General Strike in Palestine as Yarmulke-Wearing Trump Visits Western Wall

 

Trump, along with his wife and daughter, have visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem, with the president sporting a Jewish yarmulke–this as Palestinians prisoners are on day 36 of a hunger strike and as people throughout the occupied territories held a general strike in solidarity with the prisoners.

Mothers refusing food in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners. “I cannot eat while my sons are starving,”

In Manger Square in Bethlehem, protestors gathered to protest Trump, who is scheduled to make a stop there tomorrow.

“We came to tell you that the one who decides the fate of Palestinian people are the Palestinian refugee camps and not the Americans, the cause of the camps is the cause of all Palestinians,” said one protestor.  “The fate of Jerusalem can’t be decided by Trump, for Jerusalem is Arab; Jerusalem is Palestinian, and we decide its fate, not the Americans. The only ones who supported Palestinian people are the heroic prisoners, they are strugglers, fighting with only their bodies.”

Meanwhile, US and Israeli companies are reportedly working together to siphon off natural gas from Gaza’s territorial waters, while a 16-year-old Palestinian boy has been shot and killed after allegedly attempting to carrying out a stabbing of Israeli forces at a check point near Bethlehem. Additionally, some Some 20 other people were shot and injured as protestors attempted to march from the West Bank city of Ramallah to Israel’s Qalandiya checkpoint. Witnesses said Israeli soldiers fired at the demonstrators, using live ammunition as well as rubber coated steel bullets, from rooftops overlooking the main street .

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu greeted Trump and then told reporters that he and the president share a “commitment to peace.” Palestinians have called for a second “day of rage” to coincide with Trump’s visit to the West Bank on Tuesday.

So are these unruly Palestinians just illogical, irrational anti-Semites who simply hate Jews for no reason–or are their protests, hunger strikes, and days of rage motivated in some manner by Jewish behavior? I wonder if Trump, Ivanka, or Melania pondered that question in their visit to the Western Wall? Probably not.

Gulf States ‘Offer Deal To Israel’

Gulf states have offered normalised relations in exchange for renewed push for peace with Palestinians, report says

By MEE

May 17, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Numerous Gulf states have offered a deal to normalise relations with Israel if Tel Aviv takes steps to restart peace talks with the Palestinians, according to reports.

The offer to normalise relations come a week before Donald Trump visits Saudi Arabia and Israel in his first foreign trip as US president.

The Wall Street Journal said numerous Gulf states were prepared to set up telecommunication lines between the countries, open trade negotiations and allow planes to fly over their airspace.

In exchange, Israel would have to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank and relax trade restrictions with the Gaza Strip.

The proposals to normalise relations with Israel were outlined in an unreleased discussion paper shared among several Arab states, obtained by the Wall Street Journal.

The paper, according to WSJ,  was intended to demonstrate the Gulf states’ commitment to align itself to Trump’s foreign policy, who has stressed a desire to work with Arab states to forge a Middle East peace agreement.

His first foreign trip as president is due to take place in a week and include stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican.

Trump was due to convene Arab leaders from across the region alongside Saudi royal family members in Riyadh.

He was expected to offer details for the first time on his vision for peace between Israelis and Palestinians in a press conference in Jerusalem.

On Monday, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Mohamed Bin Zayed al-Nahyan, met Trump in Washington.

The Gulf states’ initiative, according to those briefed, underscores the vastly improved relations between Israel and the Gulf states in recent years, driven by their shared concerns about Iran and Islamic State.

Arab and Palestinian leaders, however, remain deeply sceptical that Netanyahu is committed to embracing the peace process.

In recent days, members of his government have increased pressure on Trump to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

After his visit to Israel, Trump is then expected to meet Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar have been major financial backers of the Palestinian Authority, which rules the West Bank, since its inception in the 1990s.

Israel and Gulf countries have secretly stepped up intelligence sharing, particularly focused on Iranian arms shipments to proxy militias fighting in Yemen and Syria, according to US, European and the Middle East officials involved in security issues.

Qatar, however, has allowed for Hamas to set up a headquarters in Doha.

