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Israel to free 2 Jerusalem prisoners on condition of exile

Ma’an – 15/01/2014

260439_345x230JERUSALEM – Israeli authorities on Wednesday agreed to free two Palestinian Jerusalemites on the condition that they be deported from Jerusalem, a prisoners’ committee spokesman said.

Amjad Abu Asab, a spokesman for a committee that represents Jerusalemite prisoners, told Ma’an that Israel agreed to free a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs.

Abu Asab said that lawmaker Muhammad Tutah and former minister Khalid Abu Arafah have been detained for two years on the charge of entering Jerusalem “illegally,” after Israel revoked their Jerusalem IDs.

Both Tutah and Abu Arafah have also been accused of being leaders of the Hamas movement in the Jerusalem area, Abu Asab said.

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the 24-month imprisonment was sufficient punishment, and that the two should be released, giving the Israeli military prosecution a week to respond, he said.

The response came Wednesday that the prisoners would be released but would have to leave Jerusalem.

The two were detained by undercover Israeli forces on Jan. 23, 2012, from offices of the International Red Cross Committee in Jerusalem, Abu Asab said.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Today, the Palestinian population numbers 293,000 in a city which counts roughly 800,000 residents, UN figures show.

In 2012, Israel’s Interior Ministry revoked the residency status of 116 Jerusalem Palestinians, bringing the total number over 46 years to more than 14,000 people, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

January 15, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel renews administrative detention of 11 Palestinians

MEMO | May 21, 2013

Al-Tadamun human rights organisation said on Tuesday that the Israeli occupation has renewed the administrative detention of 11 Palestinians, including a former hunger striker and two Palestinian lawmakers.

The administrative detention order against Samer al-Barq, 39, from Jayous village in Qalqilya was renewed for six months. Al-Barq went on a hunger strike in April 2012 for 120 days. On November 23, 2012, he ended his hunger strike after he was promised he would be released and deported to Egypt.

With the renewal of the order against al-Barq’s, Al-Tadamun advocate, Osama Maqboul, accused the Israeli occupation of breaching pledges of release and deportation. Others whose administrative detention orders have been renewed include members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Mahmoud al-Ramahi and Basim al-Za’areer. Both were detained at November, 2012.

The Israeli occupation renewed the administrative detention of another eight Palestinians from various cities and villages across the occupied West Bank. Many Palestinian prisoners have recently gone on hunger strike in protest against administrative detention which is a military detention order issued on no apparent basis.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian prisoner from Gaza, Ashraf al-Sabbah, announced the beginning of his hunger strike in protest at the poor health conditions he must endure as a result of the Israeli prison services’ refusal to give him proper medication.

May 22, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel arrests 22 Hamas members ahead of Fatah-Hamas talks

Al-Akhbar – February 4, 2013

Israeli forces led an arrest sweep of at least 22 Hamas members Sunday night and Monday morning, including 3 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

The Israeli military confirmed arrests were made but would not elaborate further.

The Palestinian Ma’an news agency identified two of the MPs as Hatim Qafisha of Hebron and Ahmad Attoun of Jerusalem. Qafisha has previously been detained six times by Israel, whereas Attoun was forcibly transferred from Jerusalem to the West Bank by Israeli forces.

The third MP was identified by WAFA news agency as Mohammad al-Tul from Dahrieh.

Israel has a history of arresting Palestinian politicians and legislators, mainly targeting members of the pro-Hamas Change and Reform bloc since 2006, when Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament.

According to prisoners’ rights NGO Addameer, nearly a third of all members of the Palestinian Legislative Council were held in Israeli prisons in 2009.

The recent upsurge in arrests is most likely a response to Friday’s planned talks between rival Palestinian parties Hamas and Fatah as a way to undermine attempts at Palestinian political unity, according to Murad Jadallah of Addameer.

“Israel wants to show it has the authority and the military power to decide whether reconciliation happens,” the activist told Al-Akhbar.

Addameer has recorded the arrests of at least 40 Palestinians in the past 48 hours.

As of January 1, Israel held 4,743 Palestinians in its prisons, including 12 Palestinian MPs and 178 held without charge, according to Addameer’s latest figures.

Citing security sources, AFP reported that Israel plans to step up arrests of “suspected militants” in the West Bank.

Extensive use of administrative detention is illegal according to international law, but is commonly practiced by Israel against Palestinians.

February 4, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel detains leading MP near Nablus

Ma’an – 27/10/2012

Mahmoud al-Ramahi is secretary-general of the Palestinian parliament. (MaanImages/File)

NABLUS – Israeli forces detained the secretary-general of the Palestinian parliament Mahmoud al-Ramahi on Saturday afternoon as he passed through a northern West Bank checkpoint.

Al-Ramahi was driving south from Nablus when he was seized at the Huwwara checkpoint. His car was also confiscated.

The MP was last released from Israeli jail less than four months ago.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the detention and said he is “suspected of involvement in illegal activity,” without elaborating.

Months after al-Ramahi was appointed to the leadership the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006, he was seized by Israeli forces in his hometown of al-Bireh, near Ramallah, as part of a sweep of arrests after Hamas won elections.

Al-Ramahi, a medical doctor, was elected on the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform list.

He was jailed from August 2006 until March 2009. The MP was again arrested in November 2010, and held in administrative detention until July 4 this year.

Al-Ramahi has brokered talks between Hamas and Fatah, and Hamas officials said his last detention was an Israeli attempt to disrupt reconciliation talks.

According to latest statistics, 13 Palestinian MPs are being held in Israeli jails.

October 27, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

European MPs call on Israel to release Palestinian lawmakers

Ma’an – 02/02/2012

BETHLEHEM – A group of European Parliamentarians on Wednesday called on Israel to release 26 imprisoned Palestinian lawmakers, official news agency Wafa reported.

The group, composed of 26 members of the European Parliament, urged “the EU and its Member States to take immediate action” to release all imprisoned members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, a letter said.

“A strong and determined demand by the international community to free all Palestinian parliamentarians is long overdue and must become a priority,” the group said.

The EU lawmakers condemned the recent arrest of Palestinian parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik, who was seized by Israeli forces at a Ramallah checkpoint on Jan. 19.

They also criticized the arrest of Palestinian MP Mohammad Tawtah and former Jerusalem affairs’ minister Khalid Abu Arafa, who were detained on January 23. during a raid on the Jerusalem headquarters of the International Red Cross.

“The most recent arrests aim clearly at undermining the prospect of Palestinian reconciliation and preventing the resumption of parliamentary life. They also jeopardize peace efforts,” said the letter written by EU parliamentarians.

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , | Comments Off on European MPs call on Israel to release Palestinian lawmakers

Detention of Palestinian political prisoners

By Shazia Arshad | Middle East Monitor | 29 January 2012

As candidates prepared for elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in 2006, the Israeli authorities began a campaign of detention and imprisonment to thwart the growing move towards democracy in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Israeli authorities began to arrest members of Hamas: 450 were detained in 2005 to prevent their participation in the election the following year; many were held in administrative detention, without trial or charge. Despite this the elections took place and a number of the candidates in prison were elected to the PLC.

The 2006 Palestinian elections were overseen by international observers, who declared them to be free and fair (more open, it has been said, than the 2004 re-election of George W Bush). Hamas ended up as the democratically-elected Palestinian government. A number of PLC members under the Change and Reform List (including Hamas members and supporters) were also chosen by the electorate and became the target of the Israeli authorities’ constant campaign of arrest and detention.

There are, at the moment, 27 PLC members and 2 Ministers being detained by the Israeli authorities.

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January 29, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , | Comments Off on Detention of Palestinian political prisoners