Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Palestinian-Americans demand Israel & P.A. act immediately to prevent death of hunger strikers

A group of independent Palestinian-Americans call upon both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to immediately release the hunger striking Palestinian prisoners and to comply with their demands to receive their basic human rights. Mahmoud Sarsak, a palestinian soccer star, is in imminent danger of death as he reaches his 92nd day on hunger strike.

Sarsak, a Gazan who three years ago received an Israeli permit to play soccer in the West Bank but was arrested by Israeli authorities upon arrival, is the only prisoner held under the vague "Unlawful Combatant" law. For three years Israel has continually renewed his detention without charge, evidence or trial, or even an allegation of affiliation with combatant groups or illegal activity.

Akram Al- Rikhawi, a diabetic who has reached his 67th day on hunger strike, was promised by the Israeli Prison service to be released in May, but has yet to be released. Both Rikhawi and Sarsak have lost around on third of their body weight and, according to Physicians for Human Rights, Israel, are both at imminent risk of death.
While these heroic, non-violent resisters struggle for their lives, the Palestinian Authority has remained virtually silent regarding their plight and instead is focusing it's efforts on UN bids and it's leader's own political gain. We demand that the Palestinian Authority pressure Israel politically by ceasing all coordination and cooperation with Israeli Authorities, that it focuses its political attention entirely on the hunger strikers and that it uses its international reach to raise awareness abroad of the plight of these political prisoners. more

Israel admits that at least 250,000 Palestinians stripped of residency from 1967 to 1994

JERUSALEM — Israel revoked the residency of nearly 250,000 Palestinians between 1967 and 1994, according to Israeli military figures obtained by a human rights group and seen yesterday.

A letter sent to Israeli NGO HaMoked shows Israel stripped the residency of more than 100,000 people living in Gaza and about 140,000 people living in the West Bank after it occupied the Palestinian territories in 1967.

Palestinians lost their residency for various reasons, including for failing to respond to a census.

Others saw their residency revoked after travelling overseas and failing to periodically renew their permits.

But rights groups say the renewal process was never explained to Palestinians who travelled abroad to study or work only to discover they had missed the renewal deadline and therefore lost their residency.

And the total number affected by the revocations is believed to be higher than the official figure because entire families were sometimes forced to leave their homes after one member had their residency revoked. more

Sarsak persuaded by lawyer to drink milk to stay alive for judicial review on Thursday

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Mahmoud al-Sarsak is on his 86th day of hunger strike but is drinking milk to prolong his life until his court hearing Thursday, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Mohammad Jabarein told Ma'an that Israeli prison officials called him to visit al-Sarsak urgently Sunday because he was in danger of dying. Al-Sarsak was briefly hospitalized that afternoon.

Jabarein met with 15 doctors at the hospital, who said al-Sarsak was at immediate danger of paralysis and losing consciousness.

"I decided that al-Sarsak must drink milk," Jabarein said.

Al-Sarsak was reluctant, but the lawyer said he persuaded him to accept some nutrients so he would survive until his judicial review, which is scheduled for Thursday.

Al-Sarsak agreed to drink milk but would only be fed by his lawyer. more

Video: Israeli officer throws stones and shoots live ammo at Palestinian protesters

The video, filmed on June 1, during the weekly demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, shows an Israeli officer standing in a dominant position, above two protesters, throwing stones and firing live ammunition at them.

00:08 The first shot of live ammunition is heard, but is not seen.

00:14 An Israeli Army officer is seen throwing stones at two Palestinian youth who are standing on the road beneath him. The two protesters are also throwing stones. Three other soldiers are standing next to the officer.

00:17 After throwing a stone at the two Palestinians, the officer shoots live ammunition at them in a volley of two or three bullets. The officer clearly does not fear for his life, and is standing at a tactically advantageous position. The fact that the officer is using live ammunition and not rubber-coated bullets is evident by the lack of an attachment used for firing rubber-coated bullets on the barrel of his gun. The sound of the shooting is that of live ammo, rather than blanks.

The officer then continues to throw stones, a stun grenade and to shoot live ammunition for more than a minute. He walks to and fro and it is evident that the shooting was not made out of fear of immediate danger to his life.

01:03 The officer runs towards the two protesters and throws the stone at them standing above the two from a very sort distance. He retreats to pick up another stone as the two Palestinians throw stones back at him.

01:16 The officer advances back towards the two protesters, throws another stone and then shoots another bullet at them.

01:18 Immediately after the shot is fired, a cloud of dust can be seen rising from the road, a few inches left of one of the protesters. Since the attachment used for for firing rubber-coated bullets isn't placed on the barrel of the officer's gun, there could be no doubt left he is shooting live ammunition.

01:21 another shot is fired. A cloud of dust can be seen rising from the road where the bullet hits, between the two protesters. Seconds after, as the two are running away, another shot is fired and hits the road next to them. more