Israeli officials have also made a number of secret trips to the Gulf, particularly to the UAE, despite their countries having no formal diplomatic relations.

This article was first published by MEE

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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The speech of Al Sayyed Nasrollah in the Israeli balance خطاب نصرالله في الميزان «الإسرائيلي»

مايو 15, 2017

The speech of Al Sayyed Nasrollah in the Israeli balance

Written by Nasser Kandil,

In each word, speech, and step, each one of them cares about the other before anything else; this is described by one of the Israeli commenters on the relationship between the Secretary-General of Hezbollah Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrollah and the leaders of the occupation entity. So what is important is the impact of the speech of Al Sayyed Nasrollah on the Israelis and how they read it, and what its position in the heart of this cumulative conflict in which the ideas, battles, weapons, and unstopped preparations participate in making its balances.

In the beginning, the Israelis stopped in front of Nasrollah’s announcement about the end of the north-east battles in Lebanon, and the end of Hezbollas’s mission in it, this front which the Israelis tried to open and to protect, as well as their rejoicing in the involvement of Hezbollah to fall in it, and their bet on its turning into a war of attrition that dismisses Hezbollah’s attention to concern about its war. It is the war from which Nasrollah emerged victorious after he has fortified the experience and the strength of his party; he has increased his popularity in cohesion and confidence. The Israelis wonder whether what Nasrollah has presented an example for the future presence of the fighters of Hezbollah in Syria will include the southern of Syria, or whether the bases of its south-east are different from the bases of its north, since it is related to Golan and the southern of Lebanon but the Israelis do not know the hidden about it.

The Israelis lost their Syrian bet in the war with Hezbollah in a way that cannot be denied, this is the first conclusion of the speech, Second, he stopped at the equations and the musical sentences that turned into symbolic slogans as” Israel is weaker than the cobweb” where the Israelis did not find in its confrontation but the game of the hidden voice behind the networks that do not reveal anything but the extent of the narrowness on one hand, and the disability on the other hand, as it revealed the fragility of the security communications system in Lebanon, but the equations of Al Sayyed remained and interacted despite the recorded messages most importantly ” we will be where we should be”.

 “Israel hides behind the walls but it became disclosed” is the conclusion of the two speeches of Al Sayyed which he drew as an assessment of the Israeli security procedures, it is an extrapolation of the path in which Israel moved from the loss of the bet on its ability to retain every land it occupied, it fell in the southern of Lebanon in 2000, its fall has been confirmed in Gaza in 2005, then the fall of the ability to re-occupy Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008, 2012, and 2014  along with the fall of the deterrence ability in these wars,  Israel after years of raising the slogan of restoring the deterrence ability it reached to the recognition of the surrender from the ability to achieve this slogan, and the enter to the stage of walls.

The equation of “We will be where we should be” stems from this Israeli intellectual surrender as an outcome of breaking the strategy of awareness by the resistance, this strategy has been adopted by the Israelis with the Arabs, then the success of the resistance, led by its leader Al Sayyed Nasrollah by removing that awareness and the transformation to a reverse awareness. As the content of the awareness was to overcome the idea of confrontation and the resistance, the content of the reverse awareness is to fall the idea of the deterrence, and to restore the things to their primitive way of fighting man to man and army to army, the ground is the field where neither the trenches nor the walls benefit, so the call of Al Sayyed according to the equation “we will be where we should be is “will be is there any fighter?”.

The reasons of force turn into a burden on the same force, the implicit equation of Al Sayyed which is embodied by the policy of detention and arresting, and the huge stocks of fighting capabilities of chemicals and  nuclear weapons have become the bigger burden and the sources of fear and panic after the threat of Al Sayyed Nasrollah about knowing their places accurately , affecting them precisely, and destroying them strongly as every source of the force of Israel which it boasts of, from its Judaism which it will turn it into a system of minority that will plunge into the sea of the majorities from Palestinian and beyond, to its democracy which weakens the ability of taking difficult decisions in peace and war in fear of the change of the mood of voters towards its distinctive relationship with the West headed by America, so it has turned from  a reason for feeling of confidence to a source of fear of subordination, and the exposing to pressures.

