Israel Supreme Court to hear appeal of Palestinian hunger striker on Tuesday
JERUSALEM (AP) 20 Feb — Israel’s Supreme Court has announced it will hold an emergency hearing for an incarcerated Palestinian who is waging a lengthy hunger strike that has put his life in danger. A statement from the court Monday said the hearing will be held the next day. No explanation was given. Lawyer Mahmoud Hassan says his client Khader Adnan, on his 65th day of a hunger strike, will appeal his detention at the hearing.
In brief video clip, hunger striker Khader Adnan speaks out from hospital bed
EI 20 Feb — from Democracy Now
Today I join Khader Adnan’s hunger strike – will you? / Aziz Abu Sarah
982mag 20 Feb — …Despite initial frustrations of the delayed attention where rallies on Adnan’s behalf a few weeks ago had low attendance, it seems Adnan has become a symbol and leader of the Palestinian resistance movement … Adnan has the potential to inspire the masses and breathe life into the indifferent majority. After all, it was one man called Bouazizi who inspired thousands in Tunisia and caused a regime change. The struggle of Adnan according to what he told his lawyer is not about himself but as he told his lawyer, he wants his hunger strike to generate an awakening for the Palestinian people and specifically Palestinian prisoners. He doesn’t consider his hunger strike a tool to save himself but rather an example to inspire a nation that has been under military occupation for decades.
Adnan takes aim at Israel and gives Palestinians hope
21 Feb by Joseph Dana — …Despite the slow embrace by Palestinian political leaders, activists have championed Mr Adnan as the Palestinian Bobby Sands, the Irish republican prisoner who died in a 1981 hunger strike. Details of Mr Adnan’s strike were first disseminated on Twitter, and the topic has been trending globally in recent weeks as activists have expressed their frustration that the story has largely been ignored in the mainstream press. The hunger strike might be Palestinian social media’s Tahrir Square. If Israel and the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and Gaza are not careful, Mr Adnan could end up as Palestine’s Mohammad Bouazizi.
Khader Adnan’s hunger strike / Charlotte Silver
Counterpunch 17-19 Feb — A month ago only those who had met him knew Khader Adnan. Now all of Palestine and people across the world know his name and his cause. Before December 17, when Khader was arrested for the eighth time from his home in Jenin, he was one of thousands of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories who had entered and re-entered administrative detention. Administrative detention allows Israel to hold Palestinian prisoners without charging them, and potentially indefinitely. There is no specification as to why each person is held and the length of the detention has no legal limits. In its very essence administrative detention is dehumanizing; its effects are to homogenize the Palestinian population and strip each man, woman and family that encounters it of his or her singularity and personal identity. Each person who enters administrative detention is the same as the one who came before, and the one who will follow … But Khader’s unbearably long hunger strike has stopped this process, clearing the fog of bureaucracy that turns humans beings into mechanisms allowing them to disappear into the monochromatic fabric of administrated tyranny.
Hashtagging Khader Adnan: a global protest on Twitter
Al Akhbar 20 Feb byJalal Abukhater — Organizing a trending hashtag for Khader Adnan is just like organizing a large protest on the corner of the busiest and most crowded street in a city…. Imagine if Adnan were an Iranian man on hunger strike in an Iranian jail. Would we have had to do this massive movement on Twitter to get the world’s attention? I don’t think so. The silence of the world community is deafening. The late awakening of the mainstream media is inexcusable. While the mainstream media has failed to cover Adnan’s story, Twitter is at the forefront of the campaign to pressure the Israeli government to act. Twitter users have taken on the responsibility of filling the void created by the mainstream media. At this moment, according to Topsy Twitter statistics, the hashtag #KhaderAdnan has been mentioned about 40,000 times on Twitter. It should be noted that this statistic excludes other related hashtags which would count in the thousands.
Randa Adnan: ‘I still have hope’
Arrabeh, occupied Palestinian territories (Al Jazeera) 19 Feb — Randa Adnan panics every time the phone rings, and these days it never seems to stop. For now, it is mostly journalists, family, friends and supporters asking about her husband, Khader, who lies shackled by his hands and feet to a hospital bed in Israel, while his body wastes away. Through sixty-four days of a hunger strike, the longest in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Randa Adnan has only been allowed to visit her husband twice, for a total of an hour, and each time surrounded by armed guards. She speaks in a rush, a slight desperation in her otherwise resolute voice, as if time is running out and she must finish what she has to say before it is too late. Her two young daughters hang off her, demanding much of a woman who is dealing with a problem they do not fully comprehend.
