Saturday, 30 April 2016

4 Palestinian prisoners continue hunger strike against administrative detention

Four Palestinian prisoners continued their hunger strike on Saturday in protest of their administrative detention in the face of increasing pressure by Israeli prison authorities, with some experiencing severe health complications, Palestinian radio station Sawt al-Asra reported.

Hunger-striker Sami Janazreh, 43, from al-Fawwar refugee camp near Hebron, entered the 59th day of his hunger strike. He suffers from a heart condition and low blood pressure, and has suffered seizures and other complications since the end of March.

Since the announcement of his hunger strike, Israeli authorities have transferred Janazreh between Israeli prisons as a way of pressuring him to end his strike.

Janazreh was moved Friday from solitary confinement at Israel’s Ela prison to Soroka hospital after his health deteriorated even further.

Fuad Rabah Shukri Assi, 30, from Beit Liqya near Ramallah, continued his hunger strike for the 28th day after Israeli authorities extended his administrative detention for an additional six months.

Israeli prison authorities have reportedly pressured Assi to end his hunger strike by searching his cell every two hours, allowing him one one visit per day to the toilet, confiscating all of his electronics, seizing his clothes, and only allowing him one hour in the prison yard. more

Vice News spins Israeli army propaganda as ‘leaked report’

Vice News is now carrying water for the Israeli army.

The the self-proclaimed “news organization for a connected generation” published a report yesterday from what is claimed to be a “leaked” Israeli military document into the investigation of Elor Azarya, the soldier-medic who summarily executed Palestinian man Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sharif in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron last month.

The report lists the main claims of the document:

* The soldier said before the shooting that the subdued Palestinian “needs to die.”

* After the shooting, he told a commander: “He’s a terrorist, he needs to die.”

* The soldier “changed his version [of events] in the different investigations,” according to one investigator, telling a commander: “I shot because I felt there was a threat to life.”

* The incident “severely hurts the IDF and Israel’s image.”

None of this is new or exclusive information – it’s actually a regurgitation of the official Israeli government line disseminated shortly after the video of the execution went viral, and part of an effort to portray the killer as a bad apple, rather than a soldier following orders.

Three days after the killing, the finding of the army’s investigation that the soldier said “the terrorist needs to die” was reported across media outlets. more

How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party’s anti-Semitism crisis

Last year, socialist stalwart Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership of the UK’s Labour Party by a landslide. Since then, there has been a steady flow of claims by Israel’s supporters that Corbyn has not done enough to combat anti-Semitism. This has only accelerated in the lead-up to a major test for Corbyn, the UK local elections on 5 May. Even as this story was in preparation, two more victims were claimed in the war against his leadership. Lawmaker Naz Shah and the former mayor of London, long-time Palestine campaigner Ken Livingstone, were also suspended from the party – within hours of being accused of anti-Semitism. But an investigation by The Electronic Intifada has found that some of the most prominent stories about anti-Semitism in the party are falsified. The Electronic Intifada can reveal that a key player in Labour’s “anti-Semitism crisis” covered up his involvement in the Israel lobby. Most Labour members so accused are in reality being attacked for expressing opinions in favor of Palestinian human rights and particularly for supporting the boycott of Israel. Labour activists, many of them Jews, have told The Electronic Intifada that false accusations of anti-Semitism are being used as a weapon against Corbyn by the party’s right-wing. more

Israeli forces, shoot injure Palestinian worker near Bethlehem separation wall

Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian worker on Saturday as he approached the separation wall near the village of Dar Salah east of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, according to local sources.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Muhammad Qashqeesh from Halhul near Hebron was shot in the foot. He was evacuated to Beit Jala public hospital in Bethlehem, where medics said he suffered from a moderate wound.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.

Several Palestinian workers -- who are denied work permits by Israel -- use holes in the separation wall east of Bethlehem to cross into Israel. The section of Israel’s separation wall near the villages of Dar Salah, al-Khass, and al-Nuaman is secured only by chain fences, which makes it easier for workers to cross stealthily.

Last year, there were as many as 112,300 Palestinians employed in Israel and Israel’s illegal settlements -- about 12 percent of the Palestinian workforce -- according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). more