The Israeli commenters and analysts say that Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrollah knows their people, leaders, and experts more than they know themselves, he has the keys of laughter, crying, security, and fear which he maters provoking and controlling them, without the ability of anyone of them to stop the terror that awaits them, till Al Sayyed will one day translate his equation” We will be where we should be” after he said after he withdrew from the eastern of Lebanon that he did what he did in the war of Syria and he emerged victorious and stronger for many reasons, so according to the Israelis and the Palestinians together the equation became” we will be where we should be” “the one who crossed the borders for the sake of Syria will cross it for the sake of Palestine.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

خطاب نصرالله في الميزان «الإسرائيلي»

 

ناصر قنديل

-كلّ منهما يعنيه الآخر قبل أيّ شيء آخر في كلّ كلمة أو خطاب أو خطوة، هذا ما يصف به أحد المعلّقين «الإسرائيليين» العلاقة بين الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله وقادة كيان الاحتلال، ولذلك يبقى الأهمّ كيف وقع خطاب السيد نصرالله على «الإسرائيليين»؟ وكيف قرأوا ما فيه؟ وما هو موقعه في قلب هذا الصراع التراكمي الذي تشترك في صناعة موازينه الأفكار، كما المعارك والأسلحة والاستعدادات التي لا تتوقف؟

-بداية توقف «الإسرائيليون» أمام إعلان نصرالله نهاية معارك الشمال الشرقي في لبنان، ونهاية مهمة حزب الله فيها. وهذه الجبهة التي لم يُخفِ «الإسرائيليون» يوماً أيديهم في فتحها ورسائلهم الجوية لحمايتها، وفرحهم بتورّط حزب الله ليسقط فيها، ورهانهم على تحوّلها حرب استنزاف تصرفه عن الاهتمام بحربها، وتدفع قوته وناسه إلى تآكل لا قعر له. هي الحرب التي يخرج منها نصرالله منتصراً وقد زاد حزبه خبرة وقوة وزادت شعبيته تماسكاً وثقة. ويتساءل «الإسرائيليون» هل ما قدّمه نصرالله من نموذج لمستقبل وجود مقاتلي حزب الله في سورية، سيشمل جنوب سورية، أم أنّ قواعد جنوب الشرق غير قواعد شماله، وهو المتصل بالجولان وجنوب لبنان وله حكايات وحكايات يجهل «الإسرائيليون» المخبّأ منها؟

-خسر «الإسرائيليون» رهانهم السوري في الحرب مع حزب الله بصورة لا مجال لإنكارها. هذه أول استنتاجات الخطاب، أما ثانيها فتوقف أمام معادلات وجمل صوتية مقطوعة تتحوّل شعارات رمزية من نوع «إسرائيل أوهن من بيت العنكبوت». لم يجد «الإسرائيليون» في مواجهتها إلا لعبة الصوت الخفي من وراء شبكات عنكبوتية لا تقدّم ولا تؤخر سوى كشف مدى الضيق من جهة والعجز من جهة أخرى. كما كشفت ركاكة أمن منظومة الاتصالات في لبنان، لكن معادلات السيد بقيت وتفاعلت ولم يقطع الطريق عليها ببث الرسائل المسجلة، وأهمّها معادلة الغد «سنكون حيث يجب أن نكون».

-«إسرائيل» تختبئ وراء الجدران وباتت مكشوفة، خلاصة رسمها خطابا السيد في حصيلة تقييم إجراءات الأمن «الإسرائيلية»، وهي استقراء لمسار انتقلت فيه «إسرائيل» من خسارة الرهان على قدرتها الاحتفاظ بكل أرض تحتلها، وقد سقطت في جنوب لبنان عام 2000 وتكرّس سقوطها في غزة عام 2005، وتلاها سقوط القدرة على إعادة الاحتلال في لبنان 2006 وفي غزة 2008 و2012 و2014، وبالتوازي سقوط قدرة الردع في هذه الحروب، لتصل «إسرائيل» بعد سنوات من رفع شعار ترميم قدرة الردع إلى الاستسلام لليأس من القدرة على تحقيق هذا الشعار ودخول مرحلة الجدران.

