Monday, 23 January 2012

Two more MPs seized as Israeli forces storm International Red Cross HQ in Jerusalem

The State of Israel raided on Monday the Jerusalem headquarters of the International Red Cross and detained two Palestinian members of parliament.

Khaled Abu Arfa and Mohammed Totah, both members of the political wing of the Hamas movement and elected MPs, were detained from the IRC headquarters, having spent over 18 months seeking refuge in the building following Israel's revocation of their Jerusalem residency.

Mickey Rosenfeld told Reuters that the men had been detained due to their participation in "Hamas activities".

The IRC building is located in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem where Palestinian residents have been subjected to eviction from their homes by Israel, allowing settler families to take the homes in their place. more

Atlanta Jewish Times editor resigns after calling for assasination of US president Obama

(JTA) -- The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times has resigned and is seeking a buyer in the wake of a column he wrote speculating that Israel would consider assassinating President Obama.

Andrew Adler, in an email obtained by JTA, announced Monday that he is "relinquishing all day-to-day activities effective immediately" following the publishing of his opinion piece saying that Obama's assassination was among Israel's options in heading off a nuclear Iran.

Adler named staff writer John McCurdy as interim managing editor until a replacement can be found. Adler said he would publish an apology in his next edition and that reaction from readers had been overwhelmingly negative.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta said earlier Monday that it would suspend its relationship with the Atlanta Jewish Times until Adler removed himself from the newspaper's operations. The federation also called on Adler to sell the weekly.

"While we acknowledge his public apology and remorse, the damage done to the people of Israel, the global Jewish people, and especially the Jewish Community of Atlanta is irreparable," the Atlanta federation said in a statement issued Monday to constituent groups. more

Palestine rights group condemns Israel for detaining patients seeking treatment outside Gaza

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns arresting a Palestinian patient from the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing.  The patient was heading to a hospital in the West Bank for medical treatment.  PCHR is concerned that he may be subjected to torture, especially as he was supposed to undergo a surgery.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, IOF arrested Bassam Sha'ban Fu'ad Raihan, 24, from Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on 19 January 2012, as he was traveling to al-Mezan Hospital in Hebron through Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to undergo surgery.  In her testimony to PCHR, the patient's aunt and companion, Na'ima Fu'ad Sha'ban Raihan, 49, said that the Israeli officer at Beit Hanoun crossing informed her that Bassam was arrested, gave her Bassam's belongings and ordered her to return to Gaza.  Sha'ban Fo'ad Raihan, 50, the patient's father, said that he received a phone call from IOF informing him that his son is detained in Ashkelon prison.  The patient has been detained so far.
PCHR believes that the policy adopted by IOF to arrest patients is a serious violation of international humanitarian law.  Furthermore, it is a form of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, especially as it is part of the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip that aggravates the suffering of patients whose treatment is not available in the Gaza Strip hospitals. more

Israeli military systematically imprisoning and mistreating Palestinian children

The Palestinian children – alone and bewildered – in Israel's Al Jalame jail

Special report: Israel's military justice system is accused of mistreating Palestinian children arrested for throwing stones
The room is barely wider than the thin, dirty mattress that covers the floor. Behind a low concrete wall is a squat toilet, the stench from which has no escape in the windowless room. The rough concrete walls deter idle leaning; the constant overhead light inhibits sleep. The delivery of food through a low slit in the door is the only way of marking time, dividing day from night.

This is Cell 36, deep within Al Jalame prison in northern Israel. It is one of a handful of cells where Palestinian children are locked in solitary confinement for days or even weeks. One 16-year-old claimed that he had been kept in Cell 36 for 65 days.

The only escape is to the interrogation room where children are shackled, by hands and feet, to a chair while being questioned, sometimes for hours.

Most are accused of throwing stones at soldiers or settlers; some, of flinging molotov cocktails; a few, of more serious offences such as links to militant organisations or using weapons. They are also pumped for information about the activities and sympathies of their classmates, relatives and neighbours. more