiled new data on demolitions of EU projects. According to data gathered by the Displacement Working Group, a coordinating body of international humanitarian and development organizations in Palestine, at least 62 structures funded by France, Netherlands, the UK, Poland, Ireland, Spain, Sweden and the European Commission have been demolished by Israel since the beginning of 2011. Water cisterns, animal shelters and people’s homes, among others, are on the list of demolished structures. more

Israeli tanks fire on northern Gaza Strip near Beit Lahiya, 7 farmers njured

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Seven people were injured on Thursday when Israeli forces fired artillery rounds at the northern and eastern Gaza Strip, medics said.

Gaza medical spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya told Ma'an that two people were seriously wounded and five moderately injured when Israeli forces opened fire on Beit Lahiya, north Gaza, and east of Gaza City.

Most of the victims were farmers, Abu Salmiya said. more

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Amnesty International: accountability for violations needed despite Palestinian prisoner deal

Two thousand Palestinians held in Israeli prisons suspended a month-long hunger strike after Israel agreed several measures to improve prison conditions – a move seen by Amnesty International as a step toward compliance with Israel's human rights obligations.

Under the Egyptian-brokered deal, Israel has agreed to end solitary confinement for 19 prisoners – held in isolation for up to 10 years – and lift a ban on family visits for prisoners from the Gaza Strip, among other things.

"We hope that these commitments signal a new approach by the Israeli authorities founded on respect for prisoners’ human rights,” said Ann Harrison, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

“However, 2,000 prisoners and detainees should not have had to put their health on the line in order to ensure respect for their human rights which the Israeli authorities have been violating for years.”

Amnesty International has repeatedly called for a resumption of family visits for prisoners from Gaza, which were completely suspended in June 2007.

”These repeated violations by the Israel Prison Service (IPS) against hunger-striking prisoners require a full, independent and impartial investigation, and those responsible must be held accountable,” said Ann Harrison. more

Jordanian 'lifeline' aid plane to leave for Gaza on Thursday

AMMONNEWS - The Jordanian Lifeline Committee, who are the organisers of the Ansar II convoy announced on Tuesday that the convoy will leave from Jordan to Gaza on the 18th May.

The authorities have provided the committee with approval to travel by plane to arrive Gaza strip by Al Arish Airport, Wael As-Sakka, Jordanian Lifeline Committee Chairman and spokesperson said during a press conference. more

Views on Israel turn even more negative - Western governments out of step with public

From The Electronic Intifada

Israel, already one of the world’s most negatively viewed countries, according to an annual BBC survey, has seen its reputation sink even lower in 2012.

The result will come as a blow to Israeli officials and organizations who have been attempting to improve the country’s image through intensive hasbara – propaganda – campaigns.

The 2012 Country Ratings Poll, conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA for the BBC among 24,090 people around the world, and published on 10 May, “asks respondents to rate whether the influence of each of 16 countries and the EU is ‘mostly positive’ or ‘mostly negative.’”

The press release accompanying the full report notes briefly that “The most negatively rated countries were, as in previous years, Iran (55% negative), Pakistan (51% negative), and Israel and North Korea (both 50% negative).” ...

...Israel’s behavior shapes views

Can all this be put down to “anti-Semitism” as Israel’s propagandists like to insist? Not according to the BBC survey. The factors shaping views of Israel are largely political, according to the report’s analysis:
For those who held negative views of Israel influence in the world, the foreign policy of the Israeli State is by some distance the main reason explaining their negative rating (45%). The way Israel treats its own people stands out as the second most important reason (27%). Of those holding positive views, Jewish traditions and culture are cited by 29 per cent globally, closely followed by foreign policy (26%).

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Medics: 80 injured in Nakba protests near Ramallah

AMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Over 80 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces near Ramallah on Tuesday, medics said, as protesters commemorated the Nakba, or catastrophe, of their exile in 1948.

After a mass rally in Ramallah's Clock Square, protesters headed to Israel's Ofer detention center and the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem to commemorate the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the founding of the state of Israel.

Medics said 63 Palestinians were injured outside Ofer prison and 21 were hurt at Qalandiya as Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces used riot dispersal means at protesters hurling rocks.

Earlier, thousands marched from the late President Yasser Arafat's tomb toward Clock Square carrying Palestinian and black flags and banners demanding the right of return and national unity. more

Gaza marks Nakba Day - day of catastrophe - with marches and rallies

by Saud Abu Ramadan

GAZA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- A yellow van drove through Gaza City's densely populated streets on Tuesday, with a loudspeaker calling on residents to mark the 64th anniversary of Nakba Day, or "the day of catastrophe" in Arabic.

Hundreds of young men and women waving small flags of Palestine marched through the city's main street Omer al-Mukhtar, led by eight young men carrying a huge map of historic Palestine with names of towns and villages on it.

A Palestinian flag of the similar size was also held by eight youths, who were chanted slogans that marked Nakba Day and called for giving Palestinians the legitimate rights they have been demanding and struggling for since 1948.

Every May 15, Palestinians mark this special day that reminds them of their homeland, which has been occupied by Israel since the Jewish state's establishment 64 years ago.

"I came here to join this rally to say to the world that Palestine is our right. I wasn't born in Jaffa, but my father, who died five years ago, was born there. I live in Gaza but I still consider myself a Palestinian from Jaffa," said Ahmed Abu Ghali, a 42-year-old Palestinian teacher from Gaza.

There are eight refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, the biggest of which is Jabalia in the north, where 200,000 Palestinian refugees from the occupied towns and villages are living.

Representatives and leaders of various Palestinian factions, including the Islamic Hamas movement and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party, joined the rally, speaking to the crowds about the Palestinian people's rights to their lands.

A marathon was also organized in Gaza City by the de facto Hamas government's ministry of sports and youths. Hundreds of participants, aged between 8 and 60 years old, wore T-shirts with slogans that "Jerusalem is ours, Palestine is our right" and started from the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in the city. more

Palestinian prisoners win battle for rights - solitary confinement to end within 72 hours

GAZA, (PIC)-- Palestinian prisoners have finally won their battle of empty stomachs against the Israeli suppressive jailors and won back normal rights of prisoners after 28 days of hunger strike.

Political bureau member of Hamas Saleh Al-Aruri has said that the higher committee of the hunger strike had signed an agreement with the Israeli prison service (IPS) by which the hunger strikers would end their strike in return for meeting all their demands.

He told the PIC on Monday that the IPS would end the solitary confinement of Palestinian prisoners within 72 hours. more

Monday, 14 May 2012

Hunger-striking detainees sign deal with prison authority

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Detainees on Monday signed a deal with the Israeli prison authority to end their mass hunger strike, officials told Ma'an.

Prisoner representatives from each of the factions agreed to the deal in Ashkelon jail, prisoners society chief Qaddura Fares said in a statement.

Israel's internal security service Shin Bet confirmed the deal, the Israeli news site Ynet reported.


Senior Hamas official Saleh Arouri, who was a member of the negotiations team, said Israel agreed to provide a list of accusations to administrative detainees, or release them at the end of their term.

In comments to the Hamas-affiliated new site Palestine Information Center, he said that under the Egypt-brokered deal Israel agreed to release all detainees from solitary confinement over the next 72 hours.

Israel will also lift a ban on family visits for detainees from the Gaza Strip, and revoke the "Shalit law," according to the official.

The "Shalit law" restricted prisoners' access to families and to educational materials as punishment for the five-year captivity of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Shalit was freed in October in a prisoner swap agreement. more