-معادلة «سنكون حيث يجب أن نكون»، تنطلق من هذا الاستسلام الفكري «الإسرائيلي»، كنتاج لكسر المقاومة لاستراتيجية كيّ الوعي التي اتبعها «الإسرائيليون» مع العرب، ثم نجاح المقاومة وعلى رأسها قائد هو السيد نصرالله بكيّ كيّ الوعي، والانتقال لكيّ معاكس للوعي. ومثلما كان مضمون كيّ الوعي، إسقاط فكرة المواجهة والمقاومة، يشكل مضمون الكيّ المعاكس إسقاط فكرة الردع، وإعادة الأمور إلى النزال البدائي للجيوش… رجل لرجل، وجيش لجيش والبرّ هو الميدان، حيث لا تنفع خنادق ولا جدران، ويصير نداء السيد بمعادلة «سنكون حيث يجب أن نكون»، «هل من منازل؟».

-أسباب القوة تتحوّل عبئاً على القوة نفسها، معادلة السيد الضمنية، التي تجسّدها سياسة الأسر والاعتقال وتنفجّر بوجهها قنبلة موقوتة مع الأمعاء الخاوية اليوم، كما تجسّدها المخزونات الهائلة للمقدّرات القاتلة من مواد كيميائية وسلاح نووي، باتت العبء الأكبر ومصادر خوف وذعر مع تهديد السيد نصرالله، بالقدرة على معرفة مكانها بدقة وإصابتها بدقة وتدميرها بقوة، ومثلها كلّ مصدر للقوة تتباهى به «إسرائيل»، من يهوديّتها التي ستحوّلها نظام أقلية يغرق في بحر الأكثريات، من فلسطين إلى الأبعد، إلى ديمقراطيتها التي تضعف قدرة الذهاب بعيداً في القرارات الصعبة سلماً وحرباً خشية تبدل مزاج الناخبين، وصولاً لعلاقتها المميّزة بالغرب، وعلى رأسه أميركا، وقد تحوّلت من سبب شعور بالثقة إلى مصدر خوف من التبعية والإلحاق والتعرّض للضغوط.

-يقول المعلقون والمحللون «الإسرائيليون» إنّ السيد نصرالله بات يعرف ناسها وقادتها وخبراءها أكثر مما يعرفون أنفسهم، وأنه يمتلك مفاتيح الضحك والبكاء والأمان والخوف التي تسكن نفوسهم ويجيد تحريكها، والتحكّم بها، من دون أن يتمكن أيّ منهم من إيقاف مسلسل الرعب الذي ينتظرهم حتى يترجم السيد يوماً معادلته «سنكون حيث يجب أن نكون»، بعدما قال بانسحابه من شرق لبنان، إنه فعل ما فعل في حرب سورية وخرج منتصراً وأشدّ قوة، لأسباب كثيرة، لكن ليرث من هذه الحرب شعار «سنكون حيث يجب أن نكون»، وليضيف «الإسرائيليون» والفلسطينيون معاً «مَن اجتاز الحدود لأجل سورية فسيجتازها لأجل فلسطين».

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Shallah: Islamic Jihad Has a Say in Resistance, All Options on Table

May 15, 2017

Ramadan Abdullah Shallah

The head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, stressed on Monday that the Palestinian resistance movement won’t abandon the prisoners who have been staging a hunger strike for nearly a month.

In a press conference on the 69th anniversary of the Nakba Day, which mark the catastrophe of creating the Zionist entity on May 15, 1948, Shallah said the Islamic Jihad has a say in resistance and won’t stand idly by while the prisoners are suffering in the Israeli jails.

“We assure the importance of supporting the resistance and escalating all resistance actions (against Zionists) in a bid to defend Al-Quds and Al-Aqsa Mosque and to voice solidarity with the courageous prisoners and their legitimate demands.”

“Defending the prisoners is defending our humankind. It is a natural expression of resistance to slavery,” Shallah told reporters.

“We won’t stand idly by and abandon our prisoners who are suffering in Israeli jails due to Israeli obstinacy and savage racism,” the Islamic Jihad leader said, stressing that “all options are on table.”