Khader Adnan’s wife: I know he will live
JPost 19 Feb — RAMALLAH – Along with her job preparing food for the family bakery, Randa Adnan, the wife of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, now has a new role – that of media spokeswoman … She finds her new responsibility difficult. “The worst part of it is the lack of objective news reporting. Sometimes, some [reporters] use half of what I say and change the meaning of what I say,” she said.She read in the media that she had asked Al- Azhar University in Cairo for a fatwa on whether her husband’s strike was acceptable. She denies the report.
Randa Adnan, wife of hunger striker, discusses her husband’s struggle / Omar Rahman
972mag 19 Feb — Yesterday I was fortunate enough to sit down for an interview with the family of Khader Adnan in their home in the village of Arrabeh, outside of Jenin. The purpose of the interview was to get a sense of how the family, particularly his wife and two small daughters, are coping with what is obviously a tremendously stressful and difficult period. I found in Randa Khader an extremely strong and articulate woman who is doing the best she could to support her husband in his time of need … At the beginning of our interview she spoke with determination and the instinct for publicity that comes from being thrown in the limelight and choosing to swim instead of sink. Later, in a more private setting with my female colleague Abir Kopty, she opened up as a woman and a human being. Randa told us of her husband the family man, the anxious and excited father to be (Randa is five months pregnant), who would wake up every morning and make her breakfast and freshly squeezed juice. “If you knew him,” she says, “his life would have become precious to you. He is that kind of person.”
Knesset member Tibi visits Adnan in Israeli hospital
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 20 Feb — Palestinian Knesset member Ahmad Tibi on Monday visited hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan in an Israeli hospital, expressing his support for the detainee’s protest against his detention without charge. “Adnan in a very serious health condition but his spirits are high,” Tibi told reporters after the visit
PCHR calls upon the international community to save the life of the detainee Khader Adnan
IMEMC 19 Feb — The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is concerned for the life of Khader Adnan, a detainee in Israeli jails, who has been on hunger strike for more than two months. PCHR calls upon the international community to pressurize Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) to release Adnan, who has been placed under administrative detention without trial … The internal medicine physician, who checked him five times last week, stressed that Adnan’s body has started to release poisons, which in light of the severe weakness of his immunity system makes more likely that he may be subjected to a sudden heart attack. The same physician noted that abstention from having food for more than 70 days inevitably leads to death.
Khader Adnan receives message of support from McCreesh family
GazaTV — The family of Raymond McCreesh, offer our unwavering support for ‘Khader Adnan’, who is set to enter his 65th day on Hunger Strike in an Israeli Hospital. Raymond Mc Creesh, an Irish Republican Army Volunteer from Camlough, South Armagh, died in Long Kesh H-Block on Hunger Strike on the 21st of May 1981 after 61 days of refusing food in protest at the Criminalisation Policy of the British Government on Irish Republican Prisoners. Raymond was 24 years old. We call immediately on all within positions of power or influence, both here in Ireland, and around the World, to use that leverage to ensure the immediate release, and return to full health of Mr. Adnan.
Khader Adnan and now-normalized Western justice / Glenn Greenwald
Salon 20 Feb — Each year, the U.S. State Department, as required by law, issues a “Human Rights Report” which details abuses by other countries. To call it an exercise in hypocrisy is to understate the case: it is almost impossible to find any tyrannical power denounced by the State Department which the U.S. Government (and its closest allies) do not regularly exercise itself. Indeed, it’s often impossible to imagine how the authors of these reports can refrain from cackling mischievously over the glaring ironies of what they are denouncing (my all-time favorite example is discussed in the update here) … Of course, the U.S. has its own system of indefinite detention now firmly in place. Both within war zones and outside of them, the Obama administration continues to hold hundreds of prisoners who have never been charged with any crime even as they have remained captive for many years. Put another way, both the U.S. and its closest client state have completely normalized exactly the type of arbitrary, due-process-free imprisonment the U.S. has long condemned as the defining attribute of despotism.
