Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Video: Shackling the Scholar: Israel’s administrative detention of Palestinian students

“They used to renew my detention the day before or the same day that I was supposed to get out. So every 6 months, I would face renewal again. They used to take me for investigation but nothing actually happened there – it was just to tease me. There were no charges against me in the investigation. One time I was supposed to go home but they left me in prison that day, and the next day they told me that they renewed my detention…I stayed there for two and a half years and I didn’t even make my bed because I had the hope that I’m going home the next day.”
- Tariq, 24, Student at Birzeit University, held under administrative detention by Israel.

There are currently over 4,700 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails, 178 of them under administrative detention. In the past ten years, many thousands of Palestinians have been detained under administrative detention. more

'Rocket' from Gaza aims for Arab Idol crown

Arab Idol is an over-the-top TV ratings smash in the Middle East, and a young crooner from a Palestinian refugee family, whom admirers have nicknamed "the Rocket", is stealing the show.

The surprise breakout of the second season is a 23-year-old Gaza Strip resident named Mohammed Assaf, whose patriotic folk songs and romantic ballads - with their themes of grit, longing and love - have propelled him into the final rounds. He is doing more than all the politicians to unify the Palestinian people.

"I think this shows the world there are many normal people in Gaza, that Gaza is not just this place of terrorists and criminals but nice people," said Ala'a Nabrees, 22, a long-time friend. "He is the Palestinian dream."

This sounds corny, Nabrees acknowledged. "But it is true," he said. "Young people in Gaza? They really want to see somebody make it."

Assaf's fans at home and in the Palestinian diaspora praise the university student and moonlighting wedding singer as the complete package. He is the dutiful son who called out to his parents in the audience on Friday night, telling them that they were "the crown on top of my head".

He performed in an earlier show in a kaffiyeh, a scarf that is a symbol of Palestinian pride and resistance. Plus, he looks as if he just stepped out of an Abercrombie & Fitch ad, the fans say. more

Prominent Fatah leader passes away in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A prominent Fatah leader passed away in Gaza City on Tuesday after falling into a coma overnight, the group said.

Abdul Aziz Shahin, 80, suffered from partial liver failure and had been in and out of hospital in recent years. He received medical treatment abroad, but asked to be treated and buried in his homeland.

His funeral will take place on Tuesday in Rafah.

Shahin's father and five uncles were killed fighting Israel in the Gaza Strip between 1948 and 1967, and are all buried in Rafah. more