On the Palestinian unity, Shallah stressed that the unity should be on fighting the Israeli enemy, calling for forming a national charter between Palestinian factions in order to “define major principles that the Palestinian groups should abide in a bid to retake our land.”

The natural Palestinian retaliation to the Nakba is to unite against the Israeli enemy, Shallah stressed.

Meanwhile, he called for ending the blockade on Gaza strip, stressing that the besieged enclave is a “barrel of gunpowder that would explode.”

Source: Agencies

 

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Israeli Police Kills A Jordanian Man After An Alleged Stabbing Attack In Jerusalem

Source

May 13, 2017

Israeli police officers killed, on Saturday afternoon, a Jordanian citizen in the Chains Gate area, in Jerusalem’s Old city, after he reportedly stabbed and wounded a police officer.

The Israeli Police said the man approached police officers and stabbed one in the upper-part of his body, moderately wounding him.

Israeli daily Haaretz said an officer, in his late thirties, was injured and was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, after suffering moderate wounds, but remained fully conscious and in a stable condition, and later confirmed his death.

It added that the Police “neutralized the assailant,” a term largely used by various Israeli media agencies, to indicate that the person was killed, or seriously wounded.

A video from the scene shows the slain person’s body on the ground, and a wounded Israeli police officer, with his gun drawn, standing nearby.

The Maan News Agency quoted Israeli Police spokeswoman Luba Samri, stating that the “attacker approached officers and stabbed a one.”

Samri added that the attacker is a 57 year old Jordanian man who entered the country a week ago on a tourist Visa, and added that the police is still investigating his background, including the reason of his visit.

The slain Jordanian man was later identified as Mohammad Abdullah al-Kasaji.

Following the incident, the police and soldiers closed Bab al-Amoud and Bab As-Sahera, leading to the Old City, and pushed dozens of officers into the area.

The soldiers also assaulted many Palestinians, and abducted one, before moving him to a nearby police station.

The abducted man, identified as Omran Rajabi, works as a guard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and was taken prisoner after the fatal shooting, when he started filming soldiers who were attacking a Palestinian woman, trying to enter the mosque.

Palestine news

With Palestinians on Hunger Strike, British Medical Journal Devotes Whole Issue to Israel

[ Ed. note – Yesterday the British Medical journal The Lancet published a special edition devoted to “Israel’s achievements in health.” According to an executive summary on the journal’s website:

These five Lancet Series papers and accompanying comments outline Israel’s achievements in health and health care, towards a goal of attaining universal health coverage for an unusually diverse population. The papers explore Israel’s unique history, challenges, and accomplishments, and the religious and regional influences that have had an impact on health. The Series also offers an insight into existing collaborations and potential future opportunities, and outlines extensive recommendations to address the persisting inequalities between population groups, and to further strengthen health-care delivery systems.

The issue was probably timed around the 69th anniversary of Israel’s founding, but it’s publication date–May 8–coincides with day 22 of a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners and moreover comes just as reports have surfaced that Israel is trying to recruit doctors to force-feed the prisoners in violation of medical ethics.

In fact, the prisoners, in response to reports about the planned force-feedings, have called for a “week of rage” against the Zionist state.

“Any attempt to force-feed any hunger-striking prisoner will be treated as an attempt to execute prisoners. We will turn these prisons into battle fields with our bodies, armed with our will and determination,” reads a statement put out by the prisoners.

You can go here to access an essay on why force-feeding prisoners is considered a violation of medical ethics, but a key paragraph from the article reads:

So, despite the doctor’s dilemma, if the prisoners are making rational, informed, and uncoerced choices to continue their hunger strike, then every international code of ethics, including that of the World Medical Association (WMA), supports the prisoners’ actions. The WMA Declaration of Tokyo states: “Where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially” [3]. To ensure that the physician is making the correct determination, the WMA goes on to add, “the decision as to the capacity of the prisoner to form such a judgment should be confirmed by at least one other independent physician. The consequences of the refusal of nourishment shall be explained by the physician to the prisoner”

To give credit where credit is due, Israeli medical professionals have refused to participate in the force-feedings, and they have also called upon foreign doctors to refuse the Israeli government’s efforts at recruiting practitioners from abroad willing to violate the code.

