Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Report: Israel uses torture against Palestinian female prisoners

The Palestinian Center for Prisoner Studies said in a report that the Israeli occupation has been exercising all forms of torture and violence against Palestinian female prisoners in its jail.

The center's report was marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women that falls on November 25th.

The center said that the international institutions, which enact laws prohibiting torture and violence against women, have been turning a blind eye to the occupation's abuses and practices against Palestinian women and female prisoners.

Media spokesman for Palestinian Prisoners Center, researcher Riad al-Ashqar pointed out that Israel has arrested since the occupation of the Palestinian territories more than 10 thousand Palestinian women and since the Aqsa Intifada more than 1,100 women, 14 of whom are still held in Israeli jails, including 5 patients.

He added that the Palestinian women are held under harsh conditions in Israeli custody, as they are subjected to humiliating treatment and repeated attacks by jailers, in addition to the policy of strip searches.

The Israeli prison administration has also been holding Palestinian female prisoners in the solitary confinement, depriving them of education, and imposing heavy fines on them for trivial reasons.

Freed prisoner Muntaha Mahmoud al-Hih said she was tortured and severely beaten by the Israeli soldiers during her interrogation, which caused her bleeding in the kidney. She was also put in solitary confinement and was cuffed for long hours, she added. more

PA premier in Qatar to address Gaza power crisis

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah is scheduled to discuss with Qatari officials possible solutions to end the ongoing power crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Chief of the Palestinian Power Authority Omar Kittanah told Ma'an Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority was exerting serious efforts to end the coastal enclave's power crisis which resulted from a lack of fuel to run Gaza's sole power plant.

Hamdallah arrived in Qatar Sunday for talks with Qatari officials including his counterpart Abdullah Ibn Nasser.

Palestinian news outlets reported that Hamdallah was invited by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Ibn Hamad Al Thani to discuss possible solutions to Gaza's power crisis.

Palestinian daily al-Ayyam newspaper on Tuesday discussed two solutions Qatar is offering.

According to the newspaper, Qatar will suggest either to pay the PA money to buy fuel from Israel and deliver it to Gaza, or to ship fuel from Qatar via Israel's Ashdod port, which the PA will deliver to the coastal enclave. more

BDS campaign is erecting counter-siege on Israel

The pop star Rihanna played a gig in Tel Aviv [in October 2013], despite many requests made to her by Palestinian and solidarity activists to observe the cultural boycott of Israel. As usual, BDS campaigners tirelessly posted messages on Facebook and Twitter pages asking her to cancel her gig. She went ahead anyway, so you'd think anti-BDS, anti-Palestinian ideologues would be happy. Not so. There was a furious reaction from right-wing Israelis and other Zionist fanatics when liberal Israeli paper Haaretz misreported the gig.

The paper initially claimed that the star modified the words of one of her songs to say "All I see is Palestine." Was this a minor concession to the BDS camp, perhaps trying to please "both sides"?

It seemed highly unlikely. And Haaretz's lack of video evidence (despite the thousands of phone-cameras present at gigs these days) made the story even more unconvincing.

My suspicions were confirmed, as the paper soon had to correct its story.

However, it also seems unlikely the story was a deliberate "lie" or an attempt to mislead, as some in the right-wing Israeli press claimed. It's far more likely to have been shoddy journalism, based on rumours and hearsay.

But in my opinion, there was a further factor: Israeli paranoia. Call it Israel's "The whole world is out to get us" syndrome.

One can easily imagine the rumours that might have swirled around Haaretz's Amy Klein, in her section of the audience:
What did she say? That wasn't the usual lyric.
I think it was something about "Palestine"?
Maybe "All I see is Palestine".
OMG, I knew it, she's secretly on their side!
Cue freak-out and silly Haaretz story.
The very fact the bogus story spread around so quickly before being debunked (even making it onto popular American blog The Huffington Post) tells us something about the successes to date of the BDS campaign.

It is having a far-reaching impact amongst Israelis, showing that BDS activists are punching way above their weight, compared to their modest means. more

Medics: Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian in south Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian man on Tuesday in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, medical officials reported.

Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for the Gaza health ministry, said that the 23-year-old man, identified only as M.Q., was shot in the right foot near the border.

He was taken to Gaza's European Hospital for treatment. more