Thursday, 20 August 2015

Palestinian detained by Israel ends 2-month hunger strike


ASHKELON, Israel (AFP) -- Palestinian detainee Muhammad Allan ended a two-month hunger strike Thursday that had put his life at risk and sparked intense debate over his detention without trial by Israeli authorities, his lawyer said.

"Muhammad Allan regained consciousness and is not on hunger strike," Jamil al-Khatib told journalists of his 31-year-old client, after Israel's top court late Wednesday temporarily lifted his detention without trial.

Khatib spoke after visiting Allan in hospital in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon and said his health was improving, though he remained bedridden.

He was receiving vitamins and minerals intravenously.

"He is in a good health condition and can communicate with others," Khatib said. "He can't eat food in his mouth because it needs a while. Now he is drinking water and it will be gradual, and I imagine this will be next week."

The Islamic Jihad group says that Allan, a lawyer from the West Bank, is a member of the Palestinian movement, as does Israel. He has been held since November in a form of internment without trial known as administrative detention, which was temporarily lifted by Wednesday's High Court ruling. more

Gunmen Kidnap Four Palestinians In Egypt's Rafah


The Egyptian Interior Ministry has reported that unknown gunmen have kidnapped four Palestinians, on Wednesday at night, while traveling in the Egyptian city of Rafah, in the North Sinai Governorate.

Spokesperson of the Egyptian Interior Ministry Eyad al-Bozom said the Palestinians were traveling in a deportation bus, guarded by Egyptian security officers, in the Egyptian Rafah city, before several gunmen intercepted the bus, and abducted the four Palestinians.

He added that Egypt is holding extensive talks with various parties in an attempt to secure the safe release of the kidnapped Palestinians. more

Israel court lifts detention order against Palestinian hunger striker


JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel's High Court on Wednesday suspended a detention-without-trial order on hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Muhammed Allan but said he must remain in hospital pending a decision on his future.

"Due to the petitioner's medical condition he will remain in intensive care," said the ruling, seen by AFP.

"This means that for now, owing to the hunger striker's medical condition, the administrative detention order is no longer operative."

The court said that for now he should be treated like other hospital patients.

"His family and friends will be able to visit him, not as a prisoner, subject to the usual medical instructions on visiting the sick," the ruling said.

"After his condition stabilizes, if Allan asks to be moved to another hospital he is to apply to the authorities and in the case of difficulty or disagreement it will be possible to turn to the court," it added. Earlier, an MRI scan revealed that Allan had suffered brain damage as a result of his hunger strike.

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Women in Gaza: 'If we want to live here, we want to live in dignity'


From the Guardian - During the worst of the violence between Israel and Palestine last summer, Gaza student Hoda Elrayes shared her experiences of living on the frontline with GuardianWitness. One year on she tells us about three women in her community whose lives are still affected.

The conflict between Israel and Gaza last July has left the most acute humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip for decades. An international donors’ conference in Cairo last October raised $5.4bn (£3.4bn) to rebuild Palestine – however, according to a World Bank report in May, only a quarter of that sum has actually been delivered to those desperately in need.

Life for women in Gaza has never been easy but last summer’s escalation of violence has made the situation much worse for many. Over the last year I have have been in contact with three women whose lives were shattered – and I have approached the authorities in Gaza to find out the reasons why their situation has still not improved.

On the outskirts of Khuzaa, a farming village in the southern Gaza Strip that was destroyed during last summer’s conflict, a poster with pro-resistance slogans defiantly declares a self-proclaimed victory over Israel. Inside the village, young activists have decorated the caravans that have replaced the destroyed homes, with colourful spraypaint in an attempt to show the sheer force of will of the families now living in them. However, the reality is very different; after a year the resilience of residents here has been seriously reduced by the slow delivery of reconstruction. more