But in addition to force-feeding, is it possible Israel may also start levying fines against hunger strikers? The following is reported by Ma’an News:

Head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe announced Monday that the committee had also decided to suspend payments it provides for prisoners so they can purchase items from the prison commissary where hunger strikers have been getting salt to balance their healths, after IPS [Israeli Prison Service] started to deplete hunger strikers’ accounts by 200 to 500 shekels ($55-140).

The same article says that the IPS has banned lawyer visitations for hunger-striking prisoners, and an additional article reports that hunger-strikers have been placed in solitary, transferred to other prisons, and undergone nightly cell raids and confiscation of personal belongings.

And that’s where things stand now. Enter: The Lancet. You can go here to access the prestigious medical journal’s special issue, which is entitled, “Health in Israel.” One of the articles, an essay headlined “Medical Ethics in Israel: Bridging Religious and Secular Values,” contains the following passage:

Nevertheless, the law [of the state of Israel] also permits actual coercion of life-saving treatment upon an otherwise competent patient if the institutional ethics committee, after careful consideration, agrees that the patient would give his or her consent retroactively after treatment. Several court cases have now taken place to impose treatment on a non-consenting individual. In one case, the court mandated force-feeding a hunger-striking prisoner on the basis that in Israeli culture, human life takes precedence over human dignity. The ethics committee of the Israel Medical Association, by contrast, is opposed to force-feeding a hunger-striker because they consider it affront to autonomy and human freedom.

The article makes no mention of the current hunger strike.

Whether the editors at The Lancet were aware the strike is going on is unclear, though one would think that publishing an entire issue extolling “Israel’s achievements in health”–this at time when the Zionist government has designs on carrying out a gross violation of medical ethics–would be some cause for embarrassment.

The article below, published today by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, offers some insight why the Lancet’s management may have decided (or felt compelled) to venture into such a publishing foray at the present time. And just beneath the article you will find an RT report on the hunger strike, also just posted today. ]

***

British Medical Journal The Lancet Publishes Issue Devoted to Israel

JTA

The British medical journal The Lancet published a special issue on Israel three years after publishing an open letter that accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza.

The special issue, titled “Health in Israel: Progress and Challenges in a Region of Conflict,” was unveiled Monday in Tel Aviv. It was guest edited by A. Mark Clarfield of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and also staffed by Orly Manor of the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Services Research and Zaher Azzam of the Rambam Health Care Campus.

The issue is part of The Lancet’s series of country analyses investigating progress toward universal health coverage, and explores the unique aspects of health and health care delivery in Israel. The papers, authored by academics and policymakers in Israel, offer constructive recommendations for strengthening the country’s health care system, improving health and addressing health inequalities in Israel.

In the August 2014 issue of the Lancet,

“An open letter for the people of Gaza” accused Israel of a “massacre” in Gaza during the war between Israel and Hamas, as well as “cruel” and “vicious war crimes.” Physicians, researchers and Israeli officials decried the letter, which was signed by several dozen Western doctors.

Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the Lancet, visited Israel that October and then wrote in an editorial that he regretted publishing the letter and said,

“This schism helped no-one and I certainly regret that result. I have seen for myself that what was written in the Manduca et al letter does not describe the full reality.” He announced in that editorial that he would devote an issue to health care in Israel.

Horton said in a statement issued Monday,

“This Series was conceived in the aftermath of a tragic conflict in 2014 between Israel and Gaza, and following publication of a letter that divided world medical opinion about that conflict. Through the generous and courageous outreach of the authors of this Series, we have sought to show that medicine and science can be a bridge to a better understanding of complex and seemingly intractable geopolitical challenges. Our future commitment is to work intensively with both our Palestinian and Israeli colleagues to provide the foundations in one aspect of society for peace and justice.” 

In the wake of the Gaza letter, the journal issued new guidelines to deal with “submissions that lie at the difficult intersection of medicine and politics.”

