Friday, 17 February 2012

Thousands rally in Gaza for Palestinian hunger striker in Israeli jail

Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza City held a rally on Friday in solidarity with an Islamic Jihad member, detained without trial by Israel, on the 62th day of a hunger strike.

"We stand by the heroic symbol of prisoners, brother Khader Adnan, in his unlimited hunger strike," head of the Hamas government in Gaza Ismail Haniya, just back from a tour of Gulf countries via Egypt, told reporters ahead of the event.

Palestinian officials say Adnan's two-month hunger strike is the longest period a Palestinian detainee or prisoner has ever gone without food.

The procession, attended by all Palestinian movements, began at the Al-Omari mosque after Friday prayers and ended at the headquarters of the Red Cross.

"In his hunger strike, Khader Adnan is not fighting for a personal cause, but for the defence of thousands of prisoners," a Gaza leader of Islamic Jihad, Nafez Azzam said in a speech.

This Friday's weekly demonstration in the West Bank village of Bilin, marking the seventh anniversary of rallies against the Israeli separation barrier, was also dedicated to Adnan. An AFP correspondent said it was joined by some 1,000 demonstrators.

Adnan, a 34-year-old baker, was arrested by Israel on December 17 near the West Bank city of Jenin, where he had been spokesman for Islamic Jihad. He has been held since without being charged under a procedure known as administrative detention.

He began refusing food a day after his arrest and is now said to be close to death. more

UN's Richard Falk and foreign ambassadors urged to pressure Israel to release hunger striker

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe said Friday he will take the case of hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan to the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, as officials said the president was pushing foreign diplomats to step in to save the prisoner.

Qaraqe said he will brief Richard Falk on Adnan's condition in Jordan on Sunday, after the Islamic Jihad leader's administrative detention order was upheld by an Israeli military court on Monday.

Adnan has refused food for over 60 days in the longest-ever hunger strike by a Palestinian prisoner. more

Thousands have rallied in Gaza and the West Bank demanding Adnan's release. See Reuters report here

Journalist released after eight years in Israeli prisons for professional and political activities

(Ya'qoub Al-Hotary -

Journalist Ya'qoub Al-Hotary was released, on Friday, from an Israeli detention facility after spending eight years in different Israeli detention centers for his journalistic and political activities.

The Maan News Agency reported that Al-Hotary worked as the Sound Engineer at the Qalqilia TV, in Qalqilia, in the northern part of the West Bank.

The charges against him were never clear, but included his political affiliation with the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). more

Book Review: ‘A Child’s View from Gaza: Palestinian Children’s Art and the Fight Against Censorship’

By Annie Robbins at Mondoweiss

As a resident of the Bay Area I was looking forward to attending the opening at Mocha. The free exhibit, co-sponsored by nearly twenty local organizations, featured special activities for children and families, including a cartooning workshop and poetry readings, and was sure to be attended at full capacity. Meca's frequent events, as well as raising funds for the Maia project, Plant-a-Tree in Palestine, and Playgrounds (to name a few) are always an opportunity for our local Palestinian solidarity activist community to unite and greet friends. I had already made plans with a couple of friends to commute. The news Mocha was under pressure to close the show right before the opening startled the community to the core and we rallied with letters to the museum expressing our support for the show. Then, as fast as you can say 'censored' we found out the exhibit was was as if a lead hammer had descended and slammed the door shut once again. The overwhelming revulsion at the swift closure still sends chills down my spine, it reached the East Coast in a nanosecond and quickly spread to Europe and the Middle East.

A Child's View From Gaza: Palestinian Children's Art and the Fight Against Censorship presents a step by step, page by page account of the unfolding drama. Walking us through events, told through the voices of participants, citizens and activists, the book is a testament to the sheer will and determination of MECA and the global solidarity community that guaranteed the show must and will go on. Palestinians will be heard, we will be their witness because the truth is being exposed.

The amazing art of Palestinian children that documents the horrors they experience and know all too well is included in the book of course. This is the same art that terrifies the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Federation of the East Bay, the art that screams out in raw unfiltered expression. Page after page after it and support for The Middle East Children's Alliance, be a witness.

My appreciation knows no bounds. more