Israeli official: Hunger striker is a ‘terrorist’
Al Akhbar 20 Feb — An Israeli official has described 63-day Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan as an “Islamic Jihad terrorist” without producing any evidence to prove his claim …Ofir Gendelman, the Israeli Prime Minister’s spokesman to the Arab media, provoked anger by calling Adnan an “Islamic Jihad terrorist” on Twitter. He also said that Israel should not release Adnan as he would “kill our kids.”
Some Western MSM pay attention, finally
WATCH Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev being grilled on CNN
Souheil Hammamet (@hammametsou) tweet: Watch Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev NOT answering why Israel is holding #KhaderAdnan without charging him [calls him a 'cold-blooded killer' and a 'terrorist' - CNN's Hala Gorani not about to let Regev off the hook]
Palestinian Khader Adnan hunger strike in Israel into 10th week
BBC 19 Feb — Khader Adnan has not eaten since mid-December when he was arrested by Israeli forces at his West Bank home. Doctors say that after 64 days without food the prisoner is at immediate risk of death. Israel says he is a security threat. Its high court of justice has scheduled a petitions hearing regarding the case for Thursday. The group Physicians for Human Rights said after visiting him in hospital in Israel that he had lost a third of his body weight and was shackled to his bed.
Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike poses challenge for Israel
Jerusalem (WaPo) 18 Feb — …The protracted hunger strike, said to be the longest by a Palestinian prisoner, has confronted Israeli authorities with a dilemma. If Adnan dies, it could trigger a response from Islamic Jihad and unrest in the West Bank, where there have already been demonstrations of support for the prisoner. Meeting his demand to be freed could set a precedent that Israeli security officials worry might inspire similar actions by other jailed Palestinians.
Twilight Zone / One man against the state / Gideon Levy
[Haaretz seems to have removed this article - why? - this is from the web cache] 17 Feb — … His hunger strike is arousing considerable interest abroad. Solidarity demonstrations have been held in places around the world, as well as in Tel Aviv – but most Israelis have heard almost nothing about this. Daily solidarity protests in the West Bank go mostly unreported in Israel, as does the fact that 14 prisoners and wardens have reportedly joined his strike. On Monday, the 58th day of Adnan’s strike, we visited his home in Arabeh accompanied by Physicians for Human Rights’s mobile clinic coordinator Saleh Haj Yihyeh. At that moment, Adnan’s wife Randa was updating the tally of days her husband had been not eating, displayed on a poster in the living room. “My honor is more important than my food,” declares the caption at the bottom of the poster, which bears the prisoner’s image. With his thick beard and round glasses, he looks like a settlement rabbi.
Saving Khader Adnan’s life is saving our own soul / Richard Falk
Al Jazeera 19 Feb — The world watches as tragedy unfolds beneath its gaze. Khader Adnan is entering his 61st day as a hunger striker in an Israeli prison, being held under an administrative detention order without trial, charges, or any indication of the evidence against him. From the outset of his brutal arrest in the middle of the night – in the presence of his wife and young daughters – he has been subject to the sort of inhumane and degrading treatment that is totally unlawful and morally inexcusable. Its only justification is to intimidate, if not terrify, Palestinians who have lived for 45 years under the yoke of an oppressive occupation. This occupation continuously whittles away at Palestinians’ rights under international humanitarian law – especially their right to self-determination, which is encroached upon every time a new housing unit is added to the colonising settlements that dot the hilltops surrounding Jerusalem and the West Bank. The case of Khader Adnan is a revealing microcosm of the unbearable cruelty of prolonged occupation. It draws a contrast in the West between the dignity of an Israeli prisoner and the steadfast refusal to heed the abuse of thousands of Palestinians languishing in Israeli jails through court sentence or administrative order.
Photo: Maali Adnan, daughter of Khader Adnan
Maali Adnan, 4, holds a picture of her father Khader Adnan, 33, a senior member of Islamic Jihad jailed in Israel who has been on hunger strike for 62 days, during a solidarity protest in the northern West Bank village of Arrabeh, Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. Adnan is on a hunger strike to protest what he says is humiliation that he faces in Israel’s military justice system. He is being held in “administrative detention,” under which an Israeli military judge can imprison Palestinians for six-month periods without charge. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)
From Rasha A. M. from Saudi Arabia
Khader you are my father, my brother & my future sons.
I’m sorry we have let you down.
I’m sorry you have to fight this fight for us.
