Friday, 22 February 2013

Palestinians clash with Israeli troops across the West Bank


RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Clashes erupted across the West Bank after the Friday prayers between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters who rallied to show solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners.

Dozens were hurt as Israeli soldiers fired tear gas heavily to disperse the protesters.

Similarly, worshipers in Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem demonstrated in the compound after the Friday prayer before Israeli troops broke into the squares and clashed with the protesters.

According to Israeli radio station Reshet Bet, Israeli soldiers fired stun grenades to disperse the worshipers. The report highlighted that demonstrations started near the Moroccan Gate through which the soldiers stormed the compound and started to chase protesters.

In Ramallah in the central West Bank, 12 young men were hurt by tear gas and rubber-coated bullets during clashes with Israeli troops after the Friday prayers. Locals told Ma’an that the soldiers detained one Palestinian. The sources highlighted that the Friday prayer was performed near the main gate of Ofer detention center west of Ramallah. more

3 hunger strikers hospitalized


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities have hospitalized three Palestinians on hunger strike, a prison services spokeswoman said Friday.

Ayman Sharawna, Jaafar Azzidine and Tareq Qaadan were transferred from Ramle prison to hospitals in Israel for medical tests, Sivan Weizman told Ma'an.

Azzidine and Qaadan, who were taken to the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, have been on hunger strike for 87 days in protest at their administrative detention, without charge or trial. more

Brigade threatens to fire rockets if hunger striker harmed


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Ahmed Abu Rish Brigades on Thursday threatened to fire rockets at Israel if any jailed hunger striker is harmed.

"We will continue to work with rockets and we will not stand by idly. Military operations will be implemented to achieve the rights of prisoners and to free them," brigades member Abu Ali al-Qawkabi said in a statement.

Al-Qawkabi called on Palestinian leaders in Ramallah to reject any negotiations with Israel and urged the Gaza government to refuse a truce until the detainees' demands are met.

The brigades called for action to free prisoners and joined a march from Victory Street to the protest tent, raising flags and banners of the hunger strikers.

The Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Brigades joined a solidarity tent in Gaza City on Thursday in support of Samer Issawi who has been on hunger strike for 204 days, and Tareq Qaadan and Jaafar Azzidine who have refused food for 86 days. more

Samer Issawi sentenced to 8 months in prison


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli court on Thursday sentenced hunger-striker Samer Issawi to eight months in prison, but he has yet to face a military committee which could imprison him for 20 years.

Issawi has been on hunger strike for 204 days.

The magistrates court in Jerusalem sentenced Issawi for leaving Jerusalem, in violation of the terms of his amnesty granted in an Oct. 2011 prisoner exchange deal.

The sentence includes time served since Issawi's re-arrest in July 2012, and will conclude on March 6, but Issawi also faces a possible sentence under an Israeli military order which allows a special military committee to cancel prisoners' amnesty.

The committee could use secret evidence to sentence Issawi to serve 20 years, the remainder of his previous sentence. more