***

Palestinian Prisoners Enter 21st Day of Hunger Strike

Face Growing Threat to Their Health and Continuing Repression

Global Research, May 09, 2017

On their 21st day of hunger strike, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are facing an ever more serious health situation, as an increasing number of strikers experience loss of balance, muscle wasting and heavy fatigue, reported the strike’s Media Committee.

1500 Palestinian prisoners launched the strike on 17 April, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, for a series of demands, including an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. Strikers have faced sharp repression, including frequent late-night raids by repressive forces, abusive transfers from prison to prison, solitary confinement, denial of legal and family visits and confiscation of personal belongings, sometimes including salt. Hunger strikers rely on consuming only salt and water to preserve their lives during the strike.

As the strike has grown and more prominent Palestinian prisoner leaders have joined the strike, repression has also intensified. Some prisoners have been transferred four times since the strike began. Today, the Israeli prison administration reportedly plans to transfer 100 prisoners from Ohli Kedar prison to section 10 in Eshel prison. Meanwhile, 30 of those prominent leaders, including imprisoned Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Secretary Ahmad Sa’adat, fellow PFLP leader Ahed Abu Ghoulmeh, Hamas leader Abbas al-Sayyed, longest-held Palestinian prisoner Nael Barghouthi and imprisoned journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq were transferred on Sunday morning to isolation in Ashkelon prison.  All of these transfers also involved barring legal visits for the transferred prisoners.

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As the health crisis for hunger-striking prisoners looms ever larger, hunger striker William Rimawi was transferred on Sunday morning, 7 May, to the Ramla prison clinic, according to Ma’an News. The prisoners warned of the threat of forced feeding, especially as Israeli far-right Minister of Internal SecurityGilad Erdan reportedly threatened to import doctors from other countries to forcibly feed Palestinian hunger strikers in military “field hospitals” set up in Israeli jails.

“This trend carries with it preparation for a targeted crime against the prisoners with the intention of murder. It is clear that we are in the next stage now, that of repression, abuse, and attempts to break the strike through threatening the lives of the prisoners. The ongoing preparations indicate that there is a decision taken against the prisoners to their deaths at the hands of a gang of fascists in Tel Aviv. This is what makes this confrontation an extraordinary moment,” wrote the prisoners in their statement.

Meanwhile, on Saturday evening, 6 May, the Media Committee of the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission and the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society stated that there were still no serious negotiations from the Israeli prison administration aiming to end the strike.

Israeli occupation police in Jerusalem are repeatedly attacking and forbidding events in support of the prisoners organized by their families in the occupied city. Amjad Abu Assab of the Committee of Families of Prisoners of Jerusalem said that the Israeli occupation police declared that they would not allow any event for the prisoners in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and threatened to forcibly disperse any assembly. In addition, on Saturday, 6 May, during a gathering outside the International Committee of the Red Cross building, the police surrounded the families of the prisoners and threatened them with attack as they supported the prisoners’ demands.

Events throughout Palestine and internationally are continuing in support of the prisoners, especially as the prisoners urged a “week of outrage” to demand implementation of their demands and support for the strikers facing harsh repression. Prominent figures like Palestinian resistance icon Leila Khaled and Catholic patriarch Gregory III Laham have joined students around the world on hunger strike in support of the prisoners; in addition, nine mothers of prisoners and a number of former prisoners are continuing their hunger strikes of support.

In Lebanon, four Palestinian youth in Nahr el-Bared camp and six youth from Beddawi refugee camp announced a hunger strike while events and rallies took place on Saturday, 6 May in the refugee camps and in the Khiam former prison in Southern Lebanon, in support of the prisoners’ strike.

Internationally, events and actions were organized in Istanbul, London, Birmingham, Whitstable, Norwich, Sheffield, Oxford, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Inverness, Aberdeen, Uppsala, Dublin, Limerick, Newry, Derry, Berlin, Stuttgart, Cologne, Paris, Auckland and San Diego on Saturday, 6 May in support of the prisoners, while actions are planned on Sunday in Sydney, Amsterdam, Cagliari, Munich, Portland, Fremantle and Quito. Events around the world are available at Samidoun’s global event page.

Graphic by Hafez Omar

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