I stand in solidarity with you in your fight to expose Israel’s inhumane and vicious treatment of you and all Palestinians
Song: Khader Adnan, Bobby Sands
Khader Adnan’s current hunger strike, presumably to the death, is more than a little reminiscent of the IRA hunger strikes of 1981. As, no doubt, the Israeli occupation of Palestine is more than a little reminiscent of the British occupation of Ireland, most particularly during the Troubles.
Haaretz editorial: Israeli officers who left Palestinian to die must pay
19 Feb — …Following failed efforts by the Rehovot and Kfar Sava police stations to identify Abu Jariban, police officials made the decision to get rid of the injured, sick and confused detainee and to take him to the Maccabim border crossing. Three police officers pushed him into a police vehicle. After it reached the checkpoint, whose commander refused to take the injured man, he was thrown from the vehicle in the dark of night onto the shoulder of Route 45, between the Ofer Base and the Atarot border crossing. He was wearing only hospital pajamas and was still attached to the catheter. His body was discovered two days later. “He was simply thrown to the dogs,” Abu Jariban’s brother, Mohammed, said by telephone from Gaza. The brother, horrifically, related the events in precise detail … The evidentiary stage of the trial has not yet begun, but one of the defendants has since been promoted within the police. A third officer, who was given a disciplinary trial over the incident, has also been promoted since then.
Jewish settlers burn cars, damage mosque in 1948-occupied lands
NAZARETH (PIC) 20 Feb — The Hebrew media said Jewish settlers from the “price tag” gang torched eight Palestinian cars at dawn Sunday in Musmus town, Wadi Ara area, in the 1948 occupied lands, and sabotaged the only Mosque there.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk/
Jab‘a school bus accident
Sixth child from bus accident dies of wounds
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 20 Feb – Five-year-old Salah Dweik died Monday of wounds sustained from the Thursday bus accident south of Ramallah, according to Voice of Palestine radio. Dweik, from the Anata area, east of Jerusalem, where the children on the bus come from, is the sixth child to die from the accident when the bus overturned after hitting a truck and caught on fire. A teacher was also killed and the radio said three other teachers still being hospitalized in Israel are in critical condition.
Twin girls missing in deadly crash found alive
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 18 Feb — In the chaotic aftermath of a deadly school bus crash near Ramallah on Thursday, twin girls who were believed dead have been discovered alive and well a day later in a Jerusalem hospital … The parents of Dana and Lana Abdullah Hamdan told Ma‘an on Saturday how they believed their daughters were among those casualties. They trawled from hospital to hospital, and when their daughters’ names were not found on any records, the parents believed that two charred unidentified bodies must have belonged to the twins.
Remarkable reconciliation effort born from tragic West Bank traffic accident
Globe&Mail 20 Feb by Patrick Martin — A tragic traffic accident last week has led to a remarkable effort at reconciliation between the families of the victims of the crash and the driver believed to be responsible for the accident …Just 24 hours after the accident, before any of the victims even had been buried, representatives of the family of the driver and the families of the victims met to begin discussions of compensation to the victims’ families. To some it may seem almost crass to be bargaining about finances at a time like this, but Palestinians explain that the meeting is a matter of demonstrating immediately that there was no intent to harm on the part of the driver [who is reported to have lost both legs] and thereby avoid a vendetta being carried out by grieving relatives. Indeed, the families’ representatives quickly agreed to a hudna – or truce between the sides – and resolved to meet again after the funerals of the children and teacher that were conducted Sunday and Monday.
Enemies, a hate story / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 19 Feb — It is impossible to ignore what is happening to us: Palestinian children die in an accident, and many Israelis are happy about it – and are no longer even ashamed of it … It is not difficult to imagine how such a horrific accident would have been treated had the children been Jewish: with a lot more blood and tears. There is no disputing that, as the Talmud says, “Every person is partial to himself” – and to his own people, we might add. One can also excuse the ridiculous way the Jerusalem-Ramallah road by Aram, near the north side of the capital, suddenly became “beyond the Israeli border,” in the language of reporters – the Green Line springs to life when it suits us. But what came next cannot be excused … Perhaps it is difficult to measure precisely, but after 25 years of covering the Israeli occupation, and after innumerable meetings with ordinary Palestinians, I think I can safely say that the hate and racism on our side is not matched on the Palestinian side. I repeatedly find myself astounded by the fact that the majority of the thousands of Palestinians I have met over the years, all of them victims of the occupation, speak about their dream of living together in peace (while the majority of Israelis dream of “the separation” ).
