Noam Shalit: ‘Hamas has the right to capture Israeli soldiers’

Israeli Zionist hawks and their supporters around the world are very upset with the comments made by father of Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was captured five years ago by Palestinian freedom-fighters during a raid on a Jewish Army outpost. Shalit was released in a prisoner swap in October 2011.

Noam Shalit who is hoping to contest next Knesset elections for Opposition Labour Party is reported by British daily The Guardian (March 15, 2012) as saying “I will kidnap Israeli soldiers if I were a Palestinian“. Noam’s rant, though not based on facts – has provoked outrage among Israeli warmonger Zionist Jews and their partners-in-crimes in the US, Britain and France. The fact is, Jewish soldier Gilad Shalit was captured in a fight and was treated as ‘PoW’ by Hamas’ military wing.
Noam Shalit supported his statement by saying that in the past, Jewish terrorist groups Haganah and Irgun applied similar techniques against British soldiers in Palestine. “We also kidnapped British soldiers when we were fighting for our freedom“. Freedom from who, one wonders!

Gilad Shalit himself had irked the Israelis when in an interview before returning to Israel – he admitted that “he was treated well by his captors and hoped that his release will bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians“.

The Zionazi Jewish leaders are very allergic to historical facts. Not long ago, the current Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak had told daily Ha’aretz’s columnist, Gideon Levy: “If I were a Palestinian, I would have joined a (Resistance) terrorist organization“.

Speaking to a television interviewer from his family kitchen, Noam Shalit blasted Israeli government for not applying military or diplomatic muscles for the release of his son during his long captivity. He also said, as a Knesset member, he would be prepared to negotiate peace with Hamas – something the Zionist regime and its poodles in the US, UK, Germany, France, Australia and Canada refuse to do.
I am in favour of speaking to anyone who wants to talk to us,” he said. When asked whether he would negotiate with a Hamas government headed by his son’s kidnapper, he maintained: “If they change their ways and are willing to recognize Israelas a Jewish state, yes, I would shake his hand”.
Only when the Israeli pigs fly, Noam.

They want us to recognize the Israeli occupation and cease resistance but, as the representative of the Palestinian people and in the name of all the world’s freedom seekers, I am announcing from Azadi Square in Tehran that we will never recognize Israel. The resistance will continue until all Palestinian land, including al-Quds (Jerusalem), has been liberated and all the refugees have returned,” Ismail Haniyeh, democratically elected prime minister of Palestinian Territories, February 11, 2012.

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Adnan Case More than Scrapping Israeli Detention Law

A foreign peace activist holds a placard depicting jailed Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan during a protest in his support in the West Bank city of Ramallah 20 February 2012. (Photo: REUTERS – Mohamad Torokman)
Published Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The case of the freedom fighter Khader Adnan reminds us of where the strength of the Palestinian people lies. This is the strength that was squandered and dissipated in the Oslo process and the pursuit of a state at the expense of national liberation.
With his historic hunger strike and his heroic resolve in his fight against the occupying state, Adnan has reaffirmed an important principle of resistance to colonialist regimes: when the people, or individuals, who are their victims remain resolute, the world will react. Sympathy turns into solidarity, and that in turn can nurture a growing movement of support for the struggle which is capable of shaking the foundations of the colonialist system.

His case has also confirmed the fact that the colonizer’s agencies can never protect its victim. Its project can only be defeated by breaking the dominance of those agencies and the rules they enforce.
Adnan’s battle for life and dignity is a model to be emulated in the Palestinian liberation struggle. It has lessons to offer the participants in that struggle, including prisoners and international solidarity activists, on how their work can be integrated.

Adnan seized the initiative and declared an open-ended hunger strike to protest against his imprisonment under an administrative detention order. His aim was clear: to defy both the order and the Israeli system of oppression. He also was seeking to serve notice that Palestinians refuse to accept the treatment meted out to them by the occupation authorities.

The campaign he triggered illustrated how the components of popular struggle can be brought together. Inspired by the prisoner’s determination, Palestinians in the 1948 territories responded quickly. A popular media and mobilization campaign was rapidly launched, both locally and internationally. A variety of youth and other grassroots organizations became immediately involved, as did prisoners’ families and political groups.
 

This activism soon spread to the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem. It also spread among the Palestinian diaspora and spawned a formidable worldwide movement.

Prisoners in Israeli jails also launched a campaign to champion, support, and share the responsibility with Adnan. They adopted the principles of organized collective escalation, which began by rejecting meals and refusing to receive supplies (the prison authorities responded by closing off the open-air courtyards and preventing the prisoners from leaving their cells). Growing numbers also declared open-ended hunger strikes.

The prisoners knew that their battle was not with the prison authorities per se, but the occupation state as a system, with all its extensions and institutions. But the prison authorities were the weak link within the security apparatus on which pressure could be applied. The prisoners thus sent a message to the government of Israel that Adnan speaks for them all and warned of the consequences of endangering his life.

The prison authorities in turn urged the government to resolve Adnan’s case as quickly as possible in order to forestall the growing unrest among the prisoners. In effect, the prisoners’ message was received.

