Wednesday, 17 April 2013

This Palestinian Prisoners Day we remember Bassem Abu Rahma who was murdered four years ago today

Today is Palestinian Prisoners Day which also marks the 4th anniversary of the death of Bassam Abu Rahma and the 270th day of Samer Issawi’s hunger strike. These two events perfectly illustrate the ongoing perseverance of the Palestinian peoples relentless struggle for peace, justice , freedom and dignity. They also illustrate the Israeli army’s excessive and often lethal use of force against peaceful and unarmed demonstrators throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

In 2009 Bassam Abu Rahma was shot at close range in the chest with a high velocity tear gas canister , which are designed to penetrate concrete walls and gas those inside. He was shot as he walked towards Israeli soldiers whilst holding his hands up the air. He was marching for his Palestinian comrades being held in various Israeli prisons and detention centers without charge or trial and the expansion of settlements around his village of Bil`in.

Samer Issawi has been on hunger strike in an Israeli detention center for 270 days, one of the longest hunger strikes in history. He has refused Israeli offers to be exiled to Gaza and other UN countries , firmly asserting that he will either be released to his home in Jerusalem or starve to death. more

Gaza fishing ban imposed for 'security reasons'

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas security forces in Gaza have banned fishermen from working since Monday, a human rights center said Wednesday.

Naval security forces in the coastal territory imposed a ban on fishing at 5 a.m. on Monday for "security reasons," according to Al-Mezan center for human rights.

Mahfouz al-Kabariti, chairman of the Palestinian Association for Fishing and Marine Sports, told Ma'an that fishermen were notified about the decision. more

Jihadists claim Sinai rocket fire on Israel's Eilat resort

It was the first rocket attack on the southern resort city in eight months, with the Israeli army saying they were fired from the Egyptian Sinai, although there was no immediate confirmation from Cairo where a senior military official said troops were "investigating" the incident.

As news of the rocket fire emerged, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- who is in London for the funeral of Britain's Margaret Thatcher -- held a telephone consultation with the security establishment on "how to react," his office said.

Several hours later, a Salafi group called the Mujahedeen Shura Council posted a statement online saying its militants had "managed to target occupied Eilat with two Grad rockets" without saying where they were fired from. more

Report on torture in Israeli jails based on interviews with former prisoners, detainees

Israel is considered by both International Human Rights organisations and media polls as one of the worst countries regarding human rights abuses, due to its dreadful record of human rights violations.

Amnesty International and Middle East Monitor issued various reports in which they expressed concerns about the Israeli's practices. A BBC World Service poll in 2007 revealed that Israel is perceived by the majority of people as top country for having a negative influence in the world and a more recent public poll carried out in Norway and Germany circumscribed Israel as "a hostile entity". This negative image of Israel is caused by its frequent violations of international law since its forced establishment in 1948.

Since the occupation of Palestine in 1948, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned. From 1967 onwards, over 700,000 Palestinians, 20% of the population of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have been detained. This number represents approximately 40% of the total male Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories. International law sets the foundation for humane and fair treatment of prisoners, assuring that prisoners are not humiliated or tortured. Several countries, including Israel, deny these laws and regulations and practice different forms of humiliation and torture. Palestinian prisoners and detainees are exposed to unfair trials, administrative detention, solitary confinement, and deprived of seeing their families. In addition, physical and psychological torture is exerted by Israeli security services. This report reveals the different methods used by Israeli forces to torture Palestinian political prisoners and is based on interviews with former Palestinian prisoners and detainees. more