Land, property theft and destruction
Israel’s civil administration promoting legislation to let settlers build dirt roads without planning approval
Haaretz 20 Feb — If approved, the new policy would substantially expand the ability of Jewish settlers in the West Bank to take control of additional land … Most West Bank settlements are surrounded by fencing, but lying beyond the fences there is often considerable state-owned land, and the shift in policy would enable the Civil Administration to keep Palestinians off this land by giving access to security vehicles from the settlements, in an effort to keep the West Bank’s Arab residents from encroaching on the land. [!]
Report: Settler outposts expand into Area B
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 19 Feb — Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank have seized several hundred dunams of Palestinian land that lies inside zones of Palestinian government control under international agreements, Israeli media reported on Sunday. Most Israeli settlements — all of which are illegal under international law — lie in Area C, the 62 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli control since the 1993 Oslo Accords. But settlers are taking over land designated Area B, which is under Palestinian Authority civil jurisdiction, and Israeli security control, the report on Israeli daily Haaretz said. Anti-settlement activist Dror Etkes said aerial photographs show Israeli outpost Amona has seized hundreds of dunams of Area B territory, building roads, planting vineyards and taking over a spring on Palestinian land. Settlers have taken 93 dunams of land from Palestinian village Yanun, near Nablus, the Itamar settlement prevents Palestinian access to other large swathes of Area B territory in its proximity, according to Etkes….
Official: Israeli military exercise damages Palestinian agriculture
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 19 Feb — An Israeli military drill in the northern West Bank on Monday damaged hundreds of dunams of Palestinians crops, a Palestinian Authority official said. Hundreds of soldiers drove through planted fields and practiced shooting, destroying the agriculture, Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors northern West Bank settlement activity, told Ma‘an. He said Israel was trying to destroy Palestinian livelihoods in the large swathes of the West Bank under its control in order to push them to leave.
VIDEOS: Jewish settlers and policemen defile Aqsa Mosque, clash with Muslim worshipers
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 19 Feb – A group of Palestinian worshipers holding a vigil inside the Aqsa Mosque have fended off dozens of fanatic Jewish settlers who tried on Sunday morning to desecrate the Islamic holy site, and clashed with their police escorts. The Israeli occupation policemen spread extensively throughout the Mosque and attempted to secure the settlers’ provocative entry. Three Israeli armed policemen were injured during the clashes with Palestinian worshipers.
Worshipers injured, arrested in clashes in Al-Aqsa compound
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 19 Feb – Several worshipers Sunday were injured and three were arrested during clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli police and Border Guards in al-Haram al-Sharif compound in the Old City of Jerusalem after Israeli settlers attempted to storm it, said WAFA correspondent. He said Palestinians gathered in the compound since dawn following calls by extremist settlers to storm al-Aqsa Mosque and perform Jewish rituals in it. Several worshipers and three Israeli soldiers were reported injured in scuffles; whereas three Palestinians were arrested under the pretext of throwing stones at right wing extremist Israelis and preventing them from entering the mosque. Meanwhile, Israeli police shut down al-Haram al-Sharif gates, locking worshipers inside, and prevented anyone from entering the compound after Palestinians protested the police’s earlier decision to allow only worshipers over 45 years to enter.
Israeli police allow extremist Jews on al-Aqsa yards
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 20 Feb – Israeli police Monday allowed several extremist Jews on al-Aqsa Mosque yards in spite of tension in the area following clashes on Sunday between Palestinians and Israeli police, according to a Mosque guard … Calls by Jewish extremists, particularly women groups, were also made to visit al-Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday to perform religious rituals, provoking Palestinian nationalist and religious leaders in Jerusalem to call on Muslim women to gather in the mosque and confront them.
Nabil Al-Arabi and the Mufti of Jerusalem discuss ways to deal with Israeli attacks on religious shrines
MEMO 20 Feb — The Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Dr Nabil Al-Arabi, and the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, yesterday discussed recent developments in Palestine and the action required in the face of continued Israeli attacks on religious shrines … The meeting was also attended by Ambassador Mohamed Sabih, the Secretary General of the Arab League for Palestine and the Occupied Arab territories.