The Israeli security apparatus was extremely worried when the hunger strike continued and Adnan’s condition became critical. They were not concerned for his life, but feared his death could help trigger a new Palestinian intifada, including in the 1948 territories.
The strategy of rapid multi-faceted action proved its effectiveness. In addition to Palestinian action, a major and influential role was played by international solidarity movements. This pressure, coupled with fear of what would happen if there was an explosion of Palestinian anger, prompted even the US and European countries to make statements in the last few days of the hunger strike against the administrative detention of Adnan.

Solidarity and Empowerment

One of the major strengths of the campaign to support Adnan was that it told his personal human story, as well as of his life in politics and his struggle, in a manner that successfully conveyed both his suffering and his resolve. Adnan’s story also embodied the essence of the Palestinians’ experience and their quest for their rights and freedom, and serve to expose Israel’s essence for what it really is.

This was more effective at moving people than mere facts and figures – important as they are – could have been. The main part in the drama was played by the prisoner himself. Adnan family, wife, father, and children also played heroic roles.

This battle highlighted the bankruptcy of the discourse of “moderation” which Israel and the US have foisted on the official Palestinian leadership. This moderate stance claims that if we Palestinians wish to secure international support, we must adopt a moderate posture. In practice, this means voluntarily accepting the oppressive controls imposed by the globalized terror of the state. “Moderation” here means abandoning the right to resist the occupying state.

Yet what we have just witnessed is that the world lends support when Palestinians themselves fight back and stand firm, regardless of their political affiliation. The ability to affect and move international public opinion and secure effective wide-scale solidarity was not the outcome of a public relations strategy but of a real struggle on the ground to stand up to the oppressive colonialist machine.

Exposing Israeli courts

In all cases when an Israeli administrative detention by military order has been legally challenged – or an emergency regulations provision such as a ban on travelling or entering the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 – the Israeli high court has always upheld the policies of the military, security, and intelligence services.

What happens in court is that the judge asks the Palestinian challenging the order, whether he is an Israeli citizen or not, to authorize the Israeli judges to see the “secret evidence” which the victims and their lawyers are not allowed to see or know. If the victim agrees, the judges rule on the basis of the “secret evidence” and invariably agree with the finding of the security agencies, normally issued in the name of a relevant minister or military leader.

Should the victim refuse to trust in the honesty or credibility of the occupying state, the legal challenge is in effect over, as the judges will throw it out and blame the victim for its failure.

Lessons Unlearned

During the Adnan campaign, a number of Palestinian political leaders, human rights activists and media outlets used the argument that if Israel had any evidence against Adnan, it should have brought him before an ordinary court. Others have suggested that the success of his campaign should inspire a new one against the use of administrative detention orders in general.

These are dangerous notions, particularly when coming from people of standing and influence. Israel is an occupying state and a colonialist entity. Even international law protects the victims of occupation and prohibits their transfer to prisons within the borders of the occupying state. Therefore, both administrative detention and the “ordinary” occupation prisons are equally illegal.

Moreover, what is “evidence” supposed to mean here? Evidence of resisting the occupation? Resisting the occupation is legitimate: it is the Israeli occupation and colonization, with its settlements and courts, that are illegitimate. Have the thousands of Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli jail been legitimately sentenced? They have all been tried on “evidence” that is mainly secret and neither they nor their lawyers are allowed to see.

There is another factor. Israeli academic studies have proven unequivocally the scale of scandalous discrimination in the sentences handed down by judges in criminal cases. The sentences given to Palestinian citizens of Israel are much harsher than those given to Jewish Israeli convicts. So what can one expect when the judge representing the occupying state adjudicates on a charge of resistance by victims of this occupation?

The real concern for the people under occupation is not whether the detention of their sons or daughters was carried out using an Israeli administrative order or a military or civilian court order. The oppression, repression, and plunder are the same no matter which tool the occupation uses. Adnan’s battle is a fight against the whole colonialist project and not just one of its tools.
 

But when Palestinian leaders and human rights activists declare that the next step is to escalate the campaign against administrative detention orders, it indicates weakness or faulty vision.

The battle against Israeli emergency laws is a battle for the Israelis, not for the Palestinian people. The battle for the Palestinians, and all in the world who oppose occupation and colonialism, is against the occupation and the occupying state, and for national liberation, recovery of the homeland, and the return of its people who are refugees and exiles.

The case of Adnan proves that victory over the colonialist project is not a mission impossible. It is possible. And it has renewed and strengthened the hope that the Palestinian people are capable of energizing heir free will…the will for victory.

Ameer Makhoul is a Palestinian civil society leader and political prisoner at Gilboa Prison.

The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect Al-Akhbar’s editorial policy.

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Zahera Shalabi: My sister Hanaa is a Hero ( Video )

Zahera Shalabi: My sister Hanaa is a Hero ( Video )

Periodical Journal dedicated to the cause of Hana Shalabi – and all Palestinian political prisoners
___________________________________________

“Palestine is the heart of Arab countries” – Hiyam Naour

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On International Women’s Day, Palestinian Political Prisoners Remain the Spearhead of Resistance

From the cold, dark dungeon, and after three weeks of an open-ended hunger strike, Palestinian detainee Hana Ash-Shalabi saluted Palestinian women on the occasion of International Women’s Day and confirmed that she will continue her hunger strike and her struggle: I will not compromise my freedom and my right for any price, and I have decided to continue my hunger strike for my dignity and the dignity of all those struggling for freedom and liberation.

