Thursday, 19 January 2012

Head of Palestinian parliament Aziz Dweik arrested and detained by occupation forces

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday detained the head of the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Dweik at a checkpoint near Jerusalem, witnesses said.

Israeli soldiers handcuffed and blindfolded Dweik and took him to an unknown destination, witnesses told Ma'an.

An Israeli military spokesman had no immediate comment on the report.

Some 23 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council are currently imprisoned in Israel, according to the prisoner rights group Addameer. more

UN report slams Gaza siege for its collective punishment of civilians

The United Nations has issued its latest annual report on the ongoing Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip, slamming the policy as a form of “collective punishment” of Palestinian civilians and creating serious human rights issues.

In particular, the report warns that Israel’s blockade has destroyed the enclave’s health and education services and is leaving much of the population in a state of constant food insecurity. The Strip’s infrastructure is devastated from the 2008 Israeli bombardment “Operation Cast Lead,” in which up to 1,400 Palestinians were killed and 5,500 injured.

Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor slammed the United Nations for the report, saying that discussing the human rights situation in Gaza was a “waste of time” and that the real humanitarian crisis was in southern Israel, where often homemade rockets occasionally hit empty fields. more

Collective wedding ceremony held for freed prisoners in Gaza

A collective wedding ceremony for 50 of the Palestinian prisoners freed during the recent prisoner exchange deal agreed between Israel and the Hamas Movement has been held in the Gaza Strip.

The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of the government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, who stated that the occasion was one of great joy that would be remembered by the Palestinian people. Haniyeh also asserted that Palestinians would never forget the Palestinian prisoners who continue to languish in Israeli prisons. more