Sunday, 16 September 2012

PA official: Israel to deport hunger striking prisoner to Egypt

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities have decided to deport hunger-striking prisoner Samer al-Barq to Egypt, a PA official said Sunday.

Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe told Ma'an that Israel agreed to al-Barq's request to be deported to the country.

No date has been set for the arrangement to be carried out, Qaraqe added, noting that al-Barq will not end his hunger strike action until the agreement is finalized.

According to the PA minister, Israel had previously agreed to deport al-Barq but a host country could not be found.

The hunger striking detainee is married to a Pakistani citizen and had previously expressed a desire to be released to the country, Qaraqe added.

Al-Barq is on his 118th day of renewed hunger strike. He has been detained without charge or trial since July 2010. more

Top Hamas delegation to visit Cairo on Monday

A delegation of top-level Hamas officials is to visit the Egyptian capital on Monday for talks with President Mohammed Morsi, Palestinian officials said.

Hamas's exiled supreme chief Khaled Meshaal is to head the joint delegation from the Gaza Strip and abroad, an official from the Islamist movement told AFP, on condition of anonymity.

He was expected to hold talks with Morsi on Tuesday morning, the source said.

Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya had also been expected to set out for Cairo on Sunday where he was to hold security talks with his Egyptian counterpart Hisham Qandil the next day. more

Red Cross: Three Palestinian hunger strikers near death

Three men on hunger strike to protest the conditions of their imprisonment by Israel are near death, according to a Red Cross spokesman who spoke with Agence France Presse on Friday.

Although the International Committee of the Red Cross has not issued an official statement on these cases, the committee is in close contact with all of the hunger striking detainees, and has been monitoring their conditions since hunger strikes began last December.

Among the detainees near death is Hasan Safady, who was just transferred to the prison hospital after 85 days on hunger strike. The other two are Samer Barq and Ayman Sharawneh, who have both refused all food since June.

Juan Pedro Schaerer, the head of the Red Cross delegation to Israel and the Occupied Territories, stated, “ These people are going to die unless the detaining authorities find a prompt solution.” In addition, he challenged Israeli authorities on their force-feeding of other hunger strikers in the past. Schaerer said, “ It is essential that their choice be respected and their dignity preserved”, and noted that force-feeding hunger strikers is a violation of World Medical Association resolutions.

A mass hunger strike involving over 2,000 imprisoned Palestinians was ended in May after an agreement was made with Israeli authorities to release all prisoners being held without charge. Safadi resumed his hunger strike when he was not released as promised.

The other two are also demanding an end to the Israeli practice of 'administrative detention', in which they hold Palestinians without charge for renewable six month terms. They are also protesting the conditions in Israeli detention, which include solitary confinement and torture. more

Israeli forces detain 3 at Gaza border

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained three Palestinians trying to cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip on Saturday, Israel's army said.

The group headed through the border near al-Bureij refugee camp around noon, where they were apprehended by soldiers and taken for security questioning, a military spokesman said.

They were found to be unarmed, according to military sources. more