Palestinian women will always be the spearhead of resistance against the occupier and the symbol of generosity, patience and steadfastness.

Hana Ash-Shalabu, today on her 21st day of hunger strike, is writing a new chapter in the history of struggle and steadfastness, the history of a nation that is yearning for freedom and fighting for justice, the history of Palestinian women who have always stood side by side with their fathers, brothers, husbands, comrades to resist the Zionist occupation, to fight for freedom and legitimate rights.

Palestinian women resist the Zionist occupation soldiers in the streets and alleys of occupied Palestine, they resist the Zionist colonists in the fields and meadows, they resist the Zionist jailors in the dungeons. And every day, Palestinian female prisoners write new chapters in the history of resistance with their courage and their steadfastness. Neither the threats, the harassments, the torture, the interrogation cells nor the walls of the dungeons can break their will or stop their struggle. They fight not only for their freedom, but for the freedom of every Palestinian, and their belief in their just cause gives them the strength to continue the struggle, to break the dungeon walls and to defeat injustice. Their struggle is the struggle of every Palestinian, the struggle of every justice-seeking person, the struggle of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners, those who are free today and those who are still fighting for freedom. Since 1967, Israeli occupation forces kidnapped and detained more than 800,000 Palestinians, including 15,000 Palestinian women.


During the First Intifada, at least 3000 women were detained and during Al-Aqsa Intifada more than 900 women were locked up behind Israeli bars. Raids are carried out on a daily bases, and every week tens of Palestinians are kidnapped from their homes, workplace, schools and at checkpoints. Alone this week, at least 3 Palestinian women were detained by Israeli occupation forces, 2 of them while visiting their relatives imprisoned by Israel. Currently, there are 11 Palestinian female prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons and detention centres.

The Zionist entity violates the rights of Palestinian political prisoners on a daily basis. In addition to torture, physical and verbal abuse, repeated attacks and humiliation, Palestinian political prisoners in general and female political prisoners in particular suffer from medical negligence, are denied proper nourishment, their private property destroyed or confiscated, they are tied up for hours under the hot sun or under the rain, are deprived of sleep, isolated, and are forced to pay for the water and electricity they consume. The cells are small, over-crowded, damp, lack hygiene, are cold in winter and hot in summer, no sun or fresh air enters them and they are infested with insects and mice.

Palestinian female prisoners are often subjected to harsh and humiliating raids and body searches. During raids, mostly at midnight or early morning, tear gas is fired inside the cells and Israeli prison guards beat Palestinian female prisoners, causing many injuries, broken bones and suffocations. On 24.06.2010, Israeli special forces in the Damon prison broke into the cells of Palestinian female prisoners in the early morning, assaulted the prisoners, searched the cells and forced them to undress, to sit in a humiliating squatting position for 4 hours under the pretext of inspection. Water is very dirty and undrinkable and food is inedible, forcing the detainees to buy their food and water from the prison canteen for very high prices.
One method of punishment favoured by Israeli prison forces is reducing family visitation for Palestinian prisoners from 45 minutes to 15 minutes, or cancelling all visitations despite the hardships the families endure to reach the prisons. When a Palestinian child reaches the age of 16, he/she is prevented from visiting their detained parent anymore without special permits which aren’t easy to get. In addition, Gaza, Arab and many West Bank prisoners are denied their visitation rights completely. Also, there are many cases of Palestinian female prisoners who were imprisoned as well as other family members, such as their husbands or their siblings, but were not allowed to visit them.

Israeli prison authority refuses to allow Palestinian female prisoners to visit their imprisoned husbands, despite the existence of an Israeli law which permits family visits within jails once every 6 months. While Palestinian female political prisoners are denied such rights, Israeli criminal prisoners are allowed family visits at least once every 3 months. Linan Abu Ghalmeh asked to be removed to the same section as her sister Taghreed who was also held hostage in the same Israeli prison, but the Israeli prison authority refused her request despite Linan’s 20 day hunger strike.

During house raids, Palestinian mothers, sisters and daughters are beaten, kidnapped to detention centres, and tortured to force their relatives to surrender themselves to Israeli occupation soldiers or to force confessions out of them. Fathiya Sweas, 57 year old mother, was detained on 19.07.2010, and her sister Ikhlas, the wife of a prisoner, was also summoned for interrogation. Upon her release on 01.08.2010, Sweas talked about being tortured, prevented from sleeping and forced to stand for long hours despite her bad health. She was threatened with the detention of all her sisters if she didn’t provide information. In addition, Palestinian women are sometimes kept hostage by the Israeli prison authority while visiting imprisoned family members. Samha Hijaz was detained while visiting her brother in jail. Since the beginning of 2012, at least 8 women were detained while visiting brothers, husbands or sons in Israeli occupation dungeons.

