Thursday, 29 March 2012

Deal reached to free hunger striker Hana Shalabi - Israel to deport her to Gaza

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A deal to release Palestinian hunger-striker Hana Shalabi to the Gaza Strip temporarily was reached late Thursday, officials with knowledge of the negotiations told Ma'an.

The officials say Shalabi will be sent to Gaza for three years in exchange for giving up a 43-day strike against Israel's policy of holding detainees without charge.

The Palestinian prisoners society confirmed the deal in a statement praising Shalabi's resolve. It expressed its appreciation for her efforts to bring attention to Israel's policies toward prisoners.

Qadoura Fares of the prisoners society said Shalabi agreed to the deal "in return for ending her strike and being freed. ... We reject deportation, but this is her decision and her own life," Fares said.

Shalabi's lawyer, Jawwad Boulous, also confirmed the agreement. more

Red cross says Gaza fuel shortage risks lives as it prepares to deliver 150,000 litres of diesel

The Red Cross said Thursday it is preparing to deliver 150,000 liters of diesel to the Ministry of Health in Hamas-controlled Gaza so that hospital generators can keep running. But the aid group said the supply will only last for 10 days.

Juan-Pedro Schaerer, the head of the ICRC delegation for Israel and the territories, said, "More than a month has passed since the fuel and electricity crisis began. The current failure to ensure delivery of fuel and electricity could rapidly lead to interruptions in vital public services such as hospital care and water supply, putting the lives of thousands of patients in danger.

"We have already warned that in the event of any such disruption, hospital operating theatres and specialist units, such as those providing intensive care, neonatal care and haemodialysis, would be especially hard hit," he added. more

"We are all Hana Shalabi": Gaza children demonstrate for Shalabi's release

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Dozens of children demonstrated outside Red Cross headquarters in Gaza City on Thursday calling for the release of hunger-striking detainee Hana Shalabi.

Shalabi has refused food for 43 days since Israeli forces detained her from her home in the northern West Bank on Feb. 16. Israel has sentenced her to four months but she has not been charged with any crime.

Children released balloons decorated with Shalabi's face, sang and waved Palestinian flags.

They carried banners reading: "We are all Hana Shalabi," and "The children of Palestine will not give up on you even if the whole world does." more