Monday, 25 May 2015

Leave your house between 6 pm and 11 am ‘and we will break your legs’


On the 21st of May, a 16-year old Palestinian, Baraa Kalaid Madhun, was banned from his own home in Al Khalil (Hebron). Armed Israeli soldiers came to his house at 8 pm and told him to step outside. Allegedly stones had been thrown at the military base, which is adjacent to Baraa’s home, and the soldiers were accusing him of this incident.

For four hours the Israeli forces searched the house, whilst Baraa was held at gunpoint outside. They then told him that for the next 30 days, he was not allowed to be in his house between 6 in the evening and 11 in the morning. The logic behind this arrangement is based on the assumption that if during these 30 days no stones were thrown, then Baraa would be found guilty of the initial incident. The soldiers threatened to break his legs if he did not acknowledge these restrictions. Since then, armed Israeli soldiers have been searching his house each night, to see if he is there.

This latest incident is one of many. The family is constantly being harassed by the Israeli occupation forces. Baraa himself has already been arrested six times. During those previous arrests, the soldiers have been very violent, once even fracturing his shoulder. more

PalFest opens in Ramallah and Gaza


From MEMO - The Palestine Festival of Literature, popularly known as PalFest, opened on May 23rd simultaneously in Ramallah and Gaza. A large crowd packed Ramallah's Ottoman Court to hear a range of readings by both local and international writers and artists.

Literature has a strong and proud history in the Arab world, and specifically in Palestine literary figures such Ghassan Kanafani, Edward Said and Mahmoud Darwish are still revered today long after their deaths. The tradition of weaving art and politics remains intrinsic in the work of many amongst the new generation of Palestinian writers.

In contrast to some other recent cultural festivals in Palestine, PalFest seems again to be remaining true to its roots. Events are held inclusively in cities across historic Palestine and it continues to include many Palestinian and Arab writers alongside international figures. Venues are selected that can be near capacity whilst appreciating that single events will not draw thousands of people.

Alongside the busy program of events, participants are taken on tours around Palestine to help deepen their understanding of Palestinian realities and struggles where they hear first hand from local people. The writers and artists are also encouraged to use their international profiles to publish internationally about their experiences in Palestine once the festival has drawn to a close. Many participants have written passionately and articulately about Palestine in previous years and also subsequently endorsed the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. more

2 Gaza fishermen shot, injured by Israeli navy


Two Palestinian fishermen were shot and injured by Israeli navy forces off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday, a local union said.

Nizar Ayyash, speaker of the fishermen's union in Gaza, told Ma'an that Muhammad Ziad Bakr, 26, was taken to hospital for treatment after he was shot by Israeli forces.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that a fishing vessel deviated from the designated fishing zone and after warning shots were fired, forces fired at the lower extremities of a fisherman.

A direct hit was confirmed, she added. more