One form of punishing Palestinian prisoners is medical negligence. Since 1967, at least 51 Palestinian political prisoners have been killed due to the deliberate medical negligence widespread in Israeli dungeons. Palestinian female prisoners in need of medical treatment are denied appropriate and urgent medical care. Instead, they are punished with isolation, withholding or delaying the provision of medicine and treatment, thus contributing to a deterioration in their situation and leaving them to die a slow and painful death. All ailment and diseases, no matter how malignant, are “treated” with pain killers, expired or useless medicines and those who do get operated end up in a worse situation than before the operation.

Palestinian prisoners are treated either in the so-called prison clinics or are sent to the Ramleh prison “hospital”. Both the “hospital” and the clinics lack basic medical equipment and supplies and are run by military personnel with little to no medical training. There are no specialists and no doctors for emergencies at night. Patients are transferred in vans to the Ramlah prison “hospital” instead of in ambulances while they are hand and leg cuffed.

They are also hand and leg cuffed during operations which are often conducted without anesthetic. In cases when human rights organizations send a doctor to examine a sick prisoner, the Israeli prison authority delays giving the needed permission by placing obstacles. The prisoner has to apply for a “security clearance” so the doctor can enter the prison and this may take more than six months, in which time the health of the prisoner might deteriorate. If security clearance is given, the human rights organization has to apply for a permit for the doctor so he/she may see the prisoner. Even if the doctor is allowed to examine the Palestinian prisoner, he/she is not allowed to issue any medical prescriptions.

According to one report, upon arrest, Palestinian political detainees are first taken to the prison clinic for a medical test to determine their weak points so these might be used by Shabak during interrogations. Palestinian prisoners get interrogated in the so-called prison clinics and are blackmailed into giving information. For example, former Palestinian female prisoner Amna Muna, who was isolated and in need of an operation, was told to sign a document in which she refuses medical treatment in return for not being isolated.

Amal Jum’a suffered from internal bleeding for 6 months, after which it was discovered she has uterine cancer. Israeli prison authority “refused to give her the necessary medical treatment, nor was a stretcher made available. This meant that other female detainees had to carry her on their shoulders in order to move her from one place to another, because her condition had deteriorated so dramatically that she was no longer able to move alone.”[1]
Raja’ Al-Ghoul, who has heart problems, reports how once, while in Israeli detention, her blood pressure was extremely high and despite calls for help from her fellow Palestinian prisoners, the Israeli prison authority ignored her state until she fainted. After many protests, Al-Ghoul was finally taken to the prison clinic where she was left for 2 hours without any attention, after which she was transferred to a hospital. She didn’t get any medical treatment, but was tied to a bed for 2 days and was in such suffering that she preferred to be returned to her cell. On 09.02.2011, it was reported that the medical clinic at the HaSharon prison refused to provide medical assistance to Qahira As-Sa’di who suffered from severe inflammation of the jaw and gum and was in urgent need to remove her infected teeth. The clinic also refused to allow a specialist to see her even on her own expenses.

At least 8 Palestinian female political prisoners were forced to give birth in Israeli prison “hospital” while they were handcuffed and tied to the beds such as Intisar Al-Qaq, Majida Salaymeh, Umaymah Al-Agha, Samiha Hamdan, Mirvat Taha, Manal Ghanim, Samar Sbeih and Fatima Az-Ziq. They didn’t get appropriate medical care before, during or after giving birth and weren’t allowed to have family members by their side while in prison hospital. During 66 days of interrogation, Samar Sbeih who was pregnant, was threatened with abortion, and when she was transferred to hospital to deliver her baby, she was hand and leg cuffed

Another form of punishing Palestinian political prisoners is isolation, which is used to undermine and break the will of the prisoners. Being locked up in isolation cells constitutes not only physical and physiological torture but also a death sentence, where prisoners are left to die a silent death. Some political prisoners are transferred to isolation cells immediately after the end of their interrogation, others are punished with isolation for protesting Israeli inhumane treatment, for demanding their rights, for being political leaders or for no reason other than persecution and harassment. Justifications provided range from “causing a threat”, “being dangerous” to having “influence” on other prisoners. Usually isolation orders are extended without reason and prisoners who are placed in isolation remain so for many years and have no access to other prisoners, no contact with the outside world. There are two types of isolation: Individual isolation where one prisoner is locked up alone in a cell, and dual isolation where two prisoners share a small cell. Every 6 months or every year, depending on the type of their isolation, isolated prisoner go through mock trials which always end with the extension of the prisoner’s isolation without reason. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club describes “a phony court where the prisoner is taken every six months and in the event of their being two prisoners they are taken to it once a year. This court obeys the Israeli intelligence court orders “Al-Shabak” and the prisons administration “Al-Shabas”, and often requires the extension of the period that the prisoner is in isolation without giving reasons for it, and it also lacks the bare images and elements of a fair trial.”[2]

Isolation cells have an area of only 1.8m x 2.7m, including the WC. These cells are damp, badly ventilated. They have an iron door that is fitted with an opening for passing food to the prisoner and one small window close to the ceiling causing high humidity. Neither fresh air nor natural light enter the isolation cells. Prisoners are expected to live, cook, sleep, shower and excrete in these cells. There is almost no room for movement and little space for personal items.