Settlers call to storm Rachel’s Tomb
BETHLEHEM (WAFA) 19 Feb – Israeli settlers Sunday sent out mass text messages calling to storm Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque, also known as Rachel’s Tomb, north of Bethlehem on Thursday, said a local activist. Ahmad Salah, the coordinator of the Anti-Wall and Settlements Committee in al-Khader, a town south of Bethlehem, said he received a text message via an Israeli mobile carrier urging Israeli settlers to gather near Rachel’s Tomb area and perform religious rituals.
Airstrikes ‘injure toddler, damage school’ in Gaza
[photos] GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 19 Feb — Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip early Sunday injured a one-year-old boy when his bedroom was hit by a missile, among five others wounded, and an elementary school sustained severe damage, locals told Ma‘an … Um Ilian al-Zaharna told Ma‘an that moments before the missile struck her house, she heard bombing nearby and opened her children’s bedroom window so it wouldn’t shatter over them. “As soon as I returned to bed an Israeli rocket hit the room next door and I was certain my baby was killed.” One-year-old Muhammad had been thrown from the room, and her husband was buried in rubble where he was sleeping, she said. “We are not associated with any factions. Is Mohammad a threat to Israeli security to be punished while he’s sleeping next to his father?” Um Ilian said..
IDF factions push for offensive in Gaza
JPost 20 Feb — Senior officer in Southern Command says ongoing attacks are cumulatively more than enough to justify immediate action … Last month, The Jerusalem Post revealed that the IDF General Staff had ordered the Southern Command to speed up preparations for a possible large-scale operation in the Strip within the coming months. The debate within the IDF is whether it needs to wait for a successful attack by Gaza terrorists – be it a rocket attack that causes casualties or a successful cross border attack – or if the sporadic rocket fire is enough of a justification to launch an operation today.
Emergency fuel arrives from Egypt via Gaza tunnels
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 20 Feb 18:46 — …The fuel has allowed the power authority to reactivate one of the four generators at Gaza’s sole power plant, the authority said in a statement. The arrival of 300,000 liters of fuel is expected to provide Gaza’s 1.7 million residents with an additional two hours of electricity per day. Since the plant shut down last Tuesday, as deliveries were severely reduced from Egypt, Gaza has had only six hours of power each day.
Gaza’s Hamas PM heads to Egypt over electricity crisis
Daily Star 20 Feb — GAZA CITY: Gaza’s Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya was due in Cairo on Monday to discuss the power crisis gripping the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave, his government said. The crisis was sparked on February 14 when Gaza’s sole power plant was forced to close down after running out of fuel after a fall in supplies from Egypt … Most of Gaza’s fuel comes through cross-border tunnels from Egypt. But the UN humanitarian agency OCHA says the amount has dropped by half over the past three weeks, reportedly due to increased restrictions on the movement of fuel by Egyptian police.International aid agency Oxfam on Saturday warned that the lack of fuel meant Gaza was facing “a total collapse of essential services,” and said only an end to Israel’s blockade of the territory would solve its electricity shortage.
OPT: Gaza’s energy crisis close to tipping point
GAZA CITY (IRIN) 20 Feb — An energy crisis is currently hitting the Gaza Strip‘s public services hard and could lead to a severe humanitarian crisis if a sustainable solution is not found soon. “If the power plant does not resume its work in the next days, some hospitals will be left without electricity,” Mahmud Daher, officer-in-charge of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Gaza, told IRIN … “The current crisis is a political problem that started six years ago. The Israeli occupation, the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to provide the Gaza Strip with funds, and the policy of Egypt which is dealing with Gaza out of security calculations, have all contributed to the current situation,” said Hamas government spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.
Egypt to supply Gaza with power
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 20 Feb – Egypt agreed Monday to supply the Gaza Strip with 5 megawatt of power starting next week in the first stage of providing power to the coastal enclave to solve its electricity crisis, according to an official. Chairman of the Palestinian Energy Authority Omar Kittaneh told WAFA that Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Energy Hassan Younis informed him in a telephone call that Egypt has agreed to immediately supply Gaza with 5 megawatt of power. He said the Egyptian and Palestinian sides “have reached a solution to the power problem in Gaza through three stages — short-term, mid-term and long-term. He said the Egyptian initiative is based on increasing power supply to Gaza by 40 megawatt through increasing the operational capacity of Sinai’s power station.
Gaza sit-in, rally back Khader Adnan; general strike set for Tuesday / Joe Catron
20 Feb — Every Monday morning the families of 445 Gaza Palestinians detained by Israel occupy the courtyard of Gaza’s International Committee of the Red Cross headquarters to demand that the ICRC fulfill its obligation to protect the rights of their imprisoned relatives. This week’s gathering was infused with fresh energy and a singular focus as Khader Adnan neared 66 days on hunger strike against his administrative detention. A government-sponsored rally after the sit-in drew hundreds of Palestinians and international visitors.
Half the story: What @IDFSpokesperson leaves out about #Gaza / Yousef Munnayer
Permission To Narrate 20 Feb — If a rocket from Gaza falls in the middle of the desert, does it make a sound? It does if you are on Twitter. Regular updates on just about every projectile fired from Gaza is reported by the Israeli military’s official twitter account @IDFSpokesperson as well as from the accounts of other Israeli military figures like that of spokesperson @AvitalLeibovich.But what about projectiles fired by Israel into Gaza? You’d think that since this is actual Israeli military activity the spokespeople from the Israeli military would provide this information.
PLO rejects UNRWA’s reduction of services policy
GAZA (WAFA) 19 Feb — Zakaria al-Agha, the head of PLO’s Department for Refugee Affairs, Sunday in a statement rejected UNRWA’s policy to cut services provided for Palestinian refugees to close the organization’s budget deficit. Al-Agha said UNRWA halted payment of complementary-support allowances to families below the poverty line and halted payment of compensatory financial aid that covers the basic food needs of 108.000 of the poorest refugees in Gaza … Al-Agha called on the donor countries to uphold their responsibilities and financial obligations towards UNRWA in order to solve its current financial crisis and close its fiscal deficit.
Detention / Court actions
Cancer patient detained while seeking treatment in Israel
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 19 Feb — Israeli forces on Sunday detained a man from Gaza who was seeking medical treatment in Israel. Witnesses told Ma‘an that Kamal Hikmat al-Taramsi, 23, was detained at Beit Hanoun checkpoint while reportedly on route to an Israeli hospital for treatment. Al-Taramsi, from Jabalia refugee camp, suffers from thyroid cancer.
Witnesses: Israeli undercover agents seize Ramallah man
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 19 Feb — Israeli undercover forces abducted a man from the West Bank city of Al-Bireh on Monday, locals told Ma‘an. Two private cars stopped at the entrance of the Palestinian Red Crescent association before Israeli agents seized Omar Abu Rwayyis, 23, who works as a security guard, they said. Abu Rwayyis is also the goalkeeper in Al-Amaari football club, one of the West Bank’s best teams.
Bassem Tamimi to Israeli military judge: I do not recognize the authority of the Israeli occupation
20 Feb by Adam Horowitz — Yesterday, Nabi Saleh’s Bassam Tamimi was finally allowed to address an Israeli court after being held for 11 months. The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee sent out the following update: “…After 11 months in an Israeli jail, Bassem Tamimi, a prominent Palestinian activist from Nabi Saleh, was given a chance to plead his case before the military court in regards to the allegations against him, denying them in full while owning up to his and his village’s struggle against the Occupation and the theft of their lands. Tamimi, who was recognized by the European Union as a human rights defender last year, said, ‘International law gives us the right to peaceful protest, to demonstrate our refusal of the policies that hurt us, our daily life and the future of our children’….”
UFree: Israeli doctors conceal torture incidents in Israeli jails
GENEVA (PIC) 20 Feb — The Oslo-based European Network to support the rights of Palestinian Prisoners-UFree said many Israeli doctors covered up torture incidents that happened to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. According to a report by UFree based on testimonies from prisoners, the doctors inside Israeli jails did not report about injuries and bruises inflicted on prisoners by Israeli interrogators and instead they wrote false medical reports in order to expose the detainees to more torture sessions.
link to www.palestine-info.co.uk
Ministry: Israel must free mentally ill detainee
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 18 Feb — A 35-year-old Palestinian man in Israeli jail is suffering from schizophrenia and should be released for medical treatment, the PA ministry of prisoners affairs said on Saturday. Karam Sulaiman Ahmad Issa, from Balata refugee camp near Nablus, is being held in Israel’s Megiddo prison after he was detained in March 2011. He was accused of trying to shoot a solider near al-Hamra checkpoint in the West Bank, but relatives said he was not carrying a weapon and was instead injured by Israeli forces. Lawyer with the ministry Fadi Abedat said Issa was diagnosed with the psychiatric disorder in al-Ramla hospital, and an Israeli court was meant to release him for treatment abroad after it received a report on his medical condition.
Racism / Discrimination
TA councilman calls for separate buses for ‘smelly’ foreigners / Mya Guarnieri
972mag 18 Feb — Last week, Tel Aviv City Councilman Binyamin Babayoff (Shas) sent a letter to Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, Minister of Transportation Israel Katz, and Dr. Moshe Tiomkin, a Tel Aviv councilman and the head of the city’s Transportation, Traffic and Parking Authority. In an excerpt published by Mynet (local online Hebrew news affiliated with Ynet), Babayoff wrote that “illegal foreign workers fill the buses…” leaving no room for Jewish Israeli residents of South Tel Aviv. He added that “foreign workers… give off a bad smell and they might, God forbid, cause all kinds of diseases.”
‘Death to Christianity’ written on Jerusalem church
JERUSALEM (Reuters/Ma‘an) 20 Feb — Vandals daubed “Death to Christianity” on a Jerusalem church on Monday in the second such attack in the holy city this month, police said. The words “Price Tag”, a slogan used by ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers, were also scrawled on the walls of the Baptist Narkis Street Congregation in a quiet residential neighborhood in West Jerusalem. “Officers are investigating a strong possibility of a (Jewish) nationalist motive but no one has been apprehended yet,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The graffiti also included profanity about Jesus, and the vandals slashed the tires of several cars parked in the church compound … “Death to Christians” was daubed in Hebrew on the outer walls of the Monastery of the Cross, an 11th-century holy site, on Feb. 7.
Israeli city’s Christian community fights for equal burial rights
Haaretz 19 Feb — Be’er Sheva, the largest city in Israel’s south, does not provide burial accommodations for its Christian population, Zikaron, a non-profit representing Christian burial rights in Israel, is claiming. The NGO’s struggle against city policy began after current mayor Rubik Danilovich reversed a 2001 decision by then mayor Yaakov Terner to allocate land to serve as the future site of a Christian cemetery in the city.
Filipina teen fights to join Holocaust remembrance trip to Poland
Haaretz 19 Feb — 16-year-old student warned return to Israel may be barred though she was born in Israel.
Israeli panel set to discuss bill banning discrimination against LGBT community
Haaretz 19 Feb — The bill, submitted by MK Nitzan Horowitz, would add wording prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual identity to all existing anti-discrimination legislation.
Abbas: Future government to uphold PLO agreements
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 18 Feb – President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that the national unity government he intends to form as per the Doha agreement with Hamas will uphold the PLO obligations and signed agreements
Netanyahu’s border proposal: Israel to annex settlement blocks but not Jordan Valley
Haaretz 19 Feb by Barak Ravid — Three weeks after the end of the talks that took place between Israel and the Palestinians in Amman which took place under the patronage of the King of Jordan, Israeli officials revealed their version of the events, laying the blame on the failure of the talks on Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. Despite the mutual “blame game,” according to positions presented by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the topic of borders, it is clear that it is not much different than the positions presented by Tzipi Livni during the Annapolis Conference. [A detailed description of all five meetings, from an Israeli point of view]
PLO cabinet to meet Monday over failed talks
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 19 Feb — …Saeb Erekat said the meeting will mull next steps after explanatory talks with an Israeli envoy last month ended without agreement for continuing negotiations. The PLO cabinet member added that talks with international officials to save the life of hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan had not brought any results.
White House: Netanyahu, Obama to meet in Washington on March 5
Haaretz 20 Feb — Meeting in two weeks will likely center on range of actions geared at preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability, whether through sanctions, talks, or military strike.
Funding stops to silence Canada’s Palestine House, says staff
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO (WAFA) 20 Feb – Staff of Palestine House Cultural and Educational Centre in Mississauga, Ontario accused the conservative Canadian government of stopping funding it as part of a campaign to silence groups who speak in support of the Palestinian people, according to a recent press release … Palestine House, which has been providing CIC-funded settlement and language instruction services to Canadian immigrants of all walks of life for nearly two decades, will no longer provide these services to newcomer Canadians, it said.