Monday, 30 April 2012

Haniyeh calls for new Intifada for Palestinian prisoners


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called on Monday for a new intifada to support Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, who started a mass hunger-strike two weeks ago.

The premier urged Arab and Islamic nations to intervene to support detainees, in remarks at a rally for prisoners in Gaza City.

Haniyeh stressed the unity of the government and the people in support of Palestinian detainees.

Prisoners are our first priority, and all Palestinians are behind them, he said. The prime minister charged human rights groups to "break their silence" to free all Palestinians jailed in Israel.

More than 4,000 Palestinians are imprisoned in Israel, around 320 of them without any charge.

On April 17, marking Palestinian Prisoners Day, at least 1,200 prisoners in Israeli jails launched an open-ended hunger strike, with prisoner groups estimating that 2,000 people are now refusing food. more

Video: Palestinian Prisoners Solidarity conference, Jerusalem


Over 150 people gathered in Jerusalem in mid-April to show their support and solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners. It is estimated that over 4,600 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli jails. This week, over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners continued an open-ended hunger strike, in protest of their mistreatment and lack of basic rights in Israeli prisons. For more information, visit http://alternativenews.org

Action alert: Support Palestinian hunger strikers - protests at Downing Street, London


Call on the government to act to end Israel's policy of Administrative Detention and to free all Palestinian political prisoners!

6-7pm, starting Monday 30 April - Saturday 5 May

Join us at 6pm opposite Downing Street, London more

Co-op is first major European supermarket to boycott exports from West Bank settlements


The Co-operative Group has become the first major European supermarket group to end trade with companies that export produce from illegal Israeli settlements.

The UK's fifth biggest food retailer and its largest mutual business, the Co-op took the step as an extension of its existing policy which had been not to source produce from illegal settlements that have been built on Palestinian territories in the West bank.

Now the retail and insurance giant has taken it one step further by "no longer engaging with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements".

The decision will hit four companies and contracts worth some £350,000. But the Co-op stresses this is not an Israeli boycott and that its contracts will go to other companies inside Israel that can guarantee they don't export from illegal settlements.

Welcoming the move, Palestinian human rights campaigners said it was the first time a supermarket anywhere in the west had taken such a position.

The Co-op's decision will immediately affect four suppliers, Agrexco, Arava Export Growers, Adafresh and Mehadrin, Israel's largest agricultural export company. Other companies may be affected by the policy.

Hilary Smith, Co-op member and Boycott Israel Network (BIN) agricultural trade campaign co-ordinator, said the Co-op "has taken the lead internationally in this historic decision to hold corporations to account for complicity in Israel's violations of Palestinian human rights We strongly urge other retailers to take similar action."more

Palestinian leader Ahmad Sa’adat transferred to Ramle prison hospital from isolation in Ramon


Ramon prison management transferred hunger striking Palestinian prisoner and leader, Ahmad Sa’adat to Ramle prison hospital on Sunday, April 29. Sa’adat is General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and has been in isolation for over three years in Ramon prison. He has been on hunger strike since April 17 with now over 2000 Palestinian prisoners.

PFLP prisoners were previously offered that Sa’adat’s isolation would be ended in exchange for them ending their hunger strike, which the prisoners refused, saying they are committed to achieving the full demands of the strike in unity with all prisoners, including ending all isolation, ending administrative detention, and supporting rights to family visits, education and media for prisoners.

Sa’adat has lost 6 kilograms so far on this hunger strike, which comes only short months after his last extended hunger strike, from September 27-October 20, calling for an end to isolation and solitary confinement. Hundreds of prisoners joined this strike, which ended with false Israeli promises to end isolation which were then ignored following the prisoner exchange. Sa’adat lost tens of kilograms during the previous strike.

Sa’adat was abducted in 2006 from the Palestinian Authority’s Jericho prison, where he had been held with five other prisoners, including four of his comrades under US and British guard since 2002. His imprisonment had been ruled illegal by the Palestinian High Court and he was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council while held in Jericho. On March 16, 2006, Israeli occupation forces attacked the prison and abducted Sa’adat and his fellow prisoners. He is now one of 19 Palestinian prisoners in isolation. more