Some Palestinian female detainees were subjected to solitary confinement more than once such as Latifa Abu Thra’, Abeer Amro, Abeer Odeh, Amna Muna, Nisreen Abu Zeinah, Su’ad Nazzal, Wafa’ Il-Bis and Mariam Tarabeen. On 11.03.2003 six Palestinian female prisoners were punished by the Israeli prison authority with solitary confinement because they demanded the prison authority provide them with hot water for bathing during the cold season. Latifa Abu Thra’ was isolated more than once after she was “declared” in 2007 by the Israeli prison authority as “dangerous to the security of the state of Israel”. She suffers from fibers in the uterus and was supposed to conduct medical tests at Tel Hashomer hospital, but because her hands and feet were chained, the nurse was unable to conduct the tests. After the accompanying policewomen refused to unchain her arms, Abu Thra’ unchained herself, upon which she was attacked by the prison guards and “declared” as “dangerous”. She was further punished with solitary confinement for two months and ten days in Ramleh prison, after which she was returned to HaSharon prison and was isolated there. She didn’t get any medical treatment. On another occasion, Abu Thra’ saw the Israeli special forces for the “suppression of prisoners” beat prisoner Sanabil Breek from Nablus. When Abu Thra’ told them to stop beating Breek, the special forces started beating her as well. She defended herself and hit one of them back and was punished with isolation for 4 months in Ramleh prison and a further 2 months of isolation in HaSharon in a tiny cell with cameras observing her 24 hours. Wafa’ Il-Bis spent 7 months in isolation in Ramleh prison, thenwas isolated in Damon, then in Ramleh isolation cell again. Amna Muna was not only deprived of family visits as punishment, but was also placed in isolation for 2 years in Ramleh prison. She was imprisoned together with Israeli criminals who often assaulted her in front of the jailors and she was tied to a bed for days. Ahlam At-Tamimi was isolated as a punishment for writing the names of all Palestinian female prisoners on a piece of paper for her lawyer during a visit.

The Zionist entity uses torture systematically against Palestinian prisoners, including women and children. According to a 2005 report of B’Tselem, 85% of the Palestinian detainees have been subjected to torture: “Since 1987, the GSS (Israeli General Security Service) interrogated at least 850 Palestinians a year by means of torture …. (a)ll governmental authorities – from the Israeli army to the Supreme court – take part in approving torture, in developing new methods, and in supervising them.”[3] Confessions extracted under torture are admissible in Israeli courts, and Israeli interrogators use over 80 methods of physical and psychological torture, including severe beating, shackling, depriving the detainees of sleep, burning detainees with cigarettes, removing their nails, shabih, freezing or boiling baths, standing for long hours, sexual harassment. Torture used during interrogation has led to the death of at least 70 Palestinian detainees. Palestinian female detainee Nili As-Safadi was locked up in an isolation cell for more than 45 days in Israeli detention center Bet Hatikva. The cell was dark, she didn’t get any proper food and wasn’t allowed to change her clothes for the length of her isolation. During the interrogation she was subjected to all forms of physical and psychological torture to force her into confessing. When she didn’t confess, her entire family and the family of her husband were detained. Later she was transferred to HaSharon prison in a journey that lasted 12 hours with her hands and legs bound and she wasn’t given any food or water. Iman Badir Ikhlayyil, 33 years old from Beit Ummar, was kidnapped at an Israeli military checkpoint on 20.06.2010. She was tortured by the Israeli soldiers during the interrogation and had to be transferred to hospital twice.

Former Palestinian detainee Maha Awwad described her time in the detention centre: she was kicked by one of the soldiers until she bled from her mouth, another soldier threatened her with rape, and when she asked for water to drink, a soldier urinated in a bottle and gave it to her. Iman Al-Akhras described how during interrogation she was tied to a chair and was not allowed to eat, drink, go to the bathroom or sleep for 3 days. After her release, former Palestinian prisoner Raja’ Al-Ghoul described her captivity in Israeli dungeons. She was kidnapped in the middle of the night from her home, was handcuffed and taken to Jalameh prison. Al-Ghoul was made to sit on a chair for a whole day with her hands tied behind her and was threatened with torture and the arrest of her husband to force confessions out of her, which she refused. During the 25 days of interrogation she refused food and only drank water, and on the last day of interrogation she was placed in a very cold room, with one stone bed and a very stinky mattress. Al-Ghoul was told by the interrogators that she is to spend her detention time in that cold cell as punishment for not talking. When she still refused to talk, Al-Ghoul was transferred to a cell of Israeli criminal prisoners where she continued her strike and refused to take her heart medicine. Upon the deterioration of her health, the Israeli prison authority was forced to transfer her to section 11 of the Tal Mond prison (for political prisoners). Al-Ghoul further described the suffering of Palestinian female prisoners when transported to court for a hearing or to the Ramleh prison “hospital”: Palestinian prisoners are transported at 3 am and sometimes the transport can last hours, even days. On the way, the prisoners are often mistreated by Israeli special forces in all possible ways such as withholding food, water for long periods of time, beating the prisoners and insulting them. Before the court session begins, prisoners are locked up in cold small cells without any food or water, and after the short session which often lasts no longer than 15 minutes, all prisoners are gathered in a cell till 7 pm when the return journey begins.

