Saturday, 10 March 2012

Egypt's Foreign Minister condemns airstrikes on Gaza, calls for immediate ceasefire

Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr condemned Israel's air strikes on Gaza on Saturday and called for an immediate end to the attacks to prevent further bloodshed, the state news agency MENA said.

Israel killed four Gaza militants on Saturday, raising the death toll in two days of violence to 14 and dozens of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel injured at least four people.

After weeks of relative calm, violence along the Israeli-Gaza frontier escalated on Friday when Israel blew up a car in Gaza City, killing two militant leaders. more

Video: Al Jab’a village faces strangulation - 18 out of 100 houses have demolition orders

Thanks to the International Solidarity Movement

Sheikh Nasri looks resigned as he describes his home as “the most terrorised village in the country”. With 34,000 uprooted trees in the last two years and some 4,800 dunams of land stolen, the village of Al Jab’a has little to smile about.

Eighteen of the one hundred houses in Jaba have demolition orders on them, their inhabitants unsure of when the Israeli army will storm their homes with bulldozers. Even the Mosque has a demolition order. Homes with licenses from the Israeli courts are none-the-less destroyed to make way for the ever expanding Israeli borders. Nasri laughs as he points out the demolished “Welcome to Al’ Jab’a” sign.

It is difficult for visitors to come anyway. more

Medics: New airstrike kills 2 in southern Gaza - total now 14 dead since Friday

[update 16:00 10 March 2012 - three have now died after an attack in Rafah kills a member of the PRC - more]

GAZA CITY (Ma'an)-- Medical officials say an airstrike Saturday killed two men in the southern Gaza Strip, raising to 14 the number of Palestinians killed since Israel assassinated a military leader 24 hours earlier.

The latest attack east of Khan Younis came from a drone which fired on a motorcycle, said Gaza medical official Adham Abu Salmiya.

The body of Hussein Barham Al-Breim, 51, was transferred to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, Abu Salmiya said. Mansour Kamal Abu Nuseira, 20, was taken to European Hospital, where he later died. more

Video: appeal to the world for detainee Hana Shalabi’s 22nd day of hunger strike

We, the Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organisations (PCHRO), would like to mark International Women's Day by expressing our solidarity with administrative detainee Hana Shalabi. Hana is today beginning her 22nd successive day of hunger strike in protest at her internment without charge or trial and her ongoing ill-treatment at the hands of the Israeli authorities.

Hana, 29 years old, previously spent more than two years in administrative detention before she was released in October 2011 as part of the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas. Less than four months later she was arrested once more by Israeli authorities at her home near Jenin, when she was beaten with the butt of a rifle by an Israeli soldier. Following her arrest, she was beaten, blindfolded and later forcibly strip-searched and assaulted by an Israeli male soldier. Hana was given a six-month administrative detention order and spent the first three days of her internment in solitary confinement. She was later sentenced to solitary confinement for a further seven days as punishment for her continuing hunger strike.

Internment, also known as administrative detention, is a procedure under which Palestinian detainees are held without charge or trial for periods of up to six months. Detention orders are usually renewed before they expire, and detainees can be held for indefinite periods of time, with several detainees spending up to eight consecutive years in internment. Administrative detainees are held on the basis of "secret material" that is not made available to them or their lawyers, therefore undermining their ability to effectively challenge the detention order.

Israel's widespread practice of administrative detention, of which Hana Shalabi is yet another victim, constitutes a serious breach of international humanitarian and human rights law. While administrative detention is allowed under international humanitarian law, it must be used only in exceptional circumstances and must uphold fair trial standards, which Israel does not comply with. Israel is currently detaining some 310 Palestinians without charge in administrative detention.

Although no Palestinian is left untouched by the occupation, it is true that women are, in many cases, doubly affected by Israel's illegal practices. However, internment also affects a large number of Palestinian women indirectly; those wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of detainees who endeavour to maintain community and family structures while they wait indefinitely for their family members to be freed. For example, the wife and daughter of Ahmad Qatamesh, who has been declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, recently saw his detention order renewed for the third consecutive time. Administrative detention, characterised by renewable detention orders and abusive conditions of imprisonment, constitutes a merciless cycle that attempts to suppress the spirit of both the detainees and their families.

While Hana Shalabi's internment by way of an inhumane system is representative of the utter disregard in which Israel holds the lives and rights of Palestinians, administrative detention is only one of a wide range of violations perpetrated against Palestinian women in the OPT. Palestinian women and girls are, along with the rest of the Palestinian population, regularly subjected to harassment, intimidation and ill-treatment by Israeli military authorities and as a consequence they are denied the enjoyment of basic human rights such as education, health and freedom of movement. Such treatment amounts to an assault on their dignity and security of person in violation of international law.

Death toll rises to 12 as Israeli bombardment of Gaza intensifies

GAZA, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched a series of air raids on the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours killing 12 Palestinians and wounding 21 others.

The IOF warplanes bombed a civilian car in Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza at dawn Saturday killing a 26-yerar-old man and injuring four others.

Medical sources earlier said that Ahmed Hajjaj died of his wounds suffered in Friday’s raids.

The PIC reporter said that IOF warplanes blasted a house in Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, in a pre-dawn raid that killed two members of the Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad movement.

He said that the warplanes fired a missile at a house north of Gaza city wounding four people including a child.

IOF artillery shelling on Friday night killed a member of the Quds Brigades while another citizen was wounded.

An earlier aerial raid on Friday night targeted a two-story building in Tufah suburb in Gaza city wounding two citizens.

The fresh Israeli military escalation on the coastal enclave started earlier on Friday when the IOF warplanes assassinated the secretary general of the popular resistance committees, Zuhair Al-Qaisi, and his assistant Mahmoud Hananne, who was deported form the West Bank to Gaza a few years back. more