Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Imprisoned Voices: corporate complicity in the Israeli prison system

This briefing was published on 17 April 2015 to coincide with the annual day of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners.

It collects the memories of the pain, suffering and resilience of Palestinians who have been imprisoned by Israel.

In 2013, Corporate Watch visited the West Bank and Gaza Strip and interviewed released prisoners about their experiences. The 11 accounts give a glimpse of the struggles of Palestinian prisoners.

They have been collected together here to inspire readers to take action in solidarity with them and against the companies profiting from their suffering.

The first part of this briefing compiles interviews with prisoners from the Gaza Strip. The second part focuses on the West Bank. The final part summarises the companies providing equipment and services that aid the arrest and imprisonment of Palestinians and gives detailed profiles of two of the biggest culprits: G4S and Hewlett Packard.

We dedicate this briefing to all those who remain imprisoned.

The briefing is currently published online and can be read here or downloaded here. It will be available to buy in the coming weeks from www.corporatewatch.org

Palestinian ministers cut short Gaza visit over dispute with Hamas

(Reuters) - Palestinian cabinet ministers from the occupied West Bank cut short a visit to Gaza on Monday over disputes between the Western-backed Fatah movement and Islamist group Hamas which dominates the territory, officials said.

The truncated visit reflected tensions threatening a year-old "unity" government, harming internationally-backed efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip after a war with Israel and complicating Palestinian statehood ambitions.

Palestinians in Gaza had hoped Fatah, headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas could resolve a crisis over salaries owed to about 40,000 public servants hired by Hamas in the past eight years it has dominated the Gaza Strip.

Resolving the issue is crucial to Western hopes of Abbas's government taking control of Gaza crossings and facilitating an effort to rebuild tens of thousands of buildings destroyed during the five-week July-August war.

An official close to the 11-member West Bank delegation accused Hamas-controlled security officers of barring ministers from heading from a Gaza beach-front hotel to their offices during what was to have been a week-long stay, which was cut to 24 hours.

"Hamas has thwarted the visit, they didn't allow ministers to implement the plan they came for and help alleviate problems in Gaza," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Ali Abu Dyak, secretary-general of the Palestinian government, charged in a statement published by the official WAFA news agency that Hamas had obstructed their work. "Hamas does not respect the law," Dyak alleged.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri denied the allegations and countered that the West Bank ministers had sought to meet with senior employees at the hotel instead of going to their offices.

Abu Zuhri also said his group had not been consulted over the make-up of the committee set up to resolve the salaries issue, which he said was dominated by Fatah.

"We urge the government to continue to bear its responsibility towards Gaza employees without discrimination," he said. more

Video: Israel strangles a Palestinian village

From the Electronic Intifada - The Palestinian village of Nabi Samwil is being strangled by Israel. Within a few years, it could disappear altogether.

Nabi Samwil overlooks occupied East Jerusalem on one side and Ramallah on the other. With approximately 300 people in no more than a dozen houses, the village is located in the “seam zone” — an area separated from the rest of the occupied West Bank by Israel’s apartheid wall.

About 7,500 Palestinians were living in the “seam zone” in 2012, according to the UN monitoring group OCHA. The current figure is likely to be higher.

The residents of Nabi Samwil are enclosed by settlements, the wall and by an Israeli park that is encroaching onto their land.


The national park comprises an archaeological site, which includes the tomb of the Prophet Samuel, an important religious figure for Christians, Jews and Muslims alike. The tomb is surmounted by a mosque which Palestinians can only access on Fridays. It can be closed at any moment to let Israeli settlers access the tomb.

The inhabitants are considered West Bank residents and even though they are on Jerusalem’s side of the wall, they are only allowed to go to the nearest West Bank city, Ramallah, for necessary activities such as buying food or accessing medical care.

Required to submit to a tight regime of permits, everything in their lives is monitored: from the quantity of groceries they bring to the village to the people visiting. Each and every movement of people or products is being controlled by an Israeli “liaison office.” more

Health ministry : 62% of Gaza's supply of medicines and disposables used up

The Palestinian Ministry of Health has announced that the crisis of shortage in medicines and medical disposables has been critically aggravated because of the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than eight years.

Director General of Pharmacy, Ashraf Abu Mahady, said that the Ministry is now totally lacking 118 kinds of medicines (25%) and 334 kind of medical disposals (37%), according to a report by Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency.

He pointed to the significant lack of medical disposables for cardiac catheterization and open heart surgeries, which has reached 80% , and which will lead to the increase of cases needing medical treatment and transfers abroad.

He explained that there are several services affected by the shortage of medicines, mainly the complete lack of 32% of primary care drugs, in addition to 54% of the immunological drugs and 30% of oncology drugs, which will have grave impact on chronic conditions suffered by patients in the region. more