Palestinian political prisoners often protest their illegal detention, the inhumane conditions in Israeli dungeons, their baseless punishments, isolation and ill treatment and harassments. A hunger strike is a legitimate form of resistance and protest used by Palestinian prisoners in the fight for their rights. While some hunger strikes are open-ended and last until the prisoners’ demands are met, others are one-day hunger strikes to protest a certain policy or show solidarity with other political prisoners.

There are general hunger strikes, where all prisoners in all Israeli jails take part, and partial hunger strikes where Palestinian prisoners in a particular Israeli prison declare a hunger strike to protest ill-treatment at that particular prison. Palestinian female prisoners have either joined their comrades in hunger strikes or organized their own hunger strikes (Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike: Defeating Oppression, Liberating Palestine).

Currently, 28 year old Palestinian female political prisoner Hana’ Ash-Shalabi is on her 21st day of an open-ended hunger strike in the HaSharon prison. Hana’ was kidnapped from her home in Burqin, Jenin on 16.02.2012 and has been ordered in administrative detention for 6 months. After two and a half years in administrative detention, which is detention without trial or charge, Hana’ was released in October 2011 in the latest prisoner exchange deal, to be kidnapped from her home again less than 4 months later. Despite her deteriorating health, she is determined to continue the hunger strike in protest against her illegal detention and to demand an end to the policy of administrative detention. Israeli military orders empower the IOF to illegally detain Palestinians for up to 6 months, without charge or trial, which can be extended indefinitely. Over the years, thousands of Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for periods ranging from 6 months to over 8 years, without being tried or charged.

Currently, there are over 4600 Palestinians held captive in Israeli dungeons and detention centres, including11 women (including 3 women detained in the last two days), 145 children and 309 administrative detainees. Palestinian female prisoners currently held captive by the Zionist entity include:
1. Lina Ahmad Al-Jarbouni, from Arrabet Al-Batouf, Al-Jalil, in Israeli captivity since 15.04.2002.
2. Woroud Mahir Qasim, from At-Tira, Al-Muthallath, in Israeli captivity since 04.10.2006.
3. Salwa Abdel-Aziz Hassan, 52 years old from Hebron, in Israeli captivity since 19.10.2011.
4. Ala’ Al-Ju’ba, a minor from Hebron, in Israeli captivity 07.12.2011.
5. Saja Al-Alami, 18 years old from Beitunia, Ramallah, in Israeli captivity since 09.01.2012.
6. Hana’ Ash-Shalabi, 28 years old, from Burqin, Jenin, in Israeli captivity since 16.02.2012
7. Mufiqa Mohammad Al-Qawasmi, in Israeli captivity since 22.02.2012 (while visiting her imprisoned husband)
8. Muna Subhi Abu Sneineh, from Hebron, in Israeli captivity since 22.02.2012 (while visiting her imprisoned husband)
9. Diala Mustafa Thura, 26 years old, in Israeli captivity since 04.03.2012 (while visiting her imprisoned brother)
10. Yusra Adel Qa’dan, 30 years old, in Israeli captivity since 04.03.2012 (while visiting her imprisoned brother)
11. Manal Nawwaf Al-Jada’, 32 years old from Habla, Qalqilya, in Israeli captivity since 06.03.2012.
In addition, the Zionist entity still holds the bodies of 7 Palestinian female martyrs in captivity:
1 Dalal Said Mohammad Al-Mughrabi, killed on 11.03.1978.
2 Darin Abu Eisheh, from Jenin, killed on 17.02.2002.
3 Zeinab Isa Abu Aalim, from Askar refugee camp, Nablus, killed on 22.04.2004.
4 Hanadi Tayseer Abdel Malik, from Jenin, killed on 04.10.2003.
5 Wafa‘ Ali Khalil Idris, from Al-‘Am’ari refugee camp, Ramallah, killed 21.01.2002.
6 Ayat Mohammad Lutfi Al-Akhras, from Dheisheh refugee camp, Bethlehem, killed on 29.03.2002.
7 Hiba Azim Daraghmeh, from Toubas, killed on 19.05.2003.
On International Women’s Day, freedom for all Palestinian political prisoners, freedom for Palestinian political prisoners defying death in Zionist dungeons and freedom for Palestinian martyrs defying injustice in secret graves and Israeli morgues.
On International Women’s Day, freedom for all Palestinian women.
On International Women’s Day, freedom for Palestine from the River to the Sea.
Footnotes
[1] http://www.waed.ps/en/#
[2] http://www.ppsmo.org
[3] http://www.theheadlines.org/05/11-03-05.shtml
Sources:
http://www.ppsmo.ps
http://www.palestinebehindbars.org
http://www.alasra.ps
http://www.waed.ps
http://www.freedom.ps
More on Palestinian female political prisoners:
Palestinian Female Prisoners and the Struggle for Freedom
On International Women’s Day: Remember Palestinian Female Prisoners
Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike: Defeating Oppression, Liberating Palestine
Hana‘ Ash-Shalabi; A Struggle Against Administrative Detention
Video: Palestinian Prisoners of Freedom

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

A Victory for the Palestinian Prisoners movement

Jonathon BlakeleyKhader Adnan ends 66 days of Hunger Strike
by Jonathon Blakeley

PRESS RELEASE

Khader Adnan has ended 66 days of hunger strike following a deal with the Israeli authority in which his administrative detention will no longer be extended. He will subsequently be released on the 17th of April. The agreement was reached less than an hour before the Supreme Court hearing was scheduled to begin. It had been brought forward by 48 hours amid fears that Adnan might die before the case could be heard.

