Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Palestinian prisoner’s health worsens after 210 days of refusing food

Following in the footsteps of many Palestinian political prisoners who undertook lengthy hunger strikes, Alaa Hammad has been refusing meals for more than 210 days.

Muntaha Qasem, Hammad’s wife, has not spoken with her husband directly since the early stages of his fast. “I’ve only been able to phone him once since he began his hunger strike,” she told The Electronic Intifada by telephone from Amman, Jordan. “And even then it was less than five minutes.”

Hammad, a 35-year-old who began his hunger strike on 2 May, holds an Israeli-issued identity card for Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, as well as Jordanian citizenship. Having been denied all family visits from relatives in Jordan who do not have Jerusalem residency or a passport issued by the Palestinian Authority, he and four other Palestinian political prisoners with Jordanian nationality have demanded to either be released or transferred to prison in Jordan.

He is the final remaining hunger striker from that group. more

Israel to build 3,000 new settlement units

Israeli Defense Minister, Moshe Yaalon, has decided to approve 3,000 new units in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem. New illegal settlement also to be built in the Negev.

The decision came despite a statement made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who alleged that Tel Aviv “will not rush new plans” and “will not issue new bids at the current stage.”

Israeli sources said that Yaalon issued several similar decisions, and that most of these decisions were made in July of this year, when he approved the construction of 2,487 units for several settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli Peace Now Movement said that Yaalon is waging an extensive campaign to expand various illegal settlements, including Alia Zahav, Shilo, Kedumim, Givat Zeev, and Talmon.

In related news, the Israeli Regional Construction and Planning Committee has decided to build a new settlement of 250 units for young Israeli couples in the Negev, as part of the Ramat Negev Regional Council of Settlements. The decision came amidst massive protests against the Prawer-Begin displacement plan in the Negev. more