Khader Adnan is 33 years of age, a baker in his home town of Jenin, a Masters student in Economic at Birzeit University, a husband and a father. Adnan has two children and his wife Randa is expecting their third. In light of his release, his wife Randa reported

He forced the occupation to give in to his demands and I hope he returns safe to us.”

Khader Adnan began his hunger strike following his arrest on the 17th of December to protest Israeli administrative detention policy inhumane practices of the Israeli authorities in prison. Adnan was subjected to torture and inhumane treatment, prolonged periods of detention, isolation and unsanitary conditions.

According to Physicians for Human Rights, Adnan has lost over a third of his body weight. The Palestinian Authority has affirmed that Khader Adnan will be treated in the West Bank upon his release; meanwhile he will remain in detention at the Ziv Medical Centre in Safed.

Adnan Khader’s brave pursuit for freedom and dignity has attracted worldwide attention and support by family, friends and activists worldwide, sparked sympathy hunger strikers by Palestinian prisoners and marked his 66-day hunger strike in the history of the Palestinian prisoner’s movement.

Adnan’s struggle has exposed Israel’s illegal use of administrative detention orders on Palestinian’s detaining them for unknown periods under brutal measures and ill treatment whilst denied a fair trial or even in some cases legal representation. Despite Adnan’s alleged affiliation to Islamic Jihad, through his peaceful protest and perseverance for a just cause Adnan’s struggle has ignited the consciences of people across the world. H.E Ambassador Hassassian of the Palestinian Mission said, “We, the Palestinian have adopted a strategy of peaceful resistance to occupation and we have been supported by the international solidarity groups at all fronts. I would like to extend our deep gratitude to peace activists, to those who believe in popular resistance, peace and justice, and all those who diligently campaigned towards the freedom of our hero Khader Adnan”.

Adnan’s campaign has demonstrated the will of many Palestinians and peace activists that seek a peaceful, dignified and just future for Palestinians. Khadr Adnan’s campaign for freedom and end to Israel’s unjust imprisonment measures should not mean that we forget the countless number of Palestinian prisoners still currently held in Israeli jails. According to B’T Selem human rights group, Israel is holding 309 Palestinians in prison without charge, a sharp increase from the previous year. The group said 80 of those being held had been detained for between six months and a year, another 88 had been held for between one and two years, and 16 of them had been behind bars for between two and four-and-a-half years.We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those that supported the Free Khader Adnan campaign. We hope that you continue in your efforts to uphold the plight of Palestinians suffering under Israeli occupation and continue to protest for a free Palestine.

 
Posted by on February 22, 2012.            

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Randa Musa: Through his own suffering, Khadar has helped expose the plight of Palestinians held under ‘administrative detention’ by Israel

Photograph:The father of Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan holds a poster of his son and an ID as he and other family members cross the Israeli maned Jalama checkpoint on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Jenin, on 19 February 2012. (Photo: AFP – Saif Dahlah)
 


 
February 22, 2012
Four months ago he was unknown outside of our homeland, Palestine. His hunger strike of 66 days has transformed him into a global figure and a shining symbol of my people’s struggle.
 
Our life was turned upside down on 17 December 2011 when Israeli troops raided our home in Araba village, south of Jenin, in the occupied West Bank. It was about 3am when they broke down the doors and stormed into our house. The havoc they wreaked will always remain etched on the minds of our two daughters, Ma’ali, aged four, and Baysan, one-and-a-half years old. I would not be surprised if even our unborn baby will also be affected. Such was the trauma that accompanied the Israeli raid.
 
Khadar has been a student activist for many years. He is no shadowy figure but an outspoken local leader against the Israeli occupation. He is well known to both the Israeli occupation authorities and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Both have detained him for various periods without charge.
 
This constant harassment has stood between Khadar and the completion of his master’s degree in economics. Yet, we remain a normal couple, yearning for the much-needed stability and freedom to raise our children; to give them the happiness that is the entitlement of every child. With my own university degree, I have no doubt that as parents, we are well equipped to realise our ambitions. But life under Israel’s military occupation has turned our dream into a nightmare.
Not for the first time, Khadar has used hunger strike, his powerful form of peaceful protest, to great effect. When the Palestinian Authority forces detained him in 2010 he went on a hunger strike for 12 consecutive days, forcing the Ramallah authority to release him.
 
Likewise, he staged several hunger strikes in the occupation’s detention camps. The last of these was carried out in 2005, which lasted nine days in solitary confinement.
What drives my husband to pursue this dangerous and difficult form of resistance? I have no doubt it is the unjust nature of “administrative detention” and its notorious methods of torture and humiliation. From the moment he was bundled into their military vehicle in December, insults and veiled threats were thrown at him. They even tried to unhinge him psychologically by claiming I was unfaithful, a vicious calumny he dismissed with scorn.
 
I know my husband well; I love him, and will always remain faithful to him. He knows this and this is why he spurned the cheap talk of his tormentors.
Khadar was never motivated by personal hurt or inconvenience. He, like thousands of other young Palestinians, is determined to see an end to the occupation. He is driven by a higher logic: to expose to the world the plight of imprisoned Palestinians. Since 1967, more than 650,000 Palestinians have passed through Israeli jails – many of them in administrative detention – an average of one in four in the occupied territories.
Administrative detention is a nebulous and vindictive measure used by the occupation against our young men and women. It is one of the cruel legacies of the old British mandate in Palestine. Today, in the absence of any deterrent or condemnation from the international community, Israel uses it with increasing frequency against university students and lecturers, young professionals and even elected parliamentarians. Some 300 are being held. It is part of an immoral policy used to keep Palestinians in a state of perpetual poverty and underdevelopment.
When a military commander issues an order for administrative detention, no evidence is produced. No charges are brought against the victims, and the occupation has no obligation to give reasons for the detention. This is by no means a legal mechanism. It is simply an arbitrary draconian measure used to inflict psychological and physical harm on its victims. When they are fortunate enough to be brought before a judge, he can detain them for periods of six months that can be extended indefinitely. The prisoners problem is so prevalent today that Palestinians have had to create a special ministry for prisoners’ affairs.
I know my husband is not selfish. This is why I supported him every step of the way. As with any devoted wife, I am duty bound to help him bear the burden of our oppressed people. Our relatives and extended family have supported us with equal fortitude. Indeed, I would not be telling a lie if I say that all Palestinians across the whole political spectrum and millions of freedom-loving people in the world have also stood with us.The occupation has decided under pressure to free my husband in April, but hundreds more will continue to languish in putrid cells under the same illegal, inhuman scheme. Khadar has, however, delivered his message: that this long night of tyranny and inhumanity will come to an end.
We are well aware that the Israelis may try to renege on this week’s agreement –as they have done with the recent prisoner exchange deal – by re-arresting the freed prisoners. But for every occasion there will be a response, and I have no doubt my husband would not hesitate to resume his stoic struggle with even more strength and determination.
For me, the most difficult part of this ordeal has been the knowledge that at any time I could receive a phone call announcing that my husband is dead. But this is the price for our freedom. It is the indispensable sacrifice needed so that our children might enjoy a life of freedom and dignity.
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To the free world, the millions who heard of Khadar and supported him by calling for his release, I extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

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“Palestine is the heart of Arab countries” – Hiyam Naour

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

David Rovics: Khader Adnan, Bobby Sands

DateMonday, February 20, 2012 at 12:16PM AuthorGilad Atzmon


Khader Adnan grew up near Jenin City
You could say he was a product of his time
Ever since he was a kid he’d get arrested
Though he was never charged with any crime
Spending half his life in prison
A life lived like so many of his friends
Arbitrary and indefinite detention
Never knowing if your jail time would end
Khader Adnan was arrested last December
Again he wasn’t told the reason why
He was shackled, he was beaten, he was tortured
There beneath the Middle Eastern sky
Perhaps there was a moment when he realized
That right then, with his body, he’d say no
But from then on he refused to eat another meal
Like in Belfast not many years ago

Khader Adnan grew up in a war zone
But all the tanks and planes were only on one side
It was a type of war that they call occupation
Settlement, removal, fratricide
And anyone who talked about resistance
Who thought they did not deserve to be a slave
Would be looking down the barrel of a gun
And often find themselves inside an early grave
Khader Adnan loves his wife and daughters
And he likes to eat his daily bread
But in prison he can’t see his children
Or live life with the lady that he wed
So on behalf of all the children without fathers
He decided he had to strike a blow
He said I will have dignity or death
Like in Belfast not many years ago

Each time Khader Adnan was arrested
In prison he would learn a little more
And soon he became the teacher
And he’d talk about the times that came before
They talked about civil disobedience
They talked about the ballot and the gun
They talked about the Occupied Six Counties
And the H Blocks in 1981
Khader Adnan talked of perseverance
And how someday their people might be free
How someday they might hear their children laughing
Unafraid, how someday things could be
And then at 3:30 on one morning
The soldiers came, their rifles pointed low
And they took Khader Adnan from his family
Like in Belfast not many years ago

They say Khader Adnan is a terrorist
Just like they said of Bobby Sands
Because he dares speak out against injustice
Because he dares to make a stand
Because he dares believe that he is human
And he does not deserve to live this way
Because he dares to consider an alternative
Because he dares imagine a new day
Khader Adnan lost his liberty before he was born
To fight for life it’s death he must embrace
But just like others come before him
There are others waiting to take his place
And even the great powers can lose interest
In supporting such a vicious status quo
Because you can’t break a man who won’t be broken
Like in Belfast not many years ago

David Rovics “Khader Adnan, Bobby Sands”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoEPftesWyA&feature=related

The wandering who